The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

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  • February 15, 2016

    The Nigerian priest Benedict Chidi Nwachukwu-Udaku, V.F., pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., tells the story of the day he tried to bring a tradition from home into an American liturgy. “I was celebrating our monthly Mass with healing prayers,” he recalls. “I decided to sing a chorus at the elevation of the sacred species, which is a normal practice at charismatic liturgies in Nigeria.”

    It did not go...

  • February 15, 2016

    Catholic bishops in Germany and Austria have urged their countries to continue accepting refugees, despite demands for new restrictions after violence on New Year’s Eve in Cologne and other cities. “We need a reduction in numbers, but fixing an upper limit would be difficult,” Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier told the daily paper Trierischer Volksfreund Jan. 27. “We also need flexibility. But it’s up to politicians to say how this can be achieved in...

  • February 15, 2016

    With poverty on the rise and a drought compounding Zimbabwe’s problems, people are struggling to make ends meet, church workers said. In Zimbabwe’s hospitals and other health facilities, “patients need to pay for everything: painkillers, drips, injections and scans,” said Getrude Chimange, coordinator of the justice and peace commission in Mutare Diocese. “Industries have closed, leading to breadwinners losing their jobs and turning to informal trade on the...

  • February 15, 2016

    After nearly 27 years on the job, Greg Erlandson stepped down as publisher at Our Sunday Visitor Inc., on Jan. 31. • The Fiat 500L that Pope Francis used to tour Philadelphia was auctioned off for $82,000 at a black-tie event kicking off the Philadelphia Auto Show on Jan. 29 with proceeds going to assist local Catholic charities , especially special education programs. • ”All of us who have any power, whether it is ecclesiastical, religious, economic or...

  • February 15, 2016

    In a Middle East torn apart by conflict, fighters are increasingly using food as a weapon. Millions of people across countries like Syria, Yemen and Iraq are gripped by hunger, struggling to survive with little help from the outside world. Children suffer from malnutrition; their parents often have to beg or sell possessions to get basic commodities including water, medicine and fuel.

    Aid agencies have struggled with funding...

  • February 15, 2016

    Muslim leaders from around the world adopted a declaration defending the rights of religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries. Participants said the Marrakesh Declaration, developed during a conference on Jan. 25-27, was based on the Medina Charter, a constitutional contract between the Prophet Muhammad and the people of Medina. The declaration said the charter, instituted 1,400 years ago, guaranteed the religious liberty of all, regardless of...

  • February 15, 2016

    Long before Pope Francis spoke of a poor church for the poor and of taking the church to the peripheries, Bishop Samuel Ruiz García of San Cristóbal de Las Casas built such a church in Mexico’s southern Chiapas state. Inspired by the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and gatherings of the Latin American bishops in Medellín, Colombia, and Puebla, Mexico, he showed a preference for the poor, rubbed the rich the wrong way and ran afoul of the Vatican with...

  • February 8, 2016

    Pope Francis has reformed the ceremony of the washing of the feet during Mass on Holy Thursday by decreeing that henceforth it will be open to women too or, as he put it in a year-old decree that was published on Jan. 21, “to all the members of the People of God.” The relevant part of the decree reads: “In order that the full meaning of this rite might be expressed to those who participate, it seemed good to the Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis to vary the norm...

  • February 8, 2016

    A record snowfall that blanketed Washington and much of the East Coast prevented many from making it to Washington for the annual March for Life on Jan. 23. The snow also caused the cancellation of many of the events scheduled to mark the 43rd anniversary of the Roe decision that legalized abortion. Some hardy souls carried on despite the weather.

    A group of students from Notre Dame switched to Amtrak after the bus service...

  • February 8, 2016

    Pope Francis is increasingly turning his attention to the stars of Silicon Valley, meeting Apple’s C.E.O., Tim Cook , for a 15-minute conversation on Jan. 22 just days after shaking hands with Eric Schmidt from Google. • Israel’s appropriation of 380 acres of Palestinian agricultural land in the Jordan Valley was described as another setback for a two-state solution by Raffoul Rofa, a lawyer for a Catholic legal aid group. • Ruling on Jan. 14 that a Catholic...