The National Catholic Review

In All Things

  • Mark P. Shea is a Washington-based Catholic writer, blogger, and speaker. Raised as an agnostic pagan, he became a non-denominational Protestant Evangelical in 1979 before converting to Catholicism in 1987. In addition to a number of books and regular articles in Catholic periodicals, Mr.

  • When you think of the dangers posed today by pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough—actually, why would you? There’s been a vaccine for pertussis since the 1940s. Before then, an average of 178,00 cases were reported in the United States each year. By 1976, that number had dropped to less than 1,000.

    But 40 years later, in the first 8 months of 2014, Los Angeles County alone has over 1,300 reported cases of whooping cough. The state of California has 8,000 cases and has declared...

  • Pope Francis has invited the President of China, Xi Jinping, to meet him in the Vatican to discuss world peace, but he has also expressed his own willingness to travel “tomorrow” to Beijing for this same purpose if that were preferable.

  • Today is the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine (d. 1621), the important Jesuit bishop and theologian. Or is it?

  • Prosecutors in Bogota, Colombia are attempting to determine if any criminal charges will be filed in the aftermath of the suicide of a 16-year-old Catholic high school student. The young man, Sergio Urrego, jumped from an upper terrace of the Titán Plaza shopping center last month and succumbed to his injuries three hours later at a local hospital. He explained in a suicide note that he could no longer endure his treatment at the Gimnasio Castillo Campestre.

  • Paul Mayer, who succumbed to cancer last November, had a knack for noticing a moral crisis. He might have learned it from his German-Jewish parents, who whisked him from Frankfurt to New York just before Kristallnacht. He grew up to become a Catholic and a Benedictine priest, only to leave the cloister when he heard the call to march with Martin Luther King, Jr., at Selma. From there he organized against war in Vietnam, poverty in New Jersey’s slums and nuclear weapons around the world.

  • Born and raised in Scotland, I left in 1979 as an “economic refugee” to live and work in London. At that time, the Scottish National Party seemed small and insignificant, so much so that some people observed that they could hold their annual party conference in a phone booth. Scroll forward 35 years, and we face the possibility of waking up on Friday to a very different political situation. Much has been said and written on reasons for voting “yes” or “no.” Those favouring independence are...

  • The family under discussion when the extraordinary Synod of Bishops convenes at the Vatican on Oct. 5 will bear little resemblance to the family of 50 or even 20 years ago.

    The blended and extended families created by high rates of divorce, remarriage and cohabitation -- along with the worldwide migration prompted by economic turmoil and war—have combined to change forever the view of family as limited to a mother, father and their children.

  • And then there was less than a week to go. The final weekend of campaigning in the Scottish independence referendum has come and gone, bringing with it too many events and gatherings, rallies and gigs to count. Both the official "Yes" and "No" camps would have us believe that spontaneous city-centre gatherings spoke of the strength of their respective positions, but the reality is that these were highly orchestrated, photogenic jamborees. Yet no city or town, highland village or island, it...

  • Theologians from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., have released a letter to the Archbishop of St. Paul–Minneapolis, John Nienstedt. They urge the archbishop to reintroduce himself to the “people and parishes of the archdiocese,” to "leave the legal talk to lawyers" and make an all-out pastoral offensive to repair the spiritual damage of the ongoing crisis in the archdiocese centered around its handling of sexual abuse claims. The theologians also call for greater lay...