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    The Catholic Church’s stand on marriage, divorce, and contraceptives can seem out of step with the modern world—even to Catholics. Those who want to see reforms, such as making the process for obtaining an annulment easier, have been encouraged by recent statements of Pope Francis. But unhappy Catholics are still leaving the Church, and bishops will have to decide at a meeting in Rome next month on the family in the Church and in the contemporary world what to try to do about it. More

    September 25, 2015 | Comments

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    The Roman Catholic Church’s understanding of the permanent nature of marriage “is really meant to be a countercultural position,” says Professor Susan Ross of Loyola University Chicago’s theology department. “The Church’s challenge is to find a way to hold marriage as this sacred bond, while recognizing the very human situation in which it falls apart.” More

    September 25, 2015 | Comments

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    “The American post-Enlightenment contractual idea of marriage—that is, marriage is what we decide it is—is an incredibly powerful idea that haunts the minds of American Catholics…The under-65 crowd is much more into contractual understandings of marriage than covenantal understandings of marriage.” Watch more of our interview with Father James Halstead, who teaches a course on […]

    September 25, 2015 | Comments

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    Excitement builds for American Catholics ahead of the pope’s arrival Tuesday for five busy days in Washington, New York and Philadelphia; and a coalition of demonstrators organized by the NAACP march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC to call for an end to discrimination and economic inequality. More

    September 18, 2015 | Comments

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    Pope Francis arrives in the US on Tuesday, September 22nd, for five busy days in Washington, New York, and Philadelphia. Managing editor Kim Lawton asks American Catholics about the beliefs that shape the Pope’s view of the world, and Stephen Schneck and Tom Roberts joins host Bob Abernethy in the studio for a conversation about their expectations for the pope’s trip. More

    September 18, 2015 | Comments

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    “We are trying to convey to the folks that the right to vote is a civic sacrament, and the voting booth is in fact the altar of our democracy. And for us to allow voter disenfranchisement and suppression to go on is a desecration of both,” says NAACP president Cornell Brooks, who led the America’s Journey for Justice march to Washington, D.C. More

    September 18, 2015 | Comments

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    The case of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis and same-sex marriage has raised questions about the limits of religious freedom; residents in San Juan County, Utah are fighting a proposal to create a national monument that protects Native American land; and Jews in the Reform movement begin using a new prayer book for the High Holy Days More

    September 11, 2015 | Comments

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    “There are extraordinary circumstances under which people may be able to break the law and claim higher authority, but being an elected official is not one of them,” says Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. But Roger Severino of the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society disagrees. “The law actually requires religious accommodation where it’s reasonable. It’s part of our traditions, it’s part of our history, and it’s part of our law,” he says. More

    September 11, 2015 | Comments

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    Twenty-five Indian tribes want the federal government to protect nearly two million acres of land sacred to Native Americans. But the proposal has created tension with local residents who want access to the land for recreation and development. More

    September 11, 2015 | Comments

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    “We really wanted to create a prayer book that is inclusive of the full range of who is in our community today,” says Rabbi Hara Person, executive editor of the Reform movement’s new holiday prayer book. More

    September 11, 2015 | Comments