Pope Francis beatified the late Pope Paul VI at the Closing Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family on Sunday, describing him as a "courageous Christian" and a "tireless apostle." Paul VI, who was known for affirming the Roman Catholic Church's stance against contraception, has been credited for a miracle in California where he is said to have helped in the birth of an unborn child.
Catholic News Agency pointed out that the miracle occurred in the 1990s, where a mother asked a nun to pray for her using a photo of Pope Paul VI in response to news that her unborn child posed a danger to her life and his. After the prayers, the baby boy was born healthy.
Another requirement for beautification was fulfilled by the presentation of relics, in the form of two blood stained vests worn by Paul VI when he was attacked by a man with a bayonet in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, in 1970. more >>
Brother Guy Consolmagno, astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory, has said that he finds Young Earth Creation theories that run contrary to science "almost blasphemous" in nature. He also argued that the Bible should not be used as a science book.
"It's almost blasphemous theology," Consolmagno told Fairfax Media during a visit to Australia on Wednesday.
"It's certainly not the tradition of Catholicism and never has been and it misunderstands what the Bible is and it misunderstands what science is," he said. more >>
A Catholic friend texted me this morning: "Any Baptist churches have services in Latin? Asking for a friend." I texted back, "No, but the Feast of Saint John the Baptist lasts all year long." His was a sort of gallows humor, as he watched with dismay what some are calling a "pastoral earthquake" in the Roman Catholic Church on questions of marriage and family.
We don't yet know exactly what the report means, but reports indicate that the synod is asking for a more "pastoral" and "more inclusive" approach to cohabiting couples, same-sex partners, and others, while retaining the traditional Catholic views on sexuality and the family.
Should all of this even matter to those of us who are Protestants? We do not, as Martin Luther put it, accept the authority of popes and councils "since these have often contradicted one another." And yet, there are some important questions posed here, that we should consider. more >>
Inspired by the concept of "flash mobs," an organization based in Buffalo, New York, has opted to perform "Mass Mobs" wherein large numbers of people agree to meet at a given local Catholic congregation.
Whereas a "flash mob" will do various performances or things in a random public space and then disperse, this group will surprise a given church to attend mass at their facility.
Fort Hood, Texas, shooter Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people in 2009 and has been sentenced to death, has sent a warning letter to Pope Francis and other religious leaders, describing himself as a "soldier of Allah" and praising jihadism.
Fox News reported on Friday that the six-page hand-written letter was titled "A warning to Pope Francis, members of the Vatican, and other religious leaders around the world." Hasan apparently directed his attorney, John Galligan, to mail the letter.
The former U.S. Army psychiatrist, who killed 13 people and wounded over 30 others during the mass shooting on Nov. 5, 2009, at Fort Hood — that the Obama administration has declined to classify as a terrorist attack — refers to himself by the acronym "SoA," or soldier of Allah several times in the letter. He referenced the Quran, and praises "the willingness to fight for All-Mighty Allah," in a subsection titled "Jihad." more >>
The Catholic Church remains opposed to the Department of Health and Human Services' birth control mandate that was modified in August.
In comments submitted to the HHS, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that the mandate remains a threat to the religious freedom of numerous faith-based organizations.
Anthony Picarello, USCCB general counsel, and Michael Moses, associate general counsel, submitted the comments to the HHS on Wednesday. more >>