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NCR Today

Morning Briefing

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After 18 years, free dental clinic on LA's skid row no more

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As those associated with Catholic Workers know, their ministries are in a constant state of flux.

The nightly meal may have to be canceled for lack of donations. The morning coffee may have to be changed to tea because the beans didn't show up. Distribution of bus passes or prescription vouchers may have to stop when there's just no more money.

NCR welcomes a new Web columnist

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Jamie Manson has been writing a Web column for NCR since November 2008 when she premiered as one of our "Young Voices" columnists.

She was honored in June this year by the Catholic Press Association for the columns she wrote in 2009. She earned a first prize for Best Column/Regular Commentary.

Last month, NCR invited and Manson agreed to become a weekly columnist under her own title. "Grace on the Margins" is the result. It will appear here every Monday.

Naples cardinal illustrated cultural gap on accountability

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Rome -- With the Dec. 2 death of retired Cardinal Michele Giordano of Naples -- the highest-ranking prelate ever to face criminal prosecution in Italy -- the Catholic world has lost not only a prince of the church, but perhaps its best example of the “cultural gap” between the Vatican and Main Street USA when it comes to the vexed matter of accountability for bishops.

Vatican warning system locks on social teaching, nature of theology

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Rome -- Since its creation by Pope Paul VI in 1969, the International Theological Commission, composed of 30 theologians from around the world who advise the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, often has functioned as a sort of early warning system for the Vatican’s doctrinal concerns. When the commission kicks around a topic, it can be a hint of things to come – an encyclical, a doctrinal instruction, or something else with real teeth.

On unemployment benefits, where are bishops' voices?

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As I watch the news these days, I am reminded of the Religious Right and their frequent allies, the Catholic Bishops. Their usual list of important “moral issues” includes abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, etc. When there is any chance that politicians will initiate policies in disagreement with their positions, the pulpits are mounted and sirens are sounded nationwide.

But today, they are strangely silent. Yet, we face a true moral crisis -- not on sexual issues -- but on economic issues.

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