Co-exist: Pope underlines importance of interreligious dialogue

  An overview from the Vatican news site:  Speaking to the participants of the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Pope Francis underlined the importance of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions.He noted that due to increasing movement of peoples because of phenomena such as migration, Christians [Read More...]

A look at deacons in the Orthodox tradition

This popped up in my Facebook feed and I thought it worth sharing here. It offers another view of the diaconate, from another tradition: The Deacon is the third and lowest degree of the major orders of clergy in the Orthodox Church, following the bishop and the presbyter. The word deacon (in Greek διάκονος) means server and [Read More...]

SSPX disrupts interfaith service at Buenos Aires cathedral

From the AP:  Ultra-traditionalist Catholics have openly challenged Pope Francis by disrupting one of his favorite events, a ceremony that he and Jewish leaders led in the Metropolitan Cathedral each year to promote religious harmony on the anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust. The annual ceremony brings together Catholics, Jews and Protestants to mark [Read More...]

White House celebrates Diwali

Some around the Internets are shocked, simply shocked, that the Obamas did this.  (Read some comments here for a taste of reaction, which includes “False idols at the White House! It will need a good cleaning after they’re gone” and “Maybe Michelle will be their first sacrifice.”) Let the record show: the first Diwali celebration at [Read More...]

“The new head of the Roman Catholic Church is blowing everyone’s minds.”

With a grateful diaconal bow to Mark Shea, I offer some of what an Episcopal priest writes in a California paper: Put simply, the new head of the Roman Catholic Church is blowing everyone’s minds. He is saying and doing things that seem like fresh water in the midst of a desert. He is speaking [Read More...]

After membership declines, Catholic church sold to Muslims

Details from the Sunday Express: St Peter’s Catholic church in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, has now closed its doors to the shrinking congregation following the sale. Church leaders have reassured Christians the local parish, Cobridge, will continue to exist and money from the St Peter’s sell-off will be used to benefit parishioners. The identity of the buyers has not been [Read More...]

Archbishop: rules on Communion reception could be relaxed

Hot on the heels of this item, on non-Catholics and Communion, a reader alerted me to this, from The Tablet in London: Restrictions on Christians from other denominations receiving communion in the Catholic Church could be relaxed, the Archbishop of Birmingham has said. Archbishop Bernard Longley, who is co-chairman of the Anglican Roman Catholic International [Read More...]

Archbishop of Canterbury encourages Anglicans to embrace the Sacrament of Reconciliation

From the Telegraph:  The Most Rev Justin Welby advised churchgoers that it could be an “enormously powerful” experience to unburden themselves to a confessor, even if it was not always a “bunch of laughs”. His comments came as he addressed the heads of other churches – including the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in [Read More...]

Muslims form human chain to protect Christians at church

From a newspaper in Pakistan:  Hand in hand as many as 200-300 people formed a human chain outside the St Anthony’s Church adjacent to the District Police Lines at the Empress Road, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar church attack two weeks back, which resulted in over a 100 deaths. The twin [Read More...]

Poll: rise in American Jews who are not religious, marrying outside the faith

They’re sounding a lot like some American Catholics, actually. From the New York Times:  The first major survey of American Jews in more than 10 years finds a significant rise in those who are not religious, marry outside the faith and are not raising their children Jewish — resulting in rapid assimilation that is sweeping [Read More...]