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Peace & Justice

Religious leaders try to cope with Islamic State attacks

Religious leaders agree the Islamic State must be stopped. Their struggle is how best to do it.

"As mainstream religious leaders of different faiths get together, it strengthens the voice of moderation," said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group.

A group of mainstream Muslim scholars sought to strip the Iraqi and Syrian militants of any legitimacy under the cover of Islam in an open letter in Arabic issued Wednesday.​​

Building a culture of audacious nonviolence

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The violence continues to pile up, with one searing headline rapidly succeeding the next: Gaza; Ferguson, Mo.; Ukraine; the horrifying rampage of the Islamic State militant group; and now, a long-term U.S. war to destroy our new enemy. This dizzying, violent surge, one bloody wave after the next, gives us no time to think. Violence is the answer, we're told, so get with the program.

A call to resist mass incarceration

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Despite some sentencing changes, prison populations are creeping up. California released a number of inmates under court order to cease overcrowding. Federal and state law has reduced the sentencing guidelines for possession of crack cocaine to a number closer to powder cocaine possession (from 75 to 1 down to 17 to 1, though the two kinds of cocaine are about the same). Marijuana possession isn't being prosecuted in a lot of places.

All nations need to respond to terrorism, Vatican official tells U.N.

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Addressing the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, the Vatican's secretary of state said "terrorism represents a fundamental threat to our common humanity" and its escalation requires the response of a "shared commitment" from all nations.

"Nations must come together in order to fulfill our primary responsibility to protect people threatened by violence and direct assaults on their human dignity," Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.

Nuncio: World won't be more 'genuinely' human unless all work for peace

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Peace is never achieved once and for all, but is the fruit of a daily quest for greater justice and respect for one another, the new papal nuncio to the United Nations said Monday.

For believers, it is not merely a result of human efforts, but also a gift from the Almighty, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said.

He spoke at a prayer service on the eve of the opening of the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly. It was his first official function since arriving Sept. 8 in New York. He was the nuncio to Haiti from 2008 until July 1.

Coalition hopes days of prayer, fasting will help bring peace to world

In light of the recent political, military and social conflicts taking place around the world, Catholics and other Christians have found reason to come together in faith to pray for world peace and healing.

The 22nd International Week of Prayer and Fasting will take place Sept. 20-28. Organizers are encouraging individuals, families and parishes around the world to participate by fasting, attending daily Mass, prayer services and Holy Hours, going to confession, and praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet.

Vatican cricket team may need divine intervention in match with Church of England

A recently formed cricket team from the Vatican may need some divine intervention as it gets ready to take on more experienced English players at a historic game Saturday.

The Vatican team will play against the British Army chaplains as part of a "Light of Faith" tour at the Kent County Cricket Club, a stone's throw away from Canterbury Cathedral, where it will play again next week against the Church of England's team.

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