The National Catholic Review

News

  • Just as Jesus commanded pastors to leave their flock to find the lost sheep, the church must set out in search of all those who have been abused by clergy and offer them help, said one abuse survivor.

    Victims of abuse should be the focus of a new pastoral ministry since they are isolated, hurting, vulnerable to self-harm and suicide, and in need of Christ's true healing, said Mark Vincent Healy, one of the six abuse survivors who met Pope Francis at the Vatican on July 7.

  • Father Adolfo Nicolas, superior of the Jesuits, has named Thomas H. Smolich, outgoing president of the U.S. Jesuit Conference, to be the next director of Jesuit Refugee Service.

    The JRS international office in Rome announced the appointment July 29. Father Smolich will succeed German Jesuit Father Peter Balleis.

  • To end the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, the United States must address the flow of illegal drugs and arms and the harmful economic policies forcing children and families to leave Central America for the U.S., said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace.

    Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, made the comments in a July 24 letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, following a trip he and other bishops and church leaders made to Honduras,...

  • And then there were nine. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on July 28 that Turkmenistan has joined the State Department’s list of worst religious freedom offenders.

    The State Department’s “Countries of Particular Concern” list had remained static since 2006, when eight countries — Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan — were designated as CPCs.

  • Iraqi Christian refugees braved temperatures as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit to demand that the United Nations intervene to protect them from persecution by Islamist militants.

    Sahar Mansour, a Chaldean Catholic who fled Mosul, Iraq, in June, told Catholic News Service by email that she saw some of the demonstrators faint in the heat as they marched from their refugee camp in Ankawa to the U.N. base in Irbil.

  • August 4-11, 2014

    On July 17 the convicted murderer David Paul Hammer succeeded in an appeal against his death penalty sentence. A federal judge in Pennsylvania agreed to commute his sentence to life without parole. In April 1996 at a penitentiary in Allenwood, Pa., Hammer strangled his cellmate, 27-year-old Andrew Hunt Marti. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection in November 1998 after he pleaded guilty to the murder. A group of Sisters of Mercy testified on his behalf, including the long-time anti-...

  • August 4-11, 2014

    As an Israeli Defense Forces operation into the Gaza Strip entered its second day on July 18, the head of Caritas Jerusalem said he would launch an international appeal for assistance in Gaza and would not wait until the end of the Israel-Hamas hostilities, as he has done in the past. The Rev. Raed Abusahlia, general director of Caritas Jerusalem, said that more than 80,000 Palestinians had been displaced and 1,250 homes had been completely demolished by...

  • August 4-11, 2014

    In recent years the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been audited annually as part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Dallas Charter protocol to prevent the sexual abuse of children, as have virtually all other dioceses around the United States. It has, like most other dioceses, been found by professional auditors commissioned by the U.S.C.C.B. to be fully compliant with the articles of the charter pertaining to responding to reports of...

  • August 4-11, 2014

    Two weeks after protesters in Murrieta, Calif., made national news by attempting to prevent busloads of mostly unaccompanied children from reaching an emergency detention facility, the bishops of California have issued a statement calling on Catholics to support these refugees. “These children and families have journeyed to our country, fleeing violence and destitution in Central America. Sadly, their experience in California has thus far been marked by hostility and near chaos....

  • August 4-11, 2014

    When Pope Francis visits South Korea on Aug. 14 to 18, he will find a Catholic Church that exemplifies much of what he hopes for the church around the world, including a highly active laity, extensive efforts to help the needy and strong relations with non-Christian communities. [America will provide exclusive coverage of the pope’s visit to Korea by its new Vatican correspondent, Gerard O’Connell.] So says a retired American missionary, Bishop William J.