Seven weeks before he died, Father Thaer Abdal was standing beside the gnarled stone grotto to the Virgin Mary in Sayidat al-Nejat church, an extremely worried man.
My wife, Sally, and I got on a train Saturday morning in Maryland and headed for the rally for whatever. Part of the point was that we now could -- hop on a train, that is, as we could not do during our 16 years in Kansas -- and be in DC in a half hour.
John L. Allen Jr. will speak in the Cleveland area Thursday night.
A press release:
SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- The U.S. Secular Franciscan Order declared its “solidarity with migrants in our midst” during its national gathering Oct. 29 at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ.
The national body, representing 14,000 Secular Franciscans across the United States, unanimously approved a statement declaring “some current harsh attitudes towards migration” as intolerable and deploring “the fear and anxiety paralyzing our immigrant brothers and sisters.”
“As Franciscans, we intentionally chose to come to Arizona to stand in solidarity with the migrants in our midst,” the statement reads.
The statement goes on to say:
- “We endorse the United States Catholic Bishops’ urgent call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, including their strong support for the DREAM act.”
- “We support and encourage all the humanitarian efforts to assist immigrants who are struggling to survive.”
- “We pray for peace and harmony, and we always remember in prayer families who are being torn apart.”
At the end of last week, both Demetria Martinez and I wrote here about the widening gap between rich and poor in America -- and how that has most likely contributed to political polarization over the last generation. But the reality is this: that income gap has not sparked electoral dividing lines that make economic sense.
Iurodstvo is the Russian word for the idea of “holy foolishness.” It’s a form of asceticism that has been practiced within the Russian Orthodox church for centuries.
Its practitioners feign madness, Marx brothers-like behavior, in order to provide the public with spiritual guidance. The aim too is to avoid praise and acclaim for perceived holiness. It’s a radical form of humility as well.
Long-time National Catholic Reporter columnist, Jesuit Fr. John Dear, was recently recognized with a prestigious award for his work in fostering peace. Dear writes an online column for NCR, On the Road to Peace.
Police block sex abuse survivors near Vatican, also see John Allen's report: Vatican asks victims to see church as ally in fighting abuse
After roughly sixty victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in various nations held a vigil Sunday near St. Peter’s Square, a delegation of the victims met with Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson. Lombardi gave the victims a letter pledging to work towards “solidarity and consensus between us.”
“Of course, we must continue to do more. And your cry today is an encouragement to do more,” Lombardi wrote.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Success, it seems, is sometimes measured by what you don't have to put up with.
In a move that could be interpreted either as an indication of the full workload for local prosecutors or as a victory for activists, seven anti-nuclear organizers here were surprised Wednesday by a notification that a pending court case against them had been dropped for a lack of evidence.
The seven had been charged with disorderly conduct for a Sept 8. act of civil disobedience at the construction site of a major new nuclear weapons production facility being built here.
The new facility, known as the Kansas City Plant, which will make nonnuclear parts for nuclear weapons, is set to be the nation’s first new major nuclear weapons production facility in 32 years.
During the action the activists blocked access to the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant. They stepped in front of buses carrying local, state and federal officials and halted the flow of people into the ceremony for a few minutes.