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Issue of November 23, 2007

November 23, 2007 -- NCR front cover


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   This Week’s Edition: November 23, 2007 

Vol. 44 No. 5   

There will not be an issue dated November 30.

Cover story -- Presidential Election -- Analysis
'08 election brings major shift in religious-political alignments

By Tom Roberts
A year in advance of the presidential election, as the bishops gathered in Baltimore to hammer out their every-four-year statement on political responsibility, the accepted political wisdom of recent years appeared as fleeting as autumn’s colors.

Full story
Cover story -- Presidential Election
Catholics urge civility in run-up to 2008 elections

By Religion News Service
A year to the day before the 2008 presidential elections, a group of Catholics urged civility in American politics, asking Catholic voters and politicians to avoid dragging the church into divisive partisanship.

Full story
Liberal theologians sway Latin America

By John L. Allen Jr.
When President Nicanor Duarte of Paraguay arrived at the Vatican Oct. 29 for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, he planned to present the pontiff with a multicolored poncho as a symbol of Latin America -- home to almost half the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics and a region dubbed by Pope John Paul II as “the continent of hope.”

Full story
Vatican studies challenges of care for the aged

By Catholic News Service
The world’s rapidly aging population poses a whole new set of challenges, in particular the pastoral care of elderly sick people, Vatican officials said.

Full story
U.S. bishops project 'air of unity'

By John L. Allen Jr.
Efforts to grapple with two defining traumas of recent American Catholic experience, the sexual abuse crisis and political tensions between pro-lifers and peace-and-justice advocates, took center stage at the Nov. 12-15 fall meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore.

Full story
Labor of love can be financially draining

By Viji Sundaram and Michael Siv
An AARP study showed serious economic consequences for caregivers in the workforce. The most frequent fallouts caregivers experience are having to take leaves of absence, going from full time to part time to adjust for their responsibilities, and putting their own health at risk. According to AARP, the productivity losses to U.S. businesses associated with caregiving are up to $33 billion a year.

Full story
'End Iraq war' protests target Iowa presidential candidates

By Tom Carney
Eighteen antiwar protesters were arrested for trespassing at the campaign offices of two presidential candidates in Des Moines on Nov. 8. Eleven were released the same day, but seven of them spent the night in jail before being released.

Full story
New prayer book for Reform Judaism

By Religion News Service
Worshippers at Reform synagogues across the United States are beginning to hold a new prayer book, or siddur, in their hands during services. Along with a dramatically new design, worshippers will find the words of Pete Seeger, Helen Keller and Langston Hughes.

Full story
Democrats seek funds for abortion reduction measures

By Religion News Service
Congressional Democrats and religious leaders are touting a new initiative to allocate more than $600 million to reduce abortion in the United States, but critics say they’re just putting a new name on old programs.

Full story
NCR Editorials
Grateful for our 'big tent'

It is hard to imagine someone who is grateful also being mean-spirited, bitter or cranky. In fact, most virtues, real and social, go well with gratitude, because it is one of those deep, foundational dispositions that shapes up the whole character. Cicero, the gold standard for eloquence, called gratitude not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

Full editorial
Intelligence agency lessons

For months the Bush administration has shown continuing interest in establishing the location of potential military strikes within Iran. As outlandish as the possibility of another military action might seem to some, given the tragic war in Iraq and the ongoing military presence in Afghanistan, reasonableness and logic seem not to be hallmarks of the current powers in Washington.

Full editorial
Editorial Cartoon
editorial cartoon

Quotable & Notable

“I propose to make this meeting of Peter among us for the church in America a new usefulness, a new spring and a new Pentecost.”

-- Vatican ambassador Archbishop Pietro Sambi announcing that Pope Benedict XVI will visit the U.S. April 15-20. The trip will “revive the urgency” of the Catholic mission in America, Sambi said.

More quotes

Colman McCarthy

An inspiring tale of friendship and of peace

Full story
Kris Berggren

Young cooks make a mean 'Spider Web Soup'

Full story
Avoiding war and creating peace in Kosovo

By Matthew J. Gaudet
In the minds of many Kosovars, there are worse things than war. Today, after eight years of rebuilding, Kosovo anxiously awaits its independence as an autonomous nation.

Full story
Renaissance master piece, missed in Florence, turns up in New York

By Pamela Schaeffer
On a recent trip to Florence -- our first -- my husband and I noticed a small, intently curious crowd gathered in front of the doors on the building behind the Duomo, the city’s major cathedral sporting Filippo Bruneschelli’s majestic dome. So commanding is the cathedral that the much smaller octagonal building behind it, which I later learned is called the Baptistery, could easily be dismissed. It was the crowd that caught my eye.

Full story

Contemporary tales of New York

By Joseph Cunneen and Kevin Doherty
Money haunts 'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead'; 'Bee Movie' hums with jokes and gags.

Full story
Inside NCR

Rita Larivee


The obligation to vote
Our cover story this week addresses the upcoming presidential elections and the shifting landscape in the political arena. Unlike the last election, where lead candidates were on opposite sides of such issues as abortion and the gay lifestyle, today’s lead candidates are quite similar. Last election, some Catholic bishops made those distinctions the basis for deciding how to vote. What now as the lines get blurred?

Full story

Thanksgiving: Gratitude
The network of gratitude

By Thomas C. Fox sends its spiritual message around the Web world.

Full story
Descartes doesn't cut it anymore

By Thomas C. Fox
Gratitude runs counter to the perpetual dissatisfaction drilled into us by our consumer culture.

Full story
Always be surprised

An interview with Br. David Steindl-Rast.

Full story
A wise and witty guide to prayer
By Wendy Beckett
Harmony Books, 144 pages, $21.95

Reviewed by Erin Ryan

Full story


Poetry November 23, 2007

 Letters to the Editor

Letters for November 23, 2007

Classifieds for November 23, 2007

News Briefs for November 23, 2007

People for November 23, 2007

Last Words
'Everyone is a friend at your table.'

-- 11-year-old cook Isabella Gerasole

A memorable quote from this week's issue.

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