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Kansas City Catholic official opposes nuclear weapons plant

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Kansas City area anti-nuclear weapons activists were pleased with a statement by Jude Huntz, director of the Human Rights office of the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph at a public hearing today. The hearing was to consider the construction of a nuclear weapon parts plant in the city. The plant would be a 1.5 million square foot facility. The project represents a relocation and expansion of a current government complex. Huntz opposed it on moral and social grounds.

Iran Makes Me Think of the Vatican

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I am mesmerized by the Iranian citizens, most of them young, who are marching in the streets of Tehran. They show courage, spirit and a deep desire for justice. I’m especially intrigued by the women, many of whom are letting their head scarves slide back on their heads. A good number, I am sure, believe that the “hijab” is not essential for Muslim women. In that highly religious nation, this crowd clearly wants a government that reflects the best of Islam, the best of what their religion has to offer.

Vatican sets firewall for employees

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Revealing at least an ambivalence about technology, the Vatican has followed the splashy announcement of its new Facebook page with a new policy that bans Vatican employees from using the social networking site at work.

A new firewall blocking Facebook and MySpace are "normal and prudent" measures, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, told Catholic News Service. The Vatican network also blocks access to pornography, online gambling and any site that contains "inappropriate material," according to the message employees receive when they try to access the sites.

Theologian: 'Impasses' stunt church

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Terrence W. Tilley, the outgoing president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, gave quite an address at the society's annual meeting last week in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He said he's worried that unresolved "impasses" in theology and in church life could "stunt" the growth of the church.

Tilley, chairman of the theology department at Fordham University, identified three current impasses he sees in the U.S. church:

  • "a shrinking, and in some places demoralized, presbyterate that cannot be enlarged significantly under present rules";

  • "a laity that loves the church but has stopped listening to the bishops";

  • "a hardworking and loyal body of religious women who are disgusted and discouraged by repeated investigations of religious life and attempted reversals of self-governance."

And three ongoing impasses in theological circles:

Group questions O'Malley's profile credentials

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In Boston , a Catholic health care organization, Caritas Christi, has formed an alliance with a non-Catholic organization. The joint venture has been criticized by some pro-life activists because the non-Catholic partner will perform abortions. Indeed, the critics also have placed Cardinal Sean O'Malley in their sights because he has not scotched the deal.

Finding a dwelling place

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"May Christ find a dwelling place" Eph 3:8.

I was up past midnight watching an old Will Ferrell movie, "Talledega Nights," and woke up this morning with a spiritual hangover. Lord knows we need our comedians, but someone ought to remind them of Molly Ivins rule that comedy is a tool for poking fun at the powerful, not trashing the underdog. The jokes are lame and crude, the hillbilly caricatures wear you down. And every time I laughed I dug myself in deeper, displacing what sense of fairness and sympathy I try to maintain toward real people, life's ongoing comedy, myself included. And I woke up this morning feeling trashed.

The funeral of Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste

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Below is a photo of residents of Cite de Soleil carrying the coffin of Haitian Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste during his funeral procession in Port-au-Prince June 18.

The funeral procession for Jean-Juste, an ally of Haiti's former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was broken up by gunshots from U.N. soldiers and at least one person was killed. Father Jean-Juste died at age 62 in a Miami hospital May 27.

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July 18-31, 2014

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