Archbishop bars son of Italian crime boss from confirmation ceremony

Details:  It’s long been accused of adopting an at best ambiguous role in the fight against organised crime in Sicily, but the Catholic Church has now taken a symbolic stand against the Mafia in its Palermo heartland by refusing to give sacrament to the son of a notorious Cosa Nostra crime lord. Despite protests from [Read More...]

“God is more important than sex”: Couple abstained from sex for 19 months while waiting for annulments

In our pelvic-centric age, some would find this unthinkable. Read on, from The Catholic Sentinel in Portland: Steve and Shaina Purves don’t consider themselves heroic. They say they simply lived out what the church teaches — and it was fantastic. For 19 months after Shaina entered the Catholic Church, the civilly-wed couple refrained from sexual contact while [Read More...]

What about the sacrament of reconciliation for the divorced and remarried?

John Thavis has just posted a summary of a speech given at the synod by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, the director of the journal La Civiltà Cattolica, who is considered a close collaborator of Pope Francis. John thinks this may shed light on the pope’s thinking on several critical issues raised over the last two weeks.  One [Read More...]

What many Catholics don’t know about divorce and receiving communion

With all the talk lately about divorce and communion, I’ve been reminded of how much we Catholics don’t know what we don’t know. A few months ago, I met with a woman from my parish to help her begin the annulment process. We chatted a bit before we started going over what was involved. “So,” [Read More...]

From the synod: two more cardinals back communion for divorced and remarried

From John Allen in Crux:  Within the last 24 hours, two Italian cardinals have stepped into the fray over whether divorced and remarried Catholics ought to be able to receive Communion, with both coming down on the permissive side of the argument. Whether that will be enough to overcome strong opposition to any change among [Read More...]

Cardinal Wuerl: “The reception of communion is not a doctrinal position”

One of the pope’s close advisors offers his views on the reception of communion in light of the synod, in this video from CNS. [Read more...]

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a Confirmation celebrated in the Extraordinary Form

A priest friend alerted me to this. It happened Sunday and was done by my bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn, at the chapel of St. John’s Cemetery in Queens. Yes, there was slapping. [Read more...]

VIDEO: Burke and Kasper on communion—UPDATED

CNS has just released these two brief videos, in which Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Walter Kasper explain their approaches to this critical issue in their own words. UPDATE: My blog neighbor Joanne McPortland is not at all impressed by this videos, and detects a distinct bias on the part of CNS. Read why.     [Read more...]

A divorced and remarried Catholic: “It has never occurred to me to present myself for Communion…”

In a rare move, a secular publication in the UK, The Spectator, offers a strong and persuasive argument about Catholic communion: I am a divorced and remarried Catholic. I attend Mass every week. When my children want me to take them up to Holy Communion, I walk along behind them and cross my arms over my [Read More...]

Bishop on divorced and remarried Catholics: “We’ve got to do something!”

It’s rare to hear a bishop be so blunt, but Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin is that and more in his column for his diocesan newspaper: I understand completely the arguments against taking a more “pastoral approach” to this topic, primarily that to do so would betray the sacred teaching of Christ we are obliged to [Read More...]