NCR Today

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?

A bishop, a nun, a hospital and a holy war


In a piece titled Tussling Over Jesus, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof writes about Bishop Thomas Olmsted stripping St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix of its Catholic affiliation.

Kristof sees Phoenix as "a bellwether of a profound disagreement that is playing out at many Catholic hospitals around the country. These hospitals are part of the backbone of American health care, amounting to 15 percent of hospital beds."

I have to note, as well, that Kristof quotes NCR's own columnist Jamie Manson and NCR editor Thomas C. Fox. In fact, he begins his piece by quoting Manson:

Church's voice needed for life after birth


Like I did, you may think you have a pretty good idea just how many American children are born out of wedlock. If you're like me, you'd be way, way off.

An editorial in USA TODAY lays out the staggering statistics: in 2009, 41 percent of American children were born to unmarried mothers, up from five percent half-a-century ago.

Break it down and it looks even worse: 73 percent of non-Hispanic black children, and 54 percent of Hispanic children.

One word not in the State of the Union


This word cloud shows which words were used most frequently in President Obama's State of the Union address last night: "people," "new," "jobs."

One word that does not appear in the text at all: "poor."

That is telling, especially in the middle of (or at the tail end of) a recession in which so many people are hurting.

(Thanks to the CNN commentator who mentioned this last night. I doublechecked with a search of the text.)


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017