FROM Inés San Martín
The Pope's Message on Family and Love Pope Francis today issued the much-awaited encyclical Amoris Laetitia , or "The Joy of Love," addressing issues that include divorce and re-marriage, contraception, gays and lesbians. It's 256 pages long and contains nine chapters. Inés San Martín reports for Crux , a news website that covers the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis and the Soul of the Church During a recent summit of Roman Catholic leaders, one conservative bishop accused liberal colleagues of "doing the devil's work." It was all about Pope Francis and his "outreach" to people the Church has scorned: those who divorce and re-marry as well as gays and lesbians. After the "Synod," the angriest public infighting since the 1960's, 270 cardinals and bishops produced a "consensus" that observers call a conservative, victory. But Francis will have the last word. Is he a liberal reformer? Has he created expectations he can't fulfill? 1.2 billion Catholics are waiting for answers.
Pope Francis Makes History on Capitol Hill Before a packed chamber today, Francis became the first Pope to address a joint meeting of the House and the Senate. Speaking slowly and in heavily accented English, Pope Francis said he was grateful for a historic invitation. He called for unity and denounced political and ideological “polarization”—but did not shy away from Washington's most divisive issues. They included abortion, same sex marriage and climate change — each provoking a standing ovation from a different part of the audience. Afterward, there was no handshaking with dignitaries: the Pope had a meeting with homeless people.
Will Pope Francis Be an Agent of Change? Yesterday, Pope Francis met with Cuban President Raúl Castro and former President Fidel. He said Mass in Havana's Revolution Square. He also delivered what's being called a "gentle" critique of Communist ideology and Cuba's suppression of dissenters. Later this week, he'll be in Washington, where some Catholic Republicans are already angry about his very un-gentle critique of free enterprise Capitalism. He'll address a joint meeting of Congress — and also visit with homeless people, laborers, immigrant children and prisoners. Cuba's Castro Brothers were educated and raised as Catholics, but their Communist revolution in 1959 made Cuba an atheist state. More recently, they have reached out to the Church, and Francis is the third Pope to visit the island since 1998.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.