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Mahony admits protecting abusive priest

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Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles admitted, in a deposition given in February, that he protected a priest he knew had abused children. Read USA Today's Cathy Lynn Grossman's commentary.

In a subsequent statement on the matter, Mahony repeated a defense he has given numerous times in the past -- that members of the Catholic hierarchy just didn't know enough at the time about the conditions that caused abuse to get rid of priests who sexually molested children.

Obama's Off-Target Speech

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It is a sign of the gravity of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – and of Washington’s better-late-than-never awareness of that gravity – that President Obama gave his first speech from the Oval Office to address the crisis. As always, the President spoke with great eloquence. His appeal to faith and resilience as essential components of the national character was Reaganesque, although it is telling that the rite of the Blessing of the Fleet, to which the President referred, is unique to those parts of America with Catholic roots. The Calvinists who had fleets in colonial New England did not bless their fleets. There is an interesting – and very deep – difference in viewing the relationship of faith to culture to which this cultural fact attests. If I could have a couple of hours with Obama and had Msgr. Albacete with me, we could make him a Catholic by showing why the blessing of the fleet that so moved him is even more profound than he realizes! But that is for another day.

A day in court with anti-Guantanamo protesters

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It is difficult to tell if the acquittal of those arrested in January for protesting the prison at Guantanamo was a victory for free speech or just a lousy job of charging the demonstrators.

In the end, D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell Canan announced: “In my opinion, the defendants were not properly charged in this case” and dropped the charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly. Perhaps it is a bit of both, at least partially an acknowledgement that it is difficult to charge a group gathered, as one of their attorney advisors put it, “at the seat of government to express their grievances” with unlawful assembly.

Not THAT Touchdown Jesus

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The RNS headline caught my attention: "Touchdown Jesus burns to the ground." Oh, no! Was the entire Notre Dame Library with its "Word of Life" mosaic--nicknamed "Touchdown Jesus" because of Jesus' outstretched hands and ND's football tradition--destroyed?

Turns out it was just a rather ugly 62-foot plastic foam and fiberglass statue of Jesus, called "King of Kings," outside a Protestant church near Cincinnati, that was struck by lightening.

God has spoken.

CUA's New President Makes His Debut

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Professor John Garvey, currently the Dean of the Law School at Boston College, was introduced to the Catholic University community this morning as the 15th President of CUA. More than a hundred faculty, staff and students filled a large room to welcome Garvey who was introduced by his predecessor, Bishop-elect David M.O'Connell and Archbishop Alan Vingeron, chairman of the CUA Board.

Archbishop Vigneron called Garvey "an accomplished jurist, scholar and teacher" and said that of all the candidates, he appeared to the Board as the one most able to carry forth the university's mission of uniting faith and reason. Vingeron also addressed the issue of why the selection committee had not chosen a cleric. "Another synonym for cleric is churchman," Vigneron said at press conference before the meeting with the CUA community. "While Professor Garvey is not a churchman, he is a man of the Church."

Jackie Kennedy and the archbishop

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This from Religion News Service:

Retired archbishop dishes on Kennedy in new memoir

Retired New Orleans Archbishop Philip Hannan has produced a new memoir that casts light on parts of his 71-year career -- including a rare look into Jackie Kennedy's private grief in the first weeks after her husband's assassination.

In The Archbishop Wore Combat Boots, Hannan, 97, publishes a handwritten personal note addressed to him from an anguished young widow less than a month after her husband's death.

Anti-Guantanamo protesters acquitted in DC court

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A District of Columbia judge today acquitted 24 peace activists who had been charged in January with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly while protesting the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

According to defendant Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell Canan said the prosecution failed to show that the group’s activities threatened a breach of the peace.

The activists, all of whom represented themselves with the assistance of “attorney advisors,” engaged in two actions Jan. 21 in separate groups, one on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and a second inside the Capitol Rotunda. Those outside, dressed in orange jump suits and black hoods, carried signs and called out the names of those imprisoned in Guanatanamo. The group inside the Rotunda chanted and prayed while strewing rose petals, according to the defendants and a police report.

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July 18-31, 2014

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