National Catholic Reporter

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Thomas Wenski

Diocesan social action directors take time to focus on ‘Laudato Si’’

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Believers cannot sit out the effort to restore creation after years of abuse, a speaker told diocesan social action directors during their annual Social Action Summer Institute.

"To be at odds with creation is to be at odds with God," Dominican Sr. Kathleen McManus, associate professor of systematic theology at the University of Portland, said in a presentation to the institute's 275 participants. "And it's to be at odds with our neighbor and with our deepest selves."

'We must recommit ourselves to end' death penalty, USCCB chairmen say

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The Catholic faith tradition "offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake," two bishops said in a statement renewing the U.S. Catholic church's push to end the death penalty.

"No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so. Today, we have this capability," wrote Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami.

Independence Day Mass closes US bishops' annual Fortnight for Freedom

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Religious freedom is "the human right that guarantees all other rights," Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said Saturday in his homily at the closing Mass of the U.S. bishops' fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom.

That right "has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person," he said at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. "Peace and creative living together will only be possible if freedom of religion is fully respected."

Catholic advocates push Congress for a budget that protects poor people

Catholic advocates are pressing Congress to make the needs of poor and vulnerable people a priority as legislators hammer out a federal spending plan for 2016.

The advocates told Catholic News Service they want to prevent trillions of dollars in social services spending from disappearing over the next decade as Congress seeks to balance the federal budget and reduce the nation's growing debt.

Their actions unfolded in recent weeks as they learned of Republican plans to remake the way social services such as Medicaid and food stamps are funded.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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