National Catholic Reporter
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Issue of January 11, 2008

January 11, 2008 -- NCR front cover


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   This Week’s Edition: January 11, 2008 

Vol. 44 No. 10   
Cover story -- Slow Food
A matter of taste

By Kathy Gilsinan
Slow Food movement champions 'good, clear, fair' food.

Full story
Slow Food is cooking in 50 states

By Kathy Gilsinan
The U.S. headquarters of Slow Food, Slow Food USA, opened in New York in 2000 -- but local convivia had been popping up in the United States as early as 1991, as enterprising foodies stumbled upon the philosophy and transplanted it here.

Full story
Slow Food fosters community in New Orleans

By Kathy Gilsinan
The feel-good idea of expressing human love with food -- one central to Slow Food’s mission -- also turns out to be helpful for fundraising purposes. When Katrina ravaged New Orleans’ vibrant food communities in 2005, a small committee at Slow Food USA, led by New Orleans convivium leader Poppy Tooker, sprang into action and launched the Terra Madre Relief Fund to disburse grants to affected food producers.

Full story
Religious orders bring clout to war on bottled water

By Laura Lloyd
If you want to get the lowdown on bottled water, listen to what the “Green Franciscan Sister” has to say. She is Sr. Janet Corcoran, vice president of mission service at Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, Calif., and she is just one of the Catholic voices spreading the gospel that bottled water, however convenient to tote around, is environmentally, economically and politically wrong.

Full story
Do the Earth a favor: Turn on the tap

By Laura Lloyd
If, for the practically minded, it is hard to understand the allure of paying for something that is often is nearly free (and often higher quality) at home, well, that’s where perception comes in. Lured by corporate marketing and packaging, Americans have learned to like bottled water’s aura of status and safety, combined with the ever-popular element of convenience.

Full story
Study: What brought people to church may not keep them there

By Religion News Service
Willow Creek Community Church, the suburban Chicago megachurch that has become a model for some of the nation’s largest churches, started more than a quarter-century ago by asking the question: Why don’t people go to church?

Full story
Mepkin monks to leave chicken business

By Patrick O'Neill
Tired from a 10-month battle with an animal rights group, Trappist monks from South Carolina’s Mepkin Abbey have decided to phase out their egg-production operation by mid-2009. Abbott Fr. Stan Gumula announced the decision in a media statement distributed in December.

Full story
Belly-dancing as a vehicle for spiritual exploration

By David Briggs
Middle Eastern music plays softly as the dancers gracefully raise their hands from their sides and lift them high, ending with their palms together above their heads.

Full story
Advances don't quell stem-cell debate

By Michael Humphrey
If headlines turn out to be prophetic, Nov. 20, 2007, was a historic day in the decade-long ethical debate over embryonic stem-cell research. “Scientists Bypass Need for Embryo to Get Stem Cells,” reads The New York Times. “Major leap for stem cells,” the Chicago Tribune added. “Advance May End Stem Cell Debate,” chimed The Washington Post.

Full story
Archdiocese funds adult stem-cell research

By Catholic News Service
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has announced that his archdiocese will be awarding $86,000 to support adult stem-cell research by an Adelaide-based research team.

Full story
Catholic efforts bolster U.N. resolution

By John L. Allen Jr.
Vote favors death penalty moratorium.

Full story
Prayer cures a Briton's legs, but not a bureaucracy

By Religion News Service
A British pastor’s wife who claims the power of prayer cured her injuries was told her disability benefits could not be stopped because the government’s computers didn’t have a “miracle” button.

Full story
Brazil approaches 'mass consumer market' goal

By Mario Osava
The Brazilian economy is finally coming close to the dream of creating the “broad mass consumer market” announced in 2002 as a campaign promise by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. But several hurdles still lie ahead.

Full story
NCR Editorial
Death penalty opposition grows

Jonathan Hoffman, convicted in a shooting death in North Carolina in 1995, earned a new trial in 2004 and then had all charges against him dropped in December 2007 when prosecutors ruled they didn’t have enough evidence against him. That decision was made, in part, when the prosecution’s former star witness recanted his testimony and admitted that he had lied to retaliate against the defendant.

Full editorial
editorial cartoon

Quotable & Notable

“I’ve been going as far as listening to NPR on my way home.”

-- Drew Appelbaum, 25, telling Newsday that he felt “lost” while satirical, spoof news programs “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” were in repeats due to the TV writers’ strike

More quotes

Privatizing Zionism

By Neve Gordon and Erez Tzfadia
Israel hires private firms to destroy homes and seize land.

Full story
Earth & Spirit
Greens connect ecology with democracy

By Rich Heffern
At their annual national gathering of the U.S. Green Party last summer in Reading, Pa., party leader John Rensenbrink gave a speech in which he outlined how the Greens were positioning themselves for the 2008 election and beyond.

Full story
When teaching becomes scutwork

By Andrew Lam
Scandal and the Zeitgeist rob teachers of the respect they once commanded.

Full story
Hope remains fragile in Afghanistan

By Chris Herlinger
Winter is upon Afghanistan, which means people are trying to stave off the bitter cold. But in a cruel and, some would say, characteristic Afghan irony, winter’s harshness may bring a few months of calm and reprieve from what has been a difficult, tense year of violence, bombings and renewed international concerns about this tough, war-battered but still profoundly beautiful country.

Full story
'Kite Runner' Shines a light on Afghan sport

By NCR Staff
“The Kite Runner,” based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Afghan-American writer Khaled Hosseini, illuminates ethnic tensions, political turmoil and Taliban repression in Afghanistan through the story of boyhood friendship and betrayal. Its title derives from one of the country’s favorite cultural traditions: a competitive sport involving kites.

Full story
Church continues battle for the family in Spain

By Wire Services
A mass rally in support of traditional families that featured a live satellite-television broadcast from Pope Benedict XVI has been harshly criticized by Spain’s ruling Socialist Party as promoting undemocratic values.

Full story
Top 10 neglected Vatican stories of 2007

By John L. Allen Jr.
Every society has its shorthand ways of signaling what it considers important. At the level of pop culture, Americans know something registers when David Letterman or Jon Stewart pokes fun at it; more seriously, however, we grasp that something matters if it lands on the front page of The New York Times.

Full story
Bleak future stares Zimbabweans in the face

By NCR Correspondent
In crisis-torn Zimbabwe, the new year offers few signs of hope for a better future for millions here battling continued hardships as the nation approaches crucial polls.

Full story
Trying time for women in South Africa's ruling party

By Stephanie Nieuwoudt
The past weeks have been tumultuous for women in South Africa’s ruling African National Congress. On one hand, they end the year with a key gain: The party approved a mandate that 50 percent of posts in its decision-making structures be held by women -- albeit with an exception made for the top six positions in the 86-member National Executive Committee, which includes just two women: Baleka Mbete, chairwoman, and Thandi Modise, deputy secretary-general. Previously, representation of women was set at a third of posts.

Full story
Inside NCR

Rita Larivee


The eucharistic banquet
As I reflected on this week’s column, I could only smile as I reviewed our cover story concerning food. Eating (or rather too much of it) is probably the last thing on most people’s minds as we emerge from the holiday celebrations. If only we could control our appetites and avoid the spread in more ways than one.

Full story

Pilgrim soul

By Margot Patterson
Memoirist Patricia Hampl talks about the quest literature of our time.

Full story
A Letter from Amman
Traveling light

By Kathy Kelly
'Make-believe picture' of justice, kindness may yet be made real.

Full story
Redemption in the blink of an eye

By Kevin Doherty and Joseph Cunneen
'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' is compelling true-life drama; 'The Kite Runner' and 'The Water Horse are moving stories of childhood.

Full story
Helpful books for faith development
By Thomas P. Sweetser
Crossroad, 268 pages, $19.95
By Gregory F. Augustine Pierce
Ave Maria Press, 125 pages, $10.95

Reviewed by Rich Heffern

Full review

Poetry January 11, 2008

 Letters to the Editor

Letters for January 11, 2008

Classifieds for January 11, 2008

News Briefs for January 11, 2008

People for January 11, 2008

Last Words
'We don't understand what poetry is and what it's for. If we did, we wouldn't have such trouble with faith.'

-- Patricia Hampl

A memorable quote from this week's issue.

An article on Roman Catholic Womenpriests in the Dec. 7 issue of NCR gave an incorrect date for a Vatican decree excommunicating the “Danube Seven,” the first seven women ordained by the organization. The Vatican issued a declaration on July 10, 2002, giving the women until July 22 (the feast of St. Mary Magdalene) to repent or be excommunicated. A formal decree of excommunication was issued Aug. 5, 2002. The women have appealed the ruling, so far to no avail.
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