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Fixing CCHD

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We ran a couple news stories last week about reforms being made at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (See: Bishops defend Catholic Campaign for Human Development), and Michael Sean Winters told us what is right about CCHD (See Catholic identity demands the work the CCHD promotes).

Here's a couple comments about what is wrong with CCHD: Bishops play defense on anti-poverty initiative.

Michael Hichborn, a spokesman for Reform the CCHD Now, called the anti-poverty program "philosophically flawed right from the outset."
"It never addresses sin as the root cause of poverty, which means it never addresses Christ as a remedy," he said.

The Religion News Service story that quotes Hichborn doesn't specify the sin that causes poverty. Perhaps he means structural sin, for example, predatory loans, redlining neighborhoods, underfunded school districts, or wage theft?

What could you do with $454 million

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Outside Spending: The Final Tally

— By Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones

By the time voters went to the polls last week, outside groups had spent more than $454 million to influence campaigns. But there's little evidence that all that spending benefited Republicans much more than Democrats, as the final tallies on spending were actually pretty close.

A total of $197.4 million was spent backing Republican candidates, while groups spent $181.1 million for Democrats, according to Federal Election Commission data compiled by the Sunlight Foundation.

Read the full report here.

Morning Briefing

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Catholic Jews and the Holocaust

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During the run up to the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul asked all local churches “to do everything possible that the memory of those who have suffered martyrdom should be safeguarded” (TertioMillenioAdveniente, 1994) In Edith Stein and Companions on the Way to Auschwitz (Ignatius Press, 2010) author Fr. Paul Hammas has done just this for the Catholic Jews of Holland who were rounded up, sent to Auschwitz, and murdered.

Invitation for Pittsburgh NCR readers

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NCR senior correspondent John L. Allen Jr. is to speak in the Pittsburgh area Nov. 10 and Nov. 11. Both talks draw on his book, The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church.

He will speak Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kearns Spirituality Center at La Roche College. This was organized by the Association of Pittsburgh Priests. The suggested donation is $15.

The Nov. 11 seminar is 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the community center of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary in Villa Maria. The $65 registration includes breakfast and lunch. Registration is required, and is available at 724-964-8886 or www.villaprograms.org.

Fame and our kids

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I have two daughters: a teen and a tween -- so a big topic of conversation around our kitchen table these last few days has been the fate of 18-year old Demi Lovato, a Disney Channel star who has placed herself into rehab.

How to store leftovers in an earth-friendly and healthy way

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Storing leftovers has long been a way to stretch out the pleasures of holiday meals over the following days and many a kitchen cabinet is well stocked with plastic tubs, cling wrap and other containers. Although they cut down on food waste, some containers pose more of a burden on the environment and potentially to your health, than others. Storing food in reusable containers helps reduce environmental impacts associated with single-use containers, but knowing more about different types of containers (including the type of resin for plastic containers) can help you make better choices.

"Simple Steps" on the Natural Resources Defense Council's Web site has good information on the environmental and health impacts of storage containers

Church groups try to stop foreclosures

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Church and charitable organizations have always stepped up to the plate to aid the homeless. But what about helping prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place? That is the goal of a national network of faith-based groups, homeowners and community organizers who met with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner earlier this month to talk about the issue of home foreclosures.

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