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Thomas Wenski

Independence Day Mass closes US bishops' annual Fortnight for Freedom

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Religious freedom is "the human right that guarantees all other rights," Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said Saturday in his homily at the closing Mass of the U.S. bishops' fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom.

That right "has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person," he said at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. "Peace and creative living together will only be possible if freedom of religion is fully respected."

Catholic advocates push Congress for a budget that protects poor people

Catholic advocates are pressing Congress to make the needs of poor and vulnerable people a priority as legislators hammer out a federal spending plan for 2016.

The advocates told Catholic News Service they want to prevent trillions of dollars in social services spending from disappearing over the next decade as Congress seeks to balance the federal budget and reduce the nation's growing debt.

Their actions unfolded in recent weeks as they learned of Republican plans to remake the way social services such as Medicaid and food stamps are funded.

Religious leaders urge action to combat climate change

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Religious leaders from across the faith spectrum gathered Friday at the Capitol to seek action to combat climate change and to mitigate its effects, whether it be at the federal level or in local communities.

The ongoing buzz about the forthcoming encyclical from Pope Francis on the environment was addressed by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Speakers weigh immigration trends amid changing U.S.-Cuba relations

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Cuban parents who sent their unaccompanied children from Cuba to the United States in the early 1960s for fear of communist indoctrination under Fidel Castro made the right decision.

That was the conclusion of St. Augustine Bishop Felipe Estevez, who was one of four Cuban experts on a panel convened in Jacksonville at a time of expected shifts in diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

Bishops welcome court's review of using lethal injection in executions

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The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review the use of lethal injections in carrying out executions is a welcome move, said the chairmen of two U.S. bishops' committees.

The court said Jan. 23 it will review the drug protocols of lethal-injection executions in the state of Oklahoma and consider whether such procedures violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

"I welcome the court's decision to review this cruel practice," said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

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April 22-May 5, 2016

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