Roma Downey and Mark Burnett launch campaign to support Christians in Iraq, Syria

From Christianity Today:  “Son of God” creators Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are taking bold steps to help Iraqi and Syrian Christians persecuted by the Islamic State. The couple recently announced that they have partnered with the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) to launch the Cradle of Christianity Fund – an organization that assists in the “rescue, [Read More...]

Why do Catholics leave the Church?

A new survey for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois offers some clues. From Our Sunday Visitor: In their report “Joy and Grievance in an American Diocese,” the researchers indicate they targeted “those who had lapsed or drifted from the Church and are currently inactive in a diocesan parish.” The study also includes a survey [Read More...]

Proof of virgin birth—in a python?

Details:   A reticulated python (the world’s largest species of snake) gave birth to six babies without the help of a male partner. The birth actually occurred in 2012. But it was only a few months ago that researchers published DNA evidence that Thelma — an 11-year-old, 200 pound, 20-foot-long female at the Louisville Zoo — was the sole genetic parent. [Read More...]

Ebola victim Nina Pham heads home, credits God and prayer

The Catholic nurse who contracted the virus in Dallas—the first person infected  in the United States— left NIH in Bethesda, MD this afternoon. Below is the text of her statement to reporters: “I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today. I would first and foremost like to thank God, my family and friends. Throughout [Read More...]

Bishop dedicates parish center named for a deacon

What a wonderful tribute.  From Today’s Catholic News, the website for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend: A dream that has been in the making for a decade has now come to fruition. St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Columbia City has completed construction on the long awaited Deacon Joseph Zickgraf Community Center. Bishop Kevin [Read More...]

A response to Chaput: “This can have very serious negative consequences for couples”

A few days ago, I posted on the radical proposal of Philadelphia’s Archbishop Chaput, who suggested that clergy might conceivably stop signing civil marriage licenses as a form of “principled resistance.” Now canon lawyer Ed Peters has responded:  I share Philadelphia Abp. Charles Chaput’s deep frustration at how confused the Church was made to appear [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Building the unity of the Church, this is the task of every one of us”

From his daily homily:  Every Christian is called to work for the unity of the Church, allowing ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit who creates unity in diversity, said Pope Francis at Mass Friday morning at Casa Santa Marta. Pope Francis based his homily on the First Reading from Saint Paul’s Letter to [Read More...]

A life well-lived: “You could just sense the Holy Spirit in Jim”

It’s rare to find a  secular newspaper offering this kind of tribute to a Catholic teacher. But this week, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer penned a poignant and inspiring piece that demands wider circulation. Take a look: Jim Skerl’s squad had more members than Chuck Kyle’s football team at St. Ignatius High School — [Read More...]

What could be more terrifying than “The Shining”?

How about “The Shining” in an IKEA store? Check out this inspired bit of advertising genius, created for Halloween. The only thing missing is Jack Nicholson. [Read more...]

Pope Francis calls for abolition of death penalty, life sentences

From VIS:  Today, the Holy Father received delegates from the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP), addressing them with a speech focusing on the issues in their subject area that have recourse to the Church in her mission of evangelization and the promotion of the human person. The Pope began by recalling the need for [Read More...]