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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."

Paraguay's president Fernando Lugo diagnosed with cancer

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Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has been diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer affecting the immune system, Health Minister Esperanza Martinez said Aug. 6.

The 59-year-old president is a former Catholic bishop. His five-year term is slated to end in August 2013.

The cancer, known as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, was detected at an early stage, Martinez said.

Ride Your Bike to Church Day for the Gulf

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The oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico could not have come at a worse time. As thousands in the Gulf region struggle to recover from the economic recession and a series of destructive hurricanes, the disaster has added to the misery of those whose livelihoods depend upon the Gulf and left thousands unable to pay their bills and keep food on the table. Meanwhile, the environmental toll continues to mount even as the oil has stopped flowing.

What can your parish do to help? The Catholic Coalition for Climate Change suggests you sponsor a Ride Your Bike to Church Day to raise money for the victims of the oil spill and raise consciousness of the human and environmental cost of our continued oil use.

Come together as a community to:
-Reduce the gasoline usage by riding, walking or taking public transportation instead of driving to church;
-Learn about the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf and our dependence on fossil fuels;
-Contribute the money saved in gasoline to the Catholic Charities response to those in the Gulf region whose livelihoods are now threatened;

Book on Catholic health care and climate change availabe from Catholic Health Association

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A new resource for Catholic health ministry, Faithfully Healing the Earth: Catholic Health Care and Climate Change, is available from the Catholic Health Association. The booklet highlights the many reasons why climate change is an important issue for faith-based providers of health care and consumers of energy.

It was developed to introduce Catholic health care leaders to the issues surrounding climate change and to suggest steps that can be taken to address this escalating, but solvable problem. The 26-page booklet is provided as part of a ministry–wide effort to raise awareness about global climate change being undertaken by the Catholic Health Association.

It's available by setting up an account in a few easy steps then paying for shipping and handling from the CHA Service Center.

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May 22-June 4, 2015

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