"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.
Machisma: How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.
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]
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.
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]
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]
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."
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]
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]
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.
"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]
Among the Flutterers: In this long, thoughtful essay for the LRB, Irish novelist Colm Tóibín examines the relationship between the Catholic church and homosexuality.
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.
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]
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.
Wait! Look, what do you see? A new crucifix has been hung behind the altar at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Oklahoma City. It has caused quite the stir. [more inside]
“Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers." And also, according to an Italian bishop, the culprits behind the Catholic Church's sex scandals. [more inside]
On Good Friday, Filipino Catholics participate in a reenactment of the life and death of Jesus known as a Senakulo. For some, the practice includes self-mortification and nailing to an actual cross. Church leaders have rejected the practice: one bishop calls crucifixions a "tourist activity." [more inside]
Affirmed evolution (and anti-intelligent design) biologist Francisco Ayala has won the 2010 Templeton Prize. In 1981, Ayala was a pivotal expert in overturning an Arkansas law that required the side-by-side teaching of creationism and evolution. Besides his nationally recognized work in evolution and genetics, the former Catholic priest has sought to reconcile evolution with religious belief, noting that science and religion are not mutually exclusive. [more inside]
The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria. [more inside]
I am writing to you to inform you of an important change to our group health care benefit plan that will take effect on March 2, 2010 due to a change in the law of the District of Columbia. [more inside]
The Vatican announced today that it would create a new structure that would allow former Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church while preserving elements of Anglican spirituality and liturgy. [more inside]
How do you reward a Catholic sister for nearly 40 years of service to the cause of peace and justice? If you’re the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, you tell her to shut up. [more inside]
"Workmanlike" astronomy: The Vatican Observatory, among the oldest astronomical centers in the world, brings a team of Jesuits to the papal summer residence. Its scientists play a large part in the church's efforts to reconcile faith with reason. [Previously.] [more inside]
Graduel à l'usage de Saint-Dié digitizes a French gradual (choir music for the Mass) created in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century. For more information about what's what, see the handy definitions offered by the British Library or Celebrating the Liturgy's Books. [more inside]
According to Senior Harvard AIDS Prevention Researcher Dr. Edward Green, condoms not only are not helping to prevent the AIDS crisis, but are actually making the problem worse.
Looking for a reason to celebrate today, or just a reason to skip out on your obligations? You could look through Religious seasonal days of celebration and holy days , check if today is covered by Holiday for Every Day yet, or keep things simple and rely on a Calendar of the Saints like the Catholic feast days or Greek Saints Days from the Orthodox Ministry Access Calendar. If you like to be more traditional, you could go with the Medievalist's On-line Calendar of Saints, which only lists people recognized as saints in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Or, if you feel lucky, check for special Google logos (designed by Dennis Hwang). For instance, today is the first day of Spring, and the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of The Society of Saint Pius X, has been making news since his excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in January. On January 21, 2009, in a nearly six minute interview Williamson told a television news program in Sweden that "I believe that history is strongly against, is hugely against, six million Jews having been gassed in gas chamber as a deliberate policy" during the Holocaust. In 2001, the bishop wrote "That girls should not be in universities flows from the nature of universities and from the nature of girls: true universities are for ideas, ideas are not for true girls, so true universities are not for true girls." The Vatican is now repudiating the Holocaust denials. And Bishop Williamson has claimed he will reconsider the issue of Nazi gas chambers by reading the book of a former Holocaust doubter.
Rev. Richard John Neuhaus is dead. The founder and editor of the Catholic journal First Things, (I am a subscriber), and an inveterate gossip.
Pope Benedict XVI, speaking at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Rome, which was badly damaged by Allied bombing in July 1943, again praised Pius XII, a pope seen by Jewish leaders and other critics as having turned a blind eye to the Holocaust, and who is nonetheless on his way towards beatification, a step towards sainthood. The Vatican contends that Pius XII worked behind the scenes to help many escape the Holocaust, although many Catholics question the beatification.
150 years ago, Father Isaac Thomas Hecker, a Catholic priest looking for a way to convert more North Americans, founded the Paulist Fathers. From the start, they took a mass communications approach to proselytizing, from the magazine the Catholic World in 1865 to the website Busted Halo. At the same time, they are also decidedly ecumenical and have a history of disagreeing with Rome, sometimes to the ire of other Catholics.
Vatican's chief astronomer states that belief in alien life does not conradict faith in God. Fr. José Gabriel Funes, a Jesuit preist and chief astronomer for the Vatican, stated in an interview in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, that, "Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation." [more inside]
After breaking the ice with his video message to all Americans, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Washington, D.C. this afternoon for the initial part of his first Papal visit to the United States of America. Watch it all live. [more inside]
The most challenging scenario(video) of communion distribution in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium. See the Pope on 5th Avenue or vote for your favorite papal skateboard design. Other activities. Itinerary. Security. Via.
"Ratzinger is an Evolutionist, which by definition makes one an athiest", is one of the reasons that this website, in which the "true" catholic faith (different [?] from the other catholic faith) is promoted, gives as to claiming Benedict XVI isn't the true pope. And to make their point they have elected a "real" pope themselves: Pope Pius XIII His real name? Lucian Pulvermacher (wikipedia) (previously) [more inside]
On October 28, the Pope will beatify (certify as Blessed) several martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, among them Gabino Olaso Zabala. Only thing is, Zabala is known to have participated in the torture of a fellow priest. Disturbingly, some Catholics are rallying behind a man who never publicly regretted his abusive past.
The Catholic Church is traditionally not seen as a progressive institution, but when it comes to global warming, Vatican City is aiming to become the worlds first fully carbon-neutral state, and the Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations next April to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.
Dante's The Divine Comedy (trailer/text) has inspired an opera by the Vatican's music administrator, the choirmaster of St John Lateran, Monsignor Marco Frisina. The premiere is scheduled for fall of 2007. Although traditional orchestral music predominates, Monsignor Frisina says that he is using punk, rock and jazz to represent the Devil because its "violent and rebellious tones help create a hellish atmosphere" (The Clash, Straight To Hell YouTube).
Rev. Robert F. Drinan, first priest to be a voting member of Congress died Sunday He was 86. In his time, Father Drinan was a priest, law professor and human rights advocate. He was also controversial.
it's been agreed that results of the debate are to be binding on all religious and nonreligious people.
Sam Harris, an atheist, and Andrew Sullivan, a Catholic, debate whether moderate religion makes any sense. Harris: "Religious moderation is the result of not taking scripture all that seriously." Sullivan: "Blogger, please."
St. Patrick's Catholic parish of Iowa City had a lovely old church until last year on Holy Thursday when the building was destroyed by a tornado. The church ruins were demolished yesterday. Here is the heart-wrenching (and related!) saga of Ricky the Flying Raccoon.
Pope Benedict XVI wants to bring back the latin mass. This could be the start of a return to the old Catholic traditionalism and the undoing of Vatican II.
A collection of American Catholic paraphernalia, including mysterious (for me, a non-Catholic) objects like; aspergills, clappers and Sick call sets. There are also more rosaries, medals and pins than you can shake a stick at.
Mexican government bans American Catholics who sued Mexico City Prelate The Mexican government took the unprecedented and controversial step of banning Dave Clohessy of SNAP and Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer specializing in abuse cases, from entering the country for five years. The men had filed a lawsuit against Mexico City Archbishop Norbeto Rivera, who they allege covered up sex abuse in his diocese.
Pope Benedict XVI makes his usual Sunday address during Italy's National August Holiday and about two-thirds in points out that "excessive activity" can lead to "hardness of heart", specifically recommending taking time out for prayer. It becomes the highlight of the speech, gets picked up all over, by Reuters and AP, and suddenly he's the Patron Saint of Slackers. Huh? Maybe that's why it's called The Protestant Work Ethic. Meanwhile, Americans are 'giving up' on vacations (voluntarily?) and in parts of Turkey a Muslim Protestant Work Ethic is emerging. And whatever happened to the Hacker Ethic?
Is Catholic-Anglican Reconciliation the only way forward? The Anglicans aren't Protestant, they're Catholics! In 1920 the Church of England - Anglicans - called for its reconciliation with the Catholic Church, and in 1925 the Catholic Ecumenical movement sought to make the Anglicans an autonomous Catholic church with the Archbishop of Canterbury as its patriarch. It would have been similar to the Coptic and Syro-Malabarese churches. The move was quashed by Pope Pius XI, who ended the ecumenical movement there and then. If conservative Anglicans chose this third way, instead of infighting over sexuality and gender issues or establishing a new model for membership, it could keep its married priests, its land, its churches, it's membership, and the Archbishop of Canterbury would still have a job.