I have to remind myself that I first met Jesuit Fr. Tom Reese just last year. I mean, I had talked to him countless times over the years -- his name is ubiquitous as a source for journalists trying to understand this crazy organization we call the church -- and I had read his books and articles. But the first time I was in the same room with him to shake his hand and offer him a cup of tea was in late February 2013.
NCR Today: NCR's comment procedure; bankruptcy news in California and Montana; evacuation continues in Homs; care for the poor in South Sudan and South Dakota.
What is a pope to do? That's the question raised by a story Monday in The Washington Post that highlighted a worldwide poll of Catholics. It shows that the faithful around the world (in general -- not everywhere on all issues) are much more progressive than the Vatican on selected issues.
NCR Today: It's been one year since Benedict's resignation; Shirley Temple dies; same-sex couples extended more federal privileges.
Since his election, Pope Francis has made millions of friends and admirers. But he has acquired some critics, too. Then there are the extremely hostile, outspoken opponents who see him as a heretic or deceiver and speak with shrill and caustic voices. Not surprisingly, many of these come from the extremes of the religious traditions that Pope Francis talks a lot about -- Catholics and Jews.
Back in the 1980s, a priest from Portland, Ore., Ray Carey, already had a reputation for assisting seminaries in identifying applicants who were pedophiles. I was on our Loretto membership team and participated in three of his workshops. I learned interviewing skills that stand me in good stead today, centering on how to frame questions to sample interviewee behavior. I also learned more than my mother would have ever wanted me to know about child sexual abuse by the clergy. (That joke is his, too, and I've borrowed it for weapons trade and prisons as well as pedophilia.)
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Last week marked the 10th anniversary of Facebook, the social networking site founded more or less (see the 2010 film "The Social Network") by Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm room at Harvard University. OK, Wikipedia says he co-founded Facebook with four other guys, but we really don't remember them, do we? And there were three others who claimed Zuckerberg stole their idea, a legal battle that was settled out of court. In an interview Feb.
NCR Today: A GOP Senate? Films touch Catholic church; N.Y. bishops push state DREAM Act; Ireland's same-sex referendum.
Cherish Life Circle, the anti-death-penalty advocacy group, has begun a petition drive appealing to Pope Francis to intervene on behalf of David Paul Hammer, who faces a death sentence for the killing of a cellmate 20 years ago.
Hammer is in the Special Confinement Unit of the Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind.