Articles on Catholic church

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A Halloween ghost. Werner Reischel/Flickr.com

Why believing in ghosts can make you a better person

Ghost stories are often about the departed seeking justice for an earthly wrong. Their sightings are a reminder that ethics and morality transcend our lives.
Women hold signs as they take part in a demonstration against government plans to ban or limit the practice of abortion in Turkey on 22 June 2012, in Istanbul. Reuters

Debate: When abortion is ‘haram’, women find strategies to claim their rights

Abortion appears to be illegal and clandestine in large parts of the Muslim world. Yet, women continue to challenge the status quo and archaic laws through their daily practices and activism.
The conflict between the rules of the church on the confidentiality of confessions and mandatory reporting laws is not a new issue. Shutterstock

Should priests be made to report child abuse revealed in confession?

One of the most controversial recommendations from the Royal Commission is that child abuse disclosed in confession should be mandatorily reported. But the matter is more complex than it might appear.
Walter V. Robinson, the US investigative journalist who was portrayed by Michael Keaton in the film Spotlight, talks to Media Files about his team’s investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church. EPA/ETTORE FERRARI/AAP

Media Files: Spotlight’s Walter V. Robinson and the Newcastle Herald’s Chad Watson on covering clergy abuse - and the threats that followed

Spotlight’s Walter V. Robinson and the Newcastle Herald’s Chad Watson on covering clergy abuse - and the threats that followed. The Conversation74.5 MB (download)
In this episode, we hear from Walter V. Robinson on how the Boston Globe Spotlight investigation into clergy abuse began, and from the Newcastle Herald's Chad Watson on how his paper covered abuse.
New priests being ordained during a ceremony led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, when they take vows, including to remain celibate. AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

How views on priestly celibacy changed in Christian history

Early Christians were open to marriage for priests. It wasn't until the 12th century that celibacy became mandatory in the Catholic Church.
Members of Chile’s bishops conference, in May 2018, who say they are open to whatever Pope Francis proposes to overhaul the Chilean church devastated by a clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Why the Catholic Church is so slow to act in sex abuse cases: 4 essential reads

Pope Francis has been accused of a cover-up in the sex abuse scandal involving Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop. Experts explain why it's hard for the Catholic Church to hold clergy accountable.
Pennsylvania grand jury accused Cardinal Wuerl of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop. AP Photo/Kevin Wolf

For some Catholics, it is demons that taunt priests with sexual desire

While many American Catholics believe demons and exorcism to be part of a distant past, an expert explains how beliefs that sexual desires could be part of demonic temptation still persist.
Victims or their family members react to a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that identified more than 1,000 child victims of clergy sexual abuse. AP/Matt Rourke

Civil lawsuits are the only way to hold bishops accountable for abuse cover-ups

In the wake of new revelations about clergy sex abuse and cover-up in Pennsylvania, civil lawsuits brought by abuse victims may be the only effective way to hold Catholic church officials accountable.
Argentina’s pro-choice movement, which began in 2003, hopes that the Senate will vote in favor of legalizing abortion on Aug. 8, 2018.

Facing a groundswell of support for legal abortion, Argentina’s Catholic Church moderates its tone

Abortion support is high in Argentina, even among Catholics. That puts the church, which opposes an abortion bill up for vote on August 8, in the awkward position of fighting a law its members demand.
Illustration of Dante’s Paradiso. Giovanni di Paolo

What is heaven?

Different cultural groups respond with numerous, often conflicting, answers to questions about life after death. An expert explains the Christian idea of heaven.
Pope Paul VI banned contraception for Catholics in the 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae.” AP Photo/Jim Pringle

How the Catholic Church came to oppose birth control

July marks 50 years of Pope Paul VI's encyclical prohibiting contraceptive use. For many years prior to it, the church had not been so explicit on its stance. How did it become such a thorny issue?
People dressed as sperm cells at Papal Nuncio building in The Hague for the sixth birthday of the encyclical, ‘Humanae Vitae.’ Nationaal Archief

How Catholic women fought against Vatican’s prohibition on contraceptives

On the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, an encyclical released by Pope Paul VI calling for prohibition on contraceptive use, a scholar describes the struggles of Catholic women, as well as their activism.
Pope Francis has acknowledged that celibacy is one of the challenges of the Catholic Church in the 21st century. Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

Why the Catholic church is ‘hemorrhaging’ priests

Pope Francis recently acknowledged that the Catholic Church is struggling to recruit new priests, endangering its very future. Why don't people want to join the clergy?

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