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A Confession At The Holy Church Of Therapy

"Who do you think I am," our Naples psychiatrist asks her patient, "a priest?"

Photo of the hand of a statue and a statue of an angel inside a Naples church

Statues in a Naples church

Mariateresa Fichele

As soon as I arrive at work, I get a call from a patient who says he urgently needs to talk to me:

"Ciro, what’s the matter? What happened?"

"Nothing, don’t worry! There’s just something I need to confess!"

"And why should I be the one you confess to? Who do you think I am, a priest?"

"Dottoré, what am I supposed to do? The churches are closed! If I die now, does this mean I have to carry my sins on my conscience forever? So I was thinking: If I come to you, you’d listen — and as penance, you can give me a little bit more therapy!"

"Ciro, what can I tell you. If you want to come, I am here."

"Thank you, Dottoré, you are a saint! But there’s something else I wanted to ask: You know that I don’t pay for our sessions because I am unemployed ... Well, while we’re at it, if I pay the regular fee, would you also be able to give me absolution?"

Learn more about Worldcrunch's exclusive Dottoré! series here.

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Why The World Still Needs U.S. Leadership — With An Assist From China

Twenty years of costly interventions and China's economic ascent have robbed the United States of its global supremacy. It is time for the two biggest powers to work together, to help the world.

Photograph of Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden walking side by side in the Filoli Estate in the U.S. state of California​

Nov. 15, 2023: Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden take a walk after their talks in the Filoli Estate in the U.S. state of California

María Ángela Holguín*


BOGOTÁ — The United States is facing a complex moment in its history, as it loses its privileged place in the world. Since the Second World War, it has been the world's preeminent power in economic and political terms, helping rebuild Europe after the war and through its growing economy, aiding the development of a significant part of the world.

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Its model of democracy, long considered exemplary around the world, has gone through a rough patch, thanks to excessive polarization and discord. This has cost it a good deal of its leadership, unity and authority.

How much authority does it have to chide certain countries on democracy, as it does, after such outlandish incidents as the assault on Congress in January 2021? The fights we have seen over electing a new speaker of the House of Representatives or backing the administration's foreign policy are simply incredible.

In Ukraine's case, President Biden failed to win support for the aid package for which he was hoping, even if there is a general understanding that if Russia wins this war, Europe's stability would be at risk. It would mean the victory of a longstanding enemy.

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