Out of Africa

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
Last year father James Chukwuma Okoye C.S.SP. went home to Nigeria for a visit.

He had no sooner gone to church for Sunday Mass than he found himself witnessing a clash of cultures.

The young African parish priest had evidently had a run-in with some members of the choir, who had departed with some of the parish instruments. Before Mass began, the priest sternly addressed the congregation, threatening the absent choir members with police action if they did not return the instruments. "And the Eucharist was just before us!" says Okoye, aghast.

A tale of two Gregorys

U.S. Catholic| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

With the middle ages came the imperial papacy, the rise of powerful feudal lords with secular interests, and a contest over who ultimately controlled the ministers and other resources of the church. Lost in the shuffle was any notion that ordinary Christians might have a privileged voice in the proceedings.

Cafeteria Catholics

By Father Jack Rathschmidt| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology Spirituality

On vacation last summer, I quietly joined a small country parish for Sunday Eucharist. Relieved at not having to preside at two or three liturgies, I settled among the worshipers, looking forward to listening, singing, and praying. Trying not to look directly at the priest for fear he would think I was staring, I concentrated on being among God's people, not leading them.

Catholic dissent: When wrong turns out to be right

By Robert J. McClory| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
How dissenters from Galileo to John Courtney Murray have helped the church to see more clearly.

Dissentt! It is not a nice word. It makes you think of other "dis" words like disagreement, dissension, disobedience, and disgrace. There's no doubt that Catholic Church officials down through the centuries have taken a dim view of dissent, whether it was dissent from official doctrine or dissent from the orders of a legitimately appointed church superior. And, as recent directives from the Vatican indicate, the view is getting dimmer still.

Catholic.com -- Surfing for salvation

By Patrick McCormick| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Spirituality

Nearly 40 years ago Soviet Cosmonaut Yury Gagarin was shot up into the heavens and reported back that he could see no signs of God in space. Judging from some of the satellite photos sent back from later missions, one might be tempted to suggest that Gagarin suffered from a severe lack of imagination. At any rate, if the colonel had been piloting his vessel in cyberspace instead of outer space, even as unpoetic a soul as he, it seems, would have been forced to report very different results.

Does the church live up to its teaching?

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Article Social Justice

Does the Catholic Church Practice what it preaches about a just wage? The response of church employees, ranging from lay ministers to chaplains to hospital workers and school teachers, is a resounding no.

Does the church put faith in our youth?

By Lisa Calderone-Stewart| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Young Adults

Our churches are filled with potential youth leaders. They might sit a few pews over from you at Sunday Mass. They might live in your neighborhood. You might know their parents.

But to Marie, a high school senior, it seems that you just don't care: "I don't think my parish values teenagers at all. Some do, and that's really encouraging. But the majority of adults don't really care what teenagers do. They probably think we're all bad." This perception is fairly widespread among young people.

If the church isn't a democracy, what is it?

By R. Scott Appleby| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

In the year 373 The See of Milan fell vacant and the emperor dispatched Ambrose, governor of the province and scion of an aristocratic Roman family, to reestablish order over the stormy assembly of Catholic faithful, whose duty it was to elect a new bishop. So impressive was Ambrose, so naturally did he exude authority and "presence," that the crowd milling about the cathedral moved unanimously to acclaim him the new bishop, ignoring the inconvenient fact that he was not even a Christian, much less a member of the clergy.

Irreconcilable differences Wrestling with American prolife politics

By Robert J. McClory| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ethic of Life Politics

Last December Bishop Raymond Burke then of the relatively small, mostly rural Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, made national and international news with a simple directive: Catholic legislators in his diocese who continue to support abortion "may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion," he said. And should they present themselves, he added, "they are not to be allowed to receive until such time as they renounce these most unjust practices."

The directive precipitated a series of similar condemnations by other bishops in the following months.

Out of Africa -- The Editors Interview Father James Chukwuma Okoye, C.S.Sp.

By Father James ChukwumaOkoye| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Scripture and Theology Spirituality

We hear that the church is growing fast in Africa. What's behind that growth?

In parts of Africa it is not growing. But where it is, I think we have to consider the grace of God. Because God's grace is mediated through culture, many also think it is because traditional African religion is close to Catholicism. The traditional religion is sacramental, with sacred words, places, and events.