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Is Francis Practicing Benign Neglect?

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No power grid is pitched steeper than that of the Catholic Church; the pope is supremely in charge. A pope may broadly consult with others or may delegate tough chores, but he finally responsible for policies and practices under his papacy.

Pope Francis' role in the current conflicts between Rome and American sisters forces the question of how exactly he is exercising his leadership. Does he sincerely minister with compassion on a personal level while allowing top cardinals to enforce conformity with church rules?

Timeline of interactions between LCWR, doctrinal congregation

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The following is a timeline of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

2008: The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life had ordered a separate investigation, known as an apostolic visitation, of U.S. orders of women religious. The results of that study were submitted to Rome at the end of 2011.

Preview: Sisters join in asking Congress to support families with policy, not rhetoric

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In an open letter released today, an ecumenical group of female faith leaders are asking the U.S. Congress to do more to support families. The letter, addressed to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, calls politicians to task for espousing “pro-family rhetoric” while failing to implement policies that support women and families.

Time for Pope Francis to step into LCWR case

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When I read the latest statement of Cardinal Gerhard Müller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in regard to LCWR, I was stunned, angry, disappointed and perplexed all at the same time. My first thought: Has he heard that we now have a pope named Francis? His statement seems so out-of-step with the spirit and outlook of Pope Francis. But I do keep wondering when Pope Francis will step up and put a stop to this narrow and divisive behavior.

The Supreme Court says Christian prayers at public meetings are OK

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The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Monday that public meetings can be opened with Christian prayers. As long as one does not denigrate another's faith or proselytize, such prayer is in keeping with long-standing tradition, the court ruled. I made my feelings clear in an earlier post, so I will not repeat what I said then.

'A welcoming church,' sort of: No public restrooms at St. Patrick's Cathedral

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According to the New York Post:

His prayer for relief fell on deaf ears.

A frail worshipper found out the hard way that St. Patrick's Cathedral, unlike other landmark city churches, synagogues and mosques -- and even St. Peter's Basilica in Rome -- has no restrooms open to its faithful.

Advice to graduates

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What do you say to graduates as they leave their universities and go out into the world? That was the problem I faced when I was invited to address the graduates of the Institute for Pastoral Studies and the Graduate School of Loyola University Chicago on Wednesday, May 7. I fear that I was not as encouraging as I would have liked because I see many challenges in their future. Here is what I said: 

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July 4-17, 2014

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