from The Great Debate:

Why Pope Francis, spiritual leader of a billion souls, cares about saving the material world

By Keith Douglass Warner
June 18, 2015

Pope Francis speaks with young people in a youth centre dedicated to Pope John Paul II during his visit to Sarajevo

Pope Francis speaks with young people in a youth center dedicated to Pope John Paul II during his visit to Sarajevo, June 6, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

from John Lloyd:

Pope Francis and his season of struggle

By John Lloyd
October 23, 2014

Pope Francis celebrates a mass in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

This month, Pope Francis had to come clean.

Time’s Man of the Year for 2013, the object of seemingly universal affection, is a liberal: and that means a season – perhaps a papacy – of struggle. His honeymoon as the Amiable Argentinian is over.

from The Great Debate:

The uncanonized saints

By Nathan Schneider
April 25, 2014

The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn, nearing the end of a long restoration, has a new mural over its main doors. Surrounding the Holy Spirit, in the form of an incandescent dove, is a gathering of women and men flanked by angels. Most have soft yellow halos, but three figures, including the pair closest to the dove, do not.

from The Great Debate:

Pope Francis: Beyond the compelling gestures

By Martin E. Marty
December 24, 2013

The most talked about person in the world -- no surprise there! -- is Pope Francis. Polls and Internet traffic confirm: No celebrity even comes close to him in fame or favor.

from John Lloyd:

In Britain, a summer of quiet revolution

By John Lloyd
July 16, 2013

The British Isles are sentries in a turning world. The monarchy, pageantry, the mediaeval House of Lords, titles, accents, the established Church of England with the Queen at its head -- they all give the adroit illusion of continuity and the primacy of tradition over change.

from Tales from the Trail:

Rick Santorum: birth control ruling has nothing to do with women’s rights

February 10, 2012

Forcing religious organizations to provide contraceptives has nothing to do with women's rights, Republican presidential contender and vocal Catholic Rick Santorum said on Thursday.

Optimistic? Attending services may be reason

November 10, 2011

Regular attendance at religious services is associated with a more optimistic outlook and a lesser inclination to be depressed, compared to those who do not attend services at all, according to a recently published study.

Many U.S. Catholics have independent streak – survey

October 28, 2011

A majority of American Roman Catholics feel strongly about the sacraments and traditional church values such as caring for the poor, but they may not agree with the church teachings on topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage and maintaining a celibate, male clergy, a survey has found.

Offending priest handled “by the book” by Episcopal Church leader

July 7, 2011

The Episcopal Church’s diocese of Nevada sought to calm an uproar over a former Benedictine monk who admitted sexual indiscretions with a parishioner before he was ordained an Episcopal priest by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is now leader of the 2.3 million member U.S. church.

Pity the pandering U.S. candidate

June 9, 2011

Politicians pandering for votes on conservative family values issues may want to think again.