FROM Robert Royal
Pope Francis Goes Green, but Will the Flock Follow? Climate change activists have an influential new ally who could bring along more than a billion followers. This week the Vatican held a summit on how environmental crises hurt the poor. A top Vatican official and point person for Pope Francis announced at the summit that increasing use of fossil fuels is disrupting Earth on an "almost unfathomable scale" and cautioned that a "full conversion" of hearts and minds is needed if global warming is to be conquered. The summit is widely seen as a lead-in to the Pope's upcoming encyclical framing the fight against global warming as a moral responsibility -- a first of its kind. Activists hope the Catholic Church will inject the largely secular climate change movement with a spiritual infusion. However, It could put the Pope and the church at odds with conservatives -- Catholics included, some of whom deny the existence of global warming and believe religion has no place in this political battle.
How Will Pope Francis Change the Catholic Church? Since Pope Francis was elected in March, he has challenged the Roman Catholic establishment, using words like “obsessed” and “narcissistic.” Instead of abortion, gay marriage and contraception, he’s emphasized social justice and the plight of the poor. But he hasn’t changed a word of church doctrine. Is he a liberal poised to come out of a theological closet—or a master of public relations, who can make hard teachings go down easy? He’s already an immensely popular figure worldwide. Will he change the church in America—and why should non-Catholics care? Pope Francis comes from Argentina. He’s the first non-European ever to preside over the Vatican. In just 7 months, he’s made a host of controversial statements in interviews with reporters—and he’s become hugely popular with Roman Catholics all over the world. We’ll hear a variety of opinions about his style, his doctrine—and his potential influence worldwide and here in America.
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.
Trump's opening offer: Making some of America 'great again?' A massive increase for the Pentagon at the expense of domestic programs. We hear about winners and losers in the President's first proposed budget.