Features

Are the bishops up to the pope’s challenge to build a synodal Church? Comments 0

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

There has been attention on Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation that elaborates on discussions regarding marriage and the family, which took places in 2014 and 2015 within the Synod of Bishops. But something has largely been neglected. It is the reception of the pope’s focus on synodality and its importance for the Church Read more

What exactly is Easter? Comments 0

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

As a general principle, an honest man will want know what something is, or is said to be, before he decides whether he thinks it is true or that he must do anything about it. Take one’s relation to a doctor. Insofar as we deal with a doctor qua doctor, we want him to tell Read more

Sitting under a cactus bush Comments 0

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Brownsville, South Texas, USA on the border with Mexico is within the fifth country that I have worked in as a Marist priest and is my fourth foreign country. One walks with the people wherever one is but especially when it is with the poor. But out of respect for the country that permits you Read more

Vatican tells UN: poverty is not caused by the population bomb Comments 0

Monday, April 10th, 2017

ROME – Talk of an “impending population bomb,” the Vatican’s representative to the United Nations said on Wednesday, has led to sometimes “draconian” policies, which ignore the complex nature of population growth. Filipino Archbishop Bernardito Auza, speaking to the UN’s Commission on Population and Development, said “differing regional and even country specific situations” need to Read more

Where Evangelicals came from Comments 0

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Every few years, it seems, conservative religious groups, quiescent or unnoticed, come blazing back onto the national scene, and the secular press reacts like the bad guy in the 1971 western Big Jake who says to John Wayne, “I thought you were dead.” Wayne drily answers, “Not hardly.” Now, in The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Read more

The love that made St Teresa of Kolkata Comments 0

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

It is always tempting to see the saints, not as individuals with the very human struggles that afflict us all, but surrounded with an aura of sanctity, symbolised by a halo. This does the saints a disservice as it dehumanises them; it does us a disservice as they seem too far removed from our own lives Read more

Fighting the porn myth with science Comments 0

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

In 2013, Beyonce Knowles topped GQ’s list of “The 100 Hottest Women of the 21st Century.” That same year, the “definitive men’s magazine” that promises “sexy women” along with style advice, entertainment news and more ran a shorter listicle: “10 Reasons Why You Should Quit Watching Porn.” The list included reasons such as increased sexual Read more

Child marriage: a 15 year old widowed mother Comments 0

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

In the next 60 seconds, 28 girls will be married. Another 28 will be married in the minute after that. And then 28 more. And so on. Every year, 15 million children become wives. Young women who are actually still girls — but who already have a husband, and sometimes even a child: It is Read more

The Joy Project: Maria Parsons Comments 0

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Maria Parsons, 58, is a retired chef. She lives on the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, with her dog, Carlos, and cat, Socks. Joy is a wonderful word. I prefer it to “happy”. Joy is really deep, whereas I think happiness is more fleeting. I think babies are born joyful, but the circumstances of upbringing and society Read more

An Ignatian retreat can change your brain Comments 0

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Researchers in America found that Ignatian spiritual exercises affected the brain’s ‘feel-good’ systems Ignatian retreats appear to cause “significant changes” in the brain, scientists in America have discovered. Researchers at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University studied the brain responses of pilgrims on an Ignatian retreat and published their results in Read more