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In the world of Catholicism, there are no degrees of separation

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COLUMN

Six degrees of separation, we are told, is all that exists between any two persons on the planet. Will Smith, in the movie of the same name, used this phenomenon to execute a magnificent con, which proved to be a deeply humanizing experience, on Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland. But I have found that within the vast world of Catholicism, the degrees of separation get down to three, sometimes two, sometimes one.

Cardinal Martini, biblical scholar, former archbishop of Milan, dies

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VATICAN CITY -- Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a renowned biblical scholar and former archbishop of Milan, died Friday at the age of 85 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Pope Benedict XVI met privately with the cardinal during a visit to Milan in June, and was informed of his ailing health Thursday, the Vatican press office said.

Controversial former Seattle archbishop celebrates 50-year anniversary as bishop

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Fifty years ago, Raymond Hunthausen, a popular Montana priest who was barely 41 and widely known to all his friends and colleagues as "Dutch," was ordained sixth bishop of Helena, Mont.

Less than six weeks later, Oct. 11, 1962, he went to Rome as the youngest U.S. bishop at the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

Catholic medical school affiliates with hospital censured by bishop

WASHINGTON -- In response to criticism of its affiliation with a Phoenix hospital whose Catholic identity was revoked by the local bishop, Creighton University's School of Medicine remains "confident we can maintain the Catholic and Jesuit values" that have marked the school since its founding in 1892, the school's dean said Tuesday.

Dr. Rowen K. Zetterman told Catholic News Service that the opening of the Phoenix regional campus of the Catholic medical school based in Omaha, Neb., had been in the works since before he became dean three and a half years ago.

He said St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, which had been taking Creighton medical students for one-month rotations since 2005, approached Creighton about the possibility of a closer affiliation that would bring "full-time, faith-based medical students" to Phoenix for two years of their training.

The first class of 42 third-year medical students started in Phoenix on June 28, while another 110 third-year students remain at the Omaha campus.

Home-schooled students have own way of marking start of new school year

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WASHINGTON -- Although Catholic home-schooled students do not necessarily start the school year with new friends, teachers or schedules, they often have their own ways of bringing in the new school year.

The Leone family in Madison, Wis., celebrates with a Mass and picnic organized by a support group of Catholic home educators in the Diocese of Madison.

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September 26-October 9, 2014

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