The National Catholic Review

Opinion

  • January 5-12, 2015

    Last month marked the 51st anniversary of the “Decree on the Means of Social Communication,” (“Inter Mirifica”), promulgated by the Second Vatican Council. In that document the council fathers considered how social communications “contribute greatly to the enlargement of people’s minds and to the propagation and consolidation of the kingdom of God.” The decree also addressed the essential role of Catholic journalists in “employing the means of social...

  • January 5-12, 2015

    It is a shame that opponents of immigration reform appear ready to erase “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” from the Statue of Liberty rather than come to terms with the undocumented immigrants in our midst.

  • January 5-12, 2015

    Preparation for the October 2015 Synod on the Family may help the U.S. church face pressing problems.

    The church faces a challenge of disunity, some of it from polarization. Threats to unity have crept into the church from adversarial politics that permeate cultural warfare and political skirmishes related to religious liberty, gay rights and the definition of marriage. At times one feels meanness within our walls.

  • January 5-12, 2015

    The year 2014 was an awful one for Washington, with too little leadership from the president and too much obstruction from Congress. I find liturgical litanies comforting, but 2014’s litany of Washington woes was demoralizing. The year was a roll call of crises, anger and sadness: Ferguson, “I can’t breathe,” Veterans Administration scandals, botched executions, failed launch of HealthCare.gov and 45 empty House votes to repeal Obamacare.

  • January 5-12, 2015

    Many in Rome believe that 2015 could prove to be a watershed year in the pontificate of the first Latin American pope.

    It is a year that will see Pope Francis visit eight countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas and perhaps one or more in Europe. It’s a year in which he will create some 12 new cardinal electors, make further reforms in the Roman Curia, issue an encyclical on ecology, conclude the Synod on the Family and...

  • January 5-12, 2015

    Ban the Bomb?

  • January 5-12, 2015

    There’s been a death in the family.

    Or at least I think so. To be honest, it’s a bit hard to tell. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it feels as if there’s been a death in the family, and if I’ve learned anything in the past decade, it’s to trust my gut on these things.

    Stephen Colbert taught me that.

  • December 22-29, 2014

    What an extraordinary year this has been for the Catholic Church under the leadership of Pope Francis, who continues to inspire and reach the hearts of people far beyond its boundaries!

    In this last Vatican Dispatch of the year, I will briefly review what the Argentine pope has done to change the church in 2014 and how he has reached out to the peripheries and opened new frontiers.

  • December 22-29, 2014

    The recent Synod on the Family had its surface controversies: the admission of the divorced and remarried to the sacraments and the pastoral care of homosexuals. It also had its background theoretical controversies. The Vatican’s Humanum conference in November probed one of them: the complementarity of the sexes. Another controversy concerns the value of natural-law ethics. An ancient mainstay of Catholic moral argument, natural law suddenly appears...

  • December 22-29, 2014

    In some sense the Christmas story is one of borders. The Gospel of Luke tells us that the Holy Family’s journey begins with a population divided, a census of “the whole world...each to his own town” (2:1-3). And, in the Gospel of Matthew, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, then flee to Egypt, then settle in Nazareth—crossing border after border so that the Son of God might one day break them down.