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College fraternity gets religion

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Here's one way for a college fraternity to 'get religion' - buy a rectory and church. Looks like an upstanding fraternity at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is in the queue to make such a purchase from the Albany, NY Catholic Diocese. Noel Olsen, the diocesan director of real property, said the diocese did an extensive check into the fraternity's background before deciding to go ahead with the sale.

Many women religious heads pleased with Vatican study

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While a good number of U.S. women religious clearly are chagrined that they are the objects of a Vatican study of their religious congregations, a number of U.S. women relgious superiors are expressing gratitude for the Vatican investigation initiated by Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and being carried out by Mother Clare Millea.

Washington DC children scholarships should continue

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The Washington Post this morning endorsed an extension of D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship program. The program provides scholarships to poor children in the District whose local public schools are failing and who enroll in private schools, including parochial schools. Earlier this year, the program was nixed entirely under pressure from Illinois Senator Richard Durbin but then the Obama White House stepped in and agreed to a compromise that would allow students currently in the program to continue to receive scholarship assistance through their graduation but did not permit any new enrollees.

More on Weakland: The perks of office

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Archbishop Rembert Weakland, throughout his memoir, “A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church,” is unrelentlingly critical of the church’s hierarchical structure -- its lack of humanity in applying rules, its refusal to foster a consultative model of governance, and its distance from the experience of ordinary people. He had firsthand experience of hierarchical pettiness and, in many instances, church leaders’ deep opposition to any of the reforms of Vatican II.

Yet Weakland took advantage of the perks of office when his position was threatened, and in the book he mounts a defense of the system in his analysis of the sex abuse crisis.

Vatican denies studying new rules for priests who father kids

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

The Vatican has denied an Italian report that it recently convened meetings to study the situation created by priests who violate their vows of celibacy by having relationships with women and fathering children.

The Italian daily La Stampa reported on Sunday, August 2, that the Congregation for Clergy was considering a new set of rules for such cases, which the newspaper described as "very widespread" in developing nations as well as some European countries, "such as Austria". (The reference to Austria likely had in mind the case of Fr. Joseph Friedl, a popular pastor who recently acknowledged living with a woman for more than 25 years.)

Ac

The Media and Honduras

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The other night on TV, I watched coverage of popular demonstrations in Tehran, demonstrations that were met with official repression, even though the people were attempting to observe a religious day of mourning for those killed 40 days ago. Coverage was very sympathetic to the Iranian people in the streets, people who demand to know what happened in their recent “election.”

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July 4-17, 2014

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