The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • May 4, 2015

    Nauman Masih, a 14-year-old Pakistani Christian doused with gasoline and set afire by a group of Muslim attackers, passed away on April 15 in Lahore. The boy had been stopped and assaulted after confirming he was a Christian. The attack was allegedly in retaliation for the lynching by Christians of two Muslim men suspected of being involved in two church bombings on March 15. “I would say that today we are in the worst period in history for the life of...

  • May 4, 2015

    Pope Francis spent 50 minutes with a delegation from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious on April 16. The symbolic encounter came after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the L.C.W.R. announced that they had reached a positive conclusion to a three-year effort by the congregation to ensure that the L.C.W.R. carries out its work in harmony with the Catholic Church’s teaching. Thus ended, on an amicable note, a controversial...

  • May 4, 2015

    Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, N.M., chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged Congress to give the “Lausanne framework,” concluded by U.S. and E.U. negotiators with Iran, a chance. His letter arrived on April 14 as U.S. senators put the finishing touches on a bill intended to create additional congressional oversight of the agreement.

  • May 4, 2015

    Pope Francis has appealed to the international community to take swift and decisive action to avoid more tragedies as the migrant crisis in the southern Mediterranean worsens by the day. In the latest catastrophic episode, as many as 900 migrants appear to have drowned on April 19. Migrants had rushed to one side of the boat as rescuers approached, causing the overloaded vessel to capsize and trapping many below decks.

  • May 4, 2015

    Since former Prime Minister Tony Blair declared himself a Christian believer in 2007 and was received into the Catholic Church shortly thereafter—once he had left office—public declarations of faith by U.K. politicians have not gone down well among British voters. Contradicting his boss, Blair’s spin–doctor Alistair Campbell famously, and perhaps desperately, declared of the Blair administration, “We don’t do God.”

  • May 4, 2015

    ‘A bishop stands for Christ, the head of the church,” Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George said to Mary Ann Walsh, R.S.M., America’s U.S. Church correspondent, in one of his last interviews. “What he faces is always tied to that vocational understanding. It means that the bishop has a unique perspective on the ‘whole,’ on an entire local church with all its people.... His is a ministry of unity.

  • May 4, 2015

    Pope Francis is considering the possibility of visiting Cuba in September, before or after his trip to the United States, the Vatican said on April 17. • Parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings of April 2013, called on the government on April 17 to end its quest for the death penalty and sentence the convicted bomber to life in prison.

  • April 27, 2015

    The British charity Oxfam has appealed for an end to the fighting in Yemen and the opening of borders to allow entrance to desperately needed humanitarian aid. Nuha Al-Saeedi, an Oxfam program manager in Yemen, reports that conditions are getting worse each day as basic commodities run dangerously low. She described the current humanitarian situation in Yemen as “a disaster,” especially given that even before the escalation of the fighting, more than half...

  • April 27, 2015

    A new Kansas law banning an abortion procedure that results in dismemberment of an unborn child “has the power to transform the landscape of abortion policy in the United States,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, on April 8. • Two notable passings in Catholic journalism: Robert McClory, Chicago author and educator, died on April 3 at age 82 in Illinois; Robert Blair Kaiser, whose coverage of the Second Vatican...

  • April 27, 2015

    Sixty years ago this year, over 90 million people watched on television as Walt Disney opened his very first theme park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, Calif.