The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

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  • May 9, 2016

    A canonical inquiry into the life of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, will begin soon and extend to the end of the year, according to the Archdiocese of New York, which is sponsoring her sainthood cause. The names of 256 people had been submitted as potential eyewitnesses to Day’s life. Of those, 52 have been chosen for interviews. “Because many of the eyewitnesses still live in voluntary poverty, caring for the poor, the archdiocese...

  • May 9, 2016

    When ISIS extremists rolled across Iraq’s Nineveh Plain in 2014, tens of thousands of Christians fled to Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq. They still wait in limbo in crowded camps. Their only certainty is that whatever happens to them, a group of Dominican nuns will be at their side. “We will not leave our people. Wherever they go, we will go with them,” said Sister Luma Khudher, a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena. The Iraqi...

  • May 9, 2016

    One day after Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, spoke at Georgetown University, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington celebrated a University Mass for Life for college students at a nearby Catholic church, encouraging them to stand up for God’s gift of human life. A Georgetown student group’s invitation to Richards, the head of the nation’s largest abortion provider, to speak on April 20 at the country’s oldest Catholic university drew...

  • May 9, 2016

    Jesuit Refugee Service has a very specific answer to Pope Francis’ call to put mercy on the leading edge of a church reaching out to the peripheries. The answer is education.

    With a campaign called “Mercy in Motion,” J.R.S. is trying to raise $35 million this year so that by 2020 it can educate an additional 100,000 refugees per year.

    Just 36 percent of the world’s refugee children go to some...

  • May 9, 2016

    In a continuing effort to protect children, much of the attention of the Catholic Church has been on how dioceses and national bishops’ conferences have been responding to victims and protecting children. Religious orders and congregations are sometimes left out of that picture, even though most of the more than 300,000 Catholic schools and orphanages around the world are run by religious brothers and sisters. Now the focus is turning to those religious...

  • May 9, 2016

    Pope Francis surprised a group of teenagers on April 23 in St. Peter’s Square, telling them that happiness is not a downloadable app and then hearing the confessions of 16 teens as he joined 150 other priests offering the sacrament of reconciliation. • Bishop Ägidius Zsifkovics of Austria refused to allow the installation of a fence on church property by border officials, arguing on April 21 that the barrier, meant to keep out refugees, was contrary to the...

  • Visits by foreign heads of state do not turn heads on the streets of London as they once did, probably because we are so media-saturated, security is tight and because few leaders, in this technocratic age, are endowed with all that much charisma. But President Obama just visited town, and he certainly turned heads.

    He and the first lady, Michelle Obama, breezed in on Air Force One, landing at an out-of-the-way Essex airport, then continued on the Marine One helicopter straight to a...

  • May 2, 2016

    It was announced on April 12 that Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Christophe Pierre , apostolic nuncio to Mexico since 2007, to be the new apostolic nuncio to the United States. • Urging more action on the second anniversary of the abduction of 219 school girls from Chibok in northeastern Nigeria, Bishop George Dodo of Zaria said, ”That they are still within the custody of their abductors after two years does no credibility to the corporate image of Nigeria as a nation.” •...

  • May 2, 2016

    Religious nonprofits challenging their participation in the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act filed a legal brief on April 12 that could end the standoff with the Obama administration. In the brief, objectors to the mandate agreed with a U.S. Supreme Court proposal that such coverage be provided through an alternative health care plan without involving the religious employers. The brief said that as long as any alternative plan offering...

  • May 2, 2016

    What’s worse than squeezing a few more productive years out of one of the nation’s oldest nuclear power plants, one that’s within radioactive spitting distance of a major American city and about a mile from an earthquake fault line? How about running a high-pressure natural gas pipeline—you know, the kind known to spectacularly detonate every once in a while—110 feet or so away from it? Did I mention the 40 years worth of radioactive fuel rods stored on site...