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Catholic Church



  • "Phantom Catholic Threats" Haunt Ireland's National Maternity Hospital

    by Máiréad Enright

    Secular Irish health advocates fear that a partnership between the state and religious charities to operate the national maternity hospital will impose limits on care, including abortion access. Is this justified or a case of finding "nuns under the bed"? 



  • How Hitler's Favorite Passion Play Lost its Anti-Semitism

    The Oberammergau Passionspiele in the 1930s garnered praise from Hitler for its vilification of Jews for the death of Christ. Today, the village production reflects Germany's efforts to eradicate antisemitism from many of its traditional cultural products, though that process is slow and contentious. 



  • The Back Channel Between Pius XII and Hitler

    by David I. Kertzer

    The Vatican has only just now released documents about secret and sensitive negotiations between the Nazi leader and the Holy See, in which the Vatican agreed to temper criticisms of Nazism's pagan elements in exchange for ceasing investigation of sex crimes by priests.



  • What Does Pope Francis's Apology Mean to Indigenous Americans?

    by Annie Selak

    "Pope Francis apologized on April 1, 2022, to First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegations, acknowledging the harm done by residential schools in Canada and marking a crucial step in the church admitting its role in the abuse of Indigenous communities and children."



  • Ireland, We Hardly Knew Ye: Fintan O'Toole's Story of Modernization

    by Jack Sheehan

    Fintan O'Toole's acclaimed popular history of modern Ireland delivers a sharp indictment of child abuse by Catholic priests and the operators of reform schools and institutions, but substitutes national-level psychoanalysis for research in other areas, a historian argues.



  • Why Does St. Brigid Get So Much Less Attention than Patrick?

    by Lisa Bitel

    "This year on March 17, when you’re wearing the green and singing “Dirty Ol’ Town,” take a moment to whisper thanks to St. Brigid, the compassionate, sensible, native-born patron saint of Ireland, and ask if Ireland’s premier patron saint should be a woman."



  • Don't Make Dorothy Day a Saint

    by Garry Wills

    As an admirer of the left-wing activist Dorothy Day, Garry Wills argues that the process of canonization would "miniaturize" her work and associations to fit within the narrow confines of sainthood, making her an object of prayer instead of a model for action.