The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday (Oct. 9) bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize on an alliance of four Tunisian civil society groups for their efforts to foster democracy in the nation that gave birth to the Arab Spring.
By signing legislation permitting assisted suicide in his state yesterday, California Gov. Jerry Brown has threatened the lives and dignity of all vulnerable people, according to O. Carter Snead, University of Notre Dame law professor and director of the University’s Center for Ethics and Culture.
Quoting the highly personal terms in which Brown had cast his decision — “In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” the governor said — Snead insisted that “Gov. Brown and those like him — affluent, privileged, able-bodied and with supportive families — are not the ones who will pay the price for this new ‘freedom.’”
Each day seems to bring a troubling new chapter as Europe confronts a staggering refugee crisis. On Thursday (Aug. 27), 71 refugees were found dead in the back of an abandoned freezer truck in Austria. On Friday (Aug. 28), Libya discovered the bodies of 200 immigrants off its coast after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe.
Maurizio Albahari, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, believes it is critical to open safe, legal ways into the European Union to curb the number of refugee deaths.
Pope Francis’ July 5-13 journey to South America will take him through countries and among people who already knew him well before he became the leader of all the world’s Catholics, according to Peter J. Casarella, associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.
Caserella, a scholar of Latino/a theology who has just returned from a year sabbatical in Chile at the Pontifical Catholic University of Santiago, said that before Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, “he was known in Latin America not only as the archbishop of Buenos Aires but also as an influential voice in the Latin American Bishops’ Conference (CELAM).
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Thursday (June 18) handed down its decisions in Reed v. Town of Gilbert — that an Arizona town had violated the First Amendment by placing limits on the size of signs announcing church services — and in Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles acted lawfully in rejecting a license plate displaying the Confederate flag.
According to University of Notre Dame law professor Richard W. Garnett, a former SCOTUS law clerk who teaches and writes about the First Amendment, “Thursday was a black-letter freedom of speech day at the Supreme Court.”
Encyclicals are formal letters issued by a pope to the universal Church concerning moral, doctrinal and disciplinary matters. While Pope Francis’ predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, both called for restraint on consumption and care for the earth, Pope Francis, from the very first days of his papacy, has amplified their teaching, making clear his conviction that the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics have a moral responsibility to protect the poor in a climate-changing world.
Some 420 medieval scholars will attend the conference, at which the MAA will announce the winners of its new Olivia Remie Constable Award, established in memory of Olivia Remie Constable, Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute and professor of history at Notre Dame, who died last April.
The disgrace of U.S. Little League team Jackie Robinson West is a national tragedy, said Clark Power, professor of psychology and education at the University of Notre Dame and director of Notre Dame’s Play Like a Champion Today program.
On Wednesday (Feb. 11), the Chicago-area Little League baseball team was stripped of its 2014 national title due to revelations that team officials had falsified boundaries to add ineligible players to its roster. The news is “just plain sad,” Power said.