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Loss of Catholic star Kobe Bryant reminds us that life is fragile

Appreciation: Today, we are praying for the repose of the souls of Kobe, his daughter Gianna, and the seven other people who died in the helicopter crash near Calabasas, California, Jan. 26.

Christian unity requires recognizing, welcoming others' gifts, pope says

As Christians work and pray for the restoration of full unity among them, they must be willing to learn from one another, even from the smallest of the Christian communities, Pope Francis said.

Trump's appearance as March for Life speaker prompts mixed opinions

The University of Notre Dame's O. Carter Snead said it was "a good thing when the president of the United States —whomever he or she may be — attends an event meant to celebrate and defend the intrinsic equal dignity of all persons, born and unborn."

Cardinal at center of 2 Popes storm doubles down on celibacy

A Vatican cardinal at the center of a storm over a book about celibacy and the Catholic priesthood is denouncing the "brutality" of criticism directed at him and his collaborator, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

Europe's bishops mark Auschwitz anniversary denouncing hate

Europe's Catholic bishops are marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with a statement denouncing anti-Semitism and the "manipulation" of the truth for political aims.

Trump administration announces steps to enforce federal conscience law

The Trump administration announced Jan. 24 it is taking steps to enforce the Weldon Amendment, a federal law that prohibits discrimination by states against health insurance plans that do not cover abortion.

Priest helping migrants, staff in Guatemala receive death threats

A Catholic priest helping feed and shelter migrants in Central America has filed a complaint with Guatemalan authorities after he and his staff received death threats for providing humanitarian aid for the latest mass of migrants headed toward the United States.

'Never again': Pope Francis calls for prayer on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Vatican City, Jan 27, 2020 / 04:30 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has asked for people to spend a moment in prayer and recollection on Monday for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

January 27 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Between 1940 and 1945, the Nazi regime murdered 1.1 million people in Auschwitz, many killed in the gas chambers immediately upon arrival at the camp. Six million Jews died in the Holocaust.

“In the face of this huge tragedy, this atrocity, indifference is not admissible and memory is a must,” Pope Francis said Jan. 26 in his Angelus address.

The pope invited each person to spend a moment on the anniversary in prayer and recollection with  “each person saying in his own heart: ‘never again, never again!’”

In a meeting with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, last week Pope Francis recalled his visit to the Nazi concentration camp in Poland in 2016:

“I went there to reflect and to pray in silence. In our world, with its whirlwind of activity, we find it hard to pause, to look within and to listen in silence to the plea of suffering humanity.”

“If we lose our memory, we destroy our future. May the anniversary of the unspeakable cruelty that humanity learned of 75 years ago serve as a summons to pause, to be still and to remember. We need to do this, lest we become indifferent,” Pope Francis said.

The pope also condemned the “barbaric resurgence” of cases of anti-Semitism in the world, and urged the need to respect each person’s human dignity.

“It is troubling to see, in many parts of the world, an increase in selfishness and indifference, lack of concern for others and the attitude that says life is good as long as it is good for me, and when things go wrong, anger and malice are unleashed,” Pope Francis said Jan. 20.

“This creates a fertile ground for the forms of factionalism and populism we see around us, where hatred quickly springs up,” he said. “Even recently, we have witnessed a barbaric resurgence of cases of anti-Semitism. Once more I firmly condemn every form of anti-Semitism.”

The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Union also denounced anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia in a Jan. 25 statement marking the anniversary.

“At the hour of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, let us light candles and say a prayer for people murdered in death camps of all nationalities and religions and for their relatives. Let our prayers broaden the reconciliation and brotherhood, of which the opposite is hostility, destructive conflicts and fueled misunderstandings,” the bishops encouraged.

“Cruel wars, genocide, persecution, and different forms of fanaticism are still taking place, although history teaches us that violence never leads to peace but, on the contrary, breeds more violence and death,” they added. “May the power of Christ’s love prevail in us.”

Copy Desk Daily, Jan. 27, 2020

NCR Today: The Copy Desk Daily highlights the latest news and opinion that have crossed copy editors' desks, on the way to readers.

As new Philadelphia archbishop, Perez could be a strong legacy for Pope Francis

Distinctly Catholic: I hope the new archbishop of Philadelphia will be a champion of Francis and help communicate the Holy Father's vision to reconceive what power means.