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Iraq war documents and Obama's unfulfilled promise


I've been working on a story this week on reactions to the latest round of leaked military documents from the Iraq war. While transcribing a conversation with one of my sources today I realized I had an incredibly illuminating four sentence summary of where we are as a country.

As a backgrounder: 400,000 pages of classified documents concerning coalition forces’ actions during the war -- together known as the 'Iraq War Logs' -- were leaked by the international organization WikiLeaks, and then released by several international publications Oct. 22.

The documents cover a wide-span of the war. The leak has been called the greatest in the history of the U.S. military.

The conversation I had was with Jeremy Varon, an associate professor of history at The New School in New York City. He said, simply:

"I think the United States is deep, deep, deep down a horrible path. And I thought Obama would put us on a new path. He hasn’t. Maybe some future administration will."

LA archdiocese launches Creation Sustainability Ministry


The archdiocese of Los Angeles has launched a Creation Sustainability Ministry on Oct. 4. Its mission: "educating and inspiring Catholics and others in the broader community to act out of reverence and respect for God's creation."

Directly involved in the creation of the ministry were the archdiocesan Offices of Justice and Peace and Synod Implementation/Stewardship.
In an Oct. 4 letter introducing the effort, Cardinal Roger Mahony cited Pope Benedict XVI's 2010 World Day of Peace message: "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation." Cardinal Mahony urged parishioners not to remain indifferent to "environmental issues and their profound impact on humanity."

"From our perspective, creation is a statement of faith," said Ramon Posada, ministry chairperson and philosophy and religion professor at East Los Angeles College. "It implies that there is a loving Creator from which we came from and who calls us to participate in this loving action in the world we live in."

Sisters to auction 'holy grail' of baseball cards


Baltimore nuns auctioning famous baseball card to raise money for their mission

The School Sisters of Notre Dame in Baltimore are about to receive a little divine love from the Holy Grail of Baseball Cards. A newly discovered T206 Honus Wagner card (1909-1911), left to the convent by the brother of a member of the order when he passed away, will be auctioned off on Nov. 4 in Dallas as part of Heritage Auctions’ Signature Sports Memorabilia event.

The card is estimated to bring $100,000+.

“The proceeds from the sale of this card will go to benefit the work of the School Sisters of Notre Dame all over the world, in about 35 countries,” said Sister Virginia Muller, Treasurer for the Baltimore convent. “Wherever the need is, we will share it.”

Fr. Charles Curran draws fire for SMU lecture


Fr. Charles Curran is an easy target. To those who readily dismiss him as a dissenter from official teaching, he wears a large bull’s eye on his chest. There’s no need to discuss what he’s writing or saying first. Just take aim and shoot. For others he remains one of the few, in a church in which theological speculation has become an exercise to avoid if you want to stay out of Rome’s sights, willing to ask and explore difficult questions.

Editor's note: Read NCR's account of Curran's lecture -- Curran: How bishops challenge abortion laws is 'flawed'

The latest incident involving Curran, reported here, involves a lecture he is scheduled to give Thursday at Southern Methodist University, where he has been teaching since 1991.

Attention NCR Readers in Minnesota


NCR readers in Minnesota, here's your invitation:

Town hall-style meeting Oct. 27 to address church’s teaching on marriage

Two [St. Paul-Minneapolis] archdiocesan priests will address Catholics’ questions about the church’s teaching on marriage and family Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. John the Baptist in New Brighton.

I am not advocating that NCR readers stage a Tea Party style shout-down, but it might be good to have a few astute questioners in the audience.

Venezuela: Jesuit on hunger strike over indigenous land


A Spanish Jesuit priest, in Venezuela, Fr José Mar'a Korta Lasarte, 81, has been on hunger strike for seven days to demand the protection of a forest reserve measuring some 295,280 hectares in the northwestern state of Zulia, near the Colombian border, which is the ancestral home of several indigenous communities.

Fr Jose told reporters: “Today, indigenous peoples are mistreated…and if human beings are excluded, I am ready to give my life for them”.


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In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


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