NCR Today

WikiLeaks source held in solitary confinement for seven months


Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to the international organization WikiLeaks, has been held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for the last seven months, reports Glenn Greenwald in an article for the online magazine Salon.

Manning, who was arrested by agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command July 5, is suspected of leaking the "Collateral Murder" video -- which shows an U.S. Apache helicopter attack which led to the deaths of Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists -- and U.S. diplomatic cables.

In isolation, Greenwald reports, Manning is barred from exercising and has been denied access to even "a pillow or sheets for his bed."

Amdist it all, "the brig's medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation."

Punk rocker joins Irish classical singers in Christmas recording


Finally, some good news coming out of Ireland. From the Catholic News Service (Dublin):

The Irish trio of clerical classical singers The Priests has teamed up with former hellion and punk rocker/Irish folk singer Shane MacGowan for a recording of "The Little Drummer Boy."

The track, also known as "Peace on Earth," was always going to be included on The Priests' third album, "Noel," but mindful of the success of the 1977 recording by Catholic crooner Bing Crosby and glam-rock star David Bowie, the clergymen thought a collaboration with another singer might provide a counterpoint to their classically trained voices.

"Our management told us Shane was available and we were delighted by the idea," Father Eugene O'Hagan, one of The Priests, told Catholic News Service.

A gifted songwriter, MacGowan, former lead singer with The Pogues and later a band named The Popes, became widely known for his alcoholic binges both on and off stage. His song "Fairytale of New York," recorded in 1987, is the Christmas song most requested and played on radio in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Morning Briefing


Phoenix bishop warns hospital on health-care rules, The bishop wants the hospital to give him more oversight of its practices

Stockton diocese pays two siblings $2M, abused as children by Oliver O'Grady

'Deliver Us from Evil' priest arrested in Ireland, Oliver O'Grady had been arrested in the Dublin

Rochester, N.Y.: Church leader joins state’s stem cell ethics panel

Dissident: Cuba won't let me accept rights prize, Guillermo Farinas' hunger strike helped pressure Havana into releasing political prisoners this year

Letter to the Editor: Catholics and the 2010 election

Afghan youth, US veterans teleconference


This is one of the effects of war, it makes people rough and violent.
                       --Afghan youth speaking during
                       Advent teleconference with a US veteran.

Every Sunday in Advent from 1-2 p.m. eastern time, Afghan youth and U.S. veterans have been sharing their experiences of war and occupation in a remarkable series of tele-conferences that are free and open to the public.

Popular British writer walks to repent homophobia


British Christian writer Symon Hill is walking away from his homophobic ways.

In an effort to pray, reflect, and ask forgiveness for those harmed by his prejudices, Hill will walk nearly two hundred miles from Birmingham to London beginning in June 2011. Along his route, he will speak to whatever churches welcome the opportunity to be in dialogue with him.

Hill, who converted to Christianity in his late teens, admits that his motivation for actively campaigning against same-sex relationships was due in part to his desire to fit in at the church he had joined.

Read his full statement here.

Invitation for NCR readers in NYC


NCR web columnist Phyllis Zagano, who is also Senior Research Associate-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor of Religion at Hofstra University, is part of a panel today at Fordham University.

Avery Dulles and the Future of Theology
Book Forum

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | 6-8 PM
Fordham University | Lincoln Center Campus
Pope Auditorium | 113 West 60th Street

Free and Open to the Public
RSVP:, (212) 636-7347

The publication of Avery Cardinal Dulles: A Model Theologian by Patrick W. Carey will be the point of departure for this forum. A distinguished panel of theologians will discuss and debate the future of theology in light of Cardinal Dulles’s work. They will look at the questions that Dulles asked and didn't ask, the answers he gave as a potential foundation for future Catholic theology, and the significance of his method and style for addressing pressing theological issues.

Aristotle Papanikolaou, Associate Professor of Theology and Co-Founding Director, Orthodox Christian Studies Program, Fordham University.


Thomas Berry and the UN Climate Conference


If there were ever a time when the voice of Thomas Berry needs to echo across the planet, this is it. The eco-spirituality of the recently deceased Passionist priest and earth-prophet calls on humanity to create a new age of harmony with all other forms of life.

His message assumes increasing importance as it becomes clearer that climate change is the most critical moral issue of the 21st century.

Missionaries of Charity Brothers elect new 'general servant'


The Union of Catholic Asian News sat down with the new head of the Missionaries of Charity Brothers last week.

Here's a little bit of the interview:

Brother David Roberts, new head of the Missionaries of Charity (MC) Brothers, says they are getting fewer vocations as their simple and difficult lifestyle offers only challenges to the materialistic modern world.

Although aging members and a sense of uncertainty challenges his congregation, the brothers will continue to serve the poorest of the poor as shown by their co-founder Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, he says.

Brother Roberts was elected the new head of the MC Brothers during the congregation’s general chapter held in Kolkata Nov. 15- Dec. 7 for a six-year term.

In the following interview, he shares about his life and plans for the congregation he now heads. Why did you join the MC Brothers?

BROTHER DAVID ROBERTS: I always wanted to work with the handicapped. When I was a child, the plight of the mentally challenged shook me. I still recall the joy of being able to help a little boy with no hands work with a computer. He now has a family and work.

Trying to make a papal gamble on evangelization pay off


ROME -- Popes, like musical composers, tend to weave certain major and minor themes throughout their body of work. If you want to know which compositions they regard as turning points, therefore, look for the ones where they step outside their own skin -- breaking with the instincts of a lifetime in order to accomplish something new.


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December 2-15, 2016