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Bishops hail repeal of capital punishment in Maryland

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One U.S. Catholic bishop hailed the repeal of the death penalty in Maryland as "a courageous step toward a culture of life."

The comment, by Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, was issued Thursday, the day Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, signed the bill that repeals capital punishment.

White House council calls for action on modern-day slavery

A White House advisory council of religious leaders called for a global fund to address human trafficking and urged a new labeling system to help identify consumer goods that were not created with slave labor.

With a 36-page report released Wednesday, the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships hopes to build awareness of the estimated 21 million people worldwide who are subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor.

Curbing gun violence 'builds a culture of life,' bishop tells senators

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Days before the Senate began debate over gun-control legislation, Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif., urged senators to support a bill that "builds a culture of life by promoting policies that reduce gun violence and saves people's lives in homes and communities."

Blaire, head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said in a letter to Senate members Monday that one bill, S. 649, was "a positive step in the right direction."

The bill requires universal background checks for all gun buys and makes gun trafficking a federal crime.

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August 1-14, 2014

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