MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

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October 4, 2013

EDITORIALS: Messages about exercise; Opening the Vatican's bank

(Continued)

Perhaps this latest study, showing no real difference between exercise and medication, will be used to justify further drug taking along with exercise avoidance. After all, why not take the easy way out?

But prescription medications come with a variety of side effects. They also come at a financial cost and don’t necessarily provide the range of health benefits produced by regular exercise. A particular drug may be helping your high blood pressure, while it does nothing for the plaque growing in your coronary arteries.

The message here is that simple advocacy for a sound diet and prudent exercise isn’t enough. A wise society and its institutions will work to convey the message to individuals that it is in their long-term benefit to pursue proper fitness decisions as part of a healthy lifestyle choice.

Yes, the drugs will be there. But when feasible, the better option is to see that they aren’t needed.

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Open the Vatican's scandal-prone bank

(The Mankato Free Press / Mankato, Minn.)

It might be the ideal environment for a financial scandal: Millions of dollars in assets, a hands-off top authority with higher priorities and little background in finance, a culture of secrecy.

And thus it has been over the years with the Institute for Religious Works, the Vatican bank.

One of the mandates Pope Francis received when he ascended to the papacy was to clean up the increasingly corrupt Vatican bureaucracy, and the bank was high on the list of problems.

A milestone of sorts was reached this week when the bank, for the first time in its 71-year history, published its financial statements. The documents revealed net earnings in 2012 of nearly $117 million, with more than half that sum going to the pope for his charitable works.

The bank also said it won't do nearly as well this year, in no small part because of the expense of establishing the financial controls the rest of the world expects of a major bank.

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