The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

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  • December 19-26, 2016

    New Yorkers can be forgiven if they believed homelessness was a problem consigned to the past. Tent cities that in the 1970s and ’80s crowded city parks are gone—mostly—and television exposés no longer shock the public with depictions of subhuman conditions at the city’s infamous homeless hotels.

    But while the problem of New York homelessness may be less obvious on the streets—depending on the neighborhood a visitor...

  • December 19-26, 2016

    Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. , who served from 1983 to 2008 as the 29th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, died in Beirut, Lebanon, on Nov. 26, just four days shy of his 88th birthday. • In a report released on Nov. 30, Caritas Europa charged that austerity policies have left 120 million people in Europe “ living in or at risk of poverty ...a clear indication that current social protection systems are not keeping their promise.” • Colombia’s Congress ratified...

  • December 19-26, 2016

    The Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan said he was horrified to see widespread devastation and what he called “ghost towns” during a recent visit to northern Iraq. He said by email that there was little left in some of the communities that he toured on Nov. 27-29 and that “the emptiness of the streets except for military people...the devastation and burned-out houses and churches” was shocking. About 100,000 Christians—among them more than 60...

  • December 19-26, 2016

    Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of the Rev. Stanley Rother of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, making him the first martyr born in the United States and clearing the way for his beatification. The Vatican made the announcement on Dec. 2. Father Rother, born March 27, 1935, on his family’s farm near Okarche, Okla., was gunned down on July 28, 1981, in a Guatemalan village where he ministered to the poor. He had gone to Santiago Atitlan in 1968 on...

  • December 19-26, 2016

    Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami was one of the first Catholic Church officials to respond on Nov. 26 after the death of Fidel Castro. “The death of this figure should lead us to invoke the patroness of Cuba, the Virgin of Charity, calling for peace for Cuba and its people,” he said in a statement. Later that day at Ermita de la Caridad, a Miami shrine that honors Cuba’s patron, Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, he said, “The Cuban people are a noble...

  • December 19-26, 2016

    In a world of conflict, deeply in need of the mercy frequently implored by Pope Francis, Jesuits can be agents of reconciliation and dialogue, the Society’s new superior general said in an exclusive interview with America .

    Arturo Sosa, S.J., elected on Oct. 14 superior general for the Society of Jesus, told America ’s editor in chief, Matt Malone, S.J., that he believes the far-flung Jesuits can be models of...

  • December 19-26, 2016

    Presidents of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities pledged themselves to “protect to the fullest extent of the law undocumented students on our campuses” and to “promote retention of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program” in a statement released on Nov. 30. The presidents said they also would “support and stand with our students, faculty and staff regardless of their faith traditions.”

    The Jesuit...

  • December 5-12, 2016

    As intersectinginternational interests collide, what is unfolding in Syria is a veritable "workshop of cruelty," Pope Francis told governing members of Caritas Internationalis on Nov. 17. • An outspoken priest in Veracruz, Mexico, who had been reported missing on Nov. 11, the Rev. José Luis Sánchez Ruiz was found aliveby Mexican police two days later, but with injuries consistent with torture. • The Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled on Nov. 17 in favor of the family of Archbishop...

  • December 5-12, 2016

    Yangon Cardinal Charles Bo said it was time to "reverse the trend" of a 60-year decline in Myanmar, designated the "least-developed country" by the World Bank. At the opening of a national conference on Nov. 15 aimed at creating a more equitable distribution of wealth in the impoverished country, Cardinal Bo demanded justice from "the three Cs: cronies, companies and countries nearby. Myanmar resource wealth belongs to Myanmar people," said Cardinal Bo. "It does not...

  • December 5-12, 2016

    Of course, given that just days before the bishops met, the United States wrapped up a bizarre election season, one that resulted in the win of an unorthodox candidate, there were some sparks in Baltimore about what to expect under President-elect Donald J. Trump. Some bishops expressed optimism—albeit with a healthy dose of caution.

    Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the U.S. hierarchy’s point man on religious liberty, said he is...