Current Articles of Interest

Friday, March 27, 2009

Inactive Catholics flock to Phoenix churches

When the Diocese of Phoenix became a test case of sorts for the Catholics Come Home TV ad campaign, no one could have predicted the incredible success that would result in 92,000 inactive Catholics returning to the Church. Quite an impressive number, but if you watch any of the ads, which you can do by going directly to Catholics Come Home, it's easy to see why this campaign had such an impact. The "movie" ad alone is enough to bring even the most hardened fallen away Catholic back to the pews. Take a few minutes now and watch it by clicking HERE.

The ads have been running in the Phoenix Diocese during Lent, and, according to a CNS story, more than 500,000 visitors from 50 states and 80 countries have visited the Catholics Come Home website since the spots began airing. All this just goes to prove that there are thousands upon thousands of Catholics just waiting to be invited back to the Church of their birth. In Phoenix, Mass attendance was up 22 percent at nine sample parishes since the ad campaign began. Do we need more proof than that?

Other dioceses, not surprisingly, want in on this phenomenon. More than a dozen other dioceses in the United States will begin airing the ads later this year, and by Advent of 2010, the campaign will be on the national networks, CNS reported.

Notre Dame student coalition opposes Obama appearance

Notre Dame Right to Life, Notre Dame College Republicans, and nine other student organizations have created Notre Dame Response, a student coalition that opposes the university’s decision to award President Barack Obama an honorary degree in May. “In defense of the unborn, we wish to express our deepest opposition to Reverend John I. Jenkins, CSC’s invitation of President Barack Obama to be the University of Notre Dame’s principal commencement speaker and the recipient of an honorary degree,” the coalition said in a statement. “Our objection is not a matter of political partisanship, but of President Obama’s hostility to the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life at its earliest stages. His recent dedication of federal funds to overseas abortions and to embryonic stem cell research will directly result in the deaths of thousands of innocent human beings. We cannot sit by idly while the University honors someone who believes that an entire class of human beings is undeserving of the most basic of all legal rights, the right to live.” The coalition’s statement continues:

(Full story at Catholic Culture)

Third Bishop Condemns Notre Dame Scandal: "It is Very Clear ND Does Not Live Up to Catholic Identity"

By Kathleen Gilbert

AUSTIN, Texas, March 27, 2009 ( - A third bishop has publicly condemned an invitation to President Barack Obama by the Catholic University of Notre Dame to receive an honorary law degree and offer the commencement address on May 17.

In the latest issue of the Austin diocese's "E-pistle," Bishop Gregory Aymond states, regarding the scandal: "I, along with many other Catholics, express great disappointment and sadness that a Catholic university would honor someone who is pro-choice and who holds many values contrary to our Catholic belief.

"In the midst of such a sad situation, as Catholics we must continue to be pro-life and to proclaim with even greater strength the values of Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

"In my opinion, it is very clear that in this case the University of Notre Dame does not live up to its Catholic identity in giving this award and their leadership needs our prayerful support," said Bishop Aymond.

Bishop Aymond's words follow a Wednesday letter by Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix to University president Fr. John Jenkins, in which Olmsted decried the honor as a "public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States."  Prior to that, Notre Dame's Bishop D'Arcy issued his own criticism of the invitation and stated he would not attend the ceremony.

An online petition launched by the Cardinal Newman Society immediately after the invitation was revealed last Friday has topped 185,000 signatures (to sign the petition, go to:

Fr. Jenkins and University spokesmen have said they do not plan to rescind the invitation despite the wave of protests.
For a list of contact information regarding the Notre Dame scandal, go to:
See related coverage:

Bishop Olmsted: Notre Dame's Obama Honor "Public Act of Disobedience to U.S. Bishops"

Notre Dame's Bishop Will Not Attend Obama-Honoring Graduation, Criticizes University's Decision

Petition against Obama's Notre Dame Honor Skyrockets Past 103,000 Signatures in Four Days

Notre Dame Faces Groundswell of Outrage after Announcing Plan to Honor Obama

Notre Dame President: School "Honored" by Obama's Acceptance to Speak and Receive Honorary Degree

Catholic Notre Dame University to Give Obama Honorary Degree on May 17, Against USCCB Policy

Bishop Olmsted: Notre Dame, 'Public Act of Disobedience to U.S. Bishops'

By Kathleen Gilbert
LifeSiteNews (
'It is a public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States'said the bishop.

Saddened and heavy of heart about your decision to invite President Obama to speak at Notre Dame University and even to receive an honorary degree.
Saddened and heavy of heart about your decision to invite President Obama to speak at Notre Dame University and even to receive an honorary degree.
PHOENIX, Arizona ( - Bishop Thomas Olmsted has written a letter to University of Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins condemning the invitation to President Obama to offer the school's commencement address and receive an honorary law degree on May 17.

Olmsted's letter follows a statement earlier this week by Notre Dame's own Bishop John D'Arcy, in which the bishop criticized the decision and announced his intent to boycott the ceremony.

American Papist blogger Thomas Peters broke the news of the letter from Bishop Olmsted, dated yesterday, in which Olmsted told Jenkins he was "saddened and heavy of heart about your decision to invite President Obama to speak at Notre Dame University and even to receive an honorary degree" (See:

"It is a public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States," said the bishop, who cited the U.S. bishops' 2004 directive that pro-abortion politicians "should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

"I pray that you come to see the grave mistake of your decision, and the way that it undercuts the Church's proclamation of the Gospel of Life in our day," Olmsted concluded.

Since news broke of the invitation to Obama late last Friday, Catholic leaders and Notre Dame alumni have unleashed a steady stream of protest and calls to reconsider the move.

A fast-moving online petition launched by the Cardinal Newman Society on a website formed immediately after the Friday announcement ( has gathered over 165,000 signatures as of early Thursday afternoon.

Fr. Jenkins has said he would not rescind the offer despite protests.