NCR Today

Catholic Workers protest nukes and drones in Nevada


Last weekend, a national gathering of Catholic Workers in Las Vegas, Nevada concluded with a demonstration protesting nuclear weapons and drones.

About 100 people held an interfaith liturgy at the entrance to Nevada’s nuclear testing grounds on Sunday. After the prayers, the group walked towards the Nevada National Security Site, formerly known as the Nevada Test site. Thirty-seven men and 22 women crossed the white line delineating one of the test site’s boundaries and were promptly arrested by Nye County sheriffs.

Upon release, many of the activists went to nearby Creech Air Force base where 18 were arrested by Clark County police. Those arrested at the Nevada site received citations and were released, but at the Creech site the activists were charged with jaywalking, unlawful assembly. Most of those were given court dates of Dec. 5

Andrew Greeley: The Lion in Winter


On Oct 7 the PBS program Religion and Ethics featured a segment on Fr. Andrew Greeley. It marked the first time he has made a public appearance, I believe, since he suffered a traumatic brain injury in November 2008.

The film includes remarks by his niece, Eileen Durkin, and his longtime friend, Fr. John Cusick, some clips of Greeley commenting on church problems in the old days, and poignant shots of Greeley, assisted by Cusick and surrounded by his relatives, saying Mass at the home of Eileen.

See the video below:

Dysfunctional groups


I picked up a free book at a community center, Spycatcher, and read it on the bus from Chicago to St. Louis. It was written by Peter Wright, former assistant director of MI5, back in 1987, and I was expecting a good thriller.

What I got was a close description of group dysfunction dating back to the '30s and stretching across the "free" world, England, France, the U.S., Australia, Canada -- everybody, it seems but the KGB in the Soviet Union who had planted spies and spy equipment everywhere. And of course we don't have an insider to tell us about KGB failures and dysfunction.

It's not Peter Wright's point that MI5 needed better group dynamics. He's got a spy story to tell. But I found it a tough slog. It's a story of little accountability, little follow-through, little investigation -- an old boys' club where some of the boys were working for the other side.

NCR is now available on the Sony Reader


Image of NCR on the Sony ReaderAs of this morning, you can subscribe to the National Catholic Reporter on the Sony Reader.

Cost is $1.99 for a one-month subscription, which includes content from the print newspaper.

To purchase NCR for your Reader, visit Sony's Reader Store. For more information about the Reader-version of NCR, visit our FAQ page.

This is the second e-reader device that carries NCR. The Kindle version launched June 2011.

On this day: Christopher Columbus


On this day, in 1492, after 70 days at sea, Christopher Columbus stepped out of his boat and onto an island in the Bahamas.

On the previous evening, "when, according to invariable custom on board of the admiral's ship, the mariners had sung the Salve Regina, or vesper hymn to the Virgin, he made an impressive address to his crew. He pointed out the goodness of God in thus conducting them by soft and favouring breezes across a tranquil ocean, cheering their hope continually with fresh signs, increasing as their fears augmented, and thus leading and guiding them to a promised land."

--The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, by Washington Irving, 1828. Search term: Salve Regina. Page 107, ff.

'Hope&Joy' in South Africa: The beginning of the program


Earlier this year, I was invited by our community of Daughters of St. Paul in Johannesburg, South Africa, to take part in a two-year program running up to the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council.

Pope John XXIII announced his intention to call for a council Jan. 25, 1959, a mere three months into his pontificate. He convoked the council on Oct. 11, 1962, and Pope Paul VI closed the council Dec. 8, 1965.

The program is titled "Hope&Joy," drawn from the opening words of the final document of Vatican II, "Gaudium et spes," or "The Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World." This document was not envisioned or planned before the council convened like the others, but emerged from the work and input of the council participants, and, one might surmise, their associates and consultants and the Holy Spirit. It was promulgated on Dec. 7, 1965, one day before the end of the Second Vatican Council. (I am not sure yet why they chose hope and joy rather than the exact translation "joy and hope.")

Nuclear disarmament the topic at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library


For years it was something only peaceniks would openly discuss. Now, it seems, everybody wants to talk about nuclear disarmament, from former president Jimmy Carter to higher-ups in the Reagan administration.

This week, reports NPR, over 70 people once powerful in government are meeting at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to find ways to persuade governments to seriously work towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The meeting, NPR says, reflects that nuclear disarmament is one of the few bipartisan issues left.

From the piece:

"Lawrence S. Wittner, a history professor at New York State's University at Albany, is the author of several volumes on anti-nuclear efforts, including Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1971 to the Present. Wittner is keeping close watch on the event at the Reagan Library, which he says "is indicative of how much progress has been made in convincing former members of the national security establishment and other world leaders that the maintenance of nuclear arsenals imperils the world.""


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017