It’s one of those weekends. Can’t get my mind off Iraq and the decade-long tragedy. We seem to be in or nearing the denouement. And it’s all quite awful. Internet news sites and blogs today are filled of gruesome reports and a series of photos showing masked fighters of the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) loading captives onto flatbed trucks and forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch with arms tied behind their backs. Men with machine guns are then seen standing along side the ditch. The last photos show dead bodies soaked in blood after being shot.
NCR Today: All of the material sent to Rome for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family will be compiled to stimulate discussion of the topic for the October meeting.
Francis spoke about the many Jews Pius had hidden in the convents of Rome and other Italian cities, as well as the summer residence in Castel Gadolfo, Vatican radio reported.
Pope Francis has conducted another personal interview and it’s likely to be scrutinized in the days ahead. This latest was with Vatican correspondent Henrique Cymerman of La Vanguardia, a Spanish daily headquartered in Barcelona.
Paul Vallely wrote the popular and accessible biography Pope Francis: Untying the Knots. (See our review, Author makes case for Bergoglio's conversion. He has an op-ed piece in the June 14, 2014, print issue of The International New York Times and is online here: Cleaning Up the Vatican. I highly recommend it.
Here’s a taste:
I couldn't help noticing that the pope's two principal guests at his recent prayer meeting were both what are popularly called "nones," the Pew survey category for those who don't belong to established religions. The sizeable jump in those numbers in the United States has many church growth people squirming. Beyond the borders, Simon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas can be added to the list.
San Francisco public officials and many religious leaders are angry -- very angry -- at the plans announced by Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. He is listed as a speaker at the June 19 March for Marriage in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Family Research Council, two groups that have taken some of the most hostile stances against same-sex marriage and LGBT people generally.
NCR Today: What the heck is happening in Iraq?; bishops' meeting in NOLA; Wisconsin Bishop Ricken on same-sex marriage; parish closings in Greensburg, Pa.
There continues to be limited movement on the issue of mandatory celibacy. The New York Times is reporting that Catholic and Orthodox officials have requested that the Vatican grant them the authority to ordain married men to the priesthood.
NCR Today: Francis, the football fan; The man who took down Cantor; Immigration Reform -- now?