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Issue of December 15, 2006

December 15, 2006 - NCR front cover


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   This Week’s Edition: December 15, 2006 

Vol. 43 No. 8   
Cover story -- Advent
The extra brilliant kindness of the soul

By Rich Heffern
Advent is an evangelist that preaches a two-pronged Gospel.

Full story

The tragedy of Darfur

By Margot Patterson
Journalist Nicholas Kristof talks about genocide in Sudan and what can be done to end it.

Full story
Curial cardinal says celibacy can be discussed

By John L. Allen Jr.
Pope Benedict XVI’s choice as the church’s top official for priests has said that celibacy “is not a dogma,” and that the Catholic church “can reflect” on the subject. The explosive character of the issue, however, was reflected in a “clarification” issued in the name of the cardinal by the Vatican Press Office Dec. 4.

Full story
World -- Analysis
Benedict's prayer by Ratzinger's criteria

By John L. Allen Jr.
Whatever one makes of Pope Benedict XVI’s shift from a “red light” to a “yellow light” on Turkey’s candidacy for the European Union, it was actually not the most jarring discontinuity between Joseph Ratzinger the cardinal and Benedict the pope during the Turkey trip.

Full story
World -- First Person
In Oaxaca, the dirty war begins

By Deirdre Cornell
Musing on Oaxaca and the country as a whole, our neighbor, Señor Roberto, recalled the words of dictator Porfirio Díaz: “The sleeping tiger must not be awakened.” Díaz’s words echo with special resonance in his own state, where a teachers’ strike grew into a broad-based coalition demanding the resignation of the governor.

Full story 
Roundtable offers high-powered counsulting, faces skepticism

By Joe Feuerherd
The driving concept behind the lay-led National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management is simple enough: Take the best tools of modern management -- detailed budgeting, comprehensive financial disclosure, human resource policies that reward high performers -- promote them widely within existing church structures, and then apply them to the diocese and parish.

Full story
$60 million to settle abuse claims in L.A.

By NCR Staff
The Los Angeles archdiocese has announced it will pay $60 million to settle 45 sexual-abuse claims made against its clergy. The decision will help bring to a close 8 percent of the 562 cases brought against the nation’s largest archdiocese, and will cover two periods when the church had little or no insurance against sexual abuse claims.

Full story
Choosing to trust God

By Teresa Malcolm
Faith under depression's clouds

By Renee Schafer Horton
Essay: The riches of being downwardly mobile

By Deborah Halter
Therapy for alcoholics uses meditation

By UCA News
'Christ devotees' gather to experience God's forgiveness

By UCA News
NCR Editorials
Iraq report step in right direction

The Iraq Study Group Report is many things: the realist response to neoconservative adventurism, a devastating critique of a miserably failed policy, and a call for diplomacy and politics to supplant arms as the key weapon in the arsenal of the world’s only superpower in the planet’s most volatile region.
Full editorial
Carter's experience worth a hearing

Former President Jimmy Carter certainly stirred a hornet’s nest with the publication of his new book: Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. He has said he intended to be provocative, and he has, provoking the kind of discussion he envisioned as well as the not unexpected criticism and condemnations.
Full editorial
Quotable & Notable

“The richest 1 percent of adults own 40 percent of the world’s household wealth, while half the world shares barely 1 percent.”

-- Findings of a study released by the Helsinki-based World Institute for Development Economics Research, which shows an ever-widening disparity between the world’s rich and poor

More quotes

Robert F. Drinan

A new book remembers Sr. Ita Ford
This moving 250-page volume was put together by Sr. Ita Ford’s family and friends. Her legacy is being carried forward by her brother William Ford, a New York lawyer who has had significant victories in courts against some of the Salvadoran warlords now living in affluence in the United States.

Full story
The Lion's Den
Robert Royal

The limits to assimilation
Muslim immigration poses a new and perhaps overwhelming challenge to the United States.

Full story
Talking sense about a new 'lost' generation

By Raymond A. Schroth
Young black males need society's attention.

Full story
Bible not the only book used for politicians' oath-takings

By Religion News Service
When Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat who last month was elected the first Muslim in Congress, announced he would take his oath as a member of the House on the Quran, he provoked sharp criticism from conservatives.

Full story
Bridges across the divide

By Rich Heffern
The Pentecostals and the monks

By Rich Heffern
Men's journey to the 'true self'

By Patricia Lefevere
Initiation brings five days of silence, emptiness and transformation

By Patricia Lefevere
Books: Reflection and mystery

By Rich Heffern
Books: Prayer book published for those caring for Alzheimer's patients

By Dave Jolivet
Tom Roberts
Inside NCR

Tom Roberts


The light and quiet of winter
I think often this time of year of light and quiet. Light, because so much of what the Catholic community thinks about in December is the coming of the Light and because so much of what surrounds us during this season, at least where seasons exist and the cold visits, invites us to quiet.
Full story

Starting Point
Starting Point

By James Stephen Behrens
I am 57 years old and the voice of my mom still comes to me at times. She lives some distance from here, but her presence is never far. Last week was my week as lead cantor. I looked at the hymn one morning, just before 4:00, and did not know it. I whispered to Tom Francis. He hummed a few notes, but it did not sound right. He smiled and said, “Well, let’s try it together and see.”

Full story

Subtle triumphs

By Joseph Cunneen
'The Nativity Story' is moving and unsentimental; 'Climates' show pain of human relationships.

Full review

Jimmy Carter on Palestine
By Jimmy Carter
Simon & Schuster, 288 pages, $27

Reviewed by Philip C. Wilcox Jr.

Full review

Poetry for December 15, 2006

 Letters to the Editor

Letters for December 15, 2006

Classifieds for December 15, 2006

News Briefs for December 15, 2006

People for December 15, 2006

Last Words
'The most useful thing I can do is to ruin people's breakfasts by telling them about something that they would just as soon not know about.'

-- Nicholas Kristof

A memorable quote from this week's issue.

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