Daily News

Is the Catholic Church Losing the Numbers Game? (5470)

COMMENTARY: Whether the count of the faithful is up or down, fidelity to Christ remains the primary goal.

05/14/2015 Comments (24)
Shutterstock

– Shutterstock

In the American religious landscape, who’s ahead and who’s behind?

A recent poll from the Pew Research Center on Religion & Public Life found the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians declined from 78.4% in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Mainline Protestants and Catholics contributed most to the decline: Mainline Protestants fell from 18.1% to 14.7%, while Catholics dropped from 23.9% to 20.8%. Meanwhile, the category of “unaffiliated” grew from 16.1% to 22.8%. Those identifying as “nothing in particular” represented more than half of the category.

Some commentators are unmoved. The shift here really is no shift, they say. It’s just that people are more honest, or at least more...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, mark brumley, pew forum, protestant denominations, religion in america

When Detention Denies Dignity: Bishops Discuss US Migrant and Refugee Policy (1225)

‘Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the U.S. Immigrant Detention System’ was authored by the U.S. bishops and the Center for Migration Studies of New York.

05/14/2015 Comments (4)
CNA/BBC World Service via Flickr

Families meet through a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border.

– CNA/BBC World Service via Flickr

WASHINGTON — “Please help us; please pray for us.” These were the words of detained migrants and refugees at a Karnes, Texas, facility who spoke to Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio and his visiting delegation of religious leaders last year.

“As the archbishop said Mass under a tent in the compound, the fear and trepidation on the faces of the mothers were clear,” said a new report’s account of the 2014 visit. “One by one, they prayed aloud for deliverance from the facility and for reunification with their families.

“Many had been traumatized from their journey north from Central America. One confessed that her husband had been murdered by gang members and that they had...READ MORE

Filed under bishop eusebio elizondo, bishop nicholas dimarzio, department of homeland security, human dignity, illegal immigrants, kevin jones, migrants, u.s. conference of catholic bishops

Iraqi Christians Have Lost Everything — Except Their Faith, Nun Tells Congress (2946)

Dominican Sister Diana Momeka testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 13.

05/14/2015 Comments (3)
CNA/Matt Hadro

Dominican Sister Diana Momeka testifies before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington on May 13.

– CNA/Matt Hadro

WASHINGTON — Having lost their homes, their heritage and their sense of dignity, Iraqi Christians victimized by the Islamic State feel abandoned by earthly powers, but their faith in God has only grown, an Iraqi religious sister told members of Congress on May 13.

The faith of homeless Iraqi Christians is “increasing more and more,” Dominican Sister Diana Momeka told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Many of the displaced lived in devastating conditions — families taking shelter in containers, parents without jobs and children without an education.

But Sister Diana insisted the spirit of the people has not been broken by the adversity.

“It’s making us stronger,” she said. “We...READ MORE

Filed under christian persecution, dominicans, iraq, isis, islamic state, kurdistan, matt hadro, sister diana momeka, syria

Entire Hindu Village in Nepal Spared by the ‘Miracle of the Ordination’ (20827)

Residents avoided major casualties in the April 25 earthquake by attending the priestly ordination Mass of Jesuit Father Tek Raj Paudel, the village’s only Christian.

05/14/2015 Comments (26)
Courtesy of the Society of Jesus/Sunny D'Costa

Jesuit Father Tek Raj Paudel kneels before his parents, Indra Bahadur Paudel and Uttra Kumari, during his April 25 ordination Mass in the Nepalese village of Tarkerabari.

– Courtesy of the Society of Jesus/Sunny D'Costa

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Even though additional tremors continue to rock the Himalayan nation of Nepal, the thousand-odd Hindus of Tarkerabari village in the nation’s Okhaldunga district are rejoicing over the April 25 ordination of Jesuit Deacon Tek Raj Paudel from their village.

The ordination is credited with sparing the village from calamitous casualties from the massive quake that struck immediately after the ordination ceremony.

“They are still excited with what had happened. They continue to share their joy with me,” the newly ordained Father Paudel told the Register on May 8 from his village of Tarkerabari. The village is 125 miles northeast of Kathmandu, near the epicenter of the...READ MORE

Filed under anto akkara, earthquake, father tek raj paudel, jesuits, nepal

Things History Will Shame Us For, What I Learned About Holiness in the Convent and Much More! (2627)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

05/14/2015 Comment

Click on Things History Will Shame Us For by Shaun McAfee of Epic Pew link to read more.

Things History Will Shame Us For by Shaun McAfee of Epic Pew - Big Pulpit

Five Things I’ve Learned About Holiness In the Convent – Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble, Pursued by Truth

#ThankANunDay - Tatiana Federoff, Epic Pew

Dawn Eden: Why Everyone Needs to Learn What Chastity Really Means – Francis Phillips, Catholic Herald Magazine

The Odd Canonical Case Against the Shroud of Turin on Display by Jeff Mirus, PhD, of Catholic Culture - Big Pulpit

Book Review: Where Christianity Still Burns Bright in Britain – Melanie McDonagh, Catholic Herald Magazine

OpEd: ‘There’s No Cursing In Evangelizing!’ - Diane McKelva, Catholic Stand

Watch Biggest Liturgical Censer in the World Fly at 40+ Miles...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop cordileone, britain, chastity, christianity, convent, cursing, dawn eden, extraordinary ministers, history, holiness

Living Well at L’Arche (1631)

Disabled residents and their assistants share faith and friendship at the L’Arche community in Washington, D.C.

05/13/2015 Comments (1)
Photo by Dale Iglesia

Sarah Ruszkowski and Eileen Schofield delight in going down a slide together at Cox Farm.

– Photo by Dale Iglesia

WASHINGTON — Walking through Washington’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, it’s easy to miss the house on Ontario Road or the one on Euclid Street.

Outside, they look like ordinary brownstones. Inside, the TV plays. Photographs of family members top the mantel, and colorful, hand-painted canvases adorn the walls. A “March Madness”-style board shows saints being voted through the “brackets” for a championship win.

But this building doesn’t house a family or a group of budget-bound Millennials.

It’s a home for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, one of four houses belonging to L’Arche in D.C.

The disabled residents or “core people” live side-by-side with assistants who help...READ MORE

Filed under jean vanier, l'arche, sophia mason feingold, templeton prize

Jerusalem Bishop on Palestine Recognition: ‘We Will See if This Brings Good News’ (1341)

Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali told the Register that today’s announcement is ‘exciting,’ and he hopes it will help improve the situation of Palestinians in the Holy Land.

05/13/2015 Comments (7)
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Francis meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a peace invocation prayer at the Vatican Gardens on June 8, 2014.

– Franco Origlia/Getty Images

JERUSALEM — A top Catholic Church official in the Holy Land said that the Vatican's official recognition of the “state of Palestine” in a treaty announced Wednesday is “exciting” news that “did not come as a surprise.”

Bishop William Shomali, the auxiliary bishop of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told the Register the Vatican's announcement “was not a surprise, because, already, the Pope called President [Mahmoud] Abbas the ‘president of the state of Palestine’” during his 2014 pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The treaty, which has not yet been signed, recognizes the state of Palestine, and not the Palestinian Authority, as the representative of the Palestinian people.

The announcement...READ MORE

Filed under bishop william shomali, michele chabin, palestine, pope francis, vatican-palestine relations

The UK Election: Cameron, Conservatism and Common Sense (1704)

COMMENTARY: All the fuss over the royal baby indicates that Britons actually do like the structure, sense of belonging, neighborliness and bond with the past that comes from emphasizing traditional family life.

05/13/2015 Comments (8)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

British Prime Minister David Cameron (c) poses for a picture with the new Conservative Party MPs in Palace Yard on May 11 in London.

– Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Let’s start with the good news from the U.K. general election. Immediately after his victory, Prime Minister David Cameron joined the two former leaders of the other main parties (Liberal Democrat and Labour) — who had both resigned following their crushing defeats at the polls — at a major public service of Christian prayer in the heart of London.

Impressive? Well, yes. But this was simply because the election on May 7 fell immediately before the 70th anniversary of V-E Day (marking the end of World War II) on May 8, at which all the main party leaders had to appear at the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall to take part in the service honoring the war dead.

It was certainly moving to watch...READ MORE

Filed under conservative party, david cameron, elections, european union, family, joanna bogle, united kingdom

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