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The fabled NY archdiocese is about to shrink

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The New York archdiocese is on the verge of disclosing which of its 368 parishes will be closed or merged, after a lengthy review that started 2010. The changes were supposed be announced in September, but since the cardinal was going to be in Rome for most of October attending the synod on the family, the archdiocese pushed back the timing of the announcement.

Don't Send Ross Douthat to His Room

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I don't know Ross Douthat. He arrived at the Times long after I'd left. He's been taking his lumps for a column he wrote warning against liberalizing the rules that ban divorced/no annulment/ remarried Catholics from communion and proscribe non-marital sex of any kind. Easing the rules, as Pope Francis has already done in his own practice as archbishop of Buenos Aires, would plunge the church off the cliff, driving traditionalists out the door. The Pope has egged the synod on to take those measures, Douthat thinks, so opponents must push back.

The church must lead the fight against violence facing the gay community

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This month's Synod of Bishops of the family gained unprecedented world media attention, particularly after a midterm report from Rome suggested that the bishops were considering a significant pastoral shift in outreach toward the LGBT community. While the discussion and, at times, infighting among the bishops have made it unclear what direction and how significant this pastoral shift will actually be, we do know that the process has begun.

How Palestine plans to overcome Israel and the US

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Negotiation sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? Negotiations brought an end to civil war in Northern Ireland, achieved peace in Angola, attained a kind of peace between the government and guerrillas in Colombia, and pacified a decadeslong Muslim insurgency in the southern Philippines. But negotiations have failed to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine. After nine months, the most recent round of negotiations, led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, never got beyond "Go."

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