National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Dec 6-19, 2013

Decoding family codes

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The Lectionary readings chosen for this cycle to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family leave us with difficult questions. By what standards do we evaluate family relationships and why? Who do we include or exclude as family members? And how do we handle family dysfunction, conflict, and abuse?

The risk of faith

We tend to hear Isaiah's prediction of the birth of "Emmanuel" as a wondrous announcement, the astounding prediction of a birth to take place 700 years after it was spoken. Indeed, it is a marvelous quote, but in its original context, it had nothing at all to do with Jesus. In reality, the birth announcement was made as a serious warning to a wicked king. Facing the danger of an invasion, King Ahaz had chosen to rely on the military might of Assyria to protect him, and in the process, he abandoned his fidelity to the God of his ancestors.

Bishop's exorcism stunt mocks and offends

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NCR normally doesn't feel compelled to comment on individual bishops' actions in their home dioceses. Local Catholics and media are better prepared to address local concerns. However, the prayers of exorcism for same-sex marriage that Bishop Thomas Paprocki* of Springfield, Ill., conducted Nov. 20 seemed so outrageous, we thought a comment was warranted.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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