National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Brooklyn Catholic schools to reopen as academies

 | 

It seems that a more enlightened school structure has been identified in the Brooklyn diocese."The conversion of a parochial school into an academy separates pastoral, educational and management roles. The parish priest would still oversee the spiritual needs and religious portion of curriculum, while the principal tends to 'teacher development' and a Board of Directors administers the school."

The right's duplicity unveiled on health care

 | 

For decades – from at least the time Joe Torre was a backup first baseman with the Milwaukee Braves – and ever further back than that, the political right has complained that government is the problem, government programs don’t work, and are too costly and inefficient. Meanwhile the right’s mantra has also been that private enterprise does everything better because it's more creative, innovative and efficient than government.

John the Baptist

 | 

Incidents in the Middle East and in the drug wars in Mexico have brought beheading back into the headlines. This swift and macabre form of execution was common in the ancient world. Herod's dispatching of John the Baptist, like the brutal fate of all the male infants in Nazareth under Herod's father, sent a signal that a faltering and corrupt royal house would do anything to preserve its sovereignty.

John's beheading also served as metaphor for the gospel writers who emphasized that his greatness was as the last great prophet under the Law. He dies without understanding the new dispensation of grace he had ushered in by pointing to Jesus. He serves as the blind wedge that opens new vistas for God's unconditional and universal love. As a faithful servant, he enters what he could not have imagined, the last martyr of one story and the first hero of the next, arriving headless into the kingdom of God.

Find out what's on your food

 | 

The Pesticide Action Network has launched a new online searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable. Whether you want to find out what's in your apple juice, milk, peanut butter, or bottled water, this innovative tool links pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time.

www.whatsonmyfood.org

Facts about pesticides:

The average child gets 5+ servings of pesticides in their food and water each day.

The pesticide Atrazine is so toxic it is banned in Europe, but it is used so widely in the U.S., that it is found in 71 percent of the U.S. drinking water.

Currently, over 400 pesticides can be legally used in the U.S. For example, apples can be sprayed up to 16 times with 36 different pesticides. None of these chemicals are present in organic foods.

Too many choices

 | 

My wife is not sleeping lately. She is up late, on the computer, worrying about -- toilets. I'll explain in a second, but let me just say that after years of listening to U.S. Catholic bishops and theologians and the pope himself go on about the downsides of Western consumerism, I get it. I really get it.

Here's what is going on: my wife and I recently bought an old house, a fixer-upper that we are now fixing up. According to the scores of home remodeling magazines somehow still publishing in the midst of a housing collapse of unimagined proportions, our situation is close to consumerist nirvana. Through this kind of total remodel, we can have the house of our dreams. We can have everything "just the way we want it."

But what if you can decide what you want? What if the dazzling array of choices offered about American marketing leaves you paralyzed?

Iran struggling with 'Shi'ite messianism,' cardinal says

 | 

Interview with Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice
June 2009

tOne noteworthy recent initiative in Catholic/Muslim relations is the Oasis project, launched by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice in 2004. Though Oasis does not shy away from theological conversation, its accent is on understanding Islamic cultures, sometimes expressed as the ‘Islam of the people’ – what in journalistic parlance might be called ‘the Muslim street.’ In particular, Oasis is interested in the interplay between traditional cultures and the new forces of pluralism and mixture of peoples driven by globalization. (Scola likes to use the Italian term ‘meticciato’, which roughly corresponds to ‘mestizo’, to convey this idea.)

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, June 22-23, the scientific committee that directs Oasis met in Venice to take up the subject of ‘intepreting traditions in a time of blending.’ In conjunction with that event, I interviewed Scola, 67, on the current state of Christian/Muslim relations.

80 nations (but not the U.S.) are set to destroy cluster bomb arsenals

 | 

Eighty signatories of a new international convention banning cluster bombs are set to meet in Berlin to begin the destruction of these indiscriminate weapons even before the accord has entered into force. On June 25 and 26, delegations from more than 80 countries will meet in the German capital to discuss plans for stockpile destruction.

Pages

Subscribe to NCR Today

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

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