NCR Today

Fifteenth anniversary of Cardinal Bernardin's burial


It was 15 years ago today, a blustery day in Chicago, that Monsignor Ken Velo offered a homily at the funeral mass of Joseph Bernardin in Holy Name Cathedral. The following are excerpts from his remarks.

Somewhere over Greenland in mid-September, his Eminence showed me his funeral plans. I began to cry. I saw the things that he had listed. I saw my name. I saw the name of Cardinal Mahony, whom he asked to celebrate this Mass of Christian burial. . . . As I cried, he said, 'Don't worry. I have cried too.'

I was somewhat fearful, but I think the homily of this Mass in truth has been given over these past months of illness through the forgiveness he gave to all sorts of people and through his life of service and ministry.

It was here in the pulpit last October 7th, that the cardinal addressed his priests. He talked about Jesus. He told us that Jesus was a person of integrity, one who was loved and loving, and Jesus was patient, that Jesus was a man of integrity and a teacher. . . . He said to us, "Jesus' friends saw him experience an excruciating death, and they were locked in that room for fear, fearful of the limitations they had, what would happen to them.

'We are not camping'


St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay closed down the Occupy St. Louis site last Friday night – really Saturday morning at 3 a.m. We knew it was coming. Arrangements had been made for recognizance release and to pick up tents and gear in a room at City Hall. Twenty-five occupiers volunteered and were arrested.

That Friday morning, several hundred beautifully printed posters appeared at the site. In big red letters the posters read:

"We are not camping. We have assembled peaceably to petition the government to redress grievances. This is our permit."

Then you looked closer at the printed background and saw that it was the Bill of Rights!

People are maintaining a daytime occupation in the downtown park and a sidewalk occupation on its edges from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Everybody is trying to figure out what to do next. You probably have considered that question, no matter your political stripe or activist bent.

I'm thinking we should post our grievances on the doors of corporations and banks. I got the idea earlier Friday night, the first time I was there in the dark. On the corner next to our assembly, at the top of a big building, was the neon sign, Peabody Corporation.

Bridgeport, Conn., diocesan priest remains unprosecuted for theft


Over the last few days, there have been two sad stories involving a Belleville, Ill., Catholic priest with a shoplifting habit and a Sister of St. Joseph who gambled away close to $1 million while serving as an officer of Iona College. The former is facing a felony charge, while the latter pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement.

Meanwhile, the question rises as to what is happening with the prosecution of Fr. Michael Moynihan, the popular Bridgeport, Conn., diocesan priest, who was credibly accused of embezzling at least $529,000. Moynihan resigned as pastor of St. Michael Parish in Greenwich, Conn., in January 2007.

In May 2010 and June 2010, I blogged about the Moynihan case.

To date, Moynihan has not been prosecuted.

Priest ordered to leave partner of 46 years


According to the New Zealand Herald:

The Dutch Catholic Church has ordered an 81-year-old priest to leave his partner of 46 years or be forced to quit the priesthood, the Den Bosch diocese in the central Netherlands announced on Friday.

Jan Peijnenburg's relationship with Threes van Dijck, 85, was unacceptable to other priests, the Church said.

"We are giving him the choice: either he leaves his partner or he leaves the priesthood," diocese spokesman Michiel Savelsbergh told AFP.

Morning Briefing


Obama meets quietly with head of U.S. bishops

US Catholic bishops prepare fight for religious exceptions over gay marriage, contraception

Bishops gear up for fight with Obama

Commentary -- For U.S. bishops, economic justice isn't on the agenda, Catholic leaders, meeting in Baltimore this week, fail to put society's main problems front and center

Britian -- Catholic church plans campaign to re-evangelise inactive members, National tour of talks and workshops to help clergy and parishioners reach out lapsed membership of five million

Majority of American Catholics support transgender rights


The Roman Catholic hierarchy rarely utters the word transsexual or transgender. And when it does, it's only to say that transgendered persons either don't exist or are suffering from a psychiatric disorder.

Add this latest statistic to the "discrepancy between hierarchical teaching and lay conviction" file: According to a recent study by the Washington-based Public Religion Research Institute, a staggering 93 percent of Catholics in the United States support rights for transgendered persons.

The Public Religion Research Institute is also responsible for the study earlier this year that found that an overwhelming 74 percent of Catholics favor legal recognition for same-sex relationships, either through civil unions (31 percent) or civil marriage (43 percent).

That figure is higher than the 64 percent of all Americans, 67 percent of mainline Protestants and significantly higher than 48 percent of black Protestants and 40 percent of evangelicals.

New York diocese has free cash reserves of $130 million


Investment expert Richard Grafer of Pathway Investments, LLC, in Port Washington, N.Y., has analyzed Rockville Centre, N.Y., diocese's financial statements and makes the following observation:

"The Diocese of Rockville Centre ('DRVC') has finally published its last audited financial statement for the year ended August 31, 2010. A report summarizing my analysis of all the DRVC financial statements on a consolidated basis is attached.

"As you can see, Diocesan free cash reserves remain at the very high level of $130 million. Approximately $80-96 million of these reserves are excessive based upon the maximum allowed per generally accepted industry standards. Despite the existence of these excess reserves, the DRVC has taken some actions in the past two years that appear to effectively cut services at a time when they are most needed."

In 2006, the diocese released a statement explaining why it has excess cash reserves. While dated, in its conclusion the diocese said:

William F. Fore donates Religion-Online to Claremont School of Theology


The Rev. Dr. William F. Fore, executive director of the National Council of Churches Broadcasting and Film Commission for 25 years, has placed one of the world's richest treasure houses of online religious information into the care of the Claremont School of Theology.

Fore is the designer and senior editor of, one of the most used online resources in the area of religion. According to Google, the site had 10 million hits this year from visitors in more than 200 countries. The site also grants liberal rights to download material and copy for nonprofit educational purposes, asking only that sources be cited.

Under the section "Catholicism," there is a translation of the book "The Christian of the Future" by Karl Rahner (1967), "a reflection on the nature, limits, and possibilities of change taking place in the Roman Catholic Church during and since the Second Vatican Council," available in its entirety on the site.


Conference is \"like a home\"


"It's kinda like a home, visiting home" is how Jackie Starkey of New York City described attending the Call To Action national conference in Milwaukee Nov. 4-6. "There's a great warmth here, and a great sense of community."

Watch the video below to here more comments from Call to Action.

Call To Action, a Catholic church reform group based in Chicago, holds an annual conference around the first weekend of November.

Call To Action is a national organization with 25,000 national members, and its 53 local chapters throughout the U.S. have members in addition to national members, according to its website. The national organization was founded after the 1976 U.S. bishops' national Call to Action conference in Detroit.

The weekend revolves around keynote speakers, exhibits, workshops, presentations and a liturgy. More than 2000 people attended this year's conference.


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In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017