Posts in Europe
Director Franco Zeffirelli's Catholic faith inspired his best work

(COMMENTARY) The Italian director is known for many things, but will be most remembered for is his deep Roman Catholic faith, his an ardent support for the anti-abortion movement and his 1977 masterpiece movie Jesus of Nazareth.

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Can French politicians make Notre Dame great again?

Rebuilding Notre Dame will be a painstaking task. Estimated to cost in the billions, the cathedral has also become a political pawn in a broader fight between traditionalists and secularists. In a country divided politically — the recent European election was another reminder of this — the fate of Notre Dame very much rests in the hands of the country’s warring lawmakers.

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Is the Vatican playing a game of 'wag the dog' with the American press?

(COMMENTARY) Pope Francis is a great example of an international leader whose handlers like to control the message. Not too different from the White House press office, where access can often be very limited. That makes the papal news conference, the one that takes place aboard the pope’s flight on the way to Rome at the end of very trip, very important.

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American anti-Semitism is growing from new, surprising sources

A recent poll found that only 80% of Americans believe that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust.

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Pope vs. populists: European election results highlight Catholic divisions

(NEWS ANALYSIS) Never shy about brandishing a rosary or invoking God’s help, Italy’s Matteo Salvini has provided voters in the recent European elections with an alternative to Pope Francis’ pro-migrant stance and the church’s traditional social teachings.

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Nationalism and Catholicism collide in run-up to the European elections

(NEWS ANALYSIS) Matteo Salvini, who leads the League party, could take his anti-immigration stances to Brussels if opinion polls prove correct. His hardline stance on the issue has put him at odds with the Catholic church in Italy as well as with Pope Francis, who has repeatedly spoken in favor of refugees seeking asylum in Western Europe.

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Mainstream press continues to ignore French church vandalism incidents

(COMMENTARY) A month after the Notre Dame blaze, there continues to be little to no coverage when it comes to the rash of suspicious fires and vandalism that plagued French churches in the weeks before the Paris incident, which was quickly deemed unintentional by Parisian authorities.

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'Lords of Chaos' film tells origins of Norwegian black metal

(NEWS ANALYSIS) The genre became infamous in the early 90s for suicide, arson, murder and more. Were those metal heads and their successors devil worshippers? Or just creative, dark rock musicians?

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7 Holy Week traditions from across the globe

While the death and resurrection of Jesus marks the holiest time on the Christian calendar, different cultures and nations celebrate in very unique ways. Here’s a look at seven international traditions from Bermuda to the Philippines.

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Try these Easter eats from around the world

What would Jesus eat? Some of the world’s oldest Lenten bites, from Israel to India, are still sizzling. Others are cultural adaptions to fit the Lenten fast with local ingredients.

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Pilgrimage to Ireland: The Book of Kells at Trinity College

Trinity College in Dublin, to be exact, holds many a wondrous treasure for the insatiable scholar and fewer curiosities for the vaguely obligated tourist. For me, it held one of the crown jewels of literature, The Book of Kells.

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Why Rebuilding Notre Dame could cost billions and take over a decade

As investigators continue to sift through the damage — which includes three massive holes in its vaulted ceiling — in an effort to pinpoint the cause of the inferno, French officials and architects are working on trying to determine how much money and time it will take to restore Notre Dame to its former glory.

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8 Takeaways from the Notre Dame fire and its aftermath

(NEWS ANALYSIS) In the wake of the devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, insightful reporting of the event and reflections of its significance could be found across Twitter a day after the catastrophic blaze. Here are eight perspectives that stood out to us.

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Notre Dame fire follows wave of vandalism at French churches

(COMMENTARY) Before Monday’s fire in Paris, a string of arson cases and other acts of desecration took place inside Catholic churches in France during Lent. In a country with a recent history of terrorism, these incidents somehow didn’t warrant any kind of attention from American news organizations. Even major outlets with a presence in Paris failed to adequately do so.

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Pope Benedict and Cardinal Sarah provide leadership in the age of Francis

(COMMENTARY) Again, it was conservative Catholic media that proved to be the preferred mouthpiece for Cardinal Robert Sarah and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI over the past week. Both men — with help from right-leaning news organizations — have been very vocal about the problems plaguing the church.

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Pilgrimage to Poland: Temple of Divine Providence is 227 years in the making

The Catholic church - as much a symbol of nationalism as religious struggle and freedom - is a mix of history and modernity, with LED-lit pillars and tombs for saints and fallen government officials. A museum dedicated to Poland’s most famous Catholics, Pope John Paul II and Blessed Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, is set to open next month.

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After mosque attacks, Christian persecution remains controversial

(COMMENTARY) Much violence and discrimination against Christians globally goes unnoticed in newspapers. This could be seen with US Vice President Mike Pence’s recent remarks - hardly reported - condemning religious persecution of both Muslims and Christians.

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