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Pittsburgh artist uses coffee as an art form

Written by A Pittsblogher on .

For many of us, especially on a Monday morning, coffee is a definite need, not just a treat. For Pittsburgh artist Gerard Tonti, coffee and tea are his preferred medium:

 Mug2 EspressoDrip2

Those aren't just photos of tea and coffee, Tonti also uses them as paint, and says they give a rich color palette to his images. 

"There are a lot of good artists out there, but you have to find your own unique twist on things," Tonti said recently. "I remember reading about Asian cultures, how use coffees and teas for stains of fabrics and other materials. It took years of alchemy and trial and error to figure out how to get the right blend, to keep the colors from fading."

Gerard has a show opening tomorrow in the gallery space above the Lex & Lynne boutique in Sewickley, from 6 pm. to 9 p.m.  Check out more of Gerard's work here: http://www.gerardtonti.com/

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Pope's rep: Bishops must show gospel not just talk about it

Written by Peter Smith on .

 

Catholics Bishops need to show the gospel in their lives, not just talk about it, to combat the lure of everything from drugs to assisted suicide to Islamic State-like fanaticism, Pope Francis' diplomatic representative to the United States said Monday morning.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, meanwhile, asserted that the recently completed family synod at the Vatican laid the groundwork for affirming church teachings but called for more than a rules-oriented approach.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wrapped recent news headlines into an address to American bishops in Baltimore. His address, while affirming church tradition, reprised his words from a year ago when he told bishops the pope was looking for shepherds not ideologues.

"As Pope Francis has repeated many times, it is not just by preaching or by words, but by example that people will grow in faith," he said.

The meeting comes just days after the news that Pope Francis had removed one of the most outspoken conservative American clerics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, from his post as head of the Vatican's top court. Cardinal Burke was instead assigned to a relatively ceremonial role.

Archbishop Vigano talked about how his dying mother took strength from his reading of the life of a saint to her. "What a contrast for someone who takes their own life into their hands, for example, through suicide and euthanasia," the archbishop said. His comments did not mention Brittany Maynard by name, but it came as the national debate continues over Ms. Maynard's decision to end her life rather than go through the full progression of her terminal cancer.

Archbishop Vigano also asked "why young people, submerged into the culture of these times, so often called the 'culture of death,' are searching among the most excessive and challenging experiences," including the murders organization calling itself Islamic State. 

Young people, he said, are searching "beyond just so-called 'happiness." They are searching for meaning and purpose."

He told of recently presiding at the funeral of an adolescent who overdosed on drugs while "fooling around" with friends.

"We have to let our young people know that their lives are worth living and that they were born for eternal glory, not for glamor, or guns or sensationalism."

Archbishop Vigano, admitting the church's credibility has been "deeply wounded" by the "deplorable actions" of some priests or bishops, but he said the church could restore credibility through the "shining example of so many saints in our very midst."

Bishops must both teach with confidence and listen to others, he said.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the bishops conference, sounded a similar theme when he said that when he visits parishioners' homes, he doesn't start by "telling them how I'd rearrange their furniture. In the same way, I wouldn't begin by giving them a list of rules."

For those whose romantic and family arrangements don't fit the church teaching, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, "I'd first spend time with them, trying to appreciate the good that I saw in their hearts" and then "accompany them as we, together, follow the gospel invitation to turn from sin and journey along the way."

 

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Pittsburgh police chief nominee receives temporary state certification

Written by Liz Navratil on .

 

The nominee for Pittsburgh police chief received his temporary state officer certification effective today.
 
Cameron McLay's application for permanent officer certification is expected to be considered at a December meeting of the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission, according to Trooper Adam Reed.
 
Pennsylvania police officers are required to undergo Act 120 certification before they can legally arrest someone or receive authorization to carry a firearm. 
 
Acting Chief McLay began working for Pittsburgh in mid-September, after servings as a captain in Madison, Wisc.

 

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Acting Pittsburgh police chief intends to hire at least two civilians

Written by Liz Navratil on .

Acting Pittsburgh police Chief Cameron McLay said he intends to hire at least two civilians for positions inside the police bureau.
One will be an outside consultant who can help create systems for tracking crime in the city; the other, the chief said, will be a civilian from outside the department who will have the title chief of staff.
Chief McLay made his comments while appearing alongside Mayor Bill Peduto to film a segment for the KD-PG Sunday edition, which aired on KDKA Sunday morning.
Mr. Peduto said he hopes new technology will provide officers with better tools to track the groups committing crimes, including killings, inside the city.
"We haven't upgraded and we are behind other urban police forces in the utilization of technology to be able to break up the networks," the mayor said.
Chief McLay said: "We've got some very robust capacity for analyzing crime in the bureau. What we don't have yet is the ability to take the data, make it real-time, and then diffuse it through the organization, so my commanders and supervisors use it to deploy their resources on a day-by-day basis."

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U.S. bishop head: Synod paper good, needs work

Written by Peter Smith on .

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has applauded a document issued Monday that calls for the church to affirm the positive aspects of gay unions and other couples who lack a church marriage, but he also wants to see strengthened language affirming church teachings and those who live by them.

In comments at a press conference on Wednesday in Rome, Louisville Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz calmly wove a diplomatic thread through the hoopla that has accompanied the document released Monday, half-way through a two-week synod at the Vatican to discuss issues and challenges related to the family. Some bishops there have denounced the document for failing to emphasize church teachings against homosexual acts, while many advocates for gays and others alienated from the church found the language to be surprisingly welcoming.

Archbishop Kurtz called it a "wonderful working document" but that the one to be issued at synod's end would be more important and lasting.

 

His three calls for revisions:

“One would be to highlight the importance of the witness of sacrificial, loving families today. ... (Second would be) to make sure all our words are truly welcoming and come truly from the heart ... and the third one was to locate clearly our pastoral ... outreach as being located within the beauty of sacred Scripture and Church teaching.”

 

Before the synod started, Archbishop Kurtz wanted to emphasize that while the traditional family has indeed become much less the norm than it once was, 

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, the former Pittsburgh bishop, is among those helping revise the document.

 

 

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