- John L. Allen Jr.
- September 7, 2017
Given that President Donald Trump repeatedly has vowed to make defending religious freedom a key element of U.S. foreign policy, release of the first State Department International Religious Freedom Report on his watch was keenly anticipated. Overall, observers say there’s good stuff in it, but it still leaves the basic question unanswered: Having named the problem, what are we going to do about it?READ MORE
In the wake of Saturday’s carnage in Charlottesville, Virginia, it’s clearer than ever that American society desperately needs help on race. The Catholic Church has unique resources to deploy, but it can’t afford to allow its own African-American community and leadership to remain “invisible”, as one African-American bishop recently described it.READ MORE
Though comparisons with North Korea’s threat to fire ballistic missiles near Guam and the Cuban Missile Crisis may be premature, the anxiety level is undeniable. The situation evokes memories of a pope in many ways cut from the same cloth as Francis, St. John XXIII, who helped prevent a nuclear war with a timely and passionate appeal for peace.READ MORE
At the beginning, expectations were that “Vatican reform” under Pope Francis would mean a substantially diminished role for the Secretariat of State, traditionally the place’s 800-pound gorilla. Of late, however, things have been trending in the other direction, and in Cardinal Pietro Parolin, we may be looking at the most powerful Cardinal Secretary of State since Eugenio Pacelli in the 1930s.READ MORE
Italian Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan, for much of his tenure, was considered a slam-dunk obvious candidate to be pope. In the end, he had no real traction, which illustrates a key insight about papal conclaves: Like most other electoral exercises, sometimes front-runners win, and other times they vanish before your very eyes.READ MORE
The August 3 death of Bishop Giovanni Benedetti, who led the Diocese of Foligno in Italy from 1976 to 1992, probably won’t attract much comment anywhere outside his native region of Umbria. That’s too bad, because his life illustrates several truths about Catholic bishops that often go unacknowledged or under-appreciated.READ MORE