National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

He made me proud to be a Catholic


I don’t often cry when a public figure dies. This morning, I cried when I heard the news that Senator Ted Kennedy had passed away.

I "grew up" with the Kennedy Clan. I remember how John Kennedy broke the "Catholic barrier" with his election in 1960. I remember Robert Kennedy’s prophetic words as he ran for President in 1968… his fearless embrace of the “least of these” and his opposition to the War in Vietnam. And I remember the wrenching agony of the two Kennedy assassinations.

But today feels a bit like the end of an era. Ted Kennedy, like his brothers, was a champion of civil rights, women’s rights, and the welfare of the “least of these.” He strongly and eloquently opposed the war in Iraq. Because his life (and the lives of others in his family) embraced the great Catholic social justice tradition, they have made me proud to be a Catholic.

So I guess now… the torch has been passed… to us.

Biopic on Opus Dei founder


Filmmaker Roland Joffe, twice nominated for Oscars, including for "The Mission," which dealt with leftist Jesuit priests, is the church's more conservative members, the Assocaited Press reports.

Joffe is in Argentina directing a biopic of Opus Dei founder Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer, who sided with Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War and allegedly spoke positively of Adolf Hitler. The church dismissed the controversies before Escriva was canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II.

Opus Dei is financing the film, the Assocaited Press reports, but "the British director has 'creative space' to make the film he wants."

Science, religion and the mystical


Exactly 400 years ago today, on Aug. 25, 1609, the Italian astronomer and philosopher Galilei Galileo showed Venetian merchants his new creation, a telescope -- the instrument that was to bring him both scientific immortality and, more immediately, a whole lot of trouble.

To mark this anniversary, NCR is re-releasing an Podcast interview Tom Fox did with Beatrice Bruteau, a Christian contemplative, passionate scientist and philosopher, in 2007. They speak about the creative impulse behind the evolutionary design of the universe.

It's an Encore NCR Podcast: Science, fear, God and the mystical

Is Archbishop Chaput Right?


Archbishop Chaput counsels patience in the health care reform effort and no one can deny that patience is a virtue. But, there are nonetheless many difficulties with his statement that jump off the page.

First, he quotes from a moving testimonial from a couple with a Down’s Syndrome child. The mother says she is worried about the “public option” and what that might mean for her child: Would the government see the same value in the expensive treatments for her child that he pediatrician sees? But, that is the wrong question. The pediatrician doesn’t pay for the child’s health care, the family’s insurance company does. So, the proximate analogy is a different one: Would the government see the same value in the expensive treatments as the health insurance company does? This is easy. A federal plan will not have profit as a motive. The insurance company does not place those expensive treatments on the plus-side of its ledger.


Subscribe to NCR Today


NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

August 29-September 11, 2014


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