Around the Web

atwCheck out these recent articles from around the web:

Granted a new life by the pope, refugees speak of horrors that drove them from Syria by Tom Kington: “In March of last year, Al Shakarji decided to risk fleeing down mined roads and past snipers to reach Turkey, taking his wife and three children with him. Between Islamic State and the government of President Bashar Assad, he saw little hope for his family in Syria. “My two sons were approaching the age for military service and to stop them becoming assassins, for either Assad or ISIS, we had to go,” he said.”

The limits of pacifism by Michael Sean Winters: “The people of Great Britain in the 1930s remembered the horrors of the First World War, and their desire for peace was understandable. But, it was the job of the political leadership of that country to correctly diagnose the existential threat Hitler posed, and to realize that there would be no peace with this man or with his regime. The amiable desire for peace led to a war in which millions of people were killed when enforcement of the treaties that ended World War I might have maintained peace or, at any rate, started the war before Hitler was dominant and ready.”

Confronting climate change is our moral obligation by Most Reverend Oscar Cantú and Most Reverend Broderick Pabillo: “Climate change threatens all life—and the life cycle of the earth itself. Climate change attacks the human dignity of those most affected, with the least fortunate bearing a disproportionate burden from its impacts.”

If Not Trump, What? by David Brooks: “I don’t know what the new national story will be, but maybe it will be less individualistic and more redemptive. Maybe it will be a story about communities that heal those who suffer from addiction, broken homes, trauma, prison and loss, a story of those who triumph over the isolation, social instability and dislocation so common today.”

Bolivia’s Catholic bishops defy Morales over drug trade by Austen Ivereigh: “In their strongest statement since Pope Francis’ visit last year, the Bolivian bishops recently issued a searing critique of the corrosive effects on public life of drug-trafficking and drug addiction, provoking an angry response from the government of Evo Morales.”

Dear Secretary Clinton: A Catholic appeal to the next president by Michael Sean Winters: “Today some in the pro-choice movement seem to celebrate abortion as a positive good. At least you and the party can adopt a “big tent” approach to the issue so that pro-life Democrats do not feel like you are sticking your finger in our eye.”

Thousands flee Aleppo under cover of darkness as Assad planes circle for final offensive by Josie Ensor: “Fighting has intensified in Syria’s second city this week, claiming over 250 lives and ending in all but name a much-vaunted ceasefire agreed in February.”

The Worst Dictatorship You’ve Never Heard Of by Jeffrey Smith: “It’s crucial that international donors, namely the United States, both invest in Gambia’s newly unified pro-democracy movement and signal to Jammeh that his government’s brutal and ongoing crimes will no longer be tolerated.”

Don’t Abandon America’s Afghan Helpers by NY Times: “When the Senate and the House versions of the defense bill are reconciled next month, lawmakers should increase the visa numbers to clear the backlog of pending cases. They should not change the eligibility standard and they should require the State Department to establish a reasonable appeals process for applicants who have been rejected without a clear explanation.”

Catholic bishop kidnapped, beaten in southern India by Nirmala Carvalho: “According to a news release issued April 28 and signed by Archbishop Thumma Bala of Hyderabad, 54-year-old Bishop Gallela Prasad of Cuddapah was assaulted by unidentified persons on Monday, April 25, while returning from a religious function at Karunagari in Kadapa district.”

In El Salvador, Romero legacy fuses with the Francis effect by Carlos Colorado: “The current Archbishop of San Salvador, Jose Luis Escobar Alas, has sought to fill his predecessor’s shoes in the current crisis, issuing an epic pastoral letter, which he signed on March 24 of this year — the anniversary of Romero’s martyrdom, and the first observation of the date as Romero’s “feast day.””

Who cares? We do. by Laura Whitaker: “It’s been almost a year since the June 2015 publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home) and, in that time, Pope Francis’ call for all people to take “swift and unified global action” to address the crisis posed by environmental degradation has spread across the world. Judging from the large turnout of respondents to our recent web survey about Laudato Si’, 530 in all, many Catholics feel climate change is an important and timely topic and Laudato Si’ a much-needed Catholic response to the global problem.”