In memo to priests, NJ archbishop sets guidelines for “preserving and protecting the Catholic faith”

David Gibson at RNS has details: Even as Pope Francis and Catholic leaders from around the world debate ways to make the Catholic Church more inclusive, Newark Archbishop John Myers has given his priests strict guidelines on refusing Communion to Catholics who, for example, support gay marriage or whose own marriage is not valid in the eyes of the church.In the two-page memo, Myers also orders parishes and Catholic institutions not to host people or organizations that disagree with church … [Read More...]


From the Synod: “Is there someone out here who knows how a perfect marriage takes place?”

View image | gettyimages.comSome interesting commentary last week, from an Indian couple discussing their interfaith marriage, via Vatican Radio: The 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family, currently taking place in the Vatican Oct. 4-25, heard from  of an Indian couple on Saturday how inter-faith marriage can be lived.  Penelope and Ishwarlal Bajaj from Mumbai, who have been married for over 38 years, are among 18 couples from around the world invited to th … [Read More...]

Lombardi on the “Letter from 13 cardinals”

Vatican Information Service (VIS) reports:The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., has given the following clarification regarding the publication yesterday of a “Letter to the Pope from thirteen cardinals”: As we are aware, at least four of the Synod Fathers who w … [Read More...]

A letter from the Vatican…

Well, here's something you don't get every day.It arrived by email last week from Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization:I guess that phone call I got last summer wasn't a mistake after all, and this makes it … [Read More...]

Hell freezes over: Playboy to stop publishing photos of nude women

No, this news isn't from The Onion.It turns out that very soon, men really will be buying the magazine for the articles.Via The New York Times: Last month, Cory Jones, a top editor at Playboy, went to see its founder Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion. In a wood-paneled dining room, wi … [Read More...]

From the Synod: Observers say media coverage “doesn’t reflect what we see in there”

From today's press briefing, via CNS: Two couples attending the Synod of Bishops on the family said what surprised them most about their first synod in Rome was reading inaccurate media coverage of the closed-door proceedings, the diversity of problems families face around the world and the … [Read More...]

This week’s ear worm: “Lead Me, Lord…”

This one is so deeply ingrained into my brain, I was even singing it this morning in the shower.This contemporary hymn by John Becker was the recessional at the three Masses I served and preached at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania this weekend. (You can hear a … [Read More...]

Vatican opens pope’s dormitory for the homeless

From Aleteia: The structure has been up and running for about a day or so and the official inauguration took place away from prying eyes last week: Pope Francis’ dormitory for the homeless can host up to 34 people. The news was announced in a communiqué from the Office of Papal Charities which co … [Read More...]

Ingenious Halloween costume: little pope in popemobile

This appears to be from a few years ago, but it's timeless.From notes: Zachary, age 4, saw Mommy reading the news on the computer. He spotted a picture of the Pope and asked about him. Later, when Mommu was giving him ideas of what he could dress up as for … [Read More...]

Fox News’s Kirsten Powers announces: “I’m becoming Catholic!”

The news has been hurtling around the world tonight on Twitter:About Powers, from her Wikipedia page:Kirsten A. Powers (born 1969) is an American political pundit and analyst. She began her career as a Democratic Party staff assistant with the Clinton-Gore presidential transition team in … [Read More...]

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 int … [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 p … [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 pr … [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 a … [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 … [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 pe … [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 … [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, … [Read More...]