NCR Today

Law, theology professor Cathy Kaveny on Jon Stewart's 'Daily Show'

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Cathy Kaveny, a Commonweal magazine contributor, chatted with Jon Stewart on Thursday on the about the role of bishops in selecting which aspects of the Catholic doctrine to teach within their diocese. Kaveny also reviewed the history behind the Catholic church's position on contraception and capital punishment.

Part one:

Protesters working for living wage at Virginia university end hunger strike

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Declaring victory, students fasting for a living wage at the University of Virginia ended their hunger strike Thursday but vowed to continue their campaign.

The students, who began the hunger strike Feb. 18, are advocating for a pre-benefit salary of $13 an hour for all entry-level employees of the university.

Here's an excerpt from the strikers' statement posted on the Living Wage at UVA website:

Is the pope too uncritical of capitalism?

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Over at his site Chiesa, Sandro Magister today calls attention to a recent article in Concilium, the international journal of theology.

Among nine articles in the latest issue of the journal, which focuses on the topic of "Economy and religion," Magister writes that one, written by Johan Verstraeten, a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, asks whether Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate is too deferential to capitalism.

In response, Magister publishes a commentary by professor Stefano Ceccanti, a tenured professor of comparative public law at the Sapienza University of Rome.

A discussion that's a bit esoteric to be sure, but interesting in light of the continuing European debt crisis and questions regarding the state of the U.S. economy.

War with Iran: the next lunacy?

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Lurking in the background of the news these days is the story about Iran and the possibility that it has, or might be ready to build, nuclear weapons. There are stories of underground labs and hardened bunkers buried deep in mountains. Then the questions fly: Will Israel strike from the air? Can, or would, the United States stop Israel?

The campaign trail has exhibited some especially heated rhetoric on this subject, with virtually all the Republican candidates (except Ron Paul) implicitly threatening military action to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. They advocate what sounds like "pre-emptive strikes."
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If any of these highly religious candidates -- two of them Catholic (Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich) -- have ever read the just war theory, it's not apparent.

Yet a new report financed by the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) says that "Iran is unlikely to decide to dash toward making nuclear weapons as long as its uranium enrichment capability remains as limited as it is today."

Vatican leaks scandal rolls on

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In the latest round of the Vatican leaks scandal, an Italian newspaper on Wednesday published two confidential letters documenting a failed 2011 effort by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s powerful Secretary of State, to take control of an important Italian Catholic university and hospital system.

Release of the documents is seen as another embarrassment for Bertone, whose effectiveness had already been called into question by the leaks scandal and other episodes since Benedict XVI named Bertone to the position in 2006.

The alienation of Catholic women - and men

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Given our church's anachronistic all male authority structure and its tenacious blindness to its lack of credibility, especially among women, on issues of reproduction and gender, can any of its members really understand the depth of alienation Catholic women feel today about our church?

Is this blindness not scandal?

I experience gender schism almost almost every time I speak with a woman - and I just returned from Rome and Africa. At the very least it is psychological; often more. And then so many more have simply walked away from our church.

Frankly, it continues to astonish me our church hierarchy carries on as it does seemingly impervious to what is so obvious to others. Can they not know of the gap growing between them and women who have taken their Catholic upbringings seriously and now uphold, as fundamental, Catholic teachings on human dignity, equality and liberation?

Joan Chittister speaks from Africa

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For those of you who have trouble sleeping:

Longtime NCR contributor Joan Chittister will be participating in the tenth anniversary celebrations for the Global Peace Initiative of Women from Kenya tomorrow morning.

The program, which will be streamed live starting at 9:00 AM Kenya time tomorrow morning (1:00 AM on the East Coast), is named “Awakening the Healing Heart” and is being held at the UN headquarters in Nairobi.

Chittister will be giving the closing remarks at the event. You can find more information here.

Grab yourself a late night snack (or early, early breakfast) and enjoy.

Philippines president might not make new saint's canonization ceremony

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MANILA, Philippines -- Philippines President Benigno Aquino III will join the National Thanksgiving Mass in November to celebrate the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, but the president might not be able to make the trip to Rome for the canonization itself, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Cardinal Ricardo Vidal and Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, met with Aquino on Wednesday to invite the president to join the Philippines delegation to the canonization ceremony in Rome and the thanksgiving Mass in Cebu in the central Philippines, where Calungsod is believed to be from, spokesman Edwin Lacierda told the media.

Pope Benedict XVI will lead the ceremony in Rome to canonize Blessed Pedro and six other candidates for sainthood on Oct. 21. Lacierda said Aquino's scheduled travel plans could make it difficult for him to join the ceremony in Rome, however.

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July 14-27, 2017

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