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Interfaith push for creation of green jobs

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New jobs, especially those connected to the rapidly growing economy revolving around energy conservation and pollution reduction, must provide laid-off workers and low-income families the opportunity to shed the title of working poor by having a well-paying job, said Father Larry Snyder, executive director of Catholic Charities USA, during a recent nationwide webinar marking the second Fighting Poverty with Faith initiative.

"As people of faith we can make a difference to develop and shape a new American economy, one that provides a living wage and one that provides the benefits where people don't have to rely on government benefits," Father Snyder said. "We can, and must, work to reshape our economy so there is a balance and pay equity for all workers."

To view the recorded webinar, click here. You may be inspired to engage in volunteer projects, public education, and advocacy on the issue of shared economic prosperity and workforce development that includes "green" pathways out of poverty for working families.

Health Care Update

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Is the public option back? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks she has the requisite 218 votes in her chamber and increasingly it looks like some compromise version of a public option, most likely with a trigger, will pass muster in the Senate. Still, it is strange the way the public option has become so defining an issue in the health care debate.

Welcoming 'Segregationists at the Altar'

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Imagine for a minute that it’s 1954, as segregationists faced Brown vs. the Board of Education, the Supreme Court case which mandated school de-segregation. And imagine that the Vatican, or the Catholic bishops, said to Protestant segregationists in the South, “You can come to our schools, to Catholic schools, and we’ll provide you with a home.” Most Catholics would have been outraged, I daresay. (And of course, precisely the opposite actually happened, as many Catholic bishops were outspoken against racial segregation, and integrated Catholic schools -- thank God).

But it’s a different story with gender segregation or sexual orientation. This is not a perfect analogy, granted. But the Vatican’s overtures to dissident Anglicans sound like those “imagined” 1950’s with a different twist. The Vatican is opening Catholic doors wide to Anglicans who believe in “segregation at the altar,” for women, and for openly gay/lesbian clergy.

The big day for 350.org

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This Saturday, Oct. 24, is the big day -- across every time zone -- for 350.org. Founded to give a voice to ordinary people across the globe in advance of the U.N. climate change meeting in Copenhagen this December, the 350 campaign has been building to this Global Day of Climate Action, Oct. 24. The symbol, and the message, is a number: 350 parts per million, what scientists say is the safe limit of CO2 in the atmosphere for life to continue as human beings have known it.

Surely we can all agree on this

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A Religion News Service Story begins:


No place in civil debate for Holocaust comparisons

WASHINGTON -- Religious leaders are urging their colleagues and politicians to keep comparisons to Nazism and the Holocaust out of American public policy debates.

The Interfaith Alliance responded to a recent onslaught of references to Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust, particularly as an analogy to the current discussion on health care reform.

And let's keep these comparisons about of debates of religious issues too.

Surely we can all agree on this.

What are humans for?

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Somehow we manage to both disparage our humanity and exalt it at the same time.

We are told by TV evangelists that we are unworthy, abject sinners. Low self-esteem and depression are epidemic, even among teens. There is widespread interest in angels and UFOs, beings that will perhaps save us from ourselves. We don’t really feel good about our humanness. We’re always trying to improve. Self help books are legion in bookstores.

An open letter to Anglicans

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Just got a news release from Call to Action. It's an open letter to Anglicans who might be thinking about joining the Roman Catholics.

An Open Letter to our Sisters and Brothers in Christ in the Anglican Tradition

We greet you in the name of the One who unites us all. We were disappointed with the Vatican's announcement of a stream-lined process for Anglican conversion to Roman Catholicism for individuals and dioceses who do not support women's and LGBT equality.

The Anglican tradition embodies a courageous history of seeking reform in the face of church injustice. In the last decades, you have built on that history and stood strongly in support of marginalized women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in your faith tradition. We have watched and supported your struggles over the years to welcome all God's people equally to ministerial leadership. You should stand proud.

Married priests for all!

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“We’re surprised and pleased to see Vatican flexibility in permitting married priests for Anglican converts, but we need the option of a married priesthood in the Latin rite of the Catholic church too,” begins a news release from FutureChurch, quoting its executive director, Sr. Christine Schenk.

Four years ago, FutureChurch lobbied the Vatican’s International Synod on The Eucharist asking for open discussion of mandatory celibacy and women deacons. Four of the synod’s twelve working groups wanted to study married priests. “At the synod there was much talk of allowing viri probati (“tested men”) to perform priestly functions,” said Schenk. “So perhaps that conversation helped prepare the way for yesterday’s announcement that Rome will make special adaptations for married Anglican priests and bishops to join the Church.”

Read the full news release here: Catholics Request Married Priests for Everyone, Not Just Anglican Converts

KC Nuke Plant: Lawsuit Dismissed, Opposition Continues

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The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that a key effort by local community members to stop the construction of the new Kansas City Plant has been stalled.

On Monday a lawsuit filed by the National Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and others to stop the construction of the new plant was dismissed in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit had claimed that there was little public notice of the new plans and that the environmental assessment used to determine the impact of the new plant was overly broad.

Members of the local community are “upset that they didn’t give public notice, didn’t have a public hearing, and are not addressing existing contamination,” said Henry Stoever, a signer of the lawsuit who is a local attorney and board member of PeaceWorks Kansas City.

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July 4-17, 2014

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