“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...]

Pope Francis writes to Muslim leader, expresses respect for Islam and calls for mutual understanding

Details: The Al-Azhar University in Cairo – considered one of the most important centres of Sunni Islamic learning  – has announced that Pope Francis has sent a personal message to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al Tayyeb. The most important Catholic website in Arabic,www.abouna.org, published the communiqué issued by Al-Azhar, which mentions that a [Read More...]

In Connecticut, an interfaith celebration of Ramadan

Photo: Keila Torres Ocasio This will certainly be of interest to Bridgeport’s new bishop.  Details:  It was like those cartoon moments when a light bulb appears to symbolize the spark of a new idea. A staffer at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, accepting the synagogue’s correspondence from a mail carrier, asked the man if he wanted water. [Read More...]

Report: More Hispanic Women Converting to Islam

Details:  For Zainab Ismail, a Bronx-born Hispanic woman, the turning point came in March 2009 after a wedding ceremony at a Catholic church. “For some unknown reason, obviously now I know it was Allah–God–putting that thought and feeling in my heart, I no longer wanted to be Catholic. I didn’t know what I wanted to be but [Read More...]

Hindus Angered Over Depiction of Virgin Mary in Sari

Details:  The issue of Christian missionaries proselytizing in India has taken a bizarre turn after a church in the eastern state of Jharkhand installed a statue of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus depicted as “tribals,” the indigenous people of the state. With dark brown complexions and sporting traditional Indian tribal clothing (white sari with red [Read More...]


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