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Articles on Vatican II

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People visiting a Christ sculpture at the Santa Maria Magdalena Church during the Holy Week in Granada, Spain. Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Why parts of Good Friday worship have been controversial

Prayers and symbols have the power to bind people together, writes a religion scholar, and so it is important to understand the history and context of Good Friday prayers.
Young people at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, cheer Pope Francis in 2015, following his comments endorsing same-sex civil unions. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

In supporting civil unions for same sex couples, Pope Francis is moving Catholics toward a more expansive understanding of family

The Vatican has clarified that Pope Francis' support of civil unions did not change church doctrine. A theologian explains what Francis is doing is departing from Catholic rhetoric on the family.
Pope Francis observes a minute of silence for the victims of Hiroshima at the city’s Peace Memorial Park. Carl Court/Getty Images

75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vatican is providing moral guidance on nuclear weapons

As Pope Francis becomes the first pontiff in the nuclear era to call for total disarmament, all of us – whether secular or religious – can engage through creative and proactive moral responsibility.
A woman holds up a quilt with photos of people who say they were abused as children by priests, in San Diego, 2007. AP Photo/Denis Poroy

What Catholics can learn from protests of the past

There is rich Catholic heritage of resistance. Catholic protesters have used powerful religious symbols, including vials of their own blood, as an extension of Christ's blood, to demand change.
Clergy sex abuse was among the biggest religion stories of 2018. In this photo, a demonstrator holds up a protest sign at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma

Researching clergy sex abuse can take a heavy emotional toll: 3 essential reads

For scholars, researching the Catholic Church can mean a laborious process involving several years. And talking to survivors of clergy sex abuse can carry its own pain and personal toll.
They are listening but whose side are they on? Max Rossi/Reuters

The tectonic plates of world Catholicism shift

An extraordinary two weeks in Rome ended Saturday with a standing ovation. Pope Francis had invited 191 bishops and clergy to the Synod on the family to speak their minds on issues such as divorce, premarital…

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