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'KC bishops undermining US bishops'

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Michael Sean Winters, who writes in the space regularly, has posted an interesting analysis of the joint pastoral letter on health care reform issued this week by Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri.

Writes Winters, referring to a question posed in an NCR editorial yesterday:

"The most interesting question posed by this document is not who speaks for the bishops but whether or not the USCCB should bother to do its work if it is merely going to be undermined by some bishops who disagree with the proposals adopted by their brothers. ...

August's top 10 stories

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The top 10 stories in order of popularity on NCRonline.org for August:


  1. Why they stay(ed), an essay by Sr. Sandra Schnieder

  2. NCR Today, the NCR group blog

  3. Women religious study to include 'soundness of doctrine,' by Tom Fox

  4. Vatican rejects Maryknoll brother elected as superior, by John L. Allen Jr.

  5. Scranton's Bishop Martino stepping down, by Tom Roberts (This was posted Aug. 28.)

  6. Under fire, women religious leaders gather in New Orleans, Tom Fox's reporting from the LCWR meeting

Cardinal O'Malley on Kennedy funeral

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In his blog, Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley reflects on the funeral of Sen. Ted Kennedy. He writes:

There are those who objected, in some cases vociferously, to the Church’s providing a Catholic funeral for the Senator. In the strongest terms I disagree with that position.

Saturday, Aug. 29, the day of the funeral, was the 39th anniversary of O'Malley's ordination to the priesthood.

The Problem with the Pro-Life Movement

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Judie Brown, the executive director of the American Life League, was more than a little upset at the fact that Sen. Edward Kennedy was given a public funeral and, still more, that the President of the United States was permitted to eulogize him. But, she has directed her anger now at Cardinal Sean O’Malley for presiding at the funeral.

“Yet a greater source of sadness is that the Cardinal Sean O'Malley, of the Archdiocese of Boston, looked on as though insulting Christ Himself were an everyday occurrence,” she wrote in her blog. (No direct link, so you will have to scroll down once you click on the link.) She also is pretty sure why the Cardinal chose to participate in the sacred rites. “It is a perfect example of what many describe as bowing to human respect rather than abiding by the laws of God and serving Him first without counting the cost.” (Additionally, she quotes approvingly from a letter she received suggesting that the only way to “cleanse” the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help where the funeral was held would be to destroy it.)

Obama could have chance to put another Catholic on the High Court

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Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has hired fewer law clerks than usual, generating speculation that the leader of the court's liberals will retire next year.

When Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined the court she became only the 12th Catholic in history to reach the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, her appointment brought to six the number of Supreme Court Justices now sittingon the Court. .In addition to Sotomayor, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and convert Clarence Thomas are Catholic.

Affinity Fraud hits Mormons

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In February 2009, I wrote about the cancer called "affinity fraud," where investors with the same religious affiliation, ethnic background or come from the same group get preyed upon by a crook, who takes their money based on a false sense of trust.

Now a $50 million scam targeted Mormoms.

“Affinity can be a powerful element,” says Mitchell Zuckoff, a professor of journalism at Boston University and author of “Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend,” a 2005 book about Charles Ponzi’s 1920 fraud. “That’s what gets people to lower their inhibitions. There’s this attitude, ‘He’s like me. I can trust him.’ It’s almost hard- wired into our DNA.”

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