We’re pleased to announce the newest blogger at Patheos: Beyoncé

Well, certainly that’s the best explanation  for why, like the Super Bowl, we found ourselves tonight suddenly in the dark. Okay:so the Super Bowl people aren’t blaming Beyoncé and (to the best of my knowledge) she has more interesting things to do than spend her days in her jammies and fuzzy slippers blogging about Michael Voris. [Read More…]

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“Butterfly Kisses” and a father-daughter dance like no other

This is really something.  (H/T to my classmate and diaconal brother, Mike Brainerd).  From YouTube, where this was posted last summer: Andrea had a very special dance with some very close family and friends at her wedding. Her father passed away so her brother recored “Butterfly Kisses” and she danced with with all of them [Read More…]

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Check it out: FAQ about deacons

Look at my tab bar.  Are you looking?  Right under the black-and-white church image with the words “The Deacon’s Bench”?  I’ve added a new tab: “FAQ ABOUT DEACONS.”  It’s pulled from the USCCB website, and offers some basic information about who deacons are and what they do.  I thought it might be helpful for anyone [Read More…]

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Crying foul: Catholic school changes policy, opens no-cursing pledge to boys

  An update on a story from the weekend.   From our Potty Mouth Desk:  Days after a coed Catholic school made headlines for asking only its girls to take a pledge to stop cursing, it administered the oath Monday to some boys who sought equal opportunity. Some staff members at Queen of Peace High [Read More…]

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On Newark: “I can’t tell you how disconcerting and disheartening this situation is…” —UPDATED

With the Newark story in the news, I got an e-mail this morning from someone who works on safe environment issues for a another diocese. The author writes: I can’t tell you how disconcerting and disheartening this situation is.  Child protection people at every diocese have been killing themselves to keep out of church ministry [Read More…]

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Catholic hospital: it is “morally wrong” to argue fetus is not a person

You may remember this story from last month.  Now, the hospital is changing its tune:  A Catholic hospital group said on Monday it was “morally wrong” to contradict its church’s teachings on the beginning of life when it argued fetuses are not people to defend itself against a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado. Catholic Health Initiatives said it will instead [Read More…]

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Vatican signals ways to legally protect same-sex couples “to prevent injustice”

Details:   A high-ranking Vatican official on Monday (Feb. 4) voiced support for giving unmarried couples some kind of legal protection even as he reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, also said the church should do more to protect gays and lesbians [Read More…]

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Before and after: a church renovation in California

From the good folks at New Liturgical Movement, here are some shots of Holy Innocents Catholic Church in Long Beach, California.  I’m a little baffled at the big marble pillars that appear to be holding up…some painted words?  And the ambo seems too modern and out of place. I do think it’s an improvement, though.  Visit [Read More…]

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Archdiocese appoints confessed sex abuser to high-profile position—UPDATED

Details:   A Roman Catholic priest who confessed to groping a teenage boy 12 years ago has been named to a prestigious post in the Archdiocese of Newark, drawing furious criticism from advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse. The Rev. Michael Fugee, who is barred from unsupervised contact with children under a binding agreement with law enforcement [Read More…]

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Citing religious beliefs, baker refuses to make wedding cake for gay couple

From KATU TV in Oregon:  A Gresham baker is the subject of a state investigation after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Did Sweet Cakes owner Aaron Klein violate the law when he told the couple that he couldn’t sell them a cake because “they were abominations to the Lord?” [Read More…]

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HHS mandate: the Cliff Notes version

Our own Frank Weathers has read the mandate so that you don’t have to! His summation is here. A highlight or two: I learned a few things by reading the whole thing. For instance, I learned that the actual rule proposed to the Code of Federal Regulations is 8 and a half pages long, not 80. [Read More…]

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More in France converting to Islam

And the reasons are revealing.  Check this out, from the New York Times:  Every year about 150 Muslim conversion ceremonies are performed in the snow-white structure of the Sahaba mosque in Créteil, with its intricate mosaics and a stunning 81-foot minaret, built in 2008 and a symbol of Islam’s growing presence in France. Among those [Read More…]

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Super Superbowl ad: “So God made a farmer”

From the good people at Dodge. It’s deceptively simple, and touched with a plain-spoken eloquence. Among other things, this reminds us of the pure power of words. In a media culture saturated with lightning-fast editing and digital whatnot and CGI wizardry, that’s no small thing. Remember when words mattered?  This is what it was like. [Read More…]

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Shop pulls “Virgin Mary crisps” after complaints

From London:  Coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger has withdrawn its ‘Virgin Mary’ brand of crisps after a flurry of religious complaints. The coffee-shop made the costly decision to pull the brand after campaigners on the Protect the Pope website pointed out the offensive crisps branding to its members. Responding to the complaints, the [Read More…]

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Catholic school enacts a “no swearing pledge”…but only for girls

Details:  Catholic school girls think it’s just plain sexist that they were asked to take a no-cursing pledge on Friday — and the boys weren’t. What the hell is up with that? Lori Flynn, a teacher who launched the civility campaign at Queen of Peace High School inNorth Arlington, said the rationale was simple: “We [Read More…]

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Act of Providence: diocese ordains 21 deacons, first class in a decade—UPDATED

Details, from the diocesan website:  The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence today announced that after years of intense preparation, the first Permanent Diaconate class since 2002 will be ordained Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will preside over the ordination of 21 men as [Read More…]

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First look: Atlanta’s new deacons

These come from the Facebook page of the Georgia Bulletin.  Archbishop Wilton Gregory ordained 12 new deacons Saturday.  Details to come soon. Meantime, congratulations, brothers!  Ad multos annos!    [Read more…]

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“I’m A god…not THE God…”

Happy Groundhog Day. This movie, meantime, is still and forever one of the greatest cinematic parables about conversion and redemption ever created. And: egad. Has it really been 20 years since this was released? [Read more…]

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