NCR Today: News from Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Brisbane and Melbourne. Plus more.
NCR Today is the group blog of NCR. Each member of our diverse team of bloggers writes on different topics, including the politics of the church and secular society (and the interaction between the two), culture, management of the church and more.
Paulist Press has published a book by Abbot Martin Werlen, who compared the church to an ash heap that he knows contains embers waiting to be ignited.
NCR Today: It turns out Pope Francis is not a big fan of capitalism, which he says fosters "a civilization of consumerism, of hedonism."
NPR's "Weekend Edition" ran a story about the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank. Amid stone-throwing boys and tear-gas-shooting soldiers, an Arab peddler was selling ice cream. I've been across that checkpoint, and I had a vivid image of the scene. It made me think about pundit complaints that protesters don't use nonviolence. And it reminded me of rock-throwing in Northern Ireland.
As immigration continues to be a hot-button issue, Catholic comedy show host Stephen Colbert takes on an Iowa hospital deporting undocumented workers back to their countries in a segment of "The Colbert Report" called "The Word."
New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle is one of the best voices at the statehouse in Trenton. She has an amazing record of standing up for the middle class and the "least of these" among us--no wonder she is a life long Catholic. She wrote a powerful piece that all lay-Catholics should read. It is a piece that touches on a scandal that has made so many feel as though their Church has abandoned them. More importantly, she talks about the difficult responsibility of balancing faith and life as a public official. The op-ed was originally published in the Star Ledger and can be found here: Assemblywoman: Newark Archbishop John Myer's priorities are appalling
NCR Today: Francis' May Day message; more Newark fallout; naked art students and hipster Jesus.
Marking the feast of St Joseph the Worker and World Labor Day today, Pope Francis made an appeal worldwide to take decisive steps to end slave labor.
Speaking during his general audience in Italian he said: “I would like to add a word about another particular work situation that concerns me. I am referring to what we could define as ‘slave labor’, the work that enslaves. How many people worldwide are victims of this type of slavery, in which the person is at the service of his or her work, while work should offer a service to people so they may have dignity?
One of the best passages in scripture comes from Luke’s Gospel: the Appearance of Christ on the Road to Emmaus. Two journeyers are taking the long trek to Emmaus, an ancient town northwest of Jerusalem, while discussing the crucifixion of their Messiah. While wandering, Jesus appears on the road and asks about the events they’re discussing—but they do not recognize him.
One of the travelers almost rudely asks Jesus, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”
Jesus continues to act as though he is unaware of the situation that had unfolded, prompting the disciples to explain the events to him.
I was stunned to open my Washington Post this morning, and find that the front page of the Style section (which is widely read) featured the opening of a multipage story about Catholic peace activists who broke into a nuclear weapons facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn. It was headlined, "The Prophets of Oak Ridge."
I wondered for a moment whether I was reading The Washington Post or the National Catholic Reporter!