In today's Catholic Daily Roundup, top stories include disagreement over which terrorist group poses the biggest threat to the American homeland, Cardinal Timothy Dolan's criticism of Donald Trump's hateful comments towards undocumented immigrants, and Pope Francis' mass in Plaza de Revolucion next to a 118 foot sculpture of Che Guevara's face.

"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner." (Nelson Mandela)

Today's Gospel: "At once Jesus spoke to them, 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.'" (Matthew 14:27)

In the News:

  • The Obama administration’s top intelligence, counterterrorism and law enforcement officials are divided over which terrorist group poses the biggest threat to the American homeland, the Islamic State or Al Qaeda and its affiliates. The split reflects a rising concern that the Islamic State poses a more immediate danger because of its unprecedented social media campaign. But, many intelligence and counterterrorism officials warn that Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen and Syria are capitalizing on the turmoil in those countries to plot much larger “mass-casualty” attacks.
  • Obama has expressed his urgency to pass a new law that will reduce carbon emissions. Still, the administration prepared to soften deadlines for states to cut the greenhouse gases from their power plants. This could be because the President is already facing opposition from corporate lawyers, coal lobbyists, and Republican political strategists. In the early months of 2014, they began meeting regularly in the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Their task was to start devising a legal strategy for dismantling the climate change regulations they feared were coming.
  • In a new poll from CBS, Donald Trump is in the lead for the GOP nomination with 24 percent. In second and third place are Jeb Bush with 13 percent, and Scott Walker with 10 percent. Nonetheless, while Trump may be the top choice among a quarter of Republican primary voters, there are other voters who would be less enthusiastic. At 27 percent, he tops the list of candidates Republican voters would be most dissatisfied with as the party's nominee. Trump, Bush, Walker and Rubio are all viewed more positively than negatively, but Trump has the highest unfavorable ratings. His ratings among registered voters overall are especially negative.

Pope Francis and church news:

  • New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who leads an archdiocese with a huge Hispanic population, placed Trump in the dark history of American chauvinism last week, writing in the New York Daily News, “Nativism is alive, well – and apparently popular!” Dolan’s comments come at a time when Catholic bishops in the United States are pushing lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform. That position is nothing new, however, as Catholic bishops have long championed reform, sometimes putting the Church at odds with both political parties.
  • Next month, when Pope Francis visits Havana, Cuba, he will give mass in Plaza de la Revolucion. The square is bordered on one side by the Interior Ministry, which showcases a 118 foot sculpted outline of Guevara's face. The image is based on the famous 1960 photograph of Guevara, captured by Alberto Korda, which was then widely reproduced on T-Shirts. Pope Francis will not be the first pontiff to conduct a mass near the image, however. John Paul II and Benedict XVI also gave masses near the Guevara portrait during trips to Cuba in 1998 and 2012, respectively.
  • On July 31st, while Harry Potter celebrated his birthday, Pope Francis celebrated the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. St. Ignatius was the founder and patron of Francis's 500-year old religious order--The Society of Jesus, otherwise known as the Jesuits. The Executive Director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Christopher Hale writes for TIME, "While both Harry and Francis have taken the world by storm, it's Francis's relationship with his factor saint that will have the biggest global effect on society and culture in years to come.

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