National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Ted Kennedy's Catholicism

 | 

This week on Interfaith Voices, my lead interview is with Jonathan Karp, the publisher and editor who worked with Senator Ted Kennedy for more than two years to write and publish his memoir, True Compass. It has just hit the bookstores in the last couple weeks, and it’s a wonderful read!

Karp talks about how Matthew 25 (feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. ...) was at the heart of Kennedy’s Catholic faith, and how it nourished his legislative agenda. He also talks about how he assessed his personal moral failings, and how he viewed the issue of abortion.

To hear the entire interview, go to: http://www.interfaithradio.org/

Santa Monica Catholic hospital gets $100 million

 | 

On the brighter side of the news, a billionaire pharmaceutical developer has donated $100 million to a Santa Monica hospital, with more than half the funds going to research projects and facilities.

Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele Chan, donated the money to St. John's Health Center, a 380-bed Catholic hospital.

St. John's Chief Executive Lou Lazatin said Thursday $55 million will create several research centers and fund future projects.

The donation includes $35 million already spent on renovating and expanding the hospital and $10 million to attract doctors and scientists.

The couple donated a separate $35 million to St. John's in 2007.

Defending the Red Mass

 | 

The Rev. Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is all in a tizzy because of this Sunday’s Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew, the Apostle here in Washington, D.C. as reported below in the Morning Briefing. “The truth is this was set up as a way to basically lecture and give information to the justices. There is no other institution that has this special way to talk to the justices on the Supreme Court,” he told CNN.

I will set aside the rather funny coincidence that the Rev. Lynn is ordained in the United Church of Christ which was the last ecclesial body to be disestablished in the United States. In Massachusetts and Connecticut, the UCC was established by law into the early decades of the nineteenth century because the Bill of Rights did not then apply to state constitutions.

The pope has become an Italian story

 | 

Rome -- At one point during Pope Benedict XVI's trip to the Czech Republic last weekend, I strolled across the press center in the Prague Hilton. Taking in the conversations floating through the air, and gazing at the people in the room, I was struck by this insight: The pope has once again become largely an Italian story.

Pope John Paul II was a global newsmaker, and the press corps that followed him was strikingly international. These days, the non-Italians who regularly travel with the pope have dwindled to the media equivalent of a remnant church. On this trip, there was no one from The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, or CNN (unless you count me, but my phone never rang), all of whom used to be regulars. Fox was on the papal plane, but only because their Rome correspondent is invested in the Vatican story; if he weren't around, it's a good bet Fox wouldn't be in the mix either.

Ambassador Diaz's remarks to Pope Benedict

 | 

John Allen reported earlier this morning that President Barack Obama's ambassador to the Holy See Miguel Diaz presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI today.

The U.S. Embasssy to the Holy See posted Diaz's remarks to its Web site. Here it is:

Presentation of Credentials Miguel H. Diaz Ambassador of the United States to the Holy See

Remarks
Vatican City

Your Holiness,

It is a distinct honor to present to you my credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See and to bring to you warm greetings from President Barack Obama and the American people. I am very grateful to President Obama for the opportunity to represent him and my country to the Holy See. My wife and children, who have accompanied me to Rome, have also welcomed our President’s invitation to serve our country. They join me in offering our familial, cultural, and educational experiences at the service of diplomacy.

Liturgical impoliteness: what my mother would say

 | 

I've been thinking lately about the decision of Bishop Edward Slattery of Oklahoma City to begin facing the altar, rather than the people, at Mass.

Bishop Slattery says he is celebrating ad orientem, (facing East) as part of his urging Catholics "to draw upon the ancient liturgical practice of the church to recover a more authentic Catholic worship."

Authentic tradition of Catholic worship? From what age of the church, I wonder. Surely not the Last Supper. And surely not the "house churches" in the early centuries of Christianity where people sat around a table.

But mostly, I cannot image a faster way to alienate people in parishes than to do this. After decades of being taught that the Eucharist is a communal celebration, this feels like shunning the People of God. I want to ask Bishop Slattery: Are you afraid of the people? If not, then why… as my mother would say… are you being so impolite?

Pope pushes Obama envoy on abortion, conscience protections

 | 

Rome -- Miguel Diaz presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI this morning as President Barack Obama's ambassador to the Holy See, and the new envoy drew a pledge of cooperation on international issues from the pope, as well as clear insistence upon "the inalienable right to life from the moment of conception to natural death," as well as "the right to conscientious object on the part of health care workers, and indeed all citizens."

Obama in Copenhagen

 | 

Conservatives never tire of finding things to criticize about President Obama and his decision to go to Copenhagen to lobby on behalf of his hometown’s bid for the 2016 Olympic Games is no exception. Do they really think the President can’t fly and chew bubble gum at the same time? Hell, his plane comes with a bedroom so he can sleep soundly and conduct meetings on the flight back.

I was surprised about his decision to go in person to Copenhagen not because of his busy schedule but because he risks a highly visible loss. Chicago has never held the Games, but the city’s bid is now the American bid, not just the city’s. And America has hosted the summer Olympics four times, most recently in 1996 when Atlanta played host. Incidentally, the Atlanta Games were loudly criticized for their hyper-commercialization and the poor layout of the venues and consequent daily traffic nightmares. The United States has also hosted the winter games four times.

Pages

Subscribe to NCR Today

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

August 29-September 11, 2014

08-29-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.