MANILA, Philippines - Church leaders across Asia have expressed alarm over threats to press freedom amid reports of increasing attacks and intimidation of journalists, resulting in growing levels of self-censorship.

Published in International

Third Sunday of Easter, May 5 (Year C) Acts 5:28-32, 40b-41; Psalm 30; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19

Threats and intimidation are usually enough to keep people submissive and in line. The threat can range anywhere from death to dismissal or a bad evaluation, but the effect is always the same: silence and acquiescence.

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis
WASHINGTON – Nationwide efforts to confront human trafficking received a boost in the new year as President Donald Trump signed a bill reauthorizing federal expenditures for prevention and assistance programs across the federal government.
Published in International

The new Quebec government’s proposed assault on religious freedom by barring public wearing of overt faith markers is worrisome enough.

Published in Register Columnists
VATICAN – The Catholic Church must find a way to look at secularization as an opportunity to find new ways to proclaim the Gospel, the Jesuit superior general told the Synod of Bishops.
Published in International

The massacre of 17 innocents at a Parkland, Fla., high school is not fading out of the news as quickly as other similar tragedies that have plagued the United States.

Published in Charles Lewis

In a trend that alarms Catholic thinkers, for the 11th year in a row freedom around the globe declined in 2016.

Published in Canada
It should surprise no one that at a time of rising authoritarianism, democracy will be on the curriculum when the Sheptytsky Institute reopens in Toronto.
Published in Canada

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Feb. 12 (Year A) Sirach 15:15-20; Psalm 119; 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37

We are free, but freedom can be frightening. With freedom comes responsibility, and humans are masters at fleeing from this and making excuses for their failures.

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 12 (2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13; Psalm 32; Galatians 2:16, 19-21; Luke 7:36-8:3)

We usually think of a “flash of recognition” in positive terms — a form of enlightenment. But David’s experience of this recognition was disturbing and even devastating. His climb to the top of the heap as king of Israel had been successful but not pretty. It had involved a lot of questionable decisions and actions, but he seemed disinclined to quibble — after all, it had worked. He had almost unlimited power and wealth — what more could one want? 

Published in Fr. Scott Lewis

The notion of separation of church and state is an important foundation for a true democracy. It guarantees freedom of religion by favouring no religion over another. It is also the surest way of guaranteeing the expansion of religion when the state favours none and allows religion’s best instincts to make a real contribution to society.

Published in Charles Lewis

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious freedom remains under “serious and sustained assault” around the globe, according to a new annual report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Published in International

Pope Francis presiding over a Jubilee Mass for Teens in St Peter's Square on Sunday told them "the true friends of Jesus stand out essentially by the genuine love that shines forth in their way of life." He also told the 13 to 16 year olds that although love is the path to happiness, it is not an easy one and requires effort. He also said, happiness has no price.  "It cannot be bought: it is not an app that you can download on your phones nor will the latest update bring you freedom and grandeur in love."

Published in Reflections

Philadelphia, Penn. - American composer Aaron Copland’s stirring “Fanfare for the Common Man” greeted a most uncommon pope, who proceeded to speak to America’s better angels on behalf of common men and women, who thronged Independence Mall in their thousands hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.

Published in Francis in America

Sometimes you can see a whole lot of things just by looking. That’s one of Yogi Berra’s infamous aphorisms. It’s a clever expression of course, but, sadly, perhaps mostly, the opposite is truer. Mostly we do a whole lot of looking without really seeing much. Our eyes can be wide open and we can be seeing very little.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser
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