NCR Today

Military spending: Much more than 'defense'


How much do we spend on the military? $719 billion.

To help us understand how much $719,000,000,000 is, the American Friends Service Committee designed a 3 foot strip of paper, two inches high, where the Department of Defense budget stretches in red for more than half the space: 59 percent.

A little more than a foot of the paper strip is divided among Health and Human Services, 6 percent; Transportation, 6 percent; State Department, 4 percent; Education, 4 percent; and everything else the government spends money on.

American Friends doesn’t include Social Security and Medicare in the federal budget. We’ve made “entitlements” a bad word, but these are funds we’ve paid into our whole lives and they are reserved for our use.

The Feds didn’t used to include them in the budget either. But inclusion of Social Security and Medicare in the federal budget dilute the impact of interest on the debt as well as our arms budget that I refuse to refer to as “defense.”

Ten companies that take faith (somewhat) seriously


Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor, offers a list of 10 companies that take faith (somewhat) seriously:

Many folks know that Chick-fil-A, which recently kicked up a controversy by giving food to a group opposed to gay marriage, has a proud Christian identity. It's been branded into the memory of anyone who's gone salivating to one of the fast-food chain's stores on a Sunday, only to find its doors locked and the lights out.

But there are plenty of other name-brand companies that have intensely religious sides - even if they're not always visible to consumers.

On this day: President Jefferson Davis


On this day, 150 years ago, at Montgomery, Alabama: "Hon. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, is unanimously elected President of the Confederate States of North America, and Hon. A. H. Stephens, of Georgia, elected Vice-President, unanimously."

Click> here for some contemporary newspaper accounts.

German priest charged with pilfering $1.4 million


According to Reuters:

A retired German priest has been charged with 50 counts of fraud over the theft of $1.4 million worth of church donations, state prosecutors in Wuerzburg said on Tuesday.

The former Roman Catholic priest, aged 77, was detained in May on suspicion of taking donations and collection money from his church in Bavaria. Most of the money, including a large number of coins, was found in his apartment and bank accounts.

"A large portion of the money was recovered," Wuerzburg state prosecutor Dietrich Geuder told Reuters.

Attn: Catholic Republicans


That conservative Catholics pick and choose which teachings they want to follow is not news to readers of this blog. But that they're being called out for it by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson is.

"Gaps in the justice and compassion of a society require government intervention to secure the common good, which is not common until it includes the poor, the immigrant, the sick, the disabled, the unborn. Catholic teaching elevates the primary importance of families, charities and strong communities - while rejecting the simplistic notion that such institutions render government unnecessary," Gerson writes in today's column titled "Catholic Republicans' political beliefs challenged by their faith."

He's talking to you, Catholic Tea-Partiers, especially those with a Libertarian slant. "Catholic social teaching is simply not libertarian," Gerson writes. And he's right.

He also scolds some liberal Catholic politicians "who elevate autonomy and choice as the highest political values - higher even than the rights of the weak."

Over money questions, pastor threatens to take administrator to court


A classic dispute has officially commenced by the Diocese of Peoria, St. Michael the Archangel Church, located in Streator, Illinois, and a rosary society at legal odds over the ownership of $35,000.

Monsignor John Prendergast, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church, after giving written notice to the rosary society, filed a report with the local police charging an 86-year old, Dorothy Swital, with stealing the funds. Ms. Swital is more than ready for this legal fight.

According to The Times, based in Ottawa, Illinois:

The Rev. Monsignor John Prendergast, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church, confirmed he filed a report with the Streator Police Department accusing her [Ms. Swital] of stealing $35,622.16 in two certificate of deposit accounts formerly in the name of St. Casimir's Altar and Rosary Society.

He believes that money belongs to the church.

Swital, the 86-year old president of the society, does not see it that way.

Anti-Christian violence in Indonesia especially alarming


Three Christian churches, as well as a church-run orphanage and health center, were attacked today in the Java region of Indonesia, in the latest outbreak of anti-Christian violence by Muslim radicals. According to media reports, a Catholic priest was beaten as he tried to defend the tabernacle and the Eucharist against a mob.

On this day: St. Cuthman of Steyning


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Cuthman, a Saxon shepherd famous for pulling his mother in a cart from Chidham in West Sussex to Steyning in West Sussex, a distance of nearly thirty miles.

When his father died, around the turn of the eighth century, Cuthman was reduced to begging. He decided to travel east, toward the rising sun. Because his mother was unable to walk, Cuthman built a cart in which to wheel her.

Morning Briefing


What Do Egypt's Christians Think?

President Obama has appointed LCWR past president Sr. Marlene Weisenbeck to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Catholic church gives blessing to iPhone app

Catholic leaders unhappy with Cuomo, Proposed budget cuts would be higher for private schools than public institutions

Wheaton, Ill. Former deacon who stole from church sentenced

PITTSFIELD, Mass. Rape trial nears end, ex-priest accused of raping boys


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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017