|US surgical abortion rate drops 25% over 6 years (LifeNews.com)|
“Abortions dropped from 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age (15 to 44) in 2008 to 14.6 per 1,000 in 2014,” according to the report, with the largest decline among teens.
|Bring marketplace forces under social contract, Pope urges (CWN)|
<p>In an October 20 address to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Pope Francis said that “we must aim at ‘civilizing’ the market.”</p>
|Saudi Arabia creates panel to study Mohammed's teaching, eliminate calls to violence (Reuters)|
King Salman has announced that a panel of Islamic scholars will be asked to study to <I>hadith</i>—the sayings attributed to Mohammed—and “eliminate fake and extremist texts.” In particular, he said, the panel should root out texts that “justify the commission of crimes, murder, and terrorist acts.”
|Vatican hosts conference on disability and catechesis (Vatican Radio)|
The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pcpne.va/content/pcpne/en/Appuntamenti/catechesi-e-persone-con-disabilita.html"> 3-day conference</a> is hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.
|Pope's weekday Mass homily (10/19): the gift of God's salvation opens the door to all (Vatican Radio)|
Preaching on Lk. 11:47-54, the Pope warned that “the Pharisees, doctors of the law are not people of the past, even today there are many of them.” He cited the example of “parish priests who did not baptize the children of the mothers because they were not born in canonical marriage.” At root, he added, is the loss of a close relationship with the Lord, along with a “dull mindset that believes in the self-sufficiency of salvation with the fulfillment of the law.”
|FAO leader: Pope is 'one of the few indispensable people in the world' (Vatican Radio)|
José Graziano da Silva, the Brazilian-American head of the Food and Agricultural Organization, praised the Pontiff after he <a target="_blank" href="http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=33388"> called for a change in lifestyles</a> to end world hunger.
|Polish primate warns priests not to join anti-immigration protests (La Croix)|
Archbishop Wojciech Polak of Gniezno, the primate of Poland, said forbade priests of his archdiocese from participation in anti-immigrant demonstrations. “Any priest who joins will be suspended,” he warned. “Christ suffers in refugees and we need to open up to these refugees.”
|Methodist leader reflects on dialogue with Catholic Church (Vatican Radio)|
On 10/19, Pope Francis <a target="_blank" href="http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=33469"> received a World Methodist Council delegation</a> and saluted <a target="_blank" href="http://worldmethodistcouncil.org/resources/ecumenical-dialogues/"> 50 years of ecumenical dialogue</a>. John Wesley founded the Methodist movement within the Church of England in 1738; in time, it became a separate ecclesial community.
|Iraqi forces advance to retake Kurdish-held territory near Mosul (Financial Times)|
The Chaldean Catholic patriarch <a target="_blank" href="http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=33464"> pleaded for national unity</a> amid conflict between the Baghdad government and the Kurds.
|Catalan leader defiant as Spain moves to revoke region's autonomy (Fox News)|
L’Osservatore Romano (10/20 Italian edition) devoted its most prominent front-page coverage to this story.
|Papal book on the Our Father to be published in November (SIR)|
The book consists of a conversation between Pope Francis and Father Marco Pozza, an Italian theologian and prison chaplain. The head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication announced that a 9-part TV series related to the book will be broadcast beginning 10/25.
|In Syria everyone suffers, but Christians are most vulnerable, says Vatican ambassador (Crux)|
“If we talk about suffering, everyone is in the same boat,” Archbishop Mario Zenari told Crux. “But if we look at the risks, it is greater for minorities, and therefore for Christians.”
|House Speaker Ryan headlines Al Smith dinner (Crux)|
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was the featured speaker at the annual Al Smith dinner, raising funds for Catholic charities in New York. Actress Patricia Heaton shared the spotlight in the event, which raised almost $3.5 million.<br> The Al Smith dinner has caused controversy in past years, because presidential candidates—including those who are at odds with Church teachings—have traditionally been invited to speak.
|US bishops to vote for conference secretary, 6 committee leaders (USCCB)|
The November election of chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities may be a bellwether of the direction of the USCCB: the candidates are Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City (KS).
|Algeria: Protestants advocate for freedom to worship (World Watch Monitor)|
The North African nation of 40.3 million is 99% Muslim (predominantly Sunni).
|Papal condolences on death of journalist in Malta (Vatican Press Office)|
|Saudi Arabia to vet use of Muhammad's sayings to counter extremism (Reuters)|
|Nigerian prelate demands end to ethnic violence (Fides)|
Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, the president of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, decried a new outbreak of bloodshed in the Plateau state, where at least 29 people were killed in an attack on a primary school. The archbishop called for an end to the violence, caused by clashes between the Irigwe and Fulani tribes. He criticized government forces for their failure to stop the kilings.
|Background: World Mission Sunday (CWN)|
<p>On October 22, the Church around the world will commemorate World Mission Sunday. The theme of the Pope’s message for the day is “<a href="https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=11594">Mission at the heart of the Christian faith</a>.” </p>
|Papal audiences (10/19) (Vatican Press Office)|
In 6 separate audiences, the Pope received the <a target="_blank" href="http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/10/19/171019b.html"> new Serbian ambassador</a>, the leadership of the Brazilian episcopal conference, the nuncio to Uruguay, a Costa Rican political leader, a World Methodist Council delegation, and students from a Catholic school in France.