The National Catholic Review

Opinion

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  • Barack Obama plans to visit Hiroshima, Japan, on Friday, May 27, making him the first sitting president to visit the city where the United States dropped an atomic bomb in August 1945 and killed more than 100,000 people, most of them civilians. The idea has not been well received by critics who have long charged the president with insufficient patriotism. “President Obama has an unfortunate record of seeking opportunities to apologize for things America did before he became president,”...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    “What prevents the church from including women among the permanent deacons, just as happened in the early church? Why not set up an official commission to study the question?” Good question. It was asked by a woman religious to Pope Francis on May 12, in a conversation with the superiors of 800 women’s religious orders at the Vatican. Pope Francis’ comments caused quite a few people to take notice.

    “I would like to set up...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    In recent years some Catholic watchdog groups have led campaigns against church institutions and individuals who work within them that have had the effect of ruining careers, disrupting lives and generating unjustified tension within the Catholic community. Catholic service entities have been the frequent but not the only targets of these critics. These efforts have been typified by extreme rhetoric and relentless bullying on social media—ignoring beams,...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    On May 12, the American Bible Society celebrated 200 years of work to bring the Bible not only into every American home but also to every corner of the world. A.B.S. leaders described in detail their plans to increase access to Scripture by investing in translation efforts as well as by working to help people who have experienced trauma, especially in war-torn countries, find comfort and healing in the word of God.

    In 1916...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    Walking is a human right. There are physical, psychological and spiritual benefits to exploring our world on foot. The activity invites wonder at our world and contemplation about our place in it. In “Laudato Si’,” published just over a year ago, Pope Francis stresses the importance of “landscapes which increase our sense of belonging” and provide “a coherent and meaningful framework for [our] lives.” These landscapes do not have the same effect upon...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    The legislative overreach exemplified by the North Carolina Legislature’s recent decision to require citizens to use the bathrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms that correspond to the gender of their births is surpassed only by the executive overreach of the U.S. Justice Department’s subsequent announcement that every school district in the country should do precisely the opposite. The Obama administration’s directive, The New York Times reported, “...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    It is election season again. Inevitably, it’s also the season for many of our Catholic brethren to do some theological mangling of the political issues at hand. Last week, three different Catholic organizations emailed me a voter guide that claimed to show how Pope Francis would be approaching the American presidential election. I was not aware that Francis had endorsed anyone, so I read the document with interest. When I finished reading the guide— mute on...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    For Pope Francis, this is a pivotal moment in European history. A quarter of a century after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, he sees new walls being built in Europe and hears Austria’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn warn that “the Iron Curtain exists again, but in another way.” He observes that centrifugal forces, driven by nationalisms and xenophobia, threaten to undo the European Union, with its 28 member states and 508 million people, a union that has...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    How should we treat the illustrious figures from our country’s past who have lost their shine? That was a question that roiled universities this past school year as students protested the relics of racism on campus and sought to obliterate the names of men whose deeds now seem objectionable or even heinous.

    Inside and outside academia, the protests at Yale, Princeton and other colleges spurred controversy and often criticism. “Too P.C.” was one charge. “You can...

  • May 23-30, 2016

    Most people in Chicago, particularly on the South and West Sides, did not need another internal investigation to know that the Chicago Police Department has deep problems. Anyone familiar with the stories of the serial torturer Jon Burge, the drug racketeer Joseph Miedzianowski, the crime wave authored by the C.P.D.’s Special Operations Section and, sadly, many more examples already knew the department has fallen far short of what its motto promises: “We...