The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • November 10, 2014

    President Obama’s promised executive actions to fix parts of the immigration system will not come until after the Nov. 4 elections, but some analysts are predicting anything he does will be treated contentiously, with legal challenges and calls for impeachment.

  • November 10, 2014

    Sitting on the shaded front porch of his two-room cabin on a lazy August afternoon, Delphin Brock pointed toward the next mountain ridge, where a few weeks earlier heavy equipment was remaking the landscape. Then, he said, noise from the mining activity echoed over the mountains.

    “You could hear the scrapers. They were doin’ a lot of shootin’ over there, you know, using explosives,” Brock said.

  • November 10, 2014

    Stephanie Celustka prayed at Mass for an end to the Islamic State threat in the Middle East. The parishioner from San Diego’s St. Anne Catholic Church is among the 53 percent of Americans who said in a September Pew poll that they support a U.S. military campaign against ISIS, as the Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria are also called. “I think that it’s important that we protect the people who don’t have the ability to protect themselves,” Celustka said. “I...

  • November 10, 2014

    Pope Francis called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment and denounced what he called a “penal populism” that promises to solve society’s problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice. “It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggressor,” the pope said on Oct. 23 in a meeting with representatives of the...

  • November 10, 2014

    Pastoral mists, mellow fruitfulness and snivelling head colds are not the only signs of the end of summer here in Britain. For decades, a distinctive peculiarity of the political scene in the United Kingdom has been party conference season. Always a sure sign of autumn’s arrival, these events annually saw the Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democratic party faithful descending on an English Victorian seaside town over consecutive September weeks.

  • November 10, 2014

    A collision over human rights appears inevitable at the U.N. Security Council after Japan and the European Union circulated a draft resolution in October that calls on the Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Forty-three countries have so far signed on in support of the draft. The resolution is the first substantial response to a U.N. Commission of Inquiry report on human rights violations in North Korea...

  • November 3, 2014

    Ever since Frank Mulbah’s mother died of Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia, in August, no one will go near him. “I went to my relatives after my mother died, but they chased me away, even after I told them that I didn’t have Ebola,” said Frank, 12, who tested negative for Ebola at the hospital where his mother died. As Ebola continues its rampage across Liberia and elsewhere in West Africa, thousands of children are taking a double hit: losing parents to the fatal...

  • November 3, 2014

    Providing food aid to people in need is not enough to eradicate world hunger, Pope Francis said in a message marking the celebration of World Food Day on Oct. 16. An overhaul of the entire framework of aid policies and food production is needed so that countries can be in charge of their own agricultural markets, he said. “For how long will systems of production and consumption that exclude the majority of the world’s population even from the crumbs that...

  • November 3, 2014

    The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said on Oct. 14 that it hoped that a $9.95 million settlement of abuse claims “can bring about some closure to those hurt by abuse in the past.”• Alaska’s Gov. Sean Parnell said in a statement released on Oct. 12 that his administration will appeal a U.S. District Court decision that invalidates the state’s constitutional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. • The Catholic Church in...

  • November 3, 2014

    A five-year court odyssey for a Pakistani Christian mother of five will continue after an appeals court in Lahore, Pakistan, on Oct. 16 upheld a death sentence for “blasphemy.” Asia Bibi, 45, has been imprisoned since 2009 while appealing her conviction. Accused by co-workers after a dispute over a communal water source, she was convicted under Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws.