The National Catholic Review

News

  • Religious groups are battling the state of California over whether employee health insurance plans require them to pay for abortions and some forms of contraception that some find immoral.

    So is the state forcing churches to pay for abortions? It depends on who you ask.

  • If you’re dismayed that one in five Americans (20 percent) are “nones” — people who claim no particular religious identity — brace yourself.

    How does 38 percent sound?

    That’s what religion researcher David Kinnaman calculates when he adds “the unchurched, the never-churched and the skeptics” to the nones.

    He calls his new category “churchless,” the same title Kinnaman has given his new book. By his count, roughly four in 10 people living in the continental United States...

  • Half a dozen men stand nonchalantly in front of a grubby building on one of Rome’s busiest streets as cars whizz past. They stiffen whenever a stranger approaches. But few would guess they’re undercover cops protecting Italy’s most endangered man.

  • November 3, 2014

    Conditions for Iraqi Christians and Yazidis, who escaped from Islamic State militants into Iraq’s Kurdistan region, remain difficult as winter approaches, and Catholic Relief Services and other church agencies are stepping up their response accordingly. They are helping to “winterize” the sometimes haphazard shelters thrown together by displaced Christians and are beginning to plan for a long-term settlement within Erbil and other communities in Kurdistan...

  • November 3, 2014

    Ever since Frank Mulbah’s mother died of Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia, in August, no one will go near him. “I went to my relatives after my mother died, but they chased me away, even after I told them that I didn’t have Ebola,” said Frank, 12, who tested negative for Ebola at the hospital where his mother died. As Ebola continues its rampage across Liberia and elsewhere in West Africa, thousands of children are taking a double hit: losing parents to the fatal...

  • November 3, 2014

    Providing food aid to people in need is not enough to eradicate world hunger, Pope Francis said in a message marking the celebration of World Food Day on Oct. 16. An overhaul of the entire framework of aid policies and food production is needed so that countries can be in charge of their own agricultural markets, he said. “For how long will systems of production and consumption that exclude the majority of the world’s population even from the crumbs that...

  • November 3, 2014

    The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said on Oct. 14 that it hoped that a $9.95 million settlement of abuse claims “can bring about some closure to those hurt by abuse in the past.”• Alaska’s Gov. Sean Parnell said in a statement released on Oct. 12 that his administration will appeal a U.S. District Court decision that invalidates the state’s constitutional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. • The Catholic Church in...

  • November 3, 2014

    A five-year court odyssey for a Pakistani Christian mother of five will continue after an appeals court in Lahore, Pakistan, on Oct. 16 upheld a death sentence for “blasphemy.” Asia Bibi, 45, has been imprisoned since 2009 while appealing her conviction. Accused by co-workers after a dispute over a communal water source, she was convicted under Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws.

  • November 3, 2014

    After several days of animated debate over its official midterm report, the Synod of Bishops on the Family agreed on a final document more clearly grounded in traditional Catholic teaching. The assembly failed to reach consensus on the especially controversial questions of Communion for those who are divorced and civilly remarried and the pastoral care of gay and lesbian people that had brought heightened attention to the synod.

  • November 3, 2014

    Jordan Becker has close-cropped dark hair, a trim goatee and bulging biceps from lifting weights daily at the gym. Becker did not always look this way. A photograph of Becker at age 4 shows a smiling little girl with ringlet curls in a frilly dress. “My mother had to pay me to wear that dress,” Jordan says.