The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • March 30, 2015

    In a joint statement, representatives of more than 60 countries have recognized that Christians are particularly endangered in the Middle East, and they called on the international community to reaffirm the human right to freedom of religion. The violence carried out by terrorist groups “creates the risk of complete disappearance for the Christians” in the region, they said.

  • March 30, 2015

    Things could not be worse in Venezuela. No, actually, they could be—and probably will be.

    Despite its prodigious oil wealth, Venezuela is heading over a financial cliff, and it is heading there faster thanks to the plunging price of crude oil. The socialist revolution founded by the late Hugo Chávez, once the populist patron of Latin America, is now a corrupt and mismanaged economic basket case best known for hyperinflation...

  • March 30, 2015

    In a surprising and far-reaching decision, Pope Francis announced an extraordinary holy year, a Jubilee of Mercy, that will extend from Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016, and will involve the Catholic Church throughout the world. He broke the news during a penitential celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica on the evening of March 13, the second anniversary of his election as bishop of Rome.

  • March 30, 2015

    Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Communications, surprised America’s church correspondent Mary Ann Walsh, R.S.M., with the prestigious St. Francis de Sales Award from the Catholic Press Association in Albany on March 12. • On March 12 a human rights group reported at least 500 confirmed cases of Christian and Hindu girls kidnapped by Muslims and forced to marry over the past 18 months in...

  • March 30, 2015

    The beatification of El Salvador’s martyred Archbishop Óscar Romero will take place during a ceremony in El Salvador on May 23, the day before Pentecost Sunday. The date was announced on March 11 by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, postulator of Romero’s cause for sainthood, in El Salvador.

  • March 30, 2015

    A study released by the Brookings Institution in Washington finds that single women whose income is 400 percent of the federal poverty line or higher are nearly four times as likely to opt for an abortion when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

  • March 30, 2015

    The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been unable to confirm the number of its members abducted in Syria, nor where they are being held. The society announced on its website on March 4 that “several colleagues,” along with “women and children,” were kidnapped in the province of Hassakeh in northeastern Syria on Feb. 28 and March 1. “We’re waiting for news,” said Helene Afriat, communications officer for the International Confederation of the Society of St....

  • March 23, 2015

    Cardinal Edward Egan’s time as leader of one of the nation’s largest archdioceses was haunted by the unfolding child abuse scandal, shocked by the terror spectacle of Sept. 11, 2001, and troubled by a period of fiscal uncertainty and parish closings. But Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop emeritus, 12th bishop, ninth archbishop and seventh cardinal of the See of New York, steadied the archdiocese’s finances, managed increases in school and parish enrollments...

  • March 23, 2015

    Barbara Moore, a sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet who 50 years ago this March participated in the civil rights march in Selma, Ala., said that events in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere show that more needs to be done on race relations in the United States. • Marking International Womens Day 2015 on March 8, leaders from the United Nations’ three Rome-based food agencies gathered to remind the world that women farmers play a central...

  • March 23, 2015

    Officials of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops warn that the Syrian refugee crisis—four million people have fled the war-torn state—has reached a dangerous “tipping point.” Turkey alone has absorbed almost two million refugees from Syria and is now the only regional power allowing more refugees in. But for how much longer, officials wonder, can Turkey accept the burden? In addition to the Syrians, waves of other refugees—as many as 103,000—have already...