In today's Catholic Daily Roundup, top stories include Congress divided on funding the Department of Homeland Security, the pope is worried about the growth of drug cartels, and Christians are kidnapped in Syria. 

“We cannot wait any longer to deal with the structural causes of poverty, in order to heal our society from an illness that ca n only lead to new crises.” (Pope Francis)

Today's Reading: “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalms 34:15)

In the News:

  • Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized for making false claims about having served in the the U.S. military's elite special operations forces, the latest scandal to hit the besieged department.
  • Congressional Republicans remained sharply divided over how to fund the Department of Homeland Security, prompting White House officials to begin preparations for a potential shutdown of the agency this weekend.
  • A fragmented winter storm system was forecast to bring snow to both the Rocky Mountains and beaches in the Carolinas on Tuesday.

Pope Francis and church news:

  • Pope Francis expressed concern with the growth of drug cartels, particularly with the potential for "mexicanization" of drug trafficking in Argentina.
  • With reports circulating saying that ISIS forces have kidnapped at least 90 Christians from villages in northeast Syria, Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan said prayer is the only possible response.
  • As the cleanup of a major train derailment in West Virginia continued, Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston called for prayers for residents who were evacuated and remained without drinking water.

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