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Author Archives: CNS

Pope urges activists to struggle against ‘structural causes’ of poverty

Pope Francis

POPE Francis urged an international gathering of grassroots social activists to struggle against the “structural causes” of poverty and inequality, with a “revolutionary” program drawn from the Gospels. “The poor no longer wait, they seek to be protagonists, they organise, study, work, demand and, above all, practise that special solidarity that exists among those who suffer, among the poor,” the ... Read More »

Pope urges prayer, international action to fight Ebola virus


POPE Francis pleaded for the international community to take stronger, co-ordinated steps to “annihilate” the Ebola virus and help the millions of people impacted by the disease. “As the Ebola virus epidemic worsens, I want to express my deep concern for this relentless illness that is spreading particularly on the African continent and especially among populations that are already disadvantaged,” ... Read More »

Film with troubling scenes

THE JUDGE. Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, and Vera Farmiga. Directed by David Dobkin. Rated M (Mature themes and coarse language). 142 min. By John Mulderig CONSIDERED in strictly cinematic terms, The Judge constitutes an adequate but overextended drama that would have benefited from further editing. From a moral perspective, however, the inclusion of a seamy ... Read More »

Pope beatifies Blessed Paul VI

BEATIFYING Blessed Paul VI at the final Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis praised the late pope as the “great helmsman” of the Second Vatican Council and founder of the synod, as well as a “humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his church.” The pope spoke during a homily in St. Peter’s ... Read More »

Manipulative methods

GONE GIRL. Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon, and Tyler Perry. Directed by David Fincher. Rated MA 15+. Restricted (Strong sexualised violence, blood, sex scenes and coarse language). 149 min. By John Mulderig A JAUNDICED view of marriage permeates the abrasive drama Gone Girl. In fact, director David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel presents ... Read More »

Marriage better with NFP

CATHOLIC couples that ignore church teaching on contraception “don’t know what they are missing,” said a US couple invited to address the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Alice and Jeff Heinzen, family life leaders in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, spoke at the synod on October 7, urging efforts to find new ways to share its teaching ... Read More »

Violent film misses the mark

THE EQUALIZER. Denzel Washington, Martin Csokas, ChloÎ Grace Moretz. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. 132 minutes. Rated MA15+ (Strong violence). By John McCarthy VIGILANTE figures can be compelling in part because it’s natural to cheer against evildoers. And it’s much easier to be drawn in when a likable actor portrays the putative hero. But no matter how intriguing and righteous an ... Read More »

Confusion reigns and the Maze is the only way out

The Maze Runner

THE MAZE RUNNER: Starring Dylan OíBrien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Sangster, Aml Ameen. Directed by Wes Ball. 113 minutes. Rated M (Violence, science fiction themes and sustained threat) By Joseph McAleer CROSS The Hunger Games with Divergent and you’ll get The Maze Runner, the latest angst-ridden drama about teenagers fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. This go-round, there’s ... Read More »

Pope: Drop the melodrama, pray for strength, for those truly in pain

Pope Francis prays

AVOID the melodrama and self-pity over minor problems in life, Pope Francis said. Instead, use life’s inevitable difficulties to pray for strength and pray for those who are suffering real tragedy, he said in a morning homily on September 30. “Our life is too easy, our complaints are melodramatic complaints” compared to the many people suffering from debilitating disease, hunger ... Read More »

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