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  • Edinburgh—I spent only one day here and so will be content with a brief post. The city is lovely, much larger than St. Andrews and not quite so old. It was laid out in the 19th century, I think, and in most directions there are great vistas, avenues leading to imposing buildings. It is a city of imposing government buildings, including several great castles, but it is proud of its intellectual heritage. There are statues of the economist Adam Smith and the philosopher David Hume, and of John...

  • We at America Media are grateful for the continued generosity of America Associates. With your support, we are able to enhance our content and bring new audiences into the conversation at the intersection of the church and the world.

    One of our exciting new initiatives is Women in the Life of the Church. America Media will produce special content across our platforms on the role of women in the church and will continue to feature the voices of Catholic women in...

  • Jesuits from 62 countries will gather in Rome this weekend for the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus to elect a new Father General to succeed Adolfo Nicolás, S.J., who has led the order since 2008 but is now resigning at the age of 80. They will also discern and decide on the appropriate structures and direction for the Society in the coming years.

    The 212 participants will assemble for the opening Mass next Sunday, Oct. 2, in the church of the Gesu, in the center of...

  • America asked some of our editors and frequent contributors to reflect on the first presidential debate on 2016. Additional contributions will be posted during the day on Tuesday.

    Clinton talks about the common good, Trump touts change

    In a debate that got bogged down on issues of “temperament” and devoted little attention to poverty or economic inequality, Hillary Clinton made some attempts at arguing for the common good. When Donald J. Trump essentially bragged...

  • As Americans enter the final weeks of considering who will be their next president, the current administration is making the case that taking seriously religious belief must remain part of U.S. foreign policy, no matter who wins in November.

    “Religious beliefs are a powerful force in our thinking and in our work,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said to religious and nonprofit leaders gathered at the State Department on Monday.

    “Inasmuch as our job in foreign...

  • On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would no longer accept Haitian refugees arriving at the border, stranding thousands in Tijuana and leaving in doubt the situation of many more who have been traveling on foot to the United States from Brazil since May.

    In 2010, after a devastating earthquake killed tens of thousands in Haiti and displaced upwards of 1.5 million people—more than a tenth of the nation’s population—the United States...

  • St Andrews, Scotland—No one might expect that a short trip to Scotland would generate more than one posting, but I cannot resist a brief report to supplement Saturday’s post .

    I had gone to the 5 p.m. Mass at St. James on Saturday, in the rather small cathedral a little distant from the center of town (a size and location in part due to Reformation era disputes). Then, on Sunday...

  • Cathedral, St Andrews Scotland

    It is hard to get away from campus during the semester, and the end of September is a busy time at Harvard. Nevetheless, I have traveled to St Andrews, on the Northeast coast of Scotland, for a series of events marking the completion of a “Year of Interfaith Dialogue” hosted by Professor Mario Aguilar at the venerable St Andrews University, founded in 1413. Aguilar , a Camaldolese Benedictine hermit in the Benedictine...

  • Violent protests have erupted on university campuses around South Africa after Blade Mzimande—the Minister of Higher Education and Training—announced on Sept. 19 that universities must decide for themselves on fee increases for 2017, but capping increases to 8 percent.

    Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand (Wits) University has been shut down after running battles between protesting students and private security. Later the police were called to the campus where they used...

  • Sometimes the most important line of a conversation comes after it’s concluded, when you’ve already moved from substance to trivialities. Not long ago, I was walking with a woman toward the door of a funeral home, where her family had been making arrangements. As we got ready to part, she said, “I do believe in the resurrection, but it’s so hard to picture an afterlife.”

    I agreed. Her comment reminded me of a passage from...