National Catholic Reporter

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Faith & Parish

New pastoral looks at Catholics' identity, today's challenges to faith

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl has issued a new pastoral letter "about who we are as Catholics."

"We will reflect on our identity as disciples of Jesus -- followers of Christ -- adopted children of God," he notes in the introduction.

A key part of the pastoral looks at "our freedom to be who we are as followers of Christ, and some of the challenges of our age as we try to live and share our faith," he says.

New Jersey priest fired as Seton Hall chaplain comes out as gay

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A Catholic priest in New Jersey who says he was dismissed from his campus ministry job over a Facebook post against anti-gay bullying and racism has come out as gay.

Fr. Warren Hall told Outsports, a magazine for gay athletes, that while he remained committed to his vocation as a priest and to his vow of celibacy, he was not going to hide his sexual orientation.

"I have to be myself," Hall said. "I can't worry what other people think."

Forget the numbers. The big story is that religion has lost social influence

"Religion plays a less important role in American life." Or maybe, "Religion declines as powerful source of American public authority."

I doubt those headlines would have garnered the attention the Pew Research Center recently received with its subtitle "Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population."

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