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Obama said to seek balance on health plans, religious beliefs

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — A White House spokesman said the Obama administration is working to “strike the right balance between expanding coverage of preventive services and respecting religious beliefs” as it decides on a religious exemption to the mandate that all health plans cover contraceptives and sterilizations by Jan. 1, 2013.

“This decision has not yet been made,” said Jay Carney, press secretary, in response to a question at the Nov. 29 White House press briefing.

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Black Catholics’ survey finds strong ties to church

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — African-American Catholics are much more engaged in their church on a variety of levels than are white Catholics, concludes the first National Black Catholic Survey.

Whether in a majority black church, a mixed or mostly white parish, the survey found African-American Catholics feel satisfied and fulfilled in their parishes, explained retired Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., who is president of the National Black Catholic Congress.

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Step out of the pope- mobile, please

November 30th, 2011 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI greeted with a smile the news that a German citizen had filed a complaint against him for not wearing a seat belt in his popemobile.

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said Nov. 30 that the complaint was not being taken seriously at the Vatican.

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Detroit music minister writes ‘Mass for Motor City’

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DETROIT — Aaron Kaleniecki said he didn’t see how changing the wording to prayers was going to work musically with the new Roman Missal.

“When you are expected to keep the melody the same and use words with additional or fewer syllables, it gets clumsy,” said the music minister at St. Aloysius and St. Patrick parishes, both in downtown Detroit.

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Pope urges world pact on climate change

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI urged international leaders to reach a credible agreement on climate change, keeping in mind the needs of the poor and of future generations.

The pope made the remarks at his noon blessing at the Vatican Nov. 27, the day before officials from 194 countries were to begin meeting in Durban, South Africa, to discuss the next steps in reducing greenhouse gases and stopping global temperatures from rising.

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Analysis: Hunger, poverty persist in the United States

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — As U.S. nutritionists cringe over the prospect of an overweight nation indulging in a two-month binge of “season’s eatings” — from Halloween candy to Thanksgiving dinners to Christmas feasts to New Year’s parties — there are millions of Americans who aren’t sure they’re going to get enough to eat this day or the next.

The problem is made worse by lack of access to nutritious food, as residents of America’s poorest cities and neighborhoods have little choice but to make do with fast food or convenience stores that don’t stock fresh produce.

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Food programs in diocese serve the needy in season of plenty

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Dialog Editor

Advent, a time of spiritual renewal in preparation for Christmas, always arrives at a time of plenty in the United States.

The Thanksgiving feast, the Black Friday sales and the monthlong consumer frenzy of shopping highlight abundance in society but hide the year-round needs of the poor.

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Students honor troops with flags and ‘soup’

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Staff reporter

While students at area Catholic elementary schools enjoy a four-day weekend and look forward to a Christmas season with family, some took some time recently to help brighten the holidays for American military personnel.

Seventh-graders at St. Elizabeth Elementary School in Wilmington worked with members of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary to make pocket flags, while the third grade at Christ the Teacher School in Glasgow prepared “snowman soup.”

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St. Jude Church in Lewes celebrates its ‘extreme makeover’

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Staff reporter

LEWES – The folks from the ABC television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” were in Sussex County a few months ago, building a new home and soup kitchen for a national audience.

A few miles away, St. Jude the Apostle Church was undergoing an extreme makeover of its own, and last weekend, parishioners gathered for a look at the final result.

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‘The Muppets’ launches holiday movie season

November 23rd, 2011 Posted in Featured, Movies

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Jim Henson’s singing, dancing, wise-cracking band of puppets returns to the big screen in “The Muppets” (Disney), an old-fashioned and genuinely funny homage to a simpler age of wholesome family films.

Refreshingly restrained when it comes to the toilet humor and rude behavior so often spoon-fed to young filmgoers these days, “The Muppets” will appeal to nostalgic baby boomers, even as it introduces a new generation to the decidedly low-tech felt figures for whom charm is a strong suit.

Gary (Jason Segel, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller) and his brother Walter (voice of Peter Linz) live in Smalltown, U.S.A. They’re good pals, despite the fact that Walter is decidedly different — in fact, he’s a Muppet. Together they watch TV reruns of “The Muppet Show,” which, as many viewers will remember, originally aired in first-run syndication from 1976 to 1981. Read more »

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