The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    When Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980, the vestments he wore were bathed in blood. After the attack, Carmelite nuns who managed Divine Providence Hospital in El Salvador kept them and other belongings with the greatest possible care. For 35 years, the congregation and the sisters running the hospital have taken care of the relics. Now Archbishop Romero is scheduled to be beatified in San Salvador on May 23 and the government may...

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    In the basement of St. Peter’s Church in downtown Chicago, the psychologist Jerry Hiller asks a group of professionals at a lunch-time seminar to stand. He directs them to wave their hands over their heads and shout three times, “I’m so depressed!” Soon the lawyers, financial analysts, secretaries and stockbrokers gathered there convulse with laughter.

    “They’re saying one thing, but the body is taking them in another direction...

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    British pundits, pollsters and commentators all got it comprehensively wrong. Even senior politicians could not believe what they were seeing, and not one of them dared to claim they had predicted this. As the particularly British ritual of vote-counts in drafty sports halls amid solemn victory confirmations unfolded on the night of May 7, exit polls that had seemed incredible were proved right. The Tories were securing a shock majority, confounding every...

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    The U.S. Supreme Court on April 28 heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of states’ restricting the definition and recognition of marriage to the union of one man and one woman. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, commented, “Marriage is and always will be the union between one man and one woman.

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    The Vatican has published the Statutes for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, another important step in the wide-ranging effort by Pope Francis to ensure protection for children and minors in church institutions worldwide. The new statutes give this papal body a formal juridical structure and authority to carry out the pope’s...

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    Catholic Relief Services and its partners within the Caritas Internationalis network of relief and development agencies have begun looking to what lies ahead for Nepal as the poverty-stricken nation recovers from a devastating earthquake.

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    After a meeting at the Vatican on May 10 with Pope Francis, Cuba’s President Raúl Castro told reporters that he studies all of the pope’s commentaries and told him, “If you continue speaking like this, sooner or later, I will return to prayer and I will return again to the Catholic Church.” • The U.S.

  • May 18, 2015

    Catholic workers in the contested region of Abyei, who complained in April that the world has lost interest in the unresolved border feud between Sudan and South Sudan, are launching new efforts to make peace between the two ethnic groups that claim the isolated region. • For a Vatican charity concert on May 14 to raise money for the papal almoner’s office, Rome’s immigrants, poor, elderly and marginalized will be getting front-row V.I.P. treatment...

  • May 18, 2015

    Three days after Archbishop William Lori’s city of Baltimore was rocked by civil unrest that began as a young man who died while in police custody was laid to rest, the archbishop was pondering how the local church could respond to the crisis in the city’s streets.

  • May 18, 2015

    Caritas aid missions are reporting that villages in remote areas of Nepal have been utterly devastated by the earthquake. Speaking from Pokhari Danda in Gorkha, about seven miles from the epicenter, Stefen Teplan of Caritas Germany said: “Sixty percent of the village is destroyed. More than food and water, what is needed most is temporary shelter before the monsoon sets in.” The death toll from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake increased to over 7,000, with...