National Catholic Reporter

The National Catholic Reporter is a Catholic newsweekly. It was founded in 1964 and is published 44 times a year by National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company Inc.Subjects include religion. The editor is Thomas Roberts.

Articles from Vol. 42, No. 29, May 19

Anti-Semitism in 2006
Early this year, our oldest was playing badminton in his high school PE class when a student on the opposite team spiked the birdie at him, saying "What now, stupid Jew?" A few weeks later, our younger son was playing with his X-Box Live, a video...
An Unconventional Tale
The headline on Page 11, I know, refers to Paul Wilkes as a conventional Catholic. It works for purposes of the story. Almost any Catholic from anywhere, in the setting in India that Wilkes describes, might be considered fairly conventional. But in...
A Visit to Kurisumala: Two Conventional Catholics and an Unconventional Indian Ashram
Vagamon? Kurisumala?" The desk clerk at the Trident Hilton smiled courteously, nervously adjusting his tie and swiveling his head in that inscrutable and uniquely Indian way that says "no" and "yes" at the same time. It was not the usual next stop...
Backed by Church, Janitors Push for Union
A two-month labor dispute involving nearly 100 University of Miami janitors striking for higher wages, safer working conditions and a fair unionization process was settled in early May. The Miami archdiocese had played a major role in resolving the...
Becoming Someone's Simon of Cyrene
One of the more inspired decisions I've made in the last few years was volunteering for my parish's Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed up, but five years later, it's become a fixture...
Children of Inmates Are Deprived and Ignored: Two Million U.S. Children Have Fathers in Jail
One of the lonely and deprived groups of Americans is the 2 million children whose fathers are in jail. Some 22 percent of these youngsters are under the age of 5. The situation is compounded by the imprisonment of women: 101,000 in 2003, up from...
Church Occupations Continue in Belgium, Begin France
Church occupations in Belgium, which began at the end of March (NCR, April 21), show no sign of letting up. As of May 9, at least 18 churches and two parish buildings were occupied by immigrants hoping to pressure the government to regularize their...
Death Watch
Governors in California and Florida have temporarily suspended capital punishment amid a flurry of legal challenges claiming that the most common method of execution, lethal injection, is cruel and unusual. The issue is now before the U.S. Supreme...
European Christianity Is Not Dead
Christians believe, in theory, that great gifts come from sources that to the human eye seem dead. But we are still surprised when a resurrection occurs. In fact, God appears to have arranged the world so that we will not presume to know the way things...
'Faith Healer' Is More Blarney Than Magic; Brian Friel's Play Offers Arresting Performances and Lots of Talk
Frank Hardy's healing gifts work sometimes, but more often they do not. The same could be said for the Broadway revival of Brian Friel's "Faith Healer," at the Booth Theatre through July 30. At times it is involving, but more often than not it's exhausting....
Germany Prepares for World Cup-And Prostitutes
As they prepare for next month's World Cup and the arrival of millions of soccer fans, German authorities are taking every precaution to guard against terrorist threats, hooligans and other potential problems. But Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J.,...
Governments Look to Interfaith Moves to Engage Islam
Amid the polite panel discussions at the Georgetown University-hosted International Prayer for Peace April 26 and 27 one impolitic question hovered: Can Islam play nice? Kevin Hasson, chairman of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, posed the...
Priests Offer Mediation for Bishop, Laity
Twenty-two Long Island priests have offered to pay for a mediator to settle a long-running dispute between Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., and the Long Island Voice of the Faithful. For now, the ball is in Murphy's court, as the lay...
'Sopranos' Mobster Wrestles with His Mortality
There are lots of reasons not to like "The Sopranos." I resisted it for a few years because I was sick of gratuitous violence and cliched shootout climaxes in formula gangster flicks--not knowing that "Sopranos" has no shootouts. Still, by the time...
Speaker Calls for Return to Election of Bishops
The late Pope John Paul II can be credited with many accomplishments but his "biggest deficiency" was in choosing bishops, theologian Fr. Richard McBrien said in a recent speech at Fairfield University. "It's the worst body of bishops in the history...
Sr. Rose Thering, Pioneer in Catholic-Jewish Relations, 85
WIRE SERVICES Dominican Sr. Rose Thering, a Roman Catholic nun internationally recognized for fighting anti-Semitism and improving ties between Catholics and Jews, has died. She was 85. Thering died of kidney failure May 6 while living at the...
Starting Point
Our abbey church is beautiful. It took many years for the monks to build it. I admire it every morning. As sunlight pours through the stained glass windows, it is transformed into blushes of blues, greens, golds and reds on the walls, choir stalls...
The Peaceable Diet: Part of the Christian Tradition
When I was growing up a Protestant in Indiana, there were few occasions for exotic meal rituals. In the Midwest, a meal was not a meal unless meat was served, and real meat was red meat. Our meat-and-potato diet was interrupted only on Fridays by a...
The Plight of Whistleblowers
In late April, the government of Israel extended for the third straight year crippling restrictions on Mordechai Vanunu's freedom of movement and speech. Vanunu, who leaked the news about the secret nuclear weapons plant at Dimona, Israel, in 1986...
William Sloane Coffin's Legacy of Exceptional Joy
I came to write William Sloane Coffin Jr.'s biography by happenstance. My wife first had the idea, but tossed it my way when she was starting a new job and I needed a new book project. Coffin, whom I knew only slightly--I'd been militantly secular...