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Violent mobs threaten Christian buildings in Kashmir

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VATICAN CITY -- Police in India-controlled Kashmir surrounded Catholic churches and schools to protect them after violent mobs went on a rampage Sept. 13, throwing Molotov cocktails at government and Christian buildings.

"There are policemen everywhere, wherever there are churches and schools, to protect Christian sites," Bishop Peter Celestine Elampassery of Jammu and Srinagar, India, told Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Oberammergau Passion Play 'inter-religiously triumphant'

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Review

I saw the Oberammergau Passion Play (first performed in 1634) for the sixth time last August – and it was superb! It was profoundly moving, stunningly professionally performed, esthetically sweeping – and inter-religiously triumphant!

I say the latter not at all lightly, for I have been working closely with the play directors, the town officials, the Archdiocese of Munich (the head of which for several years was my former colleague at the University of Tübingen Catholic Theology faculty, Pope Benedict XVI), the German Bishops’ Conference, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith (ADL), and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) – for over thirty years!

The changing face(s) of moral theology

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Commentary

Trent was a follow-up to an initiative taken four years ago at Padua, Italy, where 375 ethicists from 75 countries gathered for the first time in history. The idea for that meeting arose because moral theologians, or as we are called today, theological ethicists, discourse with many experts from all different fields by the nature of our work: from human rights lawyers and physicians to geneticists, philosophers, theologians and economists. We are the pragmatic side of theology.

'We cannot put our heads in the sand'

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The following are remarks made by Fr. Charles E. Curran, Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist University, at the closing of a July 24-27 gathering of moral theologians in Trent, Italy. (See story.)

This has been an extraordinary meeting of 600 Catholic moral theologians from all over the world that has contributed much to the development of Catholic moral theology. Thanks to the meeting at Padua [Italy] four years ago and this meeting now, the process of dialogue and interchange has been growing.

Lay Africans, nuns feel marginalized

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LUSAKA, Zambia -- Laypeople and women religious across Africa are concerned that they are being marginalized by clergy as they undertake pastoral work, despite a call from last October's Synod of Bishops for Africa to include all people in ministry.

Members of both groups told Catholic News Service their evangelization activities have been underfunded, and some said they have been left out of the synod process since the beginning.

World food aid conference looks at initiatives and trends

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- From Aug. 2-4, people from 17 countries met to discuss the world hunger situation at the annual International Food Aid & Development Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and USAID. The 650 conference participants looked at what is being done to address both immediate needs and to support long-term development of sustainable agriculture in afflicted countries.

CRS faces long-term challenges in Haiti

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KANSAS CITY, MO. -- Last month The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that Catholic Relief Services has used only $30.6 million of the $140.8 million it raised after the January earthquake in Haiti.

CRS officials Sean Callahan and Frank Orzechowski told NCR at the International Food Aid Conference that Catholic Relief Services has made strides in meeting the desperate need in Haiti since the quake, feeding some 900,000 people and providing food, water, sanitation, shelter materials, and medical care for hundreds of thousands in Port-au-Prince and beyond.

Churches step up relief work in Pakistan

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BANGALORE, India -- Church charities in Pakistan stepped up their efforts Aug. 12 to distribute vitally needed relief supplies to some of the millions of people affected by the worst flood in the South Asian nation's history.

The response gained momentum as Pope Benedict XVI expressed his condolences in a telegram to Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, head of the Pakistan bishops' conference. "The Holy Father commends the deceased to the Almighty" and "prays for all involved in providing assistance to the victims," the pope said in his message.

Burma: Power, politics and the church in Burma

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Part 3 of 3

BURMA -- As a Catholic boy growing up in 1970s Burma, Thomas saw only two paths in front of him. He was idealistic, loved his country, and hated the ruling junta. He could take up arms alongside ethnic rebels fighting the oppressive military regime that had ravaged his village so many times. Or he could join a Catholic order he saw serving the poor and educating young people.

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September 12-25, 2014

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