The National Catholic Review

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  • Even for a culture of incessant consumerism and "Black Friday" madness, this news item about a man named Derek De Armond took me by surprise. Reports the New York Times:

  • Last night was disheartening all around and may have been doomed to be so. Tonight may not be much better, except with more National Guard and fewer buildings to burn.

    Coming from a family of civil servants, I have an innate tendency to give police officers the benefit of the doubt in such situations. We ask police to do the work of keeping our streets safe, which can include not a small degree of confrontation and violence. If that's the deal the larger society has made, is it fair...

  • Pope Francis sought to inject new life into the old continent by delivering “a message of hope and encouragement to all the citizens of Europe” when he spoke to the European Parliament and to the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg, France, on November 25. 

    Speaking “as a pastor”, he delivered two talks in Italian, each around 30 minutes, to separate sessions of these main European institutions, and touched on a broad range of issues that are central to the life of the continent to-day...

  • I was out of the country when Ferguson erupted over the summer. From abroad, it looked like the Arab Spring had come to the Midwest. Last night as I watched the news coverage, it looked the same: an angry, outraged citizenry clashing with the police power of the state. “Unbelievable” was the word CNN’s reporters used repeatedly as they roamed around the small part of Ferguson where people were rioting. Were they talking about the vandalism they were seeing, or the tear gas they were choking...

  • Courtesy of Vatican Radio:

    The full text of the address delivered by Pope Francis to members of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday November 25, 2014.

    Mr President and Vice Presidents,

    Members of the European Parliament,

    All associated with the work of this Institution,

    Dear Friends,

  • Later this week the President of the United States, the most important person on the planet, will pardon a turkey.

  • When we are children, we believe that our families will always be the same. Time moves slowly, and we don’t understand that a future awaits in which family members will be born, or die, or marry into other families, or stray, or become estranged. And perhaps no holiday better illustrates a family’s ebb and flow, its metamorphosis and stasis, than Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a magnet that draws people back into their families, even as polar opposites attract. Gratitude and home go together...

  • In preparation for Advent I've been seeking wisdom from the words of Pope Francis in a recently published book, The Church of Mercy (Loyola Press), a collection of Francis's writings and speeches. In a speech in April of 2013, Pope Francis had this to say:

  • Three Catholic priests and a layman have been arrested by the police in Granada, Spain, charged with the sexual abuse of minors, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior confirmed on November 24.

  • The most charitable explanation for the editorial cartoon that appeared for just a few hours on the website of the Indianapolis Star is that the artist took the easy route of mashing up a news headline with an upcoming holiday. Lack of thought is easier to accept than deliberate mean-spiritedness.