Has hell frozen over?

By J. Peter Nixon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
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
Article Prayer and Sacraments

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
Article Parish Life Women

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
Article Ethic of Life Marriage and Family
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.”


How parishes can help infertile couples

By Patrick T. Reardon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ethic of Life Marriage and Family Parish Life
These are just some of the ways that the parish can be a resource to couples experiencing infertility.

• Raise the issue of infertility at the pre-Cana marriage preparation meetings. It would alert couples to the reality that conceiving a baby isn’t always easy, while providing an opportunity to walk through the do’s and don’ts of church teaching.

• Establish a diocesan network of support for infertile couples, regardless of what treatment choices they have made or are considering.


Hard to conceive: Sometimes getting pregnant isn't easy--or possible

By Patrick T. Reardon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ethic of Life Marriage and Family
Alternatives such as those offered by Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in Omaha don’t work for every couple.

And in vitro fertilization (IVF) is not an easy step to take for those struggling with infertility, both because of moral and monetary concerns. Still, the desire for children, which many attribute to God, outweighs everything for couples such as the Mahons.


Peace by piece: On peacebuilding with Maryann Cusimano Love

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Politics War and Peace
Peacebuilding is every Catholic’s responsibility, this international relations expert believes. And with our government continuing in a wrong direction, we have our hands full.

Admission deferred: Modern barriers to vocations

By J.D. Long-García| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Spirituality Vatican Young Adults
Feeling called to religious life, many men and women are finding they first need to overcome a few obstacles in their path.

Finally, after years of shoving it down into the recesses of her subconscious, after hiding from it in college, Katie Press was ready to join a religious congregation. She’d earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies and a Master of Divinity, and had already begun teaching at a school run by the Sisters of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She knew that these sisters would be her community for the rest of her life.


Hispanics in the pews, not on the altar

By J.D. Long-García| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Hispanic Catholics Vatican Young Adults
Over the last several years, priestly ordination classes have gotten younger and more diverse, according to a 2011 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate out of Georgetown University.

There are more Asian and black vocations. Asians are actually overrepresented, making up 4 percent of the U.S. Catholic population and 10 percent of the ordination class.

But, perplexingly, that isn’t the case with Hispanics.


Rerum roots: A brief history of American Catholic support for unions

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology Social Justice
Cardinal James Gibbons' support for the Knights of Labor in the late 19th century helped lay the groundwork for Rerum Novarum.

U.S. cardinal should get some credit for being an impetus for Rerum Novarum, the first papal encyclical that spoke to the rights of workers.


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