National Catholic Reporter

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Washington

Faith leaders join consumer advocates to push for lower payday loan rates

Dozens of faith leaders and consumer advocates are pressing Congress to create a national interest rate cap for payday lenders instead of the exorbitant three-digit rates currently charged to people in several states.

Eighty activists from 22 states came to Washington in hopes of shaping new regulations that are expected from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Many of their congregations are surrounded by payday loan businesses that they say prey on poor residents by charging high interest rates and creating a cycle of debt.

Empowering women can lead to solutions for hunger, poverty, report says

In the fight against worldwide hunger and poverty, a new report found that when women are empowered, everyone wins.

The Bread for the World Institute, which provides policy analyses on hunger and offers strategies to end it, presented the results from its recent hunger report, "When Women Flourish ... We Can End Hunger," in a panel discussion Monday.

The panelists, including directors from several nonprofit groups and other organizations, spoke about ways to support women experiencing poverty and hunger.

Are Christian hashtags rallying the faithful or just luring trolls?

Standing on the sidewalk outside an imposing downtown church, Michael Corral carried a portable loudspeaker and a handmade wooden cross with an old-fashioned message: "REPENT & BELIEVE."

"They're twisting Scripture to see through their sins," he said, as a group of pro-LGBT evangelicals met inside.

Meanwhile, halfway across the country, conservative activist Eric Teetsel was monitoring the same conference from his home in Kansas, firing off 140-character tweets using the conference hashtag, #TRPinDC.

Gay marriage hits major bump in federal appeals court

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The same-sex marriage movement lost its first major case in a federal appeals court Thursday after a lengthy string of victories, creating a split among the nation's circuit courts that virtually guarantees review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 2-1 ruling from the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed lower court rulings that had struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Müller to USCCB: Catholics must be heard in public square

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In a U.S. visit, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told officials at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops not to lose sight "that the voice of the Catholic church must be heard in the public square."

"Otherwise we risk that our democracies are reduced to a vocabulary of truth, which is exclusively pragmatic and positivist," he said Tuesday at the USCCB headquarters in Washington.

Court blocks law that had closed most Texas abortion clinics

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a Texas law that had meant all but seven of the state's abortion clinics were closed because they failed to meet new standards.

The block will remain in effect while the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers a legal challenge to the law itself. It will allow at least 12 clinics that were closed to reopen.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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