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.
We say: What were the bishops thinking when they approved the development of a pastoral statement on pornography but never mentioned its dangerous effects on clergy?
We say: If Pope Francis wants to sustain Catholics' interest and excitement, the time is fast approaching when he must deliver something tangible.
We say: Anyone looking at the published agenda of the meeting of the USCCB would say that an efficient, business-like organization could deal with that in half a day.
We say: Long overdue in the American church is a reasoned and deep discussion of U.S. militarism, the proper use of force, and the role of people of faith.
We say: Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy in an essay in America magazine outlines a compelling argument for recalibrating the church's involvement in the public square.
We say: There are plenty of other stained-glass ceilings in this church that women could break if only Pope Francis would let them.
We say: In the current circumstances, the possibilities are simply nightmarish of lethal, unwanted and ongoing unintended consequences of war with Syria.
One line from Pope Francis' impromptu news conference with reporters aboard the papal plane as it flew from Brazil to Rome last month quickly became a setup for comedians around the world.
Responding to a question about gay priests, Francis said, now famously, "If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?"
Comedians, unable to resist this setup from the ultimate straight man, responded: "Who are you to judge? You're the pope. Judging is in your job description."
We say: The rush for ideological purity in the Republican-controlled House has become so noxious it threatens the most basic safety net programs for our neediest citizens.