I'm generally optimistic, fiercely patriotic, and idealistically hopeful. But today, today there is a heaviness. There's a feeling that our country is at a worrisome crossroads.
Religious economy with its focus on the dynamics of competition gives insight into the larger Latin American trends confirmed by the new Pew survey.
Gasps were heard and tears were seen when Pastor Kevin Madigan informed parishioners this past Sunday at each Mass that their church was likely to close next August.
Unfortunately, the Catholic progressives of today, like the left-wing Catholic guerrillas in that 1974 rally take Francis' more radical encouragements at face value. They fail to realize that they are expendable in the Pope's larger plan.
Francis is now busy with something more magisterial, more doctrinal: a new encyclical. The last one, released in July 2013, was taken from one already much prepared by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. This time, it will be fully his own and deal with "human ecology."
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded. Stephen Colbert takes the Polar Plunge here, highlighting the dim lights who don't ...
What a different world it could have been if we were able to heed the Pope's call to action before tragedies like Newtown and stop isolating and discriminating against those who have all types of brain differences.
My imaginary friend Stella and I, having fled an Italy crushed by inequity, thought at the time that there was precious little to lose. But Italy is changing. For real. And Stella and I are changing along with her. For us it's a wonderful breath of fresh air to realize that there is still a country we can return to, and for which we can still have hope.
I have seen examples of people ending a marriage only to realize later that they hadn't been so bad off after all. In the Church, discernment, listening to our hearts, and deep prayer and meditation, are all called for before entering into or ending such a union.
Why invite 40 millennials and not the top 40 CEOs? What sort of insight can we offer that the world's foremost academics on social inclusion couldn't? How can a heterogeneous group with diverse religious beliefs help shape a debate hosted at the center of the Catholic world?
The Catholic Church at this moment in history is faced with a rising chorus of right-wing dissent. This movement poses a threat to Pope Francis's reforms, but the threat should not be overblown.
When you walk through the Vatican Museums, one of the things that you likely won't notice on the way to the Sistine Chapel is a wall made of windows and large doors tucked behind a gift shop that have the seal of Pope Benedict XVI above them.
Pope Francis is extremely personable, and I have the utmost respect for the Holy Father. But he hasn't changed anything. If nothing is changing in the Church, then something must have changed outside of the Church. People are finally willing to listen.
While the culture wars are usually attributed to the Christian right, the U.S. Catholic bishops are in many ways responsible for starting the culture wars that have polarized society and paralyzed our political process. Today, the Catholic bishops have a chance to back down from the culture wars they started. The question is: will they?
Listen to Elisabetta Piqué discuss her process and experience in writing Pope Francis's biography, Pope Francis: Life and Revolution: A Biography of Jorge Bergoglio.
The same Catholic conservatives who were so eager to snuggle under the covers with the worst elements of the right wing have learned a thing or two from U.S. politics -- basically, how to undercut and erode the authority of a duly-elected leader.