NCR Today

Morning Briefing

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Joyful parishioners regain their church. The Archdiocese of Miami formally reopened St. Cecilia Church on Sunday, undoing an earlier decision to merge it with another parish.

Occupy Des Moines demonstrators establish an around-the-clock occupation outside of President Barack Obama’s Des Moines campaign office.

Gingrich Represents New Political Era for Catholics

Three best friends embrace H.U.G.S’ mission, Three best friends — all seniors at Joliet Catholic Academy — and created a program to teach young girls with Down Syndrome how to dance.

Why military spending is bad for the economy

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We may disagree about how much of a defense we need or what it is exactly that we are defending. But it is morally wrong to say that we must build the weapons because we need the jobs.

When I moved to St. Louis in 1972, I was astounded by the pervasive impact of McDonnell Douglas on the region's economy. About 16 percent of employment depended on Pentagon dollars. The endless refrain was, "We have to build the weapons because we need the jobs."

But the truth is that military spending is bad for the economy. I've written about this before, but there was a big complaint about my blog earlier this week that Pentagon budget cuts would result in unemployment. The truth is that we'd create more jobs by just putting the money back in everyone's pockets than by making weapons, training soldiers and fighting wars.

The Pentagon drains the economy of capital, skilled labor and technology.

Iranian engineer: We hacked U.S. drone

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The unmanned aerial U.S. attack drone that was downed in Iran was felled by exploiting a navigational weakness, an Iranian engineer studying the craft has revealed to the Christian Science Monitor.

The engineer, not named in the report, tells the Monitor that the Iranians knew to exploit a weakness in the craft's GPS navigation system to force it to land.

The report also notes that news of Iran's ability to down the drone comes as the U.S. and some other nations appear to be engaged in a covert-war with the the country.

Vote: What was your top religion story for 2011?

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As 2011 draws to a close, year-end lists run rampant across the Internet. There are lists for the best movies, the best songs, the best novels, the biggest news stories, the most-watched YouTube videos -- the list goes on and on.

Well, we here at NCR wanted in on the action, too. The editorial staff has chosen its person of the year, who will be announced in the Jan. 6-19 print edition, but we wanted your input for the top news story.

Cartoonist draws ire of New Jersey Irish

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From the Wall Street Journal:

Thomas Nast, whose antislavery political cartoons propelled him to notoriety in the 19th century, has ignited another uproar: whether his anti-Irish and -Catholic drawings should disqualify him from the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Irish and Catholic groups are waging a campaign against including the father of the American political cartoon in that group of notable New Jerseyans, arguing that he routinely depicted them in an unfavorable light.

"He portrayed the Irish as drunken apes, and the image still remains today. We have a lot to offer beyond that," said Sean Pender, president of the New Jersey Ancient Order of Hibernians, a fraternal group with 2,500 members that is campaigning against Nast's nomination. The Knights of Columbus in New Jersey has also joined the cause.

Morning Briefing

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ALBANY, N.Y. -— Scandals renew NY push to protect sex victims, state lawmakers plan to revisit lifting time limits on victim lawsuitss, an issue pitting the Catholic Church and other institutions against advocates for children.

Opinion: The Catholic case for Gingrich, for now By Thomas Peters

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Nun cleared of selling babies in Sri Lanka

ST. JOHN's, Newfoundland, Canada -- Roman Catholic priest charged with 38 sex offences

Rick Perry's recent TV ad

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Have you seen it?

I'm referring to Rick Perry's recent TV ad, trying to appeal (I think) to evangelical Christians (and maybe others) in Iowa before the caucuses. Here's the text of what he says:

"I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.

As president, I'll end Obama's war on religion. And I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.

Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.

I'm Rick Perry and I approve this message."

My answer to Perry:

First criminal hearing for Bishop Finn moved to January

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The first hearing in the criminal case against Bishop Robert W. Finn, head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, has been postponed until Jan. 12.

Both Finn and the diocese were charged in October by authorities in Jackson County, Mo., with separate counts of failing to report suspected child abuse in the case of Fr. Shawn Ratigan, a diocesan priest who was arrested in May for child pornography.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Dec. 15. Mike Mansur, the communications director of the Jackson County prosecutor’s office, told NCR the delay came at the request of the bishop’s lawyers.

News of the delay comes about a month after Finn dodged separate charges of failing to report abuse in Clay County, Mo., by agreeing to give the prosecutor there wide-ranging oversight of diocesan review procedures in the county.

The diocesan chancery is located in Jackson County. The parish where Ratigan last served as pastor is in Clay County.

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March 24-April 6, 2017

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