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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Bishops Archives

25,000 turn out for early Guadalupe celebration in LA

posted by jmcgee

It happened last weekend, and The Tidings has the scoop: Despite threatening skies, groups of parishioners, students and religious had already arrived by 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Ford Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue in East Los Angeles, to […]

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What’s Latin for “slam dunk”?

posted by jmcgee

Here’s a local TV report with more on the blessing of New York’s new basilica, with Archbishop Dolan as winning as ever.

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Looking for something to do on Friday?

posted by jmcgee

Try fasting, says one British bishop.  From the Guardian: The Right Rev Kieran Conry, of Arundel and Brighton, said the traditional Friday Fast Day was a “source of pride” and something that marked Catholics out as different. In his pastoral […]

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Bishop blasts Illinois’ Catholic governor for backing civil unions

posted by jmcgee

Details, from Catholic News Agency: Illinois’ legislature passed a bill on Dec. 1 that will establish same-sex civil unions in state law. While the state’s Catholic governor Pat Quinn said his faith prompted him to support the bill, his bishop […]

Bishop: Christmas can wait

posted by jmcgee

I preached on this topic last Sunday, and it seems I wasn’t the only one having this idea.  From the Salt Lake Tribune: Utah’s Catholic bishop is putting the brakes on Christmas. In his first pastoral letter to Utah’s 300,000 […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by jmcgee

The Archbishop and his deacons. Read more about Dolan here. And there’s this stellar quote, from Deacon Bill Ditewig: I often tell the true story of a bishop who, while literally standing in the middle of his deacons, said, “When […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“Love is at the heart of the Good News. Love is the gospel we proclaim, but must live that love, not merely pronounce it correctly. And we are to love as Jesus loved — without limit, without exception, being willing […]

Dolan on the pope, prophylactics and preaching

posted by jmcgee

The American Church’s most prominent prelate has given his first extended news media interview since his election as President of the U.S. bishops: In an expansive interview in the front parlor of his residence on Madison Avenue — the only […]

Archbishop Wenski appears in restored cathedral’s new window

posted by jmcgee

A new window in Orlando’s renovated cathedral is raising eyebrows: When the renovated St. James Catholic Cathedral is dedicated here Saturday, the new stained-glass windows will feature a few familiar faces: Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary — and Archbishop Thomas […]

More on Dolan

posted by jmcgee

John Allen offers his two cents: In Dolan, the bishops have turned to their most gifted natural communicator, a leader with a demonstrated capacity to project a positive image for Catholicism in the public square. Rather than electing a behind-the-scenes […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“You might interpret this as the bishops are tired of short and skinny presidents.” – The new president of the USCCB, New York’s Timothy Dolan, analyzing his upset election as only he can.

BREAKING: Dolan elected head of USCCB — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

A surprise, and an upset: For the first time in the history of the US bishops, a vice-president standing for the presidency has been denied the top post, losing a stunning election to the archbishop of New York. By a […]

Church closings hit Brooklyn

posted by jmcgee

The City of Churches will soon have fewer of them.  From the In My Backyard Desk, another sign of the times: Facing a drop in attendance and a shortage of priests, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn plans to close […]

US bishops: go forth and blog

posted by jmcgee

That’s just one of the messages to emerge from the fall gathering of the USCCB in Baltimore: Roman Catholic bishops in the United States should go forth and blog, tweet and preach on the “new digital continent” of social media, […]

On Wuerl: “He is where the majority of the bishops would be…”

posted by jmcgee

From Pittsburgh comes this very comprehensive look at a man who will soon be called Cardinal: When Cardinal-designate Donald Wuerl receives a red hat Saturday, he will also receive the opportunity to advise the highest levels of the Catholic Church. […]

“Christianity survived in the Middle East because of married priests”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the eyebrow-raising comment made by a Melkite Archbishop, interviewed recently by Catholic News Service: Heading a southern Lebanese diocese that goes from the sea then east two-thirds of the way along the border with Israel, the one problem Melkite […]

Wisconsin standoff: donations plunge over new priest appointments

posted by jmcgee

Some interesting developments in Wisconsin are leading to a conflict between parishioners and their bishop — and it’s having a financial impact: St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Platteville, stung by a plunge in donations following the arrival of three controversial […]

Is this the American Church’s most powerful woman?

posted by jmcgee

A tweet from a certain blogger suggested as much. Check out this profile of the woman who is, the COO of the Miami Church: Doing one thing at a time does not seem to be part of God’s plan for […]

Happy Halloween, from the USCCB

posted by jmcgee

The USCCB tweeted a short time ago that they were decorating pumpkins around the office. The entry below was a favorite.

Caught on tape: Dolan rips the Times

posted by jmcgee

The other day, I posted on New York’s archbishop and his on-going feud with the New York Times. The local CBS affiliate aired the report below, which includes an interview with Archbishop Dolan (as he’s rarely seen — without his […]

Pittsburgh: the city of cardinals

posted by jmcgee

That’s the surprising distinction that Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Ann Rodgers explores: The City of Champions can claim a new American title: No. 1 in producing cardinals for the Catholic Church. With the expected elevation of Cardinal-designate Donald Wuerl of Washington, […]

“The successful priest or deacon is the one who is in love with Christ”

posted by jmcgee

Hundreds of clergy gathered earlier this week for the first-ever joint convocation of priests and deacons in the Brooklyn Diocese. Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley delivered the keynote (which contained the sterling quote in the headline).  The story, from “Currents,” below.

A St. Louis Cardinal — and a Washington Redhat

posted by jmcgee

That would be Raymond Burke (though he now resides in Rome) and The Donald (Wuerl, of course). They are on the list of 24 new cardinals just announced.  Rocco reports: We have liftoff….. The list, in order: Amato, Naguib (Alexandria), […]

Archbishop Nienstedt: “You have to be 100% Catholic”

posted by jmcgee

The prelate who’s sparked some controversy lately is explaining himself with this interview: The Catholic archbishop for the Twin Cities defended his right Monday to speak to fellow Catholics on social issues, and said a shrinking Roman Catholic church is […]

“We have to show God’s love in action…”

posted by jmcgee

“I don’t find it difficult to pray. All the training and experiences I’ve had help me to pray today in spite of a busy schedule. I was never told, ‘You have to pray this many hours every day.’ From an […]

Carville and Matalin to speak at New York’s Al Smith Dinner

posted by jmcgee

One of the more famous — or infamous — political duets will perform at one of the country’s premiere Catholic fundraisers, according to the Archdiocese of New York website: Political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin will be the guest […]

“The archbishop certainly restarted the discussion, didn’t he?”

posted by jmcgee

Hundreds of thousands of Catholics found a DVD from their archbishop in the mail last week — and the reaction has been decidedly mixed: When the archbishop’s controversial DVD arrived in the mail last week, Renee Miller’s first instinct was […]

New York bishops: “We must be cautious when we vote…”

posted by jmcgee

The bishops of New York state have just released a statement about the upcoming election. A snip: “We Catholics are called to look at politics as we are called to look at everything – through the lens of our faith. […]

In Philippines, bishops threaten “civil disobedience” over birth control

posted by jmcgee

The war of words over contraception is heating up — and in a way that might surprise Catholics in the western world.  Could you imagine a threat like this being issued by bishops in the United States?  The latest: Raising […]

The Catholic church building boom in Texas

posted by jmcgee

Some heartening news from the Lone Star state. At a time when many dioceses are closing or consolidating parishes, down in Texas, the church business is booming: Each week at Midland’s Our Lady of San Juan Parish, churchgoers attending Mass […]

America’s Next Top Bishop?

posted by jmcgee

Well, no. It’s not exactly like the TV competition that looks for hot runway models. But Rocco Palmo has posted an intriguing list of up and coming bishops. The Final Four range all over the map — including one celebrated […]

Calvary in Haiti: love among the ruins

posted by jmcgee

New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan recently paid another visit to Haiti. The short video below shows what he saw in the ruins of the country’s cathedral. It’s beautiful, and haunting, and tragic.

Giving Anglicans a Wuerl

posted by jmcgee

This news caused a stir last week, and I’m pleased to report that my show “Currents” (on Brooklyn’s Catholic cable channel NET) got the first broadcast interview with Archbishop Donald Wuerl, discussing his appointment to the committee helping to bring […]

Chaput to religion writers: “Master and respect your material…”

posted by jmcgee

Archbishop Charles Chaput delivered a terrific address to the Religion Newswriters Association recently — and concluded with this valuable thought: Journalism is a “knowledge profession.” But like any other profession, the work of journalism doesn’t necessarily translate into self-knowledge or […]

Someone should alert Cardinal Schonborn

posted by jmcgee

“As you know the Church takes great time and care before declaring that an apparition is worthy of belief, and even then it never says that a Catholic must accept the apparition as a matter of faith. We must avoid […]

“Reprehensible”

posted by jmcgee

“I view with great dismay the plan to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by members of the Dove World Outreach Center. Out of respect for those of the Muslim faith, members of our […]

“Catholics Can”

posted by jmcgee

No, you’re not witnessing some weird liturgical improvisation in the picture above. It’s part of a remarkable mass that was celebrated in Salt Lake City recently. Details: People of all abilities attended the “Catholics Can” Mass at the Cathedral of […]

Bishop blasts attempted ordination of a woman

posted by jmcgee

It happened in Phoenix: The Catholic Bishop of Phoenix responded Wednesday to a priest’s reported participation in an attempted priestly ordination of a woman. Urging prayers for all involved, he said such actions are “divisive” and have “profoundly harmful consequences.” […]

Archbishop Dolan to Muslims: let’s talk

posted by jmcgee

With the controversy still swirling over the Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero, New York’s Archbishop is suggesting regular meetings between faith leaders might help build bridges. From the Wall Street Journal: Archbishop Timothy Dolan said the church was […]

The soldier who would be bishop

posted by jmcgee

America is about to get a new bishop — but one with arguably the most distinctive resume around. His amazing story, from the Catholic Review in Baltimore: On one of the bloodiest days of the Iraq War – April 9, […]

Does your bishop blog?

posted by jmcgee

The good folks at Aggie Catholics have just posted a list. See if someone you know is on it. Then drop by and see what he has to say.

Bishop will run in marathon to pay down debt

posted by jmcgee

Some of you may remember he delightful installation homily by Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois. He concluded his remarks by singing a number written by one of the Backstreet Boys. Anyway: the good bishop can not only carry a […]

Blog blocked in Boston

posted by jmcgee

A curious bit of news out of Beantown: The Archdiocese of Boston, under attack by anonymous conservative Catholic bloggers, has blocked access to one of the websites from computers within the church’s Braintree headquarters. The Boston Catholic Insider, the most lively […]

November 27, 2011

posted by jmcgee

Mark your calendars: that’s the date the new translation of the Roman Missal will debut in a parish near you. Details, from CNS: The missal, announced by Pope John Paul II in 2000 and first published in Latin in 2002, […]

Obama to speak at Xavier in New Orleans

posted by jmcgee

And it seems to be causing much less of a stir than what happened last year at Notre Dame: The archbishop of New Orleans has responded to the decision of Xavier University, a Catholic institution in his diocese, to host […]

Of vocations — and vacations

posted by jmcgee

Your Humble Blogger is about to take a little down time — blogging will be light for a couple weeks — but before I go, here’s a nice picker-upper from The Anchoress: It’s that time of year again, when postulants […]

Quote of the day, II

posted by jmcgee

“We Catholics are welcoming to the outsider, not only because of our own experience of sometimes being scorned in the past, but also because our faith teaches it. As Pope John Paul II remarked during his visit to a mosque […]

“I have always enjoyed the company of women…”

posted by jmcgee

Over in London, Damien Thompson has posted a lengthy e-mail from Bishop John Jukes, explaining some of his thoughts about living over eight decades of celibacy. The bishop begins: I have always enjoyed the company of women. Their way of […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“I’m not sure if the marketing world took it from Jesus, but there are some basic principles that apply like: People buy from people they like. When you evangelize, you don’t want to come around with a stick and beat […]

The bishops and immigration: Kicanas speaks out

posted by jmcgee

The Bishop of Tucson, Gerald Kicanas, presides over a diocese that runs along the border with Mexico . He’s been vocal about immigration reform, and he gave an interview to “Currents” last week, just before the controversial new Arizona law […]

Arizona bishops praise ruling on immigration bill

posted by jmcgee

Breaking news from Phoenix: Arizona’s Catholic bishops commended a July 28 ruling that blocked enforcement of the most controversial sections of the state’s contentious immigration law a day before it takes effect. They also voiced a hope “that reaction to […]

Louisiana bishops: no guns in Catholic churches

posted by jmcgee

I like what a priest from Brooklyn said about this last week: “I’m not in favor of bringing guns to church.  I’d be afraid that if somebody thought my homily was too long, they’d take out a gun and shoot […]

Passion play hailed as “more balanced”

posted by jmcgee

The revised version of the once-every-decade drama in Germany got a thumbs-up from two prominent religious leaders, according to the AP: The redo of Germany’s famous Oberammergau Passion Play apparently works. A prominent American rabbi and the archbishop of New […]

Worth a thousand words, pallium edition

posted by jmcgee

Miami’s new archbishop, Thomas Wenski, fights back tears after receiving the pallium from Pope Benedict today at the Vatican. CNS has details. Also, Rome Reports has a video report, below.   

Shepherd of note: a singing bishop

posted by jmcgee

Yes! Can someone say “Amen!”? This just made me smile: a video of the newly installed bishop of Springfield concluding his homily with a song from one of the Backstreet Boys. Yes. Really. You can read about him here. But […]

“Direct abortion” vs. a “medical procedure”

posted by jmcgee

Wednesday, the bishops released a document clarifying the difference between a “direct abortion” and a “medical procedure” — evidently, in connection with the much-covered case in Phoenix. Catholic News Service offers a summary: The committee’s statement quoted directive 45: “Abortion […]

Bishop who resigned changes his mind

posted by jmcgee

In a curious twist, a bishop who made headlines over abuse allegations, and quit, is now having second thoughts: A former German bishop said Wednesday his peers in the Roman Catholic church pressured him into resigning over abuse allegations and […]

Quote of the day: “We are particularly concerned about blogs…”

posted by jmcgee

“Secular media often falls into a trap of being cynical, disrespectful and sensationalist. Whatever is rudest or most sensational is what they often gravitate to. Catholic media can model what a civil, substantive media can and should be. Civil, substantive […]

“God is the only treasure people desire in a priest”

posted by jmcgee

That’s the gist of a typically powerful and provocative address by New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan: The archbishop of New York is urging priests to remember that their vocation is an identity, not simply a career, and thus it must […]

O’Malley, Dolan named to panel investigating Irish sex abuse

posted by jmcgee

Two high-profile prelates of Irish descent will be part of the team looking into the scandal that’s devastated Ireland: In one of his most concrete actions since a sexual abuse scandal began sweeping the Roman Catholic Church in Europe, Pope […]

“Each of us has been made for love and for great and beautiful things”

posted by jmcgee

“Recently, a good friend told me about one of the local unknown saints here, Maria Luisa de la Peña, a refugee from Mexico who founded the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. Venerable Mother Luisita would […]

Picture of the day: captions, anyone?

posted by jmcgee

Above, Archbishop Jose Gomez, the future Archbishop of Los Angeles, embraces Cardinal Roger Mahony, the present Archbishop, at Gomez’s Mass of Welcome at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on May 26, 2010. My favorite moment, from the […]

Hannan’s Way: the legendary archbishop of New Orleans

posted by jmcgee

When I was growing up in Rockville, Maryland in the 1960s, there was a a large patch of farmland nearby that was owned by a family named Hannan. Part of the land was sold off for a subdivision — the […]

Gomez says goodbye

posted by jmcgee

The always-enterprising Rocco unearthed this fine interview with the man who will one day oversee the largest Catholic flock in the United States. His Mass of Welcome unfolds next week and, to judge from this posting, it will be a […]

Nun approved abortion at Catholic hospital

posted by jmcgee

The circumstances were extraordinary — and the decision, I’m sure, was not easy to make. But the result has sparked a growing controversy in Arizona, where even the bishop has now intervened. From the Arizona Republic: A Catholic nun and […]

Catholic college offers course on same-sex marriage

posted by jmcgee

And the archbishop isn’t happy about it: Newark Archbishop John J. Myers said a course on same-sex marriage to be offered in the fall at Seton Hall University “troubles me greatly.” “This proposed course seeks to promote as legitimate a […]

The last holdout

posted by jmcgee

Only one diocese in America declines to take part in the USCCB’s annual audit on compliance with the so-called “Dallas Charter”, which was created in the wake of the 2002 sex abuse crisis. And this week, opposing sides staged two […]

The astonishing memo that helped change the church

posted by jmcgee

It was addressed to “Wilton” — then-Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the USCCB — in early 2002 and was written by his chancellor.  It is only now seeing the light of day. First, the story behind it, from the St. […]

Cardinal Bertone: celibacy vow “not untouchable”

posted by jmcgee

At a time when more people are defending the discipline, someone close to the pope is suggesting the vow of celibacy might be changed: The vow of celibacy by the clergy may be open to review, the Vatican’s second highest […]

Scranton’s “deacon friendly” new bishop

posted by jmcgee

That’s how a deacon has described Bishop-elect Joseph Bambera, who will be installed in Scranton tomorrow. From the Scranton Times-Leader: “Over the years I’ve known him in several capacities,” said Joe DeVizia, a Roman Catholic deacon who is also executive […]

A deacon’s proposal for public penance — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

A deacon in Alaska sent me the letter below and, with his permission, I’m printing it here in full. I’d like to hear what readers, especially deacons and priests, think of this proposal for public penance: As I know you […]

Blame it on TV

posted by jmcgee

That’s what a bishop in Mexico is doing. He blames pornography, sex education and erotic TV progams for the sex abuse scandal. From SKY news: A Roman Catholic bishop in Mexico has sparked outrage by suggesting eroticism on television and […]

Dolan after one year: “He’s a point of light”

posted by jmcgee

The New York Times — hardly the best friend of the city’s Archbishop — takes a long look at the man now occupying The Chair at St. Patrick’s, on the occasion of Timothy Dolan’s one-year anniversary: Among both defenders and […]

It all began with ‘Yes’

posted by jmcgee

“The story of redemption began with a heroic ‘Yes’ by a young girl named Mary, when, in the spirit of humility and obedience, she said to the angel’s message announcing that she would be the mother of Jesus: ‘May it […]

Bishop among those killed in Poland crash

posted by jmcgee

The shocking tragedy in Russia today includes the news that several prominent members of the clergy were among those killed: The Holy Father expressed his sorrow over the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and those accompanying him on a […]

Benedict’s bishops

posted by jmcgee

Buried inside his characteristically insightful piece about the man who will soon be leading Los Angeles, NCR’s John Allen offers this nugget: As things stand today, there are seven archdioceses in America where the archbishop is almost certain to become […]

Benedict’s revenge?

posted by jmcgee

That’s how a London paper is characterizing his pick of Opus Dei bishop Jose Gomez to lead the Archdiocese of Los Angeles: Jose Gomez has been parachuted into the archdiocese of five million to try to lure the increasingly lapsing […]

Mahony on Gomez

posted by jmcgee

“I have known Archbishop Gomez since he became Auxiliary Bishop of Denver in 2001, and subsequently, the Archbishop of San Antonio in 2004. Over the years he has been a most effective leader working with priests serving the Spanish-speaking communities […]

“We are called to be witnesses…”

posted by jmcgee

“When we reread the New Testament narratives about the first Easter, we notice a common theme. Everyone who comes in contact with the risen Lord comes away from that encounter with the urgent desire to run and tell others what […]

Gomez to LA?

posted by jmcgee

That’s what the lead headline at New Advent is teasing, with an announcement reportedly set for tomorrow. Archbishop Jose Gomez, of San Antonio, has a fascinating resume — including being born in Mexico, and being ordained a priest of Opus […]

Wuerl prays with sex abuse protestors

posted by jmcgee

When my wife and I called her parents last night, to wish them a Happy Easter, they asked if we’d heard about something extraordinary that the Archbishop of Washington had done during Holy Week. It was news to me. And […]

“It is morning in the church…”

posted by jmcgee

“It is morning in the church. It is opening day not just for the Yankees, but for all of us. Hope conquers despair.” — Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Easter homily, April 4, 2010

Brundage speaks

posted by jmcgee

Last night on “Currents,” Fr. Thomas Brundage, who oversaw the case involving Fr. Lawrence Murphy, set out his own account of what happened. You can watch it here. I only wish we’d had more time to go into more depth […]

DiMarzio: “Enough is enough!”

posted by jmcgee

Earlier, I offered the press release announcing Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio’s homily, which was delivered at this evening’s Chrism Mass. Here’s more, from his prepared text: In recent weeks, we have all been reminded of the evil that some of our […]

“Our church will no longer be the personal punching bag of the New York Times”

posted by jmcgee

That’s how Brooklyn’s Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio describes the recent coverage of the pope, in his homily at tonight’s Chrism Mass.  From the press release: In his homily to the priests and people of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, called […]

“Knocked to our knees once again…”

posted by jmcgee

At mass this Palm Sunday, New York’s Archbishop had a few things to say about this week’s news — and was roundly applauded for it: Archbishop Timothy Dolan was greeted with applause after finishing Palm Sunday Mass by defending Pope […]

What went wrong?

posted by jmcgee

This thoughtful piece by Fr. Raymond DeSouza offers an answer that seems to be on target: In the 1960s, like much of society and after the Second Vatican Council, the Church simply abandoned her disciplinary life. Doctrinal dissent was not […]

Bishops on health care bill: “Profoundly flawed”

posted by jmcgee

The USCCB has finally weighed in on the health care vote: The U.S. bishops called on Congress and people in the Catholic community to make sure promises are kept that new health care legislation will not expand abortions in the […]

“With deep regret…”

posted by jmcgee

“We are bishops, not politicians, policy experts or legislative tacticians. We are also pastors, teachers, and citizens. At this point of decision, we cannot compromise on basic moral principles. We can only urge — and hope and pray — that […]

A bishop blogs about health care reform

posted by jmcgee

One of America’s blogging bishops is Bishop Robert Lynch, from St. Petersburg, Florida. He’s been posting his analysis of the health care debate, and yesterday added these thoughts: Last night I received an e-mail from Sister Carol Keehan whom I […]

Hiding from Hyde

posted by jmcgee

Is the Senate avoiding something on the issue of health care reform? Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, from the USCCB, thinks so: The thousands of pages in the health care reform legislation contain much to ponder, but what’s most puzzling is […]

Nuns back health care reform bill

posted by jmcgee

This appears to be a big break from what the USCCB is advising: Catholic nuns, in an unusual split from the powerful Catholic bishops, came out in favor of President Barack Obama’s health care plan, offering potentially important political cover […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“I want to say to anyone who has been hurt by any failure on my part that I apologise to you with all my heart. I also apologise to all those who feel I have let them down. Looking back, […]

Bishops on health care bill: “It must be opposed…”

posted by jmcgee

“Two basic principles…continue to shape the concerns of the Catholic bishops: health care means taking care of the health needs of all, across the human life span; and the expansion of health care should not involve the expansion of abortion […]

On the new missal: “No translation will be perfect”

posted by jmcgee

“Even the best of all possible translations of the new Missal will not suit every individual’s preference. No translation will be perfect. Proponents of the new text sometimes argue, perhaps unfairly, that the texts currently in use in our liturgy […]

Bishops: Senate health care bill still unacceptable

posted by jmcgee

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, from the USCCB, just sent around this e-mail, which I post here. It’s a response to recent media inquiries about the Senate version of the health care reform bill: The Senate Health Care Reform bill clearly […]

“This is the most fun I’ve had since I was a monsignor!”

posted by jmcgee

Those immortal words were uttered earlier this evening by one Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and the man who can claim to occupy arguably the second biggest pulpit in the world (the first, of course, being Benedict’s, wherever he […]

Fewer dioceses in Ireland?

posted by jmcgee

Evidently, that idea was floated during the recent meeting between the Irish bishops and the pope. From the BBC: Two of the Vatican’s most senior officials have raised the issue of reducing the number of dioceses in Ireland. The Bishop […]

Mahony, Part Deux

posted by jmcgee

The reports that Los Angeles’ Cardinal Roger Mahony is ready to retire have an interesting backstory: For the record, any claims of a selection already made cannot be confirmed and, as the lay of the land is looking at present, […]

“For the common good, we need health care for all”

posted by jmcgee

With the debate about health care reform still percolating, I’m going to turn my internet microphone over to a guest blogger, and pal of mine, Sister Mary Ann Walsh. She’s Director of Media Relations for the United States Conference of […]

Roll the credits: Hollywood’s Cardinal Mahony bowing out?

posted by jmcgee

So says the usually reliable Thomas “American Papist” Peters: I am hearing, on reliable authority, that the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, has approved a coadjutor bishop recently selected for him by the Holy See. This news – […]

Handicapping the next class of cardinals

posted by jmcgee

With Christmas behind us, and Lent still weeks away, Vatican observers have too much time on their hands. So, naturally, they’re bird-watching.   Specifically, they’re keeping an eye out for cardinals. From the Washington Times: Although the Vatican’s anticipated announcement naming […]

A prayer for migrants

posted by jmcgee

Lord Jesus, when you multiplied the loaves and fishes, you provided more than food for the body, you offered us the gift of yourself, the gift which satisfies every hunger and quenches every thirst! Your disciples were filled with fear […]

Medjugorje: “Lies, contradictions, promises, uncertainties”

posted by jmcgee

“‘The sign’ has to be, and may indeed be, the most splendid weapon of the ‘seers’ of Medjugorje and of the propagandists of the ‘apparitions’. The same ‘seers’, from the beginning, have asked the lady that appeared to them for […]

A mighty WIND: Listecki’s radio days

posted by jmcgee

In all the excitement about Milwaukee’s new archbishop — installed yesterday — a little known detail of his early life has gone largely overlooked. He’s an old radio guy. Read on: Chicago radio airwaves have carried great voices such as […]

News from Medjugorje: when clerics collide

posted by jmcgee

The recent visit of a Cardinal to Medjugorje has attracted a fair amount of attention — and the local bishop isn’t happy: Most Rev. Ratko Peri?, the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno in Bosnia-Herzegovina, released a statement in which he criticizes Vienna, […]

How do they pick bishops?

posted by jmcgee

It’s more complicated than most people realize. You can get a good idea from this primer, which focuses on the process now underway in Scranton: The process for selecting a bishop begins before a see is vacant. During periodic meetings, […]

Who is Robert George?

posted by jmcgee

The New York Times Magazine this weekend offers a detailed answer, with an in-depth look at a man who is arguably the leading (and most influential) Catholic intellectual in America. A snip: George’s role as an adviser to (these) bishops […]

What’s his line? A classic Fulton Sheen moment

posted by jmcgee

As the world marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Fulton Sheen today, I thought it would be fun to look back at a memorable performance that still, all these years later, is a delight.   The TV star […]

Should the people choose their bishops?

posted by jmcgee

That’s the proposal of a priest-theologian from Ireland: The system to date has failed. I do not deny that Rome may bear some responsibility. But I would place the main responsibility on the fact that the Irish hierarchy has in […]

Dolan: truce!

posted by jmcgee

The Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan is calling for a ceasefire in the Christmas war: Obviously, I am enthusiastic about “keeping Christ in Christmas.” For those of us who believe that Jesus, the Son of God and our Savior, […]

Kennedy: “I’m not going to indulge in this debate anymore”

posted by jmcgee

“These are personal issues of faith for me. I’m not going to indulge in this debate anymore. It’s really for me about what my constituents are most interested in now, and that is getting a health care bill passed that […]

“Bishops need to be a bit more careful…”

posted by jmcgee

That is how America’s Michael Sean Winters begins his critique of the Chris Matthews-Bishop Tobin smackdown. And Winters goes on to make some good points about how badly the Church deals with the media: Sunday before last, the priest at […]

Chris Matthews = Old Yeller

posted by jmcgee

Or so it seems, as he goes yelling after Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin over L’affair Kennedy. My two cents: Tobin should have known what he was in for. When you’re a Catholic bishop and a producer from MSNBC calls […]

Kennedy and Tobin: “Why now?”

posted by jmcgee

John Allen has a few interesting thoughts about the Patrick Kennedy-Bishop Thomas Tobin communion clash: I have no insider scoop to offer, but I can summarize here what I’ve been saying on-air: the most interesting question about the story isn’t […]

Quote of the day

posted by jmcgee

“For the archdiocese and Catholic Charities, two core tenets of our faith are at the heart of our concerns: our understanding of the nature of marriage and our commitment to expressing Christ’s love through service to others. Under the legislative […]

Cuomo: “God is not a celestial party chairman”

posted by jmcgee

Another high profile Catholic politician — and one who is no stranger to clashing with bishops — has added his two cents to the Kennedy-Tobin debate: Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo said Sunday that church leaders should be cautious […]

Kennedy says he is barred from receiving communion — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

One of the most publicized standoffs in what’s been dubbed the “wafer wars” has reportedly escalated: Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has forbidden Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion because of his advocacy […]

Bishop defends CCHD

posted by jmcgee

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development has gotten a lot of criticism of late (including, most prominently, from EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo). Now the bishop who oversees it is defending the organization: The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ subcommittee which oversees […]

Whispering with Rocco: a blogger’s take on the USCCB

posted by jmcgee

My gang at “Currents” got to chat with the legendary Rocco “Whispers in the Loggia” Palmo on Monday, to hear his take on the bishop’s confab that was then just starting in Baltimore. You can see and hear what he […]

Report: no link between gay priests and abuse

posted by jmcgee

I suspect this news will raise a few eyebrows — and spark some debate: A preliminary report commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops on the roots of the clergy sex abuse scandal found no evidence that gay priests are […]

Bishops pass marriage pastoral — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

This just in, from Charm City: Despite the concern voiced by some bishops about the document’s pastoral tone and content, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a pastoral letter on marriage Nov. 17. Nearly 100 changes in two rounds […]

Who is really Catholic?

posted by jmcgee

It turns out the U.S. bishops may soon be deciding the answer to that question. From David Gibson at Politics Daily: In remarks at the opening of the hierarchy’s annual meeting in Baltimore, Chicago Cardinal Francis George made it clear […]

Worth a thousand words: Tastykake edition

posted by jmcgee

This picture is destined to be a classic. Settling a World Series wager, Philly’s Cardinal Justin Rigali (right) hands off a big box of hometown Tastykakes to the Big Apple’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan. It’s a Kodak moment that is, in […]

Forgive us our syntax: bishops debate mass translation

posted by jmcgee

As the bishops gather in Baltimore this week, an important topic of discussion will be the new mass translation. Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette takes a look: Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie has led the charge against what he […]

Roll out the bishops

posted by jmcgee

Two big announcements from the Vatican today: In an unprecedented double-shot of Saturday appointments on these shores — and on the eve of the US bishops’ Baltimore plenary, no less — Pope Benedict has named: * Bishop Jerome Listecki of […]

“Health care legislation is about human beings…”

posted by jmcgee

“Health care legislation, with all its political, technical and economic aspects, is about human beings and hence has serious moral dimensions. Our focus is the concrete realities of families with children and their access to doctors, the poor and the […]

Act of Providence: Tobin’s letter to Kennedy

posted by jmcgee

In a rare public rebuke, the Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island has called a prominent member of his flock, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, to “conversion and repentence.” Bishop Thomas Tobin is publishing a letter to the congressman in the diocesan newspaper […]

Planned Parenthood: “The Catholic bishops drew a line in the sand”

posted by jmcgee

How big a role did the Church play in this weekend’s House vote on health care reform? Consider this: Injecting itself aggressively into the health-care debate, the Roman Catholic Church in America has emerged as a major political force with […]

Dolan vs. Dowd: the New York Times weighs in

posted by jmcgee

Last month, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan took on the New York Times in his blog — and had some particularly sharp words for columnist Maureen Dowd.  Now, the paper’s Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, has decided to look into Dolan’s […]

Tim takes on the Times

posted by jmcgee

That would be Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, who just posted a lively, and timely, attack on anti-Catholicism in general — and the New York Times in particular. He lists a number of compelling and frankly outrageous examples, […]

Dolan v. Rigali: wanna bet?

posted by jmcgee

This just in from the Bench’s Manhattan Desk.   It’s a joint release from the archbishops of New York and Philadelphia:  Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, have placed a friendly wager on […]

Move over, O’Malley…

posted by jmcgee

…Dolan’s got himself a blog.   H/T Rocco, of course.

The Burke Effect

posted by jmcgee

It appears the Vatican has a new kingmaker — or, at least, someone whose voice and views will be having a powerful impact on the American Church.   From the Catholic News Service:  Pope Benedict XVI’s naming of U.S. Archbishop […]

The Catholic Church and gays

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“The Church hates gay people.”  Well, judging from some of the comments around here, that’s the impression some people have.   It couldn’t be further from the truth.  For a clear and concise explanation of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, […]

Mourning “a priest’s priest”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Wilmington’s retired Bishop Michael Saltarelli died yesterday after a battle with cancer, and the local paper has an affectionate appreciation of his life and legacy.  It helps to remind us what being a bishop is all about:  With a strong […]

Quote of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“Liberals are critical of [authority], although they’ll use it when they’re in power. Conservatives would tend to be less critical, but equally dependent upon it. Consequently, when you get into the church, you get the conservatives unhappy because bishops aren’t […]

Bishops apologize to Jewish leaders for “feelings of hurt”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

After a few months of simmering tension, the Catholic bishops have offered Jewish leaders an olive branch:  U.S. Catholic bishops have tried to reassure Jewish leaders that interfaith dialogue will never be used as a means of proselytism or a […]

African bishop: Obama election may be “divine sign”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Well, that notion fits in nicely with those who seem to think of the new president as some sort of messiah: Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American President of the United States could be interpreted as a “divine sign,” […]

Vatican rep: free speech is not an obligation

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

We’re accustomed to defending all forms of free speech in this country.  But a Vatican archbishop is drawing a line in the sand:     While the freedom of expression is a right, states are not obliged to protect expression […]

Bishop charged with possessing child pornography

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

You see stuff like this, and words fail:   A Roman Catholic bishop who oversaw an historic settlement with victims of past sexual abuse by priests in Nova Scotia has been charged with possessing and importing child pornography. Bishop Raymond Lahey […]

A saint from California?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Maybe.  Evidence is being gathered to promote the cause for a bishop from Sacramento.   Details, from Scripps Howard:  In October 2007, Sara Sevilla eagerly awaited the test results that could explain why suddenly she had lost her sight. But […]

Barres in the booth: home run

posted by deacon greg kandra

A priest in Allentown, Pennsylvania sent this to me, and it’s just swell: Allentown’s new Bishop, John Barres, offering a little play-by-play at a recent baseball game. (Meantime, I gotta say that I’m delighted to discover that the Diocese of […]

Pray for a stimulus for Detroit’s Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

Like many dioceses today, Detroit is feeling the pinch of hard times — and the squeeze is now affecting huge numbers of archdiocesan staff. About a third of those on the payroll are being given their walking papers: It will […]

Sold: bishop’s mansion goes for $2 million

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another sign that an era has ended — at least, in Pittsburgh: The 39-room mansion in Squirrel Hill near the Shadyside border that housed Pittsburgh’s Catholic bishops for six decades has been sold to an undisclosed private trust for more […]

O’Malley on Kennedy funeral: “I considered it appropriate to represent the Church at this liturgy ” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has just posted on his blog a statement, explaining and defending his role in the Kennedy funeral last weekend: Saturday was the 39th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, at St. Augustine’s Church in Pittsburgh […]

Wuerl joins the battle against same-sex marriage

posted by deacon greg kandra

Washington’s Archbishop Donald Wuerl has now added his voice to the chorus opposing gay marriage. From the Washington Post: Wuerl sent a letter to 300 local Catholic priests Tuesday reminding them about the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, and he […]

“There were no good old days in the Church”

posted by deacon greg kandra

New York’s Archbishop found himself far from the Big Apple recently, but had some valuable thoughts on the subject of vocations — ideas that go beyond boundaries. From Tim Drake at the National Catholic Register: Over the weekend, 530 Serra […]

Martino: was he pushed? — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

A few people are starting to think so. And that, at least, is the assessment of this commentary over at Catholic Culture: No intelligent observer can credit the official explanation: that Bishop Martino retired because of health problems. The outgoing […]

“Fatigue” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

That is the one word summary for the sudden departure of Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino, who had more to say on the subject this morning at a news conference: After officially announcing his resignation this morning, Diocese of Scranton Bishop […]

Kennedy’s letter to the pope: “I know that I have been an imperfect human being” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone wondering what was in that letter that Ted Kennedy sent to the pope got a glimpse this afternoon, when Washington’s retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick read an excerpt at the graveside: McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, read from a letter […]

BREAKING NEWS: Bishop Martino resigns — WITH UPDATES

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a little bombshell that may have larger implications. One of America’s most outspoken and controversial bishops is stepping down: Bishop Joseph F. Martino will resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., as early as next week, according […]

Health care reform: “It is the great tension in Catholic thought right now”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The New York Times has picked up on something many of us noticed weeks ago: not all Catholic bishops are thrilled with proposed changes to health care: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been lobbying for three decades […]

“His legacy will be carried on through the lives of those he served”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“Today we mourn the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and we extend our heartfelt prayers and sincere condolences to his wife Victoria and their children, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran and Caroline. Senator Kennedy was blessed with a dedicated and […]

“This great truth about marriage…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In an unusual move, the bishops of an entire state have launched a campaign against same-sex marriage: Catholic bishops in New Jersey have begun a campaign against same-sex marriage in anticipation of a possible vote on the issue by state […]

“This declaration is antithetical to the very essence of Jewish-Christian dialogue”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A recent statement by U.S. bishops is causing controversy among some Jewish groups, according to this report: Major Jewish groups and rabbis from the three largest branches of American Judaism said Thursday that their relationship with Roman Catholic leaders is […]

When the chancellor is a she

posted by deacon greg kandra

There was some interesting news breaking when St. Louis got its new archbishop: he announced was bringing along a woman who’d worked with him in Saginaw to be his chancellor. That’s not unprecedented — lay people have been allowed to […]

His view from the pew: what a bishop saw at mass on vacation — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

How often do you find a bishop who takes the time to look thoughtfully — and critically — at what people encounter when they attend mass? So it’s all the more impressive to encounter this column by Rhode Island Bishop […]

“I call your attention to the ministry of deacons…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s gratifying and humbling when a bishops salutes those other members of the clergy who aren’t priests or bishops — and this week, Archbishop John Vlazny of Portland doffs his miter to deacons: Pope Benedict XVI has asked Catholics the […]

What will Benedict say to Barack?

posted by deacon greg kandra

“When we preach, we say you’re supposed to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. We believe in what you call the via media, the middle way. We would always condemn unbridled cutthroat capitalism as well as socialism. So we […]

Allentown gets an “indefatigable worker”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In Allentown, the local press is sitting up and taking notice of the diocese’s incoming bishop — and his story is certainly out-of-the-ordinary, with influences ranging from Lincoln to Sheen to JPII: Monsignor John Barres’ life must feel as unsettled […]

No push from bishops to “punish” Notre Dame over Obama honor

posted by deacon greg kandra

While the U.S. bishops are meeting in San Antonio this week, the subject of President Obama’s visit to Notre Dame came up. And as John Allen reports, it doesn’t appear the bishops are in any mood right now to take […]

“Mass in Thanksgiving for the Gift of Human Life” approved by bishops

posted by deacon greg kandra

An interesting development out of the bishops’ meeting in Texas: a special new mass liturgy may be heading our way before long. Take a look: Nearly 20 years after Cardinal John O’Connor of New York suggested it, the U.S. bishops […]

“Highly improbable but mindlessly entertaining”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The USCCB has weighed in with its own review of Ron Howard’s “Angels & Demons”: Highly improbable but mindlessly entertaining sequel to “The Da Vinci Code” – adapted from Dan Brown’s prequel written in 2000 — in which religious symbologist […]

Praise for Obama from Cardinal George

posted by deacon greg kandra

The leading archbishop who described President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame as “an extreme embarrassment” isn’t saying that anymore. Quite the opposite, in fact. Cardinal Francis George is now lauding one portion of the president’s speech, on the subject of […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I believe it important to acknowledge the fine example you have given in your married life and in your love and devotion to your children. The ideal of stable family life has long been a focus of interest for the […]

Weakland: Yep, I’m gay

posted by deacon greg kandra

For surprise value, this might be filed under “Dog Bites Man,” but it is noteworthy that a retired archbishop is writing about this part of his life so candidly: A Roman Catholic archbishop who resigned in 2002 over a sex […]

And now, Xavier

posted by deacon greg kandra

First Notre Dame, then Georgetown, and now Xavier, down in New Orleans. The list of Catholic institutions honoring pro-choice political figures — and sparking controversy as a result — continues to grow. From the Washington Post: Another bishop has declined […]

Fish on Friday?

posted by deacon greg kandra

It was a common Catholic practice for generations, but it may be on its way back. American Papist Tom Peters takes note of one small step in that direction from the bishop of Steubenville, who is “inviting” his flock to […]

Quote of the day

posted by deacon greg kandra

“You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to pray every day that I love the people of this new archdiocese. I hope that’s the kind of archbishop you want, because that’s the kind of archbishop I am.” – […]

“The only thing that shocked me was how short he was!”

posted by deacon greg kandra

I dropped by Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s blog this morning, and he had some wonderful pictures from the installation of Archbishop Dolan. The good cardinal seemed to agree with the assessment that in Dolan, the American Church has another gifted communicator […]

Archbishop Dolan steps up to the plate

posted by deacon greg kandra

The new archbishop of New York wasted no time getting to know the locals — taking in a ball game, visiting a food pantry, and rubbing elbows with his new flock. From the New York Daily News: After a week […]

Dolan=Sheen?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The new Archbishop of New York made quite a connection with the faithful in his first official homily — and drew a connection, as well, with another celebrated archbishop, as the New York Times reports: In his first homily as […]

“I aim to be a happy bishop”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Just hours from his formal installation, Archbishop Dolan has already taken a big bite out of the Big Apple, and to show that he’s settling in, he’s penned a column for the city’s fabled “Hometown Paper,” the New York Daily […]

Dolan speaks — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Before he takes The Chair at St. Patrick’s, Archbishop Timothy Dolan sat down in another chair, across from an Associated Press reporter, to share a few thoughts in this AP exclusive: Dolan said he wants to restore pride in being […]

Is the circus coming to South Bend?

posted by deacon greg kandra

One has to wonder, especially after reading this piece of news, from Catholic News Service: Calling the protests against President Barack Obama’s planned commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame “unseemly and unhelpful,” Bishop John M. D’Arcy of Fort […]

“I beg you — the church begs you — for forgiveness”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Pittsburgh papers have published a full account of the “service of apology” that unfolded there Tuesday. It sounds like it was wrenching and — in every sense — extraordinary: n an emotional “service of apology,” Bishop David A. Zubik […]

“One person at a time,” Milwaukee bids farewell to Dolan

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Milwaukee papers are bidding fond farewell to Archbishop Timothy Dolan, as he prepares to head east and knock on the door of St. Patrick’s next Tuesday night. This article has some great anecdotes: Stories abound of Dolan’s personal outreach, […]

The coming wave of new bishops

posted by deacon greg kandra

Want a new bishop in your diocese? Be patient. As the Los Angeles Times points out, several leading figures are nearing retirement age, and change is in the wind: With Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony prominently among them, many of […]

Egan hospitalized

posted by deacon greg kandra

It was a more-dramatic-than-usual Palm Sunday at St. Patrick’s, as Rocco reports, with updates: Cardinal Edward Egan was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital [late Saturday] after experiencing stomach pains… Doctors were running tests Sunday. Egan was awake and alert. Doctors […]

A designing deacon puts his stamp on Archbishop Dolan’s coat of arms

posted by deacon greg kandra

Below is a first glimpse (or second, thanks to Rocco) of Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s new coat of arms that will soon adorn St. Patrick’s. An explanation of what it all means — and a nod to the permanent deacon, Paul […]

Dolan on the Domers: “They made a big mistake”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“They made a big mistake. There’s a lot of things that President Obama does that we can find ourselves allied with and working with him on, and we have profound respect for him and pray with him and for him. […]

“I find the invitation very disappointing…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“I find the invitation very disappointing. Though I can understand the desire by a university to have the prestige of a commencement address by the President of the United States, the fundamental moral issue of the inestimable worth of the […]

Burke, irked

posted by deacon greg kandra

After visiting with Archbishop Burke a couple weeks back, and videotaping his remarks on communion and pro-choice politicians, passionate pro-lifer Randall Terry probably thought he was doing something noble by releasing the tape to the public. He thought wrong. The […]

“I have decided not to attend the graduation…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A short time ago, John D’Arcy, the bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend — the diocese of Notre Dame — issued a statement about the Obama commencement speech: On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that […]

Two presidents meet — Obama and George

posted by deacon greg kandra

Information is scarce, but it seems the leader of the free world had a chat today with the leader of the U.S. bishops. From CNS: President Barack Obama met for half an hour March 17 with Chicago Cardinal Francis E. […]

Pro-life leaders meet with Vatican officials, urge reassigning U.S. bishops

posted by deacon greg kandra

A reader sent along this piece of news: Randall Terry, Operation Rescue Founder, led a delegation of nine pro-life leaders in an unprecedented series of meetings with Vatican officials from March 2-6 in Rome. (Names below.) The reactions ranged from […]

Bishop to lead “Service of Apology”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In the final hours of Lent, the Bishop of Pittsburgh plans a remarkable and very public act of penance: Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik will lead a special “Service of Apology” on April 7 at 7 p.m. at Saint Paul […]

“It’s not called St. Patrick’s Cathedral for nothing”

posted by deacon greg kandra

When the new archbishop for New York was announced last week, it continued the unbroken tradition: an Irish leader for a cathedral named for an Irish saint. Could that one day change? This morning’s Times takes a look: Latinos account […]

When did Lent begin?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The cardinal archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Mahony, is suggesting to his flock that the answer is not what you might think. Here’s part of his 2009 Lenten message: According to the calendar, Ash Wednesday occurs this week and we […]

“A guy’s guy” heads to New York

posted by deacon greg kandra

I missed this when it ran the other day, but this Times piece on Archbishop Dolan zeroes in on part of his appeal — and why he just might be very good news for vocations: The big recruiters talk about […]

Another view of Dolan and deacons

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another reader, reacting to this post about a perceived slight by the new Archbishop of New York, dropped me a line, with a great story about Archbishop Dolan: [I’m] discerning a vocation to the permanent diaconate in a diocese that […]

Dolan: “I pledge to you my love, my life, my heart…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Courtesy the Loggia-Whisperer, the text of Archbishop Dolan’s remarks this morning to his new flock: Thank you, Cardinal Egan, for your gracious words of welcome. To know you are and will be at my side is a genuine blessing indeed. […]

The Church’s worst-kept secret… — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

…is finally out. And the Grey Lady has it on page one. UPDATE: Michael Sean Winters has this glowing first review: During his time in Milwaukee, Dolan has been a model of centrism. At the blog “Cheeky Pink Girl” there […]

“Longing for something? Maybe it’s God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With Lent looming, the Archdiocese of Washington is launching an innovative ad campaign to lure back some of the sheep who have strayed. From the Washington Post: The archdiocese has an estimated 580,000 Catholics, according to spokeswoman Susan Gibbs, but […]

Scranton threatens to close cathedral on St. Patrick’s Day

posted by deacon greg kandra

After making headlines last fall, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton is doing it again, and upping the ante in the pro-life battle. From the local press: In a letter to the heads of three local Irish organizations, the Roman Catholic […]

“He’s throwing out a life preserver, and I’m going to grab it”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last week, my own diocese announced a unique plan to save some Catholic schools threatened with closure: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn unveiled a proposal on Saturday to convert four Roman […]

“Human beings hold within them the light of eternity”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With all the buzz about Timothy Dolan these days, Rocco has taken a moment to put his episcopal career in context. He points to several key homilies, including this stem-winder, from Washington DC’s Red Mass in 2007: Summer, 2002, and […]

Dolin’ the dish on Dolan

posted by deacon greg kandra

Rocco passes along this tidbit, from a highly regarded reporter in Rome: The announcement should arrive shortly. And it regards the name of the successor of the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York, Edward Michael Egan. According to leaks collected by Il […]

“In the face of the media’s intense hatred of our Catholic faith…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s quite a storm brewing out in Illinois, involving allegations of sex abuse, lawyers, the bishop and, it seems, the media: Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky is lashing out at the news media and Illinois courts over the handling of sexual […]

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

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