The National Catholic Review

Opinion

  • October 6, 2014

    Dystopian films based on dystopian books have been all the rage recently. Hits like “The Hunger Games” and the “Divergent” series have sparked interest in the darker side of futuristic imagination. Perhaps for this reason Lois Lowry’s 1993 book, The Giver, has finally been adapted for the big screen after 20 years.

    But The Giver is not...

  • October 6, 2014

    Sacred Silence

    Everyone knows—or should know—that a priest cannot break the confessional seal. Canon law is clear on this point. Some have argued that the person making a confession can waive his or her right to confidentiality and thus release the priest from his obligation. That question might soon reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • October 6, 2014

    Discussions leading up to the Synod of Bishops on the Family have largely centered on the pastoral situation of divorced and remarried Catholics, as well as external forces like poverty, migration and changing social norms that challenge modern families. Much less has been said about those for whom the greatest threat comes from within a family or from a loved one.

  • October 6, 2014

    It’s a pretty good bet that if 300,000 people walked by your house in the space of an hour you would notice it. Yet here in New York City, where everything is just bigger and louder, some of us almost missed the calvacade of climate change activists bounding by our headquarters last weekend. We knew the march was coming, of course, but it hadn’t fully penetrated our consciousness—much like climate change itself, I regret to say. It’s the topic on all of...

  • October 6, 2014

    Pope Francis established the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on Dec. 5, 2013, to make clear to the whole world that the safeguarding of children and minors is a top priority of his pontificate. His recent appointment of Msgr. Robert Oliver as secretary of this commission is a welcome signal that this new body will soon begin to function in an effective way.

  • October 6, 2014

    Some people believe that Jesuits can be characterized as follows: We all have doctorates; we all know the pope personally; and we all travel to Rome frequently. But, like many Jesuits, I do not have a Ph.D.; I’ve never met the pope; and the last time I was in Rome was decades ago—in 1994, on my way home from a two-year stay in Kenya.

  • September 29. 2014

    In the aftermath of the vile murder, the Gospels tell us, the disciples are bewildered, in shock, angry, ashamed, numb, empty. Jesus, the one in whom they had hoped, is gone. Worse still, most of them had turned and run away rather than face the hour of danger. In the day following Jesus’ burial, some of them are still running; two have even left Jerusalem, en route to a place called Emmaus, a town about seven miles northwest of Jerusalem. After all, why...

  • September 29. 2014

    Voting on Trial

    It is not yet November, but voting in this year’s midterm elections is well underway. In North Carolina, Alaska and Georgia, election officials have already sent out “no excuse” absentee ballots. And thanks to a recent federal court ruling that blocked early voting restrictions in the Buckeye State, Ohioans can begin voting in person on Sept. 30. 

  • September 29. 2014

    On the flight back from Korea in mid-August, Pope Francis drew the media’s attention to the level of cruelty in today’s world and the widespread use of torture. He urged reporters to reflect on this reality, which “should frighten us,” obviously wanting them to play their part in ending it.

  • September 29. 2014

    For the moment, the rockets fired into Israel by Hamas have stopped and the American-made F-16 fighter jets zeroing in on the neighborhoods of Gaza are still. Survivors ask: Was it worth it? Some Hamas leaders rejoice that to withstand an Israeli bombardment means to have “won.” Israel takes satisfaction in having punished “terrorists” and closed tunnels. But count the casualties: 2,131 Palestinians killed in Gaza, including 1,473 civilians, of whom 501...