Catholic Men Earn More

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Harvard Business Review's daily stat for December 27 shows that Catholic men make more than non-Catholic men.  More specifically: 6.7% more in Australia (among those aged 25-54) 7.1% more in the USA (among those aged 26-34) So What? The brief article mentions that the research suggests that the difference may be accounted for by "a Catholic upbringing (that) instills attitudes and work habits that employers value."  What other factors do you believe could account for or contribute to Read More …

From Social Media to Silence

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Each year a theme is selected for the Catholic Church’s World Social Communications Day: 2011: “Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age" 2012: “Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization” So What? While many found the pope's message this year to be progressive and thoughtful, next year's topic is the sort that could have been selected for any of the prior years in the day's forty-five year history.  However, according to a Catholic News Agency article the two Read More …

Review of The Church and New Media

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Meet the Authors Brandon Vogt is a Catholic layperson who blogs about theology, technology, social justice and books at ThinVeil.net.  Vogt contributes the text's introduction and conclusion while relying on authors with varied backgrounds and expertise to contribute the chapters:  Father Robert Barron, Jennifer Fulwiler, Marcel LeJeune, Mark P. Shea, Taylor Marshall, Father Dwight Longenecker, Scot Landry, Matt Warner, Lisa M. Hendey, Thomas Peters, Shawn Carney.  Additionally, the book Read More …

Review of Dilemma: A Priest’s Struggle with Faith and Love

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Meet the Author Father Albert Cutié served as a Roman Catholic priest from his ordination in 1995 until 2009.  During those years he served several parishes, but was best known for his work in media, which earned him the nickname "Padre Oprah."  He was the first clergy-person to host a daily talk-show on a major network on international secular television. After his relationship with a woman was made public, he left the Roman Catholic church, married, and was ordained as an Episcopal Read More …

Review of The World’s Christians

Douglas Jacobsen

Meet the Author Douglas Jacobsen has taught at Messiah College in Grantham, PA since 1984.  Currently he serves as  Distinguished Professor of Church History and Theology.  Jacobsen is a member of the United Church of Christ and serves on the Theological Commission of the UCC Penn Central Conference.  Jacobsen is the author of several books including Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation (with Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen, 2004) and The World's Christians: Who they are, Where Read More …

Do Mainline Protestants Really Have Bigger Brains?

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A recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Templeton Foundation suggests that mainline Protestants have larger brains than those with other religious affiliations.   Yonat Shimron's article summarizes the findings: It found an association between participants' professed religious affiliation and the physical structure of their brain. Specifically, those identified as Protestant who did not have a religious conversion or born-again experience — more common among their Read More …

Where Have All the Catholics Gone?

Fr. Thomas J. Reese S.J.

Established in 1964, the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) is the largest independent print and web Catholic news source in the United States.  Recently, the NCR published an article by Fr. Thomas Reese, former editor in chief of America, exploring the massive numbers of people who have left the Catholic church in recent years.  He frames the issue thusly: The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life has put hard numbers on the anecdotal Read More …

Most Catholic Women Now Use Birth Control

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Catholic Answers, a lay-run site focusing on "Catholic apologetics and evangelization," summarizes the Catholic Church's teaching on birth control: In 1968, Pope Paul VI issued his landmark encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (Latin, "Human Life"), which reemphasized the Church’s constant teaching that it is always intrinsically wrong to use contraception to prevent new human beings from coming into existence. Contraception is "any action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act [sexual Read More …

An Overview of American Church Membership

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Earlier this week the National Council of Churches released its annual analysis of church membership: 2011 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.  According to the Rev. Dr. Eileen Lindner, editor, the data in this year's report suggests that recent membership trends have continued: "That is, churches which have been increasing in membership in recent years continue to grow and likewise, those churches which have been declining in recent years continue to decline." The yearbook reports a Read More …

Religious Under and Over Representation in the 112th Congress

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The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life posted "Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress" last month.  This article explores the religious makeup of both chambers, compares the religious preferences of newly elected officials and incumbents, and provides historical data.  Shown at right is a chart showing how varying religions are represented in the 112th Congress and in the American adult population as a whole. So What? While some variance between the makeup of Read More …