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Peace & Justice

Poll: Majority opposes mosque near Ground Zero

The outcry over the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero should not be lumped together with protests against planned mosques in other parts of the country, a new poll suggests.

Nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose building an Islamic center or mosque two blocks from the site of the 9/11 terror attacks, but 76 percent would support one in their own communities, according to a PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll released Aug. 26.

The strongest opposition to the New York project, called Park51, came from Republicans (85 percent) and white evangelicals (75 percent opposed the New York project, and 24 percent don't support mosques in their own communities), according to the poll conducted by Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Service.

The numbers suggest that the negative reaction to what's been dubbed the "Ground Zero mosque" stems more from its proximity a site that's considered "sacred ground" by a majority of Americans rather than the general Islamophobia exhibited in the nationwide protests, researchers said.

Stem-cell ruling called 'victory for common sense'

WASHINGTON -- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo praised a federal judge's recent ruling that temporarily stopped federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but the U.S. Department of Justice said it would appeal the decision.

The cardinal, who heads the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and chairs the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called the Aug. 23 decision by Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia "a victory for common sense and sound medical ethics."

"It also vindicates the bishops' reading" of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, approved by Congress since 1996, which prevents federal funding of research in which human embryos are harmed or destroyed, Cardinal DiNardo said in an Aug. 25 statement.

Please donít censor this column

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I have never seen the movie “Animal House.” I blame the Catholic church for this cultural deficiency.

You see, while all my high school friends were enjoying John Belushi’s antics in National Lampoon’s classic tale of fraternity hijinks, I had to stay home. In our house, before my sister and I were allowed to see any movie, my parents consulted the U.S. Catholic Conference list of movie ratings dutifully clipped from our diocesan newspaper and posted on the refrigerator.

Catholic activists arrested at Kansas City nuclear weapons facility

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Singing choruses of “we shall not be moved” while scattering sunflower seeds, 14 activists were arrested here Aug. 16 after blocking an earth moving vehicle on the site of a proposed nuclear weapons manufacturing facility.

The acts of civil disobedience came at the end of a three-day conference which drew peace activists here from around the nation. The efforts were aimed at building awareness of and resistance to the construction of the weapons plant, which will replace an existing plant here.

The new plant, which will make non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons, is set to be the nation’s first new major nuclear weapons production facility in 32 years.

Before their arrest the protestors walked onto a soybean field being plowed by several earth moving vehicles as part of the plant building preparation effort. The group, walking in a single file, held hands; some carried large signs. They approached and surrounded one of the vehicles, forcing the driver to stop her work, and eventually leading 20 other vehicles to halt theirs as well.

Monks sue for the right to build, sell caskets

NEW ORLEANS -- When St. Joseph Abbey decided to open a woodshop on All Saints Day 2007 to sell handcrafted caskets to the public, the hope was that the sales would pay for the medical and educational needs of the abbey's 36 Benedictine monks.

The board regulating Louisiana's embalmers and funeral directors, however, would have none of it.

Humanitarian concerns in Iraq must be addressed

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The ancient Christian communities that once thrived in Iraq "now face potential extinction," said U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, urging the United States to develop a postwar plan to help Iraq resolve the humanitarian consequences of the seven-year war.

The fact that U.S. combat forces are expected to leave by Sept. 1 "is good news for our American servicemen, their families and the nation," the cardinal said. "But this departure should not be accompanied by a withdrawal of our support for the Iraqi people, particularly for the millions of displaced Iraqis."

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April 11-24, 2014

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