National Catholic Reporter

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Peace & Justice

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.

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.

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In This Issue

May 22-June 4, 2015

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