Pope Francis' new encyclical titled "Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home", is displayed during the presentation news conference at the Vatican on June 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Max Rossi 
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-ENCYCLICAL-FUTURE, originally transmitted on June 18, 2015, and with RNS-POPE-ARRIVE, originally transmitted on Sept. 22, 2015.

Pope Francis’ environment encyclical: game-changer or dead letter?

(RNS) Pope Francis’ landmark document on protecting the environment and battling climate change is finally out after months of anticipation — and anxiety — that in the history of encyclicals is probably rivaled only by Pope Paul VI’s 1968 letter banning artificial birth control. But will it have an effect? Here are four challenges Francis faces going forward.


Remembering Edward: 10 years after Said

Today we pause to recall the loss of Edward Said, a giant intellectual presence who passed away 10 years ago today. He remained committed that there is something ultimately redemptive about a face-to-face encounter of human beings with one another, and remained a steadfast voice of opposition to Empire.

Destruction of a Nagasaki temple

America, nuclear bombs, and drones

The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should haunt us to remain ever vigilant against the catastrophic and devastating nature of violence. That includes today’s ongoing Drone Wars.

Guantanamo Bay prisoners courtesy Wikipedia

Hunger Strikes and Forced Feeding Inside Guantanamo Bay

The Guardian has published a harrowing video. This video depicts what it’s like to be one of the over a hundred prisoners inside Guantanamo Bay on hunger strikes who are being forcibly fed to keep them alive. The rapper/actor Mos Def (who now goes by Yasiin Bey) agreed to have these tubes inserted down his nose, and have it be video-taped to publicize the experience of the Guantanamo prisoners. He describes the unbearable pain of this experience.

AL-WALAJA segregation wall

Beyond the Berlin Wall: “Mr. Obama: Tear Down All These Walls.”

President Obama poetically stated: “No wall can stand against the yearning of justice,”
Yes indeed!
Mr. President, tear down all these walls.
Mr. President, tear down the segregation wall in Palestine/Israel.
Mr. President, tear down the wall along the American-Mexico border.
Mr. President, tear down these walls.