National Catholic Reporter

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Washington

Activists demand Obama appoint envoy for persecuted Middle Eastern Christians

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Beheadings, enslavement, kidnappings and rape plague minority religious communities across the Middle East, and it's time for President Barack Obama to fill a job created to address their plight, a group of prominent evangelicals, scholars and other religious leaders told the White House.

In the seven months since Congress created a "special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia," the extreme violence against these groups has only escalated, the religious leaders wrote to Obama on Monday. Nominate someone, they implored.

Poll: Americans say there's no turning back on gay marriage

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The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a landmark case on gay marriage, but most Americans already have made up their minds: There's no turning back.

In a nationwide USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, those surveyed say by 51 percent-35 percent that it's no longer practical for the Supreme Court to ban same-sex marriages because so many states have legalized them.

One reason for a transformation in public views on the issue: Close to half say they have a gay or lesbian family member or close friend who is married to someone of the same sex.

Laity called to be on 'frontlines' of using media in new evangelization

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Laypeople are meant to be "out on the frontlines" of using media in the new evangelization, said a speaker at a panel discussion Monday at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

The panel consisted of leaders in Catholic broadcasting and communications and was held in honor of the 75th anniversary of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's first televised service on Easter of 1940*.

It was part of a weeklong celebration of the legacy of the 20th-century Catholic evangelist.

Flurry of briefs seeks to shape court's look at same-sex marriage

When it takes up same-sex marriage cases from four states April 28, the Supreme Court will officially be considering just two constitutional questions.

But judging from the outpouring of friend-of-the-court or "amicus" briefs, the court is expected to affect the very definition of marriage in American society.

Panel says assisted suicide operates with premise 'some lives are unworthy'

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Physician-assisted suicide "violates the Hippocratic oath" and operates under the premise that "some lives are unworthy," said participants in a panel discussion Monday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

The panel, which consisted of speakers from the areas of public policy, medicine and religion, was titled "Living Life to Its Fullest: Supporting the Sick and Elderly in Their Most Vulnerable Hours" and focused on recent public discussions of physician-assisted suicide.

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July 17-30, 2015

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