WASHINGTON -- New polls in California indicate public opinion on same-sex marriage may be changing toward acceptance, and religion continues to play a large role in the change.
Faith & Parish
One group of Christians confidently proclaims that a plain reading of the Bible is a slam-dunk in their favor. The other side appeals to scripture’s grand narrative toward freedom and inclusive love. The argument boils over and ripples through the wider culture. The search for middle ground proves futile. Denominations break apart.
Worship & Liturgy
When bishops are to be installed, the question arises: Where should the ceremony take place? It has become common for these liturgies to be held in arenas or convention centers to better accommodate a crowd, but the temptation should be resisted. The theology of the episcopacy and our human yearning for a sense of the holy to be located in a particular place both issue in a presumption in favor of having such large and important liturgies in the diocesan cathedral.
Worship & Liturgy
What does it mean to be Catholic? There are probably as many answers to that question as there are Catholics. My own fascination with the identity question began, like most fascinations, in autobiography. I was educated by French nuns in a private girls’ school. Academics were rigorous and there wasn’t much free time in the daily routine.
Worship & Liturgy
One year after the implementation of the new English translation of the Mass, Catholics will be settled back into a routine. They will know the responses by heart. They will be singing new memorial acclamations. They will know how to pronounce “consubstantial.”
BRAINTREE, Mass. -- Although the Archdiocese of Boston has received official word from the Vatican denying the appeals of nine churches shuttered by the archdiocese in 2004, round-the-clock protests continue at several of the churches.
In a July 15 statement, archdiocesan spokesman Terry Donilon said the archdiocese has received Vatican decrees regarding the appeals of the parishes -- St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Scituate, St. Jeremiah in Framingham, St. Anselm in Sudbury, Our Lady of Lourdes in Revere, Infant Jesus-St. Lawrence in Brookline, Star of the Sea in Squantum, St. Michael in Lynn, Ste. Jeanne d'Arc in Lowell, and St. James the Greater in Wellesley. A 10th parish did not appeal.
WASHINGTON -- Canon law -- the legal rules that guide church operations and decision-making -- allows a local bishop to close any parish as long as his decision is made with the best interests of the entire diocese in mind.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- When Shane Claiborne hops to the podium in the meeting room at the Hotel Albuquerque, he looks as stylistically unbounded as his spiritual quest that’s outlined on a bio sheet. He’s long and lanky with a goatee. He looks bookish in dark-rimmed glasses, his thin face framed by dreadlocks held in place by a handkerchief bandana. He projects a kind of urban underbelly chic with an accent as pure as the early days of NASCAR.
He is a product of East Tennessee Protestant evangelical Christianity transplanted to the Northeast, where he engages in a robust version of Catholic Worker-type community, advocating for the poor and for nonviolent solutions to problems.
Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr speaks of him as a gifted “third-way person.” In the context of the conference on emerging Christianity he is about to address, he serves as a bridge, and a personification of one version of what might be arising out of what is.
A Michigan-based gay rights foundation has given more than $400,000 to a California seminary to help craft formal liturgies for the Episcopal Church to bless gay and lesbian relationships.
The Episcopal Church still officially considers marriage between a man and a woman, reflected in the marriage rite of its Book of Common Prayer. Many dioceses, however, unofficially allow priests to bless same-sex relationships and even marriages.
Catholics have sacramental understandings of marriage and ordination to which they are entitled. But the institutional church is not entitled to foist those on the rest of the population. On ordination they do not even try. On marriage I suspect they will fail.