Pope and African Bishops to Cardinal Kasper: “Can you hear us now?”

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Presented for your consideration: Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea (which, for the Eurocentric, is an African country) as Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship. Listen up.Deacon Greg Kandra has the story at The Deacon's Bench, via The Vatican Insider:The Vatican has an African cardinal leading a Vatican Congregation once again. Nigerian cardinal Francis Arrinze was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2002 … [Read more...]

The Magdalene’s Cave: Thoughts on Priesthood and Women

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I've said it before. I am a Catholic woman who once believed, passionately and thoroughly, that women were called to ordination in the Catholic Church. And now I don't. On the feast of the Magdalene, that Apostle to the Apostles and patroness of uppity women, some thoughts.First, though, a caveat. My changed position is not really about thinking. When people ask me why I no longer have issues with a male priesthood, I could say, like a certain president, that my thinking on the subject has … [Read more...]

Looking East Clearly: More on Orthodox Divorce and Remarriage

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My recent post on the "Orthodox solution" has provoked a lot of conversation here and on social networks. Most of the reaction has been from Catholics who do not wish to see the Church alter its practice of denying the sacraments to divorced Catholics who remarry, and interpreted calls to look to Orthodox practice as a signal that the upcoming synod might seek such an alteration. My purpose---and, I believe, the purpose of Cardinal Kasper and other Church leaders who recommend exploring what … [Read more...]

People, Look East: Exploring the Orthodox Experience of Divorce and Remarriage

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We're divorced and remarried, but we love God and love the Church. Are we excommunicated? Why can't we receive Communion? I heard Orthodox Christians can!In anticipation of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family, the question of pastoral care for the divorced and remarried has emerged as an issue of great concern. In areas of the world where divorce is common, this question rated high urgency on the surveys sent to bishops' conferences to prepare for the synod. (In other parts of the … [Read more...]

Harrow Us, Lord: A Holy Saturday Prayer

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It was never my intention to give up blogging for Lent. But Lent, like life, like any pilgrimage, is never driven by intention; it is a surrender to the road and the will of the One who calls us to walk it.On this Holy Saturday morning, deep in the seeming silence of the garden of the tomb, think about it. How was your Lent? Where did it take you? What intentions and expectations were abandoned, jettisoned beside the road as unexpected turns and steep ascents called out of you more than you … [Read more...]

Everything But the Baby: Rethinking the Ed in Religious Ed

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I have updated my update to "What's Really Wrong with Catholic Religious Education? Everything" to include links to a wide variety of responses. The conversation continues here and in comboxes and on social media, and starting Monday the Patheos Catholic Channel home page will have a central link to posts tagged Rethinking Religious Education. But today's post from my friend and Patheos neighbor Sam Rocha deserves, I think, an endorsement all its own.Sam, a philosopher and father and … [Read more...]

Being David’s Harp: Walking Mercifully with Mental Illness

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Save me, O God, for the waters have risen to my neck. I have sunk into the mud of the deep and there is no foothold. I have entered the waters of the deep and the waves overwhelm me.Two important posts to share with you today---not on the theme of Rethinking Catechesis, though I invite you to keep your cards and letters coming in, as it were. This is another critical issue that requires rethinking and merciful response, an issue with which readers of this blog know I have the most … [Read more...]

The Blogger Who Kicked Over the Hornets’ Nest: More Buzz and Sting about Religious Education UPDATED

Karoly Ferenczy, The Sermon on the Mount (1896)

Now I know how Jonathan Swift felt when he proposed ending English famine by eating Irish babies. Friday's post suggesting that we quit catechizing children touched more of a nerve than I expected, opened more worm cans, and (best of all) sparked some great conversations. Thank you for commenting here and on Facebook and Twitter, for sharing the post and linking to it. We're talking out loud about our larger hunger, and no babies have been harmed in the process.As clarification and … [Read more...]


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