The National Catholic Review

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  • June 6-13, 2016

    “What prevents the church from including women among the permanent deacons, just as happened in the early church? Why not set up an official commission to study the question?” Good question. It was asked by a woman religious to Pope Francis on May 12, in a conversation with the superiors of 800 women’s religious orders at the Vatican. Pope Francis’ comments caused quite a few people to take notice.

    “I would like to set up...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    In recent years some Catholic watchdog groups have led campaigns against church institutions and individuals who work within them that have had the effect of ruining careers, disrupting lives and generating unjustified tension within the Catholic community. Catholic service entities have been the frequent but not the only targets of these critics. These efforts have been typified by extreme rhetoric and relentless bullying on social media—ignoring beams,...

  • June 6-13, 2016

    On May 12, the American Bible Society celebrated 200 years of work to bring the Bible not only into every American home but also to every corner of the world. A.B.S. leaders described in detail their plans to increase access to Scripture by investing in translation efforts as well as by working to help people who have experienced trauma, especially in war-torn countries, find comfort and healing in the word of God.

    In 1916...

  • May 23-30, 2016

    In early May, Reuters reported that the secret court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act approved every one of the 1,457 electronic surveillance applications the government brought before it in 2015. This continues a remarkable streak for the government; the FISA court’s last denial was in 2009. According to data collected by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the court has denied surveillance orders only 12 times since 1979...

  • May 23-30, 2016

    Last month in Ontario, Canada, James Bay, the chief for the Attawapiskat First Nation, declared a state of emergency after the indigenous community of about 2,000 people had 11 suicide attempts on a single day, April 9. Sadly, the indigenous communities in Canada have long struggled with high rates of suicide. In the Manitoba First Nation communities, five people have killed themselves since Christmas; and since last fall, over 100 people have attempted...

  • May 23-30, 2016

    On April 8, the world witnessed a great leap forward for human spaceflight when a rocket landed on a ship at sea. After delivering cargo to the International Space Station, SpaceX successfully landed the booster stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship. The importance of this accomplishment toward changing the economics of spaceflight cannot be overstated. Most of the cost in getting something into orbit is in building the very expensive rocket, which...

  • May 9, 2016

    In early April, a $160-billion deal between the pharma-ceutical giants Allergan and Pfizer fell apart when its tax advantages disappeared. Originally, Pfizer had planned the merger as a tax inversion—a maneuver that would have shifted Pfizer’s tax residency to Ireland, where Allergan is headquartered and subject to a 14 percent corporate tax rate instead of the 35 percent rate Pfizer faces in the United States. New Treasury Department rules, however, would...

  • May 9, 2016

    In “The Joy of Love,” Pope Francis reminds readers that while new technologies can be a force for good, they can also place the most vulnerable at risk. “We cannot ignore the risks that these new forms of communication pose for children and adolescents,” Francis says, adding that technology “exposes them more easily to manipulation by those who would invade their private space with selfish interests” (No. 278). According to a study from the GSM Association...

  • May 9, 2016

    A proposed new bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Canada has drawn strong opposition from an impressive coalition of religious voices. Standing together at a press conference on April 19, Catholic, Jewish, evangelical and Muslim leaders registered their grave concern about the measure proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and made an admirable pledge: “Our churches, synagogues and mosques are committed to comfort and care for those who are...

  • May 16, 2016

    A Jesuit priest, poet, activist, scholar, writer, fugitive and inmate, Daniel J. Berrigan was one of the most influential Catholics of our time. His place in American Catholic history is beside the other two giants of the 20th century: Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, both of whom were his friends. Father Berrigan inspired generations of men and women in the battle for social justice and put himself on the front lines in the war against war. He was perhaps...