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More than 2600 activists arrested in US protests since Obama's election


While popular uprisings in the Middle East have captured the attention of the mainstream media, people power in the good ole USA is also on the rise, according to Bill Quigley, professor of law at Loyola University New Orleans and Associate Legal Director of Center for Constitutional Rights.

Quigley reports that over 2600 activists have been arrested in U.S. protests since the election of President Obama: 665 in 2009, more than 1290 in 2010, and more than 670 in this year alone. Americans have been arrested for protesting "U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo, strip mining, home foreclosures, nuclear weapons, immigration policies, police brutality, mistreatment of hotel workers, budget cutbacks, Blackwater, the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, and right wing efforts to cut back collective bargaining," writes Quigley, who has catalogued U.S. protests and arrests from the past two and a half years.

Needed discussions about sex offenders


I want to talk about a difficult topic: men and women in prison who have been convicted of sex offenses.

This is a frightening topic because we fear for the safety of our children and because we women fear rape. Sitting safely in our warm homes, we see so many television crime stories and headlines of child abduction and sexual sadism that we imagine these crimes to be rampant -- even as we choose to be entertained by them.

So we vote for the politician who is toughest on crime. Fear trumps hope. Punishment and revenge trump faith and forgiveness.

The other history of abuse in Catholic Ireland


Many NCR readers may remember the 2002 film The Magdalene Sisters, which tells the largely unknown story of Irish women who were forced to labor in laundries for breaking Catholic Ireland's strict sexual codes. In most cases, these women were caught giving birth out of wedlock.

It is estimated that more than 30,000 women were sentenced to work in these laundries, which were run by orders of women religious. The conditions were harsh, and many survivors recount stories of physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Though the Irish government denies having a role in these private run laundries, there is evidence that state officials routinely sentenced women offenders to the laundries. Records also indicate that the nuns were given lucrative government contracts to support these programs.

For two years, the advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes has lobbied the Irish government to investigate the laundries, but to no avail.

On this day: St. Philip Neri


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Philip Neri, Apostle of Rome, Founder of the Oratory.

Philip Neri was born in Florence in 1515. At the age of 17, unable to endure life under the Medici, he left the city.

"It is no accident that Philip left Florence at this time, never to return. . . . The experience of a republic under the rule of Christ, the preference for a community with a democratic order; these were later to be fundamental in the Oratory".

On this day: St. Madeleine Sophie Barat


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

"Sophie was living in Paris when the Revolutionary period gave way to the rise of Napoleon and the establishment of the Empire. At this time many women all over France, in a bid to restore the primacy of religion and the place of the church, initiated small communities focused on social work, mostly in education and health."

"Sophie Barat's chosen area was the education of young women of the aristocracy and upper middle-classes and the education of the poor. To this purpose, she established boarding schools and poor schools, usually on the same property."

Morning Briefing


Florida state panel: diocese likely discriminated against Hispanic employees


What makes this story especially newsworthy is that parishes and dioceses around the country, like the Diocese of St. Augustine, Fla., are also downsizing whether due to a lack of priests or a lack of money and need to be cognizant of discrimination issues. The leadership in the Diocese of St. Augustine most likely did not intend to discriminate against Hispanic employees, but the impact of their decisions had the likely affect of discrimination, according to the Florida Commission on Human Rights. Of course, the diocese disputes the claim.

According to the Gainesville Sun:

The Diocese of St. Augustine likely discriminated against Hispanic employees in Gainesville who bore the brunt of last year's restructuring as a result of a budget shortfall, a state commission determined.


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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