Spring fever: First Communions, weddings and “people who act as though they are at a ball game”

My blog neighbor Fr. Mike Duffy notes that it’s that time of year again: the season for weddings and First Communions.  Unfortunately, as Fr. Duffy notes, these events are often the very definition of a “mixed blessing”: I would never want to be cold or discourage anyone from coming to Church.  But I do hope [Read More…]

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Two small but significant changes regarding Communion reception—UPDATED

A website calls attention to this item in a USCCB newsletter on the new Roman Missal, from January: What does the Missal say about the posture of the faithful when receiving Holy Communion? What about Communion in the hand? Both of these questions are covered in no. 160 of the GIRM. It states clearly there that the [Read More…]

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Future of Catholic weddings in Britain may be in doubt

Details:  Prof Christopher McCrudden said that there are serious questions over whether the 120-year-old legal basis on which 8,500 Catholic weddings a year are performed can even “survive” the passage of the bill currently before Parliament. He told MPs and peers that, unless urgent changes are made, Catholic bishops may have to reconsider whether priests [Read More…]

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Bishop vs. bishop over gay marriage and communion

From Sunday:  Catholic Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit said on Sunday that Catholics who support gay marriage yet take the sacrament of Communion are contradicting themselves, echoing recent calls from a religious scholar for supporters of gay marriage to withdraw from taking the Eucharist. According to the Detroit Free Press, Archbishop Vigneron said that Catholics who support [Read More…]

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Biden attends Cardinal Dolan’s Palm Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s

And before anyone asks: yes, he evidently did receive communion. Details: Vice President Joe Biden attended mass and received communion on Sunday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York where the mass was celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. At a time when the administration is being sued by Dolan and the Catholic Bishop’s Conference over the Obama [Read More…]

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Have you been to confession lately?

This is Reconciliation Monday for the greater New York area — every church in New York City, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island will be open to hear confessions today from 3 pm to 9 pm. You can read more here.   I wrote about the sacrament and its effects from a personal perspective a few [Read More…]

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Deacon baptizes man on death row before scheduled execution

From the Georgia Bulletin: Warren Hill received the sacraments of the Catholic Church on Feb. 14, in a confined area near his cell where he was awaiting his execution in five days. Deacon Richard Tolcher, who had been meeting regularly with the 52-year-old and teaching him about prayer, the sacraments and the Catholic faith, baptized [Read More…]

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What’s wrong with giving out blessings during communion? —UPDATED

Lots. Especially if the one doing the blessing is a lay person. Fr. Z rants about it again this morning. I posted on this topic last year. With Easter approaching, and more people crowding into churches (and more EMHCs likely being pressed into duty), it’s worth revisiting this thorny issue. As a priest mentioned last [Read More…]

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The truth about dishonesty—and how confession helps us change our behavior

A colleague at work said, “Hey, you should put this on your blog,” and sent me the link. It’s a cleverly animated lecture by Dan Ariely, an expert in the field of “behavioral economics” (yeah, I don’t know what it is, either). Anyway: a few minutes into this secular head-scratcher about human behavior, he talks about [Read More…]

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“A historic moment”: Catholic, Protestant churches agree to recognize each other’s baptisms

 Details:  Leaders of U.S. Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches will sign a historic agreement Tuesday in Austin by which the two traditions will formally recognize each other’s liturgical rites of baptism. The product of seven years of talks among five denominations, the agreement will be signed at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at a prayer service [Read More…]

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