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Attention NCR Readers in Minnesota


NCR readers in Minnesota, here's your invitation:

Town hall-style meeting Oct. 27 to address church’s teaching on marriage

Two [St. Paul-Minneapolis] archdiocesan priests will address Catholics’ questions about the church’s teaching on marriage and family Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. John the Baptist in New Brighton.

I am not advocating that NCR readers stage a Tea Party style shout-down, but it might be good to have a few astute questioners in the audience.

Venezuela: Jesuit on hunger strike over indigenous land


A Spanish Jesuit priest, in Venezuela, Fr José Mar'a Korta Lasarte, 81, has been on hunger strike for seven days to demand the protection of a forest reserve measuring some 295,280 hectares in the northwestern state of Zulia, near the Colombian border, which is the ancestral home of several indigenous communities.

Fr Jose told reporters: “Today, indigenous peoples are mistreated…and if human beings are excluded, I am ready to give my life for them”.

John Dear questions military service, Archbishop Chaput lauds it


In his column on our Web site today, Jesuit Fr. John Dear explores, through biblical analysis, Jesus' total commitment to a nonviolent life.

Dear's conclusion is simple and succinct: Jesus was nonviolent. Period. And we should be too.

Contrast that with this: Yesterday, Archbishop Chaput of the Denver archdiocese addressed Catholic cadets at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Among the many points he made in the speech, the archbishop told the cadets two main things: that being a soldier is a moral good and that, in their career, the cadets can take up the mantle of "Christian moral leadership."

Per the first point, Chaput said, quoting Russian Christian writer Vladimir Solovyov, "Until the spirit of malice brought into the world by Cain disappears from human hearts, the soldier 'will be a good and not an evil.'"

Per the second, Chaput said:

Any room for trade-offs in CCHD? Leaders say no.


WASHINGTON -- At a teleconference this morning introducing a review report on the funding rules of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a reporter asked what happens if CCHD faces a “hard choice” or trade-off that involves a funding request for a valuable project fully in accord with CCHD principles, but the group making the request is in conflict with church teaching in some other area unrelated to that grant request.

Vatican opposes death penalty for Tariq Aziz


The Vatican today released a statement in response to the decision by an Iraqi court to impose the death penalty on Tariq Aziz, a Chaldean Christian who was the international face and voice of the Saddam Hussein regime.

The following is an NCR translation of the statement from Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson.

Vatican Statement

“The position of the Catholic church on the death penalty is well known. It’s hoped, therefore, that the sentence against Tariq Aziz will not be executed, precisely in order to favor reconciliation and the reconstruction of peace and justice in Iraq after the great sufferings it has experienced.”

“Regarding a possible humanitarian intervention, the Holy See is not accustomed to operate in a public fashion, but through the diplomatic means at its disposal.”

Court gives go ahead in UK's biggest sex abuse suit


The biggest set of abuse claims against the Roman Catholic church of England and Wales advanced today. An English high court ruled that Middlesbrough diocese was responsible for a residential care home where 142 ex-pupils are suing for abuse. The diocese faces claims totaling $12.6 million. Roman Catholic church facing £8m payout over child abuse claims

Cholera comes to Haiti


Yesterday, Denise Grady at The New York Times took a look at the cholera epidemic in Haiti:

The cholera epidemic in Haiti is likely to grow and persist, and will probably reach the Dominican Republic, health officials said on Monday, as they rushed to distribute medical supplies in hopes of keeping ahead of the disease’s spread.

“Now that cholera has established itself with a strong foothold in Haiti, it is clear to us that it will not go away for several years,” said Dr. John Andrus of the Pan American Health Organization at a news briefing Monday in Washington

And Deborah Sontag had a report on the 'fear and misery' associated with the horrible disease:

Scores of children and adults are doubled over or stretched out on every available surface, racked by convulsive stomach disorder or limp with dehydration. Buckets sit by their sides, intravenous solutions drip into their arms. Life hangs in the balance, yet there is a sober, almost eerie calm.

You've Got to Give Them Credit


Here's a case study for Catholic Social Teaching.

Would taking money to entice students to get credit cards fall inside or outside the lines?

In 2009, the University of Notre Dame alumni association took $1.8 million from credit card peddlers (Bank of America, Chase and U.S. Bank doled out such sums)in exchange for promotional privileges, third highest of any university in the nation.

By law, the Federal Reserve must disclose such information annually. It was reported today in Inside Higher Education.

The overall picture suggests that universities have no problem encouraging a practice that acts as a sort of predator lending for the youngsters. As we're reminded regularly, the financial behemoth that got us into all this trouble is doing just fine, thank you. Nothing has changed there. And so the market for new customers must be brisk.

How does "Catholic character" square with all of this?


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In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS