The TV series "Cosmos" is the product of huge choices about what to show and how to show it. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the brainy, avuncular host, steers a path aimed at those who know almost nothing about the universe's origins and those who have learned a lot. Perhaps the biggest divide he faces is between evolutionists and creationists. While it's tempting to assume that overwhelming evidence has put evolution in the driver's seat, the fact is that up to half of the population identifies with creationism on the surveys.
It's easy to bemoan the digital age and how it's turned us all into self-centered addicts of individualism. But really, all this has done is made us much more American than ever before.
NCR Today: These bishops of ours, go figure; peace in Syria?; Vatican doesn't approve UK bishops' child protection procedures.
Under international pressure and after two days of interrogation, Sri Lanka released Oblate Fr. Praveen Mahesan and human rights worker Ruki Fernando.
In a closed-door, two-hour session in February with some 185 of the world's cardinals, Cardinal Walter Kasper strongly suggested the church needs to deepen its theology and alter its pastoral practices regarding families and, especially, divorced and remarried couples. The former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity raised eyebrows and ruffled feathers among those who view church teaching as set in stone.
NCR Today: Commission begins review of Scottish church's abuse policies, but its independence is questioned; politicians in Argentina and India ride religious coattails.
It has been a few months since my last blog. For one, I was on sabbatical from my teaching position at the University of California, Santa Barbara and writing my biography of Fr. Luis Olivares, the charismatic Mexican-American Claretian priest who in the 1980s was the heart and soul of the sanctuary movement in Los Angeles.
Pope Francis this week urged commuters to get a pocket Bible and read it while traveling to and from work.
"A Christian's first task is to listen to the word of God, to listen to Jesus, because he speaks to us and saves us with his word," the pope said Sunday during a homily at the parish of Santa Maria dell'Orazione on the northeast outskirts of Rome, according to CNS.
A pocket Bible? How 20th century! Why not try an app?
In recent years, it seems there has been an effort to make it harder for the faithful to participate and receive the sacramental actions of the church. One example would be the denial of Communion to politicians with certain views as well as the denial of Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics. Another example would be the refusal to provide general absolution for parishioners even during the Christmas and Easter seasons.
The arrests Sunday of human rights defenders Oblate Fr. Praveen Mahesan and Ruki Fernando in Sri Lanka was called "arbitrary" by Amnesty International and other groups.