US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Male and Female, God created them

By Susan A. Ross| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Rethinking John Paul II's theology of the body.

Take it to the board: How effective are lay review boards in preventing sex abuse?

By Bob Smietana| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Panels reviewing sex abuse allegations help dioceses get their houses in order, but they are only as effective as the information the bishops give them.

Jim Caccamo has a simple explanation for why he joined the lay review board for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri back in 2005: Former Bishop Raymond Boland asked him to.

“When the bishop asks you, you say yes,” says Caccamo, a lifelong Catholic and member of St. Peter’s Parish in Kansas City.

Glad You Asked: Why do we go to confession?

By Victoria M. Tufano| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

The very word confession conjures up all kinds of stories and images, but those who go to confession know that it is a source of holy comfort and blessed relief. Confession is a gift, a means of grace, a way to God, and a way back to God.

This sacrament originated early in the church’s life, when it became clear that those who had been baptized were not immune to sin. Lesser sins were considered to be forgiven through prayer, fasting, works of mercy, and participation in the Eucharist. Greater sins needed more.

Cuban comeback: Change is on the horizon in Cuba

By Araceli M. Cantero| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Overcoming great obstacles, many Cubans are returning to the Catholic faith and helping renew the island’s church.

To this day Aldo Santos remembers with gratitude the frequent blackouts he experienced as a child in his native town of Holguín in northeast Cuba. Everyone in the neighborhood would come out of their house to gaze at the stars.

He would look up and ask his father about the moon and the planets and about a future full of dreams. He learned that even galaxies die, and it was then that he began to understand something about the end of things.

The ups and downs of church-and-state relations in Cuba: A brief history

By Araceli M. Cantero| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

THE 1950s

When Fidel Castro claims victory for his revolution on January 1, 1959, he praises the support of the Catholic Church and declares, “Catholics in Cuba have given their most determined collaboration to the cause of freedom.”

Needs improvement: Readers rate the bishops' response to church sex abuse

By Scott Alessi| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
A progress report from U.S. Catholic readers says that bishops still haven’t learned all their lessons on the subject of sexual abuse.

Anger. Betrayal. Sadness. Disappointment. These are just some of the myriad of emotions felt by Catholics in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal that broke in 2002. And a decade later—following a flood of additional details on cases of clerical abuse and cover-ups as well as new efforts to enforce transparency and accountability within the church—many U.S. Catholic readers still hold on to those same feelings of disillusionment.

Putting Paul in his place: Examining the apostle through the eyes of a classicist

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Though some may see him as the grump of the New Testament, St. Paul is full of surprises.

What’s the connection between St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians and the second-century Roman novelist Apuleius’s comedy The Golden Ass? More than you might think, says classicist Sarah Ruden in her book Paul Among the People (Image). Ruden, who specializes in ancient Greek and Roman literature, became interested in the preconceptions modern readers bring to Paul’s writing when she began studying the apostle herself.

Do Catholics believe in life on other planets?

By Kevin Considine| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Jesus is the savior of humanity, but what that mean if we discovered alien life forms?

In a 1995 episode of the popular TV drama The X-Files, FBI agent Fox Mulder—a true believer in extraterrestrial life—has a quick exchange with his partner Dana Scully, the rational scientist and devoted skeptic. He asks, “Are you familiar with the Ten Commandments?”

“You want me to recite them?” Scully responds. Mulder says, “Just . . . the one about the Sabbath. The part where God made heaven and earth but didn’t bother to tell anyone about his side projects.”

Stay with me

By Miguel Arias| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
By grieving with the Blessed Mother, we comfort all mothers who mourn.

In my hometown of San José de Gracia in Jalisco, Mexico, church celebrations marked the pace of our lives. Though liturgical reform took time to arrive, the practices of popular Catholicism kept our faith alive and active. These celebrations belonged to the people—to our mothers and fathers, to our ancestors, and to our rezanderos (laypeople who lead the prayer).