Morning Briefing

The Alabama Senate race ended with good news/bad news. The good news is that an accused child molester was not elected to the U.S.  Senate, thanks mostly to high turnout in African-American communities. The bad news is that 81 percent of evangelical Christians voted for an accused child molester.

Even before the ballots were counted in Alabama, the editors of a major evangelical  magazine said Christians would be the losers, either way, for putting politics over morality. The Christianity Today editorial also criticized liberal Christians for not trying to understand conservative Christians who have supported Roy Moore and President Donald Trump.

ICYMI: NCR's editorial says Catholics, of all people, should know by now to trust the victim in sexual harassment and abuse cases. NCR columnist Michael Sean Winters thinks the race wouldn’t have been close if Doug Jones had been a prolife Democrat.

Jones' victory in Alabama means the Republicans now only have a one-seat majority in the Senate. Which may be why they’re rushing to pass the tax reform bill before he can be sworn in. Catholic leaders continue to fight for tax reform that would protect the poor and middle class.


Breaking news from the Vatican: The only survivor member of the papal commission on sexual abuse has resigned after being suspended for publicly criticizing Pope Francis on the issue.

On the topic of criticizing the pope, another group — this time, leaders of prolife groups — has written a letter accusing Francis of undermining their work through his ambiguous statements and actions contrary to Catholic teaching. U.S. signatories include representatives from the American Life League, the Lepanto Institute and other organizations.

In the "war on Christmas" beat, the Archdiocese of Washington is appealing a decision that let the local transit authority deny the archdiocese’s Advent ad because it promoted religion or religious practice.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta, Australia has urged an end to clericalism and called for a renewed priesthood in the wake of that country’s clerical sex abuse crisis. 

The administration at Georgetown University has refused to recognize union organizing efforts by graduate students, saying the students are not "workers." (However, the new tax bill would tax graduate students on their tuition stipends, suggesting they are employees.)

ICYMI: Jamie Manson reminds us that patriarchy is at the root of the revelations of sexual abuse, harassment and violence.

Our reviewer of Chris Matthews' new biography of Bobby Kennedy likes that the new volume highlights Kennedy’s Catholic faith.

Advent is as short as it can be this year, but Sr. Janet Gildea, a sister of Charity of Cincinnati, reflects on the extra urgency she feels as she undergoes treatment for brain cancer.

This season, NCR is joining with our sister publications, Celebration and Global Sisters Report to share Advent resources. Whether you're looking for Scripture study, some meditative reflections or an inspiring read, check out Our Celebration of Advent page.

Happy second day of Hanukkah to our Jewish brothers and sisters.

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