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NCR Coverage of US Bishops Meeting in San Antonio

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The US Bishops meet this week in San Antonio. NCR Senior Correspondent John Allen will be there and blogging about the meeting here at NCR Today. The public sessions of the gathering take place Wednesday and Thursday.

Below is the agenda for the meeting distributed by the bishops' conference. There is some speculation that the meeting will be a venue for the bishops' to discuss the controversy over President Obama's speech last month at Notre Dame. Whether any of that conversation takes place in public, however, is not at all clear.

Here's the agenda, from an April press release:

Charities staffs cut up to 40%

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With Catholic Charities offices across the country experiencing unprecendent demand for their services -- food, housing, health care and employment aid -- they are also facing unprecedendted cuts in funding, accoring to a media release from Catholic Charities USA.

The release, "Government Must Not Balance Budget on the Backs of the Poor", says:

"Catholic Charities agencies are scaling back programs and laying off the [peopel] who serve those most in need. In some cases the lay-offs will rise as high as 40% of paid workforce, catapulting more workers into the long lines who stand in need of help."

In an open letter to goverment officials at all levels, Fr. Larry Synders, president of Catholic Charities USA, warns that "proposed and unprecedented cuts to programs that provide minimal, but essential, services to the country’s poor and most vulnerable are leaving these people with no hope for safety net services."

Can't they all just get along?

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This is one of those cases in which -- if you're on the outside -- you shake your head and wonder: Can't they all just get along? A priest's faithful march in support.

Newark's Archbishop Myers needs to replace the pastor of a parish (the pastor's 80 years old and has lead the parish for 54 years) and the people don't want to see him go.

I've got sympathy for both sides. Who would want to drive an 80-year-old man out of his home? But parishioners must know change has to be made?

The other cheek, the extra mile

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"The other cheek, the extra mile ..." Matt 5:38

The local Catholic Worker House opens at 7:30 a.m. for coffee and donuts. It is a rainy Monday morning, and the guests who file through the front door are wet, many showing the film and grime of homelessness. Except for a brief quarrel between two regulars about who was first to claim the dishwashing job that earns two bus passes, the crowd is civil to the point of courtesy. Hospitality takes shape as everyone gets coffee and finds a place at the four tables with plates of toast and donuts, the morning newspaper. Patty, a volunteer, works two four-slice toasters non-stop to keep the toast coming, while Jerry, another volunteer, warms aluminum pans of donuts in the big oven to replenish the plates.

Denver Abp. Chaput on immigration

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Denbver Archbishop Charles Chaput participated in a forum this past weekend on immigration reform. This would not normally be news except that the event was hosted by Congressman Jared Polis who is not only pro-choice on abortion he is also openly gay.

The archbishop linked the church’s concern for immigrants with its opposition to abortion in a perfectly appropriate manner: "The Catholic commitment to the dignity of the immigrant comes from exactly the same roots as our commitment to the dignity of the unborn child. Any Catholic who truly understands his or her faith knows that the right to life precedes and creates the foundation for every other human right. There’s no getting around the priority of that fundamental right to life. But being 'prolife' also means that we need to make laws and social policies that will care for those people already born that no one else will defend." Well said.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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