NCR Today

Attacks on 14th amendment callous, inhumane


In the last few weeks conservative Republicans and Tea Party activists have proposed changing the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment declares that all persons born in the United States are citizens of this country.

What these conservatives really want to do is change the amendment to prevent U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants from gaining U.S. citizenship. This is how low the anti-immigrant nativists have stooped. They claim that one of the main reasons why undocumented immigrants enter the U.S. is to have babies -- the so-called "anchor babies" -- that will allow parents to gain legal status through their children.

There is no evidence that this is why these immigrants cross the border.

'Green wants to conquer'


We hear a lot about “tipping points,” those places at which momentum becomes irreversible, in connection with looming environmental challenges such as climate change. The Earth now spins toward many points of no return, reputable scientists say. Opinions vary as to how long it will take or whether indeed we have already passed through them.

“The tipping points are falling like dominoes,” said Albert Bates, founder of the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology, at a conference I attended last year. “We are losing. We need to sprint.”

Needed for that sprint are eco-tipping points, levers that dramatically reverse environmental decline and set in motion restoration and sustainability.

There are indeed many pioneering projects and efforts around the world that are not technological fixes so much as returns to ways humans have employed for hundreds of thousands of years or to ways and means that nature herself uses.

Here’s one that Bates presented involving the new/old science of permaculture.

The abuse crisis, drip by drip


The story out of the St. Louis area today is an example of what Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has termed "the drip-by-drip, never ending revelation about child sex abuse and the disastrous way it was handled."

In a recent release, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said that, according to a civil case filed in St. Louis County Court, Bryan Bacon was a 15-year-old student at Vianney High School in St. Louis in 1985 when Marianist Br. William Mueller cornered him with a knife and rubbed up against him.

The 71-year-old Mueller, now a resident of Texas, has been accused of abuse in 24 civil suits in three states, including allegations he that he used ether to render his former pupils unconscious.

Earlier this month St. Louis County Judge Barbara Wallace ordered that Mueller pay Bacon $500,000 for sexual abuse and/or battery. Today at 1:30 p.m. SNAP plans to picket outside the Marianists' St. Louis office (4425 W. Pine in the Central West End) to bring attention to the case. Vianney is a Marianist school.

Glenn Beck on the Washington Mall: ìI Have a Nightmareî


Fox TV host Glenn Beck has announced that he will go to the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, Aug. 28th to "reclaim the civil rights movement" -- since, as he put it, "we were the people that did it in the first place."

"We?" Who is that "we" for Glenn Beck? As far as I can tell, he and his "people" had absolutely nothing to do with civil rights. In fact, many right-wing leaders in the 1960’s opposed that movement -- vehemently.

It was courageous African Americans and their progressive allies in other racial groups, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who created this movement as a magnificent quest for justice in the 20th century.

Yet on the May 24 edition of his radio program, Beck described himself and his conservative-activist legions as "the inheritors and the protectors of the civil rights movement." Choke.

Douglas Kmiec hospitalized after car accident


NCR received confirmation this morning that Douglas Kmiec, the U.S. ambassador to Malta and former Pepperdine University law professor, was injured in a car accident yesterday in Malibu, Calif.

Kmiec, who has been a recent regular contributor to, was in a car with Msgr. John Sheridan, former pastor of Our Lady of Malibu Parish and Sr. Mary Campbell, also of the parish, that crashed at Las Virgenes Canyon Road and Mulholland Drive Wednesday afternoon. Campbell was killed in the one-car collision.

Maryknoll Lay Mission program celebrates 35 years


Few elements of institutional Catholicism so powerfully suggest the future of things as does the Maryknoll Lay Missioners program, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of its founding Saturday, including a mass celebrated by New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, followed by a celebratory dinner at the order’s campus in Maryknoll, N.Y.

Guest speaker Sr. Janice McLaughlin of the Maryknoll Sisters will present “MKLM in Mission: Looking Back, Looking Forward”. Honorary awards will be presented to Maryknoll Sister Mary Anne O’Donnell and Maryknoll Father John Sullivan, two of the founding members of the lay mission program.

I wrote recently about lay missioner Dr. Susan Nagele (see story here), who recently celebrated 25 years as a Maryknoll lay missioner. She has spent her years in different parts of Africa, sometimes in war zones, setting up clinics and hospitals and rescuing medical facilities that were failing.

Happy birthday, Mother Teresa


While the controversy continues about whether or not to light the Empire State Building in Mother Teresa's honor in New York City, what would have been the nun's 100th birthday is being celebrated with less vitrol (we can only hope) around the world.

The Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded, have already celebrated with Mass in Kolkota, India.

In New Haven, Connecticut, the Knights of Columbus will be celebrating with cake and an unveiling of the new stamp honoring her. The daylong event also will include a talk by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle, who knew Mother Teresa, on "Finding Calcutta in Our Midst." The Knights' museum has hosted a special Mother Teresa exhibit, which will continue until October.


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In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017