NCR Today

Falwell: Alive and kicking in today's GOP

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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."

Connecticut priest pleads guilty to obstruction

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From the Connecticut Post:

Former Rev. Michael Moynihan, a pastor who resigned from a Greenwich church in 2007 amid allegations that he diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars in church funds to pay for personal expenses, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal obstruction of justice.

Moynihan entered the plea in federal court in New Haven, admitting he lied to federal investigators looking into the alleged fraud. When he is sentenced, Moynihan faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Formerly the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, Moynihan diverted parish funds toward paying his credit card bills and other personal reimbursements and may have engaged in forgery and other forms of deception, according to findings of an investigation made public in 2008.

Who's exempt from contraception mandate?

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Bryan Cones, managing editor of U.S. Catholic magazine, muddies the emotional debate about the HHS ruling about contraceptive coverage with a few facts, namely the difference between a canonically Catholic organization and one with a Catholic connection that is more "historical and aspirational."

"All 'Catholic' institutions are not created equally, legally or even canonically speaking," he writes in a blog post titled, "Just which Catholic institutions are 'mandated' to provide contraception?"

Among those exempted by the law, Cones says: Catholic parishes and schools, diocesan agencies directly connected to the bishop, religious congregations, most Catholic high schools and some Catholic colleges and universities (those for whom Catholic religious education and spirituality are required components).

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July 14-27, 2017

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