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UrbScotty

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Kentwood, MI
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 23,489

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Chicago archdiocese to offer 12 weeks of paid parental leave

The Archdiocese of Chicago has announced that it will begin offering 12 weeks of paid parental leave to its employees, a policy that is almost unheard of in Catholic dioceses and one that reflects an effort to put the church’s money where its mission is.

Betsy Bohlen, chief operating officer for the archdiocese, said Archbishop Blase Cupich pushed for the innovative policy soon after he took over the nation’s third-largest diocese in late 2014 in order to ensure that personnel policies were in line with church teaching.

“Obviously we do want to be a voice for pro-life, family friendly kinds of policies,” Bohlen told the Catholic New World, the archdiocesan newspaper. “The idea was to make sure that we have something that can work for all staff.”


http://religionnews.com/2016/05/18/chicago-shocker-catholic-archdiocese-to-offer-12-weeks-paid-parental-leave/

Occupation of Massachusetts Catholic church to end after 12 years

The occupation of a Massachusetts Roman Catholic church to prevent its closure will end now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case brought by people who have held their ground for 12 years, the Friends of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini said on Monday.

"We made this deal with the lower courts that we would vacate the premises within 14 days of the Supreme Court decision," said Jon Rogers, a leader of the Friends' group. "From the very beginning we have promised to exhaust every avenue of appeal available to us and we have now done that."

...

Working in shifts since 2004, the group of about 100 people have maintained a constant presence in St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, which was built in the 1960s.

Initially, it was one of more than a dozen Boston-area Catholic churches occupied by parishioners, but the other groups either lost in the courts or abandoned their efforts.


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-massachusetts-church-idUSKCN0Y7205

On eve of conference, more than 100 Methodist clergy come out as LGBT

Dozens of Methodist clergy members took a stand for equality on Monday in the hope that their church will re-evaluate discriminatory policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals during its 2016 General Conference, which begins on Tuesday.

More than 100 pastors, deacons, elders and candidates for ministry in the United Methodist Church released a letter publicly coming out as LGBT just one day before the church’s top policy-making body convenes in Portand to consider roughly 1,000 legislative petitions.

“Our prayer, as the church begins its time of discernment, is that you will remember that there are nameless ones around the world, hungry for a word of hope and healing,” stated the letter, which was organized by Reconciling Ministries Network. “LGBTQI people and their families exist in every church in every continent of this denomination. They are seeking to remain in faithful relationship with you, even when you refuse, because they know God’s tender mercies and great faithfulness.”

The letter is part of a growing body of Methodist clergy members protesting the church’s stance that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” Current UMC policies prohibit pastors from performing same-sex weddings and churches from hosting such ceremonies. The church also prohibits “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/united-methodist-church-lgbt-clergy_us_5730f866e4b016f37896b8f6?ir=Good+News&

On eve of conference, more than 100 Methodist clergy come out as LGBT

Dozens of Methodist clergy members took a stand for equality on Monday in the hope that their church will re-evaluate discriminatory policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals during its 2016 General Conference, which begins on Tuesday.

More than 100 pastors, deacons, elders and candidates for ministry in the United Methodist Church released a letter publicly coming out as LGBT just one day before the church’s top policy-making body convenes in Portand to consider roughly 1,000 legislative petitions.

“Our prayer, as the church begins its time of discernment, is that you will remember that there are nameless ones around the world, hungry for a word of hope and healing,” stated the letter, which was organized by Reconciling Ministries Network. “LGBTQI people and their families exist in every church in every continent of this denomination. They are seeking to remain in faithful relationship with you, even when you refuse, because they know God’s tender mercies and great faithfulness.”

The letter is part of a growing body of Methodist clergy members protesting the church’s stance that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” Current UMC policies prohibit pastors from performing same-sex weddings and churches from hosting such ceremonies. The church also prohibits “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/united-methodist-church-lgbt-clergy_us_5730f866e4b016f37896b8f6?ir=Good+News&

Hillary Clinton Is A Progressive Democrat, Despite What You May Have Heard

If Sanders is the standard by which you’re going to decide whether a politician is a progressive, then almost nobody from the Democratic Party would qualify. Take Sanders out of the equation, and suddenly Clinton looks an awful lot like a mainstream progressive — firmly on the left side of the American ideological spectrum and maybe on the left side of the Democratic Party’s, as well.

One reason it’s easy to miss this is that Clinton’s domestic policy agenda doesn’t include one signature idea or position that’s going to dominate the headlines or get activists excited. Instead, it’s a series of proposals that, together, would fortify the social safety net, strengthen regulation of industry, and bolster public services. To the extent these programs require new spending, the money would largely come from new taxes on the wealthy.

Consider just a few key components of Clinton’s economic and energy agenda:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-progressive_us_572cca08e4b0bc9cb0469098

Sr. Simone Campbell: Pope Francis' impact on the Catholic vote in 2016

In this, the first presidential election in the era of Pope Francis, attempts to control the "Catholic vote" through issues of personal sexuality - often nothing more than a crass political calculation - will no longer work as well, if at all. Instead, those who seek to divide our nation will find themselves up against a spiritual leader who has taken the teachings of our faith that have resided for many in the dusty tomes of Catholic scholarship and philosophy and made them breathing realities in our daily lives. In doing so, he has energized Catholics to embody the center of our faith - active concern for the common good and attention to the needs of those around us.

And then he has taken this sacred work a step further. The pope has reminded our elected leaders and all of us that individuals, churches, and communities, while vital to the work of taking care of each other, cannot be expected to do it all alone. The work of ending the vast disparities of wealth and opportunity in America and around the world can only be accomplished by implementation of policies on a grand scale, a political scale - a tax policy under which everyone and every corporation pays its fair share and all employers pay their workers a living wage; policies that encourage a "family-friendly workplace," recognizing that the economy is at the service of workers, not the other way around.

This call has not been the least bit coy or veiled. In his speech before Congress in 2015, Francis told our elected officials, "You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all of its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk."

The pope's words have clearly broken through to the professional political class, though whether it is through their hearts as well as their talking points, I leave to others to decide. For proof, look at House Speaker Paul Ryan's public apology for his past rhetoric blaming the poor for their own poverty. Were Ryan to also publicly recognize, for example, that his mea culpa did not go far enough, and that the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid to those who are most vulnerable is a pro-life position, perhaps the transformation would be more believable.


http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20160504_Commentary__Pope_Francis__impact_on_the_Catholic_vote_in_2016.html#4OEQ3qC3Kdf57248.99

Corey: 5 Serious Questions I Have For Christians Who Support Donald Trump

I used to consider myself a person of at least average intelligence, but I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the idea of Christians supporting Donald Trump, and I just can’t do it.

I tried, but I have failed miserably.

Instead, I’ve just found myself left with questions. So, here are 5 questions I have for Christians who support Donald Trump:



http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/5-serious-questions-i-have-for-christians-who-support-donald-trump/

Nuns want to know more about Duke Energy’s lobbying

Duke says it already files required lobbying reports. At the urging of institutional investors, the company beefed up its oversight of political contributions and lobbying last year.

The nuns say that’s not enough.

The shareholder proposal came from St. Louis-based Mercy Investment Services, which represents the Sisters of Mercy in Belmont and other locations, and the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia in Bristow, Va.

They ask for an annual report on Duke’s lobbying policies, spending details and membership in groups that write model legislation such as the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council. Duke won’t say whether it belongs to ALEC, which pushes limited government and free markets.


http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/article75635357.html#storylink=cpy

Berrigan's message to peacemakers: Persevere

A breathless hush filled the overflowing room at Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat House here as Jesuit Fr. Dan Berrigan slowly approached the podium. Organizers and audience seemed painfully conscious there wouldn’t be many more times this 89-year-old Catholic peace icon -- whose life has been punctuated with countless arrests and prison time, and guided by an unyielding commitment to Christian nonviolent resistance -- would appear in a public forum.

Now frail and bent, he carried with him to the front of the room not only more than a solid half century of peace work but also many associations with other peacemakers, including his late brother, Philip, and, on the 30th anniversary of her death, the cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement, Dorothy Day.

The Nov. 29 talk was billed as Berrigan’s reflection on Day. But as with any other Berrigan talk, it would cut to the essence and contain a message for his audience. And what would this peace message on this evening be?

Persevere.


http://ncronline.org/news/people/berrigans-message-peacemakers-persevere

Biden speaks about faith and curing cancer at the Vatican

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. came to this tiny city-state to talk about two of his deepest passions: his Roman Catholic faith and curing cancer.

At the Third International Regenerative Medicine Conference at the Vatican, Mr. Biden spoke about the urgent need to come up with new cures for cancer, a subject that has come to define his final year in office.

...

While fiercely committed to the church, Mr. Biden often has seemed to take pride in defying parts of its hierarchy. His mother, he often has said, taught him never to kiss the pope’s ring. And of those who doubted his faith because of his disagreement with Catholic dogma, he once said, in 2005, “The next Republican that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary down their throat.”

Mr. Biden has met two previous popes: John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He famously told Pope Benedict XVI to be easier on American nuns, the target of a Vatican crackdown for their activism on issues like poverty and health care. But his fondness for Pope Francis is obvious.


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/30/world/europe/joe-biden-speaks-about-faith-and-curing-cancer-at-the-vatican.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
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