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The Church of “All or Nothing”

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The Catholic Church is the largest, non-governmental humanitarian organization in the world. I’d venture to say that this is the greatest, most visible work of the Church and should be a source of great pride (despite pride being a sin) for all Catholics. Every single day we live out the corporal works of mercy: we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and ransom the captive.

Judge sentences priest, former teacher in latest chapter of Philadelphia abuse scandal

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A Philadelphia judge issued sentences Wednesday for an Oblates priest and former Catholic school teacher embroiled in the region’s clergy sex abuse scandal.

Common Pleas Court Ellen Ceisler sentenced Bernard Shero to eight to 16 years for sexually assaulting a former altar boy in 2000, and Fr. Charles Engelhardt to a six-to-12 year prison term for abusing the same child in the late 1990s. Both also received five years probation following their sentences’ conclusions.

The sentences exceeded the guidelines for both men.

Key bishop questions US drone warfare, says indiscriminate

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A key U.S. Catholic bishop has questioned the United States' continued use of unmanned drones, saying the U.S. may be killing people indiscriminately in Pakistan in violation of Catholic teaching.

Des Moines, Iowa, Bishop Richard Pates, who heads the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, made the remarks Tuesday in a column for the Des Moines Register.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development under threat

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A new report published Tuesday sounds the alarm about a form of Catholic McCarthyism threatening the future of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Faith in Public Life, a Washington-based organization of religious progressives, issued this 24-page report by John Gehring, laying out threats to CCHD from right-wing groups who seemingly want to put it out of business.

Contemplating a garden in all its beauty

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I'm a gardener. I love to dig in the dirt: turn compost piles, double dig garden plots, replace lawn with new beds. For several years, I've been slowly replacing the grass of our front terrace with perennials because the pitch is steep and it is harder and harder to mow.

The other thing I love about the garden is its promise. The buds on fruit trees and the first shoots of spring bulbs delight me and fill me with hope for results I initiated years ago but really have done very little to accomplish. It's the garden's promise that gets me every time.

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In This Issue

January 29-February 11, 2016

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