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Guatemalan Catholics address brutal slaying of workers

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This message below is from the Petén, Guatemala, Vicariate to all religious. It was forwarded to the Loretto Community. They received this from the Vicariate where the situation is very serious. The following is a translation of the Document:

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“Don’t allow evil to conquer you, rather conquer evil with good.” (Paul to Romans 12:21)

To al the Faithful Catholics of the Peten Apostolic Vicariate.

To the National and Departmental Authorities, and to men and women of good will in Petén.

Confronted by constant violent deeds that are attacking our dear Petén, causing death and pain, the Catholic Church of Petén cannot remain indifferent or silent. Rather we are called to make our voice heard and to intervene with a sense of responsibility.


  • We manifest our deep horror and rejection, indignation and shame for the massacre of 27 persons in the “Los Cocos” farm, town of La Libertad, as the last and barbarous expression of a generalized situation of violence and insecurity.

Crossing the church-state divide by ark in Kentucky

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The New York Times editorial today criticizes a Kentucky state plan that approved $40 million in tax incentives for a Bible-based theme park.

According to time Times:

"The American landscape is dotted with tourist attractions created with the help of government subsidies bestowed in the name of economic development. Think of the cheese museum in Rome, N.Y. A project just approved in Kentucky pushes the constitutional envelope.

Irish Catholic kid from New Jersey new chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

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From the Huffington Post:

"The man chosen to lead the U.S. military as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the difficult years ahead is a muddy-boots combat soldier seemingly more comfortable in battle fatigues than in the dress blues of Washington's corridors of power.

But make no mistake: Martin Dempsey, a self-described Irish Catholic kid from Bayonne, N.J. is a battle-hardened commander seen by his colleagues as an inspired choice to guide the military through a painful period of deep budget cuts and manpower reductions. If he is confirmed as expected by the Senate, Dempsey's job will be to help forge a new strategy to direct the Pentagon's organization, investments, training and deployments for contingencies as disparate as managing a no-fly zone over Libya, a naval confrontation in the South China Sea, a failing government in nuclear-armed Pakistan and hostilities from North Korea and Iran."

Read more here.

Working-class pessimism

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Working-class whites -- long considered most-likely-to-be-upwardly-mobile among blue-collar families -- now find themselves the most pessimistic. You can find a lot of reasons for this dilemma in the classic sitcom "All in the Family."

Ronald Brownstein writes in the Los Angeles Times and the National Journal that working class whites are now the most alienated sector of American voters. According to polls Brownstein cites, just one-third think their children will do better than they do -- an equal number believe their kids will actually do worse. "No other group is that negative," Brownstein says.

Standing up for peace amid the \"yo-yos\" of the US Congress

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It was all rather disgusting. There they were, the members of the highest legislative body of the world's only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu. – Israeli writer, Uri Avnery, "Bibi and the Yo-yos."

The expression of support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech before Congress this week was almost unanimous.

To a person, the U.S. lawmakers rose and applauded, 29 times, four times more than they did for President Obama's Inaugural Address.

But seated in the Capitol Gallery was one young woman who withheld her adulation: Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American of Israeli descent and member of the peace group CODEPINK.

The John Jay report on sex abuse: the question of the time period

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Tom Roberts of NCR is a guest on Interfaith Voices this week, discussing the John Jay report on the causes and context of sex abuse in the Catholic Church. That report covers the period from 1950 to 2010.

As Tom points out, the entire study is severely hampered by the fact that it had only the data supplied by the Catholic bishops and their chancery offices. And then, it had data only from cases that were certifiable as sex abuse, not questionable cases.

On this day: The Visitation

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On this day we celebrate the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her kinswoman, Elizabeth.

"Here is a rare glimpse of female reproductive power as both physically nurturing and politically revolutionary. 'The two pregnant women beat the drum of God's world revolution,' starting with the option for debased women and then including all the starving, powerless, and oppressed. . . . Clearly this is a picture of Mary that is the complete opposite of the passive, humble handmaid of the patriarchal imagination. . . . it portrays women looking to each other for validation of their authority rather than to men."

--Truly Our Sister: A Theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints, by Elizabeth A. Johnson, Continuum, 2003, page 260.

Morning Briefing

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