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Victims of abuse by nuns speak out

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Victims of sexual abuse by nuns and their supporters will protest outside the national convention of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in Dallas today.

The group, affiliated with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), has asked to speak at LCWR's annual convention for seven years. LCWR has denied the request, saying that is not the proper venue.

The protesters also are asking for an independent investigation to learn how widespread abuse by nuns is and for Catholic parents to ask their children if they were ever violated by nuns.

Just last week, two dozen former residents of a Native American orphanage run by the church sued the Sioux Falls, N.D. Diocese, alleging sexual and physical abuse by priests and nuns, the Associated Press reported.

Fund established to support women 'wronged by the church'

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Here's a press release from Voice of the Faithful:

FORMER NUN DONATES $75,000 TO VOTF TO ESTABLISH FUND TO AID WOMEN WRONGED BY THE CHURCH

August 9, 2010

Erie, PA -- Tomorrow Voice of the Faithful will formally accept a $75,000 donation from Lynette Petruska, a former nun who once served as chaplain at Gannon University in Erie. Ms. Petruksa is donating the money to establish the Emily and Rosemary Fund, which will support women working in the Catholic Church who face financial hardship as a result of discrimination and injustice in the Church.

Is the Catholic Church no longer governable?

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There's an interesting, and possibly earth-shattering, question posted over at the U.S. Catholic blog 'The Examined Life' this afternoon: In today's world, is it even possible to 'govern' the Roman Catholic Church?

Here's the money quote:

The real problem is that the Roman Catholic Church has grown so large (1.2 billion and counting) and geographically and culturally diverse that it is virtually impossible to govern from Rome, much less through a creaky medieval bureaucracy that lacks both the staff and the budget to fulfill the tasks assigned to it.

The blog comes in response to a Christian Science Monitor article that claims Pope Benedict has, for the past thirty years, been on a crusade to remake conservative Catholicism.

What do you think? Is the Catholic Church no longer governable?

A dark time in America

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Across America, streetlights are going out, roads are going unpaved, teachers are being laid off, school years shortened, Paul Krugman writes in a sobering column for The New York Times today.

We’re told that we have no choice, that basic government functions — essential services that have been provided for generations — are no longer affordable. And it’s true that state and local governments, hit hard by the recession, are cash-strapped. But they wouldn’t be quite as cash-strapped if their politicians were willing to consider at least some tax increases. …

In effect, a large part of our political class is showing its priorities: given the choice between asking the richest 2 percent or so of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom, or allowing the nation’s foundations to crumble — literally in the case of roads, figuratively in the case of education — they’re choosing the latter.

It’s a disastrous choice in both the short run and the long run.

God, Creation and Climate Change

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A new book published by Orbis frames a Catholic response to the environmental crisis. In God, Creation and Climate Change, leading Catholic theologians and ethicists reflect on global climate change, offering insights from theology, history and ethics to aid in the transformation required to meet its challenges.

This book contains original essays by a distinguished group of Catholic scholars that assess the gravity of the situation and offer resources from biblical and theological traditions for the necessary mobilization of will and the conversion of our imagination. Contributors include Diane Bergant, David O'Brien, Jame Schaefer, and others.

Withdraw from Iraq, don't abandon Iraqis

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The much anticipated Sept. 1 withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq "is good news for our American servicemen, their families and the nation, but this departure should not be accompanied by a withdrawal of our support for the Iraqi people, particularly for the millions of displaced Iraqis," says Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington.

LA Bishop Zavala: Neglecting immigrant's dignity neglects our own

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Naming all members of the church "people on a pilgrimage," Los Angeles auxiliary bishop Gabino Zavala called for the U.S. to respect the "dignity of our immigrant neighbors" today in a posting to the 'On Faith' section of The Washington Post's website.

Zavala, who is also the bishop president of Pax Christi USA, wrote as a 'guest voice' to address the controversial new immigration law in Arizona. Portions of that law, which originally forced immigrants to carry their documentation papers at all times, were struck down by a federal judge in late July.

From Zavala's piece:

Peace Bridge to be lit to honor Mother Teresa

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It seems wholly appropriate for a public structure named in honor of peace to be illuminated in Mother Teresa's honor.

"But another iconic structure -- the Peace Bridge -- will be aglow in blue and white lights on Aug. 26 in honor of the renowned Catholic nun, who died in 1997 and is now under consideration for sainthood.

The Peace Bridge operator said it has no restriction against lighting the bridge in Mother Teresa's honor and was agreeing to a joint request from the Catholic dioceses of Buffalo and St. Catharines, Ont."

"The fracas in the Big Apple led to a joint request by Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of the Buffalo diocese and Monsignor Wayne Kirkpatrick of the St. Catharines diocese for the lighting of the Peace Bridge, which spans the Niagara River connecting Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ont.

The request "seemed fitting," given that Mother Teresa was "certainly a woman of peace," said Kevin A. Keenan, spokesman for the Buffalo Diocese."

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