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Mar. 15, St. Louise de Marillac, Founder

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Today is the feast of St. Louise de Marillac, the 350th anniversary of her death.

Louise was born in 1591, the illegitimate daughter of Louis de Marillac, a well-connected widower. Her mother's name is not known. Her father acknowledged his "natural" daughter and placed her with her aunt, a Dominican nun at Poissy. When he died, his second wife removed Louise from the convent and placed her with a poor woman to learn household skills.

Beck and Call: Looking for Social Justice in the Wrong Places

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Almost overnight, Glenn Beck has become Irritator in Chief. He sends legions of left-leaning Americans into fits of apoplexy with a deft turn of phrase. His laser-tongue attacks are typically vile but his method is impeccable. He knows how to rile.

His latest poison arrow was aimed at Christians who think social justice has something to do with the Gospels. It doesn't, he declares, instructing his followers to bolt any church that sponsors such causes.

Beck hates socialiam and believes social justice is its handmaiden. Anything smacking of it it is likely in his calculus to lead to the dreadnaught of Big Government.

I'm not convinced that he is seriously targeting churches, however. Churches are not real threats, he seems to say, mostly potential ones. After all, very few parishes would be found guilty of sticking their necks out for social change aimed at justice (notable, mostly isolated exceptions, of course). Their relative silence on health care is but the latest evidence.

The Vatican's DA on sex abuse: 'False and slanderous charge against the pope'

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Amid Germany’s mounting sexual abuse crisis, which threatens to engulf not only the pope’s brother but potentially Benedict XVI's record as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1981, the Vatican took the rare step yesterday of making its chief sex abuse “prosecutor” available for an on-the-record interview. Monsignor Charles J. Scicluna, a Maltese priest and canonist who works as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sat down for an interview published in L’Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.

The following is an NCR translation of the Scicluna interview, conducted by veteran Italian journalist Gianni Cardinale. The Italian original can be found here: http://www.avvenire.it/Chiesa/intervista+pedofilia+scicluna_201003130801409170000.htm

INTERVIEW
The Vatican’s DA: “The Church takes a hard line on pedophilia”

Growing focus on Pope Benedict in sex abuse scandal

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Media outlets in the United States and Europe Friday raised fresh questions about the way Pope Benedict handled clergy sex abuse issues when he was Archbishop of Munich between 1977 and 1982.

The pace of coverage of the clergy sex abuse scandal, which has ebbed and flowed in the media for a quarter century now, quickened again in recent weeks as reports of abuse have become more widespread in Ireland, Germany and The Netherlands, and has Pope Benedict met with Irish prelates two weeks back and again late this week with the head of the German church hierarchy.

What Planet is Gerson On?

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I want to like Michael Gerson’s writings. His essays are always well written and his overall ideological perspective - center-right, religiously inflected views – are rarely obnoxious even if they are wrong. Then, every once in awhile he writes a column that forces you to ask: Excuse me, but what planet have you been living on for the past few decades, Mr. Gerson?

Clergy Abuser was in Ministry in Munich under Archbishop Ratzinger

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Pope Benedict XVI's former German diocese said Friday it made a mistake when the pontiff was archbishop in allowing a priest suspected to have abused a child to return to pastoral work. However, it said Benedict wasn't involved in the decision, according to the Associate Press.

The details came hours after Germany's top bishop briefed Pope Benedict XVI on the spiraling cases of clerical sex abuse in the pontiff's native Germany and said the pope encouraged him to pursue the truth and assist the victims.

Pro-life group urges Congress to pass Senate health care bill

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Twenty-five pro-life Catholic theologians and Evangelical leaders yesterday sent letters to members of Congress urging them not to let misleading information about abortion provisions in the Senate health care bill block passage of sorely-needed reform.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a Washington-based advocacy group, said that the Senate health bill upholds abortion funding restrictions and supports pregnant women.

The letter included a page by page analysis of the Senate bill as it pertains to abortion.

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