Copy Desk Daily, Aug. 19, 2020

Our team of copy editors reads and posts most of what you see on the websites for National Catholic Reporter, Global Sisters Report and EarthBeat. The Copy Desk Daily highlights recommended news and opinion articles that have crossed our desks on their way to you.

ICYMI, Michael Sean Winters is bringing overnight analysis of the goings-on at the Democratic National Convention. His first report: Democratic convention's opening night a glitch-free pitch for the big tent. And in other political news yesterday, the New York Archdiocese confirmed that Cardinal Dolan is to offer prayer at Republican National Convention. You can keep up with all of NCR's election news and analysis at the Election 2020 feature series.

The theme of this summer's high-dollar Napa Institute gathering was "Finding Hope in the New America," but the dominant note in the mostly pre-recorded talks was fear of "a secular mob": Christians under siege, according to virtual Napa conference.

Franciscan Fr. Dan Horan writes about the heresy of oversimplified Christianity: "Too many people refashion Christianity — its doctrinal teachings and moral guidance — into an idol of their own making in order to grasp a misguidedly simple and falsely clear message." But Christianity, he says, is not for those who want easy answers and black-and-white thinking.

An ardent desire to go to the people led Sr. Frida Toppo to join the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate. Pastoral family visits in remote and rural areas of India are a priority for the sisters, who build relationships and share in villagers' joys and sorrows.

Catholic relief agencies in Africa step in as pandemic impacts mental health. Tawanda Karombo reports from Zimbabwe on the increased number of Africans seeking help for mental health problems amid widespread "anxiety, fear, isolation, social and physical distancing, restrictions, uncertainty, and emotional distress" as societies battle COVID-19.

What happens when you live life 'horizontally, not vertically'? A not-a-memoir book by Suzanne and Brayton Shanley follows the unconventional choices that have made up their life as founders of the Agape Community. NCR publisher Bill Mitchell reviews their "spiritual journal," Loving Life on the Margins.

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