The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • December 8-15, 2014

    President Obama’s plan to essentially freeze most deportations of people without documentation in the United States would protect as many as 4.4 million people and their families. “Mass amnesty would be unfair,” the president said in a televised speech to the nation on Nov. 20. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character,” he said. “What I’m describing is accountability—a commonsense, middle ground approach: If you meet the...

  • December 8-15, 2014

    Fifteen years ago, El Salvador criminalized any and all abortions. Now, after years of legally dubious arrests, draconian prison sentences and a controversial case involving a fetus with no brain, critics of the law call El Salvador a cautionary tale that raises the question: Is this really what a blanket ban on abortion should look like?

  • December 8-15, 2014

    After an early morning attack on a synagogue left four Israelis dead and eight injured on Nov. 18, the Latin Patriarch, Fouad Twal, called for an end to all violence in the Holy Land. “We are praying and waiting. We are sad,” said Patriarch Twal.

  • December 8-15, 2014

    Church officials in Goa, India, were expecting more than five million pilgrims for the once-a-decade exposition of the body of St Francis Xavier on Nov. 22. • While officials from the Kenyan government and bishops’ conference met on Nov. 19, Kenya’s Catholic bishops continued to urge people to avoid receiving a tetanus vaccine, which they say contains a hormone linked to birth control. • “The struggle against hunger and malnutrition is...

  • December 8-15, 2014

    As a young seminarian in the 1960s, the Rev. Robert Rosebrough marched for civil rights. For most of his 46 years as a priest, he has worked in inner-city parishes. His parish, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta is in Ferguson, Mo., a short distance from where a white police officer shot an unarmed African American teenager last August.

  • December 8-15, 2014

    The Catholic Church calls for the creation of job opportunities and the recognition of the dignity of the poor, not simply for more handouts or expanded government welfare programs, Pope Francis said in a video message played on Nov. 20 at the Italian church’s Festival of Catholic Social Teaching.

  • December 1, 2014

    Pope Francis has established a special body within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to speed up the process of hearing and ruling on appeals filed by priests laicized or otherwise disciplined in sexual abuse or other serious cases. Federico Lombardi, S.J., the Vatican spokesperson, told reporters on Nov. 11 that the members of the doctrinal congregation had been examining an average of four or five appeals, mostly in sexual abuse cases, at each...

  • December 1, 2014

    Catholic Relief Services committed an additional $1.5 million to programs aimed at countering Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in November. The money is being used to train heath workers, ensure safe and dignified burials, develop and implement prevention awareness campaigns, maintain local Catholic health facilities and provide food to those in need. Speaking from Senegal on Nov.

  • December 1, 2014

    Commenting on the deaths of 13 young mothers at government-run sterilization camps in India’s central Chhattisgarh State on Nov. 12, Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu said the guilty should be punished, but “the systemic faults behind this tragedy must be exposed and corrected.” • Drawing on the teachings of Pope Francis, the theme of the 2015 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering on Feb. 7 to 10 in Washington, D.C., will be “To Go Forth:...

  • December 1, 2014

    As world leaders prepared to meet in Australia on Nov. 15-16 to continue looking at ways to improve the global economy, Pope Francis asked them “not to forget that many lives are at stake” behind their discussions and decisions. The measure of success of the Group of 20 heavily industrialized and emerging-market countries will be found not in statistics but in “real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of...