Pope Francis: Zen, yoga and catechism classes won’t open your heart; turn instead to the Holy Spirit

Yogi seated in garden c. 1620-40 (from Columbia University / U.S. Public Domain / Wikipedia) From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis said only the Holy Spirit has the power to open our hearts to God and his love and not thousands of yoga sessions or Zen spirituality courses. His words came during his homily at morning [Read More...]

Study finds more reasons to get and stay married

“Signing the Register” by Edmund Blair Leighton (U.S. Public Domain/Wikipedia) From The New York Times: A new economics paper has some old-fashioned advice for people navigating the stresses of life: Find a spouse who is also your best friend. Social scientists have long known that married people tend to be happier, but they debate whether [Read More...]

RIP, Andraé Crouch

The gospel legend is going to see The King. He died Thursday at 72. From The Los Angeles Times:  Crouch, a Los Angeles native, died about 4:30 p.m. at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles from complications after having a heart attack on Saturday, according to Brian Mayes. “Today my twin brother, womb-mate and [Read More...]

One seminarian’s journey: “I was angry with God. I told him, ‘I hate you. I don’t want to believe in you.’”

Photo: by Aprille Hanson / Arkansas Catholic From Arkansas Catholic:  When he was around 12 years old, Luis Miguel Pacheco, a frustrated, suffering kid in Mexico, told God he hated him. Just 16 years later, God changed his heart and is working through him to serve the Church. Pacheco, a 28-year-old seminarian, celebrated his diaconate [Read More...]

Philippine traffic officers will wear diapers during papal visit

Seriously? From RTE: Philippine traffic officers and crowd control personnel are to wear adult diapers on the job during next week’s visit of Pope Francis. They will spend long hours marshalling crowds expected to run into the millions, authorities said this morning. The nappies will ensure that about a thousand of the personnel can stay [Read More...]

Great moments in journalism: New York Times makes up a new country

From AdWeek: Sometimes a mistake is so embarrassing, it cycles all the away around the shame circle and becomes kind of awesome. Today’s case in point: Kyrzbekistan, a country accidentally invented by a New York Times piece that meant to reference the Central Asian nation Kyrgyzstan. In fairness, the story is otherwise quite compelling and [Read More...]

The pope meets with Cardinal Burke—and Angelina Jolie

Photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano From John Allen in Crux:  Pope Francis met two American media stars on Thursday, though of vastly different types and levels of celebrity: Actress Angelina Jolie, whose fame speaks for itself, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, a hero to conservative Catholic critics of the maverick pontiff. Jolie was in town to promote a new [Read More...]

Recalling Oscar Romero, pope speaks of a “martyrdom of mothers”

It happened yesterday, during his catechesis during his audience. From Vatican Radio:  Reflecting on the role of mothers in society and in the Church, he pointed out that the Church too is a mother, “our mother” and that no believer is an orphan.  The Pope said that for all our symbolic glorification of mothers, their [Read More...]

Report: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to meet the pope

From that venerable news source, Us Weekly:  Hollywood meets the Holy See! Tinseltown royalty Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are taking a very special trip to Rome this month, not to eat pasta and tour the Colosseum, but to meet the Pope, an insider reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly.   The A-listers will fly to Italy [Read More...]

Africa’s “Catholic moment”

From George Weigel via The Pilot:  According to an old Vatican aphorism, “We think in centuries here.” Viewed through that long-distance lens, the most important Catholic event of 2014 was the dramatic moment when Africa’s bishops emerged as effective, powerful proponents of dynamic orthodoxy in the world Church.The scene was the Extraordinary Synod of 2014, [Read More...]

Fr. Rutler: “Diaconal preaching is essentially non-liturgical” —UPDATED

A certain deacon, preaching “in the presence of priest,” on Gaudete Sunday. The noted priest offers some thoughts on preaching in Aleteia:  Preaching will be inadequate if it is an afterthought or incidental to the liturgy. It never occurred to the Fathers of the Church that preaching was anything other than the chief duty, Primum Officium, [Read More...]

Archbishop threatens to fire staff who support same-sex marriage—UPDATED

Kathy Schiffer has the scoop:  Archbishop Thomas Wenski, archbishop of Miami, has warned archdiocesan employees that any action in support of Florida’s now-legal same-sex marriage could cost them their jobs. “Because of the Church’s particular function in society,” the archbishop wrote, “certain conduct, inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, could lead to disciplinary action, including termination, [Read More...]

Andrew Cuomo delivers 40 minute eulogy at his father’s funeral

Andrew Cuomo by Pat Arnow via Wikipedia From The New York Daily News: Former Gov. Mario Cuomo was laid to rest Tuesday at a packed funeral highlighted by a stirring public farewell from his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In an emotional and personal 39-minute eulogy, Cuomo, his voice sometimes quaking, branded his father “the keynote [Read More...]

Bishop declines governor’s inauguration invitation because of abortion stance

From The Providence Journal:  Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said Monday he rejected an invitation this past weekend to attend Governor-elect Gina Raimondo’s inauguration, because of her stance on “the grave moral evil” of abortion. “Over the weekend I did receive a formal written invitation to the Inauguration, the courtesy of which I appreciated,” [Read More...]

Fasten your seatbelts: a quick trip on the pope’s plane

Here’s something altogether different, from Rome Reports: a glimpse inside the plane that carries the pope on his various trips. Take a look. And remember to keep your tray table closed and your seat in the upright position. [Read more...]

Cardinal Burke: “The radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church”

From an interview with a website called New Emangelization:   I think there has been a great confusion with regard to the specific vocation of men in marriage and of men in general in the Church during the past 50 years or so. It’s due to a number of factors, but the radical feminism which [Read More...]

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s solution to save Christianity in the UK: WiFi

Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2007 (photo by Tracey Nolan from Toronto, Canada via Wikipedia) From The Daily Mail:  The Oscar-winning composer behind “Jesus Christ Superstar” is planning an even more ambitious scheme to connect the nation with its Christian heritage – wi-fi in every church. Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose father was music director at a London church, [Read More...]

About those new cardinals: the Vatican’s explanation

From Vatican Radio:  Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, head of the Holy See Press Office, has published the following “notes” on the new Cardinals, whose names were announced by Pope Francis at the Angelus on Sunday: With respect to the number of 120 electors, there were 12 places “open” in the College today or in the [Read More...]