In this installment of the First Things Podcast, join associate editor Julia Yost, literary editor Matthew Schmitz, and senior fellow Francesca Aran Murphy. (And find out how editor Rusty Reno and senior editor Mark Bauerlein are spending their vacations.) First: How should we understand and speak of the murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel by Islamic State militants? As “absurd violence”—or as an act with clear religious motivations and implications? Matthew and Francesca disagree about the adequacy of Pope Francis’s take on this issue. Then: Both of the new vice-presidential candidates are Catholic—in their own ways. Mike Pence, “Evangelical Catholic”? Francesca doesn’t buy it, but Matthew does. Tim Kaine, “Pope Francis Catholic”? Again, Francesca doesn’t buy it, but Matthew does—though not for the reasons you might expect. Finally: Readers and editors of First Things submitted questions for Francesca, who will return soon to the theology faculty of the University of Notre Dame. Julia hosts a lively session of “Ask a Theologian.” Find out whether God is a story, whether all dogs go to heaven, why the Pope Emeritus wears white—and more!

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