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In Congo only the church works

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Great article in The Tablet of London today:

Anguish of a beautiful people: An African tragedy, by Jan de Volder

"The Democratic Republic of Congo has been celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence. But the end of colonialism has been marred by poor governance and bloodshed. Only the work of missionaries in education and health care has prevented total chaos. ... Even on a political level, the Church in Congo was and is influential."

Say It Isn't So Maryknollers

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The news from Heidi Schlumpf about Maryknoll's shutting off aid from School of the America's Watch looks like another sign of how far a fear-ridden church can twist priorities to get its way.

This deprives the major protest against America's training of repressive Latin American militia of a reported $17,000. It's not a huge figure in itself but signals a much more pervasive moral decay.

Like many other Americans, I've held the Maryknoll order in high regard for its commitment to justice and humanitarian missions. That makes it even tougher to be critical of it's priests and brothers for apparently caving to pressures from Rome.

The reason given for ending support for the Weach is that its leader, Ray Bourgeois, believes women should be ordained to the priesthood.

Bowing to a Vatican petrified by women is, therefore, given a higher moral priority than standing against sharpening the military skills of Latin Americans, some of whom have been linked in the past to war crimes against opponents of established regimes.

Morning Briefing

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Maryknollers pull SOA Watch funding

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The Maryknoll Brothers and Fathers have withdrawn their long-standing commitment to funding the School of the America's Watch because its founder, Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois, supports women's ordination, reports SOA Watch.

The order previously contributed $17,000 a year to the organization that seeks to close seeks close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (or Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, as it has been renamed). Graduates of the combat training school located at Fort Benning, Georgia, have been implicated in the torture and murder of educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor in Latin America.

SOA Watch is asking supporters to help make up the lost revenue by donating $17 a month for one year.

Call to Action Executive Director Jim FitzGerald "is "disappointed in the decision that will affect not only the SOA Watch staff and programs, but the people of Latin American who work in partnership with SOA Watch to protect their families and communities," he said in an email.

Same-sex marriage and Calif. Catholics

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Does your view of God color your stance on same-sex marriage? A new poll of Californians says, yes it does -- and shows many Catholics in this state much more supportive of the issue than evangelicals are.

Last year, California voters passed the controversial Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage in the state. The measure received strong support from the church and church-related groups like the Knights of Columbus.

Whom did Jesus call friend?

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Was this notice timed to coincide with the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene?

The Vatican press office announced today that Pope Benedict XVI has written a children's book called, The Friends of Jesus. His friends were 12 men, acccording to the book.

The prologue, by Spanish Fr. Julian Carron, president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, begins: ""One upon a time there was a small group of men who, one day two thousand years ago, met a young man who walked the roads of Galilee . Each had his own job and family but, in an instant, their lives changed. They were called Andrew and John, Peter, Matthew, Thomas, etc. They were twelve and we know them today as the 'Apostles'. ... In Jerusalem at that time everyone knew that they were Jesus' 'friends'. ... Later they were joined by St. Paul ..."

Best Web site for finding farm products in your area

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It's the height of summer, and time to visit your local farmers' market for fresh sweet corn, green beans, squash and tomatoes. The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Use the Local Harvest Web site to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Support this great site. Shop in their catalog for things you can't find locally.

Scattered throughout the site are tips for gardening, recipes, together with links to blogs from individual family farms around the country that use sustainable growing practices. The blogs are fascinating reading and informative on the ways people meet the challenges family farming faces today.

'We mean rape'

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When discussing child abuse by clergy, visitors to this web site often make statements like the following, which appeared yesterday:

>>>Do you really think the bishop's only concern was to protect the image of the Church or to shield the abuser? You think the bishop had no concern for the child? Please answer the question directly.

My answer: Read (if you can bear it) the 2005 grand jury report from Philadelphia:

Grand jury findings: Philadelphia cardinals 'excused and enabled abuse, covered up crimes'

By RALPH CIPRIANO
Philadelphia

A grand jury that investigated the Philadelphia archdiocese for more than three years has concluded that two former archbishops orchestrated a systematic cover-up spanning four decades that managed to successfully shield from prosecution 63 priests who had sexually abused hundreds of children.

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September 12-25, 2014

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