In Catholic schools: Demographics is destiny, so is doctrine

Not that long ago, I wrote a post about religious faith and mathematics that turned into a “Crossroads” podcast. The post talked about a number of hot stories and trends on the religion-news beat — think thinning ranks in the Catholic priesthood, for example — and then boiled things down to this statement: “Demographics is [Read More...]

Brazil’s faith in football: What happens after the apocalypse?

If you know anything about the sport the world calls “football,” then you know that an apocalyptic event took place yesterday in Brazil. If you know anything at all about the host nation for the 2014 World Cup, then you know — everyone chant the mantra together — that football is the true religion of [Read More...]

Pope’s abuse apology: Media did a fair job, surprisingly

Mainstream media didn’t pile onto Pope Francis. I know that sounds cynical — something like “Johnny’s trumpet recital didn’t suck!” — but in the story of Francis’ personal apology to victims of priestly abuse, reporters actually reported. They left pontifications to the pontiff. Francis, of course, has apologized before for the abuses that his predecessors [Read More...]

Babies and holy ghosts in Texas surrogate pregnancies story

Give the Austin American-Statesman credit for a couple of things. First, the Texas newspaper has the start of a potentially fantastic, enlightening trend piece: AUSTIN — A nurse spread gel on Nicole Benham’s pregnant belly and slowly moved a sonogram wand over it, describing the images on nearby monitors. This scene, in which parents get [Read More...]

You can confess — but not to an Anglican priest

The Adelaide Advertiser reports the Anglican Church of Australia has lifted the veil of secrecy between priest and penitent, no longer requiring its clergy to maintain the seal of the confession. I expect many people will be surprised and some upset by this development. Not least of all the writers of mystery thrillers who will [Read More...]

So, are there unique Episcopal saints or not?

Noticing some fair-haired children in the slave market one morning, Pope Gregory, the memorable pope, said (in Latin), “What are those?” and on being told that they were Angels, made the memorable joke — “Non Angli, sed Angeli” (“not Angels, but Anglicans”) and commanded one of his saints called St Augustine to go and convert [Read More...]

Attention editors: Is there a ‘Little Sisters’ case in your area?

While the post-Hobby Lobby meltdown continues on the cultural and journalistic left — this New Yorker piece is beyond parody — it’s important to remember that, from a church-state separation point of view, the most serious issues linked to the Health & Human Services mandate have not been settled. Here at GetReligion, we have been [Read More...]

And the Baltimore Hobby Lobby angle is … the Little Sisters

All news is local. That’s one of the first laws that journalists quote whenever we try to explain what is and what isn’t news to those outside the profession. In other words, when editors rank stories — deciding what goes on A1, for example — one of the main factors that they take into account [Read More...]


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