In the ‘50s, Philomena Lee became pregnant outside of marriage at the age of 18. She was sent to an Irish convent to have her baby, and after that, worked off her expenses in the laundry, permitted to see her child for an hour each day. Against her will and as part of a large and secretive program of forced adoption, the nuns gave her young son away when he was three years old. Philomena was able to track down her son—a successful lawyer and former chief legal counsel to the RNC—only after his death. Her search is the subject of the movie Philomena, starring Judi [...]
Hey, Lent starts today. Remember how agonizing Lent was to your Catholic friends when you were little? Lent is like High Stakes Second New Year's Resolution Day. (Can one go to hell for saying that?) If you observe Lent, what are you giving up? Don't say candy or video games again.
"Entering cyberspace can be a sign of an authentic search for personal encounters with others, provided that attention is paid to avoiding dangers such as enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world…In the search for sharing, for 'friends', there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself." — Pope Benedict has gone deep in a message about social networking called "Truth, proclamation and authenticity of life in the digital age." Also, something about humans actually touching each other (OK, making "contact"), so if you can find [...]
Bejeweled Catholic Skeletons: "For a personal touch, some sisters slipped their own rings onto a skeleton’s fingers"
A super-freaky piece over at Smithsonian Magazine details how, in the sixteenth century, churches in Northern Europe started snatching skeletons from the Roman catacombs, decorating them with jewels, and displaying them in order to "restore the morale" of their plundered parishes.
The holy bodies became wildly sought-after treasures. Every Catholic church, no matter how small, wanted to have at least one, if not ten. The skeletons allowed the churches to make a “grandiose statement,” Koudounaris says, and were especially prized in southern Germany, the epicenter of “the battleground against the Protestants.” Wealthy families sought them for their private chapels, and guilds and fraternities would sometimes [...]
A hearty welcome to “the clerics’ charmers, devil’s choice tidbits, expellers from paradise, virus of minds, sword of soul, wolfbane to drinkers, poison to companions, material of sinning, occasion of death … the female chambers of the ancient enemy, of hoopoes, of screech owls, of night owls, of she-wolves, of blood suckers.”
The Economist has published an impressively thorough investigation into the books of the Catholic Church in the United States, and it doesn't stop at the $3.3 billion in sex abuse settlements, the staggeringly large annual lobbying fees to keep statutes of limitations laws in their favor, or the declining contributions of parishioners:
In the church, retirement is still largely in the gift of the bishop. Retirement plans for priests are typically set up as diocesan trusts rather than proper pension funds with structured benefits. They do not fall under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the law that establishes standards for plan trustees and remedies [...]
Confession: a Roman Catholic App makes it easy to confess with one hand while you sin with the other. "OMG the }:-) made me do it. lolololol!!"
The Confession app's approval forms part of a broader move by the Church to embrace new technology, following Pope Benedict's speech earlier this year at World Communications Day in which he said that Catholics should make "good use of their presence in the digital world."
Here I made you a rosary emoticon, you're welcome:
2.10.11 Update! Hope you confessed every little sin yesterday, because one day later, the Vatican has banned high-tech, easy-breezy confession.