Weekly roundup: Ukraine again, Ash Wednesday, and the Son of God.

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This week was likely the “In like a lion” part of March. So there’s still the “Out like a lamb” part to look forward to. This is your weekly roundup.

The biggest headlines this week mostly dealt with Ukraine, which has been in a significant state of upheaval for the last few weeks. Most significantly this week, Russia invaded Crimea and then Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and stick with Russia.

On the domestic front, though Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the so-called “religious liberty” bill in Arizona, the debate and controversy surrounding those bills continues. And in Arizona and Kansas, the Catholic Conferences of those states supported the bills that would allow businesses to deny services to individuals based on “deeply held religious beliefs.”

On that note, the Pew Research Center has released the results of a new survey that compares the Millennial generation to older generations… and Surprise! Millennials tend to be racially diverse, politically independent, socially progressive, and non-religious. This generation is likely to be quite a challenge for the church, as well as just about every other institution.

Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, and on that day more than two dozen presidents of Catholic universities joined the Fast for Families, lending their support to the growing movement calling for immigration reform legislation to make its way through Congress.

 

The Conservative Political Action Conference is currently underway in Washington. Rick Perry in particular brought the crowd to its feet. Perry is expected to be revving up his presidential campaign for another run in 2016. Other conservative celebrities who will be in attendance include Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Ann Coulter.

The film Son of God, adapted from the History Channel’s miniseries The Bible, was released in theaters last week. It became a bit of a blockbuster hit, earning $26.5 million. It also inspired the hashtag #hotjesus thanks to actor Diogo Morgado’s divinely good looks.   

And now for the Papal rapid fire roundup:

This week, Pope Francis:

 

And that's about it around here. Have a great weekend. Here's hoping there's some sunshine coming your way!