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Pope calls on religions to defend environment, human life

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LONDON -- A great irony of Pope Benedict XVI’s approach to relations with other religions is that this theologian-pope has to some extent dethroned theology, in favor of what he calls “inter-cultural” dialogue. By that, he means focusing on social, cultural and political concerns where the religions agree, rather than on matters of doctrine where they don’t.

Catholic Women Priests on CNN

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CNN featured the Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement on its Emmy-nominated American Morning show today, September 16, 2010. Rev. Andrea Johnson and Rev. Gloria Carpeneto were interviewed and shown leading a small Eucharistic community of mostly women. The footage was compelling. Except for the gender of the celebrants, this could have been a regular parish mass.

Speaking of \"Being\"?

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I'm a big fan on the NPR show "Speaking of Faith with Kristi Tippett" (usually broadcast at 7 a.m. Sunday mornings). It's a thoughtful place for journalism and discussion about deep subjects.

Over the summer the show announced a name change to "Being." My first thought was "Blech."

I've since visited the show's website, where host Tippett explains the reasoning behind the name change (and her own trepidation) in a letter to listeners--and a sample of the hundreds of comments from angry and supportive fans.

Lighting the autumn flame

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Very soon the autumn equinox comes. Day and night are of equal length as the Earth tilts away from the sun in the Northern hemisphere. The sun itself rides lower in the sky. Dawns are a little chilly. Sunset comes earlier.

A sure sign of autumn here, and everywhere, is the fire of sumac. This wild plant grows everywhere on roadsides and at the edges of fields, native to almost every area of the world. The name comes almost unchanged from the Arabic down through Old French. The wild species goes unnoticed untl its leaves explode into a deep, vibrant red color as summer wanes.

Crimson is its main color but it also displays a brilliant yellow, a rich orange or an exquisite purple.

Hal Borland, a nature writer who wrote a weekly column in the New York Times for years, comments: "One wonders why the legend-makers never gave it credit for lighting the autumn flame in the forest, setting off the whole blaze of color. Legendary or not, there it stands now, full of cool autumn fire, ready to set the whole woodland aflame."

100 year old sister looks back on life, Cuba before Castro

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Yesterday Catholic News Service posted a short profile of St. Philip Neri Sr. Ana Maria Campos of Florida who turned 100 in August.

Among the things she's lived through in her years? The Cuban revolution.

The one thing she wishes she could do? Take herself to Mass. She says her legs just can't take her without help anymore.

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