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Florida bishops say use of death penalty 'sanctions revenge'

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Using capital punishment to show that killing is wrong "sanctions revenge," Florida's seven Catholic bishops said in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott.

Asking that Scott commute the death sentences of inmates Elmer Carroll, William Van Poyck and Marshall Gore to life in prison, the bishops said the violence of capital punishment would do little to relieve the pain of the survivors of the men's victims or be helpful to society.

Catholic rural advocates weigh in on farm bill

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Expecting a delayed farm bill to finally go through Congress before June, advocates -- among them four Catholic entities in a joint letter -- are reminding representatives of their priorities as a bill is being hashed out.

In a May 9 letter to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., the chairwoman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Agriculture Committee, the Catholic groups outlined domestic hunger, international food security, conservation, rural development and subsidies as key issues to be treated in a farm bill.

Impact of sequestration felt outside of Washington political arena

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When Misael Santamaria thinks about how well the Head Start program at St. James Catholic Church prepared his older child for the West Virginia public school system, he thanks God it was available for his younger daughter before sequestration cuts eliminates spots for eligible preschoolers.

Judiciary Committee approval moves immigration bill on to full Senate

Advocates for comprehensive immigration reform expressed optimism and hope for a law to pass this summer after the Senate Judiciary Committee May 21 finished wading through 300 proposed amendments - accepting about a third of them - and passed the massive bill on to the full Senate.

Comments lauding the committee's effort came from faith groups, young adults who would benefit from the DREAM Act, which is included in the bill, and even from a Catholic bishop in Ireland.

Vermont now 'death state' with doctor-assisted suicide law, bishop says

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Now that Vermont allows doctor-prescribed suicide, "the magnificent landscape of this state, which echoes life from its majestic mountains to its powerful waterways, no longer is reflected in the laws which govern the Green Mountain State," said the head of the statewide Diocese of Burlington.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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