NCR Today

On this day: All Saints

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On this day we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints.

Do you believe in saintly intercession? Why not go directly to God instead of asking a saint to intercede? Which saints do you pray/talk to? How do they respond? If a saint grants your petition, how do you repay the saint? Who is your Confirmation patron? Why did you choose that saint? Did you name your children for saints? Are there saints you would like to see removed from the calendar? Are there venerables and blesseds you would like to see canonized? Is there a saint who should be better known?

Morning Briefing

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Pennsylvania diocese loses workers compensation appeal

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In a slip-and-fall case involving a 72-year-old diocesan priest, Fr. James Mulligan, the Allentown, Pa., diocese, which self-insures for workers' compensation, claimed it was not responsible for 100 percent of the bills charged by the Lehigh Valley Health Network for acute care provided to Fr. James Mulligan for immediately life-threatening or urgent injuries at the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

The total cost of in-patient care was $406,338.79. The diocese paid only $142,196, short-changing Lehigh Valley Health Network more than $260,000.

The workers' compensation hearing officer ruled that the diocese owed the full amount. The diocese appealed the ruling and lost.

Read the whole opinion here.

A splintering church?

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For those who know the Catholic community, there is not much startling or new in the new survey of American Catholics, led by Bill D'Antonio, Mary Gautier and Michele Dillon. It is solid research that confirms the trends we have long known are in motion.

But every time I look at the data, I wonder if the bishops pay much attention to these surveys. As reported in the past, Catholics are paying less and less attention to the teachings enunciated by the hierarchy -- especially with respect to the "bedroom issues" (contraception, abortion, divorce/remarriage, same-sex marriage) -- and are relying on their own consciences for moral decision-making.

On intra-church issues, they are strongly in favor of optional celibacy for priests and the ordination of women as priests or deacons. And when it comes to weekly church attendance, Catholics are looking more and more like mainstream Protestants, with declining numbers on Sunday mornings.

An update on the cause of Father Stanley Rother

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In August 2010, I wrote a story about Oklahoma archdiocesan priest Stanley Rother, who was murdered in Guatemala in 1981.

The Associated Press has done a story updating the status of Father Rother's cause for canonization:

The path to sainthood in the Catholic Church is long, but supporters of a murdered Oklahoma priest hope he will one day be recognized as a saint.

Father Stanley Rother was 46 when he was killed in July 1981 while serving in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. He had been ministering to the Catholic community there for 13 years, including during the tumultuous years of political strife in the 1970s and into 1981.

Rother knew the dangers. Other priests had been killed. But he refused to abandon his flock, writing in a 1980 letter, "The shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger."

On this day: Halloween

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On this day we light jack o'lanterns to ward off demons.

Growing up Catholic made me immune to scary movies. Constantly hearing about martyrs being roasted and racked and drawn and quartered made horror movies seem stupid and unimaginative. The only movie that scared me when I was a child was Disney's version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

But what about Catholic Republicans?

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But what about Catholic Republicans? asks Amy Sullivan over on the Articles of Faith.

“They have as much or more influence than evangelicals, and yet all of the attention has been on evangelicals,” says Professor Mark Rozell, who studies the religious right at George Mason University.

Read the full story: How Catholic Conservatives Could Quietly Remake the Republican Presidential Race

The golden calf of Wall Street

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This week on Interfaith Voices, I interviewed James Salt of Catholics United and Fr. Brian Merritt of Palisades Community Church in northwest D.C. Both have been part of Occupy D.C., the local version of Occupy Wall Street.

James Salt was one of the initiators of a large paper mache "golden calf," created by a growing religious contingent that is part of the Occupy Wall Street movement nationwide. The calf image was made to look like the Wall Street bull and was carried from Judson Memorial Church in New York to the Wall Street encampment -- with great cheers. Moses would have loved it!

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February 10-23, 2017

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