Pope Francis to handpick new doctor ahead of Cuba, US trip
As the five-year term for Pope Francis' personal doctor comes to an end, the Pope is expected to choose a new one soon who will accompany him during his upcoming visit to Cuba and the United States. Patrizio Polisca, doctor to Benedict XVI and president of the medical commission for the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was until recently the Pope’s personal doctor and head of the Vatican City State's healthcare services. Francis decided at the end of May not to renew Polisca's term as papal doctor and head of the Vatican’s healthcare services, leaving his position open as of Aug. 1.
House limits number allowed in chamber to hear papal address to Congress
House members voted July 28 to limit the number of people allowed in the House Chamber Sept. 24 when Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress. The vote, which was part of a procedural measure, excludes former members of Congress and former House officers and chaplains from attending the papal address. Those allowed to attend include: members of Congress, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Supreme Court justices, current House officers, the librarian of Congress, architect of the Capitol and department heads. The vote also approved of "other persons as designated by the Speaker."
Exhibit honors how St. John Paul changed Catholic-Jewish relations
Helping to inaugurate an exhibit at the Vatican, the chief rabbi of Rome noted just how much "times have changed." "Seeing in St. Peter's Square the banner announcing the exhibit with an image of a pope -- that's normal -- but a pope shaking hands with a rabbi? That's not normal. It's a sign of how times have changed," said Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.
Prelate welcomes judge's decision on detention of migrant children
A federal judge has ruled that the US government's detention of Central American children in privately-operated facilities violated commitments the US made in a 1997 legal agreement on the detention of migrant children. Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, welcomed the decision. "I welcome the ruling of the court and urge the administration to comply with it expeditiously," he said. "Appealing the decision would only prolong a flawed and unjust policy of treating this vulnerable population as criminals."
Archbishop, EPA administrator write joint op-ed on climate change
Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago has joined Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy in writing an op-ed article entitled "We have a moral obligation on climate change." "The fight against climate change isn’t a sprint — it’s a marathon," they wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times. "But with continued leadership and committed action from the archdiocese, from Chicago, and from congregations and communities across America, we can turn the challenge of climate change into an opportunity to build a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous future."