Just in time for Respect Life month, an app that slaps life in the face

A truly repellent idea:  Wannabe tech entrepreneurs Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough haven’t even launched their first app yet, and they’ve already achieved international fame … for all the wrong reasons.  Dubbed the ultimate “Mean Girls” by their growing army of critics, the pair have gone into near-hiding this week after people all over the world reacted with outrage to the announcement of their soon-to-drop app, Peeple.  Before its creators pulled down its webpage late last week, Peeple promised to do for individuals what Yelp has done… Read more

Hello, Altoona!

I’ll soon be on the road again:  This weekend, once again CNEWA will be hitting the road. As we did recently in Illinois, we’ll be visiting a parish in Altoona, Pennsylvania: St. John the Evangelist. I’ll be preaching at all the Masses and members of our development team will be on hand to meet parishioners, pass out information about our work and answer questions about how people can support our mission, particularly on behalf of refugees in the Middle East. If you’re in… Read more

From the Synod: Families need homilies connected to real life

From CNS: Families need to hear homilies that connect the Gospel to the troubles and joys they experience, said a synod participant. Maria Gomes, the Family and Life director at St. Mary’s Church in Dubai, and an observer at the Synod of Bishops on the family, said the typical scenario is “the priest just talks about the Gospel, ‘Peter said this, John said this’ and then it’s finished and it’s done and over.” But Catholics, she said, want their priest… Read more

Curious about women deacons? Look East.—UPDATED

While the subject has popped up at the Synod this week, and seems to be generating some buzz, the topic of women deacons is hardly new to some churches in the East.  The Coptic Church, for example, has a long history of deaconesses, but the office is not conferred by ordination and seems roughly akin to being a religious sister or nun: Originally in the Church, during the Divine Liturgy, there was the celebrant priest(s), the altar deacon(s), and the congregation… Read more

Renovation of university chapel for Muslims prompts backlash

From The Wichita Eagle:  Muslims at Wichita State University wanted a better place to pray. In May, workers renovated the campus chapel and removed the tiny altar and pews. WSU administrators thought the change had resolved the problem by giving Muslim students a place to kneel on the floor and pray. Christian students could use portable chairs. Everyone on campus seemed satisfied. The family that made the Harvey D. Grace Memorial chapel possible in 1964 had specified that the doors… Read more

From the Synod: Ordaining women deacons raises concerns that “need to be studied”

From the daily press briefing, via Vatican Radio:  On Thursday Oct. 8 Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana, said that the world needs to be patient with Africa when it comes to dealing with issues like homosexuality. “Give countries time to deal with issues from our own cultural perspectives,” he said. He added that the dignity and rights of all God’s son and daughters need to be upheld. The Synod Fathers continued to work in groups on Thursday. Archbishop Edoardo… Read more

Kelsey Grammer’s pro-life witness

The following picture appeared on the Facebook page of the pro-life group Abort73: About the organization: What does the name Abort73 actually mean? The connection becomes more clear after watching our intro video, January 1973, which plays on the Abort73 homepage. We took the word “abortion” and shortened it to “abort” – which can either mean to have an abortion, or more generally, to terminate an operation or procedure. Next, we took the year in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck… Read more

From the Synod: “Are there new ways of using the permanent diaconate and those who are permanent deacons to be ministers and bearers of mercy?”

Deacon Bill Ditewig caught this interesting moment yesterday: At a recent press conference (6 October 2015) held in Rome highlighting some of the points raised thus far in the Synod, Father Thomas Rosica summarized one particular area of special concern for deacons.  As phrased by Father Rosica, some Synodal Fathers were asking, “How can the permanent diaconate come to the aid of so many people who are in need of mercy?  Are there new ways of using the permanent diaconate… Read more

Confessions of a new confessor

From Ethika Politica comes this view from the other side of screen, via Fr. Gabriel Toretta, OP:  As a newly ordained priest, I get asked all kinds of questions to which the speaker already knows the answer, things like “What was it like being ordained?” (Indescribable), “How do you like your new parish?” (It’s great), or “How awesome is it to say Mass?” (Like, ridiculously awesome). But no one so far has guessed my answer to the question, “What’s your… Read more

Meet the deacon who flew the pope back to Rome

Who knew? From Tulsa World: American Airlines pilot Capt. Gary Beam carried a huge secret for more than a month: that he had been selected to fly Pope Francis back to Rome. “I’ve been wanting to burst at the seams for the last month. It’s one of those secrets that you just wanted to blurt to everybody,” said Beam, who could tell no one outside of his immediate family for security reasons. “I was elated. Even today, it doesn’t feel like… Read more