NCR Today

Newt Gingrich's public Catholicism raises questions


The New York Times today features a front page article on Newt Gingrich, who is preparing a presidential bid. The Times article focuses on his new found and quite visible Catholicism and that of his third wife's.

It's a challenge for me to be charitable here.

The Times writies:

As he prepares for a Republican presidential primary run — he said Monday that he would formally declare his intentions on Wednesday — Mr. Gingrich is presenting himself as a family man who has embraced Catholicism and found God, with his wife as a kind of character witness.

On this day: St. John of Avila


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. John of Avila.

He was born in 1499 to Alfonso of Avila and Catherine Xixon. "His father was of Jewish ancestry, and his mother may also have been Jewish. Consequently, John of Avila 'had race' (ten'a raza), to use the expression current at the time to distinguish 'new Christians' or converts from 'old Christians'."

-- Audi, Filia -- Listen, O Daughter, by St. John of Avila, translated and introduced by Joan Frances Gormley, D.C., Paulist Press, 2006.

To understand what this meant in 16th-century Spain, see "Avila's Family and Jewish Background", page 4.

Morning Briefing


Opinion from Australia Losing faith in the Catholic Church, a "semi-reitred" Cahtolic reflects on her 72 years in the church

Opinion from Dayton, Ohio Must Catholics all worship alike?

MANILA, Philippines — The Catholic Bishops Conference has finally decided to pullout from its dialogue with the presidential palace on reproductive health/responsible parenthood measures.

Vancouver, Canada -- The Franciscan Sisters are moving out of their convent s Downtown Eastside, but the 500 men who line up daily for food and clothing will not go hungry.

Gingrich set to run for president, with his wife in a central role

One bishop who reads NCR


Bishop Joseph A. Galante of Camden, N.J. found food for thought in Fr. Tom Reese's essay for this publication, The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants.

Writing in his diocesan newspaper, Galatante notes one point from Reese in particular: "Those who leave Catholic practice often report that they find their hunger to understand the Scriptures better fed outside the Catholic Church."

Webathon: One grand thank you!


The Webathon turned out to be a success beyond our expectations. It turned out this way because you responded generously. In giving, you reassured us you find independent, Catholic journalism a value in your lives. Moreover, you reassured us the pastoral church, which came out of the Second Vatican Council, defined primarily as the People of God, is a church worth sustaining and building.

Kathy Kelly on democracy and the use of drones


Few have the credibility of Kathy Kelly to question the political and military decisions of national leaders. Her credibility stems from the fact that she has spent more time than most among the innocent most deeply affected by war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As she says in this recent piece questioning the use of predator drones as a means of accomplishing assassinations at a distance, her organization, Voices for Creative Nonviolence "believes that standing alongside people who bear the brunt of our wars helps us gain needed insights. Where you stand determines what you see.

Selling Everything But Religion


The other day a man fired a shotgun from his house at two Jehovah Witness women who had knocked on his door presumably to ask him if he knew where he would spend eternity.

According to local news reports, the man and his wife had shouted "This is a Catholic home" in an effort to chase the women away and the man fired four rounds into the front lawn when they didn't move fast enough to suit him.

Center condemns attempted assassination of American-born al-Aulaqi


The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has denounced the U.S. military's attempted assassination by drone missile last Friday of American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi (also spelled "al-Awlaki").

40-year-old al-Aulaqi was born in New Mexico and has dual citizenship with Yemen.

U.S. officials believe the tech-savvy cleric whose fiery sermons have been posted on YouTube, helped recruit a Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic flight as it landed in Detroit, Mich., on Dec. 25, 2009. Al- Aulaqi is also said to have exchanged e-mails with accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan.

Moore raises important issues regarding bin Laden


Michael Moore, the filmmaker, has publicly charged that the killing of Osama Bin Laden is murder and an assassination. He believes that there was a prior decision before the assault on Bin Laden's compound to not take him alive but to kill him even if he did not resist. Moore believes that this is both legally and morally wrong.

By apparently not taking Bin Laden alive (since it appears that he was not armed), Moore further believes that we as Americans have lost part of our national soul. By this he means that we are or should be a nation of laws and that that is what distinguishes us from many other societies.

Quebec churches switch to environment-friendly holy wine


From The Gazette in Montreal:

MONTREAL -- In recent years, the idea of consuming only foods that are produced within 100 miles of where you live has been popularized as way to reduce the need for long-haul trucking and to keep greenhouse gas emissions in check.

Now the Earth-friendly principle is about to be applied to the Roman Catholic Eucharist meal. A Quebec wine is set to replace the altar wine now in use in Catholic churches, a wine from California vineyards about 4,000 kilometres away.


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In This Issue

March 10-23, 2017