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GOP support for health care bill?

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A couple of different sources, online and in the midst of the action today, are suggesting that GOP Congressman Ahn ‘Joseph’ Cao from Louisiana’s Second District might vote in favor of the final health care bill, provided the Stupak Amendment passes. Congressman Cao is a devout Catholic who won the seat held by indicted Congressman William Jefferson. He indicated back in August that he was undecided, but leaning towards supporting, the bill. His office is not taking calls today, but I hope he and Archbishop Gregory Aymond exchanged cell phone numbers at the latter’s installation at St. Louis Cathedral just a couple of months ago.

The Outsider become Insider

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Consider for a moment the challenge Sister of St. Agnes Dianne Bergant posed to CTA delegates in a plenary session Saturday morning, based on biblical reflections. She said:

"Our understanding of ourselves or our identity, not merely our practices of social justice, must be radically revised," she said. "While we are certainly called to open our minds and hearts and lives to migrants and to commit ourselves to their well being, we should consider the possibility that the migrants themselves, and not our commitment to them, might be the source of God’s blessing for us.

Where there is CTA there are the McClorys

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Where there is Call To Action there is Bob McClory, journalist, author, longtime NCR contributor, and CTA co-founder. And where there is Robert McClory there is Margaret McClory, CTA co-founder and organizer and CTA mind and heart for more than three decades.

Bob spoke Saturday morning, relating a meeting he and Margaret had with Holland’s Dominican theologian, Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, who will celebrate his 95th birthday next Saturday.

The McClorys visited Schillebeeckx two years ago during an NCR assignment on the Dutch church.

The Belgian-born Schillebeeckx remains in Nijmegen, where he taught for so many years at the University of Nijmegen, and where, in a small house on a quiet street.

Women's ordination tied to justice in the church

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Sister of Charity Louise Akers addressed the Call to Action gathering in a plenary session Friday evening.

Akers last August was told by Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk to publicly disassociate herself from the issue of women’s ordination or lose her ability to continue making any presentations or teaching for credit in any archdiocesan-related institution.

Health Care: Vote Yes!

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At a late night meeting of the House Rules Committee, it was decided to allow the Stupak Amendment to come to a vote on the floor. The Stupak Amendment will conclusively bar any federal funds from going to support abortion coverage in the health care reform. It actually goes further and bars any of the private plans that participate in the planned “exchanges” from offering abortion services.

Some progressive members of the Democratic Caucus are threatening to withhold support from the final bill is the Stupak Amendment passes, which it is expected to do. But, I suspect the President will be able to rally them at the last minute and keep them on board. The Democratic Party has come so close to passing universal health insurance, closer than ever before, it is inconceivable that any but the most determined pro-choice members will bail on the bill now.

'Were it not for Call To Action....\"

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Jim Fitzgerald, the new executive director of Call to Action for the first time in his new role stood before more than 2,000 gathered delegates to the 2009 conference held in Milwaukee this weekend.

These were his remarks:

Good evening Call To Action! Peace be with you.

As I complete my first 12 weeks as Call To Action’s new Executive Director, in this month of Thanksgiving, I find so much for which to be grateful.

KC Nuke Plant: Plans Move Forward

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The plan to develop a new Kansas City Plant cleared a key step on Friday.

Meeting in a room full of supporters and critics alike the city’s Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA) unanimously voted to approve a development agreement for the new property, located about 13 miles south of downtown Kansas City, Mo.

“We live in a real world that is a dangerous world, and there are threats of all kinds,” said PIEA member Charles Erickson. “A facility of this type may, unfortunately, be necessary to preserve our way of life.”

As reported on this site, the Kansas City Plant is a major nuclear weapons manufacturing center located about 5 miles south of downtown Kansas City, Mo. The plant is planned to be relocated to a newly developed facility further south.

Call to Action' call to healing

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This is the weekend progressive-minded Catholics from throughout the nation trek to Milwaukee for Call to Action's annual gathering. It's a weekend of workshops, talks, exhibits, with plenty of time for old friends to gather over coffee, tea -- and to share stories and renew friendships and hopes. After all, it can get lonely out there in some parishes.

With the "restoration" of a pre-Vatican II church going full speed ahead at the top of the food chain the “what might have been"-ers need some place to come together just to catch their collective breaths and souls.

NY bishop 'nuanced' on visitation of women religious

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Long Island bishop 'nuanced' on visitation of women religious

Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., (that's Long Island) is the latest U.S. bishop to make a statement about the Vatican's apostolic visitation of U.S. women religious.

Murphy makes a number of interesting points in his column in his diocesan newspaper, which is dated Nov. 4.


  • "The first I knew of such a visitation was when the announcement was made last spring …"

  • "… while we bishops will be asked our opinion at some point in the process, the whole project was outside the hands of the U.S. bishops."

  • "… 'visitations' are a normal part of the life of the Church."

  • "… the key to understanding this visitation is respect. These sisters deserve and must always have our respect, the respect of the Holy See and the Visitation Committee, the respect of the entire Church. Their dignity must never be compromised and their commitment to a vowed life of consecration to God always honored. None of them should have to be afraid of a visitation."

Hudson v. Sullivan on Burke v. O'Malley

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Deal Hudson is all in a lather because of a well-reported article by Amy Sullivan in the current edition of Time magazine. Sullivan accurately reports on the virtually unprecedented criticism Archbishop Burke leveled at Cardinal O’Malley for presiding at the funeral of Sen. Ted. Kennedy. I say unprecedented because what Burke was criticizing very clearly was not a theological point, nor a canonical interpretation, but a pastoral judgment, indeed, a judgment that was O’Malley’s to make and no one else’s.

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August 1-14, 2014

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