Catholicism

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Archbishop: Remarried Couples Must Live as 'Brother and Sister'

Also, no sex for gay couples and unmarried couples, obviously

(Newser) - It just got a whole lot less fun to be a Catholic in Philadelphia. New guidelines released by Archbishop Charles Chaput last Friday say divorced couples who have remarried must permanently abstain from sex, instead living like "brother and sister," the Guardian reports. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer... More »

Vatican to Catholics: Stop Trying to Convert Jews

Help them fight anti-Semitism instead: new report

(Newser) - The Vatican is taking steps toward fixing its long-troubled history with the Jewish faith with the Thursday release of a 10,000-word document that instructs Catholics to help Jews fight anti-Semitism instead of trying to convert them, Reuters reports. The Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews explained that Catholicism... More »

Pope Francis: Big Families Are Good

Softens his comment that Catholics needn't breed 'like rabbits'

(Newser) - Pope Francis praised big families today as a gift from God, after his comments that Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" made headlines this week. Francis said numerous children don't cause poverty in the developing world, as some have suggested, and that the real cause of... More »

Pope: Kids Deserve a Mom and Dad

They have a 'right' to that type of family, he says

(Newser) - Despite a recent move toward embracing non-traditional families , Pope Francis said yesterday that "children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother." He made the remark during the Complementarity of Man and Woman conference, a "gathering of global religious conservatives"... More »

China Creating New 'Theology' for Christians

One that will 'better integrate with Chinese culture,' says an official

(Newser) - The number of Christians in China is on the rise, a fact that's making the country's control-freak atheistic government quite nervous and causing tensions between police and worshipers. To address this issue, state media reports that China is creating its own Christian-based theology that will conform more closely... More »

Pope Francis: Sure, I'd Baptize Martians

He says church can't close its doors to anyone, or any being

(Newser) - If our travelers to Mars encounter any little green men, Pope Francis says the Catholic Church would be happy to make a few converts. In an unusual message about the inclusiveness of Catholicism, Francis went to other-worldly extremes to make his point, reports the Christian Post :
  • "If, for example,
... More »

Pope Gets Medieval in Fight Against Devil

Old-school attitude raises Vatican eyebrows

(Newser) - Pope Francis has become known for his progressive attitudes but Vatican insiders say his approach to Satan is decidedly old-school, far more so than his recent predecessors, the Washington Post finds. In many sermons, the pontiff has warned that the devil is a real, ever-present evil entity that people need... More »

Catholic School Fires Pregnant, Unwed Teacher

She 'failed to follow Catholic lifestyle'

(Newser) - An unmarried Montana schoolteacher who became pregnant is now unemployed because she failed to "follow a lifestyle in line with Catholic teachings," the diocese says. Shaela Evenson, who has taught literature and physical education to sixth, seventh, and eighth-graders for nine years, was sacked from a private school... More »

Woman Sues Lawyers for Letting Her Divorce Hubby

Solicitors should have respected her Catholic faith, she says

(Newser) - A divorce means the end of marriage, right? Well, a British woman was apparently shocked to hear about this, the Independent reports. Jane Mulcahy even filed suit against her former lawyers for failing to explain the whole divorce thing. Mulcahy said they should have respected her Catholic faith and advised... More »

Pope: No More 'Monsignor' for Most Priests

Francis aims to further simplify honorifics

(Newser) - Pope Francis has done away with the honorific title "monsignor" for all but a few priests, further evidence of his desire for priests to be simple, humble servants. The Vatican's secretary of state sent a letter to its embassies asking them to inform bishops' conferences of the change.... More »

Pope Wants Your Thoughts on Gay Marriage

Vatican sends bishops questions on contraception, divorce

(Newser) - The Vatican has issued a request to national bishops' conferences worldwide ahead of a synod next year: Tell us what your region thinks about contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage, and other social issues. The National Catholic Reporter calls the questionnaire a "wide-ranging poll of Catholics," though the Vatican has... More »

Pope: Church Should Accept Gays 'With Respect'

Says Vatican has been 'small-minded,' can't be 'obsessed'

(Newser) - More unexpected comments about homosexuality from Pope Francis: In a new interview with a Jesuit journal, he says the church cannot "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, CNN reports. He's gotten letters from gays and lesbians who felt "socially wounded" by the church, "... More »

Church's Pet Cemetery Sparks Holy Row

Plan to house cremation urns upsets the devout

(Newser) - A plan to house pet cremations under a San Francisco church has sparked a theological debate about souls, sacred spaces, and the meaning of St. Francis, the Los Angeles Times reports. The notion didn't seem odd to church friars—after all, the church is named after St. Francis, patron... More »

Follow Pope on Twitter, Get Time Off Purgatory Stay

Vatican offers 'indulgences' for social media use during Catholic World Youth Day

(Newser) - If you're a Catholic due to spend some time in purgatory before heading on up to heaven, we have good news for you: You can shorten the length of time you have to spend there just by following Pope Francis on Twitter , the Guardian reports. A papal court has... More »

So, What Was Pope John Paul II's 2nd Miracle?

Floribeth Mora says he healed her brain aneurysm

(Newser) - As promised, more details have been released on the second miracle that got Pope John Paul II cleared for sainthood . Floribeth Mora, a 50-year-old Costa Rican woman, told her story publicly for the first time today, tears in her eyes. She developed a brain aneurysm in 2011 and had no... More »

Francis: 'It's True,' Vatican Has Gay Lobby

Stunning admission in reported comments to private audience

(Newser) - Pope Francis has stunned Vatican-watchers by acknowledging that a "gay lobby" exists high up in the church hierarchy. "It is true, it is there ... We need to see what we can do," the pontiff told a key Latin American church group on June 6, according to a... More »

Vatican: Oops, Atheists Still Hell-Bound

Looking a little toasty for Protestants, too

(Newser) - Pope Francis' admission that atheists are capable of doing good has been followed by a Vatican statement clarifying that the church still believes atheists are going to hell. In a corrective statement that suggests people misunderstood the pontiff's remarks, a Vatican spokesman stresses that the church believes all salvation... More »

The Good News: Pope Francis Is Cool With Atheists

The godless may not care, but Mary Elizabeth Williams applauds His Holiness' tolerance

(Newser) - Pope Francis had a refreshing message when asked about atheists yesterday on Vatican radio, assuring his flock that yes, the godless could be good people, too. "'But father, he is not Catholic! He cannot do good,'" Francis imagined a follower protesting. "Yes, he can. He... More »

Catholics Nailed to Crosses in Philippines

Church opposes Good Friday ritual

(Newser) - Northern Philippines villagers commemorated Good Friday in their traditional manner , with penitents whipping themselves before some two dozen were nailed to crosses, reports Reuters . Thousands of tourists were on hand to watch and photograph the scene. A local sign painter, 52, has now performed the ritual 27 times; his screams... More »

Cardinals Launch Pope-Picking Process

New pontiff's new name will offer vital clues

(Newser) - Catholic cardinals from all over the world are gathering in Rome to begin the process of choosing a successor to Benedict XVI, who ended his papacy Thursday . The 115 cardinal electors will hold meetings this week ahead of a conclave next week in which one of them is expected to... More »

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