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Is there a Gorbachev in the Catholic church?


On Easter Sunday, I had dinner with two friends with whom I share a great love of heated, newsy topics. Although they are not Catholic, the recent revelations of sex abuse and its cover-up in the Roman Catholic Church came up.

I mentioned that Tom Roberts of NCR offered had analyzed the problem (in an interview for Interfaith Voices) as rooted in the “clerical culture” of the church, which includes secrecy and protection of the institution above all else.

Fact-checking health reform debate


I found this article from Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news organization committed to in-depth coverage of health care policy and politics, helpful will discussing health care reform legislation with my extended family over the Easter holiday. True or False: Seven Concerns About The New Health Law

Kaiser Health News is funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation. A bit more info about the news service from its Web site:

KHN’s mission is to provide high-quality coverage of health policy issues and developments at the federal and state levels. In addition, KHN covers trends in the delivery of health care and in the marketplace.

Among our goals: provide new opportunities for health care journalists to produce in-depth work and a new vehicle to distribute it through collaborations with major news organizations and on this Web site. This Web site also features daily summaries of major health care news from across the nation, as well as original videos and a broad range of commentary from contributing writers and issues.

Easter Vigil: Know when to hold 'em


Holy Week: Accompanying El Salvador

On this Holy Saturday we enter the dark interval between death and promise. I am running out of words, a good sign, for we are approaching a threshold where logic ends and mystery begins. The Holy Week story was always there, written long before the events we will review in the grand sweep of salvation history recorded in the lectionary readings for tonight's solemn Easter Vigil.

Know when to fold 'em


Holy Week: Accompanying El Salvador

The real question for Good Friday is why Jesus, with victory over evil within his grasp and backed by absolute power, chose to be struck down in apparent defeat?

To our modern sensibilities, schooled by violent sports and the permanent war on terror to accept the axiom that "winning isn't everything -- It's the only thing," Jesus' death on Good Friday was a disaster.

Holy bubble! Churches struck down by foreclosures


Eastertime generates a number of interesting stories about the state of religion and congregations in the U.S. Reuters has a story describing the financial turmoil affecting Protestant churches.

Foreclosure proceedings against U.S. churches have nearly tripled since December 2007.

A growing number of U.S. churches, which are defaulting on loans, facing foreclosure and even declaring bankruptcy at an unprecedented pace.

"It's happening to virtually every church," said the Rev. Grainger Browning, senior pastor of Ebenezer. "At a recent meeting with the 100 top pastors in the country, it was amazing how all of us were facing some sort of challenge with the banks."

Long considered among the safest of borrowers, churches gambled on real estate at a time when credit copiously flowed and lenders were startlingly lax.

No Longer Just an American Problem


On Hardball last night, Chris Matthews said, “what floors me, I thought that this was just a problem of a particular couple of generations perhaps, of priests that had this problem, and they were getting away with covering it up in the United States and Ireland. And it turns out that it is a world-wide problem, and it is getting everywhere and it is not going away.”

Faith & Science in DC


During the 2008 GOP primaries, in one of the debates, Jim VandeHei asked Senator John McCain if he believed in evolution. The Senator paused for a moment before answering. While no man knows the heart or mind of another with certainty, I think it is safe to venture the guess that in the moment of hesitation, Sen. McCain was entertaining a political doubt, not a scientific one. Finally, he answered, “Yes.”

The correct answer, of course, would have been to point out that the question is a flawed one. One does not “believe” scientific theory, one demonstrates it. That is the point. Yet, the debate between those committed to science and religion often suffers from such confusion. Thankfully, there is an antidote at hand.


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In This Issue

July 17-30, 2015


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