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The Burning of the Ursuline Convent

In the late 1700's, when the US constitution was ratified and the first Catholic diocese was established in the US in Baltimore, the vast majority of Christians in the US were Protestants - only something like 30,000 Catholics called the new country home. This number rose dramatically within a few decades to over a million with the influx of Irish and German Catholic immigrants in the early 1800's. Simmering anti-Catholic feelings that dated back a hundred years or more occasionally boiled over - one of the most notable incidents, the burning of the Ursuline Convent, happened in sight of Bunker Hill in August 1834. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 on Jul 13, 2014 - 19 comments

Pope Francis never stops talking about the Devil; it’s constant.

"A modern pope gets old school on the Devil" by Anthony Faiola
"Witness to an Exorcism" -An interview with Anthony Faiola
"The Exorcists Next Door"
In their tidy suburban home, Marion and Larry Pollard have dug deep into the recesses of the Scriptures to save tortured souls—and command demons to get out. Get out now!
posted by davidstandaford on Jun 1, 2014 - 64 comments

What would Gregory XII have done?

What’s it like for the first living ex-pope in 600 years to watch from up close as the successor he enabled dismantles his legacy?
posted by Chrysostom on Apr 22, 2014 - 100 comments

Women, submit!

Project ROSE is a Phoenix city programme that arrests sex workers in the name of saving them. In five two-day stings, more than 100 police officers targeted alleged sex workers on the street and online. They brought them in handcuffs to the Bethany Bible Church. There, the sex workers were forced to meet with prosecutors, detectives, and representatives of Project ROSE, who offered a diversion programme to those who qualified. Those who did not may face months or years in jail.

posted by urbanwhaleshark on Apr 16, 2014 - 86 comments

Eppur si muove

The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown is a nine-part series posted by sci-fi author and statistician Michael F. Flynn to his blog last year, covering the historical conflict between heliocentrism and geocentrism, with a special focus on Galileo. They are based on an article (pdf) by Flynn which originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2014 - 10 comments

Bernstein's "Mass"

Written for the dedication of The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in 1971, Leonard Bernstein created MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers as a memoriam for John F Kennedy and as a thoroughly modern theater musical piece to reflect both its current times and universal questions of faith and existence. A recasting of the Tridentine Mass (in Latin), featuring additional lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a brilliant lyric quatrain from Paul Simon, the full staging requires multiple choruses, a full stage performance company (including ballet cast), a marching band, a rock band, and many others. The 2012 BBC Proms featured a concert performance [1h56m, including introduction sequences]. MASS has had very few full theatrical stagings since its premiere, although now, over 50 years after its creation, it is beginning to find new acclaim and appreciation. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Mar 31, 2014 - 10 comments

La Voz del Pueblo/Voice of the People

More than 12,000 Catholics from five continents answered questions in a massive survey commissioned by Univision and conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International. Topics covered included all the issues most likely to generate lively discussion among Catholics all over the world. Here's how they responded. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Feb 12, 2014 - 15 comments

A Catholic Showdown Worth Watching

The deep philosophical differences between the two main conservative factions of the Catholic Church, pitting adherents of John Courtney Murray against the followers of Alasdair MacIntyre is the root cause of the mixed messages being put out by the Church on public policy matters. It is the fight worth watching.
posted by reenum on Feb 11, 2014 - 108 comments

The Wars Over Christian Beards

To shave or not to shave? That is the question which has divided the Christian Church for 2000 years.
posted by cthuljew on Jan 26, 2014 - 40 comments

A History of Pain

As part of a settlement between the Archdiocese of Chicago and the victims of 30 pedophile priests, a cache of 6000 documents has been made public, detailing the Catholic Church's efforts over many years to cover up sexual abuse and protect accused priests.
posted by reenum on Jan 22, 2014 - 56 comments

496 years ago, bittersweet day in church history, great for a potluck.

Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.
Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences Commonly Known as The 95 Theses by Dr. Martin Luther on October 31, 1517. or 496 years ago today. [Original Latin]
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2013 - 56 comments

"I have never been custodian of my legacy."

In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 6, 2013 - 89 comments

Pope Francis Talks.... and talks... and talks

The setting is simple, austere. The workspace occupied by the desk is small. I am impressed not only by the simplicity of the furniture, but also by the objects in the room. There are only a few. [more inside]
posted by lattiboy on Sep 19, 2013 - 76 comments

Fr. Flanagan and Mrs. Flanagan

The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church.
posted by Chrysostom on Sep 12, 2013 - 67 comments

"Not five years ago, he condemned backers of gay marriage as amoral."

A Conservative Catholic Now Backs Same-Sex Marriage
"Among religious conservatives, opposition to same-sex marriage has remained essentially unquestioned. Which is why “The Things We Share: A Catholic’s Case for Same-Sex Marriage,” an essay by Joseph Bottum, published Friday on the Web site of Commonweal magazine, is something new in this debate."
posted by andoatnp on Aug 23, 2013 - 27 comments

Rick Santorum: Movie Mogul

"Dallas can become the Hollywood of the faith-and-family movie market." So says former Pennsylvania Senator, Fox News contributor, and erstwhile presidential contender Rick Santorum, who has taken a new job as CEO of Echolight Studios, a "family-friendly" Christian movie studio based out of Dallas. Mother Jones asks the question, what does Santorum actually know about movies? [more inside]
posted by duffell on Jun 25, 2013 - 51 comments

Dias v. Archdiocese

A jury has awarded teacher Christa Dias $170,000 in an anti-discrimination lawsuit in Ohio against the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 4, 2013 - 103 comments

You're alive a short while and dead forever. Might as well have company.

In the 19th century, in Roermond, The Netherlands, lived a man who was Colonel of Cavalry, and a Protestant. He married a Catholic noblewoman (likely quite a scandal in a country which was heavily segregated along religious lines at the time). The husband died in 1880 and was buried on the Protestant side of the cemetery. When his wife died eight years later, she could not be buried next to him, as a wall separated the Catholic and Protestant sides. A novel, and rather touching, solution was found.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER on May 30, 2013 - 20 comments

Mominus Vobiscum

The Los Angeles Times' Women becoming priests without Vatican's blessing The world's oldest corporation has a problem. The same one it's always had. Well, at least since the founder died. If you've been to mass recently, I'd bet the female attendees outnumbered the men...in the pews. There's a ways to go, but... [more inside]
posted by issue #1 on May 26, 2013 - 92 comments

A Cultural History of Syphilis

How syphilis took Europe by storm during the 1490s, and the far reaching effects it's had ever since
posted by Mister Bijou on May 18, 2013 - 25 comments

Is Pope Francis a Fraud?

After a right-wing coup crushed the reforms of Vatican II, one scholar says the last two popes are illegitimate. It comes near the end of a thousand-year history of the Vatican’s global rise to power, ambiguous flourishing and rapid decline. It also comes after 40 years of internal counterrevolution under the previous two popes, during which a group of hardcore right-wing cardinals have consolidated power in the Curia and stamped out nearly all traces of the 1960s liberal reform agenda of Pope John XXIII and Vatican II. A handful of intellectuals, both inside and outside the church, quietly believe that means Pope Francis isn’t a legitimate pope at all.
posted by Glibpaxman on Mar 17, 2013 - 118 comments

Butch Heroes

"In this series of portraits I am using the format of traditional Catholic holy cards to represent butch, queer women and queer female-to-male transgendered individuals from history." Via Autostraddle.
posted by showbiz_liz on Feb 26, 2013 - 22 comments

Ecce homo

"Footage of Pope John Paul at an indoor batting cage during his 1987 visit to California"
posted by growabrain on Jan 22, 2013 - 36 comments

Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed so easily.

“I am convinced [Dorothy Day] is a saint for our time,” Cardinal Dolan said at the bishops’ meeting. She exemplifies, he said, “what’s best in Catholic life, that ability we have to be ‘both-and’ not ‘either-or.’ ” [more inside]
posted by ActionPopulated on Nov 27, 2012 - 28 comments

Conservative politics, German-style

Jens Spahn is a parliamentarian in Germany's centre-right party, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and a committed Catholic. He is also gay, and has been openly so throughout his 11-year political career. While he does not focus specifically on gay issues, he advocates equal civil rights for gays and lesbians (including gay marriage, tax parity and adoption rights) from a conservative position. He does not regard this to be a contradiction.
posted by acb on Nov 24, 2012 - 32 comments

"I am done making excuses for the pro-life movement."

How I Lost Faith In The Pro-Life Movement: "What I want to share here is how I came to this realization. And if you, reader, are one of those who opposes abortion because you believe it is murder and you want to save the lives of unborn babies, well, I hope to persuade you that the pro-life movement is not actually your ally in this, that you have been misled, and that you would be more effective in decreasing the number of abortions that occur if you were to side with pro-choice progressives. If this is you, please hear me out before shaking your head." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 7, 2012 - 544 comments

'Silence seems to keep me from idealizing myself.'

How Silence Works: Emailed Conversations With Four Trappist Monks
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 24, 2012 - 41 comments

Something About Mary

"The convent would have been seen as a way for women to gain status. Nuns had a particular mystique and attraction about them. There was one in particular, and I would in hindsight say I definitely had a crush on her." Former nun Mary Skelley on coming out. [Vimeo]
posted by DarlingBri on Aug 16, 2012 - 6 comments

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley.

Football's Most Dangerous Rivalry: Celtic v Rangers [more inside]
posted by laconic skeuomorph on Jul 6, 2012 - 29 comments

Brown Moses Blog

Brown Moses Blog curates and analyzes news regarding the Syrian uprising, the wider Arab Spring, and the UK phone hacking scandal. It is written by Something Awful forums moderator Brown Moses. Recent entries include discussion of the increasingly well armed Free Syrian Army, senior members of the Catholic Church criticizing pro-Assad clergy, and a look at the evidence of more sophisticated IEDs being used in Syria. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jun 29, 2012 - 13 comments

A Coordinated Assault on Women?

In the wake of so many recent controversies over women and their right to safe, affordable health care and the supposed desire of working women to be "put in their place" by aggressive men in the bedroom, Penny Red suggests that "Right now, we are in the middle of a sexual counter-revolution." [more inside]
posted by bardic on Apr 24, 2012 - 201 comments

Vatican reprimands US nuns.

The findings of a multiyear Vatican study on US nuns have been announced: the largest and most influential group of nuns are promoting "radical feminist themes incompatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church."
posted by apparently on Apr 19, 2012 - 140 comments

Pie In the Sky

Tom Monaghan had a dream: To create a law school and surrounding community that would adhere strictly to Catholic values. Things have not gone according to plan. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Mar 17, 2012 - 102 comments

"Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."

Flannery O'Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find aloud at Vanderbilt University in 1959. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Mar 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Sex and the Single Sinéad

"So I admire those artists that are actually spiritually concerned. And have the balls to be concerned about that, and not concerned with fuckin’ George Bush’s dick. It’s very hard to sing when you’ve got someone’s dick in your mouth.” She shoots a mischievous grin before adding, 'I’ve tried.'" Sinéad O’Connor on the pope, her music, dating, buying condoms, and everything in between.
posted by the young rope-rider on Dec 12, 2011 - 28 comments

Machisma

Machisma: How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.
posted by the young rope-rider on Nov 1, 2011 - 25 comments

I dressed up as Martin Luther for Halloween

Besides Halloween, today also marks another holiday: Reformation Day. On October 31st, 1517 (warning: auto-playing video) Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, Germany essentially starting the Protestant Reformation. [more inside]
posted by Deflagro on Oct 31, 2011 - 46 comments

Surely this..

A new BBC Documentary titled This World: Spain's Stolen Babies alleges that up to three hundred thousand Spanish infants were stolen from their mothers at birth over a fifty year period, and then sold by the Catholic Church through illicit adoption services.
posted by FatherDagon on Oct 17, 2011 - 64 comments

Indicting a Bishop and a Diocese in Missouri

Bishop Robert Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have been indicted by a Jackson County, MO grand jury on misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse. Finn is the highest-ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to face criminal prosecution in a child sexual abuse case, and faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine (the diocese only faces the fine). Both Finn and the diocese entered not guilty pleas. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Oct 14, 2011 - 86 comments

Catholic? Had an abortion? Here's your chance to be forgiven.

Church forgives abortion during Pope's visit to Spain Special powers have been given to all priests in Madrid to absolve women who confess to abortion in the sacrament of penance during Pope Benedict's four-day visit to the church's World Youth Day event. [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae on Aug 18, 2011 - 267 comments

Irish stew. Papal hide the pickle.

Irish PM condemns Vatican interference in sex abuse cases. Enda Kenny, the new Taoiseach of Ireland, has scathingly criticized the Vatican, citing the Cloyne Report and a recently-leaked Vatican letter intended to prevent sex abuse cases from going public, despite their public policy of reporting all abuse claims to the authorities. (Similar claims of the Vatican not reporting recent child abuse cases have also been made in the US.) Ireland's Minister for Justice has cited an extensive list of The Church's failures to comply with their policies, and is supporting legislation to make it a crime not to report child abuse claims. The Vatican's envoy was asked to report to Parliament and explain The Church's position on this matter quickly, with the implied threat that they might be forced to testify. Today, the Church, citing "surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions" has recalled their envoy. "(This) should be interpreted as an expression of the desire of the Holy See for serious and effective collaboration with the (Irish) Government."
posted by markkraft on Jul 25, 2011 - 297 comments

Don't click before tomorrow

Vatican officials unveiled a new Internet portal Monday, a service that will aggregate the latest news from all its various media in a campaign to reach a growing online congregation across the world. [more inside]
posted by aqsakal on Jun 28, 2011 - 72 comments

Give me that old time religion - or not.

In 2002 a Mrs. Soile Tuulikki Lautsi, a Finnish/Italian woman and member of the Italian Union of Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists objected to the crucifixes on the wall of her child’s public school. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Jun 27, 2011 - 52 comments

Do bears still shit in the woods?

The Pope approves the use of condoms
posted by Artw on Nov 20, 2010 - 180 comments

NOM Exposed

NOM Exposed collects information about the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a secretive front group for the Mormon and Catholic churches which funds other front groups across the country, in their fight against recognition of same-sex marriage rights in the United States. NOM Exposed pulls together biographies about the leadership behind the organization, the ties to extremist religious and other groups, the money trail and the shadowy outfits where the cash leads, the organization's ethical, campaign finance, and other legal violations across the country (such as that pointed to here), and various propaganda that NOM uses to spread its message.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 30, 2010 - 95 comments

A pilgrim's POV of the UK Papal Visit

"Claz Gomez" is reporting live from the 2010 Papal Visit to the UK. Claz is using a variety of Internet media to provide her personal point of view from the ground, covering events running up to, during and presumably after the visit (official site) which takes place 16th - 19th September. [more inside]
posted by KMH on Sep 6, 2010 - 37 comments

Among the Flutterers

Among the Flutterers: In this long, thoughtful essay for the LRB, Irish novelist Colm Tóibín examines the relationship between the Catholic church and homosexuality.
posted by puny human on Aug 14, 2010 - 38 comments

Did the Vatican just equate ordaining women with molesting children?

Did the Vatican just equate ordaining women with molesting children? Sure sounds like it to a handful of women priests. The church is backpedaling a bit today, but not very hard.
posted by willpie on Jul 16, 2010 - 129 comments

John Paul II Superstar

Pope John Paul II, the musical: Two priests, two dancers and a team of young actors are bringing John Paul II to the stage this month, with a musical version of the pope's life and work. [more inside]
posted by aqsakal on Jun 4, 2010 - 14 comments

More sweary than South Park

Tim Minchin is not keen on the Pope. Quite rude. No, actually very rude. And yes, it's a single link to a YouTube video. NSFW.
posted by MrMustard on Apr 30, 2010 - 39 comments

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