• What’s at stake when Pope Francis visits the Holy Land

    • May 17, 2014

    Pope Francis leaves next Saturday for a brief but intense three-day outing to Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, and Israel, a region Christians traditionally call the “Holy Land.” He’ll become the fourth pope to make the trip, which is always a religious and political high-wire act. Four challenges await him, beginning

  • Meeting will highlight Christianity in Turkey

    • May 10, 2014

    When Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople meet this month in Jerusalem, the buzz probably will be about two milestones from the past: 1054, when Eastern and Western Christianity split, and 1964, when Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras embraced in the Holy Land to begin healing the division.

  • What the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II tell us

    • Apr 19, 2014

    Every spring in Rome, the big production is normally the Easter Mass celebrated by the pope. This year Easter remains the spiritual linchpin, but in popular terms it’s more like a warm-up act for next Sunday’s double-play canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. This will be the

  • Global war on Christianity is violent and real

    • Apr 12, 2014

    Dutch Jesuit priest Frans van der Lugt, killed in Syria last week just shy of his 76th birthday, personified the best of the missionary spirit in Catholicism. He spent 50 years in his adopted country, humbly serving poor and disabled persons regardless of their race or religion. Whenever a Syrian

  • Immigration reform becomes a Catholic ‘pro-life’ cause

    • Apr 5, 2014

    In Catholic parlance, certain terms carry weight far beyond their face value meaning. Calling something a “pro-life” issue, for instance, means not only that it involves the church’s teaching on the sacredness of human life, but that it merits an investment of blood, sweat, and tears tantamount to the church’s

  • Meet the Philippine Pope Francis

    • Mar 15, 2014

    Pope Francis marked the one-year anniversary of his election last week, triggering another round of effort to pin down the exact nature of his “Roman Spring.” There may be no single answer, but one way to approach it is by examining the kind of church leader who seems emboldened by