16 nations named ‘egregious’ religious-freedom violators In its newly released annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is urging the State Department to designate or redesignate 16 nations as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) because they are nations in which there are “particularly severe violations of religious freedom that are systematic, ongoing and egregious.”
Foster unity and peace, Pope tells Papal Foundation Pope Francis received members of the US-based Papal Foundation in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on April 27 and expressed his gratitude “for your desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim that message of hope to the ends of the earth and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries.”
Vatican support for Venezuelan cardinal The Vatican has expressed support for Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, two weeks after a leftist mob burst into a basilica where he was celebrating Mass.
USCCB, Catholic Charities: don’t cut domestic anti-poverty programs Citing a dozen federal programs by name, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA called upon members of Congress to “oppose proposed damaging cuts or structural changes to domestic anti-poverty programs that would undermine assistance to people in need.”
Pope reflects on ‘the promise that gives hope’ Reflecting on Christ’s words at the conclusion of St. Matthew’s Gospel (“I am with you all days, to the end of the age”), Pope Francis devoted his April 26 general audience to “the promise that gives hope.”