A half century ago, the Second Vatican Council charted a course for reform of the Catholic Church. But conservative popes, such as John Paul II and Benedict XVI, protected an autocratic system that failed to stop pedophile priests and even falls short on the religious needs of the faithful, says Catholic theologian Paul Surlis.
Special Report: Some activists on the Left are rejecting President Obama and the Democrats even if that means electoral victories for Mitt Romney, the neocons and the Tea Party. But Sam Brown, a veteran of a similar debate in 1968, cautions against the allure of political purity, writes Robert Parry.
The Vietnam War may seem like ancient history to many Americans, but that destructive conflict holds important lessons for the present, especially the danger of “group think” driving foreign policy and the value of insights that clash with conventional wisdom, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Recent historical discoveries about northern Palestine of two millennia ago reveal how radical Jesus’s message was, what risks he was asking his followers to take, and why he was arrested and crucified as an insurrectionist when he ventured south to Jerusalem, says Rev. Howard Bess.
Facing political pressure from Republicans, the Obama administration has delayed installing a solar-energy system at the White House, perhaps aware of the fate of Jimmy Carter and his solar panels three decades ago, say documentarians Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller.
Exclusive: The Framers of the U.S. Constitution never looked smarter than when the American system of a strong central government is compared to the European Union model, a loose federation staggered by disunity. But the Tea Partiers want a states’ rights structure more like Europe’s, writes Robert Parry.
Special Report: Definitive proof of a historical mystery is often elusive, even with archival documents and memoirs. Skeptics can always say some witness or some evidence isn’t perfect. But the case that Richard Nixon sabotaged the Vietnam peace talks in 1968 to win that pivotal election is clear, writes Robert Parry.
Special Report: The 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in has brought reflections on the scandal’s larger meaning, but Official Washington still misses the connection to perhaps Richard Nixon’s dirtiest trick, the torpedoing of Vietnam peace talks that could have ended the war four years earlier, Rober Parry reports.
The Israeli-Palestinian crisis is one of the world’s most troublesome conflicts, especially since it has been exploited by extremists on both sides to justify a range of violent actions far and wide. A book by the son of an Israeli war hero puts the dispute in a human context, writes David Swanson at warisacrime.org.
If the teachings of Jesus were really taken seriously, the Christian Right wouldn’t be devoting so much time to protecting the wealth of the wealthiest. True Christians would be demanding redistribution of the world’s riches in ways far more radical than modern politicians would dare propose, as Rev. Howard Bess explains.