NCR Today

The Crusades live on -- yikes!


The shootings and bombings in Norway last week were horrific by any standard. But those murders, which the perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, tried to justify in his online writings, reveal something more than the acts of a madman.

They reveal a perverted version of Christianity, soaked in the same righteous Islamophobia that inspired the medieval Crusades. Breivik named Islam as a danger to European civilization and "Christendom." And he himself identifies as a modern-day crusader, a member of the Knights Templar.

On this day: Grandparents


On this day we celebrate the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne.

Jesus' maternal grandparents are not mentioned in the Bible. The apocryphal Book of James, written in the 2nd century, relates the story of Joachim and Anne.

There are a few interesting details: Baby Mary could walk at the age of six months, and at the age of three she "danced with her feet" on the "third step of the altar" in "the temple of the Lord."

Noted law professor seeks to bar CUA from ending co-ed residences


WASHINGTON -- A George Washington University law professor noted for his groundbreaking legal campaigns against smoking and obesity has declared war on The Catholic University of America's recent decision to change its co-ed residences on campus to single-sex housing.

The professor, John H. Banzhaf III, has filed a complaint with the District of Columbia Human Rights Office claiming that CUA President John Garvey violated the DC Human Rights Act's prohibitions against sex discrimination when he decided to place all incoming freshmen who live on campus in single-sex residences this fall. Over the next three years the rest of the current co-ed residences are to be converted as well, as new incoming classes follow the same pattern.

The notion of \"my country\"


A young Mexican American middle school student in the Big Bear Valley Unified School District in California has filed a lawsuit supported by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). The lawsuit alleges that Coral Aviles, 13, was subject to racial harassment by her teacher because of her Mexican background and that the school and school district did not respond adequately, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to Aviles, in June 2010, the teacher asked her if she was Mexican because she was wearing a soccer jersey with "Mexico" on it. Aviles replied that she was of Mexican background whereupon, according to Aviles, the teacher just lost it:

Cleveland is abuzz


Michael O'Malley, religion reporter for Cleveland's The Plain Dealer, has a report on the week-long visit to Cleveland by Bishop Emeritus John M. Smith of Trenton, N.J., who is conducting a Vatican-sponsored apostolic visitation of the diocese.

The whole affair is shrouded in secrecy, but O'Malley does a good job of peeking under the veils. Read the report here: Cleveland Catholics abuzz over investigation of Bishop Richard Lennon.

Morning Briefing


Ireland Vatican recalls envoy to Ireland amid abuse uproar. NCR is workiogn on this story now. Check the web site later for an update.

Ireland Catholic Church Denies Legal Responsibility For Sexual Abuse. Defence argue that Catholic priests are not legally employees of the church

Australia Catholic apology over Australia forced adoptions

Philippines Catholic prelates ask Aquino to speak clearly on RH bill, gambling policy

Insurance-paid birth control? Religions react

It's Unthinkable But It Might Be Christian


All the medical studies show the same thing -- lots of bangs on the head by guys in football helmets lead to brain failure, mental illness and early death.

No question about it. So shouldn't it be, so to speak, a no-brainer? Quit doing it. Don't clamp the pads on the kids and goad them into tearing into each other?

But the rabid loyalty to this barely sublimated tribal warfare guarantees that the terrible price paid for ringing each others' bells will be denied, ignored and rationalized. And these are our kids. We still think it's more important for our boys to prove themselves on the gridiron than to prevent their minds from falling to pieces.

The absurdity of this dishonesty came to the fore this past week when the Ivy League was actually praised for being in the "vanguard" of progress by limited "full pad" hitting to two practices a week. The NCAA allows five, so this is seen as a major step forward.

It's as if in Russian roulette some decide to allow live bullets in the chamber only 40 percent of the time. The Ivy League, no fool in the matter of gaining attention, deserved or not, is hailed for what is at best a half-way measure.


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017