The day after Donald Trump won the presidential election, Mike Boyle decided he was ready to become an Episcopalian.
A practicing Catholic all his life, Boyle was serious enough about his faith that he had spent three years as a member of a Dominicans community, in the priestly formation track. But even prior to 2016, he was growing frustrated with the behavior of lay Catholics and clergy. With the initiation of the Fortnight for Freedom, during the Obama administration, he began to be uncomfortable with the church leaders' obvious promotion of right-wing political ideologies.
Then Pope Francis was elected. Boyle initially hoped the new pope would bring about much-needed reform, but after a few years started to doubt whether Francis could really change things. He began to be drawn toward an Anglo-Catholic Episcopal parish.
"But I still held on," Boyle said. "With Trump, it was basically like watching a car crash in slow motion. Deep down, I knew that the hierarchy and all the usual suspects were going to jump on board the Trump train, but I still hoped that I was wrong, that I was being too cynical. But, of course, I wasn't being too cynical."
- Read a psychological analysis of Donald Trump and his Catholic supporters.
Several Catholic bishops in Cameroon's English-speaking regions are sharply criticizing President Paul Biya's violent, yearslong campaign to quell an independence movement in those regions.
In recent NCR interviews, three prelates suggested that Biya's government had initially underestimated the growing influence of those calling for the creation of a new, separate state and then responded with disproportionate force.
Retired Archbishop Cornelius Fontem Esua, who led Cameroon's Bamenda Archdiocese from 2006 to 2019, said Biya had erred drastically in late 2017 when he pledged to "eliminate" independence fighters.
"Violence only begets violence," Esua told NCR. "The moment the government started using live bullets on peaceful protesters, it was evident that things would simply go out of hand."
- In her latest column,
Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister says that synodality — a rare model of
operation in the Roman church — is still in its infancy, but is fast
becoming a new sign of both hope and despair.
- At Global Sisters Report, read about how Catholic nuns in Vietnam care for tuberculosis patients at public hospitals, showing them how to take medicine, get follow-up medical examinations, and offering them basic food and money.