An Examination of Conscience for the Internet

Since it is Advent, and since this is a time for penitence and penance, and since John the Baptist just called us last Sunday to “Repent!,” I thought it worthwhile to consider—and reconsider— how a lot of us spend our time here on the digital continent. Over the weekend, Pope Francis called on the faithful [Read More...]

More on divorce and communion: “There is no middle-ground”

From canon lawyer Ed Peters:  We live in pervasively antinomian times [editor's note: read about antinomianism here], and basic unawareness of law is all around us. Yet ignorance of what law is, of why we have it, and even of how one needs to talk about law in order to make good sense, hampers the [Read More...]

December 3, 1966

It was an unremarkable Saturday. History records that the only newsworthy event on record (or at least, on Wikipedia) was an underground nuclear test performed in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. But on that day I received my First Communion. It was at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Olney, Maryland. Today, Olney is a sprawling suburb replete with [Read More...]

Vatican official says communion for divorced and remarried Catholics will be discussed “without any taboos”

From Vatican Insider:  “A new approach needs to be taken with respect to the administration of the sacraments to remarried divorcees.” Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri is the prelate the Pope nominated Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. Born in 1940, the Tuscan prelate has four decades of experience as a member of the Vatican diplomatic [Read More...]

German bishops defend position on communion for the divorced and remarried

From Catholic News Service:  Church officials in Germany defended plans by the country’s bishops’ conference to allow some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, insisting they have the pope’s endorsement. “We already have our own guidelines, and the pope has now clearly signaled that certain things can be decided locally,” said Robert Eberle, spokesman [Read More...]

Pope calls on priests to be “servants of the sacrament” of forgiveness, says he goes to confession every two weeks

From his Wednesday audience: Speaking to the the faithful during the weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said the Church accompanies us on our journey of conversion for the whole of our lives, calling us to experience reconciliation in its communal and ecclesial dimension. He said that we receive forgiveness through priests [Read More...]

What it takes to get married in a Catholic church—UPDATED

Most of us know that it varies from parish to parish. Some places will decline to marry couples who are living together, or mandate that they separate for a period of time before the wedding. Other parishes (including my own) will not marry couples who do not live within the parish boundaries. It’s really a [Read More...]

Archbishop: no communion for polluters

Details:  Archbishop of Naples Crescenzio Sepe didn’t mince words when speaking about the issue of pollution on Wednesday, going so far as to say, “Those who pollute are not in the grace of God and can not take communion.” His remarks came in the wake of revelations that local mafia had buried cancer-causing toxic waste around the [Read More...]

Number of baptisms falling

Cathy Lynn Grossman at Religion News Service takes a closer look at what’s causing this, across many denominations: Last month, Pope Francis gave the sacrament a boost when he called a pregnant, unmarried woman to encourage her faith and offered to baptize her baby. While his main message was anti-abortion,  his call also reminded Catholics that children [Read More...]

Vatican reaffirms teaching on communion for divorced and remarried Catholics

From CNS:  Amid rising expectations that the Catholic Church might make it easier for divorced and remarried members to receive Communion, the Vatican’s highest doctrinal official reaffirmed church teaching barring such persons from the sacrament without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage. But Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine [Read More...]


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