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Idaho Catholics urged to support commutation of death sentence

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BOISE, Idaho — Bishop Michael P. Driscoll of Boise has urged Catholics throughout the state to write to the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole and ask its members to reconsider their decision to deny a request for a commutation hearing for a death-row inmate.

Lawyers for Paul E. Rhoades, scheduled to be put to death early Nov. 18, asked for a hearing so they could request his sentence be commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Okla. quake topples turret at Catholic university

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Catholic News Service

A turret fell from the main building at St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla., during a rare earthquake the night of Nov. 5.

The 5.6-magnitude quake also damaged the other three turrets that sat atop the 98-year-old building. All of the turrets will have to be taken down, said university president D. Gregory Main.

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Calif. bishop calls for good stewardship of God’s air

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The gift of clean air provided by God to humanity deserves to be protected through strong environmental stewardship by making changes in daily life so that fewer pollutants enter the atmosphere, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice Human Development.

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., urged an audience at the interfaith Festival of Faiths conference Nov. 7 that taking steps to live more simply, use natural resources wisely and reduce personal consumption, air pollution and one’s carbon footprint to ensure clean air for all and to ease the effects of climate change on the world’s poorest people.

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Mass unites Mexicans, Americans across border fence

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ANAPRA, Mexico — The Mexican bishop often exchanged glances with his American counterpart as they celebrated the All Souls’ Day Mass. But instead of embracing at the kiss of peace, they touched palms — though the chain-link fence.

Hundreds of Mexicans and Americans joined their bishops for the Mass, enduring dusty wind that created a brown haze. On the Mexican side of the border, on a lot surrounded by trash, wandering dogs, and food vendors, a handful of the 200 attendees paid little attention to the Mass but clung to the fence and stared longingly at the congregation on the U.S. side.

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U.S. bishops want FCC to require religious programming information

November 7th, 2011 Posted in National News Tags: ,

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission has yet to act on a request made by, among others, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that religious programming be included among a host of other material to be submitted by broadcasters and posted on an FCC-maintained website.

The FCC was scheduled to vote on the matter Oct. 27, but deferred action on the proposed online reporting requirement.

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Human development group refutes report it funded groups that violate Catholic teaching

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Officials with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development refuted a report that 55 agencies funded by the U.S. bishops’ anti-poverty program in 2010-11 were in conflict with church teaching.

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif., Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., and Ralph McCloud, CCHD executive director, said the charges leveled in an American Life League study against all but one of the agencies were unfounded.

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Catholics, Jews urged to work together for religious freedom

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Catholic News Service

NEW YORK — Catholics and Jews can most effectively capitalize on five decades of progress in their relations by joining forces to promote religious freedom, defend immigrants, face a common threat from fanatics and advocate for civility in politics and society, said New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan.

He addressed more than 250 Jewish leaders assembled in New York Nov. 3 for the annual meeting of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights anti-Semitism.

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Analysis: 7 billion people and counting — counting on help

November 4th, 2011 Posted in Featured, National News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

The United Nations chose Oct. 31 as the date of the birth of the 7 billionth person inhabiting the planet.

The exact date when that number was reached may be in dispute. How many people really live in Lebanon, which hasn’t taken an official census in nearly 80 years? How do little brothers and sisters born surreptitiously under China’s strict “one family, one child” policy get counted?

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Bishops’ meeting Nov. 14-16 in Baltimore more devoted to internal matters than to societal ills

November 4th, 2011 Posted in National News

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The U.S. bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore will be shorter than usual and focus primarily on the inner workings of the church than on larger societal issues.

The Nov. 14-16 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, originally scheduled to last until Nov. 17, will include a discussion on religious liberty that could touch on a wide range of topics. But the main business of the gathering will be on liturgical, financial and organizational matters. Read more »

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Bishops urge Senators to uphold Defense of Marriage Act

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops have urged the Senate Judiciary Committee not to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, calling it important for human rights and the common good.

“DOMA advances the common good in a manner consistent with the human dignity of all persons,” Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, wrote in a Nov. 2 letter to committee members.

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