National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Irish Catholic kid from New Jersey new chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff


From the Huffington Post:

"The man chosen to lead the U.S. military as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the difficult years ahead is a muddy-boots combat soldier seemingly more comfortable in battle fatigues than in the dress blues of Washington's corridors of power.

But make no mistake: Martin Dempsey, a self-described Irish Catholic kid from Bayonne, N.J. is a battle-hardened commander seen by his colleagues as an inspired choice to guide the military through a painful period of deep budget cuts and manpower reductions. If he is confirmed as expected by the Senate, Dempsey's job will be to help forge a new strategy to direct the Pentagon's organization, investments, training and deployments for contingencies as disparate as managing a no-fly zone over Libya, a naval confrontation in the South China Sea, a failing government in nuclear-armed Pakistan and hostilities from North Korea and Iran."

Read more here.

Working-class pessimism


Working-class whites -- long considered most-likely-to-be-upwardly-mobile among blue-collar families -- now find themselves the most pessimistic. You can find a lot of reasons for this dilemma in the classic sitcom "All in the Family."

Ronald Brownstein writes in the Los Angeles Times and the National Journal that working class whites are now the most alienated sector of American voters. According to polls Brownstein cites, just one-third think their children will do better than they do -- an equal number believe their kids will actually do worse. "No other group is that negative," Brownstein says.

Standing up for peace amid the \"yo-yos\" of the US Congress


It was all rather disgusting. There they were, the members of the highest legislative body of the world's only superpower, flying up and down like so many yo-yos, applauding wildly, every few minutes or seconds, the most outrageous lies and distortions of Binyamin Netanyahu. – Israeli writer, Uri Avnery, "Bibi and the Yo-yos."

The expression of support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech before Congress this week was almost unanimous.

To a person, the U.S. lawmakers rose and applauded, 29 times, four times more than they did for President Obama's Inaugural Address.

But seated in the Capitol Gallery was one young woman who withheld her adulation: Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American of Israeli descent and member of the peace group CODEPINK.

The John Jay report on sex abuse: the question of the time period


Tom Roberts of NCR is a guest on Interfaith Voices this week, discussing the John Jay report on the causes and context of sex abuse in the Catholic Church. That report covers the period from 1950 to 2010.

As Tom points out, the entire study is severely hampered by the fact that it had only the data supplied by the Catholic bishops and their chancery offices. And then, it had data only from cases that were certifiable as sex abuse, not questionable cases.

On this day: The Visitation


On this day we celebrate the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her kinswoman, Elizabeth.

"Here is a rare glimpse of female reproductive power as both physically nurturing and politically revolutionary. 'The two pregnant women beat the drum of God's world revolution,' starting with the option for debased women and then including all the starving, powerless, and oppressed. . . . Clearly this is a picture of Mary that is the complete opposite of the passive, humble handmaid of the patriarchal imagination. . . . it portrays women looking to each other for validation of their authority rather than to men."

--Truly Our Sister: A Theology of Mary in the Communion of Saints, by Elizabeth A. Johnson, Continuum, 2003, page 260.

Morning Briefing


20 Salvadorans indicted for killing of Jesuits


According to a story posted on The Huffington Post today, A court in Spain has indicted 20 Salvadorans for the 1989 slaying of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter during that Central American country's civil war.

One of the principal investigators leading to the indictment was California's Center for Justice and Accountability. Read the entire story here.

Joe Feuerherd shaped minds, touched hearts


(Update: Latest funeral notes, including directions to funeral Mass below.)

The NCR staff has received a number of tributes to Joe Feuerherd, NCR Publisher and Editor-in-Chief following his death Thursday. The following are just a few:

Annette Lomont, NCR Board chair

I loved working with Joe. He was competent, creative, fun, and very proud of NCR. In an email to me at the end of April, he wrote, “The print edition of NCR over the past several issues has been as good as anything we've ever put out.

Needed discussion about sex offenders: part 2


I've been struggling for two weeks to write these two blogs on sex offenders. A friend said, "If it's so hard, why do it?" My answer is that I know it is important to talk about our feelings towards the least among us.

Actually, a friend of mine who was convicted for possession of child pornography on his computer hates being referred to as "the least among us." He's right. He's a person and whether saint or sinner is not for me to judge. He says he downloaded a batch of porn and didn't know the pictures of children were there. He says he never saw them. He served seven years in prison and he's angry.


Subscribe to NCR Today


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS