National Catholic Reporter

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Peace & Justice

Wednesday marks 25th anniversary of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, established in Paris in 1987 by Fr. Joseph Wresinski and his Fourth World Movement.

Wresinski, who died two years later, had declared that "wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure these rights be respected is our solemn duty."

In 1992, the day was officially recognized by the United Nations.

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.

A new generation of labor priests

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On July 23, housekeepers and other workers at Hyatt Hotels began a global boycott of the hotel chain. Citing unjust hiring practices, unfair wages and unsafe working conditions, the workers have marched, picketed and petitioned organizers and travelers to join them. At many of these demonstrations, standing by the workers' sides were Catholic priests.

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.

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