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. 45, No. 8, February 6

A Catholic Cornucopia
It's time we reconsider excommunication as an instrument of church policy. Frankly, it's anachronistic, unbecoming of a Christian community, and ineffective as a teaching tool. There's little, if any, track record that shows the banished change their...
Artist Shapes Church Artwork, and Vice Versa
NEW ORLEANS * It was nearly 25 years ago, and Ruth Goliwas was a young, locally trained painter and printmaker when her agent approached her with a job query: Would she be interested in providing designs for a church sanctuary? That was a little...
Bishops Say Gay Seminary Problems Have Been 'Overcome'
WASHINGTON * A Vatican probe of U.S. seminaries and houses of priestly formation that was ordered after the clergy sex-abuse scandal has concluded that "difficulties" related to "homosexual behavior" have been largely "overcome." "Since the 1990s,...
Burdens Shared, Burdens Eased
FEB. 22, 2009: SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Patricia Datchuck Sanchez Isa 43:18-19, 21-22, 24-25; Ps 41; 2 Cor 1:18-22; Mark 2:1-12 Rising up beneath the words in today's Gospel, I hear the strains of the song "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother."...
Cornered
When "Quincy, M.E." the first of the now ubiquitous forensic dramas, hit the air, Mary Case was just beginning her career as a coroner. She was delighted to have the shorthand: "Now people could understand this crazy thing that I did." Three decades...
Culprit and Judge: Twists of Automatic Excommunication
Perhaps lucky for the Lefebvrite bishops whose excommunications were recently lifted, Pope Benedict XVI doesn't hold the same fierce notion as St. Thomas Aquinas, who saw a conviction for heresy reason for execution as well as excommunication. The...
Elections in El Salvador Yield Ambiguous Results
If the recent parliamentary and municipal elections in El Salvador are a prognosticator of that country's momentous presidential election slated for March, it is a crystal ball in need of some glass cleaner. "If anything, this election made it less...
Fifty Years after the Council
Fifty years ago, on Jan. 25, 1959, Pope John XXIII surprised the world by calling for an ecumenical council. Vatican II would convene in 1962. There were 93 years between Vatican II (1962-65) and Vatican I (1869-70). So the council was a fresh initiative...
FOCA Legislation No Threat to Catholic Health Care
WASHINGTON * Internet rumors to the contrary, no Catholic hospital in the United States is in danger of closing because of the Freedom of Choice Act. As a matter of fact, the Freedom of Choice Act died with the 110th Congress and, a week after the...
For Zimbabwe, Bishops Say, Time for Talking Is Over
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA * Unless southern Africa's leaders stop their support of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, they will be complicit in passive genocide, the region's Catholic bishops said. The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference...
Going Public with Good News
FEB. 15, 2009: SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME Patricia Datchuck Sanchez Lev 13:1-2, 44-46; Ps 32;1 Cor 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45 Few stories are as moving as those that follow a person through a tunnel of tragedy and watch her emerge, wounded...
Groups Scramble to Pay for Holocaust Victims' Care
NEW YORK * As a young woman, Sara Politzer survived the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps." Now, the frail octogenarian is struggling to survive bad health, little money and living alone in New York City. "It's tough to be old," she...
Hollywood Screenwriter Returns Home
Awareness of death is what enabled Homo erectus to become Homo sapiens. Or so anthropologists speculate. When individual humans began to imagine their own physical demise, probably in reaction to the newly lifeless remains of dear companions, they...
Immigrants Gain Right to Medical Interpreters
SAN FRANCISCO * About two years ago, the staff of a Los Angeles hospital tied both hands of a 97-year-old South Korean immigrant to the bed frame after the man raised his voice in frustration when no one could understand what he was trying to say in...
Intricacies and Troubling Solace: 'I've Loved You So Long' Shows New a Beginning; 'Everlasting Moments' Is a Journey into the Past
The Golden Globe Awards have always been a showcase for the finest in American cinema, but they also regularly come up with a superlative list of nominations for best foreign film. Perhaps this is because they are the choices of the Hollywood foreign...
Jean Jadot, Hero of Progressive Catholics, Dies
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM * Archbishop Jean Jadot, architect of the U.S. "pastoral church," died peacefully at his residence in Brussels Jan. 21 at the age of 99. He had been apostolic delegate to the United States from 1973 to 1980, and at the direction of...
Lefebvrites Have Troubled History with Judaism
A troubled history with Judaism has long been part of the Catholic traditionalist movement associated with the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre--beginning with Lefebvre himself, who spoke approvingly of both the World War If-era Vichy Regime...
Motherliness Should Be Included in the Godhead
At the Council of Nicaea in 325, over 300 church leaders heard Arius and Athanasius debate Jesus' relation to God the Father. Arius was sure Jesus was subordinate to the Father, Athanasius that he was coequal and coeternal. Three more ecumenical councils...
Obama Rescinds Family-Planning Aid Restrictions
WASHINGTON * With an executive order Jan. 23, President Barack Obama reversed an eight-year Bush administration policy, allowing tens of millions of U.S. foreign aid dollars to flow into nongovernmental family-planning organizations abroad that advocate...
Obama's Vatican 'Problem' Is an Opportunity
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This is an important year, and not just for the inauguration of a new president. It also marks the silver anniversary of the formal establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican. Until...
Religion's Complexity Often Eludes U.S. Media
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BLIND SPOT: WHEN JOURNALISTS DON'T GET RELIGION Edited By Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Roberta Green Ahmanson Published by Oxford University Press, $19.95 Foreign correspondents try to sort out the factions involved...
Rome's Gesture Is Just Confusing
In an institution that regularly cites potential confusion of the faithful in justifying its disciplining of theologians and other thinkers, Pope Benedict XVI's recent lifting of the excommunications of four schismatic bishops is truly confounding....
Saving Seeds Is a 'Political Battle with Great Importance'
Faced with increasing monoculture and use of genetically modified crops, some of Chile's campesinos are fighting to preserve their ancestral seeds by protecting them from disappearing or becoming contaminated by transgenic varieties. Although Chile...
Seduced Yet Abandoned
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Every few months, I pay a visit to Manhattan's East West Books, which sits ensconced on an especially tony stretch of Fifth Avenue. The store is aptly named. It offers a chic, two-level emporium of Eastern spirituality's...
She Says No to Abortion, Yes to Creation Care
Most readers have probably never heard of a "pro-life eco-feminist," but there are pro-lifers who take a view of abortion that transcends politics and single-issue voting in favor" of a more consistent ethic of life coupled with a sense of stewardship...
The Great Chastisement and a Father's Authority
The year was 1969. I was 6 years old, seated before the black-and-white Magnavox with my four older brothers and sister. Entering the living room, my normally soft-spoken but always opinionated father barked: "Turn that garbage off! I won't have it...
The Letter of Pope St. Clement I
Readers may wonder why this column focuses some weeks on saints or popes rather than on ecclesiastical issues that are of particular interest to Catholics. One reason is that saints and popes offer an opportunity to dip into history and draw lessons...
Vatican Lifts Excommunication: The Pope's Move Is Problematic for Catholic-Jewish Relations
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In a gesture billed as an "act of peace," on Jan. 24 Pope Benedict XVI lifted the 20-year excommunication of four traditionalist bishops, including one who is a Holocaust denier, immediately sparking both outrage and protest...
We Are the Hope We've Been Waiting For
I sat at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, with young filmmakers and theologians watching the historic inauguration of Barack Obama. Here, film and politics--two influential and powerful shaping forces in American life--are juxtaposed...
Winds of Change Blow across Cuba
HAVANA, CUBA * The Cuban revolution is in a process of transition and transformation as it marks its 50th anniversary. I have visited the country every decade since the revolution's triumph, and excepting the '60s, I have never experienced the Cuban...