The National Catholic Review

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  • The priest leading the Gaza Strip's only Catholic parish met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, thanking him for his support of those suffering in the war-torn territory.

    Argentine Father Jorge Hernandez of the Institute of the Incarnate Word had a 45-minute private meeting with the pope Aug. 29 -- just days after the start of a truce between Israel and Hamas, which controls the coastal territory.

    The 36-year-old priest told Vatican Radio that the pope continued to offer his...

  • In the days that followed Pope Francis' Aug. 18 remarks on U.S. airstrikes earlier in the month against Islamic State, the buzz was about whether the pope had actually given his consent to them.

    The more sobering post-buzz reality is how one stops what, in the pontiff's words, is an "unjust aggressor."

    Does the United States go in, alone or as part of a broader coalition of nations? Or, to use the language of just-war theory, is the United Nations the "competent authority" to...

  • Hundreds of protesters took part in a rally and march in Washington Aug. 28 chanting: "Not one more! Not one more!" to urge President Barack Obama to stop the deportation of immigrant families, workers and children.

    The participants, including many young children, also got their message across holding aloft placards saying: "Don't deport my dad" and wearing T-shirts with the words: "Keep families together."

  • The Catholic Church should make “unconventional couples” feel at home instead of making them targets of “de facto discrimination,” the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week.

    “Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice,” said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, an apparent reference to divorced and remarried Catholics.

  • Poland’s ambassador to the Holy See has forcefully condemned the alleged sexual abuse of children by a Polish-born former archbishop and Vatican diplomat, and said Warsaw is considering a fresh request to extradite Jozef Wesolowski to face trial in his homeland.

    Ambassador Piotr Nowina-Konopka said Wednesday (Aug. 27) the Polish government was reviewing its options after the Vatican announced this week that the former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic had been defrocked and no...

  • Returning from a visit to the Kurdish region of Iraq, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan called the Islamic State invasion "pure and simple religious cleansing and attempted genocide."

    "What we, the five patriarchs, saw in Ankawa, Irbil and other cities of Kurdistan, was something indescribable in terms of the violation of human rights and the threat of disappearing of various communities among the vulnerable minorities of Northern Iraq," Patriarch Younan said. "It is...

  • Catholic aid organizations are hopeful that the most recent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas will hold as they begin to assess the needs in Gaza after 50 days of war.

    "This is a window of opportunity," said Sami El-Yousef, Catholic Near East Welfare Association's regional director for Israel and the Palestinian territories. "(We hope) the unity government will take the lead. A lot of people here think the stage is set (for) a meaningful resumption of negotiations. Now it is up to...

  • The Vatican denied covering up for a former papal ambassador accused of sexually abusing boys and suggested he might have to stand trial on the charges in the Dominican Republic.

    Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a statement Aug. 25 in response to journalists' questions about former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who served as nuncio to the Dominican Republic until August 2013.

  • Hunger and panic are spreading among people unable to work because of restrictions aimed at containing the spread of Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone, say church workers in West Africa.

    In Liberia's capital, Monrovia, church groups "are trying to get food and distribute it to families who have asked us to help, but movement is heavily restricted and there is little we can do," Salesian Father Jorge Crisafulli, provincial superior in West Africa, said in an Aug. 22 telephone interview...

  • Although Christians, Muslims and Jews have struggled for hundreds of years to live peacefully alongside each other in the Middle East, "we have never seen the kind of 'religious cleansing' we are witnessing today," said the head of the region's Franciscans.

    "All religious communities must raise their voices against this abomination" being carried out, particularly in Iraq and Syria, by terrorists calling themselves the Islamic State, said Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa,...