May 4, 2015
Nearly 50 years after Pope Paul VI pleaded “No more war, war never again,” at the United Nations, his call remains as urgent as ever as members of the so-called P5-plus-1 group work to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. The members, led by the United States, hope that the details of a framework deal reached in early April will be hammered out by the end of June and that the terms will help to forestall a potentially disastrous arms race.
April 27, 2015
It has been very discouraging to watch the acrimonious debate over religious liberty in Indiana and Arkansas. The passage of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in these states sparked widespread protests over possible discrimination and exposed a deep divide in our nation on questions of marriage, civil rights for gay and lesbian people, and freedom of religion. One of the many unfortunate outcomes of this controversy is that these issues are now co-mingled in the public mind. Another is...
April 13, 2015
We live in an era of new martyrs and new questions about the nature of martyrdom. In Libya, in mid-February, the windswept beach was a scene befitting a tourist poster—except for the line of kneeling men in orange suits and their anonymous executioners wrapped in black: 21 Coptic Christians marched to their deaths. These were simple workingmen who died with “Jesus” on their lips, according to accounts that sprang up on the Internet.
April 6, 2015
While Christians believe in the Easter story, it is sometimes difficult for us to connect with Easter in a personal way. The events that we hear recounted during the Easter Triduum may sometimes seem far removed from our daily lives. But is it true that the Passion narratives and the story of Christ’s resurrection have no intersections with our present-day world? As St. Paul would say, “By no means!” Each moment of the triduum can offer important insights into our...
March 30, 2015
Catholic women from around the world recently shared their stories of faith and service during an observance of International Women’s Day at the Vatican. The event, called Voices of Faith, took place on March 8, during Women’s History Month, and was notable for its open dialogue about the status of women in the church today.
March 23, 2015
The issue of lethal force—employed by police against African-American citizens in Ferguson, Mo., Staten Island, N.Y., Albuquerque, N.M., and Cleveland, Ohio—remains in the public consciousness as the spotlight shifts now to another deeply embedded abuse of power: brutality in prison. In scandalous numbers, prison guards responsible for the rehabilitation of prisoners abuse them mercilessly—at times to death—and are rarely held to account for their crimes...
March 16, 2015
‘A moral seduction.” That is how our late friend and columnist John F. Kavanaugh, S.J., described the debate around physician-assisted suicide in 1997.
“We have succumbed before,” Father Kavanaugh wrote, “in our always justifiable wars, in the treacherous bargain with capital punishment, in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to dehumanize unborn children. But now the stakes are higher. The ‘slippery slope’ of diminished human...
March 9, 2015
March 2, 2015
The children appeared sick and malnourished. They lived in large dormitory style rooms and were forced to use the bathroom in public view. Some had to wear prison style clothes and sleep with the lights on. Schooling was infrequent at best.
February 23, 2015
To a public accustomed to Pope Francis’ emphasis on the poor and marginalized, the Vatican seemed off message in the lead-up to the Pontifical Council for Culture’s plenary assembly on the theme “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference.” The English version of a promotional video for the event, featuring the Italian actress Nancy Brilli, was taken down...