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SDG Reviews ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (576)

The latest Marvel movie is a rare summer spectacle that’s fun instead of grim.

07/30/2014 Comment

Surveying the prison commons, Rocket identifies three articles he will need to engineer an escape: a control device worn by the guards on their arms; a battery powering a device high on a tower in the middle of the commons — and a fellow prisoner’s prosthetic robot leg.

It’s a goofily random yet specific list, vaguely reminiscent of Westley in The Princess Bride, tallying the assets for storming the castle and sighing that it’s hopeless — though if only they had a wheelbarrow… And then, when the breakout comes, there’s an unexpected, hilarious punchline as Rocket’s reasons for including each of the items becomes clear.

If a satiric fairy-tale movie from the 1980s seems like an odd...READ MORE

Filed under comic books, marvel, movies, science fiction, sdg reviews, superheroes

Global Religious-Freedom Report Falls Short, Critics Contend (896)

Robert George, vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said, ‘The world is not a great place at the moment for religious liberty, and we need to be doing something.’

07/30/2014 Comments (1)

Robert George

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. State Department releases its annual global religious-freedom report, observers say that the government must take more action to fight persecution and secure religious liberty around the world.

“The world is not a great place at the moment for religious liberty, and we need to be doing something,” said Robert George, vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Speaking to CNA July 28, he stressed that “three-quarters of the world live under regimes that either are themselves routine violators of the religious freedom of their citizens or who stand by and permit thugs and mobs and terrorists to act with impunity.”

George’s comments...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, human dignity, manhattan declaration, religious freedom, robert george, u.s. state department

U.S. Bishops Plead With U.S. Government to Help Iraqi Christians (881)

The USCCB asked the federal government to enlist NGOs to give direct aid to Iraqi Christians, as France offers asylum to those fleeing the Islamic State.

07/30/2014 Comments (4)
R. Nuri UNHCR-ACNUR via Flickr

A family at the Khazair checkpoint after fleeing from Mosul, Iraq, on June 11.

– R. Nuri UNHCR-ACNUR via Flickr

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Catholic bishops have urged the U.S. government to assist Iraqi Christian victims of persecution from militants of the Islamic State, while France has offered asylum to Iraqi Christians who have fled Mosul.

“The Islamic State has taken control of large swaths of territory in northern Iraq, leaving a trail of destruction, burning and looting ancient churches and mosques, homes and businesses,” Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) International Justice and Peace Committee, said July 25.

In a letter to Susan Rice, U.S. national security adviser, Bishop Pates stated, “Thousands have fled with little more than the clothes on...READ MORE

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Weak Church Efforts Hurting Working-Class Marriage Rate (943)

Religious groups need to figure out how to draw working-class and poor Americans into the fold and back to the marriage message, says the director of the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project.

07/30/2014 Comments (6)

– Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

WASHINGTON — The “national retreat” from marriage could worsen social divides between the married and unmarried, according to one scholar who says religious groups’ failure to reach the working class bears part of the blame for the plummeting marriage rates.

“We have seen that Catholic and mainline Protestant churches have not been successful in reaching poor, working-class Americans and bringing them into the pews on a regular basis, particularly men,” William Bradford Wilcox, director of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) National Marriage Project, told CNA.

Wilcox said that religious communities, which have provided a significant source of community support for marriage, bear some...READ MORE

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Archbishop Chaput Weighs Francis’ Message on Economic Justice (2656)

NEWS ANALYSIS: Philadelphia’s shepherd said, ‘When Francis thinks about economics, he thinks in terms of human suffering.’

07/30/2014 Comments (13)


NAPA, Calif. — Charged with explaining Pope Francis’ views on economic justice at a recent Catholic conference in California, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia acknowledged that the Holy Father has shocked some of the faithful with his broadsides against free-market economies.

Pope Francis’ firsthand experience with “the plague of corrupt politics and oppressive governments” has shaped his view of economic systems, Archbishop Chaput suggested during a July 26 address at the Napa Institute, an annual gathering that brings together bishops, business leaders and Catholic apostolates.

“When we Americans think about economics, we think in terms of efficiency and production. When...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop chaput, economy, napa institute, pope francis

Encounter with the Demonic, Exodus of the Largely Unknown Middle Eastern Christians and Much More! (3366)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

07/30/2014 Comment

Follow the Encounter with the Demonic by Christine Niles of Regina Blog link to read more.

Encounter with the Demonic by Christine Niles of Regina Blog - BigPulpit.com

Exodus of the Largely Unknown Middle Eastern Christians – Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille, The CWR Blog

Creatio ex Nihilo: Theology versus (?) Physics* – Bob Kurland, Catholic Stand

Who Needs Poetry? – Regis Martin, Crisis Magazine

Pictures of Incorrupt Saints via Pinterest - BigPulpit.com

Priests Should Not Be Forced to Break the Seal of Confession – Trent Horn, Catholic Answers

Art of the Book in 3rd Millennium: Heiligenkreuz Choir Books – Peter Kwasniewski PhD, New Liturgical Movement

A Timeless Lesson and the Burden of Sin – Randy Hain, Integrated Catholic Life™

What Will the World Be Like in 2045? – Eugene Gan,...READ MORE

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Court Allows 9/11 Cross to Remain in Memorial Museum (3335)

The Ground Zero symbol has a place in history, judges rule.

07/29/2014 Comments (2)
Samuel Li/Wikimedia

– Samuel Li/Wikimedia

WASHINGTON -- Rejecting arguments from an atheist group, a federal appeals court ruled Monday that the iconic cross found at the site of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks may remain at the 9/11 Museum.

“The history of 9/11 would not be complete without including the impact the Ground Zero Cross had in inspiring rescue workers and Americans generally,” said Eric Baxter, counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in a July 28 statement.

“Displaying the cross in a display about ‘Finding Meaning at Ground Zero’ is perfectly appropriate,” he continued.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty had filed a brief supporting the museum’s ability to display the cross, which was discovered...READ MORE

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U.S. Farmers and Business Leaders Share Expertise and Insight in East Africa (735)

Catholic Relief Services is in its first year of administering USAID’s Farmer to Farmer program in the region.

07/29/2014 Comments (2)
Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

Farmer Wariso Dekamo assesses prices in a weekly visit to an Ethiopian livestock market as part of a CRS early-warning system for food insecurity.

– Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

NAIROBI, Kenya — It wasn’t Ellen Frazenburg’s first time doing volunteer work overseas, but she admits she had her worries during the first few days of the short-term volunteer assignment to Ethiopia she completed earlier this year.

Despite having a degree in agricultural background and experience abroad, the Van Horne, Iowa, native said it took some time to adjust to her particular assignment — teaching strategies to improve post-harvest grain storage — and to gain the trust of the Ethiopian farmers with whom she was working.

“I think they were concerned about how a little white girl was going to handle being in a remote area for nearly three weeks,” she said.

Nonetheless, after only a...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, catholic relief services, catholic social teaching, corporal works of mercy, stewardship

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