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Charles Curran: 'Banned by the Pope'

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I've recently returned from the Catholic Theological Society of America's annual convention. On the final night, the CTSA awarded its prestigious John Courtney Murrary Award to the popular Fr. Peter Phan, theologian at Georgetown University. Phan is the last on a list dating back to 1972 when the CTSA gave the award for the first time to Fr. Charles Curran, who now teaches at Southern Methodist University, having been forced out of Catholic University of America by an unfavorable judgment on his teachings by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and now Pope Benedict XVI.

Obama Getting Back on Track

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I noted yesterday that President Obama’s speech was off-target, although I liked his interest in the Rite of Blessing of the Fleets. But, there was another religious angle that he has failed to deploy effectively: Religious groups nationwide are deeply and profoundly concerned about environmental protection. Groups like Faith in Public Life have held conference calls with religious leaders in support of climate change legislation. The USCCB is on board. Last January, in his annual World Day of Peace message, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated the entire speech to the need to protect the environment.

Note to Obama speechwriters: Instead of “eco-system” and “environment” say “Creation.” Voters who are animated by environmental concerns are already with the President. But, the word “creation” resonated with those religiously motivated swing voters who voted against Kerry in 2004 and for Obama in 2008.

A new worst-case scenario?

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"It seems we've found a new worst-case scenario," says Sharon Astyk at ScienceBlogs writing about the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mother Jones (Is the BP Gusher Unstoppable?), The Slatest (Worst-Case Oil Spill Scenario Terrifies Readers) and Gawker (What if We Can't Stop the BP Oil Leak? The Nightmare Scenario) all picked up on a lengthy guest post on The Oil Drum, a respected group blog about the future of energy edited by engineers, physicists, and energy analysts. The posting says basically: We ain't seen nothing yet.

According to the post, the pressure building in the oil reserve that the Deepwater Horizon rig was tapped into is building and may soon erupt through the ocean floor.

That would send 150,000 barrels of oil a day into gulf waters.

Cardinal George and Sister Carol on Health Care

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NCR Senior Correspondent John Allen, in a fine piece of reporting, talks to the key players in the health care discussion: Cardinal Francis George, Sister Carol Keehan, Bishop Robert Lynch. Allen is covering the Catholic Health Association meeting, but his piece goes beyond the tensions between CHA and the bishops over each's interpretation of how abortion is treated in the legislation to deeper issues that are sure to be with the US Church for years to come. Find the story here.

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September 12-25, 2014

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