NCR Today

DignityUSA: A show of fidelity

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Much has been made in recent months of the enormous drain of members from the Roman Catholic Church in the United States in recent decades. The estimated 28 million who have left for an array of reasons would constitute, taken together, the second largest denomination in the country after Catholics who remain.

That statistic occurred to me last Saturday as I sat as one of four panelists during a segment of DignityUSA’s 20th national convention in Washington. Dignity is the major organization of Catholic lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics as well as their friends, families and other allies.

During Independence Day weekend more than 300 gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington for a convention headlined “Love Hopes All Things.”

Cardinal Burke coming to Kansas City

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NCR readers may want to attended the July 23 conference, "Being Faithful, Even Unto Death: Catholic Wisdom on the Treatment of the Disabled and Dying," where Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signa (the Vatican's "supreme court") will be a keynote speaker.

The conference is sponsored by the St. Gianna Physician's Guild and is billed as presenting "medical, legal and doctrinal analysis of Catholic care of the disabled and dying."

Cardinal Burke is to speak at 9:15 a.m. July 23. The title of his talk is “The Mystery of Human Suffering and Dying.”

Other speakers on the bill include: Bobby Schindler and Suzanne Vitadamo, the brother and sister of Terri Schiavo, and Gianna Emanuela Molla, the youngest daughter of Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1962).

Martin Scorsese and Catholic suffering

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He was criticized by many Christians for his controversial movie "The Last Temptation of Christ," but a new review of Martin Scorsese's work paints the director as one of America's most Catholic filmmakers.

Even beyond "Last Temptation," Scorsese has rarely achieved widespread acceptance; his films are often called too dark and tragic for general audiences. Movies like "Raging Bull" and "Gangs of New York" can seem bleak for bleakness sake -- offering nothing more than a downbeat take on a cynical world.

But in the July edition of Harper's Magazine, Vince Passaro writes passionately about how Scorsese's strong Italian Catholic upbringing lies at the heart of the stories he tells on film. In interviews, Scorsese has admitted that one of his great themes is betrayal -- and Passaro notes that in each movie, Scorsese's turncoat ends up alone, isolated from society, a Judas who pays a heavy price. More than that, Passaro writes, Scorsese's tragic figures demonstrate "what becomes of men who are separated from God, men who are lost."

Delaware priest admits stealing from parishes

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From WPVI-TV Channel 6 in Philadelphia:

A Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to felony theft after being charged with embezzling more than $350,000 from two parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.

The Rev. Cornelius Breslin entered the plea in New Castle County Superior Court on Wednesday, the same day he was to go to trial on charges of stealing from St. Patrick and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception parishes.

The 59-year-old Breslin pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft over $100,000. Prosecutors agreed to drop a second theft count and two counts of falsifying business records.

Breslin will be sentenced Sept. 23, following a presentencing investigation. Sentencing guidelines call for up to one year in prison.

Morning Briefing

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Wilmington, Del. Former pastor pleads guilty to stealing from two parishes

Fr. Corapi Catholic priest accused of improper behavior; lived with ex-prostitute, superiors say

Diocese of Orange may make bid for Crystal Cathedral

Illinois and Indiana Catholic hospitals reach merger agreement. Their service area is primarily in Aurora, Chicago, Danville, Des Plaines, Elgin, Joliet, Kankakee, Rockford, Champaign-Urbana and Avilla, Ind.

N. Calif. bishop embroiled in abuse cases resigns. Diocesan spokeswoman said Walsh is "very tired."

A call for amnesty

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I heard an economist from the state of Georgia talking on the news the other day about the need for farm labor. He said we need a guest worker program, but not amnesty.

I was disappointed that the interviewer didn't ask why amnesty would be such a bad thing. We need workers. These are men and women willing to do the toughest labor, in the heat amid the bugs, the economist said. That should count as evidence of good citizenship.

Instead, he, the economist, wants to send them all to prison for using false social security numbers. Even there, the money that should go to the workers went back to the government. We could consider its loss as punishment, if punishment is required.

Sex abuse victim awaits bishop's promised call to his mom

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As part of a sex abuse settlement, an attorney for the Pueblo, Colo., diocese made a promise to John Yengich.

In March, the attorney told Yengich, who was molested by a priest in the diocese between 1968-1969, that Bishop Fernando Isern of the diocese would call Yengich's mother to express remorse over what happened to her son.

Three months later, Yengich's attorney says the call still hasn't happened.

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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