March 16, 2023 // National

News Briefs: March 19, 2023

Catholics Must Reject ‘Sectarian Partisan Lens’ and ‘Live The Truth’ of their Faith, Says Former Congressman

WASHINGTON, D.C. (OSV News) — Despite being labeled a Democratic “heretic” by the media for his pro-life stand and his support for traditional marriage, former Congressman Dan Lipinski told a Washington, D.C. conference he never backed down from “what I knew was true.” “It is our responsibility, especially because of our Catholic faith, to live the truth no matter what profession that we are in,” Lipinski said on March 10. “What we need to do is to be Catholic first. This means adhering to the truth in this post-truth world. It’s not always going to be easy. Sometimes we will be hated. We will have to make personal sacrifices.” Lipinski, 56, who represented Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District for eight terms, from 2005 to 2021, was a keynote speaker during a conference on “Journalism in a Post-Truth World,’’ sponsored by EWTN News and Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The March 10-11 conference, held in person and livestreamed, included panel discussions on the state of modern journalism and religion coverage, media ethics, media bias, the upsides and pitfalls of using social media, and how to cover the Catholic Church.

Wyoming Governor Weighs ‘Unforeseen Consequences’ of Abortion Bills Still on His Desk

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (OSV News) — Wyoming’s legislature passed two pieces of legislation in March that would restrict abortion in the state, but the bills are still under consideration by the governor. The bills, one of which would prohibit most abortions in the state with narrow exceptions for cases of rape or incest, risks to the mother’s life, or “a lethal fetal anomaly,” and one that would restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs, were approved by the state’s legislature. Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican who has signed pro-life measures in the past, has not yet indicated whether he will sign the legislation. He told reporters in the state that he is still weighing the constitutionality of the bills and seeking to ensure they won’t have unforeseen consequences. State law gives Gordon 15 days to veto legislation if he so chooses, otherwise it becomes law. Asked about the status of the bills, a spokesman for Gordon told OSV News on March 10 that the governor has until March 18 to consider them.

Attacks on Nicaragua’s Catholic and Civil Society Entities Must Stop, Says Human Rights Watch Head

UNITED NATIONS (OSV News) — Nicaragua’s assaults on Catholic and other educational institutions, its stripping political opponents of citizenship, and its arrest of political opponents must stop, said Human Rights Watch’s Acting Executive Director, Tirana Hassan. “The situation in Nicaragua has been getting progressively worse. What we have been seeing is there has been an attack on political opposition, on civil society, on Catholic institutions, and the Church itself,” Hassan told OSV News on March 9. She was speaking two days after Nicaragua’s government-run newspaper, La Gaceta, announced the cancellation of the legal status of the country’s Universidad Juan Pablo II and Universidad Cristiana Autónoma de Nicaragua “for being in breach of their obligations under the laws that regulate them.” Hassan said HRW has seen “attacks all across the board on civil society, freedom of religion, and … on political participation,” by Nicaragua’s government. Asked about the cancellation of the universities’ legal status and the reported widespread abuses, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said, “We’ve been following this closely.” He told OSV News on March 10, “It is another example of the shrinking space for civil society that we are seeing in Nicaragua.”

King Charles III Meets Catholic Delegation, Other Religious Leaders Ahead of Coronation

LONDON (OSV News) — England’s Catholic cardinal has pledged his Church’s allegiance to King Charles III ahead of his May 6 coronation, as the new monarch praised the work of faith communities in national life. “For so many years, we have observed your desire and unstinting efforts to explore and enhance the well-being of the entire human family, through your commitment to religious faith, protection of the environment, and relief of poverty,” said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster. “The Catholic community is profoundly supportive of these fundamental concerns, as we strive to offer our society, your kingdom, an education for young people that is rooted in faith and its consequent commitment to human dignity.” The cardinal spoke while heading a 12-member Catholic delegation to a March 9 ceremony in London’s Buckingham Palace, during which similar pledges were made by the representatives of the Protestant Church of England and Church of Scotland and 27 other Christian denominations, as well as of Jewish communities, royal academies, city guilds, and historic universities. Meanwhile, the king paid tribute to the contribution of churches and other associations to the United Kingdom’s “national fabric,” and to advancing mutual knowledge and understanding.

High School Juniors, Seniors Invited to Enter USCCB Religious Liberty Essay Contest

WASHINGTON, D.C. (OSV News) — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, along with the USCCB Secretariat of Catholic Education and Our Sunday Visitor Institute, is hosting a religious liberty essay contest for high school juniors and seniors. The contest, titled “Witnesses to Freedom,” requires participants to “share the story of a witness to freedom.” “Participants should choose one person or group, such as an organization or community, who is important in the story of religious freedom,” according to contest rules posted online. Essays are due by March 24. Winners will be announced in May. The first-place essay will be published by Our Sunday Visitor, and the author will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship. Second place receives a $1,000 scholarship, and third place receives a $500 scholarship. The USCCB’s contest information urges contestants to consider questions such as: “Was there a key moment in the person’s life that bears witness to freedom? … Why is this person a witness to religious freedom? What lessons can we learn from this person’s witness?” General information can be found online at

People lay down flowers and candles outside a building housing a Jehovah’s Witness meeting hall in Hamburg, Germany, March 10, 2023, after a deadly shooting. German police were searching for a possible motive after a shooter opened fire March 9 at the place of worship, killing at least seven people, including an unborn baby. (OSV News photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Reuters)

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