NCR Today

Sex abuse cases come to light in Venice, Fla., diocese


Three cases of sexual misconduct by clergy have come to light in recent days in the Venice, Fla, diocese.

Two weeks ago, Fr. Bernard Chojnacki, a vicar at a local parish, was arrested for allegedly exposing his genitals to a county sheriff and then grabbing the sheriff's genitals.

Carmelite Fr. William C. Wert, who has been living in a retirement home in the diocese while on a leave of absence, was arrested in February on two counts of committing a sex offense against a victim between the ages of 12 and 15. Shortly after his arrest, authorities filed eight more charges of sex offenses against a minor and lewd and lascivious behavior.

Meanwhile, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Tuesday that a former Catholic high school teacher in the diocese has filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired for raising concerns about a third priest.

John Jay on what the critics got wrong


"The lead researcher of last month’s Causes and Context report on the child sexual abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church speaks out on the controversy surrounding the study, and explains why it lays out a roadmap for the future," reads the precede to a commentary by Karen J. Terry, who views most of the criticism of the report as misguided based on misunderstandings caused by -- no surprise here -- "the media" and a "spin" that had only a "tangential" relationship to the real stuff in the report.

The first misconception she refers to is the media's understanding of the report's blaming the permissive era of the '60s and '70s as one of the major causes of priest's errant behavior. Read the entire article here.

If the press got that incorrect so did a lot of bishops who have been out almost gloating over that very interpretation of the cause of the crisis. The report has given them considerable language with which to deflect attention away from their own role in the scandal.

Six questions for pro-life candidates


An array of Republican candidates for president will attend the National Right to Life Convention this week. Presumably they will all speak, each attempting to make the case of being the most right-to-life of all.

I wish the convention delegates would ask each of them the following questions:

  1. What have you done to provide health care for children born with disabilities?

  2. Do you also endorse the United Nations Rights of the Child?

  3. Do you view the federal budget as a moral document? Explain.

  4. Cardinal Bernadine spoke of the choice for life as a seamless garment. What did he mean and do you agree?

  5. What have you done to oppose the death penalty?

  6. How would you “right-size” the military budget?

Plenty of people would not like these questions, but many of us would welcome them. In the 1970’s the St. Louis Archdiocese put up billboards saying, “God is pro-life.” I’ve been waiting ever since for the anti-abortion movement to become a life movement.

Belfast riots renew calls for Protestant-Catholic dialogue


From The Christian Science Monitor:

"Rioting engulfed the Short Strand district of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday night, as pro-British loyalists and Irish republican residents of the area clashed for the second consecutive day.

Local police said that as many as 400 people participated in the violence and that a news photographer was wounded in a shooting in one of Belfast's most tense neighborhoods. In an effort to break up the fights, police fired at least 66 plastic bullets but made only one arrest: a young woman was detained on suspicion of possession of a firearm and assaulting police."

Read more here.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor and living with diabetes


Catholic U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, offered a very personal story about living most of her life with diabetes, and offered one-of-a-kind encouragement to some 150 kids:

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was seven years old and living in the South Bronx when she found she was thirsty all the time. Soon after, she started wetting her bed at night.

"I was ashamed," the 56-year-old justice said, as she related how she came to learn that she has diabetes. The audience for the unusually personal glimpse at a justice's life was children who are diabetics, like Sotomayor. And the reason she met with them Tuesday in a Washington ballroom was to assure them that their common affliction is no bar to doing anything they want.

"It's a disease you have to deal with, but you can," she said, as she sat in an armchair with 150 children seated in a semicircle on the carpet in front of her."

Diabetes is known as "A disease so common that it strikes EVERY 20 seconds."

On this day: St. Etheldreda


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, who died in 679. St. Etheldreda's Day is observed by Roman Catholics, the Anglican Communion, and Eastern Orthodoxy.

The popular form of her name was Audrey. The cheap jewelry and lace collars sold at St. Audrey's Fair each year at Ely were "tawdry" merchandise.

Etheldreda/Audrey has two feasts, her repose on June 23rd and the translation of her relics on October 17th.

Will work for free


When I was in college, well-meaning professors and counselors encouraged me to seek out summer internships in journalism as a great way to make contacts and launch a career. But I couldn't afford it.

I worked every summer to help pay for my college expenses, and drove my father's bread truck on the weekends so he could finally get a day off. The idea of working for nothing -- for something vague like contacts that may or may not pay off down the road -- seemed like an extravagance in which I could not indulge.

NCR is now available on the Amazon Kindle


NCR on the KindleAs of this morning, you can read NCR on your Kindle.

About a year ago, subscribers began requesting access to NCR via their e-readers, Kindle being the most popular. We are happy to make NCR available in this new medium for the convenience of our subscribers, and hope that a new community of readers will discover NCR.

You can subscribe to the Kindle version of NCR at the Amazon Kindle store. Subscription cost is $1.99 per month, and Amazon offers a 14-day free trial.

The Kindle version of NCR is identical to the print version. Kindle's special features enhance the reading experience, including font size adjustment, highlighting and note taking. More information about NCR on the Kindle can be found on our FAQ page.

Detroit weekend of lectures, emotions neglects sex abuse crisis


Several thousand Catholics from around the U.S. and even a few foreign countries gathered in Detroit June 10-12 to ponder their assessment of the present and hopes for the future of the Catholic Church. The weekend revealed some toxic aspects of today's version of the institutional Church. It also revealed some expected and also disturbing aspects of the groups gathered. The single phenomenon that has forced into the open the tragic and often toxic flaws of the institutional Church has been the worldwide sex abuse crisis. Yet, officially, the American Catholic Council only gave the abuse issue a passing nod: a single breakout session.


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017