Pope Warns of Erosion of Faith in Germany, Worldliness in the Church

11/20/2015 Comments (92)
Wikimedia commons

Cologne Cathedral

– Wikimedia commons

Pope Francis' address today to German bishops on their ad limina visit was not the only message for the country's episcopate. It seems his morning homily was, too.  

In his address at the end of the German bishops' ad limina this week, the Holy Father said “one can truly speak of an erosion of the Catholic faith in Germany”.

“Whereas in the 1960’s the faithful almost everywhere attended Mass every Sunday," he noted, "today it is often less than 10 percent."

He called on the bishops to use the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy to revive the Church through rediscovering “the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist” in the face of a collapse in sacramental participation in the country.

But in...READ MORE

Filed under germany, pope francis, sacraments, secularism, worldliness

Ex-Catholics Seek Happiness Without the Holy Eucharist

11/20/2015 Comments (18)

(Boris Dzhingarov, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

“We are going to church again after being away for awhile,” a neighbor told me over a cup of tea, “but it’s not a Catholic one. ”  

Guilt mixed with disappointment and settled in the pit of my stomach. Was there a way I could have stopped them from leaving the one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? Were there conversations that would have made a difference? I had not seen them—I'll call them Dan and Barb-- at Mass in awhile, but with 4 different weekend Masses, it’s easy not to cross paths with fellow parishioners.

Dan and Barb are the mostly neighborly neighbors my husband and I have ever known. True Christians, they are. And now, they are also ex-Catholics. Harsh homilies,...READ MORE

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We're All Bad Catholics

11/19/2015 Comments (7)

Guillaume Bodinier (1795-1872), "Paysanne de Frascati au confessionnal"

The good news about the Catholic Church is it's like a big family. The bad news about the Catholic Church is... it's like a big family.

It’s not a secret that the big family called the Catholic Church is “one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic” while we members of the Catholic Church are often fragmented, sinful, prone to sectarianism, and often so consumed with internecine squabbling that we have no time to be apostolic.  It’s complicated and can sometimes result in a destructive feedback loop.

So, for instance, some Catholics take an accommodationist approach to the world and become sponges for whatever the going thing is in pop culture.  Stretching the word “catholicity” well past the...READ MORE

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What To Do About Refugees?

11/19/2015 Comments (17)

If your heart has been moved at the plight of the Syrian refugees, whatever else you do, you should pray for them.

If you're frustrated that none of your friends seem to understand that refugees are as human as any American family, and are afraid of the same enemy we're afraid of, then you should pray for your friends.

If you're afraid of infiltrators from Daesh, you should pray for them.

If you're frustrated that none of your friends seem to understand that there is a real danger in exposing ourselves to infiltration by murderous Daesh terrorists, you should pray for your friends.

If you think Obama is putting the country at grave risk, you should pray for him.

If you think Obama is...READ MORE

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Abortionist Claims to be Inspired By Good Samaritan

11/19/2015 Comments (11)

François-Joseph Navez (1787-1869), "Massacre of the Innocents"

An ob/gyn wrote a piece for the New York Times saying he decided to perform abortions after being inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermon about the Good Samaritan. I don't believe this at all. Let's just get this right straight right off. One of the key targets of the pro-abortion machine is to subvert Christianity into neutrality on the issue of life. See Nancy Pelosi's epic fails at attempting to mislead Catholics into thinking the Church is unclear about abortion for evidence.

Big Abortion knows its enemies. Its enemies are not babies. They're just the fodder that makes the money machine roll. The enemy of Big Abortion is Christianity. Their enemy is the one faith that...READ MORE

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What Happened at the Synod and Why It Matters

11/19/2015 Comments (31)

Inside the Synod Hall during the meeting of bishops and cardinals on October 14, 2015. (Daniel Ibáñez/CNA)

“After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

Thanksgiving is upon us, and you know what that means: family squabbles. Ever have any? Ever overhear any? Say at the airport or the mall? Or how about the hospital? I teach nursing, and sometimes I overhear heated arguments between family members and patients, or just family members (or maybe sometimes the staff nurses and their families via cell phone). “Yikes,” I think, “I’m glad I’m not in on that,” although I know I could be.

“In families, there is commonly discord,” Samuel Johnson wrote. “If a kingdom be a great family, a family likewise is a little kingdom, torn with factions and exposed to...READ MORE

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What G.K. Chesterton Never Said

11/19/2015 Comment

Some quotes are so good and make the rounds so widely because they are both startling and creatively illustrate a profound point.

After finding the quote or its source to be fiction, it leads us to respond, “Well if Roscoe didn’t actually say it, he should have!” An example for me was a wonderful quote I heard that C.S. Lewis was to have uttered about hyper-spirituality.

A journalist from an evangelical magazine had come to England to do a story on the famous Inklings, who gathered regularly at the “Bird and Baby” pub at Oxford to enjoy a pint (or three) together and share their recent writing projects. The journalist, after conducting his interviews, wanted to get a few photos of this...READ MORE

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You Have the Rite to Sing, Sing, Sing

11/19/2015 Comments (7)

Leaf from the 13th-century Beaupré Antiphonary, Walters Art Museum (CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

I can’t sing. I actually took voice lessons as a graduate student and the professor, a priest, said to me as politely as possible: “Why don’t we concentrate on your public speaking voice instead of singing.” He was really on to something.

Elsewhere I have written about the Tridentine Low Mass providing Catholics with the “Rite To Remain Silent.” This is, of course, one of the most salient and unmistakable features of Low Mass: the unbroken contemplative silence.

But what of High Mass? Or Solemn High Mass?

These are, of course, occasions not for silence but for singing, or more specifically, chanting—usually Gregorian, though there are wonderful variations such as Praemonstratensian chant...READ MORE

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