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S.F. Catholic Church priest bans girls as altar servers

January 30, 2015 World News Comments Off

A Catholic priest, new to San Francisco and no stranger to controversy, has banned girls from acting as altar servers at Mass, a decision that sets his parish apart from all others in the archdiocese. The Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor at Star of the Sea Church since August, said he believes there is an “intrinsic connection” between the priesthood and serving at the altar — and because women can’t be priests, it makes sense to have only altar boys. “Maybe the most important thing is that it prepares boys to consider the priesthood,” he said. The Richmond District parish is now the only one in the Archdiocese of San Francisco that will exclude girls from serving at the altar. Such…Continue Reading

Notre Dame theologian known for books, liberal stands, dies

January 26, 2015 World News Comments Off

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The Rev. Richard McBrien, a University of Notre Dame theologian known for his unabashed liberal stands on various church teachings and his popular books on Catholicism, died Sunday in his native Connecticut, according to the school. He was 78. The often-quoted theology professor, who for nearly 50 years penned a weekly column for Catholic newspapers, courted controversy with his criticism of Pope John Paul II’s emphasis on orthodoxy, and he advocated for change. McBrien also spoke out in favor of artificial contraception, the ordination of female priests and optional celibacy for priests.  

Bankruptcy case brings financial fears for Catholic schools

January 26, 2015 World News Comments Off

As president of an inner-city Catholic grade school that depends critically on donations, Helen Dahlman admits to an unconventional fundraising strategy. “We believe in miracles, so we pray a lot,” said Dahlman, who leads Risen Christ School in south Minneapolis, a place devoted to poor immigrants and other severely disadvantaged kids. Risen Christ is among dozens of Catholic schools across the Twin Cities watching how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis shoulders millions of dollars of anticipated debt from clergy sexual abuse lawsuits. And as the church’s bankruptcy case unfolds, they are keeping the faith that it won’t have ripple effects on their finances.

Cardinal: No pro-life victory without reaching the marginalized

January 22, 2015 World News Comments Off

Washington D.C., Jan 22, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For the pro-life movement to truly succeed, it must fight not only abortion, but also the broader “throwaway culture” wherever life is being discarded, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston at a national pro-life Mass. “What must characterize the pro-life movement is a special love for the poor, the marginalized, the suffering, and especially human life that is in danger of being discarded,” Cardinal O’Malley said in his Jan. 21 homily at the Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life. The cardinal addressed an overflow crowd at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conceptio

70 Churches Destroyed in ‘Anti-Charlie Hebdo’ Protests

January 21, 2015 World News Comments Off

The Christian community in Niger says it is in shock in the wake of weekend violence that has claimed the lives of 10 people and led to the destruction of dozens of places of worship and Christian homes. The protest, which started in the country’s second city, Zinder, on Friday, Jan. 16, quickly spread to surrounding areas before reaching the capital Niamey on Saturday. Ten people have died, and 45 churches burned down in the two days of violence, the police say. But information gathered by World Watch Monitor revealed that more than 70 churches have been destroyed, along with numerous Christian schools and organizations, including an orphanage “Th

ITALY: Muslims smash, urinate on statue of Mary

January 20, 2015 World News Comments Off

A man was kneeling in prayer before the statue of the revered Madonna, with the photograph of a loved one in hand, in the small chapel of St. Barnabas in Perugia (Italy), when he was attacked by five “immigrants.” The first thing they did was rip the photo from his hands. Next they unleashed their hatred against the image of the Virgin Mary. They broke the statue to pieces and then urinated on it

At new in-flight press conference Francis says good Catholics are not required ‘to be like rabbits’

January 20, 2015 World News Comments Off

Catholics fail to practise “responsible parenthood” when they have too many children, Pope Francis has said during an in-flight press conference on the way home from Manila. He also denounced the teaching of “gender theory” in schools, likening it to indoctrination of children by the Nazis and fascists. The Pope made his remarks in an hour-long meeting with reporters accompanying him back to Rome from a week-long trip to Asia. Pope Francis reaffirmed his rejection of population control programmes as an example of “ideological colonisation” and his praise of Blessed Paul VI for defending Catholic teaching against contrac

CRUX’s “spirituality columnist” is “devastated” the Pope upholds Catholic teaching

January 18, 2015 World News Comments Off

Margery Eagan appears to be angling for a job as editor of National “Catholic” Reporter. Or perhaps spokesman for the LCWR: The news that Pope Francis has strongly defended the Church’s ban on artificial birth control left me, in a word, devastated. Goodness. Even my Fundamentalist Protestant family members would have a good laugh at that one. “She does know the Pope is Catholic, right?” [Laughter and head shaking.] They would, understandably, miss the point: for Contracepting, Cafeteria Catholics, there is no greater good than the use and approval of pills and mechanisms that thwart the conjugal act. It’s not just that they want their religion to be pro-Pill and prophylactic; it’s that the Pill and

St. Paul-Mpls. archdiocese declares bankruptcy in response to abuse lawsuits

January 16, 2015 World News Comments Off

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, saying it cannot meet its financial obligations from an unprecedented wave of clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The move freezes lawsuits against the church, protecting the archdiocese from creditors while allowing it to develop a reorganization plan. “I make this decision because I believe it is the fairest and most helpful recourse for those victims/survivors who have made claims against us,” wrote Archbishop John Nienstedt on the archdiocese’s website Friday morning.

Pope Francis strongly defends church teaching against contraception

January 16, 2015 World News Comments Off

Pope Francis issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception on Friday, using a rally in Asia’s largest Catholic nation to urge families to be “sanctuaries of respect for life.” Francis also denounced the corruption that has plagued the Philippines for decades and urged officials to instead work to end its “scandalous” poverty and social inequalities during his first full day in Manila, where