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The cry of the poor


"The Lord hears the cry of the poor." Ps 34

Two stories in today's Lectionary readings--Hagar and the child Ishmael expelled into the desert (Gen 21), and the two demoniacs who confront Jesus (Matt 8)-- might have come from the morning news.

Visit, the home page of the United Nations High Command for Refugees, to get information on the millions of displaced, stateless, asylum-seeking, emigrating peoples around the globe.

Google the phrase "homeless and mentally ill" to find scores of sites like and to read a 2008 report on "the estimated 744,000 people who are homeless on any given night, 40 to 45 percent of them with a serious mental illness. Most of these mentally ill people go untreated, and unable to work, live a hand-to-mouth existence out on the streets."

Or if you live in any large or mid-sized American city, read your local paper or call city hall and ask about conditions on the street in your home town.

Catholic pastor fires principal for trivial reasons


If the facts are as described in this Newsday story, it appears like another act of pure clericalism by Father Dan Murphy, pastor of St. Saviour Church in Brooklyn diocese, at its finest and backed up by the diocese.

"The Park Slope priest who dismissed a popular veteran Catholic school principal was upset he had to pay to attend two school fund-raising galas, the Daily News has learned.

That's among the beefs that St. Saviour church pastor the Rev. Daniel Murphy had with James Flanagan, who was let go this spring after 25 years as principal of the church's elementary school, according to an e-mail to parents from Flanagan's adviser.

"As pastor, I should have received a personal invitation with a complimentary ticket," Murphy wrote in six pages of complaints against the principal about the $200 he had to shell out for the March 2007 and October 2008 events."

Flanagan said the charges against him had nothing to do with his leadership of the school.

When the GOP sat out history


Now there might have been a time when the Republican Party had something - something - to offer our nation. I am trying to remember. Oh, yes, they allege they are "pro-life," but an honest look at the record shows they have fought virtually all life-enhancing legislation in the past several decades, particularly those bills which aid the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

Abuser priests belong in church but not in ministry, new archbishop says



Archbishop George Lucas, who turned 60 earlier this month, will be installed in Omaha on July 22, becoming the 11th shepherd of the Nebraska archdiocese. Originally from St. Louis, he graduated from Kenrick Seminary in 1975 and was ordained a priest the same year.

While serving in a string of parishes, he also finished a master’s degree in history at St. Louis University. From 1990 to 1994 he was chancellor of the archdiocese under Archbishop John May, and then – fatefully, some might say – he served as vicar general under then-Archbishop Justin Rigali, who had just returned from Rome after a long Vatican career, which ended with Rigali as the number two official in the Congregation for Bishops. Rigali today is the cardinal of Philadelphia and a member of the Congregation for Bishops, which votes on recommendations to the pope for bishops’ appointments around the world.

Getting older, feeling mellow, feeling good.


Americans 65 and older are among the most content in the nation and, in large part, this is the result of a government-run health care system.

Yes, that system is called Medicare. It has proven effective and it has shown that our government can improve the quality of U.S. health care. It already has!

This is worthwhile remembering when all those private insurance companies came at you, trying to bamboozle you into thinking that if the government gets its foot in the door U.S. health care quality will fall.

UN offers deposed president a platform


General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann sat next to deposed Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya today as he spoke before the assembly and vowed to return to his country on Thursday, despite warnings that he could face arrest. But he said that a number of other leaders had offered to escort him, including D’Escoto, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador and the secretary general of the Organization of American States.


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