A new church reality: heightened security

From The New York Times: Armed guards, security patrols and surveillance cameras — at the Potter’s House of Denver, they are just another part of Sunday services, like prayer, psalms and sermons. Much of the security effort is hidden so it does not interfere with worship, but church leaders insist that the military-style protocols are [Read More...]

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Gallup: pope’s favorability rating falls, with conservatives fueling the drop

From Gallup:  Pope Francis’ favorability rating in the U.S. has returned to where it was when he was elected pope. It is now at 59%, down from 76% in early 2014. The pontiff’s rating is similar to the 58% he received from Americans in April 2013, soon after he was elected pope. After Pope Francis [Read More...]

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Muslims raise over one hundred thousand dollars to rebuild black churches in the South

From Huffington Post, some news that should get wider circulation:  Three Muslim organizations have raised over $100,000 to rebuild black churches in the South. In the days following the shooting of nine people inside Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, a string of church fires at black worship centers in the South raised alarm on social [Read More...]

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Bishops: “Culture of life” demands end to death penalty

From CNS:  The Catholic faith tradition “offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake,” two bishops said in a statement renewing the U.S. Catholic Church’s push to end the death penalty. “ No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself [Read More...]

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“Flat Francis” does Epcot

The paper pontiff hit a few of the sites in Orlando yesterday, starting out at the Basilica Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe. Somehow, he found his way to Epcot. He didn’t meet the height restrictions on the rides—which require that you be taller than 11″—but I did sneak him onto Test Track on [Read More...]

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Fr. Robert Barron named auxiliary bishop to Los Angeles

Sensational news in the world of Catholic communications—and, really, for the American church— via Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis on Tuesday named three new auxiliary bishops to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the United States. Among them was Father Robert E. Barron, the Rector of the University of St. Mary and Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. [Read More...]

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Military archdiocese plans to hold first ever “discernment gathering” for possible chaplains

From CNS:  This fall, the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services plans to hold its first discernment gathering for Catholic priests to encourage them to consider becoming military chaplains. The archdiocese regularly holds several retreats a year for young men who are thinking about the priesthood and the chaplaincy, but this will be the first [Read More...]

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Gänswein on Francis: “There is continuity with Benedict XVI”

A fascinating interview with Archbishop Georg Gänswein, secretary to both Francis and Benedict, from Zenit:  Q: How do you manage to collaborate with two Popes? It doesn’t seem easy to adapt oneself to two such different personalities … Archbishop Gänswein: They are certainly very different between them: and for me, after a long experience as [Read More...]

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Welcoming “Flat Francis” to Florida

This email landed in my in-box yesterday: Pope Francis is coming to America for the first time in September. Since Catholic Extension has been supporting the Catholic Church in America for 110 years, we want you to help us show him the face of American Catholicism. Take a photo with this cutout of Pope Francis [Read More...]

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More church vandalism reported in Providence

Hot on the heels of the attack on a church pulpit comes this news:  In the capital city of the most Catholic state, parishes were tagged with scrawlings on walkways in front of church buildings. On the steps from the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the words “JESUS IS FALSE GOD” are written on [Read More...]

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