U.S. Catholics Critique 2014 Synod in Recent Survey

06/10/2015 Comments (41)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops began its 2015 General Assembly in St. Louis today.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky presented 12 general findings from the family surveys that each diocese circulated to local Catholics. The results are revealing, and, in some cases, echo broader concerns regarding the substance of the Synod relatio. Some of the key points:

1. The Catholic faithful are eager to assist their bishops. The framing of the survey questions left something to be desired, respondents said.

2. The survey was incomplete. The question was raised: "What was missing from relatio?" The answer: "The absence of marriage as a vocation." Also, a significant number...READ MORE

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Sister Carol Keehan: 'It Has Been My Privilege to Work With the President'

06/09/2015 Comments (36)

Catholic Health Association president Sister Carol Keehan welcomes President Barack Obama June 9 at the CHA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

– whitehouse.gov

In an appearance that boldly signaled the enduring intertwined interests of a political leader and an industry lobbyist, President Barack Obama was invited to give the keynote address today at the Catholic Health Association's annual conference in Washington, D.C. 

"It has been my privilege to work with the president and his team over the past seven years," said Sister of Charity Carol Keehan, who leads the Catholic Health Association, a lobby that represents Church-affiliated health care institutions, as she introduced Obama to conference attendees.

"With CHA’s deep gratitude for his leadership and concern for the well-being of all Americans, it is my honor and pleasure now to introduce...READ MORE

Filed under affordable care act, catholic health association, hhs mandate, obamacare, president barack obama, sister carol keehan

Jenner's 'Call Me Caitlyn' Moment Prompts Awkward Question: What Is a Woman?

06/07/2015 Comments (17)

Over the weekend, the online tsunami triggered by the arrival of Caitlyn Jenner brought me to the Vanity Fair website. There Caitlyn Jenner rules, showcased on the July cover of the magazine.

The first thing you notice is the statuesque figure framed on the cover. "Call Me Caitlyn," directs this person, who flaunts a handsome face, red lipstick and a toned body encased in a corset. 

The work of the magazine's premier photographer, Annie Leibovitz, the iconic cover photo will become one for the ages, as Demi Moore's naked pregnant body on a past cover once turned heads and provoked a national debate.  

The 22-page article and photo spread can be downloaded now, and the issue will hit...READ MORE

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Priest Reacts to Charlie Challenge: 'We are opening our kids to spiritual warfare'

05/27/2015 Comments (17)

– Shutterstock

When Father Stephen McCarthy, the chaplain of Sts. John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School in Philadelphia, sent a May 25 email message warning students about a popular social-media game that encourages kids to “play with demons,” he never intended to get his name in the paper.

But when a friend forwarded a British tabloid story about the #CharlieCharlieChallenge with his photograph, the Philadelphia priest realized he had struck a nerve.

“It boggles my mind that my email was so newsworthy. Did it take me to say this? Was this unknown to Catholics?” asked Father McCarthy during a May 27 telephone interview.

Father McCarthy isn’t looking for notoriety — he’d rather be one...READ MORE

Filed under charliechallenge, father stephen mccarthy, internet, satan, st. michael prayer, the devil

Catholic High School Chaplain on Charlie Challenge: Summoning Demons Is a Dangerous Game

05/26/2015 Comments (25)

As "Charlie Charlie Challenge" -- a game that encourages teens to 'play with demons' -- sweeps social media,  a Catholic high school minister in Philadelphia urged students to keep their distance. 

"There is a dangerous game going around on social media which openly encourages impressionable young people to summon demons," wrote Father Stephen McCarthy, a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, in an open letter to students at  Sts. John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School. "I want to remind you all there is no such thing as 'innocently playing with demons.'"

Britain's Daily Mirror reported on the priest's letter, which was linked to a student's Twitter feed. The priest was...READ MORE

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Ireland First Nation to Embrace Same-Sex Marriage by Popular Vote, Religious Freedom Issues Ahead

05/23/2015 Comments (157)

Today, Ireland became the first nation in the world to approve a constitutional right to same-sex marriage by popular vote.

"With the final ballots counted, the vote was 62-to-38 percent in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage," The New York Times reported.

"The turnout was large — more than 60 percent of the 3.2 million people eligible cast ballots, and only one district voted the measure down." 

The Iona Institute, which led opposition to the referendum, extended congratulations to the activists, who spearheaded the ballot initiative in favor of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. But the institute's press release noted unresolved concerns about religious freedom.


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San Fran Teachers Shift from Contracts to Doctrine: Great Reversal in Church Teaching Underway

05/21/2015 Comments (83)

In an escalation of the teacher-contract dispute in the San Francisco Archdiocese, a spokesman affiliated with the group opposing Archbishop Cordileone published a manifesto that dismissed his "interpretation" of Catholic teaching as a flawed approach that required "fraternal" correction.

"Archbishop Cordileone’s authority is not in his assertions but in his arguments," read the rambling "open letter" addressed to school administrators." Published in the National Catholic Reporter, the May 20 statement was written by Jim McGarry, a former Catholic high school teacher, who once taught religious studies at the Jesuit-run St. Ignatius College Prepatory and at Mercy High School.  

Supporters...READ MORE

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Ross Douthat: Churches That Pay to Help Poor But Don't Pray With Them Are Like NGOs

05/17/2015 Comments (13)

Recently, the Catholic Church has taken a hit from President Obama and Robert Putnam, the author of Our Kids, the latest bestseller on the social and economic marginalization of poor and working-class Americans who are increasingly less likely to marry, find work, attend college or go to church.

“Over the last 30 years,” Putnam said in an interview with The Washington Post, “most organized religion has focused on issues regarding sexual morality, such as abortion, gay marriage, all of those. I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, but that’s what they’ve been using all their resources for..."

Really? Tell that to Catholic Charities, USA, the national office for local diocesan affiliates...READ MORE

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About Joan Desmond

Joan Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..