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Morning Briefing

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Priest cleared of porn charges sues for defamation

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Fr. Mark Gruber, who is a Benedictine monk and anthropology professor, was suspended from teaching at St. Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa., last year by Archabbott Douglas Nowicki. Bishop Lawrence Brandt suspended Gruber's priestly functions after Nowicki and other St. Vincent officials told the bishop that Gruber had downloaded child pornography on a college computer, according to a lawsuit.

Six months later, an oil disaster still spreads across the Gulf

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Oct. 20 marks the six month anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion that caused the nation's worst environmental disaster.

Reporter Rocky Kistner has been covering the spill and its aftermath on the Natural Resources Defense Council's Web pages. His most recent report is interesting reading about the ongoing impact on people's lives.

The 'Had it' Catholics, Part II

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Tom Roberts' recent piece "The 'Had it' Catholics" has been attracting more comments on our Web site than we can keep up with.

It seems readers are intrigued by the by the central phenomenon of the story: that Catholicism is experiencing the largest loss of faithful of any religious denomination in America.

Now, Peter Steinfels over at Commonweal is weighing in on the subject with a massive exploration of what he calls 'The American Church's Crisis of Attrition.'

After looking into all sorts of reasons -- from all sorts of angles -- for why Catholics are leaving the church in such high numbers, Steinfels highlights what he sees as the key problem with the crisis: that the church hierarchy is simply not acknowledging it exists.

His conclusion is to change that, immediately:

Latina Magnificat: What women know about immigration

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If you have childhood memories of travel, your mother probably figures prominently in the images you carry. Women take care of the details -- the packing, the food, first-aid -- and the needs of the children, physical and emotional.

Try to imagine a mother from Central America getting ready to set out with her daughter on the long journey to the border. Or the women waiting by the phone in Mexico for word that their husband and teenage son have made it across and are somewhere safe.

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