US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Will the center hold?

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The church as we know it won’t last if its broad middle begins to shrink.

Pop culture journalists had the brass ring of celebrity stories dropped on them in August when author Anne Rice, grande dame of the current vampire entertainment empire, announced that, 10 years after her return to the Roman Catholic faith of her childhood, she was leaving once again.


Extending family: What makes a Catholic household?

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Is there really only one way to make a Catholic household?

Early in June, just as the U.S. Senate was debating a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, the Pontifical Council on the Family issued a document that in no uncertain terms rejected that and more. "Family and Human Procreation" not only lamented "gay couples [who] claim for themselves the same rights as those that are specific to husband and wife, [even] the right to adopt" but also heterosexual couples "willingly made sterile" by having only one or two children.


Issues that matter: U.S. Catholic through the years

By Father Raymond A. Schroth, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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In 1961 Robert E. Burns, the executive editor of the Voice of St. Jude, told a group of editors at the Catholic Press Association Convention in Vancouver that "the Catholic press has suffered too long at the hands of well-meaning but untrained and unskilled practitioners."

He called for attractive layout, meeting the readers' needs, and "teaser titles" to pull the reader in.


The great awakening: How lay people have shaken up the church

By J. Peter Nixon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The Second Vatican Council unleashed a wave of lay participation in the church—and there’s no turning back.

Joan Higgins remembers when things began to change at her San Francisco parish. "It was 1968," she says. "We had a new young pastor who was very forward-looking. He turned around the altar, moved the tabernacle to one side, and instituted a moment of collective silence for reflection after communion." The young priest also introduced another innovation: a parish council.


Pastoral discretion advised: Is excommunication the best response?

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Law must always be tempered by mercy if justice is to be truly served.

Excommunication was once considered a passé feature of the ancient church, conjuring up images of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV walking barefoot in the snow in 1077 to Canossa to seek the mercy of Pope Gregory VII. Or perhaps one thinks of the memorable scene from Becket, when Richard Burton's Archbishop Thomas, with no lack of ceremony, turns his authority against Peter O'Toole's King Henry II.


Hispanic Catholics: Does the church speak your language?

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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In a 1993 interview, Father Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J. tells U.S. Catholic about the challenges the church faces when it comes to ministering to Hispanic Catholics.  

Father Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J. warns that the US. Catholic Church is facing a pivotal moment in its history: It can begin now to serve the diverse needs of Hispanic communities, or it can stand aside and watch even more Hispanic families find new spiritual homes in other churches.


Hispanic Catholics: They don't fit into the melting pot

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Father Virgilio Elizondo gives an introduction to Hispanic culture in a 1981 interview with U.S. Catholic about Hispanic Catholics.

The Statue of Liberty invites all the tired, the poor, and the wretched of the world to enter through the "golden door" and enjoy life in the land of the free. But what happens when a group of immigrants comes in and doesn't want to blend in? Should the country force these people to Americanize or should "American" be broadened to include the Hispanic culture?


Tolerance isn't good enough for the Body of Christ

By Carmen Aguinaco| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Parishes and dioceses often miss the mark when it comes to multiculturalism, argues Carmen Aguinaco. 

"We don't have anything in Spanish or geared to the Hispanic community here. We simply don't have any Hispanics," my pastor told me. "Are the Rodriguezes, the Lopezes, and the Garcias that I know in this neighborhood Polish?" I asked.

"No; but they have been here for so long, they'd rather attend the regular Mass."


That all may be one

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Creating a truly multicultural church takes change from both the dominant group and minority groups, Sister María Elena González, R.S.M. shared with U.S. Catholic in interview for its July 2000 special issue on multiculturalism.

Too true to school: Seminaries and sex abuse

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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The sex abuse crisis should teach us that it takes more than a seminary to raise a priest.

In the spring of my first year of college, I wrote my bishop and told him I wanted to be a priest in our East Tennessee diocese. Four months later I was in the seminary—at a Benedictine monastery on the far side of Missouri, a good 13-hour drive from the Catholics among whom I had experienced a call to serve.


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