The Moral Case Against the TPP

The Moral Case Against the TPP

Pope Francis waxed radical on a number of big issues during his recent speech to the U.S. Congress, where he condemned the arms trade, war profiteering, and even the war on terror itself. But despite the Vatican’s previous critical statements about free trade...
Solar-Powered Friars

Solar-Powered Friars

If you visit the Franciscan Friars Conventual of Ellicott City, Maryland, you’ll notice a large solar array standing in one of their fields. The friars have dramatically reduced their electricity bill, but that’s not the primary reason they invested in renewable...
Converting the Fossil-Fuel Fundamentalists

Converting the Fossil-Fuel Fundamentalists

Kicking humanity’s addiction to oil, gas, and coal before those industries render the planet uninhabitable may take a miracle. So it’s a good thing that the climate movement found a patron saint. I’m talking about Pope Francis, of course. Before an upcoming encyclical...
Film: Love Free or Die

Film: Love Free or Die

A man whose two defining passions much of the world cannot reconcile: his love for God, and for his partner Mark. Love Free or Die is about church and state, love and marriage, faith and identity – and one man’s struggle to dispel the notion that...

Did the College of Cardinals Foresee the Dirty War Controversy?

In a New York Times piece titled Starting a Papacy, Amid Echoes of a ‘Dirty War’, William Romeiro and Simon Neumann write: And last November, after the future pope’s tenure as head of the bishops’ conference had ended, the church issued another...
Is It Time for an African Pope?

Is It Time for an African Pope?

The startling resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is the first since 1415, when Pope Gregory XII stepped down to help resolve a schism in the Catholic Church. At 85 years old, Pope Benedict cites his advanced age, failing health, and lack of strength as the reasons for...
Pennsylvania’s High-Profile Pedophile Scandals

Pennsylvania’s High-Profile Pedophile Scandals

In one of those strange coincidences that make life read like a cheap novel, Jerry Sandusky and Monsignor William Lynn were convicted at almost the same moment by two Pennsylvania juries of charges growing out of sex scandals involving the molestation of underage...
Abortion Politics

Abortion Politics

You have to hand it to the Catholic bishops. They not only define abortion, but also birth control, as murder. And they’re willing to pin the very future of their Church to this arcane belief. Sounds a bit like the Republican Party. Public reaction to this...
Food Stamp Foolishness

Food Stamp Foolishness

Maybe you thought the lowest possible point of Republican miserliness was reached when Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Agriculture proposed that ketchup be counted as a vegetable in the school lunch program. If so, you’ve not taken a peek at the GOP’s...
The Freedom to Die with Dignity

The Freedom to Die with Dignity

Now that death Is at your door; Hope you planned it Long before. You may have missed it amid all this fuss about Catholics and contraception. The Church’s pushback over routine birth control methods stemmed in large part from an important edict the U.S....
Nuclear Deterrence: a Bridge Not Yet Crossed

Nuclear Deterrence: a Bridge Not Yet Crossed

As part of its training for those who man the silos that launch nuclear-armed missiles, reports Jason Leopold at Truthout, until recently the U.S. Air Force forced them to sit through a PowerPoint presentation that used passages from the New Testament to convince them...
The Sixties Made Me Do It

The Sixties Made Me Do It

I try to avoid religious commentary, but — Good God! What is it about confession that the Catholic hierarchy can’t seem to grasp? The grotesque epidemic of priestly pedophilia that has roiled the church has been under assessment in a five-year, $2-million study...

Learning to Live with Pluralism

The resilience of religion in public life in the early 21st century has surprised many secular observers who once confidently assumed that the overall thrust of history was toward secularization. The world, they expected, would follow the trajectory of...