Religious Life

Letter from Rome

Italian bishops join Francis in strongly denouncing European handling of migrant crisis; Are opponents of Cardinal Kasper's proposal releasing yet another book?

Letter from Rome

Traditionalists grumble Francis is stacking the Synod assembly with "lefties"; 2016 World Day of Peace theme is announced, along with a long list of global issues.

How to Do a Funeral

No one in the congregation was paying much attention to what Father Pastor was saying about the deceased. They were focused on where he'd put his reading glasses.

The Wisdom of the Beguines

Swan’s book does a good job of explaining both the beguines’ spiritual practices in the context of their own times and how their continuing legacy affects us today.

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

Artist, Activist, Martyr

Bolivia's gift to Francis of a hammer-and-sickle crucifix implied its artist was a secret Marxist. I was disconcerted: This was not at all the Luis Espinal I knew.

Letter from Rome

Who sits with Francis in the papal plane; How Benedict contrasts with history's other pope emeritus; Why one Italian mayor is mad the pope won't take a vacation.
Msgr. Dario Viganò

Letter from Rome

As Francis plans to overhaul the Holy See's media management, a bishop-psychotherapist is assigned to help remove "playboy priests" from an infamous Italian diocese.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Anne Enright's new novel suggests something simple—family, for good or ill, keeps forming us even when we try to escape it—but her prose constantly surprises.

An Unlikely Union

Paul Moses's history of Irish-Italian relations in 19th century New York delves into the causes for "race war" between the immigrant groups and how they overcame it.

New Tests for 'Old' China's Catholics

The countryside is the bedrock of Chinese traditions and of Chinese Catholicism. But urbanization and government pressure are threats to these enduring communities.

Letter from Rome

Francis's week: talking church reform with cardinals and peace with Vladimir Putin. And saints' bodies are en route to Rome. Is Francis reviving medieval devotions?
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