The National Catholic Review

Signs Of the Times

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  • 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

    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...

  • December 5-12, 2016

    In an apostolic letter released at the close of the Holy Year of Mercy on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 20, Pope Francis called on the Catholic Church worldwide “to promote a culture of mercy in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sisters.” In this 19-page text, called...

  • December 5-12, 2016

    The church is not a prop for one’s ego, a soapbox for ideas or a suit of armor protecting a sad life, Pope Francis said in an interview published in the Nov. 18 edition of Avvenire, an Italian Catholic newspaper. “The church exists only as an instrument for communicating God’s merciful plan to the people.” While most of the lengthy interview’s questions touched on ecumenism and the meaning of the Year of Mercy, the pope’s responses revealed his vision of the church...

  • 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

    “The problem that we have today, not only in society but also in the church, is that we’ve become too polarized,” Cardinal Kevin Farrell, an Irish-born prelate who was bishop of Dallas before taking over a Vatican department on family life earlier this year, told America . “We’ve believed that we’ve become gods on both sides, on the left and on the right, and neither one of them are correct.”

    The days-long celebration in Rome was...

  • December 5-12, 2016

    The final heart-thumping, made-for-Hollywood-ending to the World Series that handed the fabled Chicago Cubs their first series win in 108 years boosted the spirits of a city thirsting for good news. Just a few days before the “loveable losers” became the nation’s best-loved winners, the city experienced yet another sad marker: 17 people were lost to gun violence in a single weekend.

    If you love this city as I do, it...

  • November 28, 2016

    Euthanasia is occurring in Quebec at three times the rate the government predicted, but obtaining accurate statistics on medically assisted deaths across Canada is almost impossible and could lead to abuse, according to opponents of the practice. Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said that even in Quebec, where the requirements for reporting and oversight are the most rigorous, euthanasia deaths are likely being...

  • November 28, 2016

    In this year’s election, voters went against nearly all of the ballot initiatives backed by Catholic leaders and advocates, except referendums on minimum wage increases and gun control measures in four states. They voted in favor of legalized recreational marijuana in four states and against it in one. In Colorado, voters passed a measure to legalize assisted suicide, making the state the sixth in the nation with a so-called right-to-die law, joining Washington,...

  • November 28, 2016

    The day before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Pope Francis said he would make no judgments about the candidate and was interested only in the impact his policies would have on the poor. Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder and former editor of La Repubblica, said he discussed the president-elect with Pope Francis on Nov. 7. “I don't give judgments about persons and politicians; I only want to understand what sufferings their way of proceeding will...