Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Five Things to Remember for Dec. 12

1. If you wonder if there’s a reason to be concerned about religious liberty, note this. The FBI released its 2011 Hate Crime Statistics report December 10. It cites 1,233 incidents motivated by religious bias: 771, anti-Jewish; 157, anti-Islamic; 67, anti-Catholic; 44, anti-Protestant; and 4, anti-Atheist or Agnostic. Another 130 incidents involved bias against other religions. In 2011, crimes motivated by religious bias were the third most frequent category of hate crimes, after racial bias, (2,917 incidents), and bias based on sexual orientation (1,293 incidents).

2. There’s much to be glad about when it comes to pastoral ministry in the United States. “Perspectives from Parish Leaders: U.S. Parish Life and Ministry” reports that while there were 64,970 diocesan priests, permanent deacons and lay ecclesial ministers in 1992, there were 81,870 of them in 2010.

3. Pope Benedict XVI launched his Twitter account today @ pontifex. A great way for Catholics and others to go straight to the Holy See.

4. Today is Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is a great celebration for Hispanics who comprise a growing part of the U.S. church community.

5. God loves you.

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