Pope, patriarch, primacy and the press

The Holy Land pilgrimage by Pope Francis contained plenty of symbolic gestures, photo ops and sound bites crafted to slip into broadcasts, ink and Twitter. There was his direct flight into the West Bank, the first papal "State of Palestine" reference and the silent prayer with his forehead against the concrete security wall between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, near graffiti pleading, "Pope, we need some 1 to speak about justice." He also prayed at a memorial for suicide-bombing victims and put a … [Read more...]

The evil the church already knows in Syria

For days, Christians with ties to Syria waited for news about the fighting in Maaloula, a village near Damascus that is famous for being one of three still in existence in which locals speak ancient Aramaic, the language of Jesus -- International reports were sketchy and American media reports were all but nonexistent. Then the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group critical of President Bashar al-Assad and his government, reported that the village had fallen on Sept. 7th … [Read more...]

What, me worry? Whatever II

EDITOR'S NOTE: Second of two columns on teens and ethics. When pollsters ask Americans the Eternal Question they almost always say, "I believe in God." Ask young Americans about faith and the response is something like, "I believe in God and stuff." Finding the doctrinal meaning of "and stuff" is tricky. "God made us and if you ask him for something I believe he gives it to you. Yeah, he hasn't let me down yet," said a 14-year-old Catholic from Pennsylvania, when researchers Christian Smith … [Read more...]


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