National Catholic Reporter

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Peace & Justice

Religious men address issues of discipleship, service

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Discipleship and service were two key issues addressed during the Aug. 3-6 assembly of the Congregation of Major Superiors of Men in Orlando.

"Jesus' celebration of the Last Supper in the Gospel of John becomes the occasion for Jesus to explain and to present the life of discipleship as participation and identification with the life of Jesus," said Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in his keynote address at the CMSM assembly.

Cardinal Turkson outlined how leaders of men's religious orders, and the priests and brothers under their care, can better exercise discipleship.

After debt ceiling crisis, real work on US social policy lies ahead

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Analysis

WASHINGTON -- Now that the so-called debt ceiling crisis is over for the time being (no one except a few tea party Republicans were actually willing to cast the United States into a political and economic quagmire that could have thrown this country and the entire world into a new Great Depression), the real work on future U.S. social/tax policies begins.

Peace service held amid London riots

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LONDON -- The annual peace service at Westminster Cathedral acquired fresh significance on Tuesday evening (Aug. 9) as Londoners gathered to pray for their city and other British communities torn by rioting.

A fourth night of unrest brought total arrests in London to more than 700, according to police, and looting and arson continued to spread to other cities in Britain.

One man has been reported killed and dozens of citizens and police officers have been injured, authorities said.

Appeal for help in stemming East African famine

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BALTIMORE -- The ongoing drought and famine afflicting Somalia and other East African nations is "a humanitarian crisis that cries out for help to Christians throughout the world," said the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services in a joint statement.

"CRS can use all the help we can offer in this current tragic situation," wrote Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, USCCB president, and Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., CRS board chairman. "Through CRS our generosity could literally feed thousands and provide them clean water, shelter and other life-saving goods."

Ex-soldiers indicted for deaths of Jesuits surrender

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SAN SALVADOR (CNS) -- Nine former soldiers in El Salvador's army have surrendered to authorities, three months after their indictment in Spain for the 1989 killings of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter during the country's 12-year civil war.

The ex-military members turned themselves in at a military base Aug. 8 and were transported to a Salvadoran court, the government said.

They were among 20 former soldiers indicted by a Spanish court for their role in the deaths on the campus of the University of Central America in the Salvadoran capital, where the priests taught and lived.

Five of the priests were Spanish. Spain's courts have used the principle of international jurisdiction to prosecute the killings.

Nearing Hiroshima Day, Japanese bishop calls for discernment on nuclear energy

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HIROSHIMA -- Ten of Japan’s sixteen bishops are to arrive here tomorrow. It is not to be a synod. They are gathering Aug. 6 to commemorate humanity’s first use of an atomic bomb in an act of war.

An annual pilgrimage, the bishops will join thousands of others in marking the 66th year since the blast’s utter devastation -- and the first since the March meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

For Bishop Paul Otsuka of the Kyoto diocese that occasion is something for careful consideration.

Speaking in a letter on behalf of his diocese to the entire Japanese church, Otsuka wrote this month that Japan, “which is the only country in the world to have been attacked with atomic weapons,” now “stands in danger of becoming a country fundamentally damaged because of atomic energy generation.”

That possibility, Otsuka wrote, should cause Japan to use the occasion to “discern whether atomic energy, which threatens mankind and the environment, comes within the acceptable limits of our legitimate use of science and technology.”

Faith leaders fight budget cuts

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WASHINGTON -- As U.S. lawmakers continued to wrangle over a decision on the nation's debt ceiling and proposed budget cuts, representatives of faith groups held a protest on Capitol Hill and Catholic leaders urged lawmakers to remember the nation's poor and vulnerable people.

During the protest, about a dozen people prayed publicly to ask the Obama administration and Congress "not to balance the budget on the backs of the poor," according to a statement from the coalition that planned the action.

Respecting, protecting differences of conscience strengthens health care

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Commentary

In the spring of 2009, President Obama nominated Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. Some conservative Catholics objected to the nomination because of Sebelius’ pro-choice stance on abortion, but many of us defended her, noting Sebelius’ successful tenure as governor of Kansas, and arguing that her position on abortion, whether we agreed with it or not, did not disqualify her from public office.

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October 24-November 6, 2014

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