The Deacon's Bench
July 2008 Archives

“If women are being called to the priesthood then why is it only dissident women that are being called? Where are the women being ordained that have a preference for the extraordinary form of the Mass? Why do they always […]

Chant has been rebounding in popularity for some time now, ever since those Benedictine monks released their blockbuster recording several years back. Now the Cistercians have gotten into the act — and they are also causing a musical sensation: It […]

Once, churches were sanctuaries for refugees and hunchbacked bellringers. Now, anyone can live there. More and more canny developers are transforming abandoned churches into condos. And the Boston Globe takes note: When developer Tony Pace had the chance to turn […]

Want to see inside the mind of a reporter? Sounds scary — but this is actually fascinating and fruitful. Boston Globe reporter Michael Paulson covers one of the bigger beats in Beantown, religion, and he’s just launched a blog at […]

There’s been a lot of ink spilled lately on the 40th anniversary of the landmark encyclical Humanae Vitae. But one of the most insightful and objective examinations of the subject, I think, seems to be this one, from John Allen, […]

Over the last few weeks in Matthew’s gospel we’ve been hearing the Kingdom of God unfold in a series of parables. The images presented are striking. A mustard seed. Yeast. A treasure. A pearl. These were all things that the […]

Just when you thought the world couldn’t sink any lower…it did. Someone took Barack Obama’s prayer out of the Western Wall, and published it. A private communication, between a man and The Almighty, is now public. And a few of […]

Word is trickling out from Rome that the first phase of new English translations of the mass have been approved. It will likely be another 2-4 years before we start hearing them in church. But the article below from CNS […]

This gifted man — who was himself a gift — is gone. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor whose final lecture inspired millions, has died of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Pausch, 47, who turned […]

I’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it: clapping during mass. I know one or two priests who encourage it (to express appreciation for the choir or to pay tribute to an usher turning 80) but sometimes it […]