Fifty years ago, Pope John XXIII launched a revolution in the Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council opened on Oct. 11, 1962, with the goal of bringing the church into the modern world. Catholics could now hear the Mass in their local language. Laypeople could take leadership roles in the church. And the church opened conversations with other faiths.
For American nuns, Vatican II brought freedoms and controversies that are playing out today.
A lawyer who represents alleged victims of sexual abuse has made public a list of 1,900 people within the Boy Scouts of America accused or convicted of abuse. The list includes names, dates, locations and some details. Lawyers are expected to release internal documents from the Boy Scouts related to sexual abuse next week.
On Thursday night, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan takes the national debate stage for the first time in his career. The 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman faces off with Vice President Joe Biden. We take a look at the strengths and weaknesses the House budget chairman brings.
A panel of federal judges in Washington, D.C., has upheld South Carolina's controversial voter ID law, but says the state can't implement it until 2013. In a unanimous decision, the panel said there wasn't enough time to implement the law ahead of the Nov. 6 elections. The judges also said the law doesn't discriminate against racial minorities.
A terrorism trial unfolding in a federal court in Minneapolis is providing a rare look inside a jihadi pipeline that funneled some two dozen young Somali-Americans to Somalia to join a terrorist group there.
The testimony from three young men who joined a group affiliated with al-Qaida and subsequently returned to the U.S. has shown just how easy it is for young men to leave the U.S. and join a terrorist organization.
When Pope John XXIII announced the creation of the Second Vatican Council (also known as Vatican II) in January 1959, it shocked the world. There hadn't been an ecumenical council — an assembly of Roman Catholic religious leaders meant to settle doctrinal issues — in nearly 100 years.
"Many people maintained that with the definition of papal infallibility in 1870, councils were no longer needed. So it was a big surprise," Georgetown University professor Rev. John W. O'Malley says.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:38 am
Measurement has long been a cornerstone of quality improvement, whether it's on the factory floor or the hospital ward.
And making the quality scores of doctors and hospitals publicly available is central to the idea that health care can become a service that patients shop for intelligently. The results can also ratchet up professional peer pressure for improvement.
But does public reporting lead doctors and hospitals to game the system by withholding care from the sickest patients?
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:17 pm
Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.
In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:18 pm
NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin previews Thursday's vice presidential debate. WOSU news director Mike Thompson talks Ohio politics. And former Virginia governor Tim Kaine and former congressman Tom Davis talk about Kaine's U.S. Senate race against another former Virginia governor, George Allen.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:10 pm
Look at this map, and notice that deep, deep in the Republican South, there's a thin blue band stretching from the Carolinas through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These are the counties that went for Obama in the last election. A blue crescent in a sea of red.