NCR Today

Morning Briefing

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Joe's passing

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All of us here at NCR's world headquarters in Kansas City, MO. are coping to get through a difficult day. Word came to us this morning that Joe Feuerherd, our friend, colleague, publisher and editor-in-chief had died, family at his side, in a hospice center in Rockville, MD.

Joe had been living with cancer for more than a year-and-a-half. He was always upbeat, cheerful, and encouraging. He was very brave.

German Catholics call for reform

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German theologians, youth and church workers are petition their bishops and Rome for reform.

The Associated Press reports:

The Vatican has not responded to the petitions, but the German Bishops Conference sought to address the issue in March by announcing a series of platforms for dialogue "aimed at giving our church in Germany a theological profile and sense of cohesion in this new century."

Many would welcome a signal from the pope that he supports such discussion, but there are no exchanges with parishioners or lay people scheduled during his Sept. 22-25 visit to Berlin and eastern Germany.

Read the full story: German Catholics call for reform, many leaving

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

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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

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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

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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

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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".

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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