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Peace & Justice

Bishops advise US on issues in Afghanistan

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WASHINGTON -- Long-term development and humanitarian assistance, protecting civilians and dealing with the root causes of terrorism should be among the guiding principles of how the United States deals with problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace.

tIn a letter dated Oct. 6 and released Oct. 9, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., offered the advice to retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, as the administration reviews U.S. strategy in the region.

Alternatives to war in Afghanistan

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ESSAY

The problems in Afghanistan cannot be solved by military means alone. Even General David Petraeus agrees with that. But what are the alternatives? The Obama administration has been re-evaluating U.S. policy in the region, but the discussion so far has been mostly about troop levels and military options. If the president is serious about developing more effective strategies, he needs to de-militarize the mission and prioritize political reconciliation efforts.

Religious discuss their visions for Africa

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Rome

tAs it happens, Oct. 10 is the anniversary of the death of St. Daniel Comboni, a 19th century Italian missionary who spent much of his life in Sudan. Among other claims to fame, Comboni was probably the source of more epigrammatic one-liners about the church's mission in Africa than any other single Catholic figure, living or dead.

Memorable Comboni-isms include, "Either Africa or death," a classic expression of his missionary drive; "Save Africa through Africa," an early formula for the transition to self-reliance; and his famous sentiment upon approaching his death in 1881, "I wish I had a thousand lives to give for Africa."

Supreme Court faces cases on a cross, juveniles

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court opened its 2009 term Oct. 5 with a new justice and cases dealing with at least one religious rights issue -- about a cross on a war memorial in a federal preserve -- and other cases about the circumstances leading to deportation, about an immigrant in detention being denied medical care and several dealing with the sentencing of convicted criminals.

Moore's new movie on capitalism explicit in Catholic themes

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Michael Moore's new film, "Capitalism: A Love Story," is representative of his mockumentary style, and for some audiences, it may seem less annoying than previous films ("Bowling for Columbine," "Fahrenheit 9/11," "Sicko"). Still others, whose views it challenges, may resist long, hard and loud. For some, it may be considered his best work yet. (The film opens nationwide Oct. 2.)

Faith drives activism for gay rights supporters

WASHINGTON -- As thousands of gays and lesbians prepare to march on the nation's capital to push for equal rights, leaders from a range of faiths say it's time to stop using religion as a weapon to oppose same-sex marriage.

What's more, advocates for gay rights say their faith and a sacred belief in justice are what actually form the foundation of their support for gay and lesbian unions.

Health care is a fundamental right

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For those of us on the front lines of Catholic health care delivery, health care is everyone’s right as surely as the right to breathe and the right to eat. It is why we so strongly believe healthcare reform is necessary now.

And while not every American believes health care is a right, no righteous person would deny emergency medical care to anyone needing it. It is this contradiction that is resulting in one of the most politically controversial fights in our nation’s history.

Catholic Charities aid growing in hard times

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.

Catholic Charities agencies that responded to a national survey served more than 8.5 million people last year, said Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA.

Addressing journalists at CCUSA offices in Alexandria and Catholic Charities leaders across the country through phone and Web connections, Father Snyder reported a 10 percent increase in clients served by Catholic Charities nationwide in 2008.

He predicted the 2009 level of services would be even higher -- growing unemployment and other major effects of the current recession have placed increased demands since January on the 171 main diocesan Catholic Charities agencies across the country and their 1,668 branches and affiliates.

The 2008 figures only include the first three months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and near-disintegration of AIG, the Wall Street investment giant bailed out by the government, Father Snyder said. Although the recession was already pretty well entrenched before that, the Lehman and AIG events in September 2008 sealed the recession as the signature economic event of the year.

'One year after the collapse we need bold solutions to poverty'

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The first anniversary of the economic collapse is not one anyone wants to mark, but we note it this week.

A year ago the news of Lehman Brothers’ collapse and AIG’s near collapse stunned our nation, led to a global economic crisis and was followed by an infusion of hundreds of billions of bailout dollars to preserve the country’s financial system.

Our Catholic Charities’ clients had made us well aware that an economic downturn was already underway, but we could not have fathomed what was about to occur last September. Nor could we envision the thousands of families who would seek assistance for the first time: they were now poor.

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Catholic Charities aid rose in 2009 and still rising in 2010
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April 11-24, 2014

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