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National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Today's message is from
reader David Carlson

Is the church out of touch and out of time?

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Fewer working class people are living their lives according to "family values" -- and the search is on to figure out why.

The issue is addressed in a column by Ross Douthat in The New York Times. He notes that for years the "culture wars" were fought along a neat dichotomy: better educated, better paid people strove for freedom from religion and restrictions, while less-educated blue collar workers formed a "Moral Majority" that pushed for "values" in areas such as sexuality and marriage.

Morning Briefing

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After 18 years, free dental clinic on LA's skid row no more

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As those associated with Catholic Workers know, their ministries are in a constant state of flux.

The nightly meal may have to be canceled for lack of donations. The morning coffee may have to be changed to tea because the beans didn't show up. Distribution of bus passes or prescription vouchers may have to stop when there's just no more money.

NCR welcomes a new Web columnist

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Jamie Manson has been writing a Web column for NCR since November 2008 when she premiered as one of our "Young Voices" columnists.

She was honored in June this year by the Catholic Press Association for the columns she wrote in 2009. She earned a first prize for Best Column/Regular Commentary.

Last month, NCR invited and Manson agreed to become a weekly columnist under her own title. "Grace on the Margins" is the result. It will appear here every Monday.

Naples cardinal illustrated cultural gap on accountability

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Rome -- With the Dec. 2 death of retired Cardinal Michele Giordano of Naples -- the highest-ranking prelate ever to face criminal prosecution in Italy -- the Catholic world has lost not only a prince of the church, but perhaps its best example of the “cultural gap” between the Vatican and Main Street USA when it comes to the vexed matter of accountability for bishops.

Vatican warning system locks on social teaching, nature of theology

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Rome -- Since its creation by Pope Paul VI in 1969, the International Theological Commission, composed of 30 theologians from around the world who advise the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, often has functioned as a sort of early warning system for the Vatican’s doctrinal concerns. When the commission kicks around a topic, it can be a hint of things to come – an encyclical, a doctrinal instruction, or something else with real teeth.

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