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The Joy of Being Attacked by Deal Hudson

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One of the problems with blogging is that, unlike writing a book when you will have months to go over your text and an editor to scrutinize your conclusions, you have to write, write quickly, and you always worry that you might be over-stating something, or missing an important piece of data, or somehow not saying what you mean to say, or saying it not as well as it deserves to be said.

Pope to visit Rome synagogue this fall

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In a telegram marking the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, Pope Benedict XVI told the Chief Rabbi of Rome that he plans to visit the storied Rome synagogue sometime this fall.

A Vatican spokesperson said that no date has yet been set, but that the second half of October seems probable.

It will mark the second time a pope has been to the synagogue, after John Paul II's historic 1986 visit, widely regarded as a significant turning point in Jewish/Catholic relations.

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Saying 'no' to Christ

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Joshua McElwee , 22, of San Jose, California, is a new addition to the NCR newsroom where he does reporting and layout work two days a week. When he is not at NCR he is at the nearby Holy Family Catholic Worker house where this year he is a Lasallian volunteer. In the coming weeks you will see fruits of his NCR labor. For now, to get started, he offers a reflection on his inital experiences at Holy Family. -- Tom Fox

For the past two months I’ve been living at the Holy Family Catholic Worker House in Kansas City, Missouri. I am serving as a Lasallian Volunteer, one of many post-college youths placed across the nation in community with Christian Brothers to empower the impoverished.

Orthodox Catholic bishop shot, in stable condition

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An Orthodox Catholic bishop was shot and injured when he tried to stop four youths from robbing his southern California church, police said on Thursday.

The incident occurred late Wednesday night outside the Our Lady of Tepeyac church in Riverside County south of Los Angeles, according to Sergeant Dennis Gutierrez of the Riverside County sheriff's office. Orthodox Catholic Bishop Antonio Garduno confronted the four teens in the church's courtyard.

"Robbery was the motive it appears at this time, Gutierrez said.

"They tried to make entry and they shot at him." Garduno, 51, was taken to hospital in stable condition and his injuries are not life-threatening.

Vatican to take hard line on traditionalists' Jewish views

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The Vatican will tell the traditionalist Lefebvrist group it must respect Judaism, other Christian churches and other world faiths to be fully reintegrated into the Roman Catholic Church, a leading cardinal has said, according to a Reuters report.

Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said these reforms of the Second Vatican Council, which the traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) rejects, were "not negotiable" in doctrinal discussions due to start soon between the Vatican and the group.

Cuba OKs organized religious services in prisons

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My most recent mission management article, describes the importance of prison ministry, especially in helping ex-offenders find jobs.

Today, Cuba announces that Catholic and Protestant inmates will now be allowed to attend Roman Catholic Mass and Protestant services inside prisons. This is a substantial step forward by the Cuban government. However, Jewish inmates and other believers are not included in this new policy for unknown reasons.

Pennsylvania's lack of a budget impacts Catholic schools

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As is well known, Catholic families get little-to-no financial aid from towns or states if they choose to attend a non-government school. However, some goods and services do benefit Catholic school families and teachers, like textbooks and workbooks. Without a state budget in Pennsylvania, Catholic school teachers cannot get the materials they need.

In general, Catholic families,who represent votes and political fundraising, lack a unified voice and a sophisticated lobbying strategy in state capitals that carries political heft, say like that of the health insurance industry. It's no wonder that year after year Catholic schools continue to "die on the vine," as they appear set to go the way of the typewriter.

Sebelius, Abortion & Health Care

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Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius gave an interview with the Washington Post in which she discussed her being barred from receiving communion in her home archdiocese. Whatever you think of Archbishop Naumann’s decision, and I think it was wrong, it is difficult to accept Sebelius’ justification for her pro-choice position as Governor of Kansas.

“Well, it [being barred from communion] was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life, and I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state, and I feel that my actions as a parishioner are different than my actions as a public official and that the people who elected me in Kansas had a right to expect me to uphold their rights and their beliefs even if they did not have the same religious beliefs that I had. And that's what I did: I took an oath of office and I have taken an oath of office in this job and will uphold the law.”

Yes, health care for immigrants too

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With politicans fleeing as fast as they can the idea that any health care aid, in the reform package, will assist undocumented workers, or illegal aliens, depending on your perspective, it was refreshing to hear Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl reaffirm the need to provide universal health care "from the bottom up." This, he said, affirming Catholic teaching and echoing statements from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is a moral imperative.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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