What did the pope really say about pregnancy and the Zika virus?

The spontaneous in-flight Q&A sessions between Pope Francis and journalists express the Holy Father’s desire to engage the world, open to all comers and willing to address any questions. With the pope responding to complex political, moral and historical questions “off-the-cuff,” misinterpretations and selective reporting seem certain to follow. Nuances and distinctions are frequent casualties […]

Oh, what a tangled web: rising above Instagram envy

Melina Birchem has uploaded 777 images to her Instagram account over the past two years: sushi, Starbucks, her new tattoo, rosary beads, cowboy boots. Sometimes the juxtaposition is jarring. A glowing monstrance, a chilled margarita. A snapshot from waitressing, a prayer journal documenting her consecration to the Blessed Mother. As a freshman at the University […]

How does mercy apply to public policy in the Year of Mercy?

By Maria Wiering For The Visitor As the public policy voice of the state’s Catholic bishops, the Minnesota Catholic Conference is also working on broader issues — including how, in the Year of Mercy, to apply mercy to public policy. When speaking about mercy, Jason Adkins, MCC executive director, is quick to distinguish between “true […]

Task force examines impact of future with fewer active priests

A priest task force charged with making recommendations in light of an expected decline in the number of active priests between 2020 and 2030 reported on its progress at the diocesan Planning Council meeting Feb. 18 in St. Cloud. Bishop Donald Kettler asked the eight-person committee, organized last fall and chaired by Father Matthew Crane, […]