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Update on Card. George and New Ways Ministry

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Catholic News Service issued an update to their story Cardinal George: Group's support of gay marriage not authentic church teaching.

(To recap: Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago issued a statement Feb. 5 that said that in its ministry to lesbian and gay Catholics New Ways Ministry, based in Mount Rainier, Md., was not providing "an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice." He said, "New Ways Ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic church and ... cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States.")

Today, CNS offered two updates. First:

In a Feb. 11 response to questions about what had prompted the earlier statement, Cardinal George cited "an often troubled conversation" between New Ways and church leadership over the past three decades and said "opposition to church teaching and governance is clear" in [Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry,]'s testimony before the Maryland committee.

Five Ways to Help Preserve Clean Water

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Everyday household activities are a major contributor to polluted runoff, which is among the most serious sources of water contamination. When it rains, fertilizer from lawns, oil from driveways, paint and solvent residues from walls and decks and even waste from your pets are all washed into storm sewers or nearby lakes, rivers and streams -- the same lakes, rivers and streams we rely on for drinking, bathing, swimming and fishing. Here are some ways you can help reduce polluted runoff.

In Your Home:

1. Correctly dispose of hazardous household products. Keep paints, used oil, cleaning solvents, polishes, pool chemicals, insecticides, and other hazardous household chemicals out of drains, sinks, and toilets. Many of these products contain harmful substances -- such as sodium hypochlorite, petroleum distillates, phenol and cresol, ammonia and formaldehyde -- that can end up in nearby water bodies. Contact your local sanitation, public works, or environmental health department to find out about hazardous waste collection days and sites. If a local program isn't available, request one.

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.

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March 27-April 9, 2015

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