Equally Blessed, a coalition of four Roman Catholic organizations that support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families both in the church and in civil society, today asked the Most Rev. Francis Chullikatt, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, to condemn violence against lesbian and gay people in Uganda.
St. Jeremiah’s in Framingham, Massachusetts is one of the five remaining vigiling parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston. St. Jeremiah’s went into vigil in the spring of 2005 – I was there at the last official Mass, with the group of parishioners who decided that in order to stay at the parish they loved, they would have to save it by remaining in the church 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"A group of South Carolina legislators recently proposed a bill to counteract the perceived risk of Islamic-based Sharia law, as well as other foreign law, from being used by the state's legal system.
The uprising in Egypt, as well as the recent one in Tunisia, has no doubt taken the Obama administration by surprise. While Obama is correct in calling on the Mubarak government in Egypt to restrain from using force against the protestors in the street, he has been vague in calling for Mubarak to comply with the demands for reform in his country.
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released this statement today sharing concern about the past U.S.-Egypt torture program and expressing hope for a torture-free Egyptian future.
“There is strong evidence that in the past the U.S. rendered suspected terrorists to Egypt with the knowledge that they would be tortured. It is our hope that this time of change in Egypt ensures that no government of Egypt will allow the use of torture. Further, we call upon the U.S. government to create a Commission of Inquiry to investigate all aspects of its past use of torture. The U.S.-Egypt torture program was a disgrace for both countries and should be fully investigated.”
My high school friend, Michael Phillips, died this past October. Michael and I had not been in contact since our high school days, but our families would see each other at school events and the like. The Syracuse, NY diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Sun, ran a tribute to Michael's life, and what a life it was:
On a social worker’s salary, Phillips had slowly and steadily donated a total of approximately $250,000 to the charity.
On this day in 1691, Pope Alexander VIII died.
Pietro Ottoboni was born in Venice in 1610. He was 79 years old when he was elected pope, and he reigned for sixteen months, from October 6, 1689, to February 1, 1691.
Click here to see his face.
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I met Iris Muller in Europe for the first time in the 1990’s. She was elderly and physically frail, but emotionally and theologically like steel. Even when struggling with her English, heavily accented by German, she came across as a Catholic “Susan B. Anthony” struggling for women’s rights in the church.
I came across a spiritual reflection by John Chuchman the other day. I see them from time to time on the Internet and some of his books are next to my desk on my book shelf.
Some of you might be familiar with his mission and work as a pastoral bereavement educator and companion. In this capacity he has done a lot to help Hospice programs, parishes and the grieving. More recently he has also been sharing his thoughts on the Spirit through other books and poetry.
His journey, his story, his writings have lifted many spirits over the years and he shows one person, living out his faith, can make a mark and can strengthen the lives of others.