The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • August 4-11, 2014

    In recent years the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been audited annually as part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Dallas Charter protocol to prevent the sexual abuse of children, as have virtually all other dioceses around the United States. It has, like most other dioceses, been found by professional auditors commissioned by the U.S.C.C.B. to be fully compliant with the articles of the charter pertaining to responding to reports of...

  • August 4-11, 2014

    The fate of the 1,700-year-old Christian community of Mosul in Iraq seems to have been sealed as the city’s remaining Christians, heeding a warning from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, fled the city on July 17. • The Knights of Columbus pledged $1.4 million on July 14 to help cover costs for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, scheduled for next summer in Los Angeles.

  • August 4-11, 2014

    When Pope Francis visits South Korea on Aug. 14 to 18, he will find a Catholic Church that exemplifies much of what he hopes for the church around the world, including a highly active laity, extensive efforts to help the needy and strong relations with non-Christian communities. [America will provide exclusive coverage of the pope’s visit to Korea by its new Vatican correspondent, Gerard O’Connell.] So says a retired American missionary, Bishop William J.

  • August 4-11, 2014

    On July 17 the convicted murderer David Paul Hammer succeeded in an appeal against his death penalty sentence. A federal judge in Pennsylvania agreed to commute his sentence to life without parole. In April 1996 at a penitentiary in Allenwood, Pa., Hammer strangled his cellmate, 27-year-old Andrew Hunt Marti. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection in November 1998 after he pleaded guilty to the murder. A group of Sisters of Mercy testified on his behalf, including the long-time anti-...

  • August 4-11, 2014

    Two weeks after protesters in Murrieta, Calif., made national news by attempting to prevent busloads of mostly unaccompanied children from reaching an emergency detention facility, the bishops of California have issued a statement calling on Catholics to support these refugees. “These children and families have journeyed to our country, fleeing violence and destitution in Central America. Sadly, their experience in California has thus far been marked by hostility and near chaos....

  • August 4-11, 2014

    As an Israeli Defense Forces operation into the Gaza Strip entered its second day on July 18, the head of Caritas Jerusalem said he would launch an international appeal for assistance in Gaza and would not wait until the end of the Israel-Hamas hostilities, as he has done in the past. The Rev. Raed Abusahlia, general director of Caritas Jerusalem, said that more than 80,000 Palestinians had been displaced and 1,250 homes had been completely demolished by...

  • July 21-28, 2014

    Religious and civic leaders urged President Obama to include a religious exemption in the planned White House executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In a letter on July 1, the group of 14 faith leaders, including the Rev.

  • July 21-28, 2014

    Diocesan synods may be making a comeback. In a country where such local synods are rare, three U.S. dioceses have recently concluded or launched their own. Earlier this year, the Diocese of Bridgeport convoked a synod that will continue through September 2015, and the Diocese of Juneau and the Archdiocese of Miami completed synods in 2013.

  • July 21-28, 2014

    ‘Justice has prevailed,” said two U.S. archbishops, commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case on June 30. The court determined that certain “closely held” private businesses can be exempted from a government requirement to include contraceptives in their employee health insurance coverage because of the employers’ religious objections.

  • July 21-28, 2014

    Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, called upon the Obama administration on July 2 to reconsider its request to Congress for “fast track” authority to expedite the removal of unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central America. “This is a very vulnerable population, which has been targeted by organized crime networks in Central America,” said Bishop Elizondo.