“Sometimes the pain that’s resident in the community—it can be overwhelming,” says Rev. David Watkins III, pastor of Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood. “However, part of the hope of the gospel is that even in the midst of despair, you always have a way out…This community should be better off because as a church we are in it.” More
In The Relevance of Religion: How Faithful People Can Change Politics, former Missouri senator John Danforth, an Episcopal priest, explores how an over-emphasis on religion has changed the tone of American politics and whether religious values can help to mend a badly fractured political system. More
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is always a key stop for presidential candidates; does the Affordable Care Act burden the free exercise of religion; and they represent rebirth and the gladness of the resurrection.
Amidst the clashes over Jewish values that took place during this week’s annual meeting of AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, one rabbi tried to find common ground: “America and Israel are built upon values: B’tzelem Elohim, everyone is created in the image of God; kavod habriyot, respect due to all God’s creations. Those are the values that these countries are built on,” said Rabbi David Paskin of the organization Come Together Against Hate. More
“We Little Sisters of the Poor are a group of women who made religious vows to God. Now we find ourselves in a situation where the government is requiring us to make changes in our religious health care plan to include services that really violate our deepest held religious beliefs as Little Sisters,” says Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor. But Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center, says, “Women deserve insurance coverage for birth control no matter where they work.” More
Pope Francis may soon release his greatly anticipated response to a key bishops’ meeting on family issues that took place last fall. At that meeting, bishops discussed the church’s response to a host of issues, including some that are very controversial. The bishops were especially divided over whether the church should change its rules against communion for divorced Catholics who have remarried. Many American Catholics have been pushing for that change and others. More
“The countries neighboring Syria—Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan—have been extremely generous to the refugees,” says Michel Gabaudan, president of Refugees International. “But they’re bursting at the seams now, and that’s why we see people moving out. I think perhaps where we have failed is not to give sufficient support to these countries so that the host communities would feel the world was sharing the burden, and that’s a feeling that they don’t have.”
“The story of migration is rooted in our history as Catholics,” says Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. “It’s everything from the Jewish people’s exile in Exodus to the holy family’s flight to Egypt…This is who we are as American Catholics. We are an immigrant people and an immigrant church.” More