NCR Today

Initial thoughts on the new sex abuse report


I am just absorbing the news articles outlining the results of the long-awaited study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice regarding the causes and contexts of clergy sexual abuse. Both David Gibson of Religion News Service and Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times have detailed pieces on the study, which will be released today.

My first thought is how incredibly valuable this study will be to help us understand what caused the scourge of clergy sexual abuse, both in understanding what creates an abusive priest and what kind of culture protects him.

The RNS piece states: “The ‘situational’ nature of the abuse by clergy is comparable to that of police officers who brutalize people, the authors write. The stress of the work, the perils of isolation and a lack of oversight are factors that contribute to ‘deviant behavior.’”

On this day: Big Joe Turner


On this day a hundred years ago, Joe Turner was born in Kansas City.

"During K.C.'s heyday there was an extraordinary abundance of nightlife. Of literally hundreds of clubs that rose and fell, the most famous are the Sunset, the Subway, and the Reno. Of the countless performers making the scene, many achieved acclaim. Two of them, Joe Turner and Pete Johnson, merit special mention because they are so strongly identified with the joyous spirit of K.C. nightlife."

"Joe was the greatest blues singer in town (probably the greatest blues singer in any town, and certainly among the fathers of rock and roll), and Pete was the local king of boogie-woogie piano."

Morning Briefing


The big news of the day is the release of the 300-page report, formally called “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010,” prepared by by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

NCR will have full coverage and analysis later today. Until then read:

Philippines Battle of condom enters Philippine Congress

When the World Doesn't Stop to Let You Off


Alvin Toffler warned us years ago that we were in the throes of "future shock" paralysis: events and changes flooded us at a faster and faster speeds, boggling our minds and confounding our understanding. Message: we would never figure out what was going on as wave after wave of newness crashed in on us.

That plus the swirl of staggering facts leave me stupefied.

Desperate Americans buy kidneys from Peru poor in fatal trade


If there is one thing that should unite all Americans, -- in the North, Central and South -- it is ending the "growing and illicit market for organ transplants that spans the globe."

Here's a sobering report from Bloomberg:

"In the illegal organ trade, brokers scour the world’s slums, preying on the poor with promises of easy money and little risk in exchange for a kidney. Inside hospitals, people are injured or killed by botched surgery as doctors place money above ethics, criminal investigators say."

On this day: Canonization of The?re?se


On this day in 1925, in St. Peter's Basilica, "in the presence of thirty-three cardinals and two hundred and fifty bishops", Pope Pius XI "inscribed little The?re?se Martin in the catalogue of saints". He had beatified her two years earlier. She was the "star of his pontificate".

Pope Pius X, in a private audience in 1907, just ten years after The?re?se's death, "did not hesitate to anticipate the future by calling her 'the greatest saint of modern times'".

Pope Benedict XV, in 1917, "exempted the cause from the fifty years delay imposed by law for canonisation. On 14 August 1921 he promulgated the decree on the heroic quality of the virtues of Sister The?re?se of the Child Jesus".

Morning Briefing


The Guardian, UK The Catholic church is doing its best to stamp out child abuse

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia Church still drags its heels on child abuse

Delaware Diocese of Wilmington ordered to disclose additional information to its creditors -- including its intention to continue providing financial assistance to several priests and former priests on the bishop's 2006 list of those credibly accused of sexual abuse.

WELLSVILLE, Ohio Members of Wellsville Catholic Church upset over consolidation

Need Job? Try Church.


In these extraordinarily difficult economic times, job-seekers (including the newly-minted graduates) should check to see if their local Catholic parish has an outreach program:

According to the Wall Street Journal:

"Across the nation, local churches and other religious organizations have stepped up their recession-busting efforts with free career workshops, résumé clinics and networking functions. The latter can generate quick leads if leveraged properly since religious-centered networks tend to have very invested members, says Elliot Lasson, executive director of Joblink of Maryland, a job matching service that works with the Jewish community in Baltimore. "It's a community that wants to help each other," he says. But netting results requires effort."

Boehner episode can start the dialogue


I want to weigh in on the controversy of House Speaker John Boehner being invited by the Catholic University of America to be its commencement speaker this past weekend.

As some of you know, 81 Catholic academics send a letter to Boehner pointing out that while they did not oppose his speaking at Catholic University, they were disappointed that as a Catholic himself, Boehner seems to have no sensitivity to Catholic social doctrine that focuses on social justice for working people and the poor.


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In This Issue

February 24-March 9, 2017