‘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.