National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Bridgeport diocese sues state

 | 

The Associated Press is reporting that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport sued Connecticut officials in federal court Friday, after being told it needs to register as a lobbyist to hold rallies and use its Web site to oppose legislation.

The move is the latest chapter in tensions between the Catholic Church and the state over issues including gay marriage, emergency contraception and giving parishioners more control over church finances.

The diocese is asking a U.S. District judge to stop the Office of State Ethics from what it calls an unconstitutional application of Connecticut lobbying laws.

Protecting marriage

 | 

An video ad by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) highlighting the harmful consequences of gay marriage was hardly an advertisement for the intelligence of its makers. The 30-second spot warns that students will be taught "that boys can marry other boys" or could be taken to a same-sex wedding as a field trip if gay marriage becomes legalized.

The final frame urges voters in New York, where a same-sex marriage bill recently passed through the state assembly, to contact their senators. "SAY NO TO SAME SAME SEX MARRAIGE," it urges. This pro-gay marriage blog caught the two typos before NOM fixed them. “And we’re the ones who threaten school kids?!?!” one of the site’s bloggers wrote.

'... do you love me?'

 | 

After he ate breakfast with them, Jesus said, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" John 21:15

Empathy is in the news as either a laudable or lamentable quality in a Supreme Court justice. It is a high standard, perhaps higher than a verbatim recall of all of Constitutional law, its precedents and applications. Empathy suggests the highest, most mature discernment, requiring both head and heart, what Solomon had when he risked the child to determine its real mother.

Canada bishop questions morality of oil sands development

 | 

The Canadian Catholic bishop for the region around Alberta's massive oil sands project questions the "moral legitimacy" of their rapid development. The destructive effect on the environment that would result from such development "is against God's plan for the earth."

In a pastoral letter, Bishop Luc Bouchard says the earth is a gift that, undamaged, allows people to sense God's existence. "Therefore, even great financial gain does not justify serious harm to the environment," he writes.

Surface mining of oil sands, environmentalists say, destroys large tracts of boreal forest, pollutes water and will soon contribute far more carbon dioxide to the environment thatn all of Canada's passenger cars combined.

"Any one of the above destructive efforts provokes moral concern, but it is when the damaging effects are all added together that the moral legitimacy of oilsands production is challenged," states the letter.

Madison diocese in financial squeeze

 | 

Amid all the conversations I’ve had about what is emerging in the church there’s the occasional reality check like this story from the Diocese of Madison which is being forced because of finances to close a well-known multi-cultural center that serves one of the city’s poorest neighborhood:

“The actions, according to a media release from the diocese, are being taken ‘to address the long-term decline in the diocesen portfolio as well as increased cost of services provided by the diocese.’”

No one can argue with economic realities, but one wonders when, at a national level, we’ll begin the conversation about the implications of an ever diminishing Catholic presence in some of our cities.

Real meaning of 'pro-life'

 | 

Supreme Court nominations, ending or reducing abortions, efforts to restore health to the economy, successful talks in the Middle East, with Iran or North Korea....None of these will matter much if planet Earth becomes largely uninhabitable for human life.

Yet that is the direction many scientists think we are headed. Some dire climate change warnings are harnessed in a report already under attack, being released today.

The report is being criticized for some of its larger conclusions, but its general thrust is not being disputed.

Bottom line: Wake up. Responding to climate change should be the umbrella "pro-life" coalition for the 21st century.

\"Hallelujah\"

 | 

Yes! Two Latinos, eminent intellectuals, ascend--within a matter of days of one another--to unprecedent prominence in our nation's public life. I'm speaking, of course, about Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court and theologian Miguel H. Diaz, newly appointed U.S. diplomat to the Vatican. She is Puerto Rican, he is Cuban-American, and both are Catholic.

Pages

Subscribe to NCR Today

Feature-flag_GSR2.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

04-11-2014.jpg

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