About that NYTimes hint at the future of married priests

A long, long time ago, a Catholic leader gave me a tip as a young reporter. He told me to keep my eye on the Eastern-Rite Catholic churches and their potential for growth in Northern America. Why? First of all, because the ancient beauty of their liturgies in a post-Vatican II world would be pleasing [Read More...]

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Auschwitz in Ireland: L’Humanité on Ireland’s mass graves

The falsehoods and exaggerations — need I say, the hysteria — surrounding the Irish orphanage story has been a sorry spectacle for those who love the craft of reporting. The first reports of a mass grave in a septic tank containing up to 800 unbaptized babies at a Catholic orphanage has been proven to be [Read More...]

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Pod people: Sometimes editors really need to do the math

I have never been much of a math guy, but sometimes you have to see the numbers written on the walls. For example, what essential thread runs through the following religion-beat stories? I am not arguing that this math hook is the only factor at play in these stories, but that this X-factor is a [Read More...]

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Journalists covering Iraq, please learn this word — ‘dhimmi’

Like it or not, journalists and editors who are handling coverage of events in Iraq are going to have to learn this controversial word — “dhimmitude.” Trust me, the faithful in minority religions who live in Mosul and on the Nineveh Plain, or who have recently fled this region, are already familiar with this concept. [Read More...]

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Torture lost to Mafia coverage, at least in news on pope talks

If the coverage of Pope Francis this weekend was any indication, the Mafia is more interesting to mainstream journalists than torture chambers are. The reporters paid lots of attention to the pope’s anti-Mafia statement on Saturday, but hardly seemed to notice the next day when he urged all Christians to join in ending torture. Meanwhile, [Read More...]

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The track record when atheists wield political power?

DUANE’S QUESTION: He’d like to know what The Religion Guy was talking about in this from “Religion Q and A” on June 8: “When atheists seized governments in the 20th Century they fused their belief in unbelief with state power and enforced it with a cruel vengeance unmatched by the worst cross-and-crown tyrannies during Christendom’s [Read More...]

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Headline writers duck and cover when Francis improvises

It must be very hard to be a headline writer in the age of Pope Francis. I mean, the man serves up — during his off-the-cuff homilies and chats — a wealth of material that simply screams, “You must put this phrase in a headline because it sounds amazing.” The only problem is that this [Read More...]

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Irish children’s deaths: Media may be returning to sanity

Are cooler heads finally prevailing in that story of the children who died at a nun-run home in Ireland? There are some signs. But the temp is not yet back to normal. As you may recall from a previous column of mine, a local historian determined that hundreds of children died at St. Mary’s Mother [Read More...]

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