NCR Today

Blasphemy laws have roots in Judaism and Christianity


Interfaith understanding often requires an honest look at history. On this week’s Interfaith Voices, we deal with the infamous “blasphemy laws” in Pakistan –- and the history of blasphemy laws, which –- it turns out -– did not originate with Muslims. In all cases, they are a testimony to religious intolerance and often rabid religious violence.

Gratitude to those 'who had a hand in the miracle'


So, how does it feel to be involved -- directly involved -- in a miracle, our friends at Catholic Relief Services ask.

Every single indication -- a violent past, entrenched illiteracy, food and health crises, and scores of incendiary tribal conflicts -- every single indication convinced every single long- and short-term observer that in the very best case, southern Sudan's historic referendum would be tainted by violence.

The live-streaming of a final farewell


Earlier this week, The New York Times ran a story about the video streaming of funerals online.

I had never heard of it before, but apparently funeral homes are increasingly providing this additional service. Even the esteemed Frank E. Campbell memorial chapel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan -- where mourners have paid their respects to notable figures like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John Lennon, William Randolph Hearst, George Gershwin, and Heath Ledger -- has begun a webcasting pilot program.

Activists plan to widen campaign to close Guantanamo


Just days after completing an eleven-day fast calling for the closure of the U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo, Cuba, a group of anti-torture activists announced Wednesday plans to widen their campaign.

The online announcement by the group Witness Against Torture included an important summary of the current state of affairs for those detained in U.S. military facilities.

On this day: St. Joseph Freinademetz, SVD


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph Freinademetz.

"Joseph Freinademetz was born on April 15, 1852, in Oies, a small hamlet of five houses situated in the Dolomite Alps of northern Italy." In Ladin, he was called Üjöp.

In 1878, as a young priest, he joined the newly formed Society of the Divine Word and was sent as a missionary to China.

Morning Briefing


State of the union Ö state of the church?


I listened, as I do every year, to the President’s State of the Union message. I agreed with most of it … and I always love to hear Obama’s oratory because it is stirring, and it always exhibits some of the cadences of “black preaching.” This year, it was — at least in part — a call to be the best that we can be as a nation, especially in our education and in our innovative spirit.

But the speech set me to wondering: What if someone delivered a “State of the Church” address?


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In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017