The changing face of Christianity in the Holy Land

It’s a face that is increasingly diverse, and foreign-born, according to his report from the AP: The schedules for Mass at the two Roman Catholic churches in Jaffa, on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, reveal a change that has dramatically, if quietly, altered the face of Christianity in the Holy Land. The two Masses in Arabic for the [Read More...]

A followup on "Women Deacons"

With people starting to wander afield, and the conversation growing increasingly acrimonious, I decided to close comments on this thread about ordaining women as deacons.  I’m passing the baton to one of the authors of the book in question, Deacon Bill Ditewig, who was more than happy to continue the conversation over at his joint.  [Read More...]

Boo: on the commercialization of Halloween

For years, people have decried the commercialization of Christmas.  Now, it’s Halloween’s turn. A priest from Bakersfield, CA takes note of this phenomenon: The Roman Catholic Church in a sense baptized numerous customs of the cultures which were converted, as long as they were not in open conflict with the gospel and doctrines of the [Read More...]

Halloween for dummies

What happens when a dummy — a real one, not just a dumb one — goes trick-or-treating? Stuff like this. As the YouTube description notes: For a Halloween Prank we dressed up a 4 foot dummy to look like a trick or treater complete with bag of candy (and a hidden microphone). Then we went [Read More...]

Herman Cain attacks Planned Parenthood for "planned genocide"

He raised the issue during an appearance today on “Face the Nation.”  Details: Planned Parenthood is fighting back against a claim by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain that abortion clinics are put in African American communities as part of a “planned genocide” to kill black babies before they are born. Cain stood by his statement [Read More...]

The new translation: "A few years down the road, most people won't even remember it happened"

A lot of secular media are beginning to report on the new Mass translation — and here’s one report with some reaction and analysis from Pittsburgh that notes an effort to have the new missal delayed: Catholics in English-speaking countries will begin using a new translation of the Mass next month with language more formal [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

Snow! In New York City! In October! Above, the scene in Washington Square this afternoon. Happy Hall-o-winter. [Read more...]

A deacon's special link to the new seminary in Washington

The new Blessed John Paul II Seminary in Washington was dedicated recently by Cardinal Donald Wuerl — and its chapel contains some interesting history: Tangible reminders of Blessed John Paul II’s life and legacy abound in the archdiocesan seminary named in his honor. His name graces the seminary’s entranceway, and a portrait of the pope [Read More...]


“The reports from the Phoenix Diocese concerning the expiration of an indult regarding Communion under both kinds seem to have been mistaken…” – Diocese of Madison, 29 October 2011 They’ll still be restricting use of the cup, but for different reasons. Read more. [Read more...]

Women deacons: "an open theological question"

Deacon Bill Ditewig has just posted on his blog a report from Chicago, where he launched (with Phyllis Zagano and Gary Macy) the new book “Women Deacons: Past, Present and Future.”  (I wrote about that earlier right here.) A snip: Here are some things to know before blood pressures are raised: 1) No one, not [Read More...]

From death to life: couple seeks to help others heal after abortion

It’s something many couples would prefer to forget.  But from the St. Louis Review comes this inspiring story of a courageous couple who can’t forget — and who are reaching out to help others. Chuck Raymond clearly remembers the moment a visiting priest came to his parish and spoke at Mass on the subject of [Read More...]

How Catholics could affect the GOP race for president

Catholics — making up about a quarter of the Republican primary electorate — could form a formidable voting bloc in the months ahead.  And so TIME magazine looks at some of the choices: There is no natural fit for the conservative Catholic voter. Or, as Deal Hudson, who directed Catholic outreach for both Bush/Cheney campaigns, [Read More...]

Who's that "lady in the blue dress"?

From Baltimore comes this story about efforts to reach young people and encourage vocations: A panel of Roman Catholic priests and others in church life faced an audience of lively fifth graders Thursday, offering snippets of their personal history histories and the motivation for their career choices. But many children were so unfamiliar with a [Read More...]

Lawyer sues over "offensive" Christian images at Catholic University — UPDATED

Those images include things like the cross. Details: Crosses in every room at Washingon D.C.’s Catholic University of America are a human rights violation that prevent Muslim students from praying. That’s the complaint to the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights filed by a professor from rival George Washington University across town. GWU Law School Professor John [Read More...]

"There is nothing easy about being in the seminary…"

As part of the Patheos symposium on seminaries, seminarian Michael Duffy — less than a year from being ordained a priest — reflects on his seminary experience: There is nothing easy about being in the seminary; it is supposed to be difficult. It supposed to be challenging. Being in formation for the Priesthood of Jesus [Read More...]

Diocese of Orange loses bid to buy Crystal Cathedral

Among other things, this means the diocese can continue exploring options to build its own new cathedral. Details, from the Los Angeles Times: Chapman University has been picked by the board of the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral as the preferred buyer of the Garden Grove property. Under the plan, Chapman University would purchase the campus for [Read More...]

Taking the A train … to Assisi

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Benedict XVI hopping a train with other religious leaders to attend today’s “pilgrimage” in Assisi. You can read the text of his remarks here. And the AP has details, too. [Read more...]

Sometimes, marriage is like that

You never know when you’re gonna get hit by an unexpected storm.  Sand, or otherwise. If this isn’t a metaphor for commitment (and perseverance!), I don’t know what is.  Every engaged couple should watch this video of a marriage ceremony in Arizona interrupted by a little wind.  And sand. Lesson: yes, it’s worth it to [Read More...]