NCR Today

Economic justice and the election


I’m one of those “political junkies” who stays up on election night to hear the results, no matter what they are. This year, the experience was a downer.

But what disturbed me most came the next day when polls released by the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life showed that 54 percent of Catholic voters went Republican this year, a 12-point shift to the right from 2008.

Voters favor clean energy and climate legislation


American voters made plain their anger over the economy and their frustration with the party in power. But they often did something else: they supported clean energy where they could.

Peter Lehner's blog on the Natural Resources Defense Council Web site claims that this week's election showed support for climate legislation and clean energy, even as Democrats in many places were defeated as the economy trumped all other issues.

"California voters defeated an oil industry attempt to undermine the state’s climate law, and most members of Congress who helped pass clean energy and climate legislation in 2009 kept their seats.

"The vote in California was particularly significant. This was the first time climate solutions were put to a public referendum. And despite the millions of dollars that fossil fuel companies poured into the race, Californians made it clear they want to build a cleaner energy future."

Priest vacationed using parish funds


Monsignor Patrick Brown, longtime pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic church in Long Hill, N.J., admitted in federal court Wednesday that he stole nearly $64,000 from the church to buy relatives' gifts, pay credit card bills and fund trips to Ireland, Hawaii and Colorado.

Brown, a 59-year-old Stirling resident who also maintains a residence in Budd Lake, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to the criminal charge of tax evasion.

'Storm clouds on the horizon, warfare around the corner'


Did you see this from Religion News Service?

Bishop compares fight over female bishops to World War II

LONDON (RNS) A leading bishop in the Church of England has triggered fury in British religious circles by likening the debate over allowing female bishops to the “serious threat” of warfare posed by the Nazis on the eve of World War II.

Chicago area pastor calls for women deacons


According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a Chicago area pastor has been discussing the idea of women deacons in the weekly bulletin, and has even contacted Cardinal George about the idea:

Now, an Evanston pastor, the Rev. Bill Tkachuk, is raising the question of whether women can become deacons -- ordained ministers a step below priests.

His parish, St. Nicholas, has been kicking around the topic for months, and a longtime female member has expressed interest in becoming a deacon should the Vatican open up the option to women.
Pope John Paul II closed off internal debate on allowing women to become priests. Among the church's arguments: Jesus selected only male apostles. But there's no ban on talking about female deacons.

Supporters note that the New Testament references female deacons, though the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops indicates "there is no conclusive evidence that this office or the persons who fulfilled these roles were truly 'ordained' like the male deacons."

Accepting miracles without fuss


A good read from Eureka Street, the Jesuit publication from Australia:

For a while a gap opened between popular religion and the more focused account of faith given by the educated. But as theologians began to study the popular experience of faith more deeply, they came to see its complexities and its resources for developing a more just society. The coverage of Mary MacKillop's recent canonisation disclosed a similar tension between popular expressions of faith and more reflective accounts of religion. The tension was reflected in different ways of viewing sainthood.

Read the full story: Questions miracles raise

'On-air celebration of a job well done'


Dana Milbank, op-ed columnist for the Washington Post, has piece about the election aftermath titled: Crowing at Fox News

"That's an earthquake," exulted Fox's own Sarah Palin, upon learning the not-unexpected news that Republicans would gain control of the House. "It's a big darn deal."

"It's a comeuppance," Fox News contributor (and Post columnist) Charles Krauthammer contributed.

"I have one word," said Sean Hannity. "Historic."

And Chris Wallace struggled for words. "A gigantic - not a wave election but a tidal wave election," he envisioned.


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In This Issue

January 13-26, 2017