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Cardinal Marx holds ‘constructive dialogue’ with Pope Francis on synodal plans...

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Episcopal Conference, has held talks with Pope Francis and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, about the German bishops’ plans for a “binding synodal path.” The meetings, held in Rome Sept. 19, followed a public exchange between the German hierarchy and the Vatican over the draft statutes for a “Synodal Assembly” to be formed by the bishops in partnership with the Central Committee of German Catholics...

The secret to dying well, according to St. Robert Bellarmine...

As much as we may try to avoid or “cheat” death, prolonging our lives as much as possible, death will come knocking at our door soon enough. It is inescapable in this world and so the question is not if we will die, but how we will die. Death is something that can come to us unexpectedly, but that does not mean that we can’t prepare for it...

Stay and fight for the Church and life...

Our culture can be harsh in all kinds of cruel ways. There’s something here in the trails of this holy site that reminds us that no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in, we can be who we say we are. Father Jogues had been subjected to torture. He escaped but came back for the people he loved whom he had baptized. He wanted to serve and be a priest for the people who wanted Jesus in their lives...

New report on Amazon mafias draws on church-collected data on rural violence...

Signaling a topic likely to surface during next month’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon convened by Pope Francis, a human rights group has released a new report asserting that criminal gangs often are behind the destruction of the rainforest, menacing and even killing police, government officials and activists who try to stop them...

Number of abortions in U.S. falls to lowest level since 1973...

The number and rate of abortions across the United States have plunged to their lowest levels since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973, according to new figures released Wednesday. The report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, counted 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017. That’s down from 926...

Drinking (and not drinking) in Dublin...

Dublin is known for its drink. As author of The Beer Option, I had to explore this tradition, even if it was driven by Protestants at a time Catholics suffered under the penal laws. In the book, I drew from Mansfield’s The Search for God and Guinness, and it seemed wise to stop by Ireland’s number one tourist destination, the Guinness Storehouse...

John Clark’s ‘Professors on Break’ series is off to a great start.....

In this episode, Clark meets up with theology professor Dr. Matthew Tsakanikas in an Audi R8 Spider. In this episode, Clark meets up with philosophy professor Dr. John Cuddeback in his 1990-something Chevy Suburban.

Scrupulosity is an obstacle to truth...

These words were spoken in “A Few Good Men,” a 1992 taut legal thriller about the prosecution of two Marines who accidentally killed another Marine during a terrifying “disciplinary” exercise. Their defense attorney, played by Tom Cruise, sought to understand what exactly took place during the incident, and why it took place...

Vatican to try two priests for alleged abuse of altar boys in St. Peter’s Basilica...

Vatican magistrates have decided that one priest accused of sexually abusing underage altar boys who served in St. Peter’s Basilica, and another accused of facilitating that abuse, will be put on trial, according to a statement released Tuesday. The statement said that the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice has recommended that Father Gabriele Martinelli stand trial over charges of sexual abuse...

The Church is a bride, not a widow...

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen once wrote, “The Church knows after 1900 years’ experience that any institution which suits the spirit of any age will be a widow in the next one” (War and Guilt, OSV Press, 1941, pp. 138-139). This is a clear admonition to the many who demand that the Church update her teachings, particularly her moral doctrines...