Catholicism

AARON SCHRANK/TPR

There’s plenty of skeletal imagery around this week, but one bony figure showing up more in South Texas has little to do with Halloween or Dia de Los Muertos. She’s Santa Muerte, or ‘Saint Death,’ a Mexican folk saint condemned by the Catholic Church. Devotion to the skeleton saint is growing quickly—even in San Antonio. 

Ana Maya’s San Antonio home is filled with images of Santa Muerte, from posters and jewelry to the several dozen statues she uses for her spiritual work.

“People know me as Brujita Maya la Santa Muerte, and I pray and devote to Santa Muerte,” Maya says.

Pope Francis arrived in Sweden on Monday for services marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that split Lutherans and Catholics.

Hundreds of Catholics have been declared saints in recent decades, but few with the acclaim accorded Mother Teresa, set to be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday, largely in recognition of her service to the poor in India.

"When I was coming of age, she was the living saint," says the Most Rev. Robert Barron, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. "If you were saying, 'Who is someone today that would really embody the Christian life?' you would turn to Mother Teresa of Calcutta."

Pope Francis told a gathering of about 900 heads of women's religious orders that he supports studying whether women can become deacons. The step is seen as a possible turning point for the Roman Catholic Church, which does not allow women to serve in ordained ministry.

At Thursday's meeting of the International Union of Superiors General, Francis was asked why women are not allowed to be deacons and whether he would form an official commission to look into the issue. He responded, "I accept; it would be useful for the church to clarify this question. I agree."

The director and editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service, a news agency affiliated with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has reportedly been pushed out of his position after an outcry over tweets endorsing LGBT rights.

Two prominent Catholic news outlets have reported that Tony Spence resigned this week at the request of an official in the bishops conference.

Pages