US Opinion and Commentary

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Pope Francis: Divorced, but Not From the Church

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 12:06 pm (UTC-4)
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If people thought the pope might give clear direction for divorced and civilly remarried Roman Catholics seeking communion, they will be disappointed….But what’s really striking about “Amoris Laetitia” is the pope’s recurring focus on the shortcomings of the church in speaking to millions upon millions of Catholics who are not in church itself.

What Xi Jinping and Pope Francis Have in Common

Posted September 25th, 2015 at 3:20 pm (UTC-4)
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On the surface, the two world leaders making high-profile visits to the U.S. this week have little in common, except that each stands at the head of more than 1 billion followers … Each man is in the midst of a historic struggle to defeat an entrenched bureaucracy that has constrained his predecessors.

Pope Francis Goes to Washington

Posted September 24th, 2015 at 4:25 pm (UTC-4)
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Pope Francis must have been invited to address Congress for a reason. He waded into the fractious issues that divide his audience in the House chamber and across America. On immigration, the son of an immigrant challenged a nation of immigrants to remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The “common good” that business creates must also include the earth, a nod to climate change without ever uttering the phrase. Gay marriage? Francis acknowledged the questions raised about “fundamental relationships,” but stressed the “richness and beauty of family life” without any further definition. Did the lawmakers get the message they were looking for?

Being Catholic

Posted September 24th, 2015 at 3:36 pm (UTC-4)
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By Catherine Maddux
“If the guiding principle of Catholic faith is ultimately about the love of Christ, then Pope Francis has created the space for fallen Catholics to revisit a religion that is a struggle to connect with.”

The “Francis” Effect

Posted September 23rd, 2015 at 1:29 pm (UTC-4)
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After formally greeting Pope Francis at the White House today, President Barack Obama articulated exactly what is it about this pope that makes him so different: “Your Holiness, in your words and deeds, you set a profound moral example … you are shaking us out of complacency.” The excitement over the pope’s visit to the United States is not only generated by Catholics, but by many who are inspired by his kinder, gentler leadership style. It is clear that Francis has become far more than the head of the Catholic Church. He has joined the ranks of global leaders.

Cracks in Catholic Doctrine Debated as U.S. Faithful Await Historic Visit of Pope Francis

Posted September 22nd, 2015 at 4:54 pm (UTC-4)
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The American president who made “Hope” a campaign slogan greeted the man who embodies hope for millions of those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, symbolizing cleansing, renewal, love — and hope. In the two years since his election, Pope Francis’ tolerant tone has created the space for debate over rigid church doctrine. And for American Catholics, that space is enough for many to hold out hope for change.

What Cubans Can Gain From Francis’s Visit

Posted September 18th, 2015 at 4:37 pm (UTC-4)
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Over the last few decades, the Catholic Church has become one of the most respected institutions in Cuba. Emerging from the shadows of state repression, it now provides meals and care for the poor, education, training for entrepreneurs, and libraries with access to foreign books and magazines.

Pope Francis, The Benevolent Politician, Visits the United States

Posted September 15th, 2015 at 9:52 am (UTC-4)
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Next week, Pope Francis will visit America, where he will meet with President Barack Obama, address a joint meeting of Congress – the first Pope to do so – and give a speech at the United Nations. Since his election in 2013, it was clear Francis is a different kind of Pope, with compassionate takes on controversial issues such as homosexuality and abortion while urging nations to grapple with climate change and income inequality. Somehow, his warm smile and easy manner has disarmed the world, making many forget that the Holy Father is, above all else, an astute politician for the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis Recycles

Posted June 22nd, 2015 at 10:38 am (UTC-4)
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Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ is, in parts, passionately and beautifully written. And it really is about recycling — of old, tired, and discredited ideas.

Does Catholicism Need a Theology of Politics?

Posted June 18th, 2015 at 5:23 pm (UTC-4)
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It is frustrating to conservative Catholics under a liberal pope for the hierarchy to take sides in domestic partisan politics.

What Pope Francis Should Do to Really Help the Poor

Posted June 16th, 2015 at 1:42 pm (UTC-4)
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Pope Francis’s concern for the poor is clear, so it is understandable that climate change is the topic of his forthcoming Encyclical — a Papal letter that is sent out to the world. Climate change will hit the most destitute people first and worst.