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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

U.S. CATHOLIC - April 29, 2014

April 29, 2014

One deacon's experience at the canonization Mass
Deacon Bill Ditewig traveled to Rome to serve as one of the distributors of communion at the canonization Mass on April 27. Here he describes some of the sights and sounds of the day.
As soon as the Lord's Prayer begins at St. Peter's, they open the doors of Santa Maria, and out we go, two by two. We move to the central path and turn immediately to the left, AWAY from St. Peter's and toward the Tiber. Every 10 meters or so, one of us "drops out" of line and stands in front of the crowd. I'm toward the end of the line, so I wind up where I'd hoped to be all along--down near the Tiber. I notice something I hadn't before: The cross street where I am standing, getting ready to distribute communion, is named after St. John XXIII. Read more

Does America need a raise?
When full-time workers need to turn to government assistance to make ends meet, it would profit everyone to give the minimum wage a boost.

At this year's State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama stated that "America needs a raise" and he proposed that Congress increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. On the surface, President Obama's push to raise the minimum wage appears to be directed towards a small portion of the working population. But the real target is the dramatic rise in income and wealth inequality in America, which has essentially divided the country into two societies. And much of the president's case for raising the minimum wage comes directly from the Catholic Church's own "just wage" doctrine. Read more.

What do you think? Is raising the minimum wage the first step toward reducing inequality in our country? Or will it just hurt small businesses and lead to higher unemployment? Take our survey and share your opinions. 

'Muscle Shoals': Big things come from small towns
Some of America's best-known musicians have come from its least-known places.
"I Never Loved a Man (The Way That I Love You)" by Aretha Franklin. "Land of 1,000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett. "Brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones. "I'll Take You There" by the Staples Singers. "Love Me Like a Rock" by Paul Simon. What do these songs all have in common? Well, they've all got a good beat and you can dance to them, and they were all recorded between 1965 and 1973 in the tiny Tennessee River town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The mystery of how so much greatness could emerge from such an obscure location is the subject of director Greg "Freddy" Camalier's debut documentary, Muscle Shoals, which began showing on the PBS series Independent Lens in late April. Read more

Catholics, evangelicals, and Pope Francis' calls for economic justice
The pope's belief in economic justice calls both Catholics and evangelicals to cooperation beyond a narrow band of cultural politics. 

When it comes to opposing same-sex relationships, believing abortion should be illegal, or being against providing contraception coverage in insurance plans--some of the issues that Catholic leadership shouted about the most loudly in recent years--evangelicals definitely have the Catholics beat. But Catholics are generally more in line with issues that are more closely tied to the church's messages about social justice and economic equality. Read more.

Are married priests next on Pope Francis' reform agenda?
Is optional celibacy a real possibility under Francis? There are at least three reasons why Francis may be amenable to the debate.
Pope Francis likes to say that he prefers to raise questions rather than issue edicts or change doctrine, and he has certainly generated plenty of debate with his off-the-cuff remarks about gays and his cold-call chats on topics like divorce and communion, as happened recently with a woman in Argentina. Now a recent conversation between the pope and a bishop from Brazil about the priest shortage may be moving the issue of married clergy onto the pontiff's agenda. Read more

Read: Hope: Promise, Possibility, and Fulfillment
Edited by Richard Lennan and Nancy Pineda-Madrid (Paulist, 2013) 
Hope: Promise, Possibility, and Fulfillment is a collection of essays that is the product of a unique collaborative effort by faculty members of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. While each author reflects on the concept of hope from the perspective of their area of expertise, they also had access to drafts of the other authors' contributions while they were writing. The result is a collection that truly feels like a dialogue. Read more

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April 2014

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