California’s Catholic Population on the Rise

BUSINESS WIRE, June 20 — According to a study conducted for the California Catholic Conference, the state’s Catholic population will increase by more than 13% per year, accounting for 36% of California’s population by 2025, Business Wire reported.

By 2025, demographers expect that 16.7 million of the state’s expected 45.9 million residents will be Catholic, an increase of 5.6 million people.

“We are truly blessed that the Catholic Church in California is vibrant and growing, but our future should not happen by accident,” said Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire.

By 2025, 4.3 million new Catholics will be baptized, more than 3.1 million children will celebrate their first holy Communion and the average parish will have expanded by over 1,800 families.

The major factor contributing to growth is the influx of Hispanics. Some 60% of that population is Catholic.

Film’s Rating Was Not Due to Christianity

LOS ANGELES TIMES, June 21 — After two weeks of controversy surrounding a PG rating for the Christian film Facing the Giants, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) told the Catholic League that the film didn’t receive the rating for being overtly religious, but because of “mature issues,” according to the Times.

While the MPAA has a long-standing policy of not commenting about individual films, they felt it was necessary in this case due to the misunderstanding surrounding the film.

The MPAA had received more than 15,000 e-mails asking for the film to be given a more family-friendly rating.

“This film has a mature discussion about pregnancy, for example, as well as other elements that parents might want to be aware of,” said Joan Graves, who heads the MPAA ratings board.

AtlantaEucharistic Congress Draws 20,000

ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, June 18 — According to the Atlanta daily, more than 20,000 Catholics gathered in Georgia’s capital for its 11th annual two-day Eucharistic Congress. The event drew attendees from as far away as the Netherlands, Ireland and Colombia.Catholics gathered for the sacraments, speeches, and workshops centered on the Eucharist.

“I come here every year, and it always feels like something new,” said 18-year-old Danny Huynh. “You feel like you are enlightened.”

Episcopal Church Elects Female Bishop — Ex-Catholic

THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 18 — The Episcopal church elected  Katharine Jefferts Schori its presiding “bishop” June 18, making her the first female to lead a church in the Anglican Communion, reported The Times. Schori’s family was Catholic when she was a girl.

The Episcopal church first began ordaining women in 1976.

Her election contributes further to the controversy within the Episcopal church and the possibility of schism within the U.S. and internationally.

“Alienation is often a function of not knowing another human being,” Bishop Schori said after her election. “I have good relations with almost all the other bishops, those who agree and those who don’t agree with me. I will bend over backwards to build good relations with those who don’t agree with me.”