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Why not have a woman in charge of charity?

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For the first time in its long history, Caritas, the Catholic Church’s international relief agency, has a woman Secretary-General. Or, make that “had.”

Dr. Lesley-Anne Knight, who once headed international programs for the British relief agency CAFOD and worked at both the UN High Commission for Refugees and Oxfam, is getting the scarlet boot from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

Repairing the broken church

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The heartbreak is that nobody in the Vatican seems to be in the dot-connecting business. No matter how many official reports or media exposés, no matter how many ad limina visits or episcopal memoirs, the bureaucracy just does not get it.

The Irish church is on the verge of total collapse. A third of the theologians in Germany are calling for reform. The US church suffers a scandal a day.

I am sick of it. You are too. Let’s talk.

Political incorrectness and the U.S. Navy

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A young reporter named Corinne Reilly has effectively ended the career of a highly-decorated naval aviator and two-time commanding officer.

Her big “scoop”? Four or five years ago Captain Owen Honors told stupid pilot jokes on silly videos, was told to stop, and did. As Executive Officer of USS Enterprise, Honors oversaw day-to-day operations of the Navy’s second oldest ship -- where a sailor’s average age is nineteen and a half. He also hosted “XO Movie Night.”

Now Honors -- Enterprise’s commanding officer since May 2010 -- is relieved of command.

Yes, the videos are ridiculous. Yes, his “humor” crossed several lines. But if his Facebook supporters (now over 21,000 and counting) are to be believed, Honors did in fact boost morale among the 5,800 men and probably not the women aboard the floating testosterone village.

There are several issues here.

Finding Christ at Christmas

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“I mean no disrespect,” the student asked in class, “but, did Jesus really exist?”

Hate to say it, but real or not Jesus is rapidly fading from the scene. Today’s culture wars take direct aim at Christianity. Try finding religious Christmas cards. Or, check out your choices for an Amazon gift card. Snow flakes, trees, birds, but no Mary, no Magi, no Jesus.

Rome's checkbook strategy on women religious

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Seems the Vatican heard how Catholics are incensed over its inquisition of U.S. women religious. Some say Pope Benedict personally asked Archbishop Joseph Tobin, the new Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, to undo the mess caused by his Congregation’s Apostolic Visitation of U.S. women’s institutes.

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September 12-25, 2014

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