By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS – Pope Francis’ outspoken views on some of the politically-charged hot button issues – including refugees, migration, human rights, climate change, Iran’s nuclear deal, U.S.-Cuban relations and the global arms trade – have touched a raw nerve in the United States.

And most of these crucial and sensitive issues are currently on the agenda of the United Nations where he was given a rousing welcome last week.

But several right wing conservatives say the Pope’s “infallibility” relates only to theology – not to world politics or the degradation of the environment. Read More




Pope Francis in NYC at “Ground Zero” for a special interfaith service

By Jerome Socolovsky

WASHINGTON — In 2006, before he was Pope Francis, Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was invited to an open-air Pentecostal worship service in the Argentine capital.

Argentina was, and still is, a hive of intensely charismatic evangelical Christianity – which for decades has been poaching Catholics from the church throughout Latin America. The Luna Park stadium was filled with some 7,000 worshippers. The preachers asked

Bergoglio if they could pray for him. “The first thing that occurred to me was to get on my knees, a very Catholic gesture, to receive their prayer,” the archbishop recalled in “On Heaven and Earth,” a book of dialogues he published in 2010 with his friend, Argentine Rabbi Avraham Skorka.

Traditionalist Argentine Catholics were outraged. Some accused him of committing the sin of apostasy by praying with people of another faith. But Bergoglio believed that a Catholic should be able to pray even with an agnostic.  Read More


NEWARK, N.J. – On Friday, Pope Francis spoke to the United Nations and called on all nations to become good stewards of planet Earth. The pope  earlier articulated in more detail his views on climate change in an encyclical pronouncement.

Audible Studios, a production arm of, along with Vatican Radio and Libreria Editrice Vaticana, announced the release of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s influential encyclical on climate change and the environment. This audible is a FREE download. Read More



A lack of investment will derail efforts to ensure Africa’s farmers can feed future generations in the face of climate change, a report has warned.

Food shortages, malnutrition and migration will undo decades of development unless more funding is made available, the authors added.

Failure to act could jeopardise UN global development goals, they warn. Read More



DAR ES SALAAM – As the clock ticks towards the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris in December, African experts, policy-makers and civil society groups plan to come to the negotiation table prepared for a legal approach to avoid mistakes made during formulation of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty which extends the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the premise that global warming exists and that man-made CO2 emissions have caused it.

“The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is a legal instrument, and therefore we need legal experts to argue the case for Africa, using available evidence instead of having only scientists and politicians at the negotiation table,” according to DrOliver C. Ruppel, a professor of law at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Read More


By Michelle E. Brown

By Michelle E. Brown

I am no papal hater. I recognize that a lot of who I am, both good and bad, comes from my Catholic upbringing.

My father came from a family with strong Baptist roots but during a tour of duty in the Army in Italy,

he apparently drank the Kool-Aid (or communion wine) and came back Catholic.

When he married my mother, she abandoned her A.M.E. roots and accepted his faith and together they raised their three children as good little Catholics.

We went to Catholic school, confession every Saturday and Mass enough times during the week and on Sunday to give me “frequent prayer” miles in that Big Book in the sky.  Read More



BONN – After surviving the storm surge wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013, women in evacuation centres found themselves again fighting for survival … at times from rape. Many became victims of human trafficking while many more did anything they could to feed their families before themselves. Read More

World News