Supernatural Signs in the Catholic Church and Debating the Legacy of a New Saint

Demons, Miracles and Apparitions:  Inside the Mysterious Side of Catholicism

The supernatural is alive and well in the Catholic Church: One of the requirements for sainthood is still proof of performing two miracles. There’s an official process for judging the authenticity of Virgin Mary sightings. There’s even a newly-updated rite of exorcism–and Pope Francis has performed one. John Thavis, author of The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age, and a 30-year veteran of reporting on the Vatican joins us to explore the church’s tension between embracing the unexplainable and staying relevant in the modern age.

Junipero Sierra: Saint or Sinner?

The Catholic Church’s newest saint is Junipero Serra, the Spanish friar responsible for setting up the California mission system and converting thousands of Native Americans to Catholicism. But for many Native peoples, Serra is no saint. Jonathan Cordero, Assistant Professor of Sociology at California Lutheran University and a California Indian and Gregory Orfalea, author of Journey to the Sun: Junipero Serra’s Dream and the Founding of California debate the controversy over the first ever canonization conducted on American soil.

Paryushan: The Jain Yom Kippur

The Jewish Day of Atonement and the Jain holiday of  Parushan have a surprising number of similarities: both are high holy days, both include a period of reflection on the previous year, and both designate a specific day to make amends. But Jainism adds an extra reason to atone once a year that has absolutely no comparison in Jewish theology: the need to slough off bad karma.  Featuring Shikhar Shah, member of the Young Jains of America.

Is Ismlamaphobia the New Anti-Catholocism?

Two testy soundbites have caught our host’s attention lately: Ben Carson’s comment that he does “not advocate” a Muslim for president and Donald Trump’s failure to correct a New Hampshire man who referred to President Obama as a Muslim. For Maureen Fiedler, host and Sister of Loretto, it conjures up the anti-Catholic rhetoric of an earlier time, from the Know-Nothing Party to critics of John F. Kennedy.




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