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Marriage equality legislation making progress in Maryland

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The latest reports from Annapolis (the Maryland state capital) are promising. Legislation legalizing same sex marriage is gaining support by the day. The House of Delegates already has a majority on board, and the Maryland Senate is inching closer. If it passes, Governor Martin O’Malley has said he will sign the legislation.

Today, the Washington Post published an editorial urging Maryland to live up to its moniker, “The Free State,” by approving marriage equality.

Green Eye Shades for Peace

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Rep. Walter Jones is a conservative -- very conservative -- Republican member of congress from North Carolina.

How conservative? His major legislative initiative over the last several years has been a bill that would allow church pastors to directly endorse candidates for office without endangering their congregation’s tax exempt status. Jones’ evangelical base loves the idea.

Rep. Jim McGovern is a liberal -- very liberal -- Democratic member of Congress from Massachusetts. The National Journal rates him one of Congress’ most progressive members.

Today, in The Washington Post, they join forces to offer a simple path to real deficit reduction: Give peace a chance:

Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz told the House Veterans Affairs Committee in September that the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan, including interest payments on the money borrowed for these wars and care for our wounded soldiers and veterans, is likely to total $4 trillion to $6 trillion.

On this day: Martin Luther

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On this day in 1546, Martin Luther died at Eisleben, his home town. He was 62.

Click http://www.amazon.com/Celebrating-Saints-Devotional-Readings-Days/dp/0819218839/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297995258&sr=1-1> here for "A Reading from Martin Luther's preface to the first volume of Latin writings, published in 1545", from Celebrating the Saints: Devotional Readings for Saints' Days, by Christopher L. Webber and Robert Atwell, Morehouse Publishing, 2001. Search term: Martin Luther. See pages 70-72.

Morning Briefing

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BP and its Macondo well Spill panel blames lax oversight of well cementing

Louisville, Ky.,Archdiocese says a defrocked priest on probation for rape should not have been on a parish council

Green Bay, Wis. Bishop reinstates CCHD collection, establishes new commission

Phoenix, Ariz. Jesuit alumni association sponsor study day on St. Joseph Hospital situation, scheduled for Saturday at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix

Kansas City, Mo. Sexual abuse lawsuit filed against retired Catholic priest

Salsa, salvation, and Homeboy Industries

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The hottest-selling food item in Southern California's largest supermarket chain is made by a Jesuit and his team of ex-gang members and their girlfriends.

It's called "Homeboy Salsa," and went on sale at the beginning of the year in Ralph's markets all over the Los Angeles area. According to The Los Angeles Times it is outselling pretzels, cheese puffs, bagel chips and their various cousins.

This is music to the ears (fire to the tase-buds?) of Jesuit Fr. Greg Boyle -- who's been helping young people move out of gangs in L.A.'s poor neighborhoods for the last twenty years. Boyle runs Homeboy Industries, which puts ex-gangster to work making t-shirts, tortillas, and salsas.

It always been and Mom-and-Pop operation, and Boyle has struggled to keep the doors open. But then, last year, Ralph's markets agreed to distribute Homeboy salsa and chips -- they hit the shelves just a few weeks ago and have been flying off those shelves ever since.

Vietnam church: Product of divided country

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Imagine a county in which half its people lived through and enacted the reforms of the Second Vatican Council and the other half never heard the council had been held. Imagine again two sets of bishops, one formed by colonial France and the other shaped under the auspices of an archbishop - his name was Nguyen Ban Binh – who passionately believed in the renewal spawned by Vatican II.

Of course, that country was Vietnam and Vietnam today still feels the effects of the split into north and south that was the political divide in the fifties, sixties and on until 1975 when the North conquered the South.

I spent more than five years living in Vietnam in the late 1960s and early 1970s, first as a volunteer working with war refugees, and later and a correspondent for The New York Times, Time magazine and, most importantly, the National Catholic Reporter.

SNAP objects to Dolan's statement on false allegations

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The following is a media statement from Survivor's Network for those Abused by Priests

SNAPnetwork.org
 
Dolan's false claims about false allegations
 
Also says his fellow bishops have “branded” innocent priests as child molesters
 
Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee)
CONTACT:  414.429.7259
 
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who is the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has apparently not read a single report or yearly audit which he and his fellow bishops have paid over a million dollars to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct. 
Astonishingly, Dolan, in a recent interview reported by John Allen in the National Catholic Reporter, said that his “perception” is that the majority of allegations against priests for child sexual assault are false.  Dolan also said that the number of false allegations appear to be increasing each year.  (link to story:  http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/campaign-builds-rethinking-zero-tolerance-sex-abuse

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May 6-19, 2016

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