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Cardinal George and Sister Carol on Health Care

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NCR Senior Correspondent John Allen, in a fine piece of reporting, talks to the key players in the health care discussion: Cardinal Francis George, Sister Carol Keehan, Bishop Robert Lynch. Allen is covering the Catholic Health Association meeting, but his piece goes beyond the tensions between CHA and the bishops over each's interpretation of how abortion is treated in the legislation to deeper issues that are sure to be with the US Church for years to come. Find the story here.

Liturgy Changes in 2011

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Religion News Service reported yesterday that changes in the liturgy of the Mass, specifically the awkward translations of certain prayers, are slated tentatively for late 2011. The date was announced by Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Ill., a former member of the U.S. bishops' liturgy committee. He indicated that the date is not firm, but "it is very possible, however, that the date will be the First Sunday of Advent 2011."

Just to put this in context, these are the translations of various Mass texts that many US Catholics -- bishops and liturgical experts alike -- oppose, and are likely to raise a lot of questions in the minds of folks in the pews. (The questions, in fact, are already being asked. My fellow blogger, Dennis Coday, passed on last week a request from a reader looking to join a group or alliance working to postpone the new translation.)

I’ve followed this story as it developed, and it boggles my mind that translation questions are not left to native speakers of a language ... in this case, English.

'Cut your oil consumption' tips from the Sierra Club

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One reason the BP oil disaster makes us sick is the news that 11 workers died in the explosion, then the flood of heartbreaking images of dead or dying wildlife and despoiled wetlands coupled with an infuriating sense of helplessness. BP's “handling” the crisis, so there's nothing we can do -- right?

Wrong. Oil has infiltrated our daily lives to an astonishing degree, but that doesn't mean we can't significantly reduce our use of it. Americans burn nearly 20 million barrels of oil every single day, most of it for personal transportation.

Even for the most committed environmentalist, to go completely oil-free overnight would be next to impossible. But taking the first step toward an oil-free future -- by simply reducing our current daily consumption -- is actually incredibly easy. It's also one of the most significant things you can do to wrest control of our energy future back from the Big Oil companies, which have enjoyed cozy political relationships and big government subsidies for far too long.

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August 15-28, 2014

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