The National Catholic Review

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  • August 29-September 6, 2016

    Facebook is a great virtual space where friends and families meet and trade photos and videos, share fond memories, tell stories about their last vacation and launch interminable political squabbles that end with brutal rounds of “unfriending.” This exceptionally nutty political year seems to have exacerbated all the worst aspects of the digital forum’s variant of “dialogue.”

    In the early summer Sandersnistas and Hillaryists crowded...

  • August 29-September 6, 2016

    More than halfway through the general election, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is imploding. The Republican flagship resembles Jonah’s boat to Tarshish: the tempest-tossed and panic-stricken passengers are looking for someone to blame, someone they can sacrifice to their angry god.

    Mr. Trump’s favorite scapegoat these days is the national media. "If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn't...

  • August 29-September 6, 2016

    ‘I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae,” wrote St. Paul in the Letter to the Romans (16:1). What did Paul mean when he referred to Phoebe as a deacon? What kind of diakonos was she? How did she serve the church? Was she ordained as a deacon? And if so, what did her ordination mean? These questions, which may once have seemed arcane, have taken on greater urgency in the wake of Pope Francis’ recent decision to appoint a commission to study the historicity of...

  • August 29-September 6, 2016

    Pope Francis is expected to hold his third consistory before the end of the year and create at least 13 new cardinal electors—that is, cardinals under the age of 80 with the right to vote in a conclave—including at least one American. He is also likely to give the red hat to some over that age.

    While the date has yet to be finalized, sources say it is likely to be before the Jubilee of Mercy ends on Nov. 20.

    The pope has been working over the summer on the list of possible...

  • August 29-September 6, 2016

    While in Europe for a few weeks, I’ve been listening to what people say about the refugee problem. To be a Muslim anywhere is to be regarded as suspect; to be a Muslim refugee is to be persona non grata. Even friends and acquaintances I regard as broad-minded remarked that they think it a mistake for a society to accept large numbers of refugees from a very different culture. This was said in a European Union country that thus far has accepted a total of four Syrian refugees.

    In this...

  • August 15-22, 2016

    Gene editing, brain chip implants and synthetic blood may sound like ideas out of a science fiction novel. Yet all three are emerging technologies being researched and developed today. These so-called human enhancements are aimed at reducing disease and improving cognitive abilities and physical strength. If you think...

  • August 15-22, 2016

    Seventy-two percent of U.S. residents and 85 percent of Mexico’s residents oppose the construction of a wall along the border, according to a recent survey. Arizona State University’s Cronkite News, Univision and The Dallas Morning News polled over 1,400 border residents in 14 cities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in an attempt to determine how people in both countries felt about...

  • August 15-22, 2016

    Colorado is embarking on a bold experiment in direct democracy. Voters this November will decide whether to create a state-run single payer health care system. ColoradoCare would cover 100 percent of residents, including undocumented workers. The cost of the system would be borne by both employers and employees. The proposal is meeting with fierce resistance from insurance companies as well as politicians who worry about the potential costs of the program....

  • August 15-22, 2016

    After a talk I gave in Melbourne, Australia, this past June, a friend introduced me to an elderly man who had been in the audience. The man had something he wanted to say. He came close to me and began to speak, from which I recollect only one crucial word: formation.

    Formation—yes. I could feel my neurons forming new pathways around that bit of Catholic jargon, and suddenly a bunch of puzzling stuff made sense....

  • August 15-22, 2016

    Violence incited by terrorist websites and unceasing online vitriol have led many nations to enact laws repressing hate speech. The European Union, for example, requires member nations to impose criminal penalties for “public incitement to violence or hatred.” The criminalization of hate speech differs from U.S. hate crime laws that enhance penalties for underlying crimes when the victim is selected based on a protected characteristic, such as race or status...