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Charities fight changes on tax deductions

WASHINGTON (RNS) Most Americans who file income tax returns won't be affected by proposed changes in how charitable contributions are deducted, but that hasn't stopped charitable groups from lobbying Congress to fight any change in deductions as part of the "fiscal cliff'' negotiations. By Jackie Kucinich / USA Today.
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COMMENTARY: Scapegoats along the border

(RNS) Emperor Nero didn’t exactly “fiddle while Rome burned” in 64 A.D. Some historians think he made prodigious efforts to alleviate the suffering of his people. Afterward, however, the emperor did what weak leaders often do: He named a scapegoat. He pointed to the irritating new...
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Moving churches to discuss the morality of climate change

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. (RNS) Rabbi Moti Rieber travels the politically red state of Kansas armed with the book of Genesis, a psalm and even the words of Jesus to le...
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Pope Francis: End the ‘racist and xenophobic’ approach to migrants along U.S.-Mexico border

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis on Tuesday (July 15) waded into the controversy of the wave of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, calling for an end to racism against migrants and pushing the U.S. to offer greater protection for young children entering the coun...
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Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey supports assisted suicide bill

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Three leading Anglicans have entered an explosive debate about whether it is permissible for Christians to allow doctors in England and Wales to administer lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients given less than six months to live. More than 100...
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Pope Francis raises eyebrows by saying pedophile priests include ‘bishops and cardinals’

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis has provoked a debate within the Catholic Church after being quoted as saying that one in 50 Catholic clerics is a pedophile.     In the latest example of his get-tough stance against sex abuse _ and his signature style of frank answers to tough ques...
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COMMENTARY: Freedom Summer volunteers inspired by more than just idealism

(RNS) On June 2, 1964, while hundreds of Freedom Summer volunteers were still finishing their training in Oxford, Ohio, three civil rights workers went missing in Neshoba County, Miss. Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee field secretary Bob Moses was charged with leading the...
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Pope Francis’ promised reforms start to take shape with new leaders for Vatican bank

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis’ promised reforms of the Vatican bureaucracy are starting to take shape, with new leaders appointed to oversee the troubled Vatican bank and plans to overhaul the Catholic Church’s approach to global communications. French businessman Jean-Baptiste...
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COMMENTARY: When it comes to personhood, science is a ‘category error’

(RNS) Arthur Caplan is the nation’s most quoted medical ethicist for a couple of reasons: He knows his stuff. And he’s unusually accessible. But even Homer nods. In an essay in the upcoming issue of Free Inquiry magazine about the contraception and abortion debate, Caplan makes wh...
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Vatican bank profits tumble as Pope Francis orders an overhaul

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Profits plunged by more than $100 million at the Vatican bank last year after thousands of accounts were shut down in a radical overhaul of the scandal-scarred institution. In its 2013 annual report released Tuesday (July 8), the bank, officially known as the In...
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Italian archbishop calls for 10-year ban on godparents to stop Mafia infiltration

ROME (RNS) After a pledge by Pope Francis to ``excommunicate'' mobsters from the Catholic Church, an archbishop in southern Italy has proposed a 10-year ban on naming godparents at baptisms and confirmations as a way to stop the Mafia from spreading its influence.     Monsignor Giu...
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