Educated Catholics have sown dissent and confusion in the Church, claims bishop

The Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, the Bishop of Lancaster, has claimed that graduates are spreading scepticism and sowing dissent. Instead of following the Church's teaching they are "hedonistic", "selfish" and "egocentric", he said.

In particular, the bishop complained that influential Catholics in politics and the media were undermining the Church.

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Europe in recession, U.S. in pain as world leaders meet

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Europe officially fell into recession on Friday and the U.S. economy suffered thousands more layoffs and the biggest retail sales dip on record as world leaders met in Washington to address the worst financial crisis in 80 years.

Leaders of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies said they were working on plans to counter the growing economic threat and prevent future crises, but big breakthroughs were not expected at their meeting in the U.S. capital, given the absence of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, whose involvement will be key to any global initiatives. Yahoo article

Military atheists want new rules on prayer

WASHINGTON — A coalition of atheists and agnostics wants the new White House to protect young military members from what they see as rampant religious discrimination in the services.

The Secular Coalition for America held a news conference Monday urging new rules against proselytizing and more training for chaplains on how to handle nonreligious troops.

"When they say ‘there are no atheists in foxholes’ it’s slanderous," said Wayne Adkins, a former Army first lieutenant who served in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. "To deny their existence is to deny that they serve."

via Stars and Stripes

Gay couples start marrying in Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Gay couples began marrying in Connecticut on Wednesday after a judge cleared the way, a victory for advocates stung by California's ban on same-sex unions last week.

With a final order entered, couples marched to New Haven City Hall to get marriage licenses, and less than two hours after the final court hearing, Peg Oliveira and Jennifer Vickery were married in a brief ceremony.

Via AP at

Jewish Group Wants Mormons to Stop Proxy Baptisms

NEW YORK (AP) -- Holocaust survivors said Monday they are through trying to negotiate with the Mormon church over posthumous baptisms of Jews killed in Nazi concentration camps, saying the church has repeatedly violated a 13-year-old agreement barring the practice.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints say they are making changes to their massive genealogical database that will make it more difficult for names of Holocaust victims to be entered for posthumous baptism by proxy, a rite that has been a common Mormon practice for more than a century.
AP story via NY Times