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Pope criticizes U.S. embargo of Cuba, calls for more freedom in island nation

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Catholic News Service

HAVANA — Preparing to leave Cuba at the end of a three-day pastoral visit, Pope Benedict XVI made his first reference to the U.S. embargo of the island and the embargo’s impact on the country’s poor.

All Cubans need to work together to build a renewed and reconciled society, but progress is difficult given a “lack of material resources, a situation which is worsened when restrictive economic measures, imposed from outside the country, unfairly burden its people,” the pope said March 28 during his official farewell ceremony. He did not mention the United States by name.

The ceremony was moved indoors at the last minute because of a sudden rain storm.

The Vatican repeatedly has criticized the U.S. embargo as a measure that has not forced Cuba’s communist government to respect human rights, but instead has had a devastating effect on the Cuban people, especially the poor. Read more »

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Vatican approves rite for blessing unborn children

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Just in time for Mother’s Day, U.S. Catholics parishes will be able to celebrate the new Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb.

The Vatican has given its approval to publication in English and Spanish of the new rite, which was approved by the U.S. bishops in November 2008, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced March 26. Read more »

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Budapest, Vienna trip ad

March 23rd, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Video game review: ‘Uncharted: Golden Abyss’

March 21st, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

Whenever a new console hits the market, it’s a safe bet that the manufacturers behind it are on the lookout for a big launch title, a game so compelling it will convince players to part with their (or their parents’) hard-earned cash beginning on day one.

Thus, when Sony recently launched the highly anticipated PlayStation Vita, it was clear that “Uncharted: Golden Abyss” was this latest hardware’s big hope.

And it’s easy to see why. Read more »

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Is getting a tattoo or smoking a sin?

March 21st, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

Q. Since we are only stewards of our bodies until we die, I was wondering whether such things as smoking, getting tattoos, excessive tanning and working out either too little or too much are sinful, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. (Columbus, Ohio)

A. First, there is a solid scriptural basis for your claim that we are only stewards of our bodies. St. Paul asks the early Christian believers, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? Therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor 6:19-20).

You have answered part of your question by the way you have defined the terms. Excessive tanning is clearly wrong, since it suggests that the consequence could be skin cancer, a nexus which is well-documented medically.

Similarly, “working out too little or too much” implies that one is ignoring the need for physical exercise (thus inviting cardio-vascular problems and obesity) or that someone is risking harm by overtaxing the body. Read more »

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Commentary: Another Catholic swing vote? Supreme Court hears health law arguments

March 21st, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Although there are no specifically Catholic issues under consideration when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments March 26-28 on various aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Catholics will play some key roles.

With six of the nine current Supreme Court justices being Catholics, it is almost inevitable that a Catholic justice will be a “swing vote” determining the outcome in at least one of the cases. And Catholic groups and individuals have not been shy about filing friend-of-the-court briefs seeking to sway the justices toward their hoped-for outcome.

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Washington Letter: Supreme Court gets the health reform law

March 16th, 2012 Posted in National News, Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

 

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although there are no specifically Catholic issues under consideration when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments March 26-28 on various aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Catholics will play some key roles.

With six of the nine current Supreme Court justices being Catholics, it is almost inevitable that a Catholic justice will be a “swing vote” determining the outcome in at least one of the cases. And Catholic groups and individuals have not been shy about filing friend-of-the-court briefs seeking to sway the justices toward their hoped-for outcome.

The lawsuits before the court have nothing to do with the contraceptive mandate set by the Department of Health and Human Services — and the First Amendment religious freedom questions raised by it — which has been the subject of a number of other suits in lower courts.

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The story of Holy Week, part I

March 16th, 2012 Posted in Catechetical Corner, Uncategorized

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By Father James Lentini

A look at this spiritual, reflective time through Matthew’s, Mark’s, Luke’s and John’s Gospels  

As Lent progresses, it casts our eyes toward Holy Week, which starts on Palm Sunday (a.k.a. Passion Sunday); carries us through to the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday); and culminates with Easter.

Holy Week is perhaps the most deeply spiritual and reflective period of time for Catholics during the entire year. It’s a time where minds and hearts are called to reflect upon Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a Sunday and his death in that same city on the following Friday. The events that fill up the time in between those days are the stuff that speaks to the heart of our faith.

Scripture scholars will not like what I am about to do, but from a faith perspective what I am about to do is a long-standing and understood practice. In the paragraphs to follow I am going to harmonize the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Harmonization of the Gospels is when one takes the four Gospels and attempts to integrate them together to give fuller telling of the life of Christ; it provides a rich spiritual referent for the faithful to understand the events of Holy Week in a more comprehensible and linear form. It is what the church does liturgically during the period of Holy Week.

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Catholic Appeal supports religious ed for people with special needs

March 16th, 2012 Posted in Featured, Our Diocese, Uncategorized

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 Special to The Dialog

Emily Hurst looked at the slice of bread Lynn Lemon held up for the special needs religious education class at Church of the Holy Child.

“Yum yum yum,” Emily said, as Lemon explained to her students that when they are hungry they might eat a slice of bread.

Taking an unconsecrated Communion host, Lemon described it as a different type of bread that at Mass is changed into the Bread of Life, Jesus. When people are hungry “in their hearts,” or spiritually, she told her students, they can receive Communion.

Read more »

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Do It Yourself Lent: March 16

March 16th, 2012 Posted in Catechetical Corner, Uncategorized

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Here is today’s Do It Yourself Lent

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