It can be hard to believe that we humans are essentially good. We’re amazingly proficient at destroying relationships, community, ecosystems and one another. As Reinhold Niebuhr often observed, original sin is the one empirically verifiable doctrine of the Christian faith.
Retired Anglican archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and Joseph Lowery, a longtime U.S. civil rights activist, were among recipients August 12 of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. “Each has been an agent of change,” President Obama said of the 16 people who received the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu says that ousted South African president Thabo Mbeki scored significant economic achievements and promoted peace in Africa, but he made enemies within his own party due to “his intolerance of challenges and dissent.”
Religious leaders are condemning postelection violence in Kenya that some observers say evokes memories of ethnic violence in Rwanda almost 14 years ago.
An Assemblies of God church in western Kenya was targeted January 1, and at least 30 people were killed after it was set aflame by an angry mob following disputed presidential elections, held December 27.
The second encyclical from Pope Benedict XVI, warning against secular ideas of progress, has prompted a lively debate among newspaper commentators in Italy—some labeling the pope a reactionary, but others springing to the pontiff’s defense.
The University of St. Thomas is the largest private institution of higher learning in the state of Minnesota, a school “inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition.” Recently, the university found itself in the embarrassing position of having failed to do some basic research; it did not check its sources.
Archbishop DesmondTutu has received India’s highest international honor, the Gandhi Peace Prize, and has dedicated it to “the people of South Africa, to the freedom of Darfur and to Aung San Suu Kyi,” the Burmese leader held under house arrest.