National Catholic Reporter

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Liberation theology's founder basks in a belated rehabilitation under Pope Francis

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It used to be that just saying the words "liberation theology" around Catholics was enough to start a schism-level fight, or at least raise a red flag in Rome.

The theological movement that focused on the poor emerged out of the church's social justice ferment in the 1960s, but it was always viewed by conservatives as an irredeemably Marxist version of the Gospel.

Worse, they said it was a tool of Soviet communists who were using the Roman Catholic church to foment revolution in Latin America and beyond, and at the very height of the Cold War.

New York City to change rules to allow churches to rent schools

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Congregations in New York City that rent space in public schools will be able to hold Easter services this Sunday despite a ruling on Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting an appeal from an evangelical church in the Bronx that sought to overturn a ban on after-hours worship services at public schools.

A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio also said the mayor would work to ensure that houses of worship could continue to rent space like any other group.

Debate over gays in St. Patrick's parades roils Irish on big day

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St. Patrick's Day is associated as much with Roman Catholicism as it is with Irish-Americans, but this year, some of the faithful aren't happy with the inclusion of gays and lesbians marching under their own banner for the first time in parades in Boston and New York.

The Knights of Columbus of Massachusetts and a local Catholic school declined to take part in the Boston parade on Sunday after two LGBT groups -- the military veterans service group OutVets and Boston Pride -- were invited following decades of lobbying and court battles.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Islamic State is Muslim like Irish Republican Army was Catholic

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said Islamic State militants terrorizing the Middle East are a distortion of "genuine" Islam much as the Irish Republican Army was a "perversion" of Catholicism.

Dolan's comments to CNN on Tuesday reflect similar statements about the Islamic State group from Pope Francis, but they also echo some of President Barack Obama's controversial remarks on Islam, Christianity and the history of violence carried out in the name of religion.

Black History Month opens with Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral

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Hundreds of men, women and children, many in the traditional, colorful clothing of their African and Caribbean ancestral homelands, opened Black History Month on Sunday at St. Patrick's Cathedral with an exuberant Mass.

"It was a form of family reunion" that reflected the diversity of the black Catholic community in New York, said Christian Br. Tyrone Davis, director of the Office of Black Ministry for the New York archdiocese.

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