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Pope's appeal for peace in Iraq: 'Stop these crimes'
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis condemned the actions of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying that persecuting Christians and other minorities "seriously offends God and seriously offends humanity."

"One cannot generate hatred in God's name," he said Aug. 10. "One cannot make war in God's name!"
Priests gather for annual Vianney cookout
BRAINTREE -- For Father John Sassani, loving and serving Jesus Christ through the priesthood never struck him as work he could do alone -- only in collaboration with Christ and others through prayer.

Father Sassani, pastor at Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christians parishes in Newton, spoke about the centrality of prayer in times of change, in his talk to kick off the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout held at St. John Seminary Aug. 7.
Bishop Rozanski installed as ninth bishop of Springfield
On a warm Aug. 12 afternoon, the Cathedral of St. Michael, the seat of the western Massachusetts Diocese of Springfield, was filled to capacity. Representatives of local government, interreligious and ecumenical delegates; people from the Pioneer Valley's parishes; men and women religious, deacons and priests from the local Church and from the Archdiocese of Baltimore; joined with bishops from around New England, Maryland and beyond, and with the bishop's parents and other family and friends from Maryland for the Installation Mass of Bishop Mitchell Thomas Rozanski.
'Wounds of Christ' can be seen in suffering of migrants, cardinal O'Malley says
ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley challenged all in attendance at the Knights of Columbus convention to be transforming agents in the world and to "connect the dots" between Christ and the suffering.

He was one of several bishops at the 132nd Supreme Convention in Orlando who spoke about the need for greater compassion for a flood of child immigrants to the U.S. who have arrived without a parent in recent months.
Healing after teen's shooting 'in Jesus' hands,' says parishioner
FERGUSON, Mo. (CNS) -- Against the backdrop of demonstrations and unrest, some of it violent, that has followed the Aug. 9 killing of an unarmed black teenager by police in Ferguson, members of a local Catholic parish did perhaps the only thing they could -- they prayed.

As police and protesters stood in an uneasy truce Aug. 11 close to a burned-out convenience store and businesses looted in an earlier demonstration, two miles away members of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish prayed the rosary.
Iraqi Christians beginning to die in hot, crowded camps, witnesses say
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- Iraqi Christians driven from their homes by Islamic State fighters are beginning to die in crowded camps, witnesses claimed.

Sahar Mansour, 40, who lectured in chemistry at the University of Mosul before she fled the city in June, said newborn babies, the sick and the elderly in the Ankawa refugee camp on the outskirts of Irbil are dying from diseases, thirst and malnutrition. Mansour now resides in the camp.
Time to act: Church teaches duty to intervene to prevent genocide
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has echoed a century of papal pleas: "No more war!" But, referring to the outrageous violations of human rights taking place in northeastern Iraq, he also begged, "Stop these crimes!"

The Catholic Church for millennia has taught that war must be a last resort to resolve problems. But it continues to recognize the right of people to defend themselves and, particularly since the pontificate of St. John Paul II, the church has taught that the international community has an obligation to intervene -- with force, if necessary -- to defend the lives of innocent people at risk of genocide.
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News posted between 8/9/2014 and 8/15/2014
Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk
Is artificial insemination wrong even among married couples?
Artificial insemination introduces sperm into a woman's body by use of a thin tube (cannula) or other instrument to bring about a pregnancy. Artificial insemination can be either homologous (using sperm from a woman's husband) or heterologous (using sperm from a man she is not married to). Both forms of artificial insemination raise significant moral concerns.

Father Eugene Hemrick
The generous lessons of gardening
Urban agriculture, intensive gardening, an urban forest garden and companion planting are just some of the imaginative facets of gardening I learned about when walking around the U.S. Botanic Garden near my house recently.

Father John Catoir
God's love
A letter came to me recently, thanking me for helping the person see Jesus as "a loving brother or a kind Father" rather than as a judge.

Debbie Rambo
Helping build Healthy Families
Colorful balloons, streamers and fish of all kinds adorned the Under the Sea themed room. Tabletops were decorated in the colors of the sea, with brightly colored fishing-game centerpieces. Occupying a large corner of the festive room was the New England Aquarium's Traveling Tidal Pool for all to enjoy. It was great fun to see not only the children, but also their parents splash in the water and come face to face (many for the first time) with the clams, crabs and starfish and other tidal pool creatures the Aquarium staff had brought along.

Jaymie Stuart Wolfe
Mental health
The death of Robin Williams is very, very sad. I suppose that's the irony of his death. A man who made us all laugh hard enough to cry, could not ultimately overcome his own sadness. It's not as if he never tried. The wildly talented comic known for his inexhaustible energy was very open about his struggles with both substance abuse and mental illness. I guess that's why most of us assumed that as bad as those problems could be -- Robin Williams would always be able to outrun them. In the end, he wasn't.

Susan Abbott
What's the difference?
In the Archdiocese of Boston, as in many dioceses across the country, having one pastor responsible for more than one parish is a reality. This prompts a valid question: What is the difference between one pastor pastoring two or three parishes, and Disciples in Mission's plan to form parishes into a collaborative with one pastor?

Clark Booth
Czars and other things
"New" Czar?

George Weigel
Is history really over?
In 1989, as the Cold War entered the bottom of the ninth inning, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote a memorable essay entitled "The End of History?" And despite the question mark in the article's title, the argument resolved itself in a straightforward answer: "Yes." It was a nifty bit of Hegelian reasoning, filtered through the thinking of a Russian-born Frenchman named Alexandre Kojeve, and it fit the temper of the times perfectly: communism was collapsing; the great debates of the past two centuries were being resolved in the victory of market-based economies and democracy over state-based economies and authoritarianism; "history," understood in grand philosophical terms, was over; and while things were likely to be more peaceful, they were also likely to be more boring.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Law and Morality in Public Discourse
TORONTO, August 10, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Here is an address from Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. at the Faith in the Public Square Conference, held at St. Augustine Seminary, Toronto, Canada, Aug. 6, 2014.