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Peace & Justice

Anti-nuclear activist released pending trial

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Saying his Duluth, Minn., community would likely benefit from his return to work, a federal magistrate judge granted pretrial release without bond to Transform Now Plowshares defendant and Catholic Worker Greg Boertje-Obed.

In a hearing Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Tenn., Judge C. Clifford Shirley denied a U.S. attorney's request to keep Boertje-Obed in jail as he awaits his Feb. 26, 2013 trial for breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, TN as part of a July 28 anti-nuclear weapon protest.

In denying the state attorney's request, Shirley said Boertje-Obed's record of appearing for court “is good -- by his own word, one hundred percent.”

Shirley also disagreed with the prosecutor's contention that Boertje-Obed posed a danger to the community.

“He poses little danger," Shirley said. "In fact, it may be that some people in Duluth will benefit if he returns to his normal activities.

“...Taking in the totality of factors, Mr. Obed appears to be an appropriate case to release.”

In Duluth, Boertje-Obed works with the poor. He is married and has an adult daughter.

Public mourning urged in wake of violence against Sikhs, Muslims

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U.S. religious leaders are urging people of faith to respond to the violence against Sikhs by standing in solidarity with them, visiting gurdwaras this Sunday, increasing interfaith dialogue and mourning publicly.

"Too often in our culture, grief and sorrow are private expressions of the moment, and I think we have way underestimated the power of public communal lament to form us as a people," said Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Catholic activists breach Tennessee nuclear weapons plant in protest

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Three Catholics broke into a guarded nuclear weapons complex in Tennessee on Saturday in an act of civil disobedience and made their way outside of its most secure facilities before they were arrested.

The three, an 82-year-old religious sister and two middle-aged men connected with the Catholic Worker movement, were able to enter the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge early Saturday before a guard found them outside the complex's storage facility for bomb-grade uranium.

Boy Scouts' discriminatory policy finds no support in Catholic teachings

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COMMENTARY

Because the U.S. Catholic hierarchy strongly opposes legislation that would grant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people fuller equality, Catholics can be forgiven for assuming that church teaching always supports one particular "side" in our country's culture wars.

Priest arrested after breaking into Kansas City nuclear weapons facility

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A priest who has spent almost two decades in jail for acts of nonviolent protest against the country's nuclear weapons complex faces another possible year and a half in prison after his actions on Wednesday.

Fr. Carl Kabat, a 78-year-old member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, faces three criminal charges after cutting through a fence and entering the grounds of the Kansas City Plant, a major new nuclear weapons facility under construction, to call attention to its building.

Kabat's action represents the latest in a years-long campaign by activists to call attention to the facility's construction.

Protests at the site, which is estimated to cost $1.2 billion and scheduled to be partially operational by early 2013, have been led in part by area Catholics who have also been leading petition campaigns to remove funding from the site.

One of the petitions, focused on developing a plan for reuse of the facility should it be abandoned in light of weapons cuts, was unanimously passed by the local city council in March.

Wild Goose Festival focuses on prayer, social justice

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SILK HOPE, N.C. -- A Catholic priest told a family their disabled son was too noisy to bring to Mass. Sarah Cunningham lives a double life as a progressive Christian writer and speaker who must keep her true self a partial secret from her Southern Baptist fundamentalist pastor father. Iraqi war veteran Logan Mehl-Laituri isn't entirely sure what the consequences might be to his psyche from a 14-month tour in a war he now opposes. Gareth Higgins has faced depression while working to bring the Good News of God's love to people searching for holiness.

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August 15-28, 2014

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