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Peace & Justice

When it comes to the Islamic State, all we can do is stand against violence

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I was at our Loretto Motherhouse for a meeting of the Committee for Peace and one of the sisters asked a couple of us what the U.S. should do about the Islamic State militant group. She hadn't signed any of the petitions to choose a nonviolent response because she wants the Islamic State stopped. But she knows when we drop bombs, innocents die. She wasn't sure she wanted the Islamic State killed.

Vatican official says UN framework is best way to fight terrorism

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The United Nations' framework provides the "only viable way" of dealing with the global nature of modern terrorism "which knows no borders," the Vatican's secretary of state told the U.N. General Assembly on Monday.

"This reality requires a renewed United Nations that undertakes to foster and preserve peace," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, emphasizing that recent terrorist activity is "criminal behavior that is not envisaged by the juridical configuration of the United Nations charter."

Religious leaders try to cope with Islamic State attacks

Religious leaders agree the Islamic State must be stopped. Their struggle is how best to do it.

"As mainstream religious leaders of different faiths get together, it strengthens the voice of moderation," said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group.

A group of mainstream Muslim scholars sought to strip the Iraqi and Syrian militants of any legitimacy under the cover of Islam in an open letter in Arabic issued Wednesday.​​

Building a culture of audacious nonviolence

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The violence continues to pile up, with one searing headline rapidly succeeding the next: Gaza; Ferguson, Mo.; Ukraine; the horrifying rampage of the Islamic State militant group; and now, a long-term U.S. war to destroy our new enemy. This dizzying, violent surge, one bloody wave after the next, gives us no time to think. Violence is the answer, we're told, so get with the program.

A call to resist mass incarceration

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Despite some sentencing changes, prison populations are creeping up. California released a number of inmates under court order to cease overcrowding. Federal and state law has reduced the sentencing guidelines for possession of crack cocaine to a number closer to powder cocaine possession (from 75 to 1 down to 17 to 1, though the two kinds of cocaine are about the same). Marijuana possession isn't being prosecuted in a lot of places.

All nations need to respond to terrorism, Vatican official tells U.N.

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Addressing the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, the Vatican's secretary of state said "terrorism represents a fundamental threat to our common humanity" and its escalation requires the response of a "shared commitment" from all nations.

"Nations must come together in order to fulfill our primary responsibility to protect people threatened by violence and direct assaults on their human dignity," Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.

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In This Issue

September 26-October 9, 2014

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