National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly

Issue of December 14, 2007

December 14, 2007 -- NCR front cover


For articles not available in the back issue section, you may search the NCR archives.

Also, while the majority of our stories are available at no cost, due to copyright restrictions, some of our stories are available as premium content open only to subscribers.

Thank you for visiting our Web site.  We are pleased to be able to make this service available to you.

www.ncrcafe.orgJoin the Converstion
is introducing new interactive and participatory Web technology that will allow a community of people to read about and respond to the issues shaping our church today. It is contained in a new Web site, we call Please accept this invitation to explore it. To add your comments, you must register.


Denotes premium content that is restricted to subscribers.
This Web site is best viewed with Explorer 6.0 and higher or Netscape 4.7 and higher.
   This Week’s Edition: December 14, 2007 

Vol. 44 No. 7   
Cover story -- Holland
The Dutch plan

By Robert McClory
Will innovation save this church?

Full story
At 93, renowned Dominican still at work

By Robert McClory
Holland’s towering Dominican theologian, Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, is with us yet, though at 93 his physical presence has diminished even as his influence flourishes.

Full story
Smart, suave, he may be next Dutch cardinal

By Robert McClory
Throughout Holland the word is that Gerard de Korte has a good chance to become the next archbishop of Utrecht and eventually the tiny country’s next cardinal. He is currently the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese (one of only three auxiliaries in the seven Dutch dioceses). The current cardinal-archbishop, Adrainus Simonis, is retiring this month.

Full story
Like an Old Testament prophet

By Robert McClory
Eric Borgman is a Dutch force of nature whose opinions on Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular can be read on the op-ed pages of daily newspapers, heard on radio religion commentary and experienced in lecture halls at the Catholic university in Tilburg, where he is a professor of systematic theology. When he entered a restaurant in Utrecht for an interview, his bright eyes, long white hair and beard gave him the look of an Old Testament prophet. And he sounds like one, too.

Full story
Rape victim's lawyer disciplined

Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem, the lawyer who represented a rape victim sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail for being in a car with a male who was not a relative, faced a closed-door disciplinary hearing Dec. 5.

Full story
Bangladesh takes its trauma to Bali

By Farid Ahmed
Bangladesh sees in the United Nations climate change conference, which met the first 11 days of December on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, an opportunity to remind the world of its special vulnerability.

Full story
Pope offers 'working meeting' with Muslims

By Francis X. Rocca
In response to a letter from Muslim leaders seeking better relations with the Christian world, Pope Benedict XVI Nov. 29 invited those leaders to the Vatican for a “working meeting” on interreligious dialogue.

Full story
Hundreds support gay, lesbian Catholics at vigil

By Kris Berggren
At least 300 Catholics and supporters braved cold temperatures and gusty winds to gather outside the Cathedral of St. Paul Dec. 2 in a vigil of solidarity with gay and lesbian Catholics and their families.

Full story
Timing of St. Thomas shift in board policy questioned

By Kris Berggren
A bylaws change approved by the board of trustees of the University of St. Thomas here at its Oct. 25 meeting has raised questions in some circles about whether the university was attempting to distance itself from an incoming conservative bishop.

Full story
Sitting in silence

By Tom Fox
How does one meditate?

Tom Fox
Cultivating inner space

Tom Fox
A history of modern contemplation

By Tom Fox
Keating moved the movement

By Tom Fox
Praying with a mantra

By Tom Fox

NCR Editorials
From Holland, a refreshing notion

American Catholics should take note of what is happening in the Netherlands. Not that it will result in sudden, dramatic change in the church, or that it needs to, but because it reveals a different, much freer way of being church than American Catholics are normally used to. Dutch Catholics have been facing all the same church issues we find here: a priest shortage, a leadership vacuum, an official preference for the temple priesthood over the pastoral, while the world races toward an unknown future like a crowded bus without brakes or headlights. They have some ideas.

Full editorial
The real wizardry of Oz

Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin defined contemplation as “the world becoming luminous from within as one plunges into human activity.” St. Teresa of Avila tagged it “awareness, absorbed and amazed.”

Full editorial
Editorial Cartoon
editorial cartoon

Quotable & Notable

“A sigh of relief”

-- Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, describing his reaction to the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, published Dec. 3, which concluded that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003

More quotes

Colman McCarthy

The missing multitudes at the Wall

Full story
From Where I Stand
Joan Chittister

Bishops eschew single-issue politics

Full story
Teddy bear ruckus shakes old school ties

By Hana Baba
It’s been 16 years since I’ve graduated from Unity High School. Located in Khartoum, Sudan, it’s in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Full story
News reports say cardinal said he was assaulted

By Catholic News Service
Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony told archdiocesan priests in October that he was assaulted during the summer by a man who was angry over the church’s sexual abuse scandal, according to reports from priests who attended the annual meeting.

Full story

Peace group barred from some Florida schools, welcomed by others

Inter Press Service

Public school districts in two Florida counties are refusing to allow members of a peace organization to counter the presence of military recruiters by talking with high school students about alternatives to joining the military, according to a spokesperson for the group.

Full story

North American Muslims issue fatwa against terrorism

By Religion News Service
North American Muslim clerics issued a fatwa against Islamic terrorism here Nov. 30, hoping to build on the just-completed Mideast peace talks and a Vatican invitation to meet with Muslim leaders.

Full story
Essay: Relief for the shattered spirit

Deborah Halter
Loving the darkness

Leo O'Donovan
Cleaning up a messy unconscious

Daniel Burke
Nature hike and Mass renew urban Catholics

UCA News
Book probes poetry's power to stir the soul

Cecile S. Holmes
Indian Catholic group to stress 'green spirituality'

UCA News
Stuck on the lowest rung of prayer

Eve Kavanagh
Inside NCR

Rita Larivee


Finding our way home
We began reporting two months ago on a story coming out of the Netherlands about a group of Dutch Dominican priests and their proposed solution to the priest shortage -- to allow the laity to select leaders from their own faith communities and designate them as the official presiders at Mass. While the recommendation showed great concern for the well-being of the Catholic community, the Dominicans’ Rome-based leaders have questioned the proposed solution as beneficial to the church or in harmony with church tradition.

Full story

The spirit of the spiritual

By Rachelle Linner
Artist Allan Rohan Crite was keenly aware of the presence of Christ in the world.

Full story
A writer, a rock star and a peacemaker

By Joseph Cunneen and Kevin Doherty
'Starting Out in the Evening' quietly studies a literary life; 'I'm Not There' is a confusing look at Bob Dylan; Demme is back in documentaries.

Full story
Frank talk about the Israel lobby
By John J. Mearsheimer and
Stephen M. Walt
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 483 pages, $26

Reviewed by Philip C. Wilcox Jr.

Full story
The new evangelical elite
By D. Michael Lindsay
Oxford University Press, 400 pages, $24.95

Reviewed by Darrell Turner

Full story

Poetry December 14, 2007

 Letters to the Editor

Letters for December 14, 2007

Classifieds for December 14, 2007

News Briefs for December 14, 2007

People for December 14, 2007

Last Words
'Everything comes out of silence and returns to it.'

-- Fr. Thomas Keating

A memorable quote from this week's issue.

In the story "Liberal theologians sway Latin America" (NCR, Nov. 23), a book by Dominican Fr. Edward Cleary was misidentified. The correct title and publisher is How Latin America Saved the Soul of the Catholic Church from Paulist Press.
Copyright © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing  Company
115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO   64111 (TEL 1-816-531-0538  FAX 1-816-968-2268)
Send comments about this Web site to:   PRIVACY POLICY    ADVERTISING POLICY