The National Catholic Review

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  • A group of 11 sick, disabled and elderly Iraqi Christians—including an 80-year-old woman with breast cancer—defied terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam or be beheaded, saying they preferred death to giving up their faith.

    The united resistance prompted the Islamic State extremists to drop their demands and order the Christians to immediately leave their village of Karamless after first robbing them of their possessions, according to one of the survivors.

  • Residents of Ferguson "are struggling to find peace in the chaos" that has followed the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer and "as people of Christ, we are struggling to find direction in the unrest," said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis.

    "We are all aware of the turmoil and tragedy our St. Louis community is experiencing," he said in an Aug. 18 letter to Catholics of the archdiocese.

  • In April 2013, the parents of slain U.S. journalist James Foley attended a prayer vigil at Marquette University in Milwaukee to pray for their son, who at that time had disappeared in Syria.

    Before Diane and John Foley had confirmation that spring that their son was missing, Diane said she just felt it -- he had missed one of his usual phone calls home -- and once they knew for sure, the couple said they were relying on their Catholic faith to cope and leaning on prayer to bring him...

  • Pope Francis, in mourning for the deaths of his nephew's wife and two small children, thanked people at his weekly general audience Aug. 20 for their prayers.

    After each of the priests who translate the pope's words offered him condolences for the tragedy that struck his family, Pope Francis explained to the people: "The pope has a family, too. We were five siblings, and I have 16 nieces and nephews. One of these nephews was in an accident. His wife died along with his two small...

  • Dominican Sister Attracta Kelly in Adrian, Michigan, has been able to speak a few times with the superior of a group of Iraqi Dominicans and knows how desperate their situation is since they escaped Islamicists in northern Iraq.

    Sister Maria Hanna, the superior, and 51 other Dominican sisters, along with their family members and other villagers were driven from the Ninevah Plain by Islamic State fighters.

  • Members of the national board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said their "deepest hope" is to resolve the issues between them and the Vatican doctrinal congregation in a way that honors LCWR's mission and integrity.

    The board issued the statement after the close of LCWR's annual assembly Aug. 12-15 in Nashville.

    The leaders of orders of women religious took part in the assembly under the continuing doctrinal assessment by the Vatican's Congregation for the...

  • The president of the U.S. bishops' conference on Aug. 19 asked Catholic bishops across the country to take up a special collection for humanitarian needs and pastoral support for Christians and other victims of violence in the Middle East.

    Amid the ongoing crisis in what is "the cradle of Christianity," the Catholic Church "mourns the terrible suffering of Christians and other innocent victims of violence in Iraq, Syria and Gaza who are struggling to survive, protect their children...

  • In America's Aug. 18-25 issue, David Stewart, S.J., a native of Scotland, describes the state of the debate over Scottish independence ahead of the Sept. 18 referendum. In "A Country in Question," Father Stewart advances the argument of the pro-independence "Yes camp":

  • FERGUSON, Mo. (CNS) -- Against the backdrop of demonstrations and unrest, some of it violent, that has followed the Aug. 9 killing of an unarmed black teenager by police in Ferguson, members of a local Catholic parish did perhaps the only thing they could -- they prayed.

    As police and protesters stood in an uneasy truce Aug. 11 close to a burned-out convenience store and businesses looted in an earlier demonstration, two...

  • VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has echoed a century of papal pleas: "No more war!" But, referring to the outrageous violations of human rights taking place in northeastern Iraq, he also begged, "Stop these crimes!"