The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • February 9, 2015

    A group of Catholic leaders urged fellow Catholics in Congress to set aside “partisan bickering” and support the U.S. bishops’ efforts on behalf of a comprehensive immigration reform, calling it a sanctity of life issue and an important step in building a culture of life. “Our nation’s inhumane and flawed immigration policies leave migrant women, children and families abandoned by the side of the road,” the group said in a letter released on Jan. 20, two...

  • February 9, 2015

    An increasingly influential German cardinal spoke to a packed auditorium at Stanford University on Jan. 15 about the challenge of organizing a free and open society that is linked with the common good. “It is important for the church to be in the great questions of social justice,” said Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops’ conference and part of the nine-member Council of Cardinals that advises Pope Francis on church governance.

  • February 9, 2015

    Using a phrase long associated with the civil rights movement, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley. O.F.M.Cap., of Boston told an overflow crowd in Washington, D.C. “We shall overcome” in the fight against abortion. In his homily on Jan. 21 during the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life, Cardinal O’Malley said, quoting Pope Francis,“The church cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for a better world.”

  • February 9, 2015

    On the weekend after President Obama’s historic announcement on Dec. 17 that he wanted to re-establish diplomatic ties with communist Cuba, I visited a park in Miami’s Little Havana section.

  • February 9, 2015
    Ending Ebola?

    Minneapolis on Jan. 16 became the 12th U.S. Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy protection because of the unmanageable costs of settlements and future claims resulting from sexual abuse by clergy. • The number of people falling victim to the Ebola virus in West Africa—where at least 8,668 have died—has fallen to the lowest level in months, the World Health Organization said on Jan. 23, warning that dwindling funds and the coming rainy...

  • February 9, 2015

    Families who have many children do not cause poverty, Pope Francis said. The main culprit is “an economic system that has removed the human person from its focus and has placed the god of money” as its priority instead, he said on Jan. 21. On the flight back from Manila to Rome, the pope had told journalists on Jan.

  • February 9, 2015
    ON THE RUN. A young girl driven from her village by Boko Haram rests at a camp for displaced people in Yola in northern Nigeria on Jan. 13.

    Underlining the failure of the Nigerian government to stop the violent rampage of Boko Haram, a Catholic bishop has called for Western military intervention. The Muslim militant group’s increasingly deadly assaults and expanded recruitment from countries across North Africa mean “a concerted military campaign is needed by the West to crush Boko Haram,” said Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, capital of the troubled Borno State.

  • February 2, 2015

    Asked by a French reporter on a flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines on Jan. 15 to compare freedom of religion and freedom of expression as human rights, Pope Francis condemned violence in the name of God but said freedom of expression should be limited by respect for religion and that mockery of faith can be expected to provoke violence. Pope Francis linked his answer to the attacks Jan. 7 at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, apparently in...

  • February 2, 2015

    The first days of January always cast their shadow over the coming year’s events, just as the final dwindling days of December encompass and focus the year just ending. We’re meant to look back, if not in anger, at least with relief that we got through it, and it seems, each year with an increasing sense that things are getting worse, not better.

  • February 2, 2015

    The path to peace in the Holy Land requires respect for the human rights and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians, said bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America, gathered in the Holy Land on Jan. 15 as the Co-Ordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church of the Holy Land. “After the failed negotiations and ensuing violence of 2014, we urge public officials to be creative, to take new approaches, to build bridges, not walls,”...