Bishop decries “hirsute flabmeisters spreading out in the pew…”

Behold the bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, unplugged: The sloppy and even offensive way people dress while attending Mass is something I’ve witnessed personally and regularly receive complaints about. You know what I’m talking about; you’ve seen it too. Hirsute flabmeisters spreading out in the pew, wearing wrinkled, very-short shorts and garish, unbuttoned shirts; mature [Read More...]

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Pew survey: Catholics divided over global warming

View image | gettyimages.com Details:  On the eve of a forthcoming encyclical by Pope Francis on the environment and climate change, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that U.S. Catholics’ views on global warming are broadly reflective of American public opinion writ large; a solid majority believe that Earth is warming, but there is [Read More...]

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This is our Church: more Catholics, more parishes, fewer priests

View image | gettyimages.com Some highlights of a CARA report released today: Arguably, the three most important indicators of “vitality” for the Catholic Church are the number of Catholics, the number of parishes, and the number of priests. …Overall, the global Catholic population has grown by 57 percent since 1980. However, this growth differs by [Read More...]

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From “nones” to nothing: study charts what may be America’s least religious generation

View image | gettyimages.com A press release, from San Diego State University, offers some sobering statistics: In what may be the largest study ever conducted on changes in Americans’ religious involvement, researchers led by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge found that millennials are the least religious generation of the last six [Read More...]

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“What I learned from 46 consecutive days in church”

Catholic broadcaster Adrian Chiles recently set himself a challenge for Lent:  to go to church every day for more than a month, and never the same one twice. Some of what he found, from the BBC: Wherever I went in the country, and most of my Masses were in London, Birmingham, Swansea and Manchester, it [Read More...]

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“The world is becoming more religious, not less…”

An interesting perspective, from author Wes Granberg-Michaelson in The Washington Post: While Christianity may be on the decline in the United States, the world is becoming more religious, not less. While rising numbers of “nones” — those who claim no religious affiliation when asked — claim the attention of religious pundits, the world tells a different story. Religious [Read More...]

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“Dear Church…”: A millennial writes about how to keep his generation in the pews

View image | gettyimages.com This was written by a young Protestant—United Methodist, actually—but it should be read by everyone (Catholics, I’m looking at you). He offers a few modest proposals, including: Don’t expect a “worship style” to do your dirty work. Contemporary worship hasn’t worked. The longer we extend the life of this failed experiment, the more we [Read More...]

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There go the Germans. Again.

From the National Catholic Register:  A public dispute has broken out between Germany’s top lay Catholic organization and a German bishop, after the organization issued a statement calling for a raft of new pastoral practices, which the bishop and other critics say are opposed to Church doctrine. The Zentralkomitee der deutschen Katholiken (Central Committee of the German Catholics, [Read More...]

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Douthat: those grim numbers from Pew may not be as grim as you think

The New York Times conservative commentator Ross Douthat — a Catholic—takes a slightly less pessimistic view on yesterday’s report by Pew: Catholicism might not be in quite as dire shape as it seems. The plunge in Catholic adherence might be the most surprising thing in the Pew data, since for a long time overall Catholic numbers have been kept [Read More...]

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Archdiocese bans photographs during all religious services

View image | gettyimages.com Details:  Dublin archdiocese is banning photographs being taken during religious ceremonies, in order to protect children from potential abusers. Each diocese in Ireland has been directed to have guidelines governing the filming and photography of children while they are on church grounds. The move derives from standards issued by the National [Read More...]

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