The National Catholic Review

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  • Here is how Chris Kyle introduces himself in the opening of his autobiography, American Sniper (2013). Many will come to know him as he is portrayed by Bradley Cooper in the blockbuster movie of the same name.

  • The Vatican has thrown its weight behind an important new Latin American Church transnational network (REPAM) created to protect the peoples and respond to the challenges to them and to the natural environment in the Amazon region that stretches across nine countries of that continent. 

  • The one-gun household is disappearing from American life, along with one-car garages, single-family homes with single family bathrooms, and other bygone markers of the middle class. That seems to be the best explanation for polling data showing that the percentage of homes with guns has dropped significantly even as the sale of guns creeps ever higher.

  • Pope Francis, in his two years as pontiff, has often urged people of faith to be better people of faith. To walk the talk. To get with the program. To do as Jesus would do. His example inspires us, just as his writings enlighten us. The pope reminds us that God calls us to love, no matter what. He encourages us to be certain that by entrusting ourselves to God, our acts of love and concern for others will be “mysteriously fruitful” in ways that we may never know. (“The Joy of the Gospel,”...

  • In the New York Times today, columnist T.M. Luhrmann wonders about the origins of strange and mysterious happenings that don't make sense through our typical cognitive framework. She cites the following example:

  • The news concerning religion is not very encouraging these days, particularly when it is coupled with terrorism and violence, skewering its true meaning for those who seek its relevance.

  • The “Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination,” the conference organized by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and held on the campus of U.S.C., was lovely for many reasons. For one, I have read nearly all the stories of Tobias Wolff (“Hunters in the Snow,” “The Rich Brother,” “In the Garden...”) over and over for years. He virtually taught me to write. Seeing him speak and read was almost surreal.

  • The apparently tireless Pew researchers continue to track the popularity of the "newish" Pope Francis. According to their latest phone survey, the Pope Francis honeymoon shows no sign of ending even two years into his pontificate. In fact his popularity among Catholics is only building. He is rated favorably by over nine-out-of-ten Catholics they surveyed—and "very favorably" by six out of ten.

  • Bill Murray and Jaeden Lieberher star in a scene from the movie "St. Vincent." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Atsushi Nishijima, The Weinstein Company)

    Two worthwhile movies available on Netflix and DVD/Blue-Ray this month represent the tail end of Hollywood’s recent religious craze. 

    “St. Vincent” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” found their way to theaters late last year at the close of an unexpected revival of religious films. Earlier movies in theaters last year included “Son of God,” “Noah,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Heaven is for Real,” “God’s Not Dead,” “Calvary,” "Saving Christmas" and the “Left Behind” remake.

  • Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said Islamic State militants terrorizing the Middle East are a distortion of “genuine” Islam much as the Irish Republican Army was a “perversion” of Catholicism.

    Dolan’s comments to CNN on March 3 reflect similar statements about the Islamic State group from Pope Francis, but they also echo some of President Obama’s controversial remarks on Islam, Christianity and the history of violence carried out in the name...