National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

March 15-28, 2013

A new perspective

On Easter morn we naturally expect to hear Christ’s disciples leading us in an alleluia chorus, filled with joy at the Resurrection. For that, we would have done better to attend the Easter Vigil with its history of salvation, the singing of the Exultet and the angels’ announcement that Christ had been raised. What a comedown to hear this morning’s Gospel proclamation of the disciples’ disconcerted confusion!

Georgetown conference explores secularism

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On Feb. 20, a conference at Georgetown University here focused on cleaning up what many Americans consider a dirty word -- secularism.

The goal of the conference, called “Secularism on the Edge: United States, France and Israel,” was to define what secularism is and what it is not. It drew participants from all three countries.

“[Secularism] is a guarantee of two things: freedom of religion and freedom from religion,” said conference organizer Jacques Berlinerblau, Georgetown professor of Jewish civilization.

LGBT Catholics must choose between clashing identities

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Peter Anthony Effertz had a profound religious experience at age 14 during a convention for Lutheran youth in Orlando, Fla. He felt on fire for God. It was also the time he realized he was gay. "It was the first time I even recognized [I had] feelings for guys," Effertz said. "I remember promising God that I was going to change and get rid of these feelings."

For the sake of unity, compromise

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“One of the last presidents to balance the budget was Herbert Hoover.” Thus did Republican Congressman Peter King of New York warn his fellow Republicans that their current fixation on cutting government spending and balancing the federal budget might not be an economic winner for the country or a political winner for them.

Austerity plans have failed in every country they have been tried. During tough economic times, it is bad policy to shrink the government sector. It is even worse policy to allow the mindless “sequester” cuts to begin to take hold.

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September 12-25, 2014

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