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On Osama bin Laden's death

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When I was about eight, my father said at the dinner table he'd had a drink with a friend after work to celebrate the death of Stalin. He said, "It's a terrible thing to celebrate a man's death."

I don't think there was any more table conversation about Stalin. But the comment stayed in my mind, and it surfaces on days like today when the media report crowds at the White House in the middle of the night, cheering and singing "God Bless America," jubilant at the death of Osama bin Laden.

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Morning Briefing

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A reflection Osama bin Laden's death and questions of faith

Holy relic A small quantity of blood from the late Pope John Paul II will be exhibited. The blood was taken for a medical test shortly before John Paul's death in April 2005, and later divided into four containers

Japan says no limits to Tepco liability from nuclear disaster

Chicago St. Sabina members feel betrayed by church authorities

Australia Vatican forced Queensland bishop into early retirement after five year investigation. He had suggested a wider use of women and other ministers in his parishes.

Osama bin Laden's death and questions of faith

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Osama bin Laden is dead. President Obama just went on television live, at near midnight Eastern Time to make the announcement.

A ten-year quest to hunt down the man considered most responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks ended with an firefight with U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan, Obama said.

Bin Laden's death certainly comes with many of the typical questions. What will it mean for Al Qaeda, the terrorist group he led? Will it incense the group, or others, to launch plans for other attacks on U.S. targets?

But maybe it raises other, deeper questions.

This weekend I've been covering a Catholic Worker faith and resistance retreat in Kansas City, Mo. From across the country, people have come here to protest the construction of a major new nuclear weapons production facility.

While talking with many of those gathered -- both young and old; those who have been arrested many times for acts of civil disobedience, those who are planning to risk arrest for the first time tomorrow -- I've asked what brought them to this point, what inspired them to live a life of nonviolent witness.

Beatification of JP II: Interview with Cardinal Francis George

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ROME -- Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was appointed a bishop by Pope John Paul II three different times: first in Yakima, Washington, in 1990, then as archbishop of Portland in 1996, and finally as archbishop of Chicago in 1997. One year later, John Paul also elevated George to the College of Cardinals.

tThose repeated demonstrations of papal confidence may help explain why George, 74, wanted to be on hand for the May 1 beatification of John Paul II.

tAs fate would have it, George left for Rome amid a controversy in Chicago over his suspension of the high-profile, charismatic Fr. Michael Pfleger, known for his social activism, especially on behalf of African-Americans. (Pfleger has repeatedly refused to accept a transfer from his present parish.) Chicago area media asked George to explain how much time he was willing to give Pfleger, and George replied that was mostly up to him.

“We’ll be in conversation at some point, I hope,” George said.

Activists prepare for civil disobedience at nuclear weapons plant tomorrow

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- About 110 people are meeting here now to consider risking arrest tomorrow at a vigil opposing the construction of a major new nuclear weapons production facility.

The facility, known as the Kansas City Plant, set to be the nation's first new nuclear weapons complex in 33 years, is to replace an existing one here that makes 85 percent of the non-nuclear parts of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.

'I was cured during the night between the second and third of June'

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The following account, supplied by the Vatican Information Office, is that of Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre, the French nun whose miraculous cure paved the way for the process of Pope John Paul II's beatification.

"I had suffered from Parkinson's disease from 2001", she said, "and the
clinical signs of the illness worsened in the weeks after John Paul II's
death. On the afternoon of 2 June 2005 I asked the Mother Superior Sr. Marie
Thomas to meet with another nun who could take over the responsibilities of
the Catholic Maternity services because I didn't have the strength, I was
exhausted ... The Mother Superior listened attentively ... reminding me that
all of the order's communities were praying for my healing, invoking the
intercession of John Paul II ... They were hoping for a miracle that could
help contribute to the cause for the beatification of this pope who had been
so important to our institute. I was cured during the night between the
second and third of June of that year (2005). During the night I awoke with
a start and went to our community's chapel to pray before the Most Holy

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