In Detroit, "two competing visions of the Church's future"

The Archbishop has warned priests and deacons that they face severe penalties if they participate in a controversial conference this weekend in Detroit.  But that hasn’t stopped lay organizers from continuing with their plans. Details: Calling for more democracy within the Catholic Church, liberal Catholics from around the world are coming to Detroit this weekend [Read More...]

"I have decided not to accept the call to Holy Orders…" — UPDATED

A reader sent me the link to this bulletin, which carries the note below from a deacon candidate responding to the disturbing news in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.  He was scheduled to be ordained a deacon last weekend, but withdrew at the last minute. His statement: Dear Holy Family Parish: After a great deal [Read More...]

Off the hook: should we give up more than just meat on Fridays?

While some bishops are calling for a return to the discipline of giving up meat on Fridays, at least one writer says we should skip fish, too. Snip: Catholic bishops in the U.K. want to reinstate year-round meatless Fridays, which sounds great to me, except for one thing: They still seem to think that fish are [Read More...]

Deacon on young adult ministry: "You are giving birth to new hope…"

From Los Angeles comes this inspiring story of a deacon and his wife who are leading a ministry that is helping young people reconnect with their faith: “The church usually skips a generation; it goes from serving youth to serving adults, and young adults are usually left out,” Rouzan said, echoing her peers. The 37-year-old [Read More...]

Church of England reports rise in church attendance

It’s happening in Rhode Island with Catholics — and now, across the pond, too. From the Religion News Service: In a challenge to conventional wisdom that church attendance is plummeting across Britain and Western Europe, the Church of England says attendance at its 43 cathedrals grew 7 percent last year. A report by the Rev. [Read More...]

Divine Providence: in Rhode Island, Catholics are coming home

An evangelization effort seems to be paying off, according to the Providence Journal: Mass counts released Thursday by the diocese show that while Mass attendance among Rhode Island’s Catholics grew by a mere 1.9 percent between October 2009 and October 2010, that reversed a decline that had been observed over a number of years, as [Read More...]

On IVF: "I believe there is an ethical path a couple can take…"

A father, and committed Catholic, states his case for the Church revising its teaching on in vitro fertilization (IVF).  His story began with a medical mixup, and turned into a moral and ethical quagmire. From CNN: On September 24, 2009, the day Carolyn gave birth to a very loved baby boy, who was immediately turned [Read More...]

Why do people leave the Catholic Church?

The answers in a new study offer some insight, and Fr. Thomas Reese takes a closer look: The principal reasons given by people who leave the church to become Protestant are that their “spiritual needs were not being met” in the Catholic church (71 percent) and they “found a religion they like more” (70 percent). [Read More...]

The way we were: what did Catholics think of Vatican II in 1967?

Some intriguing answers can be found over at the excellent Pray Tell blog, which unearthed a Harris Survey from 1967. What were American Catholics saying about the changes in the mass and the Church? Check it out: Asked of their opinion of the changes to simplify and modernize the Church, 66.7% of US Catholics thought [Read More...]

Mass exodus: why are they leaving the Church in Buffalo?

It’s a problem a lot of Catholic dioceses are facing, but it seems especially acute in upstate New York. From the Buffalo News: More people in Western New York adhere to Catholicism, by far, than any other faith, but clergy sometimes joke that the area’s second-largest denomination also is Catholic. Its members just don’t show [Read More...]