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Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Stephen Colbert to star in Catholic comedy slam

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NEW YORK -- So who is the funniest Catholic in the Western world: New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan or Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert?

It's a tough call for anyone who has followed either man's impressive record of rim shots, but we may finally get an answer to that question when the cardinal and the comedian team up for a panel on faith and humor this September at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.

Bows, arrows and a sword: Girls rock this year on film

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2012 is turning out to be a banner year for films with significant female lead characters: warriors, weapons and all.

With an estimated budget of $185 million, the new Pixar/Disney 3-D animated feature, "Brave," opened June 22 and grossed $66 million. Made on half that budget, "The Hunger Games" opened March 25 with a box office of $152.5 million and has brought $400 million in North America and nearly $650 million worldwide. (The DVD is due out Aug. 18.) "Snow White and the Huntsman," made for an estimated $170 million, opened June 3 and has brought in $137 million in the U.S. alone.

Religious leaders call for prayer and tighter gun control after Colorado shooting

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President Barack Obama and his presumed GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, called for prayers and reflection after a deadly shooting at a Colorado movie theater while liberal religious leaders called for stricter gun control laws.

Police have identified James Holmes, 24, as the man who opened fire at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 and wounding 59 others in Aurora, Colo.

Crowds flock to New Jersey tree with a scar some claim resembles Mary

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WASHINGTON -- A scar on a tree on a West New York, N.J., street that some claim looks like Our Lady of Guadalupe is "a natural occurrence," said Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese.

But he told Catholic News Service he hopes the devotion it has prompted might lead people to think more deeply about their faith. Crowds began to form at the site July 14.

Amid political battle, Catholic bishops promote 'natural' family planning

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Amid a battle with President Barack Obama over a new contraception mandate, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are promoting "natural" family planning -- but will their flock take heed?

When the Obama administration in January announced that employers will have to provide contraception coverage to their employees, U.S. Catholic bishops took the lead in fighting the mandate.

Seeing Muslims as God sees them

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NOTRE DAME, IND. -- People say there is no monastic tradition in Islam," explained a quietly exasperated Trappist who has been persistently promoting interreligious dialogue among the world's monks and nuns and Muslims for many years.

He knows that there are many threads to the pushback over monastic dialogue with Muslims. That there are "no Muslim monks" is one that many people mention.

Group trains runners for marathons, spreads pro-life message at events

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WASHINGTON -- How far would you go to defend life? Life Runners would go about 26.2 miles a race.

Founded in South Dakota by running partners Pat Castle and Rich Reich, Life Runners has been promoting Catholicism and the pro-life movement through marathons in some of the nation's biggest cities since 2008.

Provocative art put Catholic nun in the middle of 1960s maelstrom

WASHINGTON -- Combining images and words from advertising, pop culture and religion, the bold graphic art of Sr. Mary Corita was as deeply representative of the spirit of the 1960s as it was ubiquitous in church basements, dorm rooms and urban communes of people involved in the struggle for civil rights and the campaign to end the Vietnam War.

Sr. Dorothy Vidulich, former NCR Washington correspondent, dies

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She was born in Jersey City, but Dorothy Vidulich was a true daughter of “The Nun of Kenmare,” the contentious, courageous, hierarchy battling Margaret Anna Cusack, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace.

Vidulich, who entered the order in 1952 was also a member of the NCR Washington Bureau staff in the 1990s, and Cusack’s biographer. Sister Dorothy died July 12, at the order’s St. Michael’s Villa in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey at age 85.

Reaction mixed to Episcopal Church's approval of same-sex rites

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Gay and lesbian Episcopalians are celebrating their church’s approval on Tuesday (July 10) of liturgical rites for blessing same-sex couples. But conservatives are threatening to take “drastic” steps to distance themselves from the Episcopal Church.

Episcopalians meeting at their triennial General Convention in Indianapolis overwhelmingly approved the new rites. Lay members and priests voted 171-41 in favor of the same-sex blessings. Bishops voted 111-41, with three abstentions.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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