Morning Briefing

Breaking news over the weekend: Vatican releases full Benedict letter, revealing concern over Francis theology series At the end of the letter, previously withheld from the media, the retired pope notes "surprise" about one of 11 volumes in "The Theology of Pope Francis" series.

Greg Erlandson, editor in chief of Catholic News Service, former publisher of Our Sunday Visitor and holder of many high offices in the Catholic press world, has this to say: Blurred lines: Vatican manipulation of photo becomes the story

More on a story that broke Friday morning: Vatican exiles Guam archbishop after trial involving sexual abuse claims. Victims, Catholics on Guam react

And today: Swiss theologian Hans Küng turns 90

Time is running short. What are you doing for Lent?

We offer you a a chance to enhance your prayer and reflection over these holy days using Sunday commentaries, articles, art and graphics from our sister publication Celebration as well as from National Catholic Reporter and Global Sisters Report. Visit all the resources on the Celebration page.

NCR and its sister publications offer quite a few resources for Lent (and when appropriate, the Easter season):

  • Start your day inspired with daily Scripture reflections. Join NCR's sister publication, Celebration, for Daily Bread, a series of short reflections written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings.
  • Or reflect on Pencil Preaching by Pat Marrin. Every morning Pat Marrin breaks open the Word with a pencil sketch and a short meditation.

Today Global Sisters Report begins a series on African American spirituality with this story: Black spiritual traditions have long history in Catholic Church. Mark this a "must read" and share with your circles.

Colman McCarthy asked his students to reflect on the country's gun mania. Their answers spoke volumes about the anxieties of their daily lives. Here's a related editorial from NCR: Tell legislators to enact extreme risk protection order laws

What did you do for National Catholic Sisters Week? Here's a couple activities:

Luotianba, China — The bishop can’t really talk about religion right now. His unofficial church is caught in a fight over the future of the Roman Catholic faith here, a struggle for control between the Vatican and the Communist Party that will determine the fate of the estimated 10 million Catholics in China and shape the legacy of Pope Francis.

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien has died. This former leader of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland resigned after revelations about his relationships with young priests

Buffalo, N.Y. -- As another man comes forward with accusations of sexual abuse against Catholic clergy, survivors call for Bishop Malone to release names of abusive priests. The diocese released this statement: "The Bishop has given it serious thought and there should be more news this week."

Cebu City, Philippines -- What did Archbishop Jose Palma wish for as he turned 68 on Monday? For drug killings to end

Members of Coal Region Catholics for Change said the decision by Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, to consolidate 11 churches into one is a nightmare of biblical proportions. In an appeal that’s before the Vatican Supreme Court, they’re asking to reopen two churches and a Catholic school. "Nobody should sit in the basement for a Christmas Mass or an Easter Mass," say local Catholics.

In 2005, the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, closed and merged parishes. Now, former parishioners working to save church buidlings from destruction.

NCR reported last week: Bishop moves concert out of Kansas City parish Mary Sanchez of the Kansas City Star offers this commentary: "Militant" anti-gay activist seeks to divide Catholic flock

Pacific Catholic Bishops to meet next month in Papua New Guinea. Human rights and environmental care and protection are to underlie their discussions.

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