Church closures are a sad, increasingly predictable fact of life in some U.S. dioceses, and that is not news to Peggy Noonan, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and a parishioner at the Church of St. Thomas More on Manhattan's tony Upper East Side.
But Noonan ruffled feathers in the local chancery when she argued in a Dec. 26 column that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York had no good reason for floating a proposal to shutter the church she attends. With its standing-room only liturgies, successful school, array of programs, legacy of fostering vocations, community outreach and solid finances, she argued, the Church of St. Thomas More should be celebrated, not closed.
So why might her...READ MORE
Amid the cascade of crises across the world in 2014, it was all too easy to forget the desperate plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. So as we ponder our New Year's resolutions for 2015, let's commit to offer prayers and material support for our sisters and brothers who have fled their homes and taken up residence in monasteries and schools, homes and camps in Kurdistan, and in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt.
If that suggestion seems like a tall order, then look to Father Benedict Kiely, a priest in the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, who recently eestablished a website -- Nasarean.org -- to raise funds and awareness about the needs of Christians in Iraq and Syria. As I...READ MORE
There is reason for hope. The same voice of love which called women to courageously and selflessly tend the poor, weak and young in the past is still calling young women today. It is the voice of Jesus, and the experience of His personal love continues to lead young women to our doors. ---Mother Agnes at Vatican City
At the Dec. 16 Vatican press conference making the release of the Final Report on the Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States, Sister of Life Mother Agnes Donovan, who chairs the Council Major Superiors of Women Religious, which represents a smaller number of religious institutes that are faithful to the Magisterium, offered this formal...READ MORE
Today, the Little Sisters of the Poor, who filed a legal challenge to the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate that has drawn national attention, took their case to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Dec. 8, the panel heard oral arguments for Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, a key free exercise case that could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last June, in another closely watched free exercise case, the justices ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain owned by a Christian family that filed a legal challenge to the HHS mandate. The 10th Circuit had also decided in favor of Hobby Lobby. The legal arguments on both sides have addressed both the high...READ MORE
Observing the mayhem in the Middle East last summer, Father Benedict Kiely at Blessed Sacrament Church in Stowe, Vt., did what came naturally: He asked his congregation to pray for those suffering, the Christian community in particular.
He was especially troubled by the fall of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and a Christian stronghold, to ISIS extremists. ISIS fighters painted the homes and businesses of Christians with the Arabic letter “N,” for “Nasarean,” a contemptuous way of referring to Christians. The “N” marked inhabitants for forced conversion, persecution or death. Christians fled the city by the thousands, and for the first time 1600 years, there was no Mass celebrated in the...READ MORE
This week, a pro-life Connecticut couple, Barth and Abbie Bracy, won their battle against their state's health exchange that only offered plans that cover elective abortion, with every policyholder paying a surcharge to underwrite the procedure. On Wednesday, the couple's lawyers voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit against the exchange after state officials agreed to include "plan options that, for the first time in Connecticut, will not require participants to pay for others' elective abortions," according to a news report.
If you hope to enroll in an insurance plan authorized under Obamacare, and you share the Bracy family's pro-life values, it may not be easy to identify a plan that...READ MORE
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, a U.S.-born astronomer, has won the Carl Sagan Award, a prestigious prize “for outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public.”
The news led National Public Radio to bring its persistent questions about the so-called conflict between the Catholic Church and science to the Jesuit brother. His adept and pithy responses can be found here.
Is it possible that Brother Guy will effectively quash outrage over the Vatican's persecution of the astronomer Galileo Galilei back in the 1600s? Don't bet on it.