National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Turkey may reopen St. Paul's church in Tarsus

 | 

As the U.S. debates the opening of mosques (See my posting of yesterday Four mosque battles brew across US), I have to wonder if there is lesson for us in this story from Turkey.

Strengthen minority religious rights benefits all citizens, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week in defending his government's decision to allow Orthodox Christians to use for the first time in 80 years a 1,600-year-old monastery on Turkey's Black Sea coast.

At least 1,500 pilgrims, many from Greece and Russia, traveled to the monastery of Sumela Aug. 15 for services led by Patriarch Bartholomew I.

"We lose nothing if 500 or 2,000 people meet to hold a service together," Erdogan said during a press conference Aug 16. "Our country will gain more if it allows greater religious freedom. Turkey itself is seeking permission for a mosque in Athens, and this process could be speeded up if the situation improves here."

The White House response to stem cell ruling

 | 

The New York Times is reporting that the White House is reviewing how to respond to a federal judge’s ruling that temporarily blocks federal financing for embryonic stem cell research, as stunned advocates and lawmakers seek to digest the implications of the decision.

The Times piece quotes Bill Burton, the White House deputy press secretary, as saying the administration has interpreted the temporary injunction, issued by the judge on Monday, as putting a stop to all federally financed research using embryonic stem cells.

See: White House Mulls Response to Judge’s Stem Cell Ruling

\"What's new for dinner?\"

 | 

On the Natural Resources Defense Council Web site's "OnEarth" page, there is a short version of a longer article that will appear soon by journalist Frederick Kaufman. "What's New for Dinner?" describes recent efforts by big agribusiness to define agricultural sustainability.

Large food producers have allied themselves with a small, relatively unknown, and extraordinarily ambitious consortium called the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops. The aim is to set industry standards for "sustainability" that will come to be accepted worldwide both by food producers and environmental groups. Kaufman's article is an investigation of how this is playing out in various areas of food production.

N.J. priest resigns because of missing money

 | 

"The pastor of St. Therese Roman Catholic Church resigned one week after an audit showed an undisclosed sum of money missing from the 2,800-family parish in Succasunna, according to Kenneth Mullaney, attorney for the Paterson Diocese.

The Rev. Joseph Davis, who had been an administrator at the church for more than two decades, took ill last fall, Mullaney said, and was hospitalized for several months."

Looks like this matter is being swept under the Patterson Diocese's rug. Nice transparency and accountability. How is a priest an administrator for 20 years?

How can the Paterson Diocesan attorney, Kenneth Mullaney, not know for certain when the last audit took place?

Real Community

 | 

For most parishes, a sense of "community" is the modern-day Holy Grail — to create a tight-knit atmosphere that allows a parish to grow and thrive in even the most challenging times.

I found the best example of that brand of community last week on — of all places — a cruise ship.

How about an interfaith memorial instead?

 | 

LaVonne Neff, a blogger over at Sojourners, has an interesting counter-proposal for the proposed Islamic community center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero: an interfaith memorial.

Here's her take:

Since we follow someone who suggested loving our enemies and forgiving 70 times seven (which we tend to ignore when we rant against the Islamic center), this would allow us to be more literal about our faith. And since we believe in our constitutional rights of religious liberty and freedom to assemble (which we might jeopardize by refusing to allow the Islamic center to be built), this would allow us to be more traditional about our politics as well.

Quote of the day

 | 

Barry Levine, editor of the National Enquirer, talks with New York Magazine.

“I hate where we are today. I hate the Internet. I hate the instant-news cycle,” Levine says, cutting into a juicy pink veal chop. “I yearn for the days when we could pass off a reporter as a waiter at Liz Taylor and Larry Fortensky’s wedding and get the inside scoop. They were the best days, no question about it."

Levine says has little use for the fake celebrity world of Us Weekly and OK! Instead, he wants to open a D.C. bureau.

Read more: 128 Minutes With Barry Levine

Obama: one term president?

 | 

The Daily Telegraph has an interesting, if unlikely, story up today. It alleges that President Obama may intentionally wish to be a one-term president.

From the story:

There are few Americans who see themselves as bigger than the presidency but Obama could well be one of them. In 2008, Obama showed little appetite for the down-and-dirty aspects of political campaigning.

When things got tough against Hillary Clinton, he all but conceded the final Democratic primaries and let the clock run out. Against John McCain, he developed a campaign plan and refused to deviate from it. McCain was level in the polls when the US economy imploded, handing Obama a relatively comfortable victory.

Obama is the first black American president, an established author, multi-millionaire and acclaimed figure beyond American shores.

Pages

Subscribe to NCR Today

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

08-27-2015.jpg

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