NCR Today

The perfect calendar for cat lovers and peace activists


A friend just sent me a 2012 calendar titled "Cat Lovers Against the Bomb." It was originally produced in 1984, when the anti-nuclear movement was prominent. It is designed and published by a group called Nebraskans for Peace.

If you like cats (which I do: I have three) and favor serious efforts for peace in the world, you will love this calendar. Not only do you find the dates of significant wars and peace treaties, you learn when various peace advocates were born or when they won the Nobel Peace Prize. You can commemorate the birth or death of various human rights activists or leaders of the women's rights movement. (Carrie Chapman Catt is included, for obvious reasons!)

You learn that March 17 is not only St. Patrick's Day, but also the feast of St. Gertrude of Nivelles, patroness of cat lovers. Who knew?

But interspersed with these commemorations are notations on certain days that tell you that a cat in Scotland lived to be 43; another cat awakened and saved a family when the house caught fire; even when "Krazy Kat" debuted as a comic strip.

Morning Briefing


Falwell: Alive and kicking in today's GOP


NCR blogger and coloumnist Michael Sean Winters has just had a book published by HarperOne, a biography of Jerry Falwell titled God’s Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right.

NCR will review the book in it's Winter Books in a few weeks. That whole special section is devoted to the nexus of religion and polotics. Until then, if you want a peack at Winters' book, here's a review from The Charlotte Obssever, which I just saw: Falwell’s Moral Majority echoes in today’s GOP

Here's a taste from the review:

A simple man with a bulging dose of self-confidence, Falwell was disgusted with what he saw as America’s libertine habits, including what he regarded as a renunciation of religion. He envisioned a return to an idyllic earlier time that may never have been. Winters speculates that conservative Southerners such as Falwell transferred the racial superiority they had lost in the wake of integration into a national superiority that conflated religious faith with patriotism.

Embezzlement expert finds hierarchy uninterested


Recent reports concerning a high Vatican official who had saved the church millions of dollars by eliminating "corruption and dishonesty" in various Vatican agencies aroused worldwide interest. But no one found the stories about Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's reform efforts more fascinating than Michael W. Ryan, a retired U.S. Postal Service security specialist, who has been trying for about 20 years to save the American church the millions it reportedly continues to lose through the embezzlement of Sunday collections and other fund sources.

Does this New York diocese have too much cash on hand?


Richard Grafer, a financial expert at Pathway Investments, LLC, in Port Washington (Long Island), N.Y., has long held the view that the Diocese of Rockville Center saves too much cash for the proverbial "rainy day." In other words, the diocese should be using these funds today -- now -- in furtherance of the church's mission in this part of the world, not holding it back in its coffers.

Grafer's analysis is thorough and quite specific. Grafer distributed the following analysis and report Wednesday, and he concludes that diocese has $82 million to $103 million in excess -- that's right, in excess -- of industry standards.

From Richard Grafer:

Pope broke canon law when he dismissed Aussie Bishop Morris: experts


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- The Pope acted against natural justice and the Catholic Church's own canon law when he sacked Bill Morris as Bishop of Toowoomba last May, two expert independent reports have found.

Queensland Supreme Court judge W.J. Carter wrote : "One could not imagine a more striking case of a denial of natural justice".

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald.

NCR's Tom Roberts on the Emerging Catholic Church


NCR editor-at-large Tom Roberts appeared on KCUR's Up to Date with Steve Kraske. He discussed the Catholic church's reputation and modern changes that may force the church to reevaluate certain issues.

Listen to the program here.

Tom's book, The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community's Search for Itself, was published last October. Learn more about the book here.

Cardinal George may sell bonds to support archdiocese


Chicago Cardinal Francis George is considering selling bonds to alleviate archdiocesan shortages.

Last week, Moody's Corporation gave the archdiocese a high A1 rating on a proposed offering of $151.5 million in bond sales. George said he is interested in taking advantage of "historically low interest rates and the good credit-worthiness of the archdiocese." But he insisted no decision has yet been made concerning a sale.

Thus far, according to the Chicago archdiocese, it has incurred a cost of $113.1 million because of sexual abuse claims. George has long pledged that parish contributions will not be used to pay any clergy misconduct awards.

Read the full story here.

Other dioceses have turned to the bond market to raise funds. In 2005, NCR carried this headline: "Wall Street sees Austin venture as new model for church financing; Dioceses are good fit for bond market, financiers say."


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June 16-29, 2017