The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • 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.

  • April 27, 2015

    Faced with a fierce enemy driven by Islamic extremism, the Kenyan government has cracked down on funding for al-Shabab, the Somali group that claimed responsibility for killing at least 148 mostly Christian students at Garissa University College on April 2. The leader of the Catholic Church in Kenya, Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi, condemned the massacre and demanded that Kenyan authorities improve security, but he also urged forgiveness and...

  • April 27, 2015

    In the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Pope Francis decried on April 9 humanity’s ability to systematically exterminate its own brothers and sisters. He asked that God’s mercy “help all of us, in the love for the truth and justice, to heal every wound and expedite concrete gestures of reconciliation and peace among nations that still are unable to come to a reasonable consensus on interpreting such sad events.” The pope’s remarks...

  • April 27, 2015

    Chaplains who are part of the Army’s first line of defense against suicide say they need more training in how to prevent soldiers from killing themselves, according to a Rand Corporation survey published online on April 7. Nearly all the chaplains and chaplain assistants surveyed said they have dealt with suicidal soldiers. Because of confidentiality, roughly half said they would be reluctant to alert someone in the chain of command about the soldier, and...

  • April 27, 2015

    It was no surprise that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on all 30 counts in the Boston Marathon bomber trial on April 8; in an opening statement, his attorneys had conceded his guilt in the April 2013 horror at the finish line. The State of Massachusetts bars the use of capital punishment, but Tsarnaev was tried in a federal court.

  • April 13, 2015

    A delegation representing Catholic organizations in Nigeria offered words of comfort and pledged help for Nigerian refugees who fled to neighboring Cameroon because of a violent insurgency. Led by Bishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji of Umuahia, chairman of Caritas Nigeria, the delegation visited Minawao Camp in Maroua, Cameroon, in mid-March to meet with some of the estimated 36,000 Nigerians who have sought safety in recent weeks. “We are here to facilitate your...

  • April 13, 2015

    ‘Is the air in your country like this?” the motorized tricycle driver asked. “It’s terrible here,” he said. Any long-term foreign resident of Beijing has had this conversation scores of times.

    Discussing the day’s air quality is now the default subject for awkward Beijing small talk. Smartphone apps relay up-to-the-hour information on the particulate matter index readings taken by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

  • April 13, 2015

    After years of disagreement about the rights of states, communities and the federal government to define marriage, two state legislatures have proposed different means to reconcile the conflicting interests of gay rights groups and proponents of religious liberty. In Oklahoma, H.B. 1125, which was referred to the state Senate on March 16, would create a system whereby the state of Oklahoma no longer issues marriage licenses but simply records the marriage....