Archdiocese of Washington sends apology to lesbian who was denied communion — UPDATED

Details: Late Tuesday, [Barbara] Johnson received a letter of apology from the Rev. Barry Knestout, one of the archdiocese’s highest-ranking administrators, who said the lack of “kindness” she and her family received “is a cause of great concern and personal regret to me.” “I am sorry that what should have been a celebration of your [Read More...]

Taking the leap: a prayer for Leap Day

From a woman deacon in the Church of England website comes this pithy prayer for this special day, geared to those who have decided to take the leap and get married: On hearing of an engagement God of love, please bless N and N as they prepare for the commitment of marriage. May the plans [Read More...]

In the e-mail: “I wanted you to know there is more to this story…”

A reader from Maryland writes about the never-ending communion controversy there: I just wanted to let you know that there is a lot more to this story than has been published. I was in a meeting with Fr Marcel and heard the whole story. The woman in question brought her lesbian partner into the vesting [Read More...]

And now for something really important: world’s longest paper airplane toss

We all need to dream, don’t we? Joe Ayoob has long dreamed of setting a world record for paper airplane throwing.  And he did it the other day in California. 226 feet, 10 inches.  Watch.  And read more here. [Read more...]

Nevermind: priest who lost job over Mass language retracts resignation

The saga in Belleville continues: The Rev. William Rowe may not always go by the book during Mass, but he is digging deep into the letter of church law in an effort to regain his post as parish priest. For decades, Rowe has deviated from the language of the Roman Catholic Mass, a highly prescribed [Read More...]

The “alternate universe” of Wisconsin’s Holy Wisdom Monastery

This group of disaffected Catholics got a big spread in the Wisconsin State Journal last Sunday: Alice Jenson’s faith took an irreversible turn six years ago. It was Nov. 5, 2006, and she was contributing to Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Madison as a lay person, reading Bible passages from the lectern. The [Read More...]

Maryland priest denies communion to lesbian at funeral — UPDATED

Details: It’s been an extremely difficult week for Barbara Johnson — perhaps the most difficult week of her life. It all started on Saturday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, where friends and family had gathered to say goodbye to Barbara’s mother, who died last week after a brief illness. Just a few [Read More...]

“How can we deacons best serve the common good of all peoples?”

“I have the sense that we Catholics, this Lent, have some serious soul-searching to do during this period of Purification and Enlightenment (as we refer to it in the RCIA).  Anyone who has followed the blogosphere or any number of media outlets covering the latest scandals, the latest lawsuits, the latest public debates on religious [Read More...]

Another cardinal launches a blog

It’s Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who this week introduces his contribution to the blogosphere, “Seek First the Kingdom”: While I have enjoyed for many years writing articles and even doing a weekly television program, this is my first venture into the world of blogs. What I would like to do in this blog is to talk [Read More...]

And the winner for Best Song…

…is right here: this hilarious tribute to self-awareness, “Am I A Man or A Muppet?” from “The Muppets.” If Mother Dolores Hart didn’t have her moment on the Oscar stage, I’m glad that the Muppets did.  And I was cheered to hear the composer thank the late, great Jim Henson.   [Read more...]

Mother Dolores at the Oscars: “This is very different than being in the monastery…”

Hollywood’s most famous nun since Julie Andrews returned to her old stomping grounds last night: It wasn’t hard to spot Elvis Presley’s old co-star on the Oscars red carpet. She was the one wearing the nun’s habit. Mother Dolores Hart, who left Hollywood 49 years ago to pursue a religious life, made a dramatic return [Read More...]

New call for divorced and remarried Catholics to be able to receive communion

It’s something the pope himself has said needs a closer look.  And now a leading theologian is adding his voice to those calling for “re-evaluation.”  Details: At the seminar in Salzburg by Austrian Catholic Action, the German theologian Eberhard Schockenhoff, a professor of moral theology at the University of Freiburg, has launched an appeal for [Read More...]

Dolan: “I asked Jesus to help me fight the same temptations he did”

The new cardinal of New York gave a stemwinder of a homily Saturday night — repurposing some material from the homily we’d heard on Thursday — and it’s just too good not to share.  Looking for something to kickstart your Lent?  Take 20 minutes and watch one of the greatest preachers in the American church.   [Read More...]

Santorum on Kennedy speech: “That makes me throw up”

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country. This is the First Amendment. The First Amendment says the free [Read More...]

How’s this for a Lenten fast: nothing but beer and water

Yep. J. Wilson did exactly that last year, and reflects on what the experience taught him: About this time last year, I set off down a path that hadn’t been traveled for centuries. I fasted on beer and water for the duration of Lent. While that sounds like a frat boy stunt, my “Diary of [Read More...]

Sainthood cause to begin for Boys Town founder Father Flanagan

The Archdiocese of Omaha will start the ball rolling next month to have Father Edward J. Flanagan declared a saint. Details: Flanagan dedicated much of his life to ministering to orphans and troubled youth, and is best remembered for establishing in 1917 the Omaha orphanage Father Flanagan’s Boys Home. The archdiocese will formally open the [Read More...]

Don’t give up your iPhone: here are some apps for Lent

Need a little help this Lent?  Look no further than your smartphone: We’re a few days into the Lent 2012 season and what a better way to have an excuse tonot give up your iPhone and iPad than collecting a few apps that help, encourage, motivate, and inspire you to give up something else during [Read More...]

Who’s that nun at the Academy Awards?

Anyone asking that question clearly doesn’t know about Dolores Hart — Hollywood starlet who left the movies to become a cloistered Benedictine nun in the early 1960s.  Now her story has been made into an acclaimed documentary called “God Is Bigger Than Elvis,” which is up for an Oscar.  And Dolores Hart — now known [Read More...]


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