The National Catholic Review

In All Things

A group blog by the editors, columnists and frequent contributors to America.

March 2015

  • Mar 6 2015 - 9:08am

    Pope Francis, in his two years as pontiff, has often urged people of faith to be better people of faith. To walk the talk. To get with the program. To do as Jesus would do. His example inspires us, just as his writings enlighten us. The pope reminds us that God calls us to love, no matter what. He encourages us to be certain that by entrusting ourselves to God, our acts of love and concern for others will be “mysteriously fruitful” in ways that we may never know. (“The Joy of the Gospel,”...

  • Mar 5 2015 - 1:17pm

    The news concerning religion is not very encouraging these days, particularly when it is coupled with terrorism and violence, skewering its true meaning for those who seek its relevance.

  • Mar 5 2015 - 1:01pm

    The “Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination,” the conference organized by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and held on the campus of U.S.C., was lovely for many reasons. For one, I have read nearly all the stories of Tobias Wolff (“Hunters in the Snow,” “The Rich Brother,” “In the Garden...”) over and over for years. He virtually taught me to write. Seeing him speak and read was almost surreal.

  • Mar 5 2015 - 12:07pm

    The apparently tireless Pew researchers continue to track the popularity of the "newish" Pope Francis. According to their latest phone survey, the Pope Francis honeymoon shows no sign of ending even two years into his pontificate. In fact his popularity among Catholics is only building. He is rated favorably by over nine-out-of-ten Catholics they surveyed—and "very favorably" by six out of ten.

  • Mar 5 2015 - 3:06am
    Bill Murray and Jaeden Lieberher star in a scene from the movie "St. Vincent." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Atsushi Nishijima, The Weinstein Company)

    Two worthwhile movies available on Netflix and DVD/Blue-Ray this month represent the tail end of Hollywood’s recent religious craze. 

    “St. Vincent” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” found their way to theaters late last year at the close of an unexpected revival of religious films. Earlier movies in theaters last year included “Son of God,” “Noah,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Heaven is for Real,” “God’s Not Dead,” “Calvary,” "Saving Christmas" and the “Left Behind” remake.

  • Mar 4 2015 - 3:37pm

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said Islamic State militants terrorizing the Middle East are a distortion of “genuine” Islam much as the Irish Republican Army was a “perversion” of Catholicism.

    Dolan’s comments to CNN on March 3 reflect similar statements about the Islamic State group from Pope Francis, but they also echo some of President Obama’s controversial remarks on Islam, Christianity and the history of violence carried out in the name...

  • Mar 4 2015 - 8:45am

    Elizabeth Scalia is an American Catholic editor, writer, speaker and managing editor of the Catholic portal at, where she blogs as The Anchoress. Ms.

  • Mar 3 2015 - 2:22pm

    Part the First

    Recently I heard the author Tobias Wolff read from his short story, “In the Garden of the North American Martyrs.” In the last lines of the story a woman is giving a lecture to students at a renowned college in upstate New York. She is also calling out a group of arrogant and patronizing professors observing the class. “You have deceived yourselves in the pride of your hearts, and the strength of your arms,” declares the woman, Mary. “Though you soar aloft like the...

  • Mar 2 2015 - 7:13pm

    If an academic pedigree is an indication, the hierarchy of the U.S. bishops took a big step forward with the promotion of Auxiliary Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Francisco to Bishop of San Diego on March 3. News of the appointment was broken by blogger Rocco Palmo, March 2.

  • Mar 2 2015 - 4:55pm

    Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., agreed to address questions on criticisms of Pope Francis, political responsibilities as the archbishop of the nation’s capital and the forthcoming Synod on the Family in October. 

  • Mar 2 2015 - 12:35pm

    As the Vatican prepares for the Synod of Bishops on the Family, Oct. 4 to 25, various individuals and groups are offering input on issues they want the synod to address. I asked several U.S. Catholic pastors and other experts to note issues on which people go to clergy for help.

    Most emphasized family relationships more than the theological questions that certainly underlie the issues. The need for permanence in marriage stands out, for example.

  • Mar 2 2015 - 12:07pm

    As state legislatures across the nation have opened for their 2015 sessions, some (such as Wisconsin and West Virginia) are debating so-called "right-to-work" laws. These laws do not, of course, give anyone a right to a job. Rather, they create a special "right" for workers to refuse union membership even after a majority of their co-workers have voted to form a union. This creates a perverse incentive: any individual worker can enjoy all the benefits of union contracts while shirking dues...