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Sanity check courtesy of a Chicago Sun-Times editorial

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Watching from afar the public bickering between an aging cardinal, Francis George of Chicago, and a stubborn, popular priest, Michael Pfleger, one wonders why these two, and their close advisors, cannot work it out and identify an optimal pathway forward that is respectful of all concerned.

The underlying bad blood between Cardinal George and Father Pfleger is laid bare for all to witness and to grimace. With the dismal state of affairs in many parishes and in many Catholic elementary and secondary schools around the country, finding a new structure that appropriately deploys Father Pfleger's talents other than a binary "take it or leave" proposition that appears to be the current framework, should be a good problem to have, and solvable. Otherwise, these two ought to consider a new reality TV series called the "Michigan Shore."

Kung introduces new book, 'Can the Church be Saved?'

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The Catholic Church is seriously, possibly terminally ill and only an honest diagnosis and radical therapy will cure it, one of the sharpest critics of Pope Benedict XVI, the Swiss Catholic theologian Hans Kung, has written.

Kung who is a former colleague of the pope at the University of Tubingen, introduced his new book, "Ist die Kirche noch zu retten?" ("Can the Church Still Be Saved?").

Webathon: Smashing finish. More information within the hour

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It has been an exhilaration and, in the end, an uplifting experience.

Your terrific response has taken us well beyond our $50,000 goal -- and moving in on $60,000.

However, after six days of pitching NCR on this Web site, we’re also, admittedly, a bit tired of asking. It takes a lot out of one to keep asking – even when you believe in what you are “selling.” We believe in the NCR and its mission so much that many of us have given decades of our lives to NCR.

\"There Be Dragons\" review

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It is 1976. Journalist Robert Torres (Dougray Scott) is researching a Catholic priest, Josemaria Escriva, the founder of a Catholic group called Opus Dei, who had recently died amidst rumors of sanctity. Much to his surprise, Robert discovers that his estranged father, Manolo (Wes Bentley), grew up in the same village in Spain and even went to the same seminary. Robert travels from London to Madrid to find answers to his questions, but even after an eight-year silence, his father will not speak to him.

Editorial courage

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I just learned that an article I wrote for another publication received an award from the Associated Church Press (ACP) for "Editorial Courage."

It is one the most prestigious awards, in my opinion, that the interdenominational religious press association confers because it recognizes the risks that church publications take when they speak the truth and do real journalism.

The National Catholic Reporter does not currently belong to the ACP, but if we did, I venture that we would win the award for "Editorial Courage" every year.

The independence NCR has, thanks to our subscribers and supporters, allows us to practice real, independent journalism about the church every day. As someone who has worked for both a diocesan newspaper (where I got in trouble with the chancery) and a publication owned by a religious congregation (where I got in trouble with the Vatican), I can't stress enough how important that editorial freedom is.

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In This Issue

April 22-May 5, 2016

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