THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC REVIEW
A group blog by the editors, columnists and frequent contributors to America.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Oct 14 2014 - 5:40am
0 commentsJim McDermott
If the rumors are true, today at Vandenberg Air Force Base, near Lompoc, California, the U.S. Air Force will land its robotic space plane X-37B after 22 months in orbit. What—you didn’t know the Air Force had a “space plane”? That it was robotic (among other things it supposedly lands itself)? That it had been circling above us for the last 671 days?
Oct 13 2014 - 10:49am
0 commentsKevin ClarkeAmerica magazine and Saint Thomas More Chapel at Yale University, seeking to recognize the finest literary work of Roman Catholic intelligence and imagination, announce the creation of the George W. Hunt Prize, a $25,000 award that will consider works in a variety of genres, including journalism, fiction, poetry, drama, music, memoir, biography, history, art criticism and academic scholarship.
Oct 13 2014 - 9:55am
15 commentsJames Martin, SJToday the Synod of Bishops issued a document that represents a stunning change in the way that the Catholic church speaks about the LBGT community. The Synod said that gay people have "gifts and talents to offer the Christian community." This is something that even a few years ago would have been unthinkable, from even the most open-minded of prelates--that is, a statement of outright praise for the...
Oct 11 2014 - 8:15pm
1 commentFrancis X. Clooney, SJCambridge, MA. I was intrigued to read in today’s New York Times (October 11) an article by Mark Oppenheimer on “conditionalism,” a theological perspective on the non-eternity of hell proposed, in modern times, by Dr. Edward Fudge. Read it yourself here.
Oct 10 2014 - 5:26pm
0 commentsKevin ClarkeContinuing to set a standard on the working conditions and treatment of adjunct professors, Georgetown University has reached a tentative agreement with SEIU Local 500 on all of the terms of the university's first collective bargaining agreement covering part-time faculty members on the main campus. The agreement remains to be ratified by the SEIU local.
Senior Catholic leaders meeting at the Vatican are deep into passionate debates about how the church can respond to the realities of modern family life, yet at the same time they have repeatedly stressed that they are not going to alter long-standing doctrines, such as the teaching on divorce and remarriage.
Does that mean the hopes for real changes are DOA just a few days into the high-level summit?
Oct 9 2014 - 4:18pm
1 commentKevin ClarkeCNN has this list of likely winners for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced tomorrow, but says the "smart money" is on Pope Francis:
In a blunt assessment of the response of the Iraqi government to the suffering of Christians from the northern Nineveh province, a leading Chaldean Catholic bishop said, "Our people have been abandoned."
Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil blasted both the Iraqi government and local and regional Muslim leaders not only for their lack of material support to Christians following the vast dislocation of the community in flight from ISIS militants over recent months, but also for an...
The theology schools at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and the Jesuit-run Santa Clara University in California are among 10 Christian theology schools awarded grants to integrate studies in hard sciences into their theological curricula.
The grants, called “Science for Seminaries,” were announced Oct. 9 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and supported by funds from the John Templeton Foundation.
Oct 8 2014 - 11:01am
0 commentsBill PurcellMany iPhones lit up the night Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane was announced as the replacement for my former boss, Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. The appointment of Bishop Cupich as the new ordinary for the Archdiocese of Chicago has been presented by many in the media as a discontinuance of “George the Corrector.” It did not take long even for the infrequent follower of religious politics to weigh in about the differences between Cupich and George.
Oct 8 2014 - 9:34am
19 commentsJames Martin, SJAddressing the Catholic Finance Association in New York City: October 7, 2014.
Oct 8 2014 - 6:44am
0 commentsSean Salai, S.J.Anne Rice is a New Orleans-born author of gothic fiction and Christian literature. She is best known for her novel series The Vampire Chronicles which revolve around the central character of Lestat. Two of the books were adapted for Hollywood films, Interview with the Vampire:...
Oct 6 2014 - 12:55pm
3 commentsKevin ClarkeCardinal Péter Erdö of Hungary, as the relator for the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the Family, opened this historic discussion in Rome on Oct. 6 with a presentation that seemed intended to lower expectations on the eventual outcome of the synod in 2015 while holding out a few strands of hope to those who seek alteration in church disciplines—particularly regarding the treatment of...
“Synod Assemblies are not meant to discuss beautiful and clever ideas; or to see who is more intelligent,” Pope Francis told the 191 synod fathers from all continents gathered with him in St Peter’s Basilica as they concelebrated mass on Sunday morning, October 5, for the opening of this crucially important synod on the family.
Synod assemblies “are meant... to help God realize his dream, his loving plan for his people,” he said.
Sometime ago as I stood at the back of a parish church following Mass greeting members of the parish, a family approached and its youngest member, a boy of about 5, asked me, “Why do you call us brothers and sisters? You’re not my brother.”
I said to him, “There is a sense in which we are all brothers and sisters because we are all members of God’s family.” He looked at me then looked back at his mother who was standing behind him. When she shook her head affirmatively he turned back...
Speaking at a candlelight prayer vigil in St Peter’s Square on the eve of the opening of the synod of bishops on the family, Pope Francis made clear that he wants ‘the synod fathers’ to listen attentively to God and to the cry of the people, and to keep their sights fixed firmly on Jesus and do “whatever” he tells them.
He described the coming together of the 191 synod fathers with the Bishop of Rome as “an event of grace, in which episcopal collegiality is manifested in a journey of...
Oct 3 2014 - 3:22pm
0 commentsJim McDermottInterVarsity Christian Fellowship organizations in the massive, 23 campus, 450,000 student California State University system have been brought under new rules by which many of them may be “de-recognized” as official student groups. The change comes as a result of the C.S.U.’s 2011 decision to change its student club membership policies to an “all comers” policy.
“A broad freedom of expression” in “a climate of respect for every position, mutual charity and an authentic constructive sense” will be the hallmarks of the extraordinary synod of bishops on the family that opens on October 5.
Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary General of the synod, stated this at a press conference in the Vatican today when he presented the agenda and new methodology for that important event.
Poet James Merrill once described his fellow writer Elizabeth Bishop as “a genius masquerading as an ordinary woman.” I thought of that line after spending two days this past summer working on a profile for PBS-TV’s Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly on the Quaker folk singer Carrie Newcomer.
Newcomer has been described as a “prairie mystic” (she lives in Bloomington IN) and as “a minister of the wide-eyed gospel of hope.”
Oct 1 2014 - 3:00pm
0 commentsThe EditorsThank you to Michael Paul Gallagher, S.J., in Rome for sending this translation of the homily Pope Francis delivered during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Jesuit restoration. The Vespers service took place on Saturday September 27 at the Gesu Church in Rome. You can read more about it here.
Oct 1 2014 - 2:41pm
0 commentsGerard O'Connell“Nothing like this has happened in Hong Kong before. I’m just praying that it won’t become like Tiananmen, the situation is similar in many ways. We must pray this does not happen!” This is what Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun told me by phone from Hong Kong on the evening of October 1.
Catholics in the U.S. will mark the 2015 Year of Consecrated Life with special days to highlight prayer, service and community.
The observances were announced Oct. 1 at a media conference in Washington, D.C., led by Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh, N.C. Bishop Burbidge heads the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.
The U.S events are the national response to the Vatican-initiated yearlong celebration, set to begin the first weekend of Advent...
Oct 1 2014 - 7:25am
0 commentsSean Salai, S.J.Peter Thiel, a member of the Forbes 400 list with a net worth estimated at $2.2 billion in 2014, is a venture capitalist and entrepreneur. Co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, Mr. Thiel has been involved with some of the biggest companies in...
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