SUMMER SYMPOSIUM: The Future of Catholicism

Way back in 2010 Patheos spent a summer looking at the Future of Religion and asking people where they thought the churches, and faith itself, was headed. Our collection of Catholic writers and thinkers looked at issues like the rise of the digital faithful, the possibility of married priests, the vocational numbers and what they mean, and much more.It was only five years ago, but upon re-reading some of those pieces, they seem to be from a wholly different era; no one was then predicting … [Read more...]

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Catholicism’s Future: Love and Mercy, with Scoldings

"It is a fearsome thing, to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:31)Who are people more likely to call a "scold", Pope Francis or Pope Benedict?I don't know the answer to that question. Perhaps someone, somewhere has the energy to study papal speeches and -- possibly by comparing the number of times a pope said "Jesus Christ" to the number of times he said "capitalism" or "the poor" or "sin" or "the environment", or "mercy" -- deduce from those calculations a narrative in … [Read more...]

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Twitter Advice for the Pope and What to Ask Him?

So, two days ago the Vatican announced the Pope's new Twitter handle and relative hashtags. Since then, Pope Benedict XVI has amassed about half a million English-speaking followers (he will tweet in 8 Languages) and there are innumerable (and sometimes irreverent, often downright hateful) questions awaiting him at the #AskPontifex feed. The pope is not at a loss for reaction or, for that matter, advice. Our friend Brandon Vogt offers His Holiness Five Suggestions as he becomes a Tweeting … [Read more...]

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Does Church Suppress God’s Will? That’s Wicked, Right?

Like Mark Shea, I too thought the National Catholic Reporter had endorsed female ordination years ago. I actually had no intention of writing about it for my First Things column, today.Yet somehow -- and though I had intended to write more about Calah Alexander and the idea of a Ministry of Succor to young mothers, I ended up at female ordination, asking a few questions about NCR's stand:The overbearing men of Rome, most particularly Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are depicted as … [Read more...]

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A Church with Blades Drawn!

My column at First Things today talks about the ongoing tension between Catholic "Right and Left", and the conceit behind it:There exists an undeniable tension between left-leaning “social justice” Catholics and the right-leaning “pro-life” side; they share a conceit of primacy—one side sees itself as more compassionate; the other as more obedient. I personally know “social justice” Catholics who will pretend pro-lifers care nothing for the poor. And I certainly know pro-lifers who think the … [Read more...]

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How to Grow a Priest & Personal Stories

For Vocation Awareness Week, it's worth looking again at Pat Gohn's excellent piece, How to Grow a Priest:Here’s something I learned a little too late in life: Faithful priests come from, well, the faithful. The call to the ministerial priesthood grows out of the common priesthood that all the baptized share, since the People of God participate in the Christ’s three offices of priest, prophet and king.And for good measure, let's read the thoughts of one young seminarian:To be a priest is t … [Read more...]

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All Saints Day & Modern Martyrs – UPDATE

Chapel & Tomb of St. Philip Neri, Chiesa Nuova, RomePodcast of the Readings for All Saints Day via the USCCBLate yesterday, word began to come of a "bloodbath" during Mass at Baghdad's Syrian-Catholic cathedral. Details are still emerging; it portends nothing good:The terrorists, some wearing suicide vests, had taken over 120 faithful hostage at the Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, one of Baghdad's largest, during Sunday mass and demanded the release of al Qaeda … [Read more...]

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Crucifix to Cross; Hello Protestants!

As the Future of Catholicism Week wanes, and Patheos gets set to welcome a look at The Future of Mainline Protestantism, the Catholic side closes with two very different but passionate pieces:No discussion of the Future Church can be complete without a look at Catholic music, and award-winning composer Frank LaRocca (a friend of this blog; you have read about him here) does the honors, with Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi likewise, a discussion of the future that misses the voice of the … [Read more...]

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Echoing Love in Eternity

This morning I dreamed my dog was being sick in my bedroom--she sleeps by my bed--turns out, my husband had said, "she's throwing up, again" it and the words invaded my dreams before they entered my consciousness. I awoke to find him taking the first turn at what became a bad morning/afternoon of cleaning up after Alle, who seems to be a little more settled now, and is able to take some hydration.The vet says tomorrow, we'll know more. Meanwhile, I think my husband is bringing home a … [Read more...]

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The Evangelical Catholic Debt

Day three into Future of Catholicism Week some might be surprised by this piece by Hugh Hewitt, which is a virtual valentine to Evangelical Christians:The brief history of American Catholicism is this: mission, persecution, immigration, community, political power, strength, Vatican II, confusion, decline, scandal, confession, penance, and renewal. A new cycle of mission, persecution, immigration, community, political power, and strength has begun. Provided the reformed American Church remains … [Read more...]

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