NCR Today

Award-winner's novel reminds of tragic history

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On Oct. 27, Demetria Mart'nez, longtime writer for the National Catholic Reporter and accomplished poet, novelist, essayist and short-story writer, received the prestigious Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature by the University of California, Santa Barbara.

This award is given annually to a writer of Chicano/Latino literature who has achieved a national and international reputation. It is named after Professor Luis Leal, one of the early champions of Chicano literature in the United States who taught at UC Santa Barbara for many years.

Mart'nez is certainly very deserving of the award. Her most noted work is her novel Mother Tongue, which deals with the migration of Central American political refugees in the 1980s because of the civil wars in countries such as El Salvador. It also concerns the role of the Sanctuary Movement in attempting to assist these refugees.

Morning Briefing

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SCITUATE, Mass. — It's the eighth autumn since Roman Catholic parishioners began occupying St. Frances X. Cabrini church around the clock to protest the Boston Archdiocese's 2004 decision to close it. But this season could have passed without heat to kill the chill.

Press Release: Catholic Charities USA Receives Major Gift from Walmart Foundation

Papal Trip to Africa -- African Catholic Church tested by scandals and rivals

A slideshow: 10 politicians who say God told them to run

Letter to Editor: Anti-Irish cartoonist Thomas Nast doesn't belong in NJ Hall of Fame

Fewer Americans live in middle-class areas as country divides between rich, poor

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Today's letter to Archbishop Tim Dolan, head of the U.S bishops' conference and the Archdiocese of New York, from the leadership of Catholic Democrats is complemented by the release of a new study by Stanford University researchers.

Their conclusions are grim:

"In the latest sign of a deteriorating middle class, growing number of Americans are living either in poor or affluent neighborhoods, not somewhere in between, a new study finds.

Thirty-one percent of households lived in either affluent or poor neighborhoods in 2007, according to a study by Stanford University researchers that analyzes Census data in 117 metropolitan areas. That's more than double the 15 percent that lived in affluent or poor neighborhoods in 1970.

Vatican blasts ad of kissing pope

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Update: Hours after the Vatican condemned an Italian ad campaign that depicted Pope Benedict XVI kissing a Muslim leader, the Italian fashion house Benetton withdrew the photo.

The Vatican today blasted as “completely unacceptable” a new advertisement by the Italian clothing giant Benetton, which shows Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian imam as part of a new campaign titled “Unhate.”

Other ads in the same series show President Barack Obama kissing Chinese Premier Hu Jintao, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu smooching Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Posters with the images have appeared in Benetton clothing stores across the globe as well as in newspapers, magazines and on Internet websites.

What's next for the Occupy movement?

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It was a scene everyone knew would come: New York City police entering Zuccotti Park to clear out Occupy Wall Street protestors. This is a movement with no method beyond making itself heard: It made that point long ago, bringing income disparity out into the economic open. But to grow beyond that it had to move forward or get moved out.

Without a new set of specific goals after making its voice heard in the initial media splash, Occupy became simply an open-ended occupation: We are all camping out here until ... until ... well, until we don't want to camp out here anymore. That is not a political statement to which anyone in power can respond -- and often-sympathetic big-city mayors find themselves in a bind very similar to the one that handcuffed New York's Michael Bloomberg.

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March 24-April 6, 2017

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