NCR Today

Archbishop supports Wisconsin unions


I don’t know if Madison, Wisc. has a “Tahrir Square,” but these days it must seem that the events of Egypt over the past several weeks are being replayed there, albeit in miniature. At least 20,000 protestors have swarmed the state capitol to protest a new budget cutting measure that would cripple public employee unions.

The new Republican governor of the state, Scott Walker, has launched a full scale assault on the right to collective bargaining by public worker unions, with the promise of cuts in benefits, especially health care.

According to the New York Daily News, Walker received a substantial contribution from the infamous “Koch brothers” during his election campaign.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s Archbishop, Jerome Listecki, issued a statement supporting the "legitimate rights" of public employees:

The Church is well aware that difficult economic times call for hard choices and financial responsibility to further the common good. Our own dioceses and parishes have not been immune to the effects of the current economic difficulties. But hard times do not nullify the moral obligation each of us has to respect the legitimate rights of workers.

Spanish nun leaves convent over Facebook


It was all over Facebook and the Internet in Sunday: 54-year old Dominican Sr. Maria Jesus Galan, "Sor Internet" as her community called her, was apparently asked to leave her Toledo convent over disagreements about her online activity.

This is after winning an award for digitizing the convent's archives and facilitating online banking to save the sisters from leaving the convent to do business. After 34 or 35 years of religious life (depending on which article you read), she is now living with her mother.

The convent, founded in the 14th century, only got a computer ten years ago.

The Archbishop of Toledo has refused to comment saying it is an "internal matter."

It is difficult to know the whole story and those of us in religious life with computers and access to the Internet are like everyone else: we can let it take over our lives. One would hope, however, that mature religious could come to some understanding so that religious life can be lived in fidelity and relevance.

She now plans to travel to New York and London. Maybe her departure from the convent was coming anyway – or she is making the best of a sad situation.

Benedictine sister kissed Elvis, votes on Oscars


A totally engrossing article by Entertainment Weekly Online writer Thom Geier was posted Feb. 11 about Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voting member Benedictine Mother Dolores Hart. She is a former movie star and Tony-nominated theater actress who once kissed Elvis Presley ("Loving You," 1957).

The article recounts her journey faith journey and decision to become a cloistered nun. At the age of twenty, already fatigued by her fast-paced career, she visited the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut at the suggestion of a friend. She resisted at first, but once there the nuns let her be, and let her sleep. She returned, again and again. She entered in 1963.

And she watches all the screeners the Academy sends her so she can cast her vote.

Hart, a convert to Catholicism who attended Catholic school in Chicago and then Marymount College in Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount University) has some wisdom to share about difficult or "R" rated films. She says the nuns in her community are not shocked by "R" rated films when she shares some interesting ones with them; they are mostly bored by them.

Irish bishops reject 'bonus culture' of capitalism run amok


Facing an economic crisis that has produced record unemployment, staggering levels of household debt, and deep political unrest, the Catholic bishops of Ireland have issued a stinging critique of “the excesses of advanced capitalism” and its “bonus culture,” calling for an economy rooted in social solidarity as opposed to “radical individualism.”

On this day: St. Peter Damian


On this day the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Peter Damian, Cardinal-Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

Peter Damian was born at Ravenna in 1007. "He was the youngest of the family; his parents were noble, but poor. At his birth an elder brother protested against this new charge on the resources of the family with such effect that his mother refused to suckle him and the babe nearly died. A family retainer, however, fed the starving child and by her example and reproaches recalled his mother to her duty."

-- Catholic Encyclopedia.

Morning Briefing


Ho Chi Minh City cardinal on church growth in Vietnam


HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- The Vietnamese Communist Party took control of Northern Vietnam in 1954 and all of Vietnam in 1975. The situation between Catholics and the communist leaders of Vietnam has been a major factor in the shape and growth of the church for these past decades. Catholics have generally responded in one of two ways: Confronting and attacking the state leaders or looking for ways to work with them on common concerns. Cardinal Pham Minh Man, archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, falls into the second camp.


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July 14-27, 2017