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Catholic ethicist to head international religious freedom commission

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Robert P. George, a Catholic legal scholar and ethicist who is the McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, has been elected to head the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

He was appointed to the bipartisan commission in 2012 by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and is serving his first term as a commissioner.

George succeeds Katrina Lantos Swett, an appointee of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. She completed a one-year term as commission chair.

Church needs to restore synodal structure, reformist Austrian priest says

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The Catholic Church needs to restore a synodal structure of governance and end its current form of highly centralized Vatican rule, said Fr. Helmut Schuller, leader of a group of Austrian priests advocating priestly ordination of women and married men and other church reforms, during a July 22 luncheon in Washington.

University presidents: Immigration reform a 'moral obligation'

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Catholics unsure of the need for comprehensive immigration reform might consider reflecting on the novel, play and film Les Miserables, said John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America.

Referring to Jean Valjean, the protagonist in Victor Hugo's 19th-century story who is pursued through his life for stealing a loaf of bread, Garvey said: "At some point, we've got to let those transgressions go."

Educators say interest hike puts college out of reach for more students

The president of Trinity Washington University chastised congressional lawmakers for not stopping a hike in the interest rate on student loans.

"The failure of Congress to prevent interest rates on Stafford loans from doubling is simply reprehensible," Patricia McGuire told Catholic News Service.

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September 12-25, 2014

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