The National Catholic Review

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  • The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its most prominent members are already publicly debating what is bound to be one of its most controversial topics: the eligibility of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

    In an interview published Sept. 18, a proponent of changing church practice to allow such Catholics to receive Communion answered criticism from some of his fellow cardinals, suggesting they are seeking...

  • Today's bishops must be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses, leading a sinning people across harsh deserts to God, Pope Francis said.

    Their vocation is not to be wardens of a failed estate, "but custodians of 'Evangelii gaudium' (the joy of the gospel); therefore, you cannot be without the only treasure we really have to give, and that the world cannot give itself: the joy of God's love," he told new bishops.

  • The U.S. bishops' pro-life chairman on Sept. 16 urged Congress to bring the federal health care law "into compliance with the Hyde amendment" and exclude elective abortions from health plans subsidized with federal funds.

    "At a minimum, Congress should not delay in enacting a law to require full disclosure of abortion coverage and abortion premiums to Americans purchasing health plans," said Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-...

  • "We the people, we the voters" is the theme of the third "Nuns on the Bus" tour, which kicked off Sept. 17 in Des Moines with Vice President Joe Biden thanking the sisters for their effort.

    The sisters began a 10-state tour promoting voter registration and participation in the political process.

    "With the vice president, we share faith and a commitment to democracy," said Sister Simone Campbell, a Sister of Social Service, who is the executive director of Network, a nonprofit...

  • I was born in Scotland in 1960 to an Irish mother and Scottish father; all four of my grandparents were Irish. Growing up in Scotland I never felt uncomfortable having "dual nationality." Indeed I am now the proud owner of two passports, one British and one Irish. Both of these documents mean a lot to me, they signify who I am, i.e., a Celt and a Brit. It is the latter part that is the part of my identity that is now under threat. I write this on the eve of the most momentous decision that...

  • When you think of the dangers posed today by pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough—actually, why would you? There’s been a vaccine for pertussis since the 1940s. Before then, an average of 178,00 cases were reported in the United States each year. By 1976, that number had dropped to less than 1,000.

    But 40 years later, in the first 8 months of 2014, Los Angeles County alone has over 1,300 reported cases of whooping cough. The state of California has 8,000 cases and has declared...

  • According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has infected at least 4,784 people, and claimed the lives of more than 2,400 as of Sept. 15. It is the worst Ebola epidemic in history.

    WebMD reports that the disease, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola virus, kills up to 90 percent of infected individuals.

    To help combat the deadly illness, Dr. Timothy Flanigan from the Diocese of Providence flew to Monrovia, Liberia, on his own accord to...

  • United in the suffering of their people, five Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs from the Middle East urged Westerners to take action to help ensure that Christians and other minorities can remain in the Middle East.

    "Christians are not (just) looking for humanitarian aid. They are looking for humanitarian action, to save Christianity in the Middle East," said Catholicos Aram of Cilicia, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

  • The family under discussion when the extraordinary Synod of Bishops convenes at the Vatican on Oct. 5 will bear little resemblance to the family of 50 or even 20 years ago.

    The blended and extended families created by high rates of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation -- along with the worldwide migration prompted by economic turmoil and war—have combined to change forever the view of family as limited to a mother, father and their children.

  • Theologians from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., have released a letter to the Archbishop of St. Paul–Minneapolis, John Nienstedt. They urge the archbishop to reintroduce himself to the “people and parishes of the archdiocese,” to "leave the legal talk to lawyers" and make an all-out pastoral offensive to repair the spiritual damage of the ongoing crisis in the archdiocese centered around its handling of sexual abuse claims. The theologians also call for greater lay...