The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • October 27, 2014

    Captors released a Franciscan priest who was among about 20 Christians kidnapped from a Syrian village near the border with Turkey. Father Hanna Jallouf was being held under house arrest in a religious residence in Knayeh, a small Christian village in northwestern Syria, according to a statement on Oct. 9 from the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. The statement offered no further details, and there was no immediate word on the others who were abducted...

  • October 27, 2014

    One of the Vatican’s top canon lawyers at the Synod of Bishops on the Family says the current process for the annulment of marriages in the Catholic Church could be streamlined and expanded to the benefit of many people whose marriages have broken down.

  • October 27, 2014

    In a blunt assessment of the Iraqi government’s response to the suffering of Christians from the northern Nineveh province, a leading Chaldean Catholic bishop said, “Our people have been abandoned.”

  • October 27, 2014

    The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on Oct. 10 to Kailash Satyarthi of India and Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, heroic advocates for children’s rights, especially the right to education. • In the Maiduguri Diocese in northeastern Nigeria, nearly 200 churches have been destroyed or razed by Boko Haram insurgents since August, a diocesan official reported on Oct. 6.

  • October 27, 2014

    On sexual and medical ethics, participants at the Synod of Bishops on the Family are giving emphasis to the concept of “graduality,” a way of thinking about morality that allows for human imperfection without compromising ideals. On the Synod’s first working day, Oct.

  • October 27, 2014

    Families of 43 students who “disappeared” in Guerrero State in Mexico spend their time praying at the college the students attended. They also worry and wonder about the whereabouts of the students, who were shot at by police in late September and subsequently abducted from a bus. Mass graves containing charred human remains were found shortly thereafter. The disappearance on Sept. 26 of so many students in Iguala has sparked international outrage and soul-...

  • October 27, 2014

    What came ashore on Sept. 23 wasn’t the sort of high-end yacht that usually docks in affluent Key Biscayne. It looked instead like a floating dumpster, and it was carrying nine Cubans who had fled their communist island. But these days that’s not such an odd sight for communities like Key Biscayne, which sits across Biscayne Bay from Miami. This year in fact has seen a remarkable spike in the number of Cubans arriving in South Florida on crude rafts.

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  • October 20, 2014

    The Obama administration announced plans in early October to allow minors to apply for refugee status from within El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, in an effort to discourage them from making the dangerous trek to enter the United States illegally. • On Sept. 29, during a ceremony at Chicago’s Archbishop Quigley Center, Cardinal Francis George formally closed the investigation into the life of the Rev. Augustus Tolton, the first African-American...

  • October 20, 2014

    The American novelist and correspondent Allen Drury once described his impression of South Africa in the 1960s as “a very strange society.” Twenty years after apartheid I find myself agreeing with him.

  • October 20, 2014

    Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany, the author of a controversial proposal to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, said on Oct. 1 that he believes Pope Francis backs the measure but would not apply it without support from the bishops at the upcoming synods on the family. “I had the impression the pope is open for a responsible, limited opening of the situation, but he wants a great majority of the bishops behind...