SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
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January 09, 2020
Washington, DC Supreme Court considering Louisiana abortion law More than 200 senators and members of Congress have signed an amicus brief supporting the abortion legislation in Louisiana. The law, which places strict restrictions on when and where abortions can be performed, was challenged in court when it was introduced in 2014. It was barred by
December 19, 2019
What happened? Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila to a senior post, in a move some observers see as an endorsement of a future Tagle papacy. Cardinal Tagle will lead the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, usually known by its former name of Propaganda Fide, which oversees the Church’s missionary
December 19, 2019
What happened? The head of the Vatican’s pro-life academy has said that he would hold the hand of someone who chose to die in an assisted suicide. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia said that Catholics should “let go of the rules” and prioritise accompanying those in need. “No one can be abandoned, even if we are against
December 19, 2019
Midnight Mass at St Peter’s Basilica will take place on December 24 at 9:15pm. Celebrated by Pope Francis, it usually attracts a congregation of around 15,000 people. Tickets are free but should be applied for in advance as they are in high demand. Alternatively, you can watch a live televised version from St Peter’s Square
December 19, 2019
A golden age for films about Christianity We live in a golden age of films about religious belief, declared Philip Jenkins in The Christian Century. “A survey of just the past decade reveals multiple presentations that would have to be included in any list of the greatest films ever made about Christianity or on Christian
December 19, 2019
If you get restless about the length of homilies, just be thankful it’s not worse. A new survey suggests that Catholic priests give the briefest sermons, with a median length of 14 minutes, compared to an average of 37 minutes across denominations. The Pew survey, conducted in the United States, found that historically black Protestant
December 19, 2019
Sacramento Six California dioceses subpoenaed The office of California’s attorney general has informed six dioceses that they will be issued subpoenas as part of a review of child protection policies and procedures “to verify that safeguards are effectively in place and are being appropriately implemented”. California adopted a law in October extending the statute of
December 12, 2019
What happened? The Vatican has postponed the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “at the request of a few members” of the US bishops’ conference. Sheen was due to be beatified on December 21, but concerns were raised by the Diocese of Rochester, where Sheen was bishop from 1966 to 1969. The diocese said that there
December 12, 2019
What happened? The president of the state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) has said that “Love for the homeland must be greater than the love for the Church,” according to Asia News. Speaking at a state-sponsored meeting in Beijing, Bishop John Fang Xingyao also said that “the law of the country is above canon law”.
December 12, 2019
Choirmaster Gareth Malone and gospel choir conductor Karen Gibson reveal the stories and legends behind some of Britain’s Christmas traditions in Britain’s Christmas Story on BBC One, starting this Sunday. They also explore what the nation has sung at this time of year across the centuries with beautiful renditions of some of our most loved
December 12, 2019
The authority of an official Catechism  There are many Catechisms, but what kind of authority do they have? At Crisis, Charles Coulombe pointed out that a teaching doesn’t become authoritative just because it’s in a Catechism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, for instance, is a collection of statements from various sources, some more authoritative
December 12, 2019
More details of the campaign against “eco sins”. A lay-led campaign, Journey to 2030, is encouraging Catholics to go to Confession, with help from its “Ecological examination of conscience cards”. It also encourages parishes to accompany these with regular guides to Confession. The idea, it seems, is that taking needless flights or failing to recycle can