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Text of Archbishop Francis Chullikatís speech on nuclear disarmament

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The Nuclear Question: The Church’s Teachings and the Current State of Affairs

Remarks by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt
Kansas City, 1 July 2011, Courtesy of the Kansas City - St. Joseph Human Rights Office

Thank you, Bishop Finn, for the opportunity to join you in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and address a very critical question that has such particular relevance here. The “nuclear question” is at once complex and straightforward: what do we do with the Cold War legacy of thousands of the most destructive weapons humankind has ever created? For more than 60 years since the dawn of the nuclear age, the world, and particularly the Church, has grappled with the role of these weapons, their legality and the moral implications of their production, deployment and intended use.

What I would like to do here is to share how the development of the Church’s teachings have advanced over the years and what those teachings say to us today. I will then explore the current status of efforts to address these unique weapons and specifically, the position of the Holy See.

RI bishops: No civil unions for Catholics

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Saying that civil unions "promote an unacceptable lifestyle, undermine the faith of the church on holy matrimony, and cause scandal and confusion," Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin reminded Catholics that they may not participate in such ceremonies.

"To do so is a very grave violation of the moral law and, thus, seriously sinful," he said in a statement June 30, the day after passage of legislation that will give same-sex couples who enter into civil unions the same rights and benefits as marriage in Rhode Island.

The state Senate agreed to the bill, which the House had already approved, on a 21-16 vote late June 29 and Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee, an Independent, has said he will sign it. Some proponents of same-sex marriage in the state opposed the bill, however, saying it did not go far enough and allowed overly broad religious exemptions.

A victory for the dignity of work

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The unprecedented assault on workers’ rights now spreading across the country betrays our nation’s commitment to serve the common good and defend the dignity of work. But the National Labor Relations Board has recently taken a small but important step in leveling the playing field for workers.

From Wisconsin to Ohio to New Hampshire, political leaders have demonized unions and stripped workers of basic rights that give them a voice at the bargaining table. Teachers, nurses and first responders are the victims of an ideological agenda that hurts hardworking Americans who simply want a voice on the job.

This is nothing less than a moral failure that undermines values at the heart of our democracy and diverse faith traditions.

Tattoos, music, and 'legitimate questioning of theology'

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SILK HOPE, N.C. -- The Wild Goose Festival experiment began with big dreams and big hopes. In the festival program organizers wrote: "we want to change the world, of course; but that will only happen when we change ourselves."

As the inaugural festival wrapped up Sunday, many of the more than 1,500 who made the trek to Shakori Hills Farm, not far from Chapel Hill, may not have noticed global changes, but most left with a sense of mission accomplished.

Wild Goose dreamer and founder Gareth Higgins, who has been part of the Britain’s Greenbelt Festival -- Wild Goose’s British mother goose so to speak -- satisfied a lingering question for skeptics: “Would U.S. Christians support a gathering as eclectic and diverse as Wild Goose?”

Organizers wondered, in the U.S. -- where less tolerant, less inclusive manifestations of Christianity are abundant -- would there still be room for a festival that championed religious diversity, pluralism, the inclusion of gays and lesbians, and many open mic events where people could simply tell their stories of love, pain, rejection, faith, joy and hope?

Wild Goose Day 3: mingling of faith traditions

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SILK HOPE, N.C. -- After their interfaith panel discussion Saturday afternoon, Rabbi Or Rose and Muslim chaplain Abdullah Antepli walked side-by-side talking quietly. It was quite a site in the South -- long known as the “Bible Belt.” The pair, Rose wearing a yarmulke, had just spent an hour together in a tent with former Catholic priest and scholar Paul Knitter discussing interreligious dialogue, and what it is they admire -- even love -- about each other’s faith traditions.

Documentary exposes America's big dirty secret

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The only time that the U.S. military was used against American citizens occurred for five days in late August and early September 1921, at Blair Mountain, Logan County, W.Va. Police and strikebreakers fought coal miners who were trying to unionize. Warren Harding ordered the U.S. Army to intervene against the coal miners. Fifty to 100 striking miners were killed and almost 1,000 arrested, many of whom were tried for treason against the state of West Virginia or indicted for murder or conspiracy.

Theologians revisit the prodigal son

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Commentary

There are times when the past seems prologue. History, contained in its specific context, shatters time’s boundaries and assumes an unanticipated reincarnation. This appears to be the situation confronting our sister, Elizabeth Johnson.

As the keynote speaker at assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious on Aug. 2, 2008, Johnson, a Sister of St. Joseph, spoke of the universal need to extend and accept forgiveness. Its healing grace, she asserted, enriches community.

Prominent South Korean hunger striker released

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Responding to international pressure, South Korean authorities released from prison on Wednesday a well-known film critic who waged a 60-day hunger strike to protest the construction of a South Korean naval base on the Korean island of Jeju.

Professor Yang Yoon-Mo, former chair of the Korean Association of Film Critics, was given a suspended jail sentence of one and a half years and two years probation.

Still unable to eat, Yoon-Mo, 56, is recovering in a Jeju hospital where he was visited today by Peter Kang U-il, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea and bishop of the diocese of Jeju.

Yoon-Mo protested a South Korean base where U.S. warships are expected to port. In the past, the South Korean Navy has admitted U.S. warships can visit the port but has denied it will be a permanent station for U.S. forces, or part of a missile defense program. Critics of the base say otherwise. Kyoungeun Cha of the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, writes that "Seoul plans to dock Aegis-equipped destroyers at Jeju. These warships are the main military component of the U.S. missile defense system." For more on the U.S.-South Korean alliance at Jeju see Cha's article.

Yoon-Mo was arrested April 6 while he and other residents of Gangjeong village impeded construction of the base by locking themselves to earth-moving equipment.

Religion professors discuss sources of violence

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- There's a conventional wisdom when it comes to the difference between religious and secular institutions, says William Cavanaugh: "Religions are more prone than secular institutions to violence."

Just call to mind your history lessons of the so-called religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries. Or current images of violence in the Middle East.

But those images don't capture the whole picture, the DePaul University theology professor said in the opening presentation of the College Theology Society's annual convention here last night. In fact, he argued, "There is no good reason for thinking that religious ideologies and institutions are more inherently prone to violence."

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