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Articles on The Catholic Church

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Venezuelan priest Arturo Sosa Abascal, second from right, receives congratulations after being chosen as new superior general of the Jesuits in 2016. Franco Origlia/Getty Images News via Getty Images

Who are the Jesuits?

The Jesuits are among the Catholic Church’s most influential religious orders but no strangers to controversy.
Apparitions of the Virgin Mary have inspired pilgrimages – and souvenirs – in Lourdes, France, for more than a century. Culture Club/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

How Lourdes became a byword for hope

St. Bernadette’s visions of the Virgin Mary in the 19th century inspired the pilgrimage site millions of Catholics flock to each year.
Bearers carry the relic and the statue in honor of St. Anthony of Padua during a procession in Rome, Italy. St. Anthony of Padua was proclaimed a doctor of the church in 1946. Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Getty Images Europe via Getty Images

Why are some Roman Catholic saints called doctors of the church?

Saints are recognized for exceptional virtue and faith. But some also are commemorated for their scholarship.
Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges the crowd during an audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Oct.24, 2007. A January 2022 report faulted his handling of several sex abuse cases. AP Photo/Plinio Lepri

Pope Benedict faulted over sex abuse claims: New report is just one chapter in his – and Catholic Church’s – fraught record

Pope Benedict XVI’s many years of wrestling with the abuse crisis highlight the Catholic Church’s broader challenges addressing it.
People pray for the victims of child sex abuse during a special service at a Catholic church outside Paris on Oct. 5, 2021. A new French report estimates that more than 200,000 children were abused by clergy since 1950. AP Photo/Michel Euler

The Catholic Church sex abuse crisis: 4 essential reads

A French report on the scale of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is the latest revelation in the crisis, but its roots go back decades – or more. Here are a few of our many related articles.
In the 20th century Magdalene laundries were punitive institutions where young “fallen” women – pregnant and unmarried – endured a daily regime of silence, prayer and hard labour. The last Magdalene laundry closed in 1996. William Murphy/lFlickr

Ireland’s shame: reforming an adoption system marked by secrecy and trauma

The conservative Catholic moral code that underpinned adoption in Ireland penalised vulnerable women and their children. Now a proposed new law seeks to redress the impact of this legacy of shame.
Women’s rights activists with posters of the Women’s Strike symbol protest in Warsaw, Poland, in October 2020 against a further tightening of Poland’s already restrictive abortion laws. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Polish women reject the Catholic Church’s hold on their country

The women’s movement in Poland faces a powerful and as yet unchallenged adversary in the Catholic Church.The protesters have correctly shone a spotlight on the church for its hold on Polish politics.

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