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Video: Peter Steinfels with a Proposal for the Next Synod

Now on the homepage we're featuring “Contraception & Honesty: A Proposal for the Next Synod,” by Peter Steinfels. In this video interview, Peter explains what prompted him to write “Contraception & Honesty” and talks more about the issues he raises in it. There was a “glaring gap” in the work of last year’s synod, Peter says: "[T]he lack of attention to the question of contraception.

Rescue Mission

At a July 2013 Mass on the Italian island of Lampedusa, Pope Francis blamed the “globalization of indifference” for the plight of migrants fleeing war, poverty, and religious and ethnic persecution. So far that year, about fifty people had died attempting to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean from Africa.

New stories on the homepage

We’re currently featuring three new stories on the homepage.

First is Robert Mickens’s latest Letter from Rome, in which he writes on what’s likely to be a “long and forceful campaign by church officials to defend” the canonization of Junípero Serra, on the behind-the-scenes work to launch the Holy Year of Mercy, and on photographic evidence of a female archbishop inside the Vatican. Read the whole thing here.

Letters | Teaching prisoners, seminarians & ourselves

Shortsighted

Kudos to Robert Cowan for saying that the objections that scuttled Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to pay for college classes for prison inmates were “shortsighted.” By refusing to fund what these politicians sardonically labeled “Attica University,” they show themselves penny-wise but pound-foolish, as well as ostrich-like in their refusal to see some basic facts.

Held to Account

In a March 2014 interview, Pope Francis was given an opportunity to comment on the sexual-abuse scandal, a subject he had said remarkably little about since his election. Acknowledging the “deep wounds” suffered by victims, Francis went on to defend the church as the only public institution to address such crimes “with transparency and responsibility.” No one else has done more, he continued, and yet “the church is the only one to be attacked.”

Risks Worth Taking

After months of grueling negotiations, Iran and six world powers, led by the United States, have “agreed to come to an agreement” regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Economic sanctions put in place by the UN, the EU, and the United States will be lifted once it is verified that Iran has dismantled those elements of its nuclear industry that can readily be turned to the production of a nuclear weapon.

Letters | How seminaries talk about sex

The rest of the story?

What's on the website

Featured right now on the website: Robert Mickens's latest Letter from Rome, in which he reports on preparations for Holy Week at the Vatican (Francis will "wash the feet of inmates at the Rebibbia Detention Centre on the outskirts of Rome. And, as in the past, some of them will be women"), as well as on new comments from Cardinal Kasper on mercy, expectations for the October synod, and Francis's feelings about clericalism ("he hates it!"). Read the whole Letter from Rome here.