National Catholic Reporter

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Service draws attention to persecution, killing of African Christians

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A June 29 prayer service at Holy Family Church in New York City not only recalled the sacrifices of African martyrs in church history but also paid tribute to those who have died recently for their faith.

"Recent events that have taken place in different parts of Africa show that there is no lack of men and women who continue to bear witness to their faith in God by offering their very lives," said Archbishop Charles Balvo, who is apostolic nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan.

Archbishop from Iraq asks West to step up efforts to oust Islamic State

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Syriac Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul, Iraq, called on the world's government to oust Islamic State militants from northern parts of the country so thousands of displaced Christians can return home.

Speaking with the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need on the first anniversary of the Islamic State's takeover of Mosul, Archbishop Moshe said that forcing out Islamic State forces was the "best solution" for the 120,000 displaced Christians who fled the city June 10, 2014, and nearby towns and villages that were seized in early August.

San Francisco archbishop blasts gender transitions as threat to faith

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Amid the national buzz over transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, revealing her new female identity, a leading culture warrior in the Catholic hierarchy on Wednesday denounced the spread of "gender ideology" and said it threatens the very foundation of the church's faith.

Once Pope Francis knows US capitalism, he will love it, says Catholic theologian-economist

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Fr. Martin Schlag is a trained economist as well as a Catholic moral theologian, and when he first read some of Pope Francis’ powerful critiques of the current free market system, he had the same thought a lot of Americans did: “Just horrible.”

But at a meeting Monday at the Harvard Club, Schlag, an Austrian-born priest who teaches economics at an Opus Dei-run university in Rome, reassured a group of Catholics, many from the world of business and finance, that Francis’ views on capitalism aren’t actually as bad as he feared.

Cardinal Dolan calls Catholics, Jews to continue building unity through God

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Catholics and Jews risk losing their hard-won interfaith amity if they take ecumenism for granted and fail to pass it along to a new generation of seminarians and laity, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said in an address at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

The cardinal spoke Wednesday* about 50 years of substantive interactions that began with Nostra Aetate ("In Our Time"), the Second Vatican Council's declaration on relations with non-Christian religions promulgated by Blessed Paul VI in 1965.

Liberation theology's founder basks in a belated rehabilitation under Pope Francis

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It used to be that just saying the words "liberation theology" around Catholics was enough to start a schism-level fight, or at least raise a red flag in Rome.

The theological movement that focused on the poor emerged out of the church's social justice ferment in the 1960s, but it was always viewed by conservatives as an irredeemably Marxist version of the Gospel.

Worse, they said it was a tool of Soviet communists who were using the Roman Catholic church to foment revolution in Latin America and beyond, and at the very height of the Cold War.

New York City to change rules to allow churches to rent schools

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Congregations in New York City that rent space in public schools will be able to hold Easter services this Sunday despite a ruling on Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting an appeal from an evangelical church in the Bronx that sought to overturn a ban on after-hours worship services at public schools.

A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio also said the mayor would work to ensure that houses of worship could continue to rent space like any other group.

Debate over gays in St. Patrick's parades roils Irish on big day

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St. Patrick's Day is associated as much with Roman Catholicism as it is with Irish-Americans, but this year, some of the faithful aren't happy with the inclusion of gays and lesbians marching under their own banner for the first time in parades in Boston and New York.

The Knights of Columbus of Massachusetts and a local Catholic school declined to take part in the Boston parade on Sunday after two LGBT groups -- the military veterans service group OutVets and Boston Pride -- were invited following decades of lobbying and court battles.

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