The National Catholic Review

In All Things

  • The family under discussion when the extraordinary Synod of Bishops convenes at the Vatican on Oct. 5 will bear little resemblance to the family of 50 or even 20 years ago.

    The blended and extended families created by high rates of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation -- along with the worldwide migration prompted by economic turmoil and war—have combined to change forever the view of family as limited to a mother, father and their children.

  • And then there was less than a week to go. The final weekend of campaigning in the Scottish independence referendum has come and gone, bringing with it too many events and gatherings, rallies and gigs to count. Both the official "Yes" and "No" camps would have us believe that spontaneous city-centre gatherings spoke of the strength of their respective positions, but the reality is that these were highly orchestrated, photogenic jamborees. Yet no city or town, highland village or island, it...

  • Theologians from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., have released a letter to the Archbishop of St. Paul–Minneapolis, John Nienstedt. They urge the archbishop to reintroduce himself to the “people and parishes of the archdiocese,” to "leave the legal talk to lawyers" and make an all-out pastoral offensive to repair the spiritual damage of the ongoing crisis in the archdiocese centered around its handling of sexual abuse claims. The theologians also call for greater lay...

  • Vatican wedding

    Pope Francis presided over the weddings of 20 couples in a historic ceremony Sunday at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

  • PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — Oscar Pistorius, the famous South African disabled athlete and Paralympian known as the “Blade Runner,” was convicted on September 12, 2014 of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The case, which has generated something of a global media frenzy, highlights not only personal tragedy but sheds light on the South African criminal justice system and the less than healthy side of post-apartheid society.

  • Glasgow; Tuesday 02/09/14. [Owing to a technical glitch, this blog posting of 2nd September vanished for a while. For the sake of continuity, I now offer it again.]

  • The prominent humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch alleged on Sept. 11 that three Israeli attacks on Gaza schools caused numerous civilian casualties in violation of the laws of war. In the first in-depth documentation of the alleged violations, Human Rights Watch investigated the three attacks on schools that had been sheltering families displaced by the conflict, which occurred on July 24 and 30, and August 3, 2014, killing 45 people, including 17 children.

  • What makes an exemplary baseball player? It is philosophical question that we could answer many ways. We might cite ideals, rules or expectations associated with the game. We might reflect on issues of preference, popularity or professionalism. We could also look for an exemplar that embodies what is good, true and beautiful in baseball. 

  • President Obama laid out a strong case for why ISIL (the Islamic State in the Levant) must be defanged in his address to the nation yesterday. The president grounded U.S. action in humanitarian concerns and referred to the many horrific actions the Sunni extremist group has taken—massacring captive soldiers, killing children, raping and enslaving women, beheading hostages—as he sought to rally Americans for military strikes against ISIL. Even as he did so, he was at pains to clarify that...

  • The seven-week long Israeli-Palestinian war in Gaza ended on Aug. 26, leaving more than 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis dead and widespread destruction in Gaza. But if the situation on the ground does not change soon another war could break out again, Bishop William Shomali, the auxiliary-bishop of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, warns in this exclusive interview with America.