New "ministers" performing same sex weddings

So says the New York Daily News, which reported on this unfortunate phenomenon yesterday. Details: John DeLamar will stand before two of his closest friends tomorrow and proudly pronounce them newlyweds. The 29-year-old has not officiated at a wedding before, and never had ambitions to become a minister, but New York‘s same-sex marriage bill changed [Read More...]

Tweeting at funerals?

Last week, Bishop Christopher Coyne of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis had a few things to say about tweeting in church. He had heard on the radio that a number of people were tweeting at the celebrity-studded funeral of Myra Kraft, wife of Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. And he was justifiably appalled: [Read More...]

Three sets of parents attempt to name their babies "Lucifer"

As a result, that name is one of several that are now legally unacceptable in New Zealand. Details: The devilish name has been effectively banned by the New Zealand names registrar after three sets of parents had the name denied, says The West Australian. In the past two years there have been 102 rejected names, [Read More...]

Too hot? Here's something cool

From those geniuses in Japan: how to quickly cool a hot car without waiting for the a/c to do the job.  You roll down the window on one side, and use the car door on the other side to “fan” the hot air out the open window.  Don’t believe it?  Just watch.  You can thank [Read More...]

On Mary Magdalene, the media, and mercy

Yesterday marked the feast of St. Mary Magdalene — and the Archbishop of Los Angeles offered a beautiful, surprisingly timely reflection. Here’s Archbishop Jose Gomez, from The Tidings: God is kind and merciful. There is no one who is beyond the pale of his redemption. There is no one whom God cannot redeem and use [Read More...]

Quote of the day: the pope on Norway

The pontiff sent condolences to Norway’s King Harald, following yesterday’s horrific attacks. The pope’s message, in part: “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI offers fervent prayers for the victims and their families, invoking God’s peace upon the dead and divine consolation upon those who suffer.” “At this time of national grief he prays that all Norwegians [Read More...]

Homily for July 24, 2011: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The gospel we just heard has some surprising comparisons to the Kingdom of God – a kingdom that isn’t measured in acres, or miles, or limited by any kind of geography we might imagine.  It is a kingdom, in fact, whose size could be small enough to hold in your hand, or bury in a [Read More...]

New York Times: Vatican being "challenged" on women priests

A key player, according to the report in the New York Times, is Fr. Ray Bourgeois, pictured below at the attempted ordination of a woman a couple years ago. Details: More than 150 Roman Catholic priests in the United States have signed a statement in support of a fellow cleric who faces dismissal for participating [Read More...]

Is this the new face of terror?

Below, photos of the man now in custody in connection with yesterday’s horrific attacks in Norway. Details: The Norwegian charged with going on a killing spree in which at least 91 people died is a former member of a populist anti-immigration party who wrote blogs attacking multiculturalism and Islam. The suspect, detained after 84 people [Read More...]

Diocese submits bid to buy Crystal Cathedral

A couple weeks back, we learned the Diocese of Orange was considering investing in the property.  Yesterday, it made a cash offer. From the Los Angeles Times: A Roman Catholic diocese made a $50 million cash offer to buy Southern California’s financially struggling Crystal Cathedral, officials said Friday. The Diocese of Orange said its proposal [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

Well, this explains everything.  From a friend’s Facebook page. [Read more...]

Pilgrim people: Orlando's unique tourism ministry

Visitors to the theme parks are probably aware of Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe near Disney World. But there’s even more in that popular vacation region. A look at this unique ministry in Florida Catholic: The Apostleship of the Sea ministers to crew members and passengers of the cruise [Read More...]

"Hot town, summer in the city…"

“All around, people looking half dead Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head…” Oh yeah.  It’s supposed to hit a hundred in New York City today.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  So, here’s the Lovin’ Spoonful, from the summer of ’66.   You can read about the song here. [Read more...]

Ordination update: 48 new deacons for Santa Barbara

What an amazing shot: the largest clerical ordination in the nine-year history of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.  Photo by Mike Nelson of The Tidings. That’s from the recent ordination of 48 men as deacons for the Santa Barbara region of Los Angeles. Details: “This is a day of [Read More...]

Angry Ireland no longer "Catholic first"

The aftershocks of the Coyne report continue to reverberate. From the AP: From the pews and pulpits, Ireland’s Catholics are demanding that the Vatican finally come clean on its oversight role in child abuse cover-ups. It’s a revolution of sorts in Ireland, a nation founded on a pillar of devotion to Roman Catholicism, where many [Read More...]

Clergy to Obama: "Put the needs of the poor first"

A meeting between President Obama and Christian clergy — including Catholics — didn’t get much attention earlier this week.  But while Washington wrestles with ways to raise the debt ceiling, and cut funding, this meeting helped give a voice to those who are not being heard from in the debate, the poor. From Huffington Post: [Read More...]

Faith behind bars: the artistic legacy of a prisoner with a paintbrush

An unusual piece of prison history — and American Catholic art — is undergoing restoration. Details, from the New York Times: In 1955 a remorseful prisoner at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia started expressing his newfound Roman Catholic faith on the jailhouse walls. The inmate, Lester Smith, had been convicted of a string of armed [Read More...]

"Best. Day. Ever."

That’s the uplifting message at the end of this trailer for a remarkable new film hitting theaters later this month. It’s “Life in a Day,” produced by Ridley Scott, and collected from thousands of YouTube videos. You can read more about it here and here. But check out the trailer below. [Read more...]