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On this day: Requiem for a Heavyweight

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On this day, 75 years ago, a Solemn Requiem Mass was sung at Westminster Cathedral for the repose of the soul of Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

Visits to Lourdes and Lisieux earlier that spring had not helped, and on June 14, 1936, G. K. Chesterton died.

"The then Parish Priest, Monsignor Smith, gave him the last Sacraments and as he lay dying in Top Meadow, Grove Road. Fr Vincent McNabb, O.P., kissed the pen with which he had written so many noble words and sang the Salve Regina, as is the custom in the Dominican Order."

-- "Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)", Church of St. Teresa, Beaconsfield.

Morning Briefing

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Malta Burgers - \"giving homeless men a second chance\"

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From News Channel 15, Fort Wayne, Ind.:

From the outside it may just look like another burger joint trying to make it in Huntington, but inside, it’s much more. Malta Burgers opened for business Wednesday. It’s a fast food restaurant aimed at giving homeless men a second chance.

Only one paid employee works at the restaurant. The rest of the men live in the Malta House, a not-for-profit men’s shelter in Huntington.

10 men currently live in the Malta House. They sign up for a year-long discipleship program with the faith-based organization, working six days a week in a thrift store, handyman program, or the new restaurant. The entire profit for Malta Burgers goes right back in to the organization’s ministry. It receives no government funding.

Throughout the NY Archdiocese, \"School's Out Forever\"

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In today's New York Times, David Gonzalez offers a moving portrait of the closing of St. Martin of Tours, a Catholic elementary school in the Bronx, which has served the community for 86 years. He focuses particularly on the school's principal, Sister Nora McArt, who has worked with the children of St. Martin's for more than four decades.

Confronting U.S. policy on detention and torture

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Concerned about the cruelty of U.S. detention policy, fifteen anti-torture activists entered the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday afternoon and interrupted a vote on a 2012 defense appropriations bill.

The activists, who are members of the group Witness Against Torture say the version of the bill, under consideration yesterday, undermines U.S. Federal courts, keeps the detainment center in Guantanamo open, and attempts to expand the use of indefinite detention for terrorism suspects.

Ayn Rand and the budget battles in Congress

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I have recently become acquainted with the philosophy of Ayn Rand, courtesy of remarks by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chair of the House Budget Committee. It seems that he counts himself among her disciples and likes her values.

More than that, she was become a philosophical beacon for many in the Tea Party Movement who -- like Ryan -- want draconian budget cuts (mostly affecting the poor and middle class) with nary a plan to raise any revenue, especially from the wealthy.

On this day: St. John the Baptist

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On this day we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

"When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, 'No. He will be called John.' But they answered her, 'There is no one among your relatives who has this name.' So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, 'John is his name,' and all were amazed."

Click here for the Mass and here for the Liturgy of the Hours.

Sex abuse cases come to light in Venice, Fla., diocese

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Three cases of sexual misconduct by clergy have come to light in recent days in the Venice, Fla, diocese.

Two weeks ago, Fr. Bernard Chojnacki, a vicar at a local parish, was arrested for allegedly exposing his genitals to a county sheriff and then grabbing the sheriff's genitals.

Carmelite Fr. William C. Wert, who has been living in a retirement home in the diocese while on a leave of absence, was arrested in February on two counts of committing a sex offense against a victim between the ages of 12 and 15. Shortly after his arrest, authorities filed eight more charges of sex offenses against a minor and lewd and lascivious behavior.

Meanwhile, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Tuesday that a former Catholic high school teacher in the diocese has filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired for raising concerns about a third priest.

John Jay on what the critics got wrong

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"The lead researcher of last month’s Causes and Context report on the child sexual abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church speaks out on the controversy surrounding the study, and explains why it lays out a roadmap for the future," reads the precede to a commentary by Karen J. Terry, who views most of the criticism of the report as misguided based on misunderstandings caused by -- no surprise here -- "the media" and a "spin" that had only a "tangential" relationship to the real stuff in the report.

The first misconception she refers to is the media's understanding of the report's blaming the permissive era of the '60s and '70s as one of the major causes of priest's errant behavior. Read the entire article here.

If the press got that incorrect so did a lot of bishops who have been out almost gloating over that very interpretation of the cause of the crisis. The report has given them considerable language with which to deflect attention away from their own role in the scandal.

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