When non-Catholics receive communion—UPDATED

  View image | gettyimages.com < At Cardinal Francis George’s funeral Thursday, the governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, evidently received communion. There’s just one problem: Rauner is not Catholic. That is notable. But so is this fact: non-Catholics are permitted to receive the sacrament under certain limited circumstances. And some prominent non-Catholics have done just that in [Read More...]

Just another typical Catholic wedding—complete with gunshots

My traveling companion and blog neighbor Marge Fenelon captured on video a particularly lively part of the Greek Catholic Melkite wedding in Jordan I wrote about last week: the entrance of the bride and groom. You have to see this. And listen for the gunshots. That moment almost gave me a coronary. A Melkite deacon reader, after [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: witnessing a Melkite wedding

After leaving Petra this morning, bound for The Dead Sea, we stopped at a Greek Melkite Catholic Church, St. George, and caught part of a traditional wedding ceremony. This was something to see. And it was, literally, a shotgun wedding: someone in the wedding party fired a pistol into the air as the bride and [Read More...]

Pittsburgh eliminates fees for marriage annulments

Welcome news. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a trend. Details:   The Diocese of Pittsburgh has eliminated fees for annulments in keeping with comments by Pope Francis that the church should make it easier for some divorced Roman Catholics to remarry and receive other sacraments. “My staff and I have long dreamed of [Read More...]

Reconciliation, from the priest’s point of view

Yesterday, I posted about my visit to a church in midtown Manhattan to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Today, my blog neighbor Fr. Michael Duffy tells the story from the other side of the screen:  I walked into the church at ten to three and already fifty people were waiting.  I went into the priest’s sacristy, [Read More...]

Reconciliation Monday at St. Francis of Assisi

I dropped by one of my favorite churches in Manhattan, St. Francis of Assisi, for confession today, “Reconciliation Monday.”  The church is open for confessions every day, at all hours, but there was a line today anyway—about 20 people when I arrived at 5 p.m.  Four confessionals were open, so things moved quickly. I was [Read More...]

Want to prove you’re a good Catholic? Get your papers in order!

An excellent nudge, from Commonweal:  Want to prove you’re a good Catholic? I’m afraid you’ll have to do more than feed the hungry and teach your children the Lord’s Prayer in at least four modern languages and one or two dead ones. The absolute steel test for proving you’re a good Catholic has little to [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: reporter lies in confession, records priests’ responses

From Catholic News Agency:  Laura Alari writes for Quotidiano Nazionale, which is headquartered in Bologna. She authored a series of four articles in the newspaper which disclosed the responses of priests in the area when she approached them under the pretext of seeking Confession.Alari went to Confession several times, inventing delicate issues for herself: she pretended [Read More...]

“What this priest did was totally inexcusable”

You got that right. Read the whole account.  Pita bread? From Redemptionis Sacramentum:  1. The Matter of the Most Holy Eucharist [48.] The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition. It follows therefore that bread [Read More...]

“Priest” offers to hear confessions via Snapchat?

From San Antonio: Instead of turning to church to confess your sins, could you instead turn to your phone? A local ordained priest says he’s offering confessions digitally for the first time through the Snapchat app.  However, some faithful believers are skeptics. “It’s not confession.  It’s not what the sacrament is all about,” said Rev. [Read More...]


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