Scholar overhauls Hebrew bible for first time in 500 years

This is pretty remarkable news:  For the past 30 years, Israeli Judaic scholar Menachem Cohen has been on a mission of biblical proportions: Correcting all known textual errors in Jewish scripture to produce a truly definitive edition of the Old Testament. His edits, focusing primarily on grammatical blemishes and an intricate set of biblical symbols, [Read More...]

Ohio gets another basilica

This happened in June, but it hit the local paper yesterday.   Details: Historic St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at 627 McKinley Ave. NW has been elevated to a “minor basilica” by the Vatican. It’s now called the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. According to the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, a decree granting the [Read More...]

Who knew? First winner of modern Olympics was Catholic

From the National Catholic Register:  The games were revived by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1896 and staged, appropriately, in Athens. His inspirational words have been repeated in every succeeding Olympiad: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is [Read More...]

On sacred (under) ground: blessing a New York subway tunnel

Details:  At 7 on Monday morning, a priest in black robes approached a portal on Second Avenue that dropped down into an underground cavern. Accompanied by about 10 men in safety vests and hard hats, the priest donned similar gear and stepped into a steel mesh cage. As the cage was lowered into the hole, [Read More...]

Nuns by the numbers: where are the vocations happening?

You might be surprised. America magazine has a closer look at a recent CARA study: Some commentators have made assertions about the demographics of religious life in the United States that are not based in fact. Regrettably, such misinformed statements create dichotomies that not only mask the complexity of religious reality, but are patently false. [Read More...]

When does a dinner invitation become a scandal? — UPDATED

When it involves the fabled Al Smith Dinner in New York, all you have to do is invite President Obama: By tradition, the storied Al Smith Dinner has provided a few hours of comic relief from the angry volleys of the campaign trail — a white-tie charity banquet held in the weeks before Election Day, [Read More...]

Meeting His Beatitude

Another visitor from the East popped into our office today: Major Archbishop Baselios Mar Cleemis of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in India. Lovely man. Awesome beard, too. [Read more...]

U.S. bishops: “We mourn with our Sikh brothers and sisters”

Details, from Vatican Radio:  The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs expressed the bishops’ prayerful solidarity with the Sikh community in the United States following the August 5 shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. “In this time of grief, we Catholics mourn with our Sikh brothers and sisters,” said [Read More...]

At the Olympics, Mass appeal

They aren’t just playing.  They’re praying:  The Catholic Church of England and Wales is taking advantage of the Olympic Games to evangelize London locals, the thousands of tourists in the city for the events, and the athletes as well. Speaking to Vatican Radio, James Parker, Catholic executive coordinator for the Olympic Games, reported that not [Read More...]

In Los Angeles, “the largest celebration of the Virgin Mary in a generation”

Yesterday, I posted on the deacon who was going to emcee this historic gathering.  Now, the Los Angeles Times has a wrapup of the event: Touted as the “largest celebration of the Virgin Mary in a generation,” tens of thousands of believers filled the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday afternoon to honor Our Lady [Read More...]


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