Report: fewer priests, fewer parishes, more masses

Does this sound familiar? Details: More U.S. Catholics are attending Masses at fewer parishes staffed by a rapidly declining corps of priests, according to a new report on “The Changing Face of U.S. Catholic Parishes.” Produced by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate for the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership project of five [Read More...]

"When I go to confession, I sometimes mention that I'm gay…"

Here’s something altogether different and surprising: a blog post by a faithful Catholic who also happens to be gay.  Don’t think such creatures exist?  Think again. H/T New Advent. A snip: I have heard a lot about how mean the Church is, and how bigoted, because she opposes gay marriage. How badly she misunderstands gay [Read More...]

"A Catholic by any other name…"

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh over at the USCCB blog takes a good long look at Bill Keller’s remarks about Catholicism last week. Her stirring conclusion: The Catholic Church doesn’t totally give up anyone. Even if you’re excommunicated, it expects you to attend Mass each week, though not to participate in the sacraments. James Joyce in [Read More...]

Playing for Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, and God

You might think you’d never meet a serious Catholic in a popular rock band.  Think again.  And meet Ray Hermann. Details: Ray Herrmann is currently on tour, entertaining thousands of fans across Europe as the lead saxophonist and flautist for Chicago, one of the world’s longest running rock bands. A highly gifted Grammy award-winning musician [Read More...]

"A number of people…have expressed concerns about my leadership…"

“While I am confident that I am faithfully handling the responsibilities entrusted to me, I personally made this request earlier this year because a number of persons have written to Rome expressing their concerns about my leadership of the Diocese. This visit will be an opportunity to gather extensive information on all aspects of the [Read More...]

Gay mass goes on at Boston parish

It made headlines last month when it was scheduled, then cancelled — but the controversial “Rainbow Mass” finally went on yesterday. The Boston Globe was there: The Rainbow Ministry of St. Cecilia’s Church opened its doors to nearly 700 people yesterday for a long-awaited Mass in support of gay and lesbian Catholics, capping a month [Read More...]

Banned in Brooklyn: parish returns check from pol who backs gay marriage

From the In My Backyard Desk … Following Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s hard line on politicians who voted for gay marriage, there’s now word that some parishes are not accepting cash gifts from those same politicians: DiMarzio … demanded “all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at [Read More...]

Vatican to Africa: involve women in decisions

That comes from Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, seen below, from the Congregation for Evangelization. Details: The Catholic Church in Africa has been urged to support and promote women and encourage their participation in decision making. While addressing hundreds of delegates from Eastern Africa (AMECEA) during the 17th plenary assembly in Nairobi, Archbishop Savio Hon [Read More...]

Is interest in Catholicism dropping?

By one measure, the answer appears to be: yes. Online queries about Catholicism have taken a measurable plunge over the last several years, as the graph below indicates (click to enlarge). CARA has details: Searchers from the United States for anything with the term “Catholic” in them have dropped significantly in the 2004 to 2011 [Read More...]

Let's remember Russert

Rocco did yesterday, on the anniversary of the legendary newsman’s passing: Above all, Russert’s death genuinely, deeply shook no shortage of folks — above all, the many ’round here who were so blessed to have known him, but just as much, the far more of us for whom his hour on Sunday morning was almost [Read More...]