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Seeing our own miracles during Easter season

April 5th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Thomas Jefferson, the second U.S. president and possibly the most intelligent person ever to hold that office, didn’t much care for the miracles of Jesus.

Jefferson even created his own Bible, snipping out the miracle stories while highlighting Jesus’ lessons about life and justice. Of course, Jefferson, a deist, wasn’t a Christian. At least not as Christianity is defined, believing in the Easter resurrection.

For the rest of us, however, the miracles sprinkled through the Gospels are a compelling part of humanity’s interaction with God. And those miracles are what helped illuminate and power the fledgling apostolic church as it grew. Read more »

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Can business lead to holiness? Vatican handbook promotes virtue in the executive suite

April 5th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — In an effort to help businesses stay strong and healthy, and avoid the occupational hazards of greed, overwork and exploitation, the Vatican’s justice and peace council has released a handbook for business educators and entrepreneurs.

“Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection” is a 30-page primer from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace that spells out the risks of unethical economic strategies and the principles needed for running a sound, moral business.

It seeks to heal the so-called “divided life” of Catholic employers, who may practice their Christian values at home and church, but not in the company they manage or run. Read more »

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In ‘very religious’ USA, Gallup sees Delaware residents as ‘moderately’ so — by 1 percent

April 5th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

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PRINCETON, N.J. — Delaware is the only state where more residents said they were moderately religious (34 percent) than very religious or nonreligious (33 percent each), according to a yearlong poll by Gallup.

In Maryland, where Eastern Shore residents include Catholics in the Diocese of Wilmington, 39 percent of people calls themselves very religious, 29 percent moderately religious and 32 percent are nonreligious.

Overall, Gallup classifies 40 percent of Americans as very religious, meaning that religion is “an important part of their daily life” and that they attend religious services “every week or almost every week.” Another 28 percent nationwide are “moderately religious,” meaning that for them religion is important but they do not attend services, or that they attend services but do not consider religion important.

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8 miles of gold thread: Giving sombreros to popes a tradition for family of Mexican milliners

March 29th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

SAN FRANCISCO DEL RINCON, Mexico — The milliners of Sombreros Salazar in this deeply Catholic town 140 miles northeast of Guadalajara have the habit of making oversized, charro hats for the pope.

The family matriarch, Maria de la Luz Yepez Torres, already has made the oversized hats for Pope Paul VI and Blessed John Paul II.

This year, the family and its employees made a similar hat for Pope Benedict XVI, a break from the usual business of making cheap cardboard sombreros for sun-seekers to take home as souvenirs of booze-fueled Mexican holidays. Read more »

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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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