Austrian bishop uses canon law to excommunicate couple

With a pope who is trying "to light a fire in the heart of the world," the bishop of Innsbruck, Austria, seems to be throwing cold water on the entire project.


Pope Francis plays an adroit game

Analysis: At the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis kept saying he had authority not to dominate the people but to serve them.

The Second Vatican Council has already made us free


Over the weekend, an editor on the Internet observed that many events this year commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council "seem to be wakes, lamenting and grieving over the lost opportunity."

Rather than wring our hands over what the church has become under back-to-back popes who have acted in an arrogant and authoritarian manner, we should celebrate what Vatican II has already done for us.

It has given us a new view of ourselves. It's made us more free, more human and more at the service of a world that Jesus loved.

It has given us a new view of the church. It's our church, not the pope's church, or the bishops' church, or a priest's church.

It has given us a new view of our place in it. We can think, we can speak, we can act as followers of Jesus in a world that needs us.

Rather than whine over what daddy won't let us do, we can put the Council into play ourselves.

American nuns showed us how.

Open letter to the U.S. bishops: Let's not be a laughingstock, OK?


Back in the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas warned his fellow scholars about taking positions that brought ridicule upon the church. "Ne fides rideatur," he said. Literally, "Don't let the faith be laughed at."

Last week, we learned the U.S. bishops were launching an investigation into the supposedly subversive activities of our Catholic Girl Scouts. According to The Associated Press, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, Ind., and his fellows on the bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth will be looking into the Scouts' "possible problematic relationships" with groups like Doctors Without Borders, the Sierra Club, and Oxfam International "because they support family planning."