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Morning Briefing


It is official: Pope accepts Cardinal Rigali's resignation, names Denver prelate to succeed him. NCR reported that yesterday. Pope taps Chaput for Philadelphia. Now you can read John Allen's Exclusive interview with Archbishop Charles Chaput.

The official media event: News Conference
10:00 a.m.
followed by Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul.

And the commentary has already begun. Our own Michael Sean Winters The Problem With Culture Warrior Bishops

And from the Daily News of Philadelphia It won't be Rigali, Part 2

And in the rest of the world:

Lutheran denomination clarifies view after Bachmann departure

Reflections upon reflections on sex offenders


I really appreciate the thoughtful responses to my essay about Arthur. That brief bit took me about three weeks to write and I am grateful that you have read it so carefully. Your cautions to me about Arthur’s life as well as your recognition of his lack of opportunities and of his story in others you know are all important elements of the conversation.

In Missouri today there are 13,000 persons on the sex offender Internet list. They cannot live within 1,000 feet of schools, day care centers and parks. They must register quarterly and on their birthday, taking time off work to do this. Their work places are listed on the registry, making many employers reluctant to hire them and be listed on the Internet themselves.

Additionally, almost 700 persons are held in civil commitment. They served their full sentences and then they were taken to court by a team of prosecutors who only do this work. They have been adjudicated as a threat to public safety and they receive therapy and remain confined. I think three have been released since the program was begun some years ago.

David takes on Goliath and loses -- again: Mann v. Ford


The HBO documentary "Mann v. Ford" premieres tonight, Monday, at 9 p.m. EST.

When I lived in Staten Island, N.Y., in the 1970s, I remember waking up many mornings, breathing deeply, and saying to the other nuns, "Ah, smell New Jersey." Of course, the Staten Island landfill took over the airways in the early 1990s when I lived in Staten Island once again. By then, the slaughterhouse in Elizabeth, N.J., at the end of the Goethals Bridge was closed, and the refineries did something to at least make the unbearable heavy smell of chemicals diminish so we could breathe New York's garbage.

On this day: Apparition in the rue du Bac


On this day in 1830, St. Catherine Labouré had her first vision of the Virgin Mary in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in the rue du Bac, Paris.

Catherine, who was twenty-four years old, was a novice. On July 18th, the day before the feast of St. Vincent de Paul which was celebrated on July 19th at that time, "the Sister Superior spoke to the novices about the virtues of their Holy Founder and gave each of them a piece of cloth from his surplice. Catherine earnestly prayed to Saint Vincent that she might with her own eyes see the mother of God.

Morning Briefing


Debt puzzle pieces On one side lies the chance of a historic bargain; on the other, the threat of a financial apocalypse.

West Virginia State Catholic conference joins appeal to protect federal programs

Michele Bachmann Leaves Church, Gets Catholic Support. Michael Sean Winter blogged about his on Distinctly Catholic here and here.

Kentucky Hospital merger limits medical options: Catholic rules will bar tubal ligations at University hospital

Welfare reform, 15 years later


As Congress remains in an agonizing deadlock over the budget and politicians sling sound bites about cuts to entitlements, smaller news outlets are looking at the impact of Welfare Reform nearly 15 years after President Clinton signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act., the Web site for New York City's PBS station, looks at "5 ways New Yorkers say welfare policies fail them." In article "Even Entrepreneurs Need Food Stamps," the newspaper City Limits offers an in depth look at the complexities of receiving entitlement benefits.

The \"bitter struggle\" in China


Recent reports from China tell of "a bitter struggle" between the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Vatican over the ordaining of bishops.

Three new government-approved bishops were ordained in the last eight months without approval of the Vatican, an act that has provoked declarations of outrage from Rome. The cardinal of Hong Kong labeled the situation a state of "war," and recently, another government-appointed bishop was excommunicated by the pope.

All this puzzles me because, since 1951, no bishop has been ordained in China with the approval of Rome, yet the two sides had managed to co-exist -- barely.

Ireland withdraws welcome mat?


Ireland's foreign minister scolded the the country's papal nuncio over Vatican complicity in the cover up and mishandling of clerical abuse in Ireland, as revealed in the Cloyne Report.

Now Irish media are reporting that the leader of Fine Gael, the largest political party in Ireland, is calling for the nuncio to be expelled and that Pope Benedict XVI's expected visit next summer was "likely to be shelved."


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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017