The life of Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday at the age of 95, was virtually unparalleled in examples of forgiveness and humility. I feel blessed to have had two personal encounters with this spiritual giant. The first came ten years back, when, in Washington having lunch with the late NCR columnist Jesuit Fr. Robert Drinan, Mandela unexpectedly appeared. It was shortly after Drinan and I had arrived and we were still standing near the door waiting to be seated. Drinan turned around and with that large Drinan grin, approached the former South African president.
Flash news from Pax Christi USA.
Today — right now as a matter of fact — 11 faith, labor and community leaders -- including Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Tom Cordaro — are trying to visit the West Chicago office of Rep. Peter Roskam, hoping to talk to the Congressman about immigration reform.
But Roskam won’t see them. The Congressman has, in fact, locked his office doors to keep the delegation out.
So the delegation, with support from Pax Christi members, are sitting down outside the office until Roskam will see them.
"The Joy of the Gospel" is about living out evangelization and making the poor feel welcome, opposing abortion and war and the death penalty while sheltering everyone. So says NCR columnist John Allen. Allen's column "Francis and a church that breathes with both lungs" looks at these elements of the teachings of Benedict and Francis. He says it's rare in church conferences to find more than one part of the whole.
NCR columnist, Mercy Sister Camille D’Arienzo achieved a remarkable milestone recently. Last month she celebrated her 40th anniversary as a Catholic commentator for 1010 WINS Radio, New York’s all news radio station. In fact, it was the first all news radio station in the nation.
She reflected back on those four decades of radio evangelism in a essay, which we reprint with her permission.
Congratulations, Sr. D’Arienzo!
NCR Today: Remembering Mandela; Newt Gringrich and Obamacare; Zimbabwe's 'obscenely rich'; NCR comics.
The National Survivor Advocates Coalition, which advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic church, issued the following statement concerning today's announcement from the Vatican that Pope Francis will set up a special commission on the sexual abuse of children to advise him on ways to prevent abuse and provide pastoral care for victims and their families.
National Survivor Advocates Coalition Statement
on Vatican Commission Regarding Sexual Abuse
For Immediate Release:
Catholic Worker Dennis Apel was taken to Supreme Court on Wednesday for his acts of civil disobedience against Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The transcript for his case, United States of America, Petitioner v. John Dennis Apel, is now available on the Supreme Court's website.
I suppose it had to happen in this age of Twitter, but someone -- in this case, Jana Riess -- has actually "translated" (I use that term very, very loosely!) each chapter of the Bible into 140 characters or fewer. For those not into social media, that's the upper limit length for tweets, or messages on Twitter. Jana's book, which lays it all out, is called simply The Twible.
NCR Today: Celibacy for priests -- for and against; fast-food wages; some denominations have 'pope envy.'
When Jesus famously stormed into the temple to rout the money changers, his words blended with his action. The "den of thieves" was sent packing.
Pope Francis has recalled that prophetic intention in his recent denunciation of the abuses and exploitations of capitalism and the delusion called "trickle down" economics. To complete a worthy imitation of Christ, he needs to convert those words into an assault on the offending machinery of finances. He needs a plan.