18 Stories

Parents: Our Autistic Son 'Is Being Shunned' by Church

NJ couple says 8-year-old was turned down for first Holy Communion because he's nonverbal

(Newser) - A New Jersey couple is railing against their church for a "disgraceful and disheartening" act against their 8-year-old son, which they say is due to his disability. Per NBC News , Anthony LaCugna is autistic and nonverbal, and because of that, his parents say, Saint Aloysius Church in Jackson refused... More »

Catholics, Your Communion Wafers Must Have Gluten

So rules the Vatican

(Newser) - Catholics on a gluten-free diet may want to skip the line when receiving Holy Communion during Mass celebration. The Vatican has decreed that the small wafers, or hosts, used in the ceremony must contain gluten, reports the BBC . The directive went out to bishops worldwide in a letter posted by... More »

Pope Bends Divorce Rules for Woman: Reports

But Vatican says it's not a shift in church policy on taking communion

(Newser) - Word has it that the pope told a woman in Argentina it was OK to take communion, even though she was married to a man who'd been divorced. The reports have prompted questions about whether the Catholic Church is changing its teachings on the matter—but the Vatican says... More »

Venezuela: Churches Running Out of Wine

Consecrated bread makers hike prices

(Newser) - The Catholic Church in Venezuela could use the services of somebody who can turn water into wine: Its only supplier has stopped selling wine to the church and priests are in danger of running out of supplies with which to celebrate Mass, the BBC reports. The country's only wine... More »

Priest: I Had to Deny Lesbian Communion

Guarnizo defends self, outrages family with 'blatant falsehoods'

(Newser) - Father Marcel Guarnizo isn't taking his suspension sitting down. The embattled priest, who's been criticized for denying a lesbian communion at her mother's funeral, released a statement on CNS News today defending himself and blasting the archdiocese for suspending him. He says Barbara Johnson revealed her sexuality... More »

Church Suspends Priest Who Denied Lesbian Communion

But says punishment not connected to incident

(Newser) - The priest who barred a lesbian from taking communion at her mother's funeral has been suspended from ministry, his archdiocese said in a letter, according to MSNBC . A pastor who read the letter at masses this weekend says the serious punishment wasn't tied to the communion issue but... More »

Lesbian Denied Communion —at Mother's Funeral

Archdiocese of Washington says the public move went against 'policy'

(Newser) - These certainly weren't the gentle and consoling words Barbara Johnson expected to hear at her mother's funeral on Saturday: When attempting to take Communion at the service at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md., the priest "put his hand over the body of Christ and... More »

Phoenix Catholics: No More Wine for You at Mass

Bishop says communion wafers will suffice on their own

(Newser) - The bishop of Phoenix is instituting a new rule for Catholics in his diocese: No more wine at mass except during special occasions, reports the Arizona Republic . The ruling means the chalice will no longer be offered during communion to represent the blood of Christ, as it has been since... More »

Vatican Issues Warning on Angels, Demons Sect

Members believe women who have abortions are possessed by the devil

(Newser) - The Vatican has issued a warning to bishops to watch out for an ultra right-wing Catholic sect that prays to angels to combat demons, and believes women who have had abortions are possessed by the devil. Dozens of priests and nuns are part of the group, Opus Angelorum, and some... More »

Priest in Doghouse After Giving Pooch Communion

Anglican cleric apologizes after flap

(Newser) - An interim priest at an Anglican church in Toronto has apologized to her flock after giving communion to a dog, apparently on a whim. The National Post sees it as a sort of proxy fight between liberal and conservative branches, but the priest herself just wants the story to go... More »

Church Accuses Berlusconi of Sacrilege

Divorced PM's taking of Holy Communion enrages priest, bishop

(Newser) - The relationship between Italy's two most reliable sources of sex scandals appears to be on the rocks. A furious Catholic priest has accused controversial Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of "sacrilege" for recently taking communion at a celebrity funeral and breaking the church ban on sacraments for divorced people... More »

Zip It on Communion Ban: Bishop to Kennedy

Tobin thinks Patrick's spiritual matters should be left private

(Newser) - The bishop who had the nerve to tell a Kennedy not to take communion—because he supports abortion rights—is steamed that he blabbed about it. “I am disappointed that the congressman would make public my pastoral and confidential request,” says Bishop Thomas Tobin of Patrick Kennedy. He... More »

RI Bishop Disses Kennedy Over Pro-Choice Stance

Spat over Patrick's position on abortion escalates

(Newser) - Health care reform, the cause of his father's life, has made Rep. Patrick Kennedy persona non grata in his Rhode Island parish—thanks to the furor over publicly funded abortion. As the debate rages, Bishop Thomas Tobin has told the only public servant remaining in America's most famous Catholic family... More »

Maria Shriver: Why I'm a 'Cafeteria Catholic'

'Good standing' Catholic opposes church positions on gays, divorce and choice

(Newser) - California First Lady Maria Shriver likes the "compassion and justice of Jesus Christ" advanced by her Catholic religion, but can't abide the church's positions on gays, divorce and a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, she reveals in a Washington Post interview. "I'm... More »

Priest: No Communion for Obama Voters

Catholic authorities repudiate priest who told Obama supporters to do penance

(Newser) - South Carolina's Catholic authorities have overruled a priest who told Obama voters they weren't fit to partake in Holy Communion, the Greenville News reports. The priest wrote in a church bulletin that voting for a pro-choice candidate constituted "cooperation with intrinsic evil" and urged Obama voters to do penance... More »

Divorced Berlusconi Challenges Communion Ban

He confronts startled bishop at mass

(Newser) - Beleaguered Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi caused a scene in a church over the weekend, loudly demanding from a startled bishop in the middle of mass: "When are you going to change this rule that stops me taking communion?" Berlusconi, like other divorced Catholics who remarry, is banned from... More »

Evangelicals Turn Back to Ritual

Some adopt previously shunned confession, communion, Lent

(Newser) - Evangelical Christians are increasingly turning to long-shunned traditions as a means of practicing their faith, reports the Washington Post. In a trend some call “worship renewal,” some are reviving Catholic customs such as fasting for Lent, going to confession, and weekly communion. “Evangelicalism is coming to point... More »

Blair Now Officially Catholic

Former British PM makes long-awaited conversion

(Newser) - Tony Blair converted to Catholicism yesterday, confirming months of rumors that he would switch from the Church of England, the UK Times reports. "I am very glad to receive Tony Blair into the Catholic church," said the archbishop of Westminster, who performed the ceremony in London. The former... More »

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