NCR Today

Good guys wear black

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This summer I’ve read articles about a priest accused of secretly helping a convicted mob killer, of embezzling money from their parishes and, of course, of abusing children or covering up abuse.

I was about to cancel my “Catholic” Google Alert when I happily found this article in the New York Times about the reform group Call to Action. Quoted right at the top is my former pastor, Father Bill Kenneally, boldly declaring that he was among 150 priests to sign a petition protesting the removal of Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois for his support of women’s ordination.

According to the article:

Belleville Bishop finally surrenders

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An 11-year battle ended Wednesday when sex-abuse victim James Wisniewski was handed two checks totaling $6.3 million.

Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton finally gave in after a jury found the diocese guilty of fraudulent concealment in the case of serial abuser Raymond Kownacki, a diocesan priest accused of molesting children and youth in more than five parishes during the '60s, '70s and '80s.

On this day: St. Jane Frances de Chantal

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On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, founder, with St. Francis de Sales, of the Visitation Order.

After her husband was killed in a hunting accident, Jane Frances devoted herself to caring for her children, her father-in-law, her servants and tenant farmers, and the poor of the vicinity.

After a dream of the spiritual director she had prayed to find, she attended a sermon at Sainte Chapelle in Dijon. There she recognized the preacher, Francis de Sales, the Bishop of Geneva, as the man in her dream. He, too, had dreamed of Jane Frances in advance of their meeting and of the religious order they would found.

Morning Briefing

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If you're reading this on anything except a terminal hooked into some institution's mainframe computer, thank IBM: The Modern PC Turns 30

Organizers of the country’s biggest Catholic gathering in Pakistan say that an unprecedented crisis on the nation’s railways may hinder pilgrims from attending.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley spoke out against the new health regulations released by the Department of Health and Human Services that would mandate universal coverage for contraception.

Birth Control Coverage for Everyone? Not So Fast.

Want to help? Accompany the poor

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Are you familiar with the word “accompaniment” in connection with idea of foreign aid and other assistance to the poor? If not, then a recent article in the Foreign Affairs is worth reading. It was written by Paul Farmer, chairman of Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and a founding director of Partners In Health, an international charity that provides health care to and undertakes research and advocacy on behalf of the sick and poor. The July 29th article is actually adapted from Farmer’s May 2011 commencement speech at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Bishop Hubbard, Cardinal Egan reflect on Gov. Carey's legacy

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WARNING: The following blog posting includes quotes from two members of the episcopacy speaking well, in fact, glowingly, of a liberal Democrat politician (albeit a deceased one). Given the pattern of deep and longing intimacy between so many U.S. bishops and so many right-wing Republican politicians, the following quotes may cause scandal among believers. If you are currently taking heart medication for chest pains, please do not read the following posting. Please consult the U.S. Bishops "Family Guide for Using Media" prior to reading this blog post.

Talking faith and politics

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When somebody says, "I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior," well, I can hardly argue with that.

It does go against my Catholic grain to hear such blithe confidence that, no matter one's care for the poor, marital fidelity or acts of kindness, the experience of being saved trumps all. But in fact, most of the born-again Christians I actually know are fine people, better than me for sure. So I haven't tried to talk Roman theology with them.

But now I have the uneasy feeling that the politicians are accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of the body politic.

A column last week in The New York Times says it is important to engage with these politicians. So how do I engage with Texas Gov. Rick Perry?

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December 2-15, 2016

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