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Them bones ...

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"By sharing the cup of the Lord's suffering, they became the friends of God."
Entrance Antiphon, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles

A writing teacher once said that a piece of writing has to have good bones. How many speeches, editorials, even novels are rhetorically fulsome and flowing but lack an underlying structure that holds the whole work together. Sounds great but says little. Style without substance. It lacks bones.

A light-hearted media session with new American archbishops

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

Here’s the thing about a pallium ceremony, the annual event in Rome when new archbishops receive a band of woolen cloth symbolizing their duties as shepherds and their bond with the pope: It rarely makes much news, but it does offer a snapshot of the next generation of senior leadership in the Catholic church.

Immorality of climate-change denial

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One of my greatest fears - one I invite you to share it with me - is that earth climate change is self-reinforcing, meaning, for example, that rising temperatures will cause arctic tundra to defrost, releasing even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise even more. This is not far-fetched theory, but the belief of a wide spectrum of world scientists. Should we enter this vortex of doom, civilization, as we know it on our planet, could essentially end.

Michael Jackson

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Hat tip to Angela Cave over on the Catholic News Service blog for finding an article Michael Jackson wrote for Belief.net in 2000.

It really is worth a read. Pain is evident in what he wrote. At age 8 and 9 as the Jackson Five were just emerging, Jackson writes, "at that time what I wanted more than anything else were the two things that make childhood the most wondrous years of life, namely, playtime and a feeling of freedom." He wanted build a tree house and go to a roller skating party, he said. "But very early on, this became impossible."

There was one day a week, however, that I was able to escape the stages of Hollywood and the crowds of the concert hall. That day was the Sabbath. .... So, in my world, the Sabbath was the day I was able to step away from my unique life and glimpse the everyday.

SOA graduates lead Honduras coup

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Remember that we have been repeatedly told that the School of the Americas is intended to teach democratic principles, instill the ideas of Jefferson into the minds of young officers. And this is the way we build democracy in Latin America.

Well, alas, some more SOA graduates have been involved in very undemocratic actions.

This is not a bad time to express outrage to your elected members of congress.

Learn more at the SOA Watch web site.

Be pastors, not prison guards, pope tells new archbishops

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

tIn an image that might playfully be termed “arresting,” Pope Benedict XVI today told a crop of new archbishops that although their jobs require a certain kind of surveillance, that shouldn’t turn them into “prison guards,” but rather into pastors who “want to serve others.”

tThe pontiff spoke this morning during an a ceremony to impose the pallium, a narrow band of wool cloth, upon 34 metropolitan archbishops appointed to their current archdioceses during the past year. While the 67 million Catholics in the United States represent just six percent of the global Catholic population of 1.1 billion, the five Americans who received the pallium this morning amount to more than 20 percent of new archbishops in 2009:

•tGregory Aymond, 59, New Orleans
•tRobert Carlson, 65, St. Louis
•tTimothy Dolan, 59, New York
•tGeorge Lucas, 60, Omaha
•tAllen Vigneron, 60, Detroit

The pallium ceremony is held each year on June 29, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

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April 11-24, 2014

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