National Catholic Reporter

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Washington

'Citizen-scholar' and former Ambassador to Vatican Thomas Melady dies

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Thomas P. Melady, who served in several diplomatic posts and continued to play a role as "citizen-scholar" long past the age when most people would have retired, died Monday. He was 86.

Melady died at his Washington home of a brain tumor, which doctors only recently diagnosed.

Catholic voices raise moral concerns in country's fracking debates

In ongoing national discussions about the mining of natural gas, Catholic voices have emerged to raise significant moral questions while not necessarily taking sides.

From New York to Colorado, from individual bishops to umbrella organizations, Catholic contributions to the discussions have decidedly held up the church's social teaching on the importance of protecting creation and promoting the common good.

New Mexico court, federal judge in Utah recognize same-sex marriage

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A federal judge Friday struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, arguing it violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.

A day earlier the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that barring same-sex couples from marrying violates the equal protection clause of that state's constitution.

Christmas in America: belief in the virgin birth and visits from Santa

Nearly one in three Americans, including many with no little children at home and those with no religious identity, say they pretend Santa will visit their house on Christmas Eve.

Overall, 31 percent of U.S. adults play up the Santa role in their holiday season, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

Jesus, however, is still the star of Christmas.

The survey finds that 73 percent of adults believe Jesus was born of a virgin -- the act of God at the theological heart of the Christmas story, the birth of the Christ child.

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In This Issue

March 27-April 9, 2015

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