My friend Michael La Civita, who is the communications director for Catholic Near East Welfare Association and who oversees the publication of its award-winning magazine, ONE, has written an essay over at Our Sunday Visitor about the dire condition of the Middle East. He notes that the presence of Christians is a necessary ingredient to long-term peace in that region of the world. It's worth the read.
NCR Today: As another week of violence comes to a close, Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, has been advancing the cause of peace in the Holy Land.
Listen to the news any day, any hour. You will find commentators, usually Republicans, who think that President Barack Obama needs to show more "muscle" in his conduct of foreign policy or act "more strongly" wherever -- you name the place -- or "regain America's leadership role in the world." Many critics wish he had kept at least some U.S. troops in Iraq, engaged to some degree in the civil war in Syria, and had "taken decisive action" (whatever that means) against Russia for annexing Crimea and supporting the Ukrainian separatists.
NCR Today: Hobby Lobby case verdict; Council of Cardinals meet; militants declare creation of formal Islamic state in Iraq; should there be six Catholic justices on the Supreme Court?
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis
Saying the United States has a special responsibility to the people of Iraq, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace called for diplomatic measures rather than a military response to the crisis facing the country.
Distinctly Catholic: The last thing for the United States to do is be dragged back into an Iraqi civil war. The territorial integrity of Iraq isn't worth the killing.
Pope Francis says a "globalization of indifference" has taken hold of too many of the world's people, numbing them to the horrifying reality faced by the people of Syria.
Pope Francis called on the world's Christians to pray with him for peace in the Middle East, help convince governments to come to the aid of refugees and pray for Christian unity.
While peace is a gift from God, it is also built out of the day-to-day handiwork of individuals: true "artisans of peace," who are capable of crafting fraternity and reconciliation with people of all cultures and religions, he said during his general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
NCR Today: Georgia court upholds lethal-injection secrecy law; hate crimes a concern in Israel as pope's visit nears; Lima, Ohio, priest says people are too self-centered