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Ho Chi Minh City cardinal on church growth in Vietnam

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HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- The Vietnamese Communist Party took control of Northern Vietnam in 1954 and all of Vietnam in 1975. The situation between Catholics and the communist leaders of Vietnam has been a major factor in the shape and growth of the church for these past decades. Catholics have generally responded in one of two ways: Confronting and attacking the state leaders or looking for ways to work with them on common concerns. Cardinal Pham Minh Man, archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, falls into the second camp.

Bush Catholic On the Block

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Scott Bloch was one of those Bush Administration appointees who was given a relatively unimportant but high-paying job partly in return for the work he did reaching out to conservative Catholics on Bush’s behalf.

Nonetheless, he managed to do a fair amount of damage, going out of his way to push an ideological agenda that had little to do with his job description.

Here’s how NCR covered him at the time.

Now he’s trying to stay out of jail.

Egypt, CÈsar Ch·vez and Nonviolence

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The most impressive aspect of the Egyptian uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak is its nonviolent nature. What violence that did occur came from the goon squads in support of the now-fallen dictator.

It was remarkable how the Egyptian people reflected the power of nonviolence. It was like watching Gandhi and his nonviolent movement that achieved independence for India in the post-World War II period.

Marriage equality legislation making progress in Maryland

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The latest reports from Annapolis (the Maryland state capital) are promising. Legislation legalizing same sex marriage is gaining support by the day. The House of Delegates already has a majority on board, and the Maryland Senate is inching closer. If it passes, Governor Martin O’Malley has said he will sign the legislation.

Today, the Washington Post published an editorial urging Maryland to live up to its moniker, “The Free State,” by approving marriage equality.

Green Eye Shades for Peace

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Rep. Walter Jones is a conservative -- very conservative -- Republican member of congress from North Carolina.

How conservative? His major legislative initiative over the last several years has been a bill that would allow church pastors to directly endorse candidates for office without endangering their congregation’s tax exempt status. Jones’ evangelical base loves the idea.

Rep. Jim McGovern is a liberal -- very liberal -- Democratic member of Congress from Massachusetts. The National Journal rates him one of Congress’ most progressive members.

Today, in The Washington Post, they join forces to offer a simple path to real deficit reduction: Give peace a chance:

Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz told the House Veterans Affairs Committee in September that the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan, including interest payments on the money borrowed for these wars and care for our wounded soldiers and veterans, is likely to total $4 trillion to $6 trillion.

On this day: Martin Luther

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On this day in 1546, Martin Luther died at Eisleben, his home town. He was 62.

Click http://www.amazon.com/Celebrating-Saints-Devotional-Readings-Days/dp/0819218839/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297995258&sr=1-1> here for "A Reading from Martin Luther's preface to the first volume of Latin writings, published in 1545", from Celebrating the Saints: Devotional Readings for Saints' Days, by Christopher L. Webber and Robert Atwell, Morehouse Publishing, 2001. Search term: Martin Luther. See pages 70-72.

Morning Briefing

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BP and its Macondo well Spill panel blames lax oversight of well cementing

Louisville, Ky.,Archdiocese says a defrocked priest on probation for rape should not have been on a parish council

Green Bay, Wis. Bishop reinstates CCHD collection, establishes new commission

Phoenix, Ariz. Jesuit alumni association sponsor study day on St. Joseph Hospital situation, scheduled for Saturday at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix

Kansas City, Mo. Sexual abuse lawsuit filed against retired Catholic priest

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April 22-May 5, 2016

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