Morning Briefing

Yesterday, began with a bit of excitment as our Vatican correspondent Joshua McElwee informed us that Pope Francis was sending letter to Chile about the sex abuse scandal there. Our afternoon and evening got busy when the text of the acutal letter was published. Josh filed this story (very late in Rome): In letter to Chileans, Francis decries church's 'culture of abuse and cover-up'. With Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta dispatched to Chile for the second time in three months to look into the local church's handling of abuse you know this is a developing story. Stay tuned to NCR for more reporting.

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As the Chile-Pope-abuse story was unfolding, NCR staff writer Brian Roewe saw a notice that sex abuse attorney Jeff Anderson had scheduled a press confernce in St. Paul, Minnesota, for yesterday afternoon, Roewe received a note from a source saying "you will want to tune in for the historical moment." The resulting story was $210 million settlement announced in St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese bankruptcy case. We updated that story three times yesterday, so you better check out the latest version to make sure you've seen the full story.

That, too, is a developing story that Roew will be following, so please stay tuned to NCR. Anticipating the historic nature of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese settlement, we mined the resources of and put togehter this little backgrounder: List of Catholic dioceses and orders that filed for bankruptcy and other major settlements

Canberra, Australia -- On Wednesday, the Catholic bishops conference and religious orders joined a federal government redress plan for ictims of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions. Thursday the Anglican Church, Salvation Army, Scouts Australia and the Young Men's Christian Association, better known as YMCA, committed to join the plan. 80 percent of Australia's 60,000 known abuse victims were now covered by the plan.

Other news we're following right now:

And some recommneded reading:

Have you been inspired by Pope Francis' exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate ("Rejoice and Be Glad") to join the journey of 'small holiness', NCR and Celebration have the resources to help:

  • 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.

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