'No to new wars,' bishops of 3 African nations plead (Fides) “We appeal to the conscience of rulers to keep in their hearts and minds the duty to protect the populations and to work for the prosperity of people who must fully enjoy their rights as creatures created in the image of God,” said the bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda.
Utah bans conversion therapy for minors (Religion Clause) With rare exceptions, mental health professionals are now forbidden to provide “any practice or treatment that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient or client, including mental health therapy that seeks to change, eliminate, or reduce behaviors, expressions, attractions, or feelings related to a patient or client’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Church in Poland marks 'Islam Day' (SIR) “Islam is one of the main fears Polish Catholics have”, said Karol Wilczyński, member of the Council for Dialogue of the Archdiocese of Krakow, who hopes that the day will help “overcome prejudice and show the true face of Muslims.”
Taiwan president tells Pope of China's religious persecution (UCANews) In her letter to Pope Francis, President Tsai Ing-wen spoke of “authorities dispatching armed police to fire tear gas and suppress and arrest people expressing the wish to pursue democracy and human rights … religious practitioners facing detention and persecution by public security officers when they, following their conscience, refuse to be coerced into signing documents to join an organization that violates their religious doctrines.”
International finance watchdog re-admits Vatican (Vatican Press Office) The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF) has been re-admitted to full membership in the Egmont Group. The Egmont Group, an international consortium that shares information about possible financial crime, had suspended the AIF in October, after Vatican police removed documents from the AIF office. The Vatican agency was re-admitted after Egmont leaders were assured that confidential documents would remain secure.
Supreme Court appears split on Montana's ban on vouchers for religious schools (Washington Times) The Becket Fund has published background information on the case. “The case before the Supreme Court today concerns whether the Constitution offers states a license to discriminate against religion,” the USCCB said in a statement. “It is about whether our nation will continue to tolerate this strain of anti-Catholic bigotry. Blaine Amendments, which are in 37 states’ constitutions, were the product of nativism … We hope that the Supreme Court will take this opportunity to bring an end to this shameful legacy.”