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John Dear questions military service, Archbishop Chaput lauds it


In his column on our Web site today, Jesuit Fr. John Dear explores, through biblical analysis, Jesus' total commitment to a nonviolent life.

Dear's conclusion is simple and succinct: Jesus was nonviolent. Period. And we should be too.

Contrast that with this: Yesterday, Archbishop Chaput of the Denver archdiocese addressed Catholic cadets at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Among the many points he made in the speech, the archbishop told the cadets two main things: that being a soldier is a moral good and that, in their career, the cadets can take up the mantle of "Christian moral leadership."

Per the first point, Chaput said, quoting Russian Christian writer Vladimir Solovyov, "Until the spirit of malice brought into the world by Cain disappears from human hearts, the soldier 'will be a good and not an evil.'"

Per the second, Chaput said:

Any room for trade-offs in CCHD? Leaders say no.


WASHINGTON -- At a teleconference this morning introducing a review report on the funding rules of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a reporter asked what happens if CCHD faces a “hard choice” or trade-off that involves a funding request for a valuable project fully in accord with CCHD principles, but the group making the request is in conflict with church teaching in some other area unrelated to that grant request.

Vatican opposes death penalty for Tariq Aziz


The Vatican today released a statement in response to the decision by an Iraqi court to impose the death penalty on Tariq Aziz, a Chaldean Christian who was the international face and voice of the Saddam Hussein regime.

The following is an NCR translation of the statement from Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson.

Vatican Statement

“The position of the Catholic church on the death penalty is well known. It’s hoped, therefore, that the sentence against Tariq Aziz will not be executed, precisely in order to favor reconciliation and the reconstruction of peace and justice in Iraq after the great sufferings it has experienced.”

“Regarding a possible humanitarian intervention, the Holy See is not accustomed to operate in a public fashion, but through the diplomatic means at its disposal.”

Court gives go ahead in UK's biggest sex abuse suit


The biggest set of abuse claims against the Roman Catholic church of England and Wales advanced today. An English high court ruled that Middlesbrough diocese was responsible for a residential care home where 142 ex-pupils are suing for abuse. The diocese faces claims totaling $12.6 million. Roman Catholic church facing £8m payout over child abuse claims

Cholera comes to Haiti


Yesterday, Denise Grady at The New York Times took a look at the cholera epidemic in Haiti:

The cholera epidemic in Haiti is likely to grow and persist, and will probably reach the Dominican Republic, health officials said on Monday, as they rushed to distribute medical supplies in hopes of keeping ahead of the disease’s spread.

“Now that cholera has established itself with a strong foothold in Haiti, it is clear to us that it will not go away for several years,” said Dr. John Andrus of the Pan American Health Organization at a news briefing Monday in Washington

And Deborah Sontag had a report on the 'fear and misery' associated with the horrible disease:

Scores of children and adults are doubled over or stretched out on every available surface, racked by convulsive stomach disorder or limp with dehydration. Buckets sit by their sides, intravenous solutions drip into their arms. Life hangs in the balance, yet there is a sober, almost eerie calm.

You've Got to Give Them Credit


Here's a case study for Catholic Social Teaching.

Would taking money to entice students to get credit cards fall inside or outside the lines?

In 2009, the University of Notre Dame alumni association took $1.8 million from credit card peddlers (Bank of America, Chase and U.S. Bank doled out such sums)in exchange for promotional privileges, third highest of any university in the nation.

By law, the Federal Reserve must disclose such information annually. It was reported today in Inside Higher Education.

The overall picture suggests that universities have no problem encouraging a practice that acts as a sort of predator lending for the youngsters. As we're reminded regularly, the financial behemoth that got us into all this trouble is doing just fine, thank you. Nothing has changed there. And so the market for new customers must be brisk.

How does "Catholic character" square with all of this?

Quote of the Day


Quote of the Day from Religion News Service"

"I need more help from you. If you are a tither, become a double-tither. If you are not a tither, become a tither. This ministry has earned your trust. This ministry has earned your help."

--Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller, in an emotional plea to worshippers on Sunday (Oct. 24) to help the Southern California megachurch overcome its current bankruptcy and multimillion-dollar debt. He was quoted by The Orange County Register.

Pelosi: the person beyond the attack ads


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the favorite political piñata of this weird election season, the figure everyone loves to hate, the attack ads' one-dimensional recipient of voter anger and frustration.

So it was refreshing to come across the delightfully against-the-grain and beautifully written profile of the speaker just this side of what many are predicting will be the end of her leadership days. The piece is by Melinda Henneberger, editor in chief of Politics Daily.

There's a reason this pinata won't break: she was born to the political fight, and she relishes every moment of it.

Here’s a taste:

Both the anger in Milwaukee and the apathy in San Francisco are Pelosi's enemies, but what I wonder is how she sees the public's disappointment in her party. Given that she's turned so much of what President Obama promised voters he would do if elected into the law of the land, why, in her view, are Americans who got exactly what they voted for so unhappy about it?


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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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