LOOP: Pope Benedict XVI says he’s in last phase of life



NOTRE DAME OFFERS CONTRACEPTIVES  After years of fighting the HHS contraceptive mandate in federal court, the University of Notre Dame announced it will fund “simple contraceptives” through its insurance plan after all. Notre Dame President John Jenkins claimed it was a “complex” decision. http://cvote.it/2EcFby8  

POPE BENEDICT XVI  In a short letter to an Italian newspaper, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote: “with the slow decline of my physical forces, interiorly, I am on a pilgrimage towards Home.” http://cvote.it/2Ea1RiL

SPENDING BILL AGREEMENT  Senators reach a bipartisan agreement on a two-year budget which would increase spending on the military and also on discretionary programs like Children’s Health Insurance Program. The agreement is likely to win support in the Senate, but its fate in the House remains uncertain. The government will partially shutdown by midnight today unless more funding is passed. http://cvote.it/2E9Za0J

PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS  The Kansas Senate passed a resolution which condemned pornography as a public health crisis in a 35-4 vote.  The resolution said that exposure to pornography “teaches girls that they are to be used and teaches boys to be users.” It also stated that it increases sexual abuse and violence towards women and children by treating them as objects. http://cvote.it/2E9vIYz

OLYMPIAN ATTACKS VP  Olympic athlete Adam Rippon falsely claimed that Vice President Pence funded gay conversion therapy. So the Vice President offered to meet with the athlete to explain his position, but the athlete refused to meet with him. USA Today columnist Christine Brennan said Pence was “stung” by the criticism and she applauded the athlete for “not backing down.” http://cvote.it/2EaIfeq     

SPORTS & FAITH  Former NFL coach Tony Dungy came under fire for speaking positively about Eagles quarterback Nick Foles’ expression of faith. But Tony Dungy pushed back: “It was my opinion that Nick Foles would play well because his Christian faith would allow him to to play with confidence. And that he’s a good QB. I think I was right on both counts.” http://cvote.it/2E8FUQV  

MIDEAST CHRISTIANS  The Colosseum was once the sight where Christian blood was shed. Later this month it will be illuminated in red to raise awareness of persecuted Christians around the world, especially in Syria and Iraq. http://cvote.it/2E8Jnip

POPE PAUL VI VS. COMMUNISTS  Decades before his election as Pope Paul VI, then Monsignor Giovanni Montini apparently collaborated with the CIA in covertly opposing the Communists in his native Italy’s 1948 election. http://cvote.it/2E8PsLT

SAINT OF THE DAY  After a conversion, Saint Jerome Emiliani studied for the priesthood and, after his ordination, he worked for abandoned children. He founded the Clerks Regular of Somasca to continue that work. http://cvote.it/dailysaint

DAILY MASS READINGS  “Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.” (Ps 106:4) – http://cvote.it/Daily-Readings

WONDERFUL  Meet Lucas, the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome. http://cvote.it/2Eb4BMT


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Joshua Mercer is a co-founder of CatholicVote.org, where he serves as Political Director. Mercer previously served as Washington Correspondent for the National Catholic Register and Chairman for Students for Life of America. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.

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