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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Study: Christian population declining in U.S.; “unaffiliated” now outnumber Catholics

View image | gettyimages.com From The Wall Street Journal:  Amy Boyle grew up in the Roman Catholic Church, singing in choir and serving as an altar girl. But Ms. Boyle, now a 35-year-old L.A. resident and mother of twin baby boys, left the faith as a young adult—joining the ranks of Americans who don’t identify with [Read More…]

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Cardinal to celebrate Mass for LGBT Catholics

From U.K.’s The Catholic Herald Cardinal Vincent Nichols will celebrate Mass with a “pastoral outreach” to gay Catholics in central London on Sunday. Same-sex attracted Catholics, along with their families, will attend the Mass at Farm Street Jesuit Church in Mayfair at 6.15pm. It is the first time a cardinal has celebrated a Mass “welcoming” [Read More…]

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Actress Maria Bello: “I’m proud to call myself a Catholic”

The star of “ER” and “The Cooler” has just published a series of personal essays on the “labels we give ourselves,” in which she discusses, among other things, being bipolar and bisexual. She was born and raised Catholic, and talked about that in an interview with The Daily Beast:  What might surprise a lot of people is [Read More…]

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Millennials speak up: stop trying to make church “cool”

View image | gettyimages.com From Rachel Held Evans in The Washington Post: Bass reverberates through the auditorium floor as a heavily bearded worship leader pauses to invite the congregation, bathed in the light of two giant screens, to tweet using #JesusLives. The scent of freshly brewed coffee wafts in from the lobby, where you can [Read More…]

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Bishop plans to return sacraments of initiation to “their proper order”

Below is part of a letter issued last week by Bishop Larry Silva, from Honolulu: Dear parents, priests, deacons, youth ministers, faith formation staff and Catholic school administrators, I am writing this letter to invite you to take an active role by reading the articles regarding the plan to return the sacraments of initiation to [Read More…]

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Faith in the center ring: how Ringling Brothers ministers to Catholics under the big top

CNS’s Chaz Muth and Tyler Osborn have produced this lively look at one of the most unusual ministries in the Church. Check it out (and check out that chasuble!): The Arlington Catholic Herald has more: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Blue Tour came to Fairfax in April with 16 performances at the [Read More…]

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Parish cancels pig wrestling competition after backlash

In Wisconsin:  St. Patrick Parish in Stephensville has called off its decades-old annual pig wrestling event following animal cruelty accusations. It is instead planning a new competitive game, a “human foosball tournament in the mud,” the Outagamie County Catholic parish said Tuesday. “After much prayer and many hours of discussion, we realize that what we [Read More…]

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Lay minister wearing a deacon stole?

A deacon reader passed this along. This question popped up at Zenit and is answered by Fr. Edward McNamara: Q: In Vietnam, the Eucharistic minister wears a deacon’s stole, as you can see in the attached picture. Is this right? — N.T., Vietnam A: Our reader accompanied the question with a photo of a gentleman [Read More…]

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