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Priest turns pauper

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As the blockbuster show, "American Idol," has begun its 9th season this week, a new show this spring on the BBC is its polar opposite:

An Anglican priest turns pauper: A new BBC series to show clergyman living without money for eight months in return to "the simple life."

The priest, Peter Owen Jones, will be begging for food and shelter, bartering his skills for scraps and living off his own produce.

Jones previously presented the BBC series "Around The World In 80 Faiths." The new show "How To Live A Simple Life" will be broadcast in the spring.

Women answering ëa beautiful interior call from God'

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Kansas City - St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn is bringing a new liturigical solemnity to NCR's home diocese.

To highlight an example, Finn, while showing support for women religious, personally welcomed new postulants last month into a traditional congregation, the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles.

During a Jan. 6 ceremony, highlighted in the local diocesan paper, Finn, in the course of a Pontifical Solemn High Mass, personally received four postulants, each dressed in a bridal gown, by cutting their hair. The act symbolized the women's rejection of the way of the world and their response to what Finn described as "a beautiful interior call from God."

We wish the women and the bishop well.

So is what is left of democracy now dead in America?

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For as long as I can remember, virtually all of us have wailed against the power of special interests in our political process. Translated, what has upset us is that money talks in politics, it talks so loudly that our politicians become virtual slaves to those who control it and channel it into their elections campaigns.

Consider now the power of our corporations and the clout they already have in politics today. It is now going to grow considerably.

The U.S. Supreme Court today overturned a century-old restriction on corporations using their money to sway federal elections. This has the potential of being one of the most significant rulings in decades.

If you think that special interests, and, in this instance, well financed corporate interests, have had too much sway in U.S. politics hang on.

In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens, wrote: "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation."

Looking for loved ones in Haiti

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The Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti left massive destruction and widespread uncertainty. An unknown number of people remain missing, with estimates ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.

What is certain is people around the world await word on loved ones. Are you searching for a family member or friend? Search this list to connect.

CNN's iReport page: http://haiticrisis.cnn.com/

The Red Cross: http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/wfl/wfl_hti.nsf/DocIndex/locate_eng?opendocument

Google Person Find: http://haiticrisis.appspot.com/

Reproductive rights emerge as key issue in Philippine presidential election

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Population management and reproductive health are emerging as key issues in the upcoming elections in the Philippines.

Presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino, son of the late Philippine Presisent Corazón "Cory" Aquino, has come out in support of the Reproductive Health Bill, now before the Philippine Congress. The Catholic Philippine hierarchy opposes the bill, which promotes information and access "to both natural and modern family planning methods that are medically safe and legally permissible."

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines.

Lay woman named to key Vatican job

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When talk turns to “women in the church,” the normal association in the public mind is with debates over the ordination of women to the priesthood. Because there’s been no movement on that front, the tendency is often to assume the “women’s question” is frozen in place.

In reality, however, the last few decades have seen a broad trend towards appointing women to positions of ecclesiastical leadership that don’t require sacramental ordination.

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September 12-25, 2014

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