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Peace & Justice

Nuclear Weapons and Moral Questions: The Path to Zero

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The following address was delivered by Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien July 29 at the 2009 Deterrence Symposium sponsored by the U.S. Strategic Command, Omaha, Nebraska.

It is an honor and pleasure for me to offer some modest reflections on “Nuclear Weapons and Moral Questions: The Path to Zero.” I am grateful to General Kevin Chilton and the U.S. Strategic Command for hosting this first annual Deterrence Symposium and for inviting me to be part of this impressive gathering.

I have been asked to speak at the end of what has been a long day for many of you. Believing in a merciful God, I will try to keep my reflections to a merciful length.

Since this is a dinner speech, starting with a joke is a basic expectation, but I should warn you that archbishops are rarely funny. But here goes.

A soldier, a marine, a sailor and an airman went on a hike. The path wound higher and higher up a mountain. From time to time they stopped to admire the view from the ledge of one of the many sheer cliffs along the way.

Latest on stem-cells: No need to kill embryos

The work of two teams of Chinese scientists who created live mice from induced pluripotent stem cells is "another demonstration that researchers don't need to destroy embryos" to achieve stem-cell advances, according to a pro-life official at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The research done by separate teams in Shanghai and Beijing and published July 23 in the scientific journals Nature and Cell Stem Cell showed that the so-called iPS cells have "the full range of uses that embryonic stem cells are proposed for," said Richard M. Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

Palestinians watch as Israeli settlements grow

BEIT SAHOUR, West Bank
Growing up in the pastoral outskirts of Beit Sahour, Juliette Banoura, 23, watched as the Jebel Abu Ghanem hill across the valley, where her family owned a parcel of land and often picnicked on weekends, was transformed from an island of greenery into the bustling Israeli settlement of Har Homa, with its stone apartment buildings and paved roads.

Business educators meet, focus on Ignatian values

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KANSAS CITY, MO.

Speaking before business school educators at Rockhurst University July 16, Jesuit Fr. Robert Spitzer repeatedly affirmed that Jesuit education involves much more than grooming excellent business technicians.

"We do not want our students to be merely excellent managers, accountants, marketers, investors, financiers [and] economists," he said. "We want them to be excellent leaders who have expertise in management, accounting, marketing, investments, finance [and] economics."

In the eyes of 75 or so Ignatian-inspired clergy and lay business educators who gathered in Kansas City this past weekend to share ideas, listen to talks and spend many hours huddled in round table discussions, leadership and proper values matter in business education.

For them infusing fresh values into Jesuit business school curricula is an urgent priority and if done well will give Jesuit business education a clear leg up in a competitive environment.

Dutch want nuclear disarmament on the table

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Commentary

When President Obama meets today with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the urgent issue of nuclear disarmament should be on the agenda. While President Obama is taking the lead on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, our country is falling behind and needs some encouragement in finally sending obsolete U.S. nuclear weapons home.

Cardinal criticizes expanded NIH funding rules for stem-cell research

WASHINGTON -- The head of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities said final guidelines for funding human embryonic stem-cell research are "even broader" than the draft guidelines issued by the National Institutes of Health and he asked Americans to contact their members of Congress, "urging them not to codify or further expand this unethical policy."

In a statement issued late July 7, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia also criticized NIH for ignoring "the comments of tens of thousands of Americans opposing the destruction of innocent human life for stem-cell research."

Afghanistan defies military solution

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Tragic, pathetic and blood-soaked is the president’s escalation of his war in Afghanistan. Congress, war-enabling but far from war-weary as long as body counts remain relatively low, is supplying the money. In June, the latest supplemental spending bill doles out $100 billon-plus, enough to make it through the end of September. Then it will be more stay-the-course money.

In the fall, the number of soldiers posted in Afghanistan will have risen from the current 28,000 up to a projected 68,000.

Encyclical signals church not pulling out of politics

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In Caritas in Veritate, Benedict honors Paul VI's Populorum Progressio as the "Rerum Novarum of the present age" and takes up his own responsibility to bring Catholic social thought to bear in a much changed economic and political landscape.

The title expresses Benedict's distinctive concerns. He proposes caritas as a virtue with the moral, intellectual, and political force desperately needed in our globalizing world. Caritas -- grounded in God's Trinitarian life -- impels us to seek the good of the other. Just as God refuses to leave humanity suffering in its sinful state, so charity prevents us from accepting the myriad ways that our economies dehumanize and despoil. Just as God saves humankind within history, so charity impels us to realize the positive potential of economic life for human communion and mutual flourishing.

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August 15-28, 2014

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