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  • What is it about Ash Wednesday that attracts people so? On this day, you see throngs of people in churches everywhere gathered to wait patiently on line for the imposition of the ashes upon their foreheads, to be told: “Remember man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return” (or a variation thereof). Apart from Christmas and Easter, this is the one day of the year that really draws people in past the threshold of a church door.

    I have often wondered about that: how a solemn...

  • So a fascist and a socialist walk into a bar in Manchester…

    The Trump soufflé didn’t fall in New Hampshire, and Democrats did not get cold feet about voting for Bernie Sanders. For the first time since 1960, all 10 counties went for the same candidate in both parties’ primaries, with Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders building commanding leads from rural, economically distressed Coos County to the highly educated band of Boston exurbs in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties.

    On the...

  • Father Ron Gonzales, S.J. (Sean Salai, S.J./America Media)

    Father Ronald D. Gonzales, S.J., is pastor of Sacred Heart Church in El Paso, Tex. , a Jesuit parish that primarily serves migrants and is...

  • There’s a moment in the liturgy of Baptism when we are asked to reject Satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises. Just before Christ claims us, the church asks us to recognize evil for what it is: something ugly and stupid, something which separates us from ourselves.

    Primo Levi does the same in his memoire of Auschwitz,...

  • Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Peter Bryan Wells, the senior American official in the Roman Curia, as Nuncio to South Africa and Botswana.

    The Vatican announced this on Feb. 9, adding that the pontiff has also raised Wells to the rank of archbishop.

    For the past six and a half years, Wells has been Assessor for the General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, a position equivalent to deputy chief of staff, which handles most Church affairs apart from relations with states...

  • You may not have heard of the term if you get your news from legacy media , but #boomersplaining has become a major issue in the closing days of the New Hampshire Democratic primary campaign. It refers to older supporters of Hillary Clinton voicing disagreement—sometimes turning into outraged bewilderment—with younger backers of Bernie Sanders.

    In a column for the...

  • Over the weekend I came upon the headline “ It’s Not Too Early to Start Thinking About Lent! ” Dated Jan. 28, the article explained how Lent has a habit of just sneaking up on us, so better to take some time early to think about how we might invest ourselves in the season so we can fully enter in.

    The thing is, this year it really is too early to start thinking about Lent. The...

  • Marco Rubio didn’t win Iowa, but he won in Iowa by finishing ahead of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in more populated counties, such as Polk (Des Moines), that come closer to resembling the United States as a whole. Similarly, Hillary Clinton probably won’t win the New Hampshire primary, but she could very well win the two counties (Hillsborough and Rockingham) that are more suburban, and thus more predictive of future primaries, than the quirky, all-white, liberal small towns that typify...

  • Pope Francis's recent statements on China and his New Year's greetings for President Xi Jinping generated little official reaction from the Chinese government.

    "We have noted relevant reports," said Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang at a press conference on Feb 3. "China has always been sincere in improving the relationship with the Vatican. We have also made...

  • Cardinal Peter Turkson has used a conference address in Iran to call for Muslims and Christians to collaborate in promoting justice and peace. The Ghanaian cardinal, who is president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, was on a short visit to the city of Qom, renowned in the Muslim world as a centre of Shi‘a scholarship. His intervention came as one of a series of speeches given in a conference at the A’emmeye Athar Center for Jurisprudence Studies on the role of “...