The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • February 2, 2015

    Donna Markham, an Adrian Dominican sister, has been chosen to succeed the Rev. Larry Snyder as the new president of Catholic Charities USA, beginning in June. • Surprising even the people who have been promoting the sainthood of Blessed Junipero Serra, Pope Francis announced on Jan. 15 that he hopes to canonize the 18th-century Spanish Franciscan in September. • On Jan.

  • February 2, 2015

    Beginning the second leg of his South Asian journey, Pope Francis did not mince words when he addressed government and church leaders of the Philippines on Jan. 16. A day after his triumphal arrival from Sri Lanka, he called on them to combat and eliminate “scandalous” social inequalities and injustices as well as the corruption that is widespread in this archipelago of 100 million people, more than 50 percent of them mired in poverty.

  • February 2, 2015

    The world cannot wait for an economic system that will cause poverty to fix itself, Pope Francis said. “Markets and financial speculation cannot enjoy absolute autonomy,” he said. There must be “programs, mechanisms and procedures aimed at a better distribution of resources, job creation and the integral advancement of those who are excluded,” Pope Francis said in a recently published interview. “We cannot wait any longer to fix the structural causes of...

  • February 2, 2015

    The path to peace in the Holy Land requires respect for the human rights and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians, said bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America, gathered in the Holy Land on Jan. 15 as the Co-Ordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land. “After the failed negotiations and ensuing violence of 2014, we urge public officials to be creative, to take new approaches, to build bridges, not walls,”...

  • February 2, 2015

    The first days of January always cast their shadow over the coming year’s events, just as the final dwindling days of December encompass and focus the year just ending. We’re meant to look back, if not in anger, at least with relief that we got through it, and it seems, each year with an increasing sense that things are getting worse, not better.

  • February 2, 2015

    Asked by a French reporter on a flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines on Jan. 15 to compare freedom of religion and freedom of expression as human rights, Pope Francis condemned violence in the name of God but said freedom of expression should be limited by respect for religion and that mockery of faith can be expected to provoke violence. Pope Francis linked his answer to the attacks Jan. 7 at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, apparently in...

  • February 2, 2015

    A worldwide campaign is emerging among Catholic individuals and organizations concerned about climate change and protecting the environment. The Global Catholic Climate Movement went public on Jan. 14, coinciding with the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines.

  • January 19-26, 2015

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights issued a depressing portrait on Jan. 1 of a year in death in Syria. According to the group’s tracking of the many casualties of the ongoing and complex conflict, the civil war in Syria claimed 76,021 lives in 2014. Its researchers acknowledged that this figure is likely a deep undercount of the true toll, but even the conservative figure marks 2014 as the deadliest year in Syria since the violence began in 2011.

  • January 19-26, 2015

    Underscoring the geographical diversity of his selections, Pope Francis named 15 cardinal electors “from 14 nations of every continent, showing the inseparable link between the church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world.” The pope announced the names on Jan. 4 and said he would formally induct the men into the College of Cardinals on Feb. 14. With these selections, the pope continues giving gradually more representation at the highest...

  • January 19-26, 2015

    Pope Francis expressed his “deep sadness” and condolences on Jan. 1 to the ecclesial community of the Diocese of Altamirano in Mexico after the murder of the Rev. Gregorio López Gorostieta, before urging “the priests and other missionaries of the diocese to continue their ecclesial mission with ardor despite the difficulties, following the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.”