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On this day: Bd. Augusto Czartoryski

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On this day in 1893, Bd. Augusto Czartoryski died at Alassio. He was 34 years old. He had been a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco for one year.

"Augusto Czartoryski was born on 2 August 1858 in Paris, France, the firstborn son to Prince Ladislaus of Poland and Princess Maria Amparo, daughter of the Duke and Queen of Spain. The noble Czartoryski Family had been living in exile in France for almost 30 years, in the Lambert Palace."

Paul Ryan's 'hammock'

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The latest GOP take on the federal budget has come very close to reviving a golden oldie of hot-button politics -- the mythical and powerful "welfare queen."

A lot of the poisonous politics of the 70s and 80s revolved around the nation's programs for the poor. Instituted as part of "The Great Society" in the mid-1960s, these programs had -- ten years later -- become rife with abuse for which hard-working taxpayers were footing the bill.

On the back of that resentment rode a generation of politicians who derided the legendary "welfare queen." She was the supposedly poor mother from a place like Harlem who actually worked the system for huge amounts of cash: she had children just to collect checks, she drove Cadillacs while getting taxpayer transportation subsidies, and got money for "job training" programs she never attended.

The Queen -- imagined or real (and some were real: some) -- seemed to have faded away with Bill Clinton's welfare reform in the 1990s.

But no: her majesty has been nearly brought back to life by a man pundits consider among the most sober and creative thinkers on the right: Rep. Paul Ryan.

Bishop's internal memo announces major cut backs, layoffs coming

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According to Delaware Online:

Layoffs and reductions in some church services and ministries will be coming later this year as a result of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's proposed $77.4 million settlement with survivors of priest sexual abuse, according to a memo from Bishop W. Francis Malooly being circulated to employees this week.

Diocesan officials confirmed the memo was issued but declined to answer questions about specifics -- like how many of the approximately 190 diocesan employees may be let go or what services will be suspended or reduced. The memo states that the layoffs will take place July 1, but officials said employees will likely be notified if they are on the list this week.

Leading Economist: Ryan Plan ëAbsurd'

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A few commentators on the NCR website thought I was a bit harsh in saying that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-I) budget plan was not serious.

At least I’m in good company. Last night on CNN’s In the Arena, former Reagan budget director David Stockman said the plan “whiffs entirely.” For those unfamiliar with baseball metaphors, that means that Ryan struck out, that his plan is a failure.

Even tougher was Jeffrey Sachs, one of the world’s leading economists. “There’s not a clever idea in the whole thing and it absolutely going to go nowhere as a result,” he said. It can’t be that bad, right? “I think it’s absurd,” said Sachs, who called the Ryan plan an excuse for “cutting Medicaid, slashing programs for the poor” and gutting environmental efforts.

Morning Briefing

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San Bernardino, Calif. Priest takes leave from TV ministry, relationship with adult woman revealed

Springfield, Ill. Catholic leaders lobby for anti-abortion measure, textbook funding

Dover, Del. War of words has broken out between Republican state representatives and the Catholic League

Austin, Texas State workers, Catholic bishops march on Capitol, crying out against proposed budget cuts

Ireland Sacrament preparation may move out of school

Hudons, Wis. Hudson priest charged with stealing $10K

Vatican publication rehabilitates hackers

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From Network World:

Internet hackers have acquired a dubious reputation for piracy, sabotage and the spilling of sensitive secrets, but an authoritative Vatican publication appears to rehabilitate them and traces parallels between hacker philosophy and the teachings of Christianity.

The surprisingly charitable view of hackers was expressed by the Jesuit priest Father Antonio Spadaro in an article for the fortnightly magazine Civilta Cattolica, the text of which is vetted by the Vatican Secretariat of State prior to publication.

Hackers should not be confused with crackers, Spadaro wrote, citing a definition penned by technology writer Eric S. Raymond: "Hackers build things, crackers break them."

Hacker philosophy is playful but committed, encourages creativity and sharing, and opposes models of control, competition and private property, Spadaro observed approvingly.

Ryan's budget plan lacks seriousness

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Between 1983-1998, the federal government managed a steady year-by-year reduction in the deficit, followed by a balanced budget and then, amazingly enough, a surplus. Yes, Congress and the President can identify and ultimately repair the nation’s most pressing problems. Sure, it took some time, but the trends were clear and sharp observers saw it coming. It was with this in mind that I read Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) "Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise." It is not is a serious proposal to get today's deficits under control.

Sheehan's threats to cohabitating couples

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A letter from Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe on the topic of marriage, divorce and cohabitation was read all Masses this past weekend. It reaffirmed parts of church teaching about marriage and laid down the law for those not following it, namely those who live together without getting married, or those in civil unions, whether married previously or not. He counseled the divorced to seek annulments, but said others should be banned from the sacraments and other parish participation, including serving as godparents.

From the letter:

1. People in the above three situations cannot receive the Sacraments, with the important exception of those who agree to live chastely (“as brother and sister”) until their situation is regularized. Of course, those in danger of death are presumed to be repentant.
2. These people may not be commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, not only because of scandal, but even more because one commits the sin of sacrilege by administering a Sacrament in the state of mortal sin.

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