Trump says he will nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe to be Director of National Intelligence. President Donald Trump announced Friday he will nominate Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe to be his director of national intelligence, after abruptly yanking Ratcliffe’s nomination last year.
“I am pleased to announce the nomination of @RepRatcliffe (Congressman John Ratcliffe) to be Director of National Intelligence (DNI),” Trump tweeted.
Why the CIA Is Called the ‘Catholic Intelligence Agency’
The CIA is the best known of the 17 agencies that comprise the American intelligence community. It has earned itself nicknames like “Catholic Intelligence Agency” and “Catholics In Action”. It’s worth exploring why.
No official statistics exist on Catholics in the CIA or any other American intelligence agency. But one interesting clue is the relatively high number of Catholics who have served as director of the agency.
Some of the most influential directors in CIA history have been Catholic – men such as Walter Bedell Smith, John McCone, William Colby and William Casey. They were not just casual Catholics. They were devout Mass-goers – in many cases, members of groups like the Knights of Malta. The conspiracy theorists usually start there, with nefarious plots about the Vatican steering world affairs. Of course, they never ask why an all-powerful Vatican can’t engineer more Catholic presidents.
The United States is a country in which – with the recent exception of the Supreme Court – Catholics have never dominated the highest offices. Only one out of 44 US Presidents has been Catholic. The first and only Catholic Vice President is the current one, Joe Biden. Before John Kerry, the last Catholic Secretary of State was Alexander Haig, who left the post in 1982. Catholics are a rarity in other top positions such as Secretary of Defence.
Protestants to take Catholic communion at Calvin’s Cathedral in Geneva on leap year day. In a first since the Reformation era, Protestants are set to receive communion during a Catholic mass at a historic Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, John Calvin’s adopted home.
The historic Swiss church, Saint-Pierre Reformed Protestant church, will hold a Catholic mass on Feb. 29, leap day, and Protestants have been invited to attend and take part, including in receiving communion.
Trump admin announces global alliance to defend religious liberty, end religious persecution
The Trump administration has announced a new International Religious Freedom Alliance that joins more than two dozen countries to push for religious tolerance and an end to religious persecution.
At an event on Wednesday, secretary of state Mike Pompeo stated while country representatives listened, “Together, we say that freedom of religion or belief is not a Western ideal, but truly the bedrock of societies,” adding that it is outlined in the alliance’s Declaration of Principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Together, we have pledged to uphold the Declaration of Principles,” a joint statement read, “solidifying our collective commitment to object and oppose, publicly and privately, all abuses or violations of religious freedom.” Pompeo said the alliance brings together “like-minded partners who treasure, and fight for, international religious freedom for every human being.”
The chief U.S. diplomat said such a joint effort is facing a growing need to address “terrorists and violent extremists who target religious minorities, whether they are Yazidis in Iraq, Hindus in Pakistan, Christians in northeast Nigeria, or Muslims in Burma” and “the Chinese Communist Party’s hostility to all faiths.”
So far, 27 countries have joined the the United States to form the alliance: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, the Gambia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Togo, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Of the countries signing up, the only Muslim-majority country is Senegal, which as of yet has been largely untouched by Muslim terrorist groups.
Notable for their absence were NATO allies France, Germany, Spain, and Turkey. Also absent were China, India, and Russia.
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