Morning Briefing

It's the last day of 2014! To spend time with our loved ones, NCR headquarters will be closed Jan. 1-2. Comments will be suspended until Jan. 5. 

Yesterday, we announced our 2014 Person of the Year as Pope Francis. Today, we announce our runner-up: Stephen Colbert. 

Phyllis Zagano asks: What are they thinking at the Vatican?

Kelly Stewart writes that hard-line positions such as anti-abortion carry costs

A Belgian bishop has advocated church recognition of gay relationships

There were two great NCR Today blogs up on the website yesterday: An agenda for Pope Francis in 2015; and How do women get the ear of Pope Francis?

Book Review: Author unmasks the violence and degradation of women and girls within systems of sexual exploitation, particularly prostitution

In other news around the web: 

A teacher's guide to discussing religion in the classroom

Top 5 over-covered Vatican stories of 2014

Ukraine's Greek Catholic Church looking to boost sway -- by equipping military

At Health Ministries in Texas, caring means sharing the bills

Ted Cruz is billed as Passover vacation attraction

The big question for 2015: Will the Supreme Court rule on abortion?

Activists call 2014 a 'super banner year' for same-sex marriage

How will Jeb Bush handle the 'Catholic question' on the campaign trail?

Pope Francis' most iconic photos of 2014

Happy New Year everyone! 

Looking for a little inspiration to begin your day? NCR's sister publication, Celebration, gives you two options, both based on the Scripture readings of the day:

PP-header_with-outline.jpgPencil Preaching is blog in which Celebration editor Pat Marrin combines Scripture and sketching to reflect on the Word.

DailyBreadBanner.jpgDaily Bread is a series of short reflections written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings. Daily Bread is intended to help daily preachers and others who pray from the assigned Scriptures each day to orient themselves to the Living Word addressed to the church in the world. It's a great way to begin the day.

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