US Catholic Faith in Real Life

What are annulments for?

By Joel Schorn | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
"Why do I have to go through this?" The question sums up many other questions people have about annulments, the way the Catholic Church says a marriage is ended.

 "My fiance isn't even Catholic; why does he have to have his first marriage annulled? Other churches and religions recognize civil divorce; why not the Catholic Church? Isn't an annulment really just a hypocritical way for the church to let Catholics get around divorce? Why do I have to suffer the pain and humiliation of reliving my failed marriage?"

Why drink from the cup?

By Jim Dinn | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Receiving the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist from the cup is not a requirement, but receiving the blood of Christ is a fuller sign of the mystery we celebrate.

Why do we say Mary was "ever virgin"?

By Bob O'Gorman and Mary Faulker | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Mary is the powerful symbol of the Catholic's complete acceptance of God's grace.

Imagine yourself on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? For the milliondollar question Regis asks you: "The virginity of Mary refers to: (a) her Immaculate Conception; (b) the birth of Jesus; (c) a Hollywood movie; or (d) an expensive perfume."

Hopefully no one answered (c) or (d). However, even if you went to Catholic school, chances are you might answer (a), and you would lose. The correct answer is: (b) the birth of Jesus.

Lasting supper: Alice Camille on Jesus as the Bread of Life

By Alice Camille | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Fruit of the vine and work of human hands, a meal shared in communion with a friend becomes for us the bread of life.

"How much do you want to know?" The question I asked my good friend was hardly casual. Dale and I were sitting in a hospital room, and he was in bad shape.

Why isn't transubstantiation in the creed?

By John Switzer | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
When considering the Catholic Church, perhaps nothing stands out so obviously as the Mass.

Eucharist, according to the Second Vatican Council, is both the “source and summit” of Christian life. Using bread and wine, at Mass we celebrate a communal sharing of the true presence of the risen Christ in these elements, which change from bread and wine into this sacrament of Christ. This is known as transubstantiation, a theological term used by Latin (Western) Christians, and it is a central belief of the Roman Catholic Church. So why does the creed make no mention of it?

Right before your very eyes: Alice Camille on the Transfiguration

By Alice Camille | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Alice Camille reflects on the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. She suggests that the Transfiguration should lead Catholic Christians to see that fullness in the face of others.

She spoke little English -- just isolated words you had to build the intended sentence around in your mind. But it never seemed to get in the way of our conversation. Mrs. Sottopietra was the oldest human being I'd ever seen, though every old person seems a hundred from the perspective of a child.

Is there a list of infallible teachings?

By Kevin P. Considine | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Most Catholics have a pet list of teachings that they wish would be declared infallibly, or ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter). Odds are that these often revolve around hot-button issues like women’s ordination, gay marriage, or the reform of the liturgy.

Bad call: Bishops take on popular theologian

Online Editor | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
The U.S. bishops’ recent action against a popular theologian has some Catholics crying foul.

Only church nerds have a least favorite Sunday of the year, but since I am one, I can with certainty say that mine is Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost. Though the three-in-one divine nature is a central doctrine of Christian faith, it brings with it the inevitable theological one-liner from most preachers: “It’s a mystery!” Ha ha.

Glad You Asked: What are the Ten Commandments?

By Alice Camille | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Are there different lists of the Ten Commandments?

So much is debated about the Bible that you’d hope when it comes to the Ten Commandments, at least, you’re on solid ground. There are 10, right? And they’re chiseled in stone—quite literally—so we know exactly what they are, number by number. Or do we?