National Catholic Reporter

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John Wester

Catholic defense of family means aiding migrant families, bishop says

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Migrants are among the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world, and a church committed to defending strong families must be particularly engaged in assisting migrant couples and their children, a U.S. bishop told a Vatican conference.

"Across the globe, 175 million migrants seek safety and sustenance in an unknown land," Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City told the Vatican-sponsored World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants.

U.S. denominations, key Catholic bishop advocate for open Internet

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More than a dozen religious bodies, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, argued in a joint letter to the Federal Communications Commission that the Internet must remain available to all without "fast lanes" and other devices meant to speed up traffic for extra revenue while keeping nonpaying traffic in a slow lane.

"We are concerned about paid prioritization and other policies that will increase costs and limit opportunities for our organizations and the communities we serve," said the letter Monday to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the other four FCC commissioners.

Bill would require feds to respect state laws on traditional marriage

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The U.S. House should pass a bipartisan bill that would require the federal government to respect state marriage laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, a U.S. archbishop said Friday.

Titled the State Marriage Defense Act, the bill "is a necessary piece of legislation that will prevent the federal government from unjustly disregarding, in certain instances, state marriage laws concerning the definition of marriage," said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

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.

USCCB committee chair asks Senate to preserve cable access channels

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The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Communications has asked the Senate to support a bill that would preserve the presence of community access cable channels on local cable systems.

"I encourage you to support these local channels and the local programming they carry by supporting" the Community Access Preservation Act, said a letter Wednesday to members of the Senate by Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, the USCCB communications committee chairman.

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