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For the Union Dead


Allow me, if you will, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War to borrow a title from poet Robert Lowell. Lowell wrote in 1964, nearly 50 years ago, about the commercialization of downtown Boston in contrast to the revered Robert Gould Shaw memorial, which still stands at the top of Beacon Street.

My lament is literally for those Union dead, the men who perished fighting for the cause of the Union. In our current climate, they are usually no longer even afforded the privilege of being an afterthought. At most times, they seem to be barely thought of at all.

Vatican priest's mission for African migrants to Italy


The BBC reports on the work of Fr. Mussie Zerai in helping African migrants fleeing North Africa:

With thousands of migrants from strife-torn North Africa arriving in Italy, the BBC World Service's Outlook programme spoke to a man who is trying to assist the travellers on their perilous journey. Not a human trafficker - but a priest.

Kmiec Quits


After jostling with the State Department over his desire to work toward interfaith dialogue, prominent Catholic and conservative Douglas Kmiec resigned his post as U.S. Ambassador to Malta.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Kmiec rejected an internal State Department report that asserted his advocacy of interfaith understanding was outside his official ambassadorial mission.

In his letter of resignation, Kmiec wrote that State's inspector general had a "flawed and narrow vision of our diplomatic mission." As a result of the investigation, Kmiec said, "my voice has been prevented from speaking, my pen has been enjoined from writitng, and my actions have been confined to the ministerial."


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