Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

MIAMI - Pope Francis sent a letter of condolence to the family a Steven Sotloff, the second U.S. journalist slain this summer by ISIS, also known as Islamic State.

WASHINGTON - Pro-life groups that have battled with the federal government since the first rules were issued on contraceptive coverage in 2012 derided the government's latest rules allowing religious institutions -- and potentially some for-profit companies -- to opt out of the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

ROCHESTER, N.H. - Slain journalist James Foley, who sent images and copy from different war zones, was described as living his faith through his work.

DETROIT - Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka, who rose from poor beginnings to reach the highest levels of service to the Church, died Aug. 20 at Providence Park Hospital in Novi. The cardinal, who was 86, died of natural causes.

ROCHESTER, N.H. - In April 2013, the parents of slain U.S. journalist James Foley attended a prayer vigil at Marquette University in Milwaukee to pray for their son, who at that time had disappeared in Syria.

ST. LOUIS - Residents of Ferguson "are struggling to find peace in the chaos" that has followed the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer and "as people of Christ, we are struggling to find direction in the unrest," said Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis.

JOLIETTE, Quebec - St. Charles Borromeo Cathedral was packed as Bishop Gilles Lussier and several priests concelebrated the funeral of Father Raymond Gravel, an outspoken social activist and advocate for Quebec independence.

WASHINGTON - Western leaders pressed their governments to increase humanitarian efforts on behalf of persecuted Christians and other minorities in northern Iraq.

VATICAN CITY - As Chinese authorities raised the official death toll from an Aug. 3 earthquake in the southern Yunnan province, Pope Francis offered public prayers for the victims and their families.

WASHINGTON - The displacement of people around the globe because of their religious beliefs in 2013 rose to levels unseen in years, the State Department reported.