Catholic Church pushing for right to use the word “Allah”

From The Wall Street Journal:  The Catholic Church is gearing up for an expected tough fight Wednesday at Malaysia’s highest court when it argues for the right to appeal a lower court decision banning it from using the word “Allah” in its newspaper. The lower court ruled the word is exclusive to Muslims, who make [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “A community does not belong to the preacher, but to Christ”

Hot on the heels of that headline-making video presented to evangelicals last week, Pope Francis offered some stirring remarks on Christian unity during the Angelus yesterday: In his address to them he urged them to work for Christian unity avoiding all divisions, because he said: “a community does not belong to the preacher, but to [Read More...]

“That all may be one”

Deacon Bill Ditewig reminds us that we are beginning the International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity—and after the recent controversy over that picture with Cardinal O’Malley, quotes this passage from Lumen gentium: The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though [Read More...]

O’Malley and the minister: a shot that shocked—UPDATED

This picture has been around the world a few times now—and it’s continuing to spark debate.  It shows the moment at an ecumenical service last Sunday when Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley asked Methodist minister Anne Robertson to make the sign of the cross on his forehead with holy water as a remembrance of baptism. Here’s [Read More...]

Boston’s O’Malley marks historic visit of Cardinal Cushing to Methodist church

From The Boston Globe:  One freezing winter day when he was a child, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley told a congregation of Catholics and Methodists Sunday afternoon, the pipes in his house burst and his father opened the phone book to find a plumber. O’Malley’s mother sang out, “Be sure you call a Catholic!” These days, [Read More...]

Meet a Muslim living with Mormons and attending a Catholic high school

Photo: Bob Brawdy/Tri-City Herald Details from the Tri-City Herald in Washington state: A Muslim exchange student lives with a Mormon family and attends a small private Catholic high school. It’s not a sitcom script. It’s a real-life cultural immersion experience for 16-year-old Muhammad Janjua. Janjua, who goes by Umer, is living, learning and forging new [Read More...]

Muslims help rebuild a Catholic church

Heartening and inspiring news from the Philippines: Christian residents of this city’s Santa Catalina district found nothing unusual about Muslims bearing carpenters’ tools — until they realized the Muslims had volunteered to help rebuild a Catholic chapel. “We thought they were just looking for damaged mosques to rebuild,” said Jimmy Villaflores, Santa Catalina barangay (village) [Read More...]

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...]