Who’s Afraid of Islamic State?

By John V. Whitbeck For French President François Hollande, the attacks in Paris on November 13, carried out by French and Belgian citizens, changed everything. His prior, oft-repeated mantra that “Assad must go” was consigned to the memory hole, defeating and destroying the Islamic State became France’s urgent priority and he set out to pull […]

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Syriza’s U-turn on Israel is Now Complete

Syriza was a popular leftist political party which was swept to power in Greek elections on its promise to end years of IMF-and EU-imposed austerity. By now, though, the party’s leadership has sold out its principles, implementing the very same austerity it was elected to oppose, even after a massive “No” vote in a summer […]

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Masturbation & Porn Bigger Priority Than Planet & Poverty for US Bishops

By Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches:

US Conference of Catholic Bishops (logo)

In another sign of just how far the agendas of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis have diverged, it’s worth noting that at their recently concluded fall plenary, the bishops signaled strongly about what’s on their radar when the only formal pastoral statement they issued was about what they consider a pressing pastoral crisis—pornography.

The bishops couldn’t be bothered to add either the environment or the plight of distressed peoples—whether they be refugees and immigrants or the poor—to their list of key priorities, despite the fact that they are a clear priority for Francis, and, therefore, the church. (Although they did work in some language about concern for the poor and immigrants.) And there was virtually no mention of growing economic inequality or the corrosive effects of unfettered capitalism. But pornography got a 22-page official pastoral statement.