Articles on Pope Francis

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Biblical principles have provided an understanding on how to help the needy. Lamppost Collective/Shutterstock.com

Taxing the rich to help the poor? Here’s what the Bible says

New economic realities have raised new challenges in applying Biblical principles to economic life. But they could still provide guidance on how to help those in need and how to levy taxes.
Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez and priests prostrate in front of the altar to seek pardon for sexual abuse in the Church at the cathedral in Granada, southern Spain, Nov. 23, 2014. Pepe Marin/Reuters

How the Catholic Church’s hierarchy makes it difficult to punish sexual abusers

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church requires nearly absolute obedience. This makes it difficult to speak up against superiors. And by the same token, superiors too can protect offending priests.
A bison on its way in the Bialowieza forest in Poland. By Herr stahlhoefer - Own work, Public Domain,

Do passages in the Bible justify cutting down forests?

In countries that identify predominantly as Christian, scripture and its interpretations carry serious sociopolitical weight.
A woman holds Pope Francis’ head during his meeting with representatives of indigenous peoples at the Vatican on Feb. 15, 2017. L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP

What makes a mountain, hill or prairie a ‘sacred’ place for Native Americans?

Pope Francis appears to have defended Native American protests on the North Dakota pipeline issue. Indigenous cultures have a right to defend 'their ancestral relationship to the Earth,' he said.
A year after Pope Francis called for action to protect the environment, Australian Catholic groups have announced plans to divest from fossil fuels. AAP Image/Newzulu/Fabrizio Belluschi

Catholic church starts small but is clearly thinking big on fossil fuel divestment

A year ago Pope Francis called for better protection for the environment. Now Catholic institutions look poised for widespread divestment from fossil fuels.
Where in the world do you put 4.8 million displaced people? Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

Where have 4.8 million Syrian refugees gone?

As part of a collaboration between The Conversation and PBS's Point Taken, a professor from The Ohio State University examines some common misconceptions about Syrian refugees.
Pope Francis exhorts the faithful to accompany each other on their life journey, and help each other be free in love. Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis and The Joy of Love in a merciful church

In his new exhortation, Pope Francis issues the Catholic Church and its followers a bold challenge: to live God's mercy more authentically.

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