Bill passes to allow states to redirect funds away from abortion clinics
WASHINGTON — The Senate voted late March 30 to override a rule change made in the last days of the Obama administration that prevented states from redirecting Title X family planning funding away from clinics that performed abortions and to community clinics that provide comprehensive health care. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said, "Congress has done well to reverse this very bad public policy, and to restore the ability of states to stop one stream of our tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood..."
Pope approves provisions to recognize marriages of SSPX faithful
VATICAN CITY — Continuing initiatives aimed at a reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, Pope Francis has made it possible for bishops to ensure the validity of marriages celebrated in the traditionalist communities. A letter published by the Vatican April 4 said the pope will allow Catholic bishops to appoint priests to assist at SSPX marriages and formally receive the consent of the couples. The nuptial Mass then would be celebrated by the SSPX priest. In addition, Pope Francis gave bishops the option of granting an SSPX priest the necessary faculties to officiate validly over the marriage rite "if there are no priests in the diocese" available to do so.
Chaldean patriarch supports Holy Week peace march
IRBIL, Iraq — The Chaldean Catholic patriarch is supporting a more than 80-mile peace march during Holy Week to urge an end to violence in his homeland and throughout the Middle East. The Chaldean Catholic Church has dedicated 2017 as the Year of Peace. For the patriarch, Holy Week culminating in the Easter celebration offers a fresh hope to breathe new life into prayer and reflection, reconciliation and dialogue. "Peace must be achieved by us (religious leaders) as well as politicians, through courageous initiatives and responsible decisions," said Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.
— Catholic News Service