Pope Francis Tells Vatican Leadership They Have “Spiritual Alzheimer’s Disease”

On Monday, Pope Francis delivered his annual Christmas greeting to the administrative body of the Holy See, the Curia. And it’s more or less the verbal equivalent of finding coal in your stocking on Christmas morning, from the Vicar of Christ.

The Pope went through a “catalog of illnesses” he saw in the bureaucracy, cautioning the assembled clergy,

Yet like every body, like every human body, it is exposed to illnesses, malfunctioning, infirmity. They are illnesses and temptations that weaken our service to God.

The list of ailments he identifies is wide-ranging, from bureaucratic duplication of efforts… to gossip and brown nosing. Some were more geared toward the workings of the Roman Curia, and others were general spiritual guidelines. Seven of the fifteen in particular are worth noting, if only for the bluntness of expression:

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Advice Columnist Nails Response to Mother Upset Over Her Son’s Desire to Have a Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony

Since the suggestions traditional advice columnists dole out about atheists are often cringe-worthy, it’s always nice to highlight someone who nailed it.

Robin DesCamp received a letter from a woman whose son and future daughter-in-law were planning a wedding. Just one problem:

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Pittsylvania County Officials Are Still Fighting to Pray at Meetings (and Wasting a Lot of Money in the Process)

In 2012, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors in Virginia began each meeting with a prayer to Jesus Christ.

An anonymous woman had sued the city in response — but a judge ruled that the only way for the lawsuit to proceed was if she revealed her identity.

In a country where atheists can get harassed for simply suggesting, “If people want to pray, they should do it privately, not on the taxpayers’ dime,” it’s no surprise the person wanted to keep her identity hidden.

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They Play Nuns on TV, but They’re Actually Atheists

There’s a BBC One show called Call the Midwife about a group of nurses working in a convent in London in the 1950s. (It’s aired in the U.S., too.)

Turns out, however, that many of the lead actresses (who plays nuns) don’t believe in God:

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Jury Rules Against Diocese That Fired a Teacher for the “Grave, Immoral” Sin of Fertility Treatments

Emily Herx was a language arts teacher at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School when she sought in vitro fertilization treatments in order to get pregnant. Herx and her husband, in keeping with the Church’s teachings about the sanctity of embryos, did not destroy any of their preserved embryos. School administrators were aware of and even allowed time off for her treatments.

But after her third treatment, in February 2011, when the parish priest, Rev. John Kuzmich, got wind of what was going on, he insisted that the school drop Herx’s employment contract. This was on the grounds that she was a “grave, immoral sinner” for seeking fertility treatments, who had in doing so violated the morality proscribed in her school’s employment contract.

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