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This is the NEWS page of this website. In reality, however, it serves not so much as a news page as an announcements page, for it is (at least for now) beyond the scope of this page to act as a newspaper. Announcements found on this page will likely be of general interest to chapter members, and likely to others as well. Indeed, in some cases, they will be of interest even after the date of the event or announcement; and when deemed to do so, they will be moved to a page that will serve as an archive of such articles retired from this NEWS page: to go there, click here.


New: June 2015
Event: Indefinite

A decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2015 holds that marriage is a Constitutional right under the U.S. Constitution and that no State can deny it on the basis that a given marriage will a same-sex union. Justice Anthony Kennedy concludes his opinion for the majority of the Court with a beautiful summary of the insights that led to the Court's decision, as follows:

      No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say that they disresepct the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in lonliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution gives them that right.

      The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

                                                                              It is so ordered.

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IRS Rules on Charitable Deductions

New: 2007 (and revised periodically since)
Event: Indefinite

The IRS has updated its rules as to deductions for cash gifts (including by check) to charitable organizations, such as Dignity. A gift is deductible only if the taxpayer has in hand a receipt (when the tax return claiming a deduction is filed), regardless of the amount; but your cancelled check can serve as a receipt. For any gift of $250 or more, one must have an acknowledgement of the gift from the donee; but this may be one for each gift of $250 (or more) or an overall one listing all such gifts for the year, showing date and amount of each and the total of gifts for the year. The chapter each year acknowledges the total of verified gifts made by an individual when the total for the year is $250 (or more), specifying the date and amount of each gift and the total for the year. Gifts given in any unverifiable manner (such as loose cash in the collection basket at a liturgy) cannot be included. Those who want the ability to deduct their donations should consider the annual pledge drive as the way to donate and to then satisfy the pledge by check(s), so that the chapter can easily compute a verifiable total and acknowledge the total and each gift, promptly at the end of the tax year (in time for the tax-return season) and meeting IRS rules.

Click here for the record-keeping rules (see Publication 526), including for cash gifts (see pp. 17-18) and the special rules for non-cash gifts (see pp 18-19), out-of-pocket expenses (see p. 19), and reporting gifts on your tax return (see p. 19-20).

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"We are not on Earth to guard
a museum, but to cultivate
  a flourishing garden of life."

                        Pope John XXIII

"We must beware of those who
   burn with zeal but are not en-
 dowed with much sense."

                        Pope John XXIII

In 1958, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (see picture above) was, at age 78, elected Pope John XXIII (after what was widely rumored to be a near miss by Giovanni Batista Montini, who at the time was not yet a Cardinal but would later be elected Pope Paul VI). Pope John was expected to be a caretaker; but he was not. He spoke out for an "updating" of the Church, admitted it needed "some fresh air," and summoned the Second Vatican Council to help supply it. The Council enacted many reforms, of which many still remain not fully implemented, partly because Pope John died in 1963 (and was succeeded by a cautious, almost fearful, Pope Paul), while the Council was just starting its deliberations.

Pope John was canonized in 2014.

After six months as pope, Pope Francis I urged that a more pastoral approach be taken by the Church. In doing so, he cited Pope John's example and quoted a motto used by Pope John:

"See everthing; turn a blind
      eye to much; correct a little."

                        Pope John XXIII

Pastoral Care

Event of enduring significance for sure:

At a biennial national convention in July 2007 in Austin, Texas, DignityUSA issued its Guidelines on the Pastoral Care of GLBT People; click here to read them. Open Letter
   DignityUSA issues Open Letter to spur US bishops to consult us before comment on public policy affecting GLBTs.

Hans Kung
   In 2010, the renowned Swiss theologian (and former collegue of the Pope) wrote an Open Letter to all bishops, to call for an Ecumenical Council. More recently (in 2012), he has called for a revolution from below to force radical reform at the Vatican, particularly its crushing of dissent by use of "rigid ... rules for choosing bishops." The "only way for reform is from the bottom up," he says. "The priests and others in positions of responsiblity need to stop being so subservient, to organize themselves and say that there are certain things that they simply will not put up with anymore."

Pax Nidorf Speech
   At the 2012 anniversary dinner of Dignity/LA, Dignity founder Pax Nidorf spoke. Click to view his speech and event photos, including a photo of him.

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   Dignity/USA has endorsed an open letter on public policy on contraception.

Priests Speak Out
   400 Austria priests issue broad appeal for a Church reform movement.

Pastor on Vatican Mandate to Nuns
   Cleveland pastor writes on the Vatican mandate to LCWR; click here to read.

Parish Closings
   The Vatican has reversed Cleveland's bishop on closing of 13 parishes. To read more, click here.

Church Workers
   Click here to read an Open Letter from CTA to Lay Church Workers.

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Hans Kung Letter
   Renowned Swiss theologian writes an Open Letter to all bishops, to seek a new Ecumenical Council.

   Read the VOTF demand bishops be more accountable.

Catholic or R.C.?
   Dilemma Rome poses for Catholics analyzed by priest in QV article.

Natl Convention
   The 40th anniversary convention of Dignity USA was held in July 2009 in San Francisco. Click here to see the Convention brochure and here to see chapter's ad in Program book.

4th of July Party
  The July 4 Party was at home of Jim Sheya. Click here to see the flyer for the event.

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Picking Bishops
   Popes appointing all the world's bishops is not the traditional way.

Firing Protested
  CTA spotlights a campaign to hold back donations, to protest firing of a church worker.

HIV Testing
   Free HIV testing is available from DAP, at six local facilities.

McNeill Letter
   Read the Open Letter of 2003 to the U.S. bishops by Jesuit Fr. John McNeill.

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New Poster Event: ongoing

   Copies of a new Poster are ready now. Please help to get it widely posted.

Abuse of Power Event: June 2008

   In June 2008, a retired Australian bishop spoke in the U.S. on abuse of power by the bishops. Click here for his reflections on his time in the U.S.

J&J Marriage Event: June 28, 2008

Members Jack and Joaquin got married on June 28 at their home. Click for a group of photos of the event.

July 4 Party Event: July 4, 2008

A July 4 Party was held at home of Greg/Martin.

Memorial Day Party Event: May 26, 2008

The chapter had a Memorial Day party. Check here for photos.

Lay Convocation of southern California Event: March 29, 2008

A Lay Convocation was held for southern California on March 29, 2008, at the St. Joseph Center in Orange, California (in northern Orange County). It was a Calling Together of the Laity.

Its purpose was to focus attention on the participation and responsibilities of the laity in the Catholic Church, reflecting on the gifts received, the hurts endured, and the desire to respond to the needs of the Church. The objectives are to inspire hope for the future of the Church and a commitment to action. The oligations and rights of the laity, as articulated in the documents of the Second Vatican Council (1963-65) and in Canon Law, were addressed. All were welcome.

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Pope John Paul II on Evolution At inauguration of this webpage

The englightened teachings of Pope John Paul II on evolution and faith are explained in an excellent article in the Jesuit America magazine of February 20, 2006. The Pope stated "the theory of evolution is no longer a mere hypothesis"; and the article refutes some attacks on him since his death for having adopted that position (and even questioning whether he actually adopted that position).

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