Report: SF school distributes pamphlets about sodomy, masturbation—UPDATED

The parish involved is Star of the Sea, which made news last month for the pastor’s decision to stop using girl altar servers.  The latest:  In the latest controversy to strike the Catholic Church in San Francisco, elementary school students at the Star of the Sea School were given pamphlets referring to sexual topics that some parents [Read More...]

Bishop vows to remain in Tripoli with his flock

From Vatican Radio:  The leader of the Catholic church in Libya is calling for dialogue and understanding in his violence wrought country. Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, has vowed to stay in Libya with the few remaining Christians, witnesses of Jesus’s message of love. Speaking in Italian to Vatican radio as the [Read More...]

PETA discovers Lent: 7 reasons to go vegan this season

The organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a few thoughts about what you should give up for the penitential season. I’m sure it will surprise no one that most of what they are encouraging us to give up involves animals. To wit: Go vegan for Lent! Lent is a time for [Read More...]

Homily for February 18, 2015: Ash Wednesday and the Coptic Martyrs

Every year, Ash Wednesday rolls around, and every year, this church swells with crowds of people, eager to be marked as we begin the observance of Lent. Receiving these ashes, of course, serves a number of purposes. First, it proclaims to the world that we are Catholic Christians. It tells others that we are preparing [Read More...]

VIDEO: Pope offers Mass for slain Copts

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis offered Mass Tuesday morning for the repose of the souls of the twenty-one Coptic Christians martyred for their faith in Christ. The Mass was attended by the Pope’s personal secretary, Abuna Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, who is Coptic Catholic. As he prepared to begin Mass in the Santa Marta Chapel, the [Read More...]

Questions surround fate of imprisoned Chinese bishop

From The New York Times:  For the better part of the last 60 years, Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang was imprisoned in Chinese jails and labor camps. For the last 14, he was held without charge in a secret location. His offense: refusing to renounce his loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church, which ordained him in 1947. [Read More...]

Homeless line up for haircuts, showers at Vatican: “It’s a beautiful thing he has done for us”

From AP:  Homeless people are lining up outside the public restrooms off St Peter’s Square to take advantage of Pope Francis’ new charitable initiative: a free shave and shower for the least fortunate. The Vatican’s barber shop for the homeless opened on Monday and 49-year-old Mauro Casubolo was one of the first clients. His chin [Read More...]

Obamacare’s bulletin announcements: “The body is a temple and it must be insured”—UPDATED

From The Weekly Standard:  In an effort to sign up as many consumers as possible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), the Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to partner with churches and other faith-based groups, even publishing sample church bulletin inserts, flyers, and scripts for announcements, as well as “talking [Read More...]

“For anyone who wants to go back to the way things were before Francis, it’s game over.”

  View image | NPR’s Indira Lakshmanan sat down with Rocco Palmo this weekend to talk about Pope Francis, two years into his papacy. Snip:  LAKSHMANAN: Can he compel priests and cardinals to follow his example, or is this just him expressing a personal opinion and hoping that they fall into line? PALMO: As for [Read More...]

Signs of faith: Mass with Pittsburgh’s Catholic deaf community

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a rare glimpse at an unusual way of worship: The 11:30 Sunday Mass at St. Mary of the Mount Catholic Church begins with the usual greetings and an unusual request — that parishioners remain seated during the hymns and other parts of the liturgy where they normally would stand. That’s so [Read More...]