US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Daily Links, Dec. 5: Catholics divided, missal learning curve, and halftime heat

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For as much as church leaders talk about "anti-Catholic bias" in the government these days, it often seems like the most vicious attacks on Catholics come from, well, other Catholics. CBS News takes a look at the phenomenon of Catholics vs. Catholics in some of the recent high profile cases, like the Phoenix hospital controversy and the U.S. bishops' criticism of Elizabeth Johnson. And if you really want to see Catholics attacking one another, check out the more than 200 responses to a blog post about holding hands during Mass written by our own Bryan Cones.

Another controversial issues of late has been the proposed mandate for health care plans to include coverage of contraception. The U.S. bishops have loudly voiced their opposition, but there are actually quite a few Catholic institutions that already provide these benefits to their employees.

There's also still plenty of disagreement among Catholics about the new Roman Missal translation. Some churchgoers admit to struggling with the new words, while others say it is going just fine. In a guest blog at the Washington Post, Rita Ferrone wants to know whether we're really getting anything out of these new translations. In my parish, there's still a lot of mumbling and mixing of new and old responses, and no one seems all that excited about the change. How are things going in your parish?

Speaking of the Roman Missal, what does it have in common with Tim Tebow? Nothing, you say? Robert Mixa at Word on Fire ministries disagrees. Well, at least one of them has an off-season coming up.

In other NFL news, the league is not listening to Bill Donahue's complaints about Madonna performing at the Super Bowl. That's not a surprise. When is the last time Madonna was considered controversial? 

Turning to a more vicious sport than football--politics--there has been some flux in the Republican race to be the 2012 presidential candidate. Herman Cain is now out of the race, and Newt Gingrich remains atop most polls as the leader of the pack. But now that he's on top, he will face plenty of scrutiny. Here at US Catholic, Liz Lefebvre blogs about Newt's apparent lack of understanding regarding poverty.

The Supreme Court announced today that it would not hear the case concerning the rights of church groups to use public schools for worship. That means more than 60 faith groups in New York who have been using public schools for worship services have until February to find a new home.

Lastly, put the kids to bed before reading this one:

A New York teacher told her second grade class that Santa is not real, and then a Fox News anchor in Chicago said the same thing on broadcast television. The teacher has been forced to apologize to each parent individually. Sounds like someone could use a dose of Christmas cheer.