The Catholic Church in the U.S. in 2000 vs. today

An interesting analysis here, with some significant news about deacons: Ordinations to the priesthood and seminarians preparing for this vocation are up. Ordinations have increased by 12% since 2000 and the number of seminarians enrolled has increased by 5%. Yet the strongest growth among the clergy is in the number of permanent deacons who have [Read More...]

Nancy Pelosi on child migration: “No one speaks more eloquently than the bishops”

No, this is not a joke:  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, not known for rigorous adherence to Catholic Church teaching, found herself citing the bishop of El Paso on Thursday while drumming up support for the White House’s requested $3.7 billion emergency supplemental spending bill. The bill, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid considers a top [Read More...]

Mass attendance in Poland dips below 40% for first time

Details:  According to the latest figures from the Polish Institute of Catholic Church Statistics, only 39 percent of declared Catholics take part in Sunday Mass. The figure marks the first time Mass attendance has dropped below 40 percent, head of the Institute, Wojciech Sadlon told Polish Radio. “People who go to church merely spurred on [Read More...]

After compromise with Catholic Church, New York street to be named for George Carlin

From The Daily News:  Legendary comedian George Carlin now has a Manhattan street named in his honor, but it took a compromise with an old nemesis — the Catholic Church — to make it happen. Mayor de Blasio signed legislation Wednesday renaming W. 121st St. between Morningside Drive and Amsterdam Ave. as “George Carlin Way” [Read More...]

Catholic doctor fired for refusing to perform abortion

It happened in Poland:  Warsaw’s mayor said Wednesday that she fired the head of a maternity hospital who refused to perform or facilitate an abortion of a badly deformed fetus for reasons of conscience. The case — which saw the recently delivered baby put under intensive care with major brain and skull deformity — has [Read More...]

“How do Christians respond to the transgender issue?”

A priest reader passed this along, noting:  Perhaps some of your readers, especially priests might benefit from it. Three years ago I had my first experience with this in confession. I was speechless during the face to face encounter. At the time, I truly felt horrible because in my mind I was thinking “what are [Read More...]

Pierce Brosnan: “Being Catholic, it’s ingrained in my DNA”

Details:  The 61-year-old actor was left devastated when his first wife Cassandra Harris died from ovarian cancer in 1991 and his adopted daughter Charlotte succumbed to the same disease last year, and thinks his religious beliefs and upbringing have given him the strength he needed to carry on. Asked how he gets through his dark [Read More...]

UPDATE: Priest who shamed unwed mother at baptism faces probe, sanctions

Details: A priest who was caught on video shaming a single mother before the baptism of her baby in Cebu last Sunday now faces an investigation and sanctions from his own religious order. In a statement, the Congregatio Redemptoris said it was deeply saddened over the incident at the Sacred Heart Chaplaincy in Mandaue City [Read More...]

Baton Rouge Diocese condemns ruling that could compel a priest to testify about confession

From NOLA.com:  The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has issued a statement decrying a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court that could compel a local priest to testify in court about confessions he might have received. The alleged confessions, according to legal documents, were made to the priest by a minor girl regarding possible sexual abuse perpetrated by another church parishioner. [Read More...]

Priest berates unwed mother at baby’s baptism: “The baby was born due to sin”—UPDATED

Here’s something else to throw on the agenda for the upcoming Synod: children born outside of wedlock. I’d argue it’s not just the couples involved that need counseling; judging from this, so do some clergy. The working document on the Synod notes about teenage mothers: Above all, they are to be esteemed for the love [Read More...]

Summer break? Not for these seminarians

David Gibson has the scoop at RNS: “How many of you have ever studied a parish budget?” the Rev. David Couturier asked the 11 Catholic priests-in-training seated before him. After a few beats, just one hand went up, tentatively. “That’s not unusual,” Couturier told them. “Just unfortunate.” It’s also why these seminarians were in a classroom [Read More...]

Celebrating Mass at Celebration

One of the pleasures of traveling around the country is getting to experience Mass at different parishes. This week my wife and I found ourselves in Orlando, and decided to visit Corpus Christi Church in the nearby town of Celebration. It’s a pretty church, relatively new, seating around 500 people. It has an adoration chapel [Read More...]

Pope Francis to sex abuse survivors: “I beg your forgiveness”

From his homily this morning, where six survivors of clerical sex abuse were present: The scene where Peter sees Jesus emerge after a terrible interrogation…  Peter whose eyes meet the gaze of Jesus and weeps…  This scene comes to my mind as I look at you, and think of so many men and women, boys [Read More...]

This wouldn’t be a problem if they’d just let teachers marry. Oh. Wait…

Unreal:  A Queens middle-school teacher let a 14-year-old student drive his car, gave him cash and expensive gifts, and exchanged hundreds of texts behind his parent’s back. But, over the objections of the outraged parents and principal, the teacher can keep his job, an arbitrator has ruled. James Rampulla Jr., 44, who taught at Irwin [Read More...]

Defying pope, church parade detours past home of convicted mobster

Details:  In apparent defiance of Pope Francis, a church procession detoured from its route through a southern Italian town to honor a convicted mobster under house arrest. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano on Sunday denounced the tribute in Oppido Mamertina, a Calabrian town and ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate stronghold, as “deplorable and disgusting.” He praised three Carabinieri policemen who [Read More...]

“Your vocation is not about you”

Good stuff here:  It is quite traditional and correct to speak of “discerning a vocation” – particularly to consecrated life or the priesthood, though also in regard to marriage, careers, and other major commitments. In modern Western culture, however, the idea of vocational discernment has become problematic, producing unnecessary indecision and anxiety. The problem is not [Read More...]

Boom: Catholic Church growing in Georgia

 Photo: by John Rawlston Details, from The Chattanooga Times Free Press:  Two separate car dealerships failed at a concrete-and-glass showroom built in 2001 in Chatsworth, Ga. Then Dalton’s St. Joseph’s Catholic Church bought the 22,000-square-foot building on U.S. Highway 76 in 2012 to establish a mission in Murray County, which had no Catholic church. “It [Read More...]

Priest convicted of killing nun dies in hospice

You may remember this story from a couple weeks back. Now, the final chapter:  A Roman Catholic priest convicted of stabbing and strangling a nun 34 years ago in a hospital chapel will receive a funeral Mass, a church official said Saturday. The Rev. Gerald Robinson remained an ordained priest after his conviction and his [Read More...]


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