German Catholic bishops sack head of independent sex abuse study

January 9, 2013

(Stephan Ackermann, Bishop of Trier attends a news conference on the launching of a telephone hotline for victims of sexual abuse, in south western German city of Trier March 30, 2010. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele.)

Guestview: Yes to interfaith harmony, no to religious police in Egypt

By Guest Contributor
January 8, 2013

(Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheikh Ali Gomaa at the opening ceremony of the 15th General Conference of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman September 27, 2010. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

from The Great Debate:

Demography as destiny: The vital American family

By Joel Kotkin
December 31, 2012

Recent reports of America’s sagging birthrate ‑ the lowest since the 1920s, by some measures ‑ have sparked a much-needed debate about the future of the American family. Unfortunately, this discussion, like so much else in our society, is devolving into yet another political squabble between conservatives and progressives.

God’s gender divides German government in pre-Christmas row

December 23, 2012

(God creates the Sun and Moon, Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo)

A minister in Angela Merkel’s government has sparked a pre-Christmas row among Germany’s ruling parties by suggesting God be referred to with the neutral article “das” instead of the masculine “der”.

from Photographers' Blog:

Christmas in Afghanistan

December 21, 2012

Baghlan, Afghanistan

By Fabrizio Bensch

There are thousands of miles that separate the German soldiers in Afghanistan from home.  For up to one year, they may be stationed in Afghanistan, but for most of them no more than four to five months.

Guestview: America – a nation in spiritual crisis

By Guest Contributor
December 18, 2012

(A hearse carrying the casket of of six-year-old Jack Pinto passes a makeshift memorial on its way to Newtown Village Cemetery in Newtown, Connecticut December 17, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

from Edward Hadas:

A tale of two half-centuries

By Edward Hadas
December 12, 2012

The future rarely turns out as expected. Imagine, for example, two sets of economic predictions for the half-century that began in 1962. The first, the Blind Guide, is written with only the knowledge available then. The second, the Retrospective Guide, is based on what actually happened.

German Catholic Church says most sex abuser priests psychologically normal

December 10, 2012

(Munich’s Catholic cathedral Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), 30 September 2012/Dguendel)

from Photographers' Blog:

Any color, as long as it’s blue

December 7, 2012

Wiesbaden, Germany

By Ralph Orlowski

It was a cold and blustery winter morning when I arrived at the warm and cozy gallery rooms of the Hesse Nassau Art Club in Wiesbaden to take pictures of the exhibition "Bourquoi". This was to be my third attempt to take photographs of viewers at the show. So far I had not been successful at finding any willing visitors. I wondered whether this could be because of the compulsory dress code. The title of the exhibition "Bourquoi" by Turkish-German artist Naneci Yurdaguel is a play on the two words ‘pourqui' -- the French word for 'why' – and “Burka”.

German churches and trade union both claim victory in strike case

November 21, 2012

(A sign reading ‘Arbeitsgerichte’ (Labour courts) is pictured in the late evening in Hamburg September 1, 2012. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen)