NCR Today

El Paso bishop sues priest to recover funds missing from parish

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El Paso Catholic Bishop Armando X. Ochoa has sued a controversial priest and his brother, alleging they mishandled thousands of dollars in church money.

The Rev. Michael E. Rodriguez, who was reassigned from San Juan Bautista Parish, El Paso, on Sept. 20, 2011, to Santa Teresa de Jesus Parish in Presidio, Texas, denied any wrongdoing.

Morning Briefing

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On Chinese sweatshops

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Just days after public radio's "This American Life" aired an episode about Chinese sweatshops, 150 workers at an electronics factory in Wuhan threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the factory roof because of poor working conditions.

The UK's Telegraph reported:

Foxconn, which manufactures gadgets for the likes of Apple, Sony, Nintendo and HP, among many others, has had a grim history of suicides at its factories. A suicide cluster in 2010 saw 18 workers throw themselves from the tops of the company's buildings, with 14 deaths.

Foxconn's reaction: to install nets around the building.

It's hard to claim ignorance about the conditions under which so much of our stuff is made these days, but Mike Daisey, a self-described "worshiper in the cult of Mac," had to see it for himself. So he went to Shenzhen in southern China and talked to workers outside of a Foxconn plant and visited other factories under the guise of being an American businessman.

In Salt Lake City, Catholics focus on immigration

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The U.S. Catholic bishops' immigration conference in Salt Lake City this morning focused on details about current laws and legislation, as well as the status of enforcement and concerns from people who work in immigration-related areas.

The focus of the conference is to closely look at state and local immigration initiatives. The conference dives into detail, rather than just brushing over general immigration facts.

Vatican's visitator: 'Great hope' for 'new flourishing' of religious life

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The women appointed to head up the Vatican’s visitation of U.S. women religious says that the three-year study gave her “great hope for a new flourishing of vibrant religious life” in an interview posted this morning.

Mother Mary Clare Millea’s comments come three days after news that reports of the apostolic visitation have been quietly submitted to Rome.

The email interview, posted at the National Catholic Register’s website, seems to show Millea, who is also the superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a fairly positive outlook on the continued role of women religious in the U.S.

In answer to one question on the decline of communities of women religious, Millea responds that she was “encouraged to note” that “many congregations have increased their efforts to present the consecrated life as a viable and joyful way of serving the Church.”

“Conversations on this topic are taking place among religious within their own communities as well as with members of other congregations,” writes Millea.

Attention NCR readers in Philly

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This just in from a reader in the Philadelphia archdiocese:

WHYY radio host Marty Moss-Coane will host a discussion on the closing of the Catholic schools from 10 to 11 a.m. on WHYY 90.9 fm. It is a call-in show. The telephone number is 1-888-477-9499. I’m sure the phone lines will be jammed but it is important that as many people as possible be heard.

WHYY is the local National Public Radio affiliate. Here's link to more info about today's radio show and where you need to go if you want to hear the show over the internet. http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/

Daily Bread -- today's scripture

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NCR's sister publication, Celebration, has begun posting reflections on each day's Scripture reading. Here's a link: celebrationpublications.org/dailybread You may want to bookmark it. It's a great way to begin the day.

More about Daily Bread:

The Lectionary provides a kind of spiritual script for the universal church that keeps us, literally, all on the same page as we journey through the liturgical seasons. These short reflections, written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings, are 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.

Morning Briefing

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In recent years, clergy and lay people in the United States have increasingly turned to the church's internal legal system to challenge a bishop's or pastor's decision about even the most workaday issues in Catholic life.

Letters: Response to Philadelphia Catholic school closings

Supreme Court: Religious Groups Given ‘Exception’ to Work Bias Law

Richmond, Va. -- Monk removed as abbey's administrator

Salt Lake City, Utah -- Conference of Bishops pans state immigration laws

Republican Candidates Add Artificial Religious Sweeteners

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I'm against multi-tasking, but I justified the Republican debates as exceptions. Just watching them straight on, without distractions, was too unnerving for me. So I caught glimpses, glanced at a book, canvassed for emails and waited for raised voices.

During what seemed like the 90th scrum, a couple of verbal missles caught my attention. One was Mitt Romney's absolute certainty, as a rebuke to same sex marriage, that wedlock had been the sole province of one man and one woman for 3,000 years and offered as a sort of proof that it had been a "sacrament" for lo those many years.

Even for those in the most hierarchical, traditional churches that espouse marriage as a sacrament that's a stretch. Marriage in pre-Christian times wasn't understood in those terms (a least a thousand of Romney's declared span). And for the length of the Middle Ages most couples didn't have Cana conferences and church weddings. They partnered up and became one under a kind of common law.

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May 19-June 1, 2017

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