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Arizona Republic's editoral on Phoenix hospital

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Here are the closing graphs of the Dec. 22 editorial of the Arizona Republic, titled: A parting that was inevitable


Increasingly, however, that interpretation of moral law is in conflict with the best judgment of the hospital's medical professionals. In our view, the hospital's directors have made genuinely good-faith efforts to abide by its agreement with the church.

Ultimately, it is the choices of medical people on the scene who must make the necessary choices, often of life and death, regarding their patients.

St. Joseph's Hospital may no longer be a Catholic institution. But the fundamental Catholic commitment to life will continue resonating through its hallowed halls.

Read the full editorial.

Arms treaty all but certain, peace advocates heave sigh of relief

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The Senate voted 67 to 28 Tuesday to advance a new arms control treaty that would pare back American and Russian nuclear arsenals, reaching the two-thirds margin needed for approval despite a concerted Republican effort to block ratification.

With the vote, it appears clear the treaty will be ratified and peace and anti-nuke advocates throughout the world can, for the moment, breath easier. Sanity is found a super majority in the U.S. Senate.

Video of Olmsted

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About 2 minutes and 17 seconds into this news clip from KSAZ Channel 10, the Phoenix Fox affiliate, you can see and hear Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix speaking about his decision to pull the "Catholic" designation from St. Joesph's Hospital.

Parish to open with school and senior living center

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Des Moines Diocese to open new Catholic parish, school and senior living center

The combination of a large cash and land donations allows the Des Moines diocese, Iowa, to start a new Catholic parish, school and senior living center.

According to the Des Moines Register:

"The northwest Ankeny site for St. Luke the Evangelist Church will include a school for kindergarten through eighth grade and a senior living center.

Don Lamberti and his wife, Charlene, longtime members of Our Lady's, have donated $2 million toward the school project. While no timelines for construction have been set, Lamberti said Friday the school will open in time to benefit his great-grandchildren - along with countless other students.

Another family with longtime ties to Our Lady's will provide land for the new church, school and housing site. Fern Ringgenberg, along with the estate of her late sister, Mary, has donated 35 acres just west of Northwest Wiegel Drive and directly south of the future extension of Northwest 13th Street.

Sarah Palin's reading list

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In recent interivews, Sarah Palin has told The New York Times Magazine, and Barbara Walters that C.S. Lewis is a favorite author she looks to for inspiration.

This prompted talk-show host and comedienne Joy Behar of "The View" to deride Palin and her choice of reading, asking: "Aren't those children's books?"

My friends and family know I am not a fan of Palin because she doesn't read (among other reasons), but Joy Behar's comments are unfair -- and a bit silly -- and makes me wonder about her understanding of literature - and what her reading list looks like.

This op-ed piece in today's Wall Street Journal, On Palin's Reading List, C.S. Lewis, asks us not to mock the value of having C.S. Lewis on our reading lists.

In full disclosure, Micheal Flaherty is a friend and I am a fan of Walden Media's persevering efforts to bring the beauty and joy of children's literature to the screen as a way to encourage reading and the understanding and life's meaning that results from literacy.

Report: One in three working families near poverty

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A new report on the working poor is extraordinarily troubling.

The new report, released by the Working Poor Families Project, should give all of us serious pause, especially during this Christmas season.

The Huffington Post reports:

In the aftermath of the worst economic downturn since the Depression, much attention has been focused on the 15 million people who are officially out of work, yet even among those who have jobs, livelihoods and living standards have been substantially downgraded. Growing numbers of employed people live in near poverty, struggling to make ends meet.

Almost a third of America's working families are now considered low-income, earning less than twice the official poverty threshold, according to a report released Tuesday by the Working Poor Families Project. The recession, which has incited layoffs and wage cuts, reversed a period of improvement: Between 2007 and 2009, as the recession set in, the percentage of U.S. working families classified as low-income grew from 28 percent to more than 30 percent.

Condoms not a 'lesser evil,' Vatican insists

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Responding to the media sensation created by Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks on condoms in a recent book-length interview, the Vatican’s doctrinal office has released a statement insisting that the pope has not softened the church’s traditional ban on contraception, and that condoms cannot be viewed as a morally justified “lesser evil,” even in the context of HIV/AIDS.

That said, the statement concedes that in some instances, such as prostitution, the use of a condom with the intent of reducing the risk of infection may represent “the first step in respecting the life of another.”

Indicating the level of concern in the Vatican about possible over-interpretation of the pope’s words, today’s 1,000-word statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was released simultaneously in six languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

In the book, titled Light of the World, Benedict XVI says that in certain cases, such as a prostitute, the use of condom “can be a first step in the direction of moralization,” reflecting concern for the life and health of the other party.

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