Morning Briefing

by Dennis Coday

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When I started at NCR as the web editor in 2003, one of my tasks was to do a weekly round up of sex abuse news, national and international. I guess, regrettably, some things don't change.

The Australian cardinal, George Pell, whom Pope Francis put on his Council of Cardinals and then brought to the Vatican to handle financial reform there, will be standing trial on charges of sexual abuse. will be standing trial on charges of sexual abuse. Pell has been on absence from his Vatican chores since last July. That was last week's news. This week, Michael Sean Winters argues that Vatican silence on Cardinal Pell's trial is a turn from a long history

Meanwhile, Australians have been wondering who is paying for Pell's defense, which will cost multi-millions of dollars once said and done. His lawyer is noted (or infamous) defense counselor Robert Richter. The Vatican and the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, have said they aren't paying Pell's legal fees. The National, an Australian newspaper, is reporting details of a special trust fund overseen by a law firm that is soliciting individuals to raise money for Pell's defense.

From Auckland, New Zealand, Bill Kilgallon, who served three years as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors says he feels a sense of acheivement but also a certain amount of frustration.

Other sex abuse news of note:

We're in the midst of our Spring Fund Drive (Looking for $100,000). Today is important because we have a $5,000 matching grant. Why $100,000? We don't pull that number out of a hat. That's is what we need to raise this week to keep the website up and running, and to keep journalists in the field doing their work. Please help today.

To mark the anniversary of Jesuit Fr. Dan Berrigan, we've got a few features for you: A review of Jim Forest's new book:

If you haven't visited Global Sisters Report in awhile, you're missing some of the best reporting and commentary NCR has to offer. A couple of teasers:

  • Namakkal, India -- The Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod are pioneers in ministering to pople living with HIV/AIDS, who are often neglected and ostracized by their families and society after contracting the virus. Home visits and care bring hope to people with HIV/AIDS in southern India
  • Christin Tomy, a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa, Wisconsin, reflects on the nexus of theology and ecology: We must become 'beholders'
  • Maura McCarthy, a member of the Sisters of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Dubuque, Iowa, writes: "I came to the Guaraní area 20 years ago to accompanying this struggling people under the control of the patróns, the landlords who had taken over the land during Bolivia's many dictatorships. Today, their organizing has come to a beautiful fruition." Resurrection in Ñaurenda, Bolivia
  • Manila, Philippines -- The immigration bureau citing the attendance by an Austrailan sister with 27-years experience in the Philippines at protest rallies of farmers and workers demanding justice from the government revokes her visa. She fights back. Australian nun refutes Philippine government claims about her actions

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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