Controversial Documentary on Religion Unveiled

09/02/2009 Comments (2)

If you were to meet 10 average Americans on the street, nine of them would say they believe in God. So, why is the gospel of love dividing America?

Dan Merchant (a.k.a. The Bumper-Sticker Man) put on a bumper sticker-clad jumpsuit and decided to find out.

After talking with scores of men and women on streets all across the nation, and also interviewing many well-known active participants in today’s “culture wars,” the result is Merchant’s documentary Lord Save Us From Your Followers.

The documentary takes a look at the often divisive and angry rhetoric that’s come to characterize religious media coverage. In the documentary, Merchant interviews people on all sides of the divide,...READ MORE

Filed under dan merchant, documentary, gospel, lord save us from your followers, religion

First Pastoral Letter on Health Care Released

09/01/2009 Comments (1)

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to speak with Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn, who told me that he and Kansas City, Kan., Archbishop Joseph Naumann were releasing a pastoral letter on health-care reform.

That pastoral letter was released today, and it can be read in its entirety at the The Catholic Key blog. It’s encouraging to see that a rising number of U.S. bishops are speaking publicly, and pastorally, about all that’s right, and all that’s wrong, in the current bill before Congress. It’s the first pastoral letter from U.S. bishops addressing health-care reform.

Their pastoral letter calls not only for the exclusion of “abortion services” from the health-care...READ MORE

Filed under bishop finn, bishop naumann, bishop nickless, health care, health care bill, health care reform, pastoral letter, usccb

Archbishop Dolan: On Fostering Vocations

09/01/2009 Comment

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan

Over the weekend, 530 Serra Club members from 12 different countries gathered at their annual international conference in Omaha, Neb. “No one offers more support and encouragement for vocations than Serra,” said the host, Omaha Archbishop George Lucas.

Among the attendees was New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Archbishop Dolan told Serrans that vocations can be promoted by the laity in four distinct ways.

The first, said Archbishop Dolan, is by emphasizing the vocation of marriage and family. Citing data from a Pew Research Center study, Archbishop Dolan stated that only about 50% of Catholic young people are approaching the sacrament of marriage.

“Taking care of the first crisis...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop dolan, serra club, vocations

Lutheran No More

08/26/2009 Comments (1)

The fall-out continues from last Friday’s vote by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to allow homosexual clergy.

Not surprisingly, the reaction echoes that witnessed when the Anglican Church ordained its first homosexual bishop. A schism, within the Anglican Church in the U.S. and abroad, took place.

Immediately following the ELCA’s decision, Lutheran leaders from both Asia and Africa denounced the decision, showing that those very places where the church is experiencing growth are also those places where the faithful are trying to hold onto the church’s traditional teachings.

Here in the U.S., parishes have responded as well. St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Charleston, WV...READ MORE

Filed under anglicans, clergy, evangelical lutheran church in america, homosexual

100,000 Catholics Come Home

08/26/2009 Comment

The successful Roswell, Ga.-based apostolate Catholics Come Home has utilized its award-winning television ads and website with several dioceses around the country since 2008. According to the organization, the campaign has been responsible for bringing nearly 100,000 inactive Catholics and converts home to the Church during Lent 2008.

Parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix reported a 12% increase in weekly Mass attendance during and after the campaign. The Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, witnessed a 17.7% increase.

Following the lead of so many other dioceses, the Diocese of Sacramento has announced that it will be launching a Catholics Come Home advertising campaign this coming December...READ MORE

Filed under catholics come home, corpus christi, phoenix, sacramento

Lutheran Church Passes Homosexual Clergy Hurdle

08/18/2009 Comment

What would Martin Luther say?

In a move to further liberalize the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), delegates meeting in Minneapolis yesterday rejected the opposition’s proposal to require a two-thirds supermajority rather than a simple majority when the measure to allow homosexual clergy is voted for on Friday.

In addition to voting on whether to allow practicing homosexual clergy members, the ELCA is also considering a broader statement on human sexuality. Just such a statement in the 1990s, on abortion, led many of the church’s pastors to leave the ELCA and led others to convert to Catholicism.

In 2003, the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly homosexual bishop,...READ MORE

Filed under anglicans, clergy, elca, evangelical lutheran church in america, homosexual, lutheran

The Government vs. Belmont Abbey College

08/18/2009 Comment

For those who haven’t followed it, there’s a battle shaping up over religious liberty at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C.

At issue is the college’s ability to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage in its health insurance plan. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Charlotte, N.C., ruled that Belmont Abbey discriminated against female employees by refusing to cover prescription contraceptives.

Originally, eight faculty members filed a complaint against the college in 2007, claiming that the exclusion was discriminatory against women.

“By denying prescription contraceptive drugs, [the college] is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription...READ MORE

Filed under belmont abbey college, contraception, eeoc

Why Newt Gingrich Became Catholic

08/18/2009 Comments (1)

Newt Gingrich listens to Pope Benedict XVI at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. (Tim Drake)

When I saw Newt Gingrich in the audience at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington during Pope Benedict XVI’s U.S. visit, I asked myself, “Newt isn’t Catholic is he? Is he here because he’s interested in what the Pope has to say, or is he considering coming into the Church?” I discreetly snapped a photo.

My question was answered earlier this year, when it was announced that he was coming into the Church. I’ve tried repeatedly to obtain an interview with former Speaker of the House Gingrich on the subject, but his press spokesperson says that he doesn’t want to discuss it.

Apparently, though, he’s discussed it with Time magazine’s Amy Sullivan. So,...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, conversion, convert, newt gingrich

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About Tim Drake

Tim Drake
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Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.