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Condemning the Islamic State and the 'caliphate'


President Barack Obama's speech to the nation Wednesday focused attention on the problems and threat created by the Islamic State.

The name is significant. The group changed its name from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to simply the Islamic State. For them, the underlying vision is something found in Muslim history: the caliphate. And they don't want to be geographically limited; they want to fashion the world in their image.

NCR readers in KC area: Save this date


On Nov. 1, NCR will co-host a one-day seminar with Rockhurst University, in Kansas City, Mo.. “Pope Francis: Becoming a Church of Mercy” is a day of discussions on the global impact of Francis’ papacy.

The event takes place on the Rockhurst campus. Speakers include Rockhurst president Fr. Tom Curran and Rockhurst theology faculty and yours truly along with NCR Vatican correspondent Josh McElwee and NCR senior analyst Fr. Tom Reese. NCR CEO/president Caitlin Hendel will moderate a panel.

NCR readers in Joliet, Ill.: Save this date


NCR columnist Phyllis Zagano will speak Sept. 18 at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill.

"Women Deacons: A Promise of Vatican II" will be 7 p.m. Sept. 18 in San Damiano Hall, 500 Wilcox St., Joliet. Presented by Catholic scholar Zagano, senior research associate-in-residence and adjunct professor of Religion at Hofstra University in New York, this is a Bishop Joseph L. Imesch Women in the Church Lecture Series presentation.

Attention NCR readers in Rochester, NY


NCR senior analyst Jesuit Fr. Tom Reese will be in Rochester, N.Y., Sept. 11 and 12 for two speaking engagements with the Shannon Chair Catholic Studies Lecture of Nazareth College.

Topics, times and venues are:

Pope Francis and the Challenge of Reforming the Church
Sept. 11, 7 p.m.
Forum, Otto A. Shults Community Center

Listening to the Laity: Pope Francis and the Upcoming Synod on the Family
Sept. 12, 1:30 p.m.
Linehan Chapel, Golisano Academic Center

Kasper presses for full return of those in second marriages


In a long and complex article in the Sept. 15 issue of America magazine, Cardinal Walter Kasper discusses how mercy is understood in the Gospel and in the teaching of Pope Francis. He applies this to the possibility of permitting those in second marriages to be absolved and returned to the church in good standing. This issue is now under discussion in preparation for the upcoming synod, Kasper says, and it is clear he will be one of those pushing enthusiastically for change in the near future.

What A Way To Go


The death of Chick-fil-A's founder days ago brought to mind journalism's habitual neglect of the religious side of the deceased. S. Truett Cathy's obituaries at first seemed to be an exception to the rule. His public opposition to same sex marriage was duly highlighted as was his support of conservative family values causes. And they noted that he was a Baptist who stopped purveying chicken on Sundays to honor the Christian Sabbath.


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October 10-23, 2014


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