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Archive for March 12th, 2013

It Begins

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The conclave has begun; the Mass is being prayed even as I type.

Every conclave is, of course, wrought with drama and intrigue. This one is unique, as for the first time in my lifetime it is being held in the shadow of recent revelations of tension and division and corruption in the Vatican. And it comes in the wake of a scandal that has been working its way higher into the hierarchy than any of us would have imagined when it first stirred. The Church has lost so much credibility in the last few years that it is hard to see how it can recover.

But time and again in history it has recovered. While all human entities are prone to corruption, the Church always possesses, in the teaching of it Founder and the lives of its saints, the means of renewal and reform.

I’m sure you are all joining me in prayer at this time of decision.

Lord, have mercy.

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186x282Key Speakers At The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Annual Shareholder MeetingKey Speakers At The Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Annual Shareholder MeetingRob Walton

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Why are these people smiling?

The six at the top are heirs of Walmart founder Sam Walton. According to Forbes magazine, they are worth, together, $115.3 billion. The bottom two are the more recognizable faces of Bill Gates, worth $67 billion, and Warren Buffett, worth $53.5 billion. These six people are worth a total of $286.8 billion.

The bottom 40% of Americans? They were worth around $95 billion.  That is around 49 million families, whose total wealth is a little more than a third of a mere eight people.

It is not for nothing that this has been called the New Gilded Age.

Except the disparity in fortune is even greater this time around.

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