The complicated relationship between the U.S. and the Holy See

"The Vatican has sources of information that the CIA would kill to get"

The significance of a global network of priests sank in for Thomas Reese on the day the president of Rwanda's plane was shot down. The Catholic analyst and author had been interviewing a church leader at the Vatican when his source's phone rang. The call about the plane crash had been made to notify the headquarters of the Catholic Church that trouble was brewing. "That was … [Read more...]

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NY Times: President to nominate Callista Gingrich as Vatican ambassador

Wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said to have played critical role in her husband's conversion to Catholicism

Less than two weeks before a potentially tense and diplomatically delicate meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, President Trump has apparently settled on nominating Callista Gingrich, the wife of Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, as the United States ambassador to the Holy See, according to two people close to the president. The idea of nominating Ms. Gingrich … [Read more...]

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US bishops unhappy with Obamacare repeal bill passed by House

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, chairman of U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called on Senate to strip out 'the harmful provisions of the bill'

The House passed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement health care bill on Thursday, but one bishop warned that the new bill poses serious problems for the vulnerable. Bishop Frank Dewane, chair of the domestic justice committee for the U.S. bishops' conference, said the legislation “still contains major defects, particularly regarding changes to Medicaid that … [Read more...]

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President Trump to meet with Pope Francis

Pope will receive the president for a private audience on May 24

After months of the kind of hemming and hawing normally reserved for a courtship, it's finally official – the Pope will receive President Trump for a private audience at 8.30 am on Wednesday, 24 May. Five days after Francis told the traveling press en route from Egypt that no request for a meeting had yet been received from the White House, late-morning leaks from … [Read more...]

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Trump appoints pro-life activist to important HHS post

Charmaine Yoest, former CEO of Americans United for Life, named assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services

President Trump appointed well-known pro-life activist Dr. Charmaine Yoest to be Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The man Yoest is replacing is now a Vice President at Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion provider. Yoest is the former CEO of Americans United for Life, the "legal architect of the pro-life … [Read more...]

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Trump administration won’t drop contraceptive mandate appeal

Instead of withdrawing government's case, Justice Department asks federal appeals court for 60 extra days to negotiate an agreement with plaintiffs

With President Donald Trump’s administration signaling that it is not dropping the HHS mandate cases against religious non-profits, plaintiffs are concerned that the action does not reflect promises made during the presidential campaign. “The government has a chance to do the right thing here. It got it wrong for five years in these cases, almost six years,” said Eric … [Read more...]

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“Don’t hold your breath”

President Trump won't meet with Pope Francis during May trip to Sicily, choice of Vatican ambassador unlikely to come soon

Up until recently, the assumption had been that the first opportunity to gauge the Trump administration’s approach to the Vatican under Pope Francis would come in late May, when Trump is scheduled to travel to Sicily for a G7 summit. Expectations were that Trump, like most American presidents visiting Italy, would also stop in Rome for a tête-à-tête with the pontiff. However, … [Read more...]

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