Secularism Leads to Superstition. Or Something.

The Catholic Church recently held a conference to train more than 200 priests to become exorcists so they can cast out non-existent demons from people who need genuine psychological help. Apparently there's been a big surge in possession and, wouldn't you know it, it's all the fault of secularism. … [Read more...]

Pope Fluffy and the Devil

Paul Fidalgo has taken to calling Pope Francis I "Pope Fluffy." Personally, I've liked a lot of the things he's said and done and found him mostly, though not entirely, refreshing. But he apparently has a bit of an obsession with the devil, the most convenient myth in Christianity. … [Read more...]

Harvard Club Hosts Black Mass; Catholic Church Freaks Out

A student group at Harvard has invited the Satanic Temple to perform a "black mass" ceremony at the university as part of a series on rituals performed by smaller religions. Naturally, the Catholic Church is throwing a temper tantrum about it and is demanding that it be canceled. … [Read more...]

Ugandan Catholic Bishop Calls for Anti-Gay Violence

One of Uganda's Catholic bishops delivered an Easter homily that focused not on the resurrection of Jesus or the church's message of hope and atonement but on the need for people of that country to commit violence against gay people in order to rid the country of homosexuality. … [Read more...]

Donohue’s Delusions

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League -- really just an angry, red-faced guy with a P.O. Box and a fax machine who likes to put out press release -- is a bit delusional. The Catholic Church has no problem with priests abusing children anymore. "I don't know of a single institution which has less of a problem" with sexual abuse than the Catholic Church, he said in this interview. Wow. … [Read more...]

Cath. School Won’t March in Parade if Gay Veterans Can

A Catholic school marching band is withdrawing from the annual Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade because a group of gay military veterans have also been approved to march in it. Because apparently just walking down the same street with gay people can give you the cooties. … [Read more...]

The Priorities of the Catholic Church

The New York Times has a report on the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, which is apparently so poor that it was forced to close down one of its schools. But not so poor that it can't spend more than half a million dollars on an expansion for the retirement home of its current archbishop, which was already 4,500 square feet. … [Read more...]

Bill Donohue’s Ignorant Distinctions

Right wing Catholic blowhard Bill Donohue has a problem. The new pope has made helping the poor a major focus of his leadership and spoken out about the dangers of income inequality. So has President Obama. But he hates Obama and is forced to defend the pope, so he has to make presumptuous and ignorant distinctions like this: … [Read more...]

The Vatican’s Pathetic Excuses

On Thursday in Geneva, a United Nations panel held a remarkable hearing about the global problem of child rape by priests and questioned representatives from the Vatican about it. I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that the Vatican offered an astonishingly hypocritical response to those questions: … [Read more...]

Catholic Church Protects Another (Alleged) Pedophile

Polish Archbishop Josef Wesolowski is under investigation both in Poland and the Dominican Republic for raping children but the Vatican refuses to allow him to be extradited to either country because, they say, he has diplomatic immunity since he was in the Dominican Republican as a Papal Nuncio, not as a priest. … [Read more...]

Are Catholics Taught Not to Have Oral Sex?

In doing some research for the chapter I'm writing for John Loftus' forthcoming anthology about the negative influence of the Christian right in America, I came across this essay by Bill Maguire, who holds a Masters in Theological Studies from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, in the Catholic World Report. This part jumped out at me: … [Read more...]

No, Catholic Judges Should Not Recuse Themselves From Contraception Cases

Ron Lindsay, CEO of the Center for Inquiry and also an attorney, has a blog post at the CFI website asking "Should Catholic Judges Recuse Themselves from the Contraceptive Mandate Cases?" The answer is no. And frankly, he doesn't make much of an attempt to argue for a negative answer. He seems mostly concerned with whether the RCC will consider them "good Catholics" if they don't vote a certain way in such cases. … [Read more...]