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Support the World March for Peace and Nonviolence

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The World March for Peace and Nonviolence, which involves 50 marchers and the support of dozens of peace organizations including some two dozen Nobel laureates, will be coming to the United States Nov. 3, arriving in New York before moving on to Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

The march began in New Zealand Oct. 2, the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth and will conclude in the Andes Mountains (Punta de Vacas, Aconcagua, Argentina) on Jan. 2.

It has just left Berlin, where its activities coincided with the anniversary of the fall of the Wall. Having crossed Oceania, Asia, the Middle East, northern Europe and the Balkans, the march arrived in Italy today.

Why the World March? As its sponsors affirm:


  • Because we can end world hunger with 10 percent of what is spent on arms. Imagine how life would be if 30-50 percent of the arms budget went toward improving people’s lives instead of being used for destruction.

Read a review and an excerpt

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This is John Allen's blog and he'll be doing the color commentary here (to stretch even further the baseball analogy he began earlier this morning), but I thought I should alert readers of this blog that the review of John's book is the NCR Book Club selection this week.

Reviewing it is Jesuit Fr. John W. O’Malley, a church historian and professor of theology at Georgetown University in Washington. Here's the review: A new Catholic horizon.

There is also an excerpt of the book available here: The horizontal dimension

The nukes in Pakistan

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A must read article by Seymour M. Hersh at The New Yorker: Defending the Arsenal
In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?
. Some highlights:

"Current and former officials said in interviews in Washington and Pakistan that [the Obama] Administration has been negotiating highly sensitive understandings with the Pakistani military. These would allow specially trained American units to provide added security for the Pakistani arsenal in case of a crisis. ...

Miguel Diaz profile

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a very well done article about the U.S. ambassador at the Vatican: Abortion debate dogs envoy to Vatican

As the son of Cuban immigrants, Miguel Diaz was drawn to Barack Obama for his ability to cross cultures and engage people from different backgrounds.

Now, plucked from the relative obscurity of central Minnesota to be President Obama's envoy to the Vatican, the St. John's University theologian finds himself in the vortex of an unwelcome battle over what it means to be a Catholic in the service of a president who supports abortion rights.

Saint of the Day, Leo the Great

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In the Office of Readings for today's feast of St. Leo the Great, Pope, Church Father, and Doctor of the Church, the saint reminds us that we all are kings, and we all are priests:

"For all, regenerated in Christ, are made kings by the sign of the cross; they are consecrated priests by the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that beyond the special service of our ministry as priests, all spiritual and mature Christians know that they are a royal race and are sharers in the office of the priesthood. For what is more king-like than to find yourself ruler over your body after having surrendered your soul to God? And what is more priestly than to promise the Lord a pure conscience and to offer him in love unblemished victims on the altar of one’s heart?"

Raphael's "Repulse of Attila" depicts the meeting in 452 between Pope Leo and Attila the Hun on the banks of the Mincio River.

An invitation to readers

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I’m a big baseball fan, making me part of the core audience for TV’s “MLB Network” that launched last January. One of my favorite shows is called “Prime 9,” featuring a run-down of the nine best center fielders of all time, the nine biggest home runs, and so on. The show’s motto is, “Designed to start arguments, not settle them.”

If I had to choose a slogan for my new book The Future Church, I’d probably end up with something a lot like that.

Vatican investigation of U.S. women religious

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Since the Vatican announced an apostolic visitation of U.S. women religious late last year, NCR has been following the story. To date we've published about three dozen stories about the visitations, including, news, analysis, commentary and a couple editorials.

Nearly every day, we receive a request for one or other of these stories. To make those searches a little easier, we have created an index page with links to the stories that we have done.

And to make it easy to find that page, we gave it a unique URL: NCRonline.org/apostolicvisitation. Share that link with friends, family and interested parties.

The 'anti-Catholic!' cry is a cheap, easy accusation

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It is unfortunate that Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, new to the national stage and responsible for one of the most visible and potentially most influential sees in the nation, chose to play the tired anti-Catholic card so early in his tenure. His recent blog posting accused The New York Times and the wider culture of indulging in rampant anti-Catholic activity.

In doing so, he wastes the authority of his office by aligning it with such imprudent screamers as William Donohue and his Catholic League, which exists to raise money so it can continue to scream Fire! in the crowded theater of overcharged religionists.

The reality is, of course, that it is increasingly difficult to establish an anti-Catholic case of any substance or depth in the culture when so much -- industry, politics, finance, academia, the Supreme Court itself -- is in the hands of high-profile Catholics.

Why do the media 'go after' the church?

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Before my current job, which I took about three years ago, I was in the news business for nearly all my adult life. And throughout that time, fellow Catholics would regularly quiz me about why the news media so often "went after" the church.

I'm guessing an article by The New York Times' public editor this Sunday is going to have my phone ringing again.

In his Sunday piece, Clark Hoyt discusses the negative reaction a Times' feature and a Times' column has provoked from New York's archbishop, Timothy Dolan. The two works include columnist Maureen Dowd's recent brush-back of the Vatican's investigation into the lives of American nuns, and a front-page article about a priest who fathered a son after a long relationship with a parishioner.

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July 4-17, 2014

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