‘We want a church that is . . . listening to and dialoguing with the contemporary world.’
By John L. Allen Jr.
ROME — For the first time in a semi-official Vatican document, a summit of Catholic bishops from around the world convened by Pope Francis acknowledged Monday that relationships that don’t accord with Catholic teaching, including same-sex unions, can have positive moral value.
While the midterm report from a synod of bishops doesn’t signal any shift in Catholic teaching, it does suggest a mammoth change in tone in terms of how Catholicism relates to whole categories of people often estranged from the church, including gays and lesbians, couples living together outside marriage, and people who have divorced and remarried. Continue reading Catholic bishops soften tone on same-sex unions→
Over a dozen California communities now face running out of water within 60 days if urgent steps are not taken, and that list will only grow as the record drought of 2014 continues, according to the State Water Board.
This past weekend, I was part of a panel discussion on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry with New York Times reporter Michael Corkery, whose reporting on the rise in sub-prime auto loans is as horrifying as it is important.
In what seems a reprisal of the predatory practices that led up to the sub-prime mortgage crisis, low-income individuals are being sold auto loans at twice the actual value of the car, with interest rates as high as 29 percent. They can end up with monthly payments of $500—more than most of the borrowers spend on food in a month, and certainly more than most can realistically afford. Many dealers appear in essence to be setting up low-income borrowers to fail. Continue reading How We Punish People for Being Poor→
What happens when the drugs used to treat humans and animals are disposed? Scientific studies published Monday in a special issue of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B reveal that pharmaceuticals, when flushed into land and water ecosystems, could pose risks to wildlife, from altering species’ behavior to changing fertility rates to death.
When a guesthouse belonging to one of Nigeria’s leading Christian pastors collapsed last month, killing 115 mostly South African pilgrims, attention focused on the multimillion-dollar “mega churches” that form a huge, untaxed sector of Africa’s top economy.
Hundreds of millions of dollars change hands each year in these popular Pentecostal houses of worship, which are modeled on their counterparts in the United States.
Matt Carr “It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Mediterranean has become an instrument in a policy of deterrence, in which migrant deaths are tacitly accepted as a form of ‘collateral damage’ in a militarized response to 21st century migration whose overriding objective is to stop people coming”
MATLOCK, United Kingdom, Oct 10 2014 (IPS) – Since the end of the Cold War, the Mediterranean has become the most lethal of Europe’s barriers against irregular migration, having claimed nearly 20,000 migrant lives in the last two decades.
And the first nine months of 2014 indicate that the phenomenon is on the rise, with more migrant deaths than in any previous year.
Last month, a report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that 3,072 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean this year out of a worldwide total of 4,077 deaths worldwide. These figures are almost certainly underestimates, because many migrant deaths in the Mediterranean are not reported. Continue reading ANALYSIS: Europe’s Migrant Graveyard→