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What are Pope Francis' intentions in the Middle East?

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America magazine explores in some detail the controversial remarks made by Pope Francis to President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine in a recent audience. Did Francis say that Abbas was an angel of peace, or did he say "may you be an angel of peace"?

Gerard O'Connell makes the case that he actually said, "You are a bit of an angel of peace."

The Samson Option upheld

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According to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, the Samson Option is the name Israel has given to its nuclear arsenal. The title recalls the biblical superhero Samson, who himself was killed when by pulling on the support pillars he brought down the Philistine Temple in Gaza, killing its ruling class.

Beginning with the writing of the militarist Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the image of Samson has been central to construction in popular culture of the modern Zionist identity of "the fighting Jew" who has left exile and subjugation behind forever.

Vatican downplays commission member's remarks about Cardinal Pell

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The Vatican's main spokesman has downplayed comments made about Australian Cardinal George Pell by a member of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse, saying the member was speaking in his own name and not in the authority of the commission.

Commission member Peter Saunders, an English survivor of clergy sexual abuse, said in an Australian television interview Sunday that Pell had had an "almost sociopathic" disregard for abuse victims.

Bishops, your church has spoken

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What a gift the Catholic hierarchy has been handed by the Irish with their overwhelming vote to legalize same sex marriages. Coming just months before the Synod on the Family set for next October in Rome, the vote by this Catholic nation is nothing less than a church plebiscite – a vote of the Catholic sensus filelium for all to see that official Catholic teaching on human sexuality is wrong, hurtful, and even, at times, immoral. 

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In This Issue

May 22-June 4, 2015

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