Measuring the “Francis Effect”: in poll, most say they believe pope will attract Catholics back to the Church

A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) offers an interesting snapshot of the “Francis Effect“ in the U.S., just ahead of his first visit: More than one year into his papacy, Pope Francis remains popular among the American public. Two-thirds (67%) of Americans have a favorable view of the pope, while 15% [Read More...]

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Francis bobble head with Philly cheesesteak and a pretzel!?

Just when you thought you’d seen it all…some savvy Philadelphia promoters offer us this. And yes, for good measure, he’s also wearing “Rocky” boxing gloves. [Read more...]

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Phil Hartman: “Our faith prepares us for what lies ahead”

A fascinating blog post by Mark Pattison at CNS reveals a side of the late comedian many may not know (I sure didn’t!). Mark writes about a phone interview he did with Hartman in which the comic reflected on the death of his father and touched on his own Catholic upbringing: “Our faith prepares us for what [Read More...]

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Cardinal Levada arrested for DUI

Details:  One of the Roman Catholic Church’s most senior clergymen was arrested last week for driving under the influence during a trip to Hawaii. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday that 79-year-old Cardinal William Joseph Levada, of Menlo Park, California, was stopped at about midnight Thursday in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island after a patrol car saw him swerve. Levada, [Read More...]

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Some proposals for allowing divorced and remarried to receive Communion

From CNS:  The discussion at last year’s extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was lively — some media coverage made it sound like a battle — and a new book from the Pontifical Council for the Family shows the debate continues. “Family and Church: An Indissoluble Bond,” published this summer only in Italian, is [Read More...]

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Dog bites man: star of “Big Bang Theory” says being religious in Hollywood “not trendy”

Really? Who knew? Details:  Mayim Bialik is best know for her role as “Blossom” on the NBC sitcom of the same name and as the quirky Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory,” but the 39-year-old is also known as a person of faith in Hollywood. Bialik has consistently used her celebrity as a [Read More...]

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Visiting an Anglican Ordinariate parish: “You know that you are in a different place, a place set aside for holy use”

I’d be curious to experience this liturgy sometime. It sounds like something I’d like. Here Devin Rose describes his first experience visiting Our Lady of Walsingham in Texas:   The parish is beautiful. It is like an acre of England has been cut out and dropped in Houston. The church itself looks like a classic Anglican (originally Catholic!) [Read More...]

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Want to pass through the Holy Door at St. Peter’s next year? Get a reservation.

From CNS:  Drawing on the experience of the public exposition of the Shroud of Turin, Vatican officials are adopting a reservation system for pilgrims who want to cross the threshold of the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica during the Year of Mercy. The free, online registration will not be activated until October, but in [Read More...]

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Lavish funeral in Rome for alleged mob boss

From Catholic News Agency:  An outlandish funeral for an alleged Italian mob boss, complete with a horse-drawn carriage, flower petals strewn from a helicopter and a brass band playing theme music from the movie “The Godfather” was slammed by Rome’s politicians Thursday as an intolerable display of impunity.Hundreds gathered outside the church of San Giovanni [Read More...]

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Cupich on Synod: “It is no longer sufficient to just repeat the formulas of the past” — UPDATED

Ahead of receiving the pallium in Chicago today, Archbishop Blaise Cupich shared his thoughts on the significance of that event, the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the United States, and preparations for the Synod this fall. From Catholic New World: CNW: What are your expectations for the Synod of Bishops on the Family to be held [Read More...]

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