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Fr. Dennis Dease, president of Minn.'s University of St. Thomas, set to retire

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St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese priest, Dennis Dease, may not be well-known to most Catholics, but he's probably earned legendary status at this point for the work he's done superbly leading the University of St. Thomas for the last 22 years. Anyone aspiring to be president of a Catholic university would be wise to get on Fr. Dease's calendar. He is arguably the most able president of a Catholic university in the country. Yesterday, he announced his retirement to take place next year.

Morning Briefing

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“Does she have cooties?” Phoenix Catholic school forfeits baseball championship game because opponent has female player. The school said it teaches boys respect by not placing girls in athletic competition, where “proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty.” Our Lady of Sorrows is run by the U.S. branch of the Society of Saint Pius X.

Catholic bishops continue to delve into concerns about Girl Scouts

Do Most Catholic Theologians Support Same-Sex Marriage?

Milwaukee, Wis. -- Archdiocese clears priest in sex abuse; Vatican may take ups case

The (London) Tablet (again)

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Hats off to The Tablet, the international Catholic news weekly based in London, for two back-to-back stories. Last week you recall, writer Robert Mickens opened up the back story on the investigation into the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women's Religions. Mickens laid out the work of the tag team of Arcbhishop-designate William Lori, of Bridgeport, Conn., en route to the Archdiocse of Baltimore, Maryland, and disgraced U.S. Cardinal Bernard Law.

Says Mickens:

Both Cardinal Law and Archbishop Lori (he was appointed to the prestigious see of Baltimore in March) have long supported women’s religious orders that have distanced themselves from the LCWR. Cardinal Law, 80, staffs his residence in Rome with the Mercy Sisters of Alma (Michigan) and Archbishop Lori, 61, helped set up several traditional communities of sisters during his tenure in Bridgeport (2001-12). All these communities, marked by their loyalty to the hierarchy, belong to the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), which broke away from the LCWR in 1992.

Catholics and same sex marriage

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I noticed in this morning’s news reports, that President Barack Obama said that Vice-President Joe Biden was out “a little over his skis” when he declared his support for marriage equality on Meet the Press on Sunday, May 6.

However it slipped out on that occasion, Biden said he is “absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.”

By all accounts, he was speaking from his heart, even if he may have forced Obama to voice his own support for marriage equality a bit earlier than planned.

Biden is, of course, Roman Catholic. So are Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Gov. Christine Gregoire of the state of Washington. All of these governors have signed legislation this year in their respective states that legalizes same sex marriage.

Inuit people receive their own Bible translation

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The Inuit people will now have access to the entire Bible in Inuktitut, the most widely spoken Aboriginal tongue in Canada’s Arctic.

The translation project began in 1978, with the New Testament published in 1991, and the Old Testament translation recently completed. The $1.7 million Inuktitut project was co-sponsored by the Canadian Bible Society and the Anglican Church of Canada.

The work was spear-headed by Rev. Eugene A. Nida, considered the father of modern Bible translation. Rev. Jonah Allooloo, an Inuk priest and canon of the Anglican Church of Canada worked on the project from the start.

Nida, who died in September 2011, introduced the concept of “functional equivalence” rather than literal translation. He believed that truly accessible translations can only be done by native speakers who know not only the language, but the idioms, thought processes and culture of their people. The translations should read naturally while remaining faithful to the original meaning and message.

Doctor-priest taps partners to tackle HIV/AIDS

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Manila, Philippines — Rising cases of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus in the country has prompted Church officials to partner with United Nations and government agencies while standing their ground against promoting condom use and other strategies not in line with Catholic teaching.

"We are open to the help and assistance of the United Nations," Missionaries of the Infirm (Camillian) Fr. Dan Cancino, coordinator of Episcopal Commission on Health Care programs, told NCR.

Cancino said the United Nations Children's Fund provided technical assistance and about 1.8 million pesos (US$42,300) for the cost of a three-day HIV/AIDS training seminar last year for teachers and officials of 50 schools around the country, including regions where high numbers of cases have been recorded.

Cardinal Dolan's first tweet about Tim Tebow (I'm not making this up)

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Truth is stranger than fiction. But Cardinal Dolan's first tweet is an odd one in which he calls himself Timothy Cardinal Tebow. I'm not making this up. Cardinal Dolan's "exuberance" comes across as immature and out of place for the Archbishop of New York. If this is the "new evangelization," take me back to the old one, please God.

The Huffington Post has the story and the tweet:


Catholic coalition pleased with Obama's stance on marriage equality

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Equally Blessed, a coalition of four faithful Catholic groups who work on behalf of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the church and wider society, released the following statement today in response to President Barack Obama’s endorsement yesterday of marriage equality:

“In endorsing marriage equality, President Obama has risked a political confrontation with the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church by embracing the wisdom of the people in the Catholic pew, and we salute him for it.

Powell: No debate before Iraq War

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In the aftermath of the administration of George W. Bush, it is inevitable that the truth would keep leaching to the surface. The latest contribution apparently comes in a new book by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, “It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership,” to be released later this month. In the book Powell reportedly states that no considered debate ever occurred in the Bush White House about whether going to war with Iraq was a good idea.

Huffington Post's Dan Froomkin reviews the book today, and connects some of the dots from that period in history.

And two paragraphs that sum up the awful cost of that abuse of power and military miscalculation have to leave one wondering whether we'd be trying to figure our way out of such a persistent economic recession if more sophisticated and prudent minds had prevailed in 2002-03.

Morning Briefing

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President Obama Cites 'Winds of Change' in Same-Sex Marriage Shift

Catholic and Baptist leaders react to Obama's gay marriage support

A Real Conversation for the Rest of Us Catholics "If I were not a Catholic and knew what I know today, would I become one?" That was the question asked a few weeks ago by a member of the gay men's group at a local Catholic parish.

Gay marriage a distant dream around the world. Gay people in many countries would settle for simply getting to be themselves without fear of being attacked or thrown in prison.

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July 4-17, 2014

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