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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

The rite of beatification

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From Vatican News Service:

VATICAN CITY, 1 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Following the penitential act of the Mass of Beatification, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of the Pontiff for the Diocese of Rome, joined Benedict XVI, along with the postulator for the cause of beatification, Msgr. Slawomir Oder, and asked that the beatification of the Servant of God, John Paul II, might proceed:

Beatissime Pater,
Vicarius Generalis Sanctitatis Vestrae
pro Romana Dioecesi,
humillime a Sanctitate Vestra petit
ut Venerabilem Servum Dei
Ioannem Paulum II, papam,
numero Beatorum adscribere
benignissime digneris.

(Most blessed Father, Your Holiness' Vicar General for the Diocese for Rome humbly asks your Holiness to beneficently deign to inscribe the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II in the number of the Blessed.)

He then read a brief biography of the Polish Pontiff:

Karol Józef Wojtyla was born in the Polish town of Wadowice on 18 May 1920 to Karol and Emilia Kaczorowska. He was baptized on 20 June of that year in Wadowice's parish church.

Day One: NCR Webathon -- Please give generously

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Greetings to everyone – especially devotees of the NCR website, www.ncronline.org. Today, and throughout this week, we’re asking for your help as part of NCR’s Second Annual “Webathon.”

I will get right to the point: Your support is vital, absolutely essential, to the work of providing the independent news, analysis and commentary you have grown to expect from the nation’s leading Catholic newspaper and Website – www.ncronline.org. Please take a moment, right now to show your support for the online and print journalism NCR provides to the Catholic community.

Catholic workers gather to oppose nuclear weapons plant

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Over 120 people have gathered here from across the country this weekend to call attention to the construction of the nation's first new nuclear weapons facility in 33 years, located just south of the downtown area.

Arriving from places as far away as South Dakota, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., the activists are hosting a 3-day conference aimed at building awareness of and resistance to the construction of the weapons plant, which will replace an existing one here.

The conference is expected to culminate Monday with an act of civil disobedience at the site of the new facility.

Last night, people gathered for a standing-room-only showing of "The Forgotten Bomb," a new film portraying the dangers of the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal.

Part documentary, part diary, the film follows the personal journey of director Bud Ryan as he visits survivors of the nuclear weapons blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and talks to nuclear weapons analysts, including former Secretary of State George Shultz.

Cardinal Sodano's 'peripheral issues'

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Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who was Pope John Paul II’s secretary of state, second only after the pope in Vatican’s power rankings, provided a clear answer today to anyone who might yet be wondering why and how the sex abuse crisis continues to intrude on news of church events, even the beatification of a pope.

Following is a segment of a story filed earlier today by AP writer Nicole Winfield:

“Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's powerful secretary of state under John Paul, has been accused in particular of having been Maciel's most ardent protector and supporter in Rome, at one point allegedly shutting down the canonical process against him.

“Asked Thursday in Rome to comment on the Legion scandal, Sodano told The Associated Press that it wasn't the time to speak about it.

"’How can you, in such a great moment, get into such peripheral issues when the world is applauding the pope?’ Sodano said on the sidelines of a Vatican exhibit honoring the late pope. ‘I'm stunned.’"

NCR's annual Webathon begins Sunday

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Next week is the big week.

Beginning tomorrow, and running for seven days, NCR is having its annual -- now second year running -- Webathon. We need you to join in and donate to keep us going. We need your help. You come to this Web site for news, analysis, commentary and inspiration. And, yes, we know some of you come here to join in the many conversations generated by our coverage.

Prelates defend John Paul II on abuse crisis

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ROME --tWhile victims of clerical abuse in the United States are blasting the beatification of Pope John Paul II for “rubbing more salt into the wounds” caused by the abuse crisis, two prelates who worked with the late pope, one a Slovakian and another an American, insisted that the crisis does not disqualify John Paul from sainthood.

tA statement released today by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the main victims’ advocacy group in the United States, asserted that “in more than 25 years as the most powerful religious figure on the planet, John Paul II did almost nothing to safeguard kids across the world.”

tJohn Paul, according to the SNAP statement, “ignored or promoted stunningly complicit church officials,” and “on that basis alone, beatifying John Paul II shouldn’t be considered, much less ‘fast-tracked.’”

tIn Rome, however, prelates who knew the pope argued that a tight focus on the sexual abuse crisis misses the big picture of what John Paul II was all about.

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