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Notre Dame officials portrayed as rebuffing family of suicide victim

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An in depth report at Politics Daily, the online newspaper, portrays University of Notre Dame officials as stonewalling the family of a 19-year-old freshman at Notre Dame's sister school, Saint Mary's College, who committed suicide in September, 10 days after reporting that she had been fondled against her will by a Notre Dame football player.

"We got kind of a double whack,'' says Lizzy's plain-talking 85-year-old grandfather, Bill Seeberg, a WWII Marine veteran and Notre Dame alum from the Class of '44. No, make that a triple: "First Lizzy's death, then two weeks later finding out about the assault; because we're old folks who couldn't understand such things, our kids kept that part from us -- wasn't that nice of them?''

Digital Nativity Story

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This innovative version of the Nativity story is making the rounds on Facebook. It made me smile at first, then I thought, is it trivializing Christmas? No, I think it shows how Jesus is present in every new communication technology ... and we can celebrate his presence on and via the web together.

This digital re-relling of the Christmas story transcends every notion of mediated communication. The video also gives us an opportunity to make media the subject of catechesis while it is an instrument of catechesis at the same time.

Asia Bibi condemned to death for blasphemy

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The story goes like this. Asia Bibi is a Catholic woman living in a small village near Lahore, Pakistan. She works as a farmhand, is married and the mother of five children. Earlier this year, a dispute erupted with other farmhands when she refused to convert from Christianity to Islam. Some stories say that she made a remark like this one: “Jesus Christ died for my sins; what did Mohammed ever do for you?”

Earlier NCR coverage of the Phoenix case

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Phoenix hospital deadline extended until Tues. Dec. 21

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Rob DeFrancesco, Director of Communications
O: 602-354-2130 / M: 602-751-2720
rdefrancesco@diocesephoenix.org

Deadline for resolution between Diocese of Phoenix and Catholic Healthcare West extended to Tuesday, Dec. 21

PHOENIX (Dec. 17, 2010) — The Diocese of Phoenix has been in continuing conversation with Catholic Healthcare West about their Catholic identity and adherence to the teachings of the Church regarding their facilities within the Diocese of Phoenix. Late on Thursday, Dec. 16, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted was in receipt of further communication from Catholic Healthcare West officials. Given the ongoing communication and attempts to rectify the situation, Bishop Olmsted is extending his deadline until Tuesday, Dec. 21.

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Time's Top Ten Religion Stories

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Here is Time magazine's list of top ten religion stories for 2010

Top 10 Religion Stories

* Park51: The "Ground Zero Mosque"
* The Vatican and the Child Abuse Scandal
* The Bankruptcy of the Crystal Cathedral
* Franklin Graham vs. the Muslims
* The Rev. Terry Jones Threatens to Burn Korans
* Women Priests, In Spite of the Vatican
* The Pope Doesn't Quite Endorse Condoms
* Christians Under Attack in the Middle East
* Obama Decides Not to Visit the Golden Temple
* The Vatican and Homer Simpson

Read more: All of Time's Lists

Vatican rips China for 'intolerance' and 'repression'

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

tA blistering Vatican statement today accuses China of “unacceptable and hostile acts” during a recent government-orchestrated assembly of Chinese Catholics, which it said smacked of “fear and weakness," a "repressive attitude” and “intransigent intolerance,” producing a “grave loss of trust.”

tNot only is it unusual for the Vatican to target a specific country in such public fashion, but today’s statement also ruptures the quiet diplomacy that has characterized the Vatican’s “China policy” since the papacy of Paul VI.

tMost observers say the current row marks the most serious crisis in Sino-Vatican relations in recent memory, with one prominent Catholic expert on China gloomily claiming that things are headed “back to the time of Mao.”

tThough there are no reliable religious statistics in China, conventional estimate peg the country’s Catholic population at around 13 million. China has long been a top diplomatic priority of the Vatican, not only because of its status as an emerging global superpower, but because China experts believe there’s significant potential for missionary expansion if the climate for religious freedom were to improve.

Bishop Olmsted's ultimatum

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We just posted a story about Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted's ultimatum to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center: Follow my orders or lose my endorsement.

Mike Clancy, a reporter for The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, broke the story yesterday. He subsequently agreed to write a story for us. We didn't rush to post the story, because we wanted to see if we could get deeper into the story after the initial flurry that inevitably follows the breaking of a story like this.

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