It’s here: Vatican report on U.S. nuns

From CNS:  A massive, detailed Vatican-ordered investigation of U.S. communities of women religious ended with a call to the women themselves to continue discerning how best to live the Gospel in fidelity to their orders’ founding ideals while facing steeply declining numbers and a rapidly aging membership.Although initially seen by many religious and lay Catholics [Read More...]

Slaughter in Pakistan: there are no words for this kind of evil

Breaking news this morning from Pakistan:  At least 126 people, most of them children, were killed on Tuesday when Taliban gunmen stormed a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, taking hundreds of students hostage in the bloodiest insurgent attack in the country in years. Troops surrounded the building and an operation was underway to [Read More...]

Cardinal Dolan severs ties with Fr. Frank Pavone’s Priests for Life

From Religion News Service:   In the latest clash between the Catholic hierarchy and one of the church’s leading anti-abortion crusaders, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan accused the Rev. Frank Pavone of continuing to stonewall on financial reforms, and Dolan said he is cutting ties with his group, Priests for Life. In a Nov. 20 letter to other U.S. bishops, [Read More...]

“The war on Christmas is over. Jesus won.”

That’s the eye-catching headline of this item in The Washington Post, summarizing a new report from those folks at Pew: A new Pew Research Center survey finds nearly three-quarters of Americans — 73 percent — believe that Jesus was literally born to a virgin. This is especially surprising when you consider that only one third of Americans say that [Read More...]

Catholic enough? Archdiocese launches Office of Catholic Identity Assessment for schools

From Catholic San Francisco:  Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is creating a new Office of Catholic Identity Assessment for Catholic high schools starting Jan. 1 – an initiative that may be the first in the country. The office will not only work with the four archdiocesan high schools which fall directly under the archdiocesan Department of [Read More...]

The pope offers a prayer tool: your hand

From Vatican Insider:  “When I pray God breathes in me.” This is the opening phrase of the 40-page prayer book signed by Francis and handed out to faithful present in St. Peter’s Square for today’s Angelus and the traditional “Bambinelli Blessing”. The front cover of the booklet published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican publishing house [Read More...]

Another papal first: Pope has private audience with Salvation Army general

Did he bring his red bucket? Details from Vatican Radio: In a first private audience in the Vatican with a Salvation Army general on Friday, Pope Francis said theological differences do not impede the witness of a shared love of God and neighbour. He also spoke of his first encounter, as a 4-year old, with [Read More...]

The Advent Police

Be alert! From Episcopal Rev. Jay Sidebotham [Read more...]

Hitting the road: The Bench and CNEWA visit Long Island

The past couple of days I found myself on a rare weekend away from my home parish, giving talks at Curé of Ars Catholic Church in Merrick, New York.  I was there with two of my colleagues from CNEWA, Norma Intriago and Chris Kennedy, to raise awareness about the plight of persecuted Christians and enlist support [Read More...]

Must-see video: the SNL sketch about going to Mass at Christmas

Well, what do you know? Somebody at Saturday Night Live has been going to church. Is this satire? Investigative journalism? Whatever you call it, it’s hilarious. See if you don’t recognize your parish here. [Read more...]


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