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Earth Day media

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This 40th anniversary of Earth Day can be celebrated by watching "Oceans" in theaters or "The Cove" (reviewed here in St. Anthony Messenger) or catching the PBS special "Earth Days" in reruns. It details the history of Earth Day and is well worth the watch (my review here.)

If you were watching "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" on NBC last night, you would have noticed the theme was about the situation of beef in the meatpacking industry. "CSI: Miami" also had an episode on food that I commented on earlier in NCR.

The Oscar-nominated documentary "Food, Inc." covers the same territory, only more in depth, and embraces the food industry (agribusiness) in the United States. I think I have had small portions of beef maybe five times in the last several months because of it. (See my September 2009 review)

Info and invite for our NY readers

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Just got a media release from the Partnership for Global Justice, a New York-based network of religious congregations and social justice groups and a U.N. recognized non-governmental organization:

Father Daniel Berrigan, SJ and Philip Berrigan Receive Seventh Annual Partnership for Global Justice Award

NEW YORK, NY -- April 12, 2010 - Fr. Daniel Berrigan and his brother Philip Berrigan will receive the Seventh Annual Partnership for Global Justice Award on Friday, April 30th. Philip Berrigan’s daughter Frida Berrigan will accept the award posthumously on behalf of her father. The luncheon event, which is open to the public, will be held at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle at 60th Street and Columbus Avenue in New York City from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Both Fr. Berrigan and Ms. Berrigan are expected to speak.

Earth Day: A day of celebration and activism

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The Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the nation's largest environmental advocacy groups, has a special package of resources for celebrating Earth Day 2010.

On April 22, 1970, some 20 million people across the country rallied to protest the state of the planet. Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, a dump for steel mills and other industries, had caught fire. A massive oil spill swamped the coast off Santa Barbara, and concerns about smog, DDT and water pollution were rising. The very first Earth Day was a grassroots revolution that spurred Congress to create America’s core environmental protection laws, and continues to be a day of celebration and activism worldwide.

No way to celebrate Earth Day

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Catholic News Service reports:

Vatican looks to take legal action against carbon-offset company

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican is looking into taking legal action against a company that failed to create a promised Vatican Climate Forest in Hungary.

The reforestation project was supposed to make Vatican City State the first carbon-neutral country in the world by offsetting its greenhouse-gas emissions.

Perils of Church-Related Pensions

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Today's Wall Street Journal has an important article on how church-related pensions can fail miserably, shut down and leave its participants out in the cold.

"Pensions are protected by federal law, which requires employers to fund the benefits, and insure their pensions with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which ensures their pensions will be paid even if the pension plan fails and the employer files for bankruptcy.

But when the law was enacted in the 1970s, churches were exempt unless they opted in. In the 1980s, the IRS definition of "church plan" widened to include almost any organization affiliated with a religious group. That includes recreational groups, hospitals and schools, and publishers like Augsburg Fortress.

Now, a number of church plans are struggling in the wake of investment losses. How many is difficult to say. Church plans don't have to file annual reports with the Internal Revenue Service disclosing their pension obligations, assets and investment managers, among other details.

\"If it does not thrive, neither can we\" -- an Earth Day reflection from Sally McFague

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"The body of God is the entire universe; it is all matter in its myriad fantastic, ancient and modern forms, from quarks to galaxies. More specifically, the body of God needing our attention is planet Earth, a tiny piece of divine embodiment that is our home and garden. In order to care for this garden, we need to know about it; in order to help all creatures who constitute this body flourish, we need to understand how we humans fit into this body.

All understandings of creation and providence rest on assumptions about what the world is like and where humans belong in it... In our evolutionary, ecological view of reality, everthing is interrelated and interdependent. As we have seen, "ecological unity" is both radically individualistic and radically relational. In an organism or body, the whole flourishes only when all of the different parts function well; in fact, the whole is nothing but each and every individual part doing its particular thing successfully. Nothing is more unified than a well-functioning body, but at the same time, nothing relies more on complex, diverse individuality.

How to Diss a Cardinal

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“Seek joy where joy may be found” is one of those rare aphorisms that seems to combine perfectly the human capacity to hope with an earthy sense of the practical. It occurred to me while reading Austen Ivereigh’s post about Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos’ decision not to preside at a special Mass in the extraordinary form here in Washington this coming weekend.

Ivereigh thought the Paulus Institute, which is sponsoring the Mass, missed an opportunity to clearly say that the change was a result of the recently released information about the cardinal’s complicity in encouraging a French prelate not to report the crime of sex abuse to civil authorities. He thought this would show that the conservative liturgical movement is not mindlessly tied to the kind of clericalism that permitted the cover-up of clerical sex abuse for so many years. I agree.

April 22, Mary, Mother of the Society of Jesus

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"Dear Fathers and Brothers of the Society, today you look with special devotion at the Blessed Virgin Mary, remembering that on 22 April 1541, St Ignatius and his first companions made their solemn vows before the image of Mary in the Basilica of St Paul Outside-the-Walls."

--from an address delivered by Pope Benedict XVI to the Fathers and Brothers of the Society of Jesus on April 22, 2006, following a Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica by Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Paulus Institute press release on Castrillon Hoyos bow out

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The following is the text of a press release issued by the Paulus Institute April 21st:

In consultation with His Eminence, Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, The Paulus Institute has agreed to seek another celebrant for the Pontifical Solemn High Mass taking place on April 24th. This action will help maintain the solemnity, reverence and beauty of the Mass.

The Paulus Institute was formed for the propagation of sacred liturgy. The Traditional Latin Mass planned for April 24th honoring Pope Benedict on his five-year inauguration anniversary is a liturgical event much bigger than the individual celebrant. Cardinal Castrillon was approached to celebrate the Mass early in what has been a three-year effort because of his special experience in celebrating this form of Mass and his efforts under Pope John-Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in encouraging the traditional form of the Mass, full liturgy and sacraments.

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