The rates of baptism in the United States are nose-diving as fewer people think it's essential to have "God in the middle." Here's why.
Faith & Parish
After months of listening to Pope Francis' admonishments to take the church to the peripheries, Catholics in Asia examined their missions in a conference on the new evangelization.
It took the U.S. Supreme Court to make the final decision.
But the nine justices simply confirmed Oct. 15 what Benedictine Abbot Justin Brown knew in his heart for the past six years: The Benedictine monks of St. Joseph Abbey in Covington were not breaking the law by handcrafting plain cypress caskets and selling them to Louisiana residents.
Two sexual abuse victims groups crashed a party planned for a former Arkansas high school athletic director convicted of failing to report the sexual abuse of a minor.
Pope Francis, like Islam's Sufi mystic theologians and poets, "is trying to do good for the sake of the Good One, motivated by love and compassion," said the president of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland.
Mohamad Bashar Arafat, a Syrian who has lived in the United States for more than 20 years, was visiting the Vatican and speaking to groups in Rome in early October as a guest of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See as part of the U.S. State Department's international speakers program.
Catholic charities and churches across the Arlington diocese in northern Virginia have been looking at how to lessen the impact of the government shutdown on the community.
In response to the government freeze, Arlington diocesan Catholic Charities was giving nonperishable food to families affected by the shutdown through food pantries in Alexandria and Leesburg.
"We have plenty of supplies, but we don't know the kind of response we are going to get," said Sally O'Dwyer, Catholic Charities vice president for community service. "We will give until we have no more."
They taught English, gym, music and fifth grade and are described as "beloved" by their students. But that didn't stop the Catholic schools where they worked from firing these teachers.
Francis has sketched a beguiling vision of a more merciful and compassionate church, but pulling it off will require finding bishops to match.
Being a welcoming Christian community is a goal of many Catholic parishes today. Below is a beautiful and inclusive text used in some parish bulletins to welcome people. I recently discovered it in St. Patrick's Church in Oakland, California. It has been around for awhile, but after six months of Pope Francis, it deserves repeating.
A nun who became the first woman bishop of South Asia's Anglican community said her appointment has silenced critics who believe only men can be leaders in the church.