NCR Today

The 1 percent

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If you aren't reading "Beat the Press," commentary on economic reporting by Dean Baker, you're missing some of the best progressive economic thought available.

Today, for instance, Baker takes on New York Times columnists, David Brooks, calling him the Bard of the 1 Percent. Baker writes:

David Brooks delved deep into his storage locker of misinformation to tell readers that the idea of blaming the richest 1 Percent for the country's problems is just silly. He told us that the really big ideas aren't about reversing the upward redistribution of income from the top, they are from centrists who want to do things like cut our Social Security and make us pay more for health care. ...

In other words, Brooks wants all those people who are unemployed and losing their homes to just suck it up. Nothing is going to be done to help you: get over it.

On this day: Peter Pan

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On this day, a century ago, James M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy, illustrated by F. D. Bedford, was published in England by Hodder & Stoughton and in the United States by Charles Scribner's Sons. Later editions would be titled Peter Pan and Wendy, and later still, just Peter Pan.


The book was the novelization of Barrie's successful 1904 play, Peter Pan. On opening night, at the Duke of York's Theatre, Barrie "instructed the members of the orchestra to put down their instruments and clap when Peter appealed for help to save Tinker Bell's life and cried out, 'If you believe in fairies, clap your hands.' However, there had been no need for these instructions, for the audience clapped thunderously, causing Nina Boucicault, the actress playing Peter, to burst into tears."

Morning Briefing

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\"The mysterious suicide that has rocked the Vatican\"

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San Raffaele hospital in Milan, Italy, which was on the brink of financial collapse when its vice-president, Mario Cal, committed suicide in July, is now being investigated for fraudulent bankruptcy, according to London's The Independent. In an article published last week, the news organization tries to untangle possible links between Cal's suicide, the hospital's "disastrous finances," and its ties to the Vatican.

Read the story "Mario Cal: The mysterious suicide that has rocked the Vatican" here.

Catholic leader in Egypt says government 'doesn't give a damn'

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Egypt’s caretaker military government “doesn’t give a damn” about the suffering of the country’s Christian minority, according to a spokesperson for the Greek Melkite Catholic church in Egypt, who says local Christians are calling upon the administration of Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to resign.

Dissent: Lessons from slavery

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In a blog posted Sept. 21, "Can We Talk?", I wondered if it might be possible to have a civil debate on the troublesome hot topic of dissent from church teaching. Is dissent ever legitimate or is it not? I carefully read the many responses, which displayed a range of thinking on the subject, and I am encouraged to proceed, adopting two excellent suggestions from readers. As a discussion starter, I think both conservatives and liberals can agree that some church teachings at various times can and have changed over the centuries.

'You Lost Me,' a new book on young Christians

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Adelle M. Banks of the Religion News Service reports on an unsurprising reality for Christianity: Young members view their churches as judgmental, overprotective, exclusive and unfriendly towards doubters -- hardly a recipe for evangelization.

Why do young Christians leave the church?

New research by the Barna Group finds they view churches as judgmental, overprotective, exclusive and unfriendly towards doubters. They also consider congregations antagonistic to science and say their Christian experience has been shallow.

The findings, the result of a five-year study, are featured in "You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith," a new book by Barna president David Kinnaman. The project included a study of 1,296 young adults who were current or former churchgoers.

Researchers found that almost three out of five young Christians (59 percent) leave church life either permanently or for an extended period of time after age 15.

Another diocese limits Communion cup

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It's officially a trend now. A second diocese, Madison, Wis., has moved to restrict Communion under both species.

Read all about it at Deacon Greg Kandra's blog post here. Another interesting analysis is at Dating God, where Daniel P. Horan, OFM, says, "It strikes me as nothing less-than an clerical overstepping and unnecessary demarcation of the clergy and laity." Read his full blog post here.

I try to not get upset about every little step backward by the church hierarchy, but when it's evident that a movement is underway to take us back to a church where laity knew their place and had appropriate awe--not necessarily for God, but for their leaders and the trappings of the church--it is very depressing.

The new Mass translations, banning altar girls, limiting the Communion cup. What's next? No Communion in the hand? Bring back the Communion rail? Getting rid of the vernacular altogether?

Sigh.

On this day: Richard de Fournival

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On this day in 1201, Richard de Fournival was born in Amiens "to Roger de Fournival (a personal physician to King Philip Augustus) and Élisabeth de la Pierre. He was also half-brother of Arnoul, bishop of Amiens (1236-46). Richard was successively canon, deacon, and chancellor of the cathedral chapter of Notre Dame d'Amiens. He was also a licensed surgeon, by the authority of Pope Gregory IX and this privilege was confirmed a second time in 1246 by Pope Innocent IV."

-- Wikipedia.

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December 2-15, 2016

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