US Catholic Faith in Real Life

What I learned from Father Dan: Let's not scapegoat gay priests

By Margaret Brennan | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Many gay priests have served and continue to serve our church well. Let's not make them scapegoats for the sins of others.

In our church and in the media there has been much talk about the recently released Vatican instruction on vocation discernment and gay seminarians. As a middle-aged, married woman and the mother of two teenage children who has worked for most of her professional life in ministry, why should I care to add to that debate? Shouldn't I just leave the commenting to a gay priest or seminarian?


Pride and prejudice: The uneasy relationship between gays and lesbians and their church

By Kristen Hannum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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As church leaders turn up the volume on same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian Catholics find themselves wondering just where they stand in their church.

On a clear, windy Sunday in March 2010, Father William Breslin told his parishioners at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Boulder, Colorado why the parish school would not re-enroll a child of same-sex parents for the coming school year.


The mamas and the papas: What it's like for Catholic parents of GLBT children

By Kristen Hannum | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Parents have much to say about the church and their children.

The young priest preached on the sanctity of life at a Denver hospice. Afterward an older couple asked him if their son, who had died of AIDS, would be in hell forever. The priest said he couldn’t answer that.

More than 20 years later Shawn Reynolds still remembers the anguish on the couple’s faces. “He didn’t say anything about Christ’s love,” Reynolds says.


Bring remarried Catholics back to the table

By Father Paul M. Zulehner | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Editors’ note: Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.


Poorly worded: Can we have a Mass that speaks to real people?

By Father William J. O’Malley, S.J. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The translators of the new Mass prayers have neglected one cardinal rule: Consider your audience.

As the days dwindled before their triumphal entry, the new liturgical changes had not yet risen to even an underwhelming response. “One in being” in the creed pretty much satisfied the mass of still-loyal Catholics, since they neither understood what it meant nor cared enough to Google it. And its replacement, “consubstantial,” is hollower and even less intriguing. Parishioners’ only real problem is why such stuff even matters.


Web Only: More from Phyllis Zagano on women deacons

By A U.S. Catholic interview | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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With so many lay ecclesial ministers and directors of religious education out there, many of whom are women, why would a bishop “need” a woman as a deacon?

If I were a bishop, I would want a cadre of people I have trained and ordained, and to whom I have given faculties. The ordained women deacons would be catechists and would prepare people for sacraments. After they have prepared women and men to marry or to be received in the church, these deacons could actually perform the ceremony.


Has hell frozen over?

By J. Peter Nixon | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Church teaching has shifted away from damnation and now focuses on salvation. Is that a good thing?

To a young girl attending Catholic school in the 1940s, eternal damnation was no abstract concept. “The nuns really terrified us,” says Pat Conroy, who grew up in Maryland. The list of potential transgressions—from eating meat on Fridays to missing Mass on Sundays—was long. “It seemed like almost anything was enough to send you to hell. I became so scrupulous and worried about everything I did.”


You’re cut off: No more cup for the people?

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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UPDATE: Since this article was published, the diocese of Phoenix has overturned its initial decision about eliminating communion from the cup. Read this USCatholic.org blog post for more information.


Parishes: Let's stop ignoring domestic violence

By Father Charles W. Dahm, O.P. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Editors' note: Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.


Where do babies come from?: The church and IVF

By Patrick T. Reardon | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Desperate to become parents, some Catholics are looking at science to help them conceive—despite church teaching against the process.

When Erik Zimmerman comes home at night, his 9-year-old son Oscar asks him how the day went and what he had for lunch.

Oscar is a compassionate boy who’s good at sports, says Zimmerman, who lives in Cincinnati. Indeed, the proud father says, “He’s passionate about golf, and he’s been playing competitively for three years now.”


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