Closing the book: Encyclopedia Britannica goes out of print

Wow.  It really is an end of an era: After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print. Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered sets of reference books that were once sold door to door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, the company is [Read More...]

Barbara Johnson talks about her “Buddhist Catholicism”

And the Washington Post looks at her “blending of faiths”: Barbara describes a deep if sometimes conflicted relationship with Catholicism, which she calls a basic, unchangeable part of her identity. In her 20s, Johnson remembers her growing doubt about Catholic institutions as she wrestled with accepting her sexuality, and later as she watched the clergy [Read More...]

March Madness, Presidential edition

Over at her elegantly-named blog “Egregious Twaddle,” plucky Joanne McPortland pens a letter to the president, who happens to be in town (which would be Dayton, Ohio) — and reveals why during this season of March Madness, she’s no longer one of his cheerleaders: I’m a card carrying Democrat, the daughter of a union shop [Read More...]

“The Church needs two wings to fly…”

“Catholics who are passionate about the family, the life issues and the sexual issues go to one side of the room, and Catholics passionate about the social teachings of the Church to the other. And from their sides they both hurl blame, venom, scorn,  and debate who is a true Catholic and who really cares [Read More...]

Pennsylvania bishops: March 30 to be day of fasting over HHS mandate

Details: Calling the Obama administration’s mandated insurance coverage for contraceptives an “assault” on religious freedom, Pennsylvania’s 10 Catholic bishops have urged Catholics statewide to make Friday, March 30, a day of prayer and fasting. “On that day, offer your sacrifice for the cause of religious liberty, that the Church may be granted the basic right [Read More...]

We’ve got “Grace”!

That would be “Seasons of Grace,” the terrific blog by Kathy Schiffer, which has just landed here at Patheos. Face it: How could I not love a blog whose author begins her biography by saying, “Kathy Schiffer is the wife of a deacon…” Let me pull up a chair.  I want to hear more. And [Read More...]

Gay group seeks formal recognition at Notre Dame

It’s not the first time and, if unsuccessful, it probably won’t be the last. Details: For more than 25 years, Notre Dame students have asked the University to formally recognize a student organization that addresses the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community on campus. The requests have come in many [Read More...]

“You never know what the Lord has in store for you”: the remarkable story of a vocation 65 years in the making

How’s this for a really late vocation?  From Ottawa: For nearly half a century, Gérard Lafrenière was devoted to his wife, and, by all accounts, fulfilled his vows to love, honour and cherish her. Yet, he had another love, too. In 2009, two years after his wife of 49 years, Gisèle Viau, died, Lafrenière fulfilled [Read More...]

Cuomo declares “Timothy Cardinal Dolan Week” in New York State

Well, what do you know? From the press release: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today designated March 12-18, 2012 as Timothy Cardinal Dolan Week in New York State. A formal proclamation issued by the Governor today paid tribute to Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in honor of his elevation to the College of Cardinals. To [Read More...]

Dolan: “We got burned” on gay marriage

Cardinal Timothy Dolan and bishops from around New York State headed to the state capitol today for their annual lobbying trip — and the cardinal offered some choice insight, and new information, to a reporter from the New York Daily News: Cardinal Dolan revealed for the first time that the Catholic Church was caught flat-footed [Read More...]

Quote of the day

“It is impossible to interpret Jesus as a violent person. Violence is contrary to the Kingdom of God, it is a tool of the Antichrist. Violence never serves humanity, but dehumanizes.” – Pope Benedict in yesterday’s Angelus, discussing the cleansing of the temple. Read more. Full English translation to come. [Read more...]

Study: Catholics a minority at America’s largest Catholic university

Details: A study of student faiths at DePaul, deemed the largest Catholic University in the nation, has concluded that Catholic students are not the majority at the school. Statistics gathered by the Institutional Research and Market Analytics strategy group illustrate that while 33 percent of students at DePaul declare their Catholic faith, nearly 45 percent [Read More...]

Priest who refused communion to lesbian placed on leave, faculties removed — UPDATED

A couple people dropped me an e-mail or left a comment in the combox about this.  Fr. Marcel Guarnizo can no longer function as a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington. Details below, courtesy Abbey Roads: A reader told me that Fr. Marcel’s pastor read the above letter at all the Masses this weekend, and [Read More...]

“To be cool with God”: a young Catholic’s thoughts on confession

Via Matt Weber and Catholic TV, some insight  for Lent — or any time, really: The pope himself has had confession on his mind recently: Confession can help Catholics build lives filled with hope and holiness, which are needed for effective evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI said. “New evangelization, therefore, also starts from the confessional,” he [Read More...]

The “twilight of Christianity” in Iraq

Sad and sobering news, from the New York Times: Iraq’s dwindling Christians, driven from their homes by attacks and intimidation, are beginning to abandon the havens they had found in the country’s north, discouraged by unemployment and a creeping fear that the violence they had fled was catching up to them. Their quiet exodus to [Read More...]

Scholar known for “Death of God” dies

Details: William Hamilton was a tenured professor of church history at a small divinity school in Rochester in April 1966 when Time magazine created a sensation with a cover article featuring some of the ideas he had been writing about for years in journals read mainly by ministers and theologians. In large red type against [Read More...]

Forget the priest, deacon or rabbi: my friend will do the wedding

That seems to be the way things are going, with online ministry services providing more and more instant wedding officiants. From the New York Times: For generations, getting married meant solemnly standing before an authority figure charged with upholding the rules of civil society or religious traditions. But when Amity Kitchen wed Matthew Saucedo in [Read More...]

Here we grow again: more Catholics, priests, deacons, seminarians worldwide

Some good news: The Catholic Church appears to be in good health, with a global increase in the number of faithful, bishops, priests – especially in Asia – deacons and seminarians. The decline of men religious seems to have halted however that of women religious continues, even if contradicted by their growth in Africa and [Read More...]


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