FROM Stephen Schneck
The Liberal Pope? Pope Francis has stunned the laity and clerical leaders by saying that the Roman Catholic Church is "obsessed" by abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception. But church doctrine remains the same. The Pope made his remarks in an extensive interview published by 16 Jesuit journals around the world -- with his editorial approval. Stephen Schneck is Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University of America.
Contraception, Religion and Presidential Politics President Obama said today he won't back down on the new rule that insurance plans – even at religious institutions -- provide free contraceptives to all women employees for family planning, prevention of cancer and other medical needs. But he recognized the objections of religious institutions and offered this olive branch , saying that those institutions won't have to pay. Will that satisfy Catholic Bishops, Christian conservatives or his Republican opposition? We hear the details of today's compromise and hear why contraception is needed for medical reasons beyond family planning. Why hasn't there been an outcry against states with similar and even tougher requirements? Is it about politics as well as religion?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.