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25 Jun 2016 Europe News USA Vatican No comments

European Church leaders fear consequences of Brexit vote

European Catholic leaders have expressed concern that the decision by British voters to leave the European Union threatens unity across the continent, but they …

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17 Jul 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (4)

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21 Aug 2016 Q&A No comments

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23 Oct 2015 Asia-Pacific News Vatican Comments (4)

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09 May 2016 Americas Australia Europe Middle East News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

Patriarch Kirill Declares a 'Holy War' on Terrorism

Patriarch Kirill, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow on Friday at the memorial mass for  to those who fought in World War II explained the global battle a…

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21 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

That notorious 2014 synod report? We got it an hour after the media did, cardinal says

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20 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

In the prayer "Hail, Holy Queen," we call Mary "our life, our sweetness, and our hope." Is this proper?

Full Question In the prayer "Hail, Holy Queen," we call Mary "our life, our sweetness, and our hope." Is this proper? Answer How often have we he…

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07 Apr 2016 Americas Europe News USA Vatican Comments (1)

Holiness can Equally be taught by both Catholics and Methodists - Pope Francis

Catholics and Methodists can still learn from one another how holiness is lived and understood, Pope Francis has said. Religious leaders must also ensure tha…

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05 May 2016 News No comments

Britain should stay in the EU, says Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor

The cardinal said Britain could make 'a vital contribution' to the renewal of the EU Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has intervened in the Brexit debate, sayin…

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Should my daughter’s CCD class have to keep a Mass attendance record?

Full Question

My daughter’s second-grade CCD class was given a Mass attendance record which they are to have the priest punch for them after Mass. Is this right?


While the parish is well-intentioned in trying to get children in its CCD program—and, presumably, their parents—to attend Mass, the policy it has implemented to encourage this is problematic. Catholics have the right to fulfill their Sunday obligation “wherever Mass is celebrated in a Catholic rite either on a holy day itself or on the evening of the previous day” (canon 1248 §1, Code of Canon Law) and are not required to do so at their parish church. It would be particularly troublesome if the parish is conditioning the children’s reception of the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion upon an attendance record, particularly since culpability for failure to complete such a record would be the parents’ and not the children’s. I recommend talking to your pastor to clarify the parish’s intentions in this policy and the consequences for the children if the attendance record is not completed. If you remain concerned about the use of these “punch cards,” I recommend talking to a canon lawyer in your diocese for clarification of the relationship between your child’s right to receive the sacraments and the parish’s right to ensure adequate preparation for those sacraments. You can also obtain guidance in these matters from the St. Joseph Foundation (


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