What does it mean to be “Catholic”?

Author Peter Manseau looks at that question in The New York Times:  Even as the pope appears to be opening a big tent, others in the church hierarchy ensure that it will not expand too far. Last July, in response to a question about gay priests, Francis famously uttered one of the lines that set [Read More...]

Boom: young Texas diocese has grown nearly 70% in a decade

Details:  Whether it’s the charitable acts of Pope Francis, the church’s emphasis on family or the promotion of worldwide unity, Bishop Plácido Rodriguez of the Lubbock Diocese believes there’s a lot to love about the Roman Catholic faith. A recent study released by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University revealed [Read More...]

Japanese bishops respond to Vatican survey, saying Church “often falls short”

From NCR:  Japan’s bishops have publicly responded to a Vatican survey of global Catholics’ views on family issues, stating bluntly that church teachings are not known in their country and the Vatican’s Europe-centric view hampers efforts at evangelization in places where Catholics represent a small minority of the population. In a sometimes pointed 15-page report [Read More...]

New York bishops release pastoral letter on mental illness

From Zenit: The bishops of New York State have published a pastoral letter regarding people who suffer mental illness. The letter, titled, ‘For I am Lonely and Afflicted’: Toward a Just Response to the Needs of Mentally Ill Persons,” recalls the example of Jesus, saying, “we must reject the twin temptations of stereotype and fear, [Read More...]

Why are Americans more religious than Europeans?

Good question. One answer, from writer E. Brooks Holifield:  Many Western Europeans think of Americans as hopelessly, bafflingly, and dangerously, religious. Many Americans think of Western Europeans as distressingly, inexplicably, and unrelentingly, secular. In 2009, the German sociologist Hans Joas observed that “it is widely accepted that the United States is far more religious than [Read More...]

The most Catholic states in America

Unsurprisingly, they’re all on the East Coast, where European immigrants—many, of course, Catholic— first put down roots. From Huffington Post:   Catholicism is the second largest religion in the United States at roughly 25% of the country’s population. The five most Catholic states in the U.S., according to a recent Gallup survey, are all on the East [Read More...]

International poll shows split among Catholics

From The Washington Post:  Most Catholics worldwide disagree with church teachings on divorce, abortion and contraception and are split on whether women and married men should become priests, according to a large new poll released Sunday and commissioned by the U.S. Spanish-language network Univision. On the topic of gay marriage, two-thirds of Catholics polled agree with church [Read More...]

In blunt report, German bishops say Catholics reject Church teaching on sex

Details:  Germany’s Catholic bishops, responding to a worldwide Vatican survey, said on Monday that many Church teachings on sexual morality were either unknown to the faithful there or rejected as unrealistic and heartless. They said the survey, drawn up for a synod on possible reforms in October, showed most German Catholics disputed Church bans on [Read More...]

The schuss of the fisherman: bringing Mass to skiers in upstate New York

Photo: Robert Kirkham / Buffalo News From The Buffalo News:  It’s Sunday morning and, beneath a fluffy blanket of snow, the slopes are beckoning. What’s a good Catholic to do? Attend morning Mass at your hometown parish and sacrifice the heavenly thrill of carving first tracks? Or head straight for the hills, promising yourself that [Read More...]

Buffalo Catholics organize “Mass Mob” for parishes

This is something altogether different, from the Buffalo News:  Sam Kolodziej Jr. had a few more people than normal in his pew on Sunday morning. In fact, there were a couple hundred extra members of the faithful inside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. And they had the Buffalo ‘Mass Mob’ – the latest iteration [Read More...]