The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

  • August 3-10, 2015

    The Holy See welcomed Iran’s historic nuclear deal and expressed hopes that other breakthroughs may be on the horizon. Under the new deal, decades-long sanctions would be lifted in exchange for an agreement by Iran to restrict its nuclear program to peaceful purposes.

  • August 3-10, 2015

    One year after war with Israel turned daily life in Gaza into a nightmare, a Catholic priest there said the situation in the besieged Palestinian territory has deteriorated even further. “Compared with a year ago, we’re worse off. Although a truce stopped the war, the blockade of Gaza by Israel has grown more intense. This has direct consequences for the population,” said the Rev. Jorge Hernández, pastor of the Catholic parish of Holy Family in Gaza City.

  • August 3-10, 2015

    More than half of young Catholic families participating in a recent survey identified themselves as Latino or Hispanic, a finding the president of Holy Cross Family Ministries said will require new ways of ministering in the U.S. Catholic Church. Overall, 54 percent of young couples in the 25- to 45-year-old age range said they were Latino or Hispanic. That compares with the overall adult Latino/Hispanic Catholic population of 32 percent. “People may speak...

  • August 3-10, 2015

    In a message commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty on July 16, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops renewed its opposition to capital punishment. “Our faith tradition offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake,” wrote Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, O.F.M.Cap., of Boston, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities,...

  • August 3-10, 2015

    The last time a Roman Catholic priest got involved in Haitian politics, things did not turn out so well.

    That was the tragic saga of Haiti’s former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the erratic cleric who came to power twice, in 1991 and 2001, only to be ousted by coups and protests. The world is hoping Cardinal Chibly Langlois will turn out to be a better story. And so far, so good.

  • August 3-10, 2015

    The mining industry, especially in the world’s poorest countries, must make a “radical change” to respect the rights of local communities and protect the environment, Pope Francis said on July 17. • Bishops across Mexico expressed incredulity after the escape of the drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán, known as El Chapo, on July 11—many charging the escape demonstrated the complicity of public officials with drug cartels and the depth of corruption in...

  • August 3-10, 2015

    Recriminations continued to accumulate after the release of a gruesome conversation about fetal remains, recorded by a hidden camera, went viral on the Internet, provoking a national uproar about Planned Parenthood procedures.

  • July 20-27, 2015

    A prayer service on June 29 at Holy Family Church in New York City not only recalled the sacrifices of African martyrs in church history but also paid tribute to those who have died recently for their faith in Nigeria, Kenya and other African states. • After the U.S. Episcopal Church voted on July 1 to allow gay couples to marry in church ceremonies, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, expressed deep concern about the stress that...

  • July 20-27, 2015

    President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, survived a Supreme Court challenge on June 25 in a 6-to-3 decision. “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Chief Justice John Roberts argued for the majority in King v. Burwell, ruling that the federal government may provide tax subsidies to help people buy health insurance even in states that refuse to set up insurance exchanges...

  • July 20-27, 2015

    South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has finally gone public with the 600-page report of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the police killing of 34 striking mineworkers at Marikana, North West Province, on Aug. 16, 2012. The report is comprehensive and generally even-handed. Many hope it will contribute to a change in the way labor disputes in South Africa will be handled in the future. On the latter point, however, I am less certain.