Catholics face a wake-up call as more women are 'disengaged and disengaging' from the church

Nearly five years into Pope Francis papacy, with its great expectations for a revival of Catholicism among the flagging faithful, a new large-scale survey of American Catholic women finds the flock faithful but disengaged from the rituals of the church and eager for a greater female presence in its institutions.

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Proposed merger would put the largest US health care provider under the direction of the Catholic Church

The news that two major Catholic health care systems, Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health, are considering a merger that would create a nearly 200-hospital behemoth spanning 27 states raises questions about the expanded imposition of Catholic ethical norms on the health care system in the coming year.

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The surprising Catholic roots behind the so-called 'war on Christmas'

The love between Donald Trump and white evangelical Protestants remains strong according to a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute. Nearly three-quarters of all white evangelical Protestants—72%—approve of Trump’s job performance.

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Here's how gender and sexuality issues are creating a fissure between Catholic universities and the Church

Catholic universities and colleges in the United States have long occupied a distinct (and sometimes distinctly uncomfortable) position within the Catholic Church, part of the Catholic ecosystem, yet also independent of it. But now, that delicate balancing act may be undone as the weight of cultural pressures create a fissure between what the Catholic Church teaches and what Catholic universities practice.

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The religious right has come out of the closet -- and it is everything its worst critics claimed

There's a certain satisfaction for those of us who came of age at the time of the Christian Right’s ascendancy to see such widespread acknowledgement of what many of us knew all along—that the so-called Christian Right was always a scam, a caustic combination of patriarchy and big money interests scamming the country behind an edifice of “family values” and “morals.”

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Conservative Catholics jettisoned church teaching in favor of a distinctly Republican cafeteria Catholicism

The phrase “cafeteria Catholic” first gained currency in the mid-1980s to describe—mostly disparagingly—progressive Catholics who pick and chose from church doctrine, following the precepts they like on poverty and peace while ignoring those they didn’t like on sex—particularly regarding birth control and abortion, homosexuality and divorce.

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Not all Catholics have abandoned the Democrats — only white Catholics

It’s more or less an article of faith that religious Americans, especially white Americans, have abandoned the Democratic Party. And indeed, a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute confirms that the Republican and Democratic Parties are drifting further apart in terms of religious affiliation.

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The ex-KKK priest and the subtle terrorism of the anti-abortion movement

Largely lost in the coverage of the Rev. William Aitcheson, the priest serving in a Northern Virginia Catholic Church until he was revealed as a former member of the KKK, is his history of abortion clinic protests. According to the Washington Post:

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Here is how badly conservatives freaked out over the Vatican's warning about the Christian right

It's not surprising that the apparently Vatican-approved denouncement of the conservative Catholic-Christian alliance that has come to dominate U.S. politics ruffled some feathers. What is surprising is the sheer amount of denial and obfuscation that the article in La Civiltà Cattolic by Antonio Spadaro and the Marcelo Figueroa has engendered.

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Allies of Pope Francis attack pro-Trump Christian fundamentalists in explosive article on 'spiritual war'

An article being described as “explosive,” written by two allies of Pope Francis in a Vatican-reviewed publication, is taking on the “spurious alliance between politics and religious fundamentalism” in the United States.

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Here are 3 reasons why Catholic bishops are holding their tongues on the GOP's health care debacle

When President Obama proposed requiring health plans to cover common contraceptives without charge, the Catholic bishops howled like the world was coming to an end. Dire warnings about the future of religious liberty were issued on a regular basis by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, then-head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who personally went to the White House to complain to Obama. A special committee was formed. Legislators were lobbied. Lay Catholics were called on to protest. A scorching letter was read aloud by bishops at masses across the country. And threats were made about the Catholic vote in 2012.

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Pence's prayer breakfast appearance underscores the fractures in American Catholicism

The annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is hardly a bipartisan or nonpolitical event. It was founded in 2004 as part of an effort to cement ties between conservative Catholics, the Catholic hierarchy, and the GOP. Among those associated with it are noted right-wing luminaries like Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, Austin Ruse of C-FAM, former Senator Rick Santorum, and conservative organizations like the Knights of Columbus and Americans United for Life.

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Here are 5 signs Margaret Atwood’s 'Handmaid’s Tale' dystopia is already here

Pending dystopia, it appears, is in the eye of the beholder. Here at RD, Diane Winston notes that Vice President Mike Pence makes a chilling stand-in for the “Commander” in Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, a representative of what “quiet, white, Christian male authority looks like in today’s world.”

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