NCR Today

The Killing of Osama bin Laden

 | 

Last night, when I awoke to the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. Special Forces, I was stunned by the fact that celebrations had broken out. They made me feel extremely uneasy. The celebrations are certainly understandable in the light of 9/11, but it seems ungodly to celebrate someone’s death, someone’s killing - even if they have done horrible things in their lifetime.

I am reminded of my recent interview with Rabbi Capers Funnye when we were discussing the Exodus story. He said that the Israelites initially rejoiced when Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the Red Sea. But God rebuked them, saying that they should not rejoice in the deaths of their enemies. And of course, I am reminded of Jesus who told us to “love our enemies.”

I see this killing as an act of war in the U.S. struggle against Al Qaida. But it raises the timeless question of retribution: an “eye for an eye.” This is an attitude that fuels conflicts that never seem to end, like the strife in Northern Ireland and the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

Former bishops' review board head laments lack of progress

 | 

There has been considerable buzz in the Catholic blogosphere in the past couple days since Justice Anne Burke, former Chairperson of the U.S. Bishops' National Review Board on sex abuse wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune (and a similar piece in U.S. Catholic) in which she laments that "little has changed" since 2002 in the child abuse mess.

Anti-Catholic Jibes on Display at Washington Post?

 | 

Does this otherwise thought-provoking Washington Post review of a photography exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art include ignorant anti-Catholic sneers? Absolutely.

The Church, says critic James Edward Kaufman, “Ignored the AIDS crisis that inspired the work.” That is simply false, as any AIDS victim who received care at the New York Archdiocese’s St. Vincent’s Hospital or from Catholic religious orders in the early to mid-1980s could attest. Kaufman’s tone, meanwhile, reveals someone whose rage at the Church runs deep.

The latter is fair enough. Many of us are angry with the Church’s attitude toward gays. That anger, however, doesn’t absolve those of us who write for publication from getting the facts right.

Hans Kung on John Paul II beatification

 | 

Swisse theologian Hans Kung speaks out on the beatification of now Blessed John Paul II.

In an interview last weekend with German daily the Frankfurter Rundschau , Küng says John Paul II does not merit being presented to the faithful as an example. He says: “John Paul II is universally praised as someone who fought for peace and human rights. But his preaching to the outside world was in total contrast with the way he ran the church from inside, with an authoritarian pontificate which suppressed the rights of both women and theologians.”

Read full report.

On Osama bin Laden's death

 | 

When I was about eight, my father said at the dinner table he'd had a drink with a friend after work to celebrate the death of Stalin. He said, "It's a terrible thing to celebrate a man's death."

I don't think there was any more table conversation about Stalin. But the comment stayed in my mind, and it surfaces on days like today when the media report crowds at the White House in the middle of the night, cheering and singing "God Bless America," jubilant at the death of Osama bin Laden.

Webathon: Bright and Early Monday Morning

 | 

Good morning valued NCR readers!

This is the first weekday morning of our second annual Webathon, the one week of the year we go all out to ask for your help. This is your chance to make a donation - $20, $50, $100, $500 or more – to keep this Web site healthy and growing.

This is our make or break week, and Monday - today – is the day we set the stage for the entire week. Please, please do not wait. Donate now!

Morning Briefing

 | 

A reflection Osama bin Laden's death and questions of faith

Holy relic A small quantity of blood from the late Pope John Paul II will be exhibited. The blood was taken for a medical test shortly before John Paul's death in April 2005, and later divided into four containers

Japan says no limits to Tepco liability from nuclear disaster

Chicago St. Sabina members feel betrayed by church authorities

Australia Vatican forced Queensland bishop into early retirement after five year investigation. He had suggested a wider use of women and other ministers in his parishes.

Osama bin Laden's death and questions of faith

 | 

Osama bin Laden is dead. President Obama just went on television live, at near midnight Eastern Time to make the announcement.

A ten-year quest to hunt down the man considered most responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks ended with an firefight with U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan, Obama said.

Bin Laden's death certainly comes with many of the typical questions. What will it mean for Al Qaeda, the terrorist group he led? Will it incense the group, or others, to launch plans for other attacks on U.S. targets?

But maybe it raises other, deeper questions.

This weekend I've been covering a Catholic Worker faith and resistance retreat in Kansas City, Mo. From across the country, people have come here to protest the construction of a major new nuclear weapons production facility.

While talking with many of those gathered -- both young and old; those who have been arrested many times for acts of civil disobedience, those who are planning to risk arrest for the first time tomorrow -- I've asked what brought them to this point, what inspired them to live a life of nonviolent witness.

Beatification of JP II: Interview with Cardinal Francis George

 | 

ROME -- Cardinal Francis George of Chicago was appointed a bishop by Pope John Paul II three different times: first in Yakima, Washington, in 1990, then as archbishop of Portland in 1996, and finally as archbishop of Chicago in 1997. One year later, John Paul also elevated George to the College of Cardinals.

tThose repeated demonstrations of papal confidence may help explain why George, 74, wanted to be on hand for the May 1 beatification of John Paul II.

tAs fate would have it, George left for Rome amid a controversy in Chicago over his suspension of the high-profile, charismatic Fr. Michael Pfleger, known for his social activism, especially on behalf of African-Americans. (Pfleger has repeatedly refused to accept a transfer from his present parish.) Chicago area media asked George to explain how much time he was willing to give Pfleger, and George replied that was mostly up to him.

“We’ll be in conversation at some point, I hope,” George said.

Pages

Subscribe to NCR Today

300x80-lighthope-web-ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

NCR_12-2.jpg