Book reviews: What price do men and women pay when they grow up in systems that prize love, justice and mercy, then serve in wars that undermine those values?
Peace & Justice
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev apologized in court Wednesday for "the suffering that I've caused" in the April 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded hundreds.
Tsarnaev said in a shaky voice that he was guilty and that he prays for the victims.
"I am sorry for the lives that I've taken, for the suffering that I've caused you, for the damage that I've done -- irreparable damage," he said, breaking more than two years of public silence.
"I pray for your relief, for your healing," he added.
Kurt Vonnegut is quoted as saying, "People say there are no atheists in foxholes. A lot of people think this is a good argument against atheism. Personally, I think it's a much better argument against foxholes."
That thought might offer a good start for us as we meditate on the question of a good God and suffering, an underlying theme of today's readings.
Two days after Dylann Roof allegedly opened fire inside an historic black church in a city with deep black historical roots, the country is poised Friday to celebrate black empowerment and freedom from slavery.
Based on comments floating through social media and on editorials from news organizations, Juneteenth will have particular significance in Charleston, S.C., the community where nine people died after being shot during a prayer meeting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a house of worship founded by slave revolt organizer Denmark Vesey and others.
Simply Spirit: Good police are indispensable in protecting the public, yet we often take them for granted.
The U.S. Senate in a bipartisan vote Tuesday approved a measure that would prohibit all U.S. government agencies and their agents from using torture as an interrogation technique.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, sponsored the anti-torture amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016.
"The efforts to stand together on behalf of all human development ... are the new picket lines of today," the cardinal said at a conference at AFL-CIO headquarters.
In his first letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul offered his perspective concerning the growth and development of the community: "I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. This means that neither he who plants nor he who waters is of any special account, only God who gives the growth" (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
God offers his mercy to everyone, showing his deep desire that everyone be saved, Pope Francis said.
Divine mercy is a safe and certain "shelter for whoever is weak and does not presume to save himself on his own," the pope said Friday, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Addressing the World Seminar for Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplaincies at the Vatican, the pope said airports are like "cities within cities" where chaplains meet people from many nations, cultures and religions.
Syriac Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul, Iraq, called on the world's government to oust Islamic State militants from northern parts of the country so thousands of displaced Christians can return home.
Speaking with the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need on the first anniversary of the Islamic State's takeover of Mosul, Archbishop Moshe said that forcing out Islamic State forces was the "best solution" for the 120,000 displaced Christians who fled the city June 10, 2014, and nearby towns and villages that were seized in early August.