NCR Today

Richard Sipe suggests Pope Benedict should resign


In an article entitled "What can Benedict do to resolve the sexual crisis of Catholicism?" author Richard Sipe and Joe Rigert, write on the Australian Catholica website:

What can Benedict do to resolve the sexual crisis of Catholicism? At the very least he could open up for discussion and study the antiquated sexual teachings on such common practices as birth control, use of condoms and sex outside of marriage. Further, he could lead the way to making celibacy optional for priests and allow women in the ministry. (Would women have taken part in, or allowed, the sex abuse scandal?) And he might call for a representative church council to consider all of these basic reforms.

Conservative Catholics question beatification of John Paul II


A number of conservative Catholics, jointly signing an article in the Remnant Online, have seriously questioned the rush by the Vatican to beatify the last Pope John Paul II.

It appears arch-conservative Catholics are joining with many others on the progressive side of the church to examine the legitimacy of the quick beatification. Curiously, on the list was the late pope's relationship with Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries. (Editor's note: It is not often NCR is quoted to add credence to Remnant analysis.).

The letter stated:

A poem for the revolution


A reader's request: The poem by Edwin Markham THE MAN WITH THE HOE keeps ringing in my head as we see revolutions occurring. Could you print this poem along with Millet's painting of a brutalized toiler since the painting was the inspiration for the poem? It seems so timely and timeless that the poor continue to bear the burden of the wealthy.

Obama's visit to Romero's grave 'rings hollow,' says SOA Watch


President Obama's expected visit tomorrow to the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero "rings hollow" because of the continued operation of the U.S. military school that allegedly trained the slain archbishop's killers, says one human rights group.

SOA Watch, the organization founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, made the statement in a press release this morning, referring to operations at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas and located at Fort Benning, Ga.

“While we welcome President Obama’s interest in visiting Romero’s tomb, a more fitting tribute to Romero’s legacy would be the closure of the school that trained his murder[ers],” SOA Watch Latin American spokesperson Lisa Sullivan said in the statement.

Obama is making the stop to Romero's grave tomorrow as part of the Salvadoran stop of his Latin American tour this week.

A 1993 report by the U.N.-mandated Truth Commission for El Salvador specifically named Alvaro Saravia, Eduardo Avila, Roberto D'Aubuisson, and Fernando (El Negro) Sagrera as responsible for the 1980 murder of the archbishop while he was celebrating Mass.

Spring is promise


Spring is promise. The tomatoes will ripen in July. There will be no squash bugs. Apples will hang heavy. The hedge bindweed won’t take root and the roses will flower all summer, unhindered by bindweed and black spot.

That’s my frame of mind every spring and I remember that early liturgist Pius Parsch, saying, “Lent is the springtime of the soul.” That’s right. My meditation will be focused. I’ll drive with an attitude of forgiveness. I won’t eat desert and I will lose 10 pounds. And I’ll write Congress regularly -- long personal letters.

It isn’t just that hope springs eternal in the human breast. Springtime embodies hope. All of nature is quite literally bursting with life. Just look at the small bud casings that litter the ground as leaves and blossoms break out of their bindings.

Suffering continues. So does selfishness. But in my garden all the bulbs are sending up their shoots and I’m eager to see the first sprouts of snow peas and spinach that I dared to plant in February.

Single and Pulpit-less


As article in today's New York Times says that single Protestant ministers face bleak job prospects because congregations prefer that their pastors be married.

It reminded me of an earlier era when the assumption was that hiring a minister with wife was getting "two for the price of one."

On this day: Apparition at Castelpetroso


On this day in 1888, "two countrywomen belonging to Pastine, a hamlet in the diocese of Bojano, in Southern Italy, were sent to look for some sheep that had strayed on a neighboring hill, to which Castelpetroso is the nearest village. One was named Famiana Cecchino, and the other Serafina Giovanna Valentino; the former being a spinster aged thirty-five, and the latter a married woman a little younger. Before long they returned home, crying, sobbing, trembling, and terrified.

'No more war, never again war'


As the news broke Saturday that the U.S. would be making air strikes in Libya, I was frantically reading my twitter feeds to see the updates. I couldn't believe what I was reading.

One after another tweets popped up explaining what was happening. Pentagon spokesmen giving the specifics ('100,000 pounds of ordinance dropped in the first two hours'); reporters quoting the president ('there will be no boots on the ground'); commentators with the two sides of usual spin ('with this action the president has shown American strength'/'the president waited far too long and made us look weak.')


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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017