Author Archives: Robert Christian

Global Indifference, Solidarity, and Authentic Development

The Initiative on Catholic Social Thought & Public Life recently hosted a dialogue on Pope Francis’ message and actions, Catholic social teaching, and authentic development. The event featured Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and the Organization of American States; David Beckmann, president of Bread for the […]

The First Two Years of Pope Francis’ Papacy

With Pope Francis’ papacy entering its third year, a number of Catholic writers, scholars, and activists have taken the time to reflect on Francis’ first two years. Here are some highlights of their analysis: Pope Francis Has Taught the Church To Thrive Again by Christopher Hale: “Mercy is God’s most beautiful attribute. And Francis understands […]

Book Review: The Unquiet Monk

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Merton. Merton was one of the most captivating religious figures in the 20th century. His book The Seven Storey Mountain made him an important public figure—the country’s most popular monk—and remains popular among Catholics today. But his legacy extends far beyond his famous biography, […]

Education is Not a Crime

Education is not a crime. It is a human right. So too is religious freedom. Denying someone an education because of their religion is a crime—perhaps not a legal crime in some places, but nevertheless a moral crime, particularly when perpetrated by a regime that institutionalizes bigotry and repression. This is the crime that Iran’s […]

Dark Days in Russia: Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov Gunned Down

Among the worst developments of the 21st century has been the growing assault on democracy and human rights perpetrated by Vladimir Putin’s regime. And the times seem to be growing darker in Russia. via BBC News: A leading Russian opposition politician, former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, has been shot dead in Moscow, Russian officials […]

You’re Not Too Holy to Give Stuff Up for Lent

A popular trend in recent years has been to do something positive for Lent rather than to give something up. This ranges from the very challenging (see Kerry Weber’s Mercy in the City) to the more basic (to choose kindness in our daily actions). This seems to align with Pope Francis’ call to give up […]

Assad is Still Murdering Children

The latest horrifying images of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s campaign of mass murder are coming from Douma, Syria. There is really nothing new to say at this point. But it is important to look at the horror unfolding, even as the world refuses to act to protect the innocent. Here are some tweets from #Douma […]


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