US Catholic Faith in Real Life

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

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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.

Universal Savior: Ilia Delio reimagines Christ

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
While some see modern science as a challenge to faith, Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio sees it as an opportunity to think in new ways about God, creation, and the incarnation.

The age of the universe alone requires us to talk about creation and Christ in new language. “The whole cosmos, from the big bang on, is that Word of God being spoken in the vast spaces of the universe.”

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?

What's the history of adoration of the blessed sacrament?

By Victoria M. Tufano| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
It seems that a lot of parishes are starting to have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, either as a regular practice or just on occasion.

Is this something new? Isn’t the celebration of the Mass enough?

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is not something new. It is a centuries-old practice rooted in an essential teaching of Catholic Christianity: Jesus Christ is truly and completely present in the Eucharist. Like many practices of our faith, however, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament developed gradually.

Spanglish Lessons: Diversity and theology

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Who’s the norm, and who’s the diversity? So wonders this Latina theologian, who suggests that tensions in a parish may not be such bad thing after all.

Asked to introduce herself at a Hispanic ministry meeting a few years ago, Carmen Nanko-Fernández gave her name and then added, tongue firmly planted in cheek, “I’m a theologian, and my preferred theological method is pastoral hostility.”

Glad You Asked: How did Jesus found the church?

By Kevin P. Considine| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
While they are obviously connected, the link between Jesus and the church as we know it today isn’t exactly clear.

The Jesus movement of the first century was a group of mostly Jewish followers who were of little social importance and who often met in homes—a far cry from the cathedrals we know and love today. The pope today claims universal ecclesial authority, and because the Vatican is a nation-state, he is a head of state and even has diplomats. Jesus was certainly not a head of state and did not have diplomats (and neither did his disciple Peter).

Change we can believe in: The pope, condoms, and church teaching

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Church teaching is the same always and everywhere—except when it isn’t.

Using the words “pope” and “condom” in the same sentence is bound to draw attention; when it’s the pope himself using the latter word in a sentence of his own, the world takes notice.

Is there salvation outside the church?

By John Switzer| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Can my Buddhist husband be saved? What about my Jewish neighbors and my sister-in-law who is an atheist?

An ancient doctrine says extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("outside the church there is no salvation"), so how does this affect those who are not Christian? You may be surprised that the doctrine still holds, but this doesn't mean that salvation is unavailable to those of other religions or of no religion at all.