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Anti-Semitism on the Left

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Readers of my blogs here and at America magazine will know that I am an ardent Zionist, and that I am horrified to find an increasing number of liberals dabbling not only in unjust criticism of the actions taken by Israel for her defense, but the way those same liberals dabble in the tropes of classic anti-Semitism.

Christians have a special obligation to learn about anti-Semitism and be alert to even a hint of its reappearance. There was anti-Semitism before Hitler, as there is anti-Semitism after Hitler. Pograms in Poland and Russia happened long before Arab countries expelled Jews. Dreyfuss was sent to Devil’s Island because of the anti-Semitic manipulations of French Catholics. Edgardo Mortara was kidnapped from his parents by the Pope’s police. For every “righteous Gentile” honored for their efforts to save Jewish lives during the Shoah, there were hundreds of Christians who went about their business, even if their business entailed participation in the mass extermination of people who had been their neighbors the day before. If you look at the history of Christian treatment of Jews and do not feel a profound sense of shame, you are not really looking.

Not Enough Dirty Feet Being Washed in Church

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I have to admit that the headline got me to read this story from the Catholic Information Service of Africa.

KENYA: “Not Enough Dirty Feet Being Washed in Church,” cleric declares

NAIROBI, February 2, 2010 (CISA) -The Church is not offering enough service, a Catholic cleric, Rev Dr Eammon Mulcahy said during a forum titled, Exploring Faith in Public Life held at Hekima College in Nairobi on January 30, 2010.

Read the rest.

Feb. 11, Our Lady of Lourdes

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"Que soy era Immaculada Concepciou."

"Four years after the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Blessed Pius IX, Mary appeared for the first time on February 11, 1858 to St. Bernadette Soubirous in the grotto at Massabielle. After successive apparitions accompanied by extraordinary events, the Holy Virgin revealed to the young visionary in the local language, ‘I am the Immaculate Conception.’”

--Pope Benedict XVI, Feb. 10, 2008

Don't count on Third World to bail out ecumenism, Anglican says

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This week, the Vatican’s office for ecumenism, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is hosting a summit titled “Harvesting the Fruits," bringing together leading lights from the Catholic church, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, Methodism, anbd the Reformed churches. The idea is to figure out how the movement for Christian unity can move into what Cardinal Walter Kasper, the council’s president, calls a “more mature” phase, despite what many perceive as a big ecumenical chill. In addition, the hope is also to hand the torch to a new generation of leaders, given that many of the pioneers of the ecumenical movement are now passing from the scene.

Mental Health \"Bible\" getting revamp

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The Catholic missal is not the only document going through a revamp.

Today's Wall Street Journal reports on the changes coming to "the draft revisions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—the bible for mental health clinicians and researchers—unveiled Wednesday could have effects that ripple through mental health care."

These changes will impact patients, clinicians and larger healthcare providers. For example, Asperger's disorder, which is currently considered a separate condition than autism, will be subsumed into the broader spectrum of autism disorders.

Pax Christi Haiti: Best tribute to Haitians is to end all forms of violence

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Pax Christi USA has posted a short reflection on the way we can honor Haitians suffering from the recent earthquake. The reflection is written by Pax Christi Haiti's project director, Daniel Tillias.

Here's a short excerpt:

Haiti lives for the world what no other should ever experience. Haiti brings to our mind what for too long was out of our sight. The whole world now has no excuse for ignorance of all these dangers threatening the future of the coming generation: like the destruction accompanying war and what environmental degradation can cause to this earth.

Pushing Immigration Reform

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Two members of Congress joined faith leaders on a conference call today in Washington to announce new efforts to build support for comprehensive immigration reform. Congressman Mike Honda of California joined Congresswoman Yvette Clark both addressed the political difficulties of moving the legislation while the country suffers from an unemployment rate that hovers around 10 percent. “It’s possible,” Clark told the journalists assembled on the call, noting that as in previous years, the difficulties are likely to arise in the Senate.

Kansas City nuke plant passes, faces environmental scrutiny

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Local Kansas City, Mo. paper The Pitch reports today that one of the nation's most productive nuclear weapons manufacturing sites is operating with expired permits for hazardous waste and water discharges.

The Kansas City Plant, which manufactures mechanical and electrical non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons, has recently come under media scrutiny for claims of lethal contamination to employees and neighbors.

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency published a fact sheet regarding some 785 toxic chemicals known to be used at the plant and U.S. Senator Kit Bond called for a federal investigation of health concerns.

These revelations come one week after the Kansas City, Mo. City Council gave final approval for plans to relocate the manufacturing facility to a larger site farther away from the downtown area.

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns Project

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Growing attention is being paid to the connections between economics, environment and faith. The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has started a "Faith-Economy-Ecology" project in order to understand the various ways in which these three crucial factors intersect. Learn more at the Faith, Economy, Ecology Web site

You'll find resources and reflections that will help you, and perhaps your community, better understand the connections between care of the Earth and all its life forms, the global economy and our faith. You will also see a sign-on statement, inviting individuals or a representative of an organization to join and seek the change we need in policy and lifestyles.

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