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Issue of April 4,2003

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This Weeks Edition:   April 4, 2003
Cover Story


By John L. Allen Jr.
Pope leads Catholic voices decrying U.S. military action in Iraq. 

As the U.S.-led war in Iraq continues, international opposition as measured both by opinion polls and street protests remains strong, including reactions from within the Catholic world.

Full story 

Military chaplains see conflict differently

By Joe Feuerherd
Gathered at Sunday Mass March 23, the 300 active and retired military personnel and their families did not have to look far to remind themselves of wars’ costs: Fort Myer’s nondenominational chapel lies adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery’s 260,000 graves, just a short walk from the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Full story

Just war applies on battlefield, analyst says

By Joe Feuerherd
In February, Maryann Cusimano-Love -- adviser to the U.S. bishops on Iraq, associate professor of politics at The Catholic University of America and fellow at the U.S. Naval Academy Ethics Center -- told 500 church social action workers (NCR, Feb. 21) that just war criteria are as relevant to the conduct of a war as they are in making the determination to begin hostilities.

Full story 

Witness against war
Click here for photos

Calamities of war

By Raymond A. Schroth
TV coverage is all boom-boom-boom, light and smoke -- but no human faces.

Within seven days the most media-ized war in history went from illusion to reality, from the long-cherished dream of “decapitating” Saddam Hussein and all his top generals in one swift swipe to a weekend of calamities, only some of which could have been foreseen.

Full story

Iraqi church leaders: united in hope, divided in views

By John L. Allen Jr.
While Iraqi church leaders are united in expressing hopes for a swift end to the war, they express different views about what the U.S.-led incursion may accomplish.

Bishop Mar Bawai Soro, who heads the diocese of Western California for the Assyrian Church of the East, was in Rome in mid-March, and told NCR he believes the effort to topple Saddam Hussein is justified.

Full story 

Americans in Baghdad question ‘precision’ bombing

By Joe Feuerherd
Precision bombing, it seems, depends on one’s perspective.

Writing on the Web site of the Iraq Peace Team -- Americans who have remained in Iraq not, they say, as “human shields” but as peace advocates “standing in solidarity” with Iraqis -- Lisa Ndjeru wrote that one person’s precision is another’s destruction.

Full story

Political Cartoons

NCR Editorial

Iraq is a stop on Bush ‘unipolarist’ track

So how did we get from liberty and justice to shock and awe? How did enshrined ideals become buried under military policies aimed at exporting fear, not respect?

All the military might in the world cannot win a single heart or still a conscience. It cannot turn back the rising sea of protesters taking to streets worldwide. Historically, U.S. ideals have set our nation apart.

Full story

 Richard P. McBrien 

Waning devotions may be sign of liturgical health

Fr. James Martin, associate editor of the Jesuit weekly America, is to be commended for initiating a series of short articles, “Contemporary Catholics on Traditional Devotions,” to run during the Lenten and Easter seasons. He invited each contributor -- some in their 30s and 40s -- to write about a devotion that has proven especially meaningful in her or his life and to indicate why the devotion might appeal to other Catholics as well.

 Full story

Colman McCarthy

War’s weapons of mass deception

Theorize. Demonize. Victimize. Rationalize.

In the terminology of American foreign policy currently on display as the war machine gets oiled once again, these are the “izes.” It was the pattern in trying to kill Osama bin Laden and the Taliban after 9/11, and it is at work now with the Iraqi government.

 Full story

Church in Crisis

Papal aide meets in Rome with three U.S. sex abuse victims

By John L. Allen Jr.
In a personal message to three Boston-area men who say they are victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, John Paul II vowed that he “realizes the seriousness of the problem” and “will see that this doesn’t happen again.”

The message was carried March 26 by Msgr. James Green, a senior official in the Secretariat of State, who told the men the pope had also asked that Green bring messages from them to him that evening.

Full story

Resigned California bishop back in headlines 

By Arthur Jones
Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann, who in 1999 resigned in disgrace from the leadership of the Santa Rosa, Calif., diocese, is in the news in Los Angeles and San Francisco, archdioceses in which he served.

In Los Angeles, where he was an auxiliary bishop to Cardinal Roger Mahony prior to his Santa Rosa appointment, Ziemann is reportedly under criminal investigation for sexual molestation.

Full story

At war: Iraq Diary

The road home to Baghdad

Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Nightfall in Baghdad

I’m writing this as our Christian Peacemakers Team is in its 13-hour drive across the desert, now about an hour and a half short of Baghdad. Leah, Jonathan, Weldon and I are in the second van, together with our driver, Mohammed. Just ahead of us are Sis, Jerry, Kara, Sean and Dave, driven by Mohammed’s brother. We’ve been piercing a sandstorm for several hours.

Full story

Inside NCR

Tom Roberts


I’m not sure where I stand on embedded war reporting. Too often, early on, I heard so much breathless cheerleading for the war effort that I was skeptical that we’d get any reporting of value out of the exercise. Then some differences began to appear as the movement of troops from Kuwait north to Baghdad began to encounter resistance and serious struggle.

Full story

 Lenten Reflection

Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday

By Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns
From Hope to Hope
This title that may seem strange to you is my episcopal motto.

Full story

At war: Reflections


By Edward Hays
In the darkness we knelt, afraid to confess.
And out of the darkness came a tender voice:

Fear not, be not afraid to unburden your hearts,
for am I not your compassionate Beloved?

Full story

The Root of War Is Fear

By Thomas Merton
The present war crisis is something we have made entirely for and by ourselves. There is in reality not the slightest logical reason for war, and yet the whole world is plunging headlong into frightful destruction, and doing so with the purpose of avoiding war and preserving peace!

Full story

America’s emerging competitor

The End of the American Era:
U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-First Century

Reviewed By Dan Lindley 
Great powers come and go. The United States, the current sole superpower, has nowhere to go but down as others inevitably balance against or grow faster than the United States. In essence, this is the argument of Charles Kupchan in The End of the American Era. And at first glance, this sounds like the arguments of almost any realist, and especially the 1980s “declinists” such as Paul Kennedy and Sam Huntington.

Full review


Poetry for April 4, 2003
 Letters to the Editor

Letters for April 4, 2003  

  Classifieds for April 4, 2003
Briefs World & Nation

News Briefs for April 4, 2003

Last Words

‘A stingy internationalism combined with a prickly unilateralism is a lethal mix, the worst of both worlds.’

 Charles Kupchan

 A memorable quote from this week's issue.

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