National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Republican Women could change abortion debate in Senate


From The Associated Press:

Anti-abortion female Republican candidates could change political equation in Senate

By DAVID CRARY , Associated Press

NEW YORK - An unusually large contingent of female Republican candidates with strong anti-abortion views is heating up debate on the issue and could change the political equation in the next Congress.

A true contemplative who liked to drink beer


My friend Br. Wally Kendrick died this summer. For many years he lived as a hermit on land belonging to the Trappist Assumption Abbey in southern Missouri. I often visited him there when I lived nearby in the early 1980s. His little house made of rough-cut oak planks perched on the top of a high ridge with a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills, ridges and hollows.

CRS hands out motorbikes in Ghana


Here's a story that can scoot:

Catholic Relief Services, on Wednesday, presented four motorbikes to the Catholic Diocese in Wa, Ghana, for the monitoring of some of its pro-poor projects in the Upper West Region.

The motorbikes would be used to support the Diocese, to effectively carry out its monitoring role in the implementation of the Integrated Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC), as well as the Agriculture and Water and Sanitation I-SAW Step-up Projects, in four districts of the region.

Father Bennette Tang, Diocesan Development Coordinator, made this known during the presentation of the motorbikes in Wa.

He said the aim of CRS is to integrate Savings and Internal Lending into Agriculture and Water and Sanitation management as an activity among rural people, to enhance their livelihoods."

"Madam Lisa Washington-Sow, CRS Country Representative in Ghana, who graced the occasion, called on the Catholic Diocese, which is a beneficiary of the motorbikes, to use them prudently for the holistic development of the rural people.

Morning Briefing


Christians should be in jail, peace activist tells students


His hands kept moving. As he leaned into the podium they just wouldn't stop. In one moment they were pointing to a student in the front row. In the next they were making fists near his chest. They flew back and forth with a weight about them. They had their own gravitational pull.

Maybe that's what was drawing hushed attention his way.

As Frank Cordaro talked, the undergraduate students at Avila University weren't just listening. They were absorbing.

With a title like "Following the Nonviolent Jesus: Why Christians Should Be In Jail," maybe that's to be expected.

Cordaro, who was speaking to an audience of undergraduate students, local activists, and religious at the Kansas City, Mo. university Sept. 23, covered the gamut of Christian history to support his unusual claim that more Christians should be in jail.

'Dude, you have no Quran'


Skateboarder an overnight sensation after rescuing Quran

By Omar Sacirbey
Religion News Service

At the end of a summer characterized by unprecedented levels of Islamophobia, Muslim Americans and their allies have found an expected reason to smile: Jake Isom, a skateboarder with a rat-tail from Amarillo, Texas.

Last Saturday, Sept. 18, Isom, 23, snatched a kerosene-soaked Koran from a grill in a city park before David Grisham, head of a local Christian group known as Repent Amarillo, could set it afire.

Isom's telling of the story to a local news station went viral, receiving close to 300,000 views on YouTube.

Autumn's big soft black-dotted fluttering wings


On a walk yesterday at this city's nature center, the day before this one that marks the turning of the seasons, I stopped to pick up some of the first colorful leaves that had fallen to the sidewalk, then a monarch butterfly fluttered past me headed south, while a honeybee sluggishly toured through a blooming patch of goldenrod and asters, the wildflowers of fall in the Midwest.

The big black-and-orange monarchs buck the butterfly trend. Most other species of butterfly have settled down already for the winter, slumbering in the cocoon or going about disguised as caterpillars.

The monarch, though, migrates as many bird species do. They follow regular migration routes down from the North, along major river valleys, along coastlines. Some of them travel over 2,000 miles ending in southern Mexico.

No one is sure why these butterflies migrate, or how they navigate. All we know is that they do so by the millions and that they come back to their summer haunts every spring. Some are survivors of the previous year's journey; others -- probably most -- are a new generation hatched in the far south.

ëHousing is a Human Right,' Massachusetts Bishops Declare


Massachusetts, particularly but not exclusively the high-priced Boston area, has long been a leader in developing affordable housing nestled within market-rate housing developments.

One reason for this leadership is a 40-year-old state law – which includes an “inclusionary zoning ordinance” -- that provides developers with incentives (the ability to build more market-rate housing than zoning might otherwise permit) in return for placing “affordable housing” within the same neighborhood. The statute is now under attack from statewide NIMBY’s --the “Not in my Backyard” contingent. The law, however, is a model that has been emulated in communities throughout the nation, particularly in areas where housing is expensive (that way the developers actually make a modest profit on the affordable units, providing them an incentive to support a program this generally conservative constituency might not necessarily endorse).

\"The Sexual Person\"


I was sad, but not surprised, to read of the bishops' condemnation of a book about sexuality by two Creighton theology professors. I worked with one of the authors, Michael Lawler, on a piece for U.S. Catholic magazine in which he and another researcher argued that not all premarital sex was morally wrong and suggested a ritual for couples moving toward marriage.

We editors (I used to be managing editor there) knew it was a touchy topic but were convinced that the authors were responsible in their assertions. Next came the usual angry letters from organized, conservative Catholic groups denouncing the article and one from then- Archbishop Elden Curtiss, who eventually cut ties with Creighton University’s Center for Marriage and Family.


Subscribe to NCR Today

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

September 25-October 8, 2015


Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.