Daily Links, Jan. 3: Catholics in the caucus, incoming Anglicans, and Biblical health tips

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Happy 2012, and there's plenty of news today as we return from our Christmas/New Year's break.

Tonight, of course, is the much-anticipated Iowa caucus, and there's a lot of talk about Catholic Rick Santorum and his growing momentum in Iowa despite being near the bottom of the Republican polls nationwide. Meanwhile, Washington Post takes a look at the other Catholic in the race--frontrunner Newt Gingrich--and whether he would really be a "Catholic president" in practice if he is elected.

There's plenty of news to report in the church, too. The NY Times takes a look at the new Anglican ordinariate that will welcome former Episcopalian communities into the Roman Catholic Church, while Pope Benedict has made official his plans for a Cuban visit in 2012. In the United States, the bishops are still focused on religious freedom in the year ahead, and Religion Dispatches' Sarah Posner takes a critical look at their agenda.

The Philadelphia Inquirer over the weekend reported on rumors that the city's new archbishop, Charles Chaput, may be planning to sell off the bishop's mansion that has become his new home. The decision, the paper reports, is linked to a likely closure of parishes and schools in the Philly archdiocese in the years ahead. And speaking of closures, the announcement of restructuring in the Detroit archdiocese created a somber mood at Christmas liturgies this year, as some attended Mass in parishes that may no longer exist by next Christmas.

Here's a story that we shouldn't have had to wait until 2012 for: A New Orleans Catholic school became the last holdout to officially put an end to using corporal punishment. What took them so long?

And finally, some good news for all who made New Year's resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle this year: The Bible can be good for your health. It's probably even better if you read it while you're on the treadmill.