National Catholic Reporter

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Barack Obama

Pope Francis continues to take 'the world by storm'

During the second year of his pontificate, Pope Francis was still feeling the love, and not just from Catholics or those from his homeland of Argentina.

A Pew Research Center study released Dec. 11 showed that the pope has broad support across much of the world. Sixty percent of the 43 nations polled had a positive view of the pontiff.

And Americans, in particular, have shown their fondness for Francis, often extolling his simplistic style. According to the Pew study, 78 percent of Americans view the pope favorably.

Applause for Obama, Francis and diplomatic relations with Cuba


I applaud President Barack Obama's historic step to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. He displayed courage and boldness in doing so.

There is no reason why we should not have formal ties with Cuba, 90 miles from the U.S., while we have ties with other countries with which we have disagreements over certain matters. I'm thinking of China; Vietnam, with whom we fought a war with that led to almost 60,000 American soldiers being killed; or Saudi Arabia, one of the most undemocratic countries in the world.

Rabbi David Saperstein confirmed as U.S. ambassador for religious freedom


The Senate has confirmed Rabbi David Saperstein as the State Department's ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, making him the first non-Christian to hold the job.

Saperstein, who led the Reform Jewish movement's Washington office for 40 years, focusing on social justice and religious freedom issues, was nominated by President Barack Obama in July and confirmed by a 62-35 vote on Friday.

Saperstein takes a liberal bent on domestic issues, and all but one of the votes against him came from a Republican.

Obama's executive action is a start but doesn't address the heart of the issue


Heading into the holiday weekend, I can't help but think about the three predictable questions I will probably be asked over the Thanksgiving table: Do you have a job lined up for next year? Are you dating anyone? What do you think about the president's executive action on immigration?


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In This Issue

October 9-22, 2015


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