National Catholic Reporter

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Peace & Justice

School of Americas Watch meets with White House official

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Delegates of School of Americas Watch, the military watchdog group founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, met Tuesday with a senior White House official to discuss their longtime efforts to close a controversial U.S. military training school.

The delegates met with Denis McDonough, a Catholic who is a deputy national security adviser to President Obama.

They discussed closing the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation, a U.S. Army training school located at Fort Benning, Ga, and formerly known as the School of the Americas.

Nonviolent theory meets nonviolent practice

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At the 35th anniversary of the St. Louis Catholic Worker in September, one of our former workers, Patrick Coy, led a roundtable on nonviolent resistance. Pat is a conflict resolution professor at Kent State now, and he gave us thoughts to chew on.

"Us" was about 40 current and former workers plus extended community and volunteers. We met outside in a big circle in beautiful weather.

South Dakota's bishops call for end to death penalty

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South Dakota's two Catholic bishops have called for a stay of all executions in their state and for the repeal of the death penalty, saying it "undermines the moral authority of our government."

"We call for a system of justice and reconciliation that is worthy of the values of the people of South Dakota," write Rapid City Bishop Robert Gruss and Sioux Falls Bishop Paul Swain, who released their statement Oct. 9, the feast day of Saint Denis, a martyr of the early church who was executed by beheading.

Bishop calls U.S. court's rejection of Defense of Marriage Act 'unjust'

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The chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops' subcommittee on marriage described as "unjust and a great disappointment" the decision by a federal appeals court striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which says marriage is a legal union of a man and a woman.

"Redefining marriage never upholds the equal dignity of individuals because it contradicts basic human rights," said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

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