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Fear-Mongering From Left & Right

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What do Democratic Senator from Iowa Tom Harkin and former New York mayor Rudy Guiliani have in common? Usually, not very much, but this past weekend, both of them decided to indulge the politics of fear-mongering.

Harkin is joining the backlash against the Stupak Amendment. He told the Iowa Independent that he was distressed by the concern of pro-life Senators, and citizens, that the government not provide subsidies for abortion. “You can take this on down. You could just say that anybody that got a federal loan for housing could not get an abortion,” he said. “You can take this and just keep going on and on and on with no end in sight.” Actually, Senator, the legislature of which he is a part gets to decide where to draw, or not draw, the lines on abortion subsidies. They should do so thoughtfully, not by scaring people into thinking that the USCCB is going to turn the Farmers’ Home Administration into a pro-life outfit.

Facing hunger, pope demands an end to 'opulence and waste'

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

tCalling hunger “the most cruel and concrete sign of poverty,” Pope Benedict XVI today told a special summit of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization that “opulence and waste are no longer acceptable when the tragedy of hunger is assuming ever greater proportions.”

tThe pontiff called for urgent action to combat world hunger, to protect the global environment and to rethink lifestyle choices in the West in his address to the Food and Agriculture Organization, which is based in Rome.

tBenedict’s decision to visit the Rome headquarters of FAO, rather than to insist that participants in the summit travel across town to the Vatican to be received in audience, was seen as a sign of the importance the pontiff attaches both to the issue of hunger and to the institution of the United Nations.

My Near Death Panel Experience

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As insightful a essay as you are likely to find anywhere into the state the irrational, politically destructive right, and a complicit media, appeared this morning on The New York Times Week in Review. Entitled "My Near Death Panel Experience," it was written by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (Democratic from Oregon)about his experiences with the health care bill. While it is terrifying to read, it has a happy ending.

I recommend it for its instructive value and to help innculate us from an all too common disease the next time we find it spreading in our communities.

13th anniversary of Bernardin's death

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Today, the 13th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago issued a statement saying that the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, founded by Bernardin just months before his death, will be coming home to Chicago.

As Jerry Filteau explains, in his story posted to the NCR web site today, The reason the Initiative is moving to CTU is that the National Pastoral Life Center in New York, a major force in Catholic sociological analysis and pastoral development of U.S. parish leadership and lay ministry over the past 25 years, is closing its doors at the end of November.

Another Bad Analogy from the Pro-Choice Crowd

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This morning, I was on NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin. You can hear the interview here.

My interview followed an interview with Rep. Diane DeGette who is the head of the pro-choice caucus on Capitol Hill. I did not get to reply to one of her assertions on the show, but wish to do so here. Congresswoman DeGette argued that no one should have to purchase a rider for abortion coverage because an unplanned pregnancy is, by definition, not planned, so no one would purchase the rider. The show’s host, Michael Martin, pointed out that people get riders for insurance policies for a variety of reasons, such as having an expensive wedding ring for which you want additional coverage. DeGette said that weddings are planned, but that misses the point. Burglaries are not planned, and that is why you are getting additional insurance.

Vatican to host major conference on the arts

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A report from Francis X. Rocca of Religion News Service:

VATICAN CITY -- More than 250 distinguished artists from around the world will join Pope Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel on Saturday (Nov. 21), as part of the pope's effort to restore a historic “alliance” between the church and the arts.

The prominent painters, sculptors, architects, writers, musicians, actors and dancers will hear a short program of sacred choral music by the 16th-century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, as well as a lecture by the pope.

Daniel Libeskind, architect of the World Trade Center site reconstruction, and Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone are among the confirmed guests.

Italians dominate the guest list, acknowledged the event's organizer, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, who noted the Vatican had not offered to pay travel expenses.

Schedule conflicts explain some notable absences, the Vatican said, including that of musician-humanitarian Bono of the group U2.

Nov. 13, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

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St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, 1850-1917

Mother Cabrini, who founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was the first United States citizen to be canonized.

In 1889, she came to this country from Italy with six of her nuns. "When Mother Cabrini first arrived in the United States, she was promptly informed that nuns were to cover their heads with veils, a custom unfamiliar to her. She immediately sent her Sisters to purchase the cheapest, lightest fabric they could find. Each Sister was given 1 1/2 to 2 yards of fabric. The rest of the habit worn by Mother Cabrini and her Sisters varied little from the traditional attire worn by peasant women in Europe at that time."

"Soon after her arrival in New York City, Mother Cabrini created an orphanage for Italian girls. Shortly thereafter in 1890, she moved the orphanage out of the city to the beautiful country location at a former Jesuit novitiate located on the Hudson River in West Park, New York."

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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