Monday, July 29, 2013

Five Things to Remember July 29

1. Archbishop William Lori chair, USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and Bishop Denis J. Madden, chair, USCCB Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs wrote Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) July 29 to support the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013, S. 1274. The act would ensure the fair and equal treatment for houses of worship damaged in a natural disaster. “Your legislation is consistent with Supreme Court jurisprudence, which recognizes the right of religious institutions to receive public financial aid in the context of a broad program administered on the basis of religion-neutral criteria,” they said. “In the aftermath of a natural disaster houses of worship often play an irreplaceable role in the recovery of a community.”

2. In a July 26 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, 30 Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders, including three Catholic bishops, voiced “strong support for his determined initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace.” In letters to the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the leaders called on Congress “to support Secretary Kerry’s continuing urgent efforts for peace.”  Signers included Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington and a founding member of the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East; Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace; and Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. “We know the path to peace is complex and challenging,” the leaders said, “but peace is possible.”

3. The USCCB asked Jesuit Father James Martin, editor-at-large of America magazine, to provide four videos for World Youth Day. You can find them here: 1. Jesuit Pope - 2. Prayer - 3. Lectio Divina -
4. Vocation

4. Pope Francis shook things up on the papal plane when he spoke of women, divorce and gay priests.

5. God loves you.

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