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Kids Around the World See a New Role for Royalty


ABC News, like every other news network, is fixated on today's royal wedding. In one of the seemingly endless series of preparatory stories, Diane Sawyer and the ABC news team interviewed children in England, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Islamabad and Moscow. They asked these groups of 7- and 8-year-olds what they think it's like to be a prince or a princess.

Thoughts on communion denial


Yesterday's news about a Texas boy with cerebral palsy being denied the Eucharist in a first Communion Mass is awful on a number of levels.

First, the reporting in the ABC news piece is shoddy and illustrative of why we need actual religion reporters in our newsrooms: "The important ceremony means the child has been embraced by the church community. And it is accompanied by traditional family celebrations and gifts."

Really? That's what First Communion is? The knowledge of the various sacraments or rites of particular faith groups is Religion Reporting 101, folks, and the ABC team didn't show up for class.

Beatifications and Politics


E.J. Dionne wrote a very insightful column in today's Washington Post (April 28) calling for a fast track to sainthood for Pope John XXIII. He acknowledges that church politics put Pope John Paul II on a "fast track" to beatification, while noting that Pope John XXIII's beatification was kept on a slow track, and completed only when paired with the beatification of the super-reactionary Pope Pius IX.

WikiLeaks suspect now 'medium custody' prisoner


FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, whose treatment in custody has spurred protests from supporters and human rights groups, is now considered a “medium custody” prisoner and is allowed three hours of recreation a day, the U.S. Army announced this afternoon.

The announcement came at the end of a morning press tour of the facility here where Manning is being held. NCR was part of the tour, which included about a dozen representatives from local, national, and international press organizations.

Manning was moved to the Joint Regional Correctional Facility here April 20 from the Marine brig in Quantico, Va. where he had been held since July, 2010.

The conditions of his imprisonment at Quantico spurred the wide-ranging protests. While at the Virginia facility, Manning was placed into solitary confinement for 23 hours each day and forced to wear only a suicide-proof smock each night.

Father Pfleger and obedience


If Cardinal George’s suspension of Father Michael Pfleger was meant to shut him up, so far it seems to be working. Plenty of folks have been speaking out—mainly hurt and angry parishioners—about the letter the outstpoken Chicago priest received yesterday, but Pfleger has declined to speak to the media.

In the sternly written letter—which the archdiocese gave to Pfleger, the parish and the media—George officially suspends Pfleger from his duties as pastor of St. Sabina Parish on Chicago’s South Side. The straw that broke the bishop’s back seems to be Pfleger’s public remarks that he would leave the Catholic Church if reassigned.

"If that is your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church and are therefore not able to pastor a Catholic parish," the cardinal wrote.

Beatification Q&A #4: What's the Divine Mercy connection?


ROME -- For the wider world, this Sunday will be remarkable as the day when Pope John Paul II is beatified. But John Paul himself would probably insist that it’s even more significant as “Divine Mercy Sunday,” a liturgical feast based on the teachings of an early 20th century Polish nun and visionary named St. Faustina Kowalska.

tJohn Paul II died on April 2, 2005, just after a vigil Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday, and six years later, he’s being beatified on the day itself.


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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