In today's Catholic Daily Roundup, top stories include the newest Presidential hopeful for the Democrats, the newest polls on front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and unprecedented research proving Pope Francis isn't the only one with evolving views on a host of fraught social issues.

"The heart grows hard when it does not love. Lord, give us a heart that knows how to love." (Pope Francis)

Today's Gospel: "I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” (Luke 4:43)

In the News:

  • President Obama all but clinched victory for his Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, as two Democratic senators threw crucial support behind the landmark accord. The announcements by the senators, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Chris Coons of Delaware, came a week before the Senate was to formally debate a Republican resolution disapproving the agreement between Iran and six world powers.
  • Negative views of Hillary Clinton have jumped to nearly their highest on record in ABC News/Washington Post polls, while Donald Trump’s personal popularity has grown more polarized along racial and ethnic lines. Clinton’s favorability has burbled back under water: 45 percent of Americans now see her favorably, down 7 percentage points since midsummer while 53 percent rate her unfavorably, up 8. Trump is much farther under water than Clinton, rated favorably by 37 percent of Americans and unfavorably by 59 percent.
  • Another Democrat is about to step into the presidential ring. Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig is exploring a bid for the White House, according to a website announcing the plan. He aims to crowdsource enough money on the Internet to “mount a credible campaign” in the Democratic primary, the website says. Lessig’s candidacy is aimed at securing passage of the Citizen Equality Act of 2017, a legislative proposal for voter protection laws, new methods for electing representatives and a greater focus on citizen-funded elections.

Pope Francis and church news:

  • Pope Francis' evolving views on a host of fraught social issues have surprised observers since his rise to the Vatican two-and-a-half years ago. Now an unprecedented bit of research shows that USA Catholics' views may be just as surprising. The findings come as Pope Francis this week waded into one of the thorniest topics of his papacy: abortion.
  • When Pope Francis sets foot on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington on Sept. 22, it won't just be his first time in the United States as pontiff. It will be his first time in the country — ever in his life. The Pontiff never followed the footsteps of so many fellow Roman Catholic leaders of his rank, who sought to raise their profiles, along with funds for missions back home, by networking within the deeply influential and well-resourced U.S. church.
  • Most Americans who were raised Catholic but have since left the church could not envision themselves returning to it, according to a new Pew Research Center survey examining American Catholics and family life. The survey’s findings were released Wednesday, weeks before Pope Francis makes his first visit to the United States, and as Catholic leadership contends with dramatic demographic shifts.

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