NPR asks Vatican experts to discuss hopes of the Orthodox

Try to imagine a story about crucial, tense talks between Democrats and Republicans that only offered material drawn from interviews with Republicans, even when talking about the beliefs and aspirations of the Democrats. Try to imagine a report about, oh, talks between liberal Episcopalians and conservative Anglicans that only featured commentary from one side or [Read More...]

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WPost probes hot debate on the banks of River Jordan

I have crossed the Jordan River twice in my life and both times the experience was quite memorable. The river itself isn’t much to look at, but the social dynamics surrounding the location are fascinating. The first trip was a singer in a choral music tour, done with the cooperation of the U.S. government, to [Read More...]

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How to ‘make sense’ of a Muslim ‘atrocity’?

MICHAEL’S QUESTION: As a “religious pluralist,” Michael needs to “somehow make sense of the seemingly (in many other instances) peace-loving and merciful Muhammad simultaneously being involved in what in all honesty appears quite atrocious.” He refers to Muslims killing 400 to 1,000 Arabian Jews after winning the pivotal Battle of the Trench in 627 (C.E.). [Read More...]

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Reuters: On apostasy and the death penalty in Islam

A 27-year-old woman, Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, has been sentenced to death for the crime of apostasy by a Khartoum court. That fact, plus her marital and family status (pregnant mother with a 20-month-old child and a Christian husband) are about the only things about which the newspaper accounts agree. Reuters’s account conflicts with those offered [Read More...]

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Assad’s Easter and mysterious attacks on Syrian Christians

Why are Syrian Christians being targeted by Islamist rebels? The Western press cannot agree on a reason, a review of recent reports from Syria reveals. Can we credit the explanation given by the Wall Street Journal — that the rebels do not trust Christians — as a sufficient explanation? And if so, what does that mean? [Read More...]

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For the Times, Ayaan Hirsi Ali controversy has only one side

Brandeis University offered an honorary degree to a controversial speaker, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, then withdrew it under pressure from Muslim students. Controversies always have at least two sides, right? Not when the New York Times reports it. In its story on the dispute, the Times cites three sources who opposed Hirsi Ali’s appearance. How many [Read More...]

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Good news: Generic nuns released in Syria!

For three months now, members of my parish just south of Baltimore have been praying for the release of some of our sisters in the faith in Syria, along with two kidnapped bishops. Thus, I was thankful when the news spread recently that they had been released. I was also glad to see that their [Read More...]

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Concerning that gathering called by the Ecumenical Patriarch

“Journalism is the first rough draft of history,” according to a famous quote by publisher Philip Graham of the Washington Post. If so, shouldn’t journalists have a sense of history? Especially when the history stretches over centuries? Like when Reuters reports on a recent conference of Orthodox patriarchs. It starts out OK, then degrades quickly: [Read More...]

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