Tom Roberts is NCR executive editor. Tom was NCR editor from 2000-2008. He is the author of The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community's Search for Itself (2011) and Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith (2015), both published by Orbis Books.

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A way out of the US bishops' tight ideological and partisan corner

NCR Connections: Recent talks by McElroy and Cupich model communication that starts with the belief that God is active in the lives of people and that well-formed Catholic consciences deserve respect.


Trump seals his Catholic deal

NCR Connections: The Catholic Church in the U.S. has been used and manipulated by the era's most unconscionable con artist. But there is an alternative model to being captive of far-right political operatives.


Use of wide-open location data, closed-door meetings hurt Catholics

NCR Connections: We are troubled by organizations that target voters by collecting mobile phone location data when they go to Sunday Mass and also by conferences like a recent one at Boston College that includes academics and bishops but takes place behind closed doors.


Vulnerability as strength: Keenan's key to dismantling clericalism

NCR Connections: Jesuit Fr. James Keenan really wants to turn the whole deal on its head. "Hierarchicalism," he writes, "and its lack of accountability and ability to act with impunity will be harder to dismantle than clericalism and in fact will guarantee the survival of clericalism, for the former is the father and promoter of the second." He proposes an alternative "culture of vulnerability as a path to a "servant priesthood" and a "servant episcopacy."