National Catholic Reporter

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Washington

Five reasons gay marriage is winning

What a difference 10 years makes.

In May 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage. Six months later, with dire warnings about schoolchildren being forced to read Heather Has Two Mommies and threats of legalized polygamy, so-called "values voters" passed bans on same-sex marriage in 11 states and ushered George W. Bush to another four years in the White House.

Pentecost marks 'life-changing power of God's presence,' cardinal says

The church's celebration of Pentecost highlights the "life-changing power of God's presence" believers receive through the Holy Spirit, said Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

Although the feast, celebrated June 8, doesn't look as it did in the apostles' time -- with the roar of wind and tongues of fire -- the cardinal said it serves as a reminder of the outpouring of God's spirit long ago and continuously.

"The Holy Spirit comes regularly" and is "active in the church today," he said.

Court says rule too rigid for execution exemption over mental ability

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed out Florida's standard for determining when someone's intelligence level renders them exempt from execution.

In a 5-4 decision, the court followed up on a 12-year-old ruling that said it is unconstitutional to execute people who have mental disabilities. The new ruling said states must use more than an IQ test to determine whether inmates whose scores fall between 70 and 75 should be disqualified from capital punishment because of mental disability.

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September 12-25, 2014

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