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The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Ripped from the headlines Archives

Everybody slide down and make extra room in your pew…

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

More news late today on the Disturbance in the Force, i.e., rumblings of schism in the Church of England. Damien Thompson has the lowdown: The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, is to lead his fellow Anglo-Catholics from […]

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Anglicans vote for women bishops

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Life is about to get very interesting for members of the Church of England — an institution which seems on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Details right here: Members of its General Synod threw out compromise proposals on females […]

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“Miracle”: rescued hostage Betancourt to visit pope, Lourdes

posted by deacon greg kandra

The headline-making rescue of hostages from Columbia last week was more than just dramatic — it was also, it seems, divine. From Zenit: The Colombian bishops say their repeated exhortations to pray for kidnap victims is now an invitation to […]

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Report: Anglicans hold secret talks with Vatican

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is an astonishing bit of news, and could signal the beginning of the end of the Church of England as we know it: Senior Church of England bishops have held secret talks with Vatican officials to discuss the crisis […]

BREAKING NEWS: Pope approves miracle for Blessed Damien

posted by deacon greg kandra

It looks like the reports are true, and we are about to get a new saint. According to the AP: Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of a 19th century Belgian priest who ministered […]

Burglary at the archbishop’s residence

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I can’t remember ever hearing of anything like this before: an audacious break-in at an archbishop’s residence in Minnesota that resulted in the theft of some truly priceless objects: An overnight burglary at the St. Paul residence of new Archbishop […]

Chaput cracks down on clergy involvement in politics

posted by deacon greg kandra

Denver’s Archbishop — perhaps hoping to avoid the confusion and PR misery that followed L’Affair Pfleger in Chicago — is about to draw a line in the sand for his own priests on the subject of politics and the pulpit. […]

“Religion is one thing they encourage you to wear on your sleeve”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Are the U.S. service academies in the business of proselytizing? That seems to be the idea in this article from Wednesday’s New York Times — and, not surprisingly, not everyone is happy about it: Three years after a scandal at […]

The Italian job

posted by deacon greg kandra

Ordinarily, I’d say that any excuse to put Anne Hathaway’s picture on my blog is a good one. But there actually is a good reason for it: her ex-boyfriend is in big trouble, for claiming close connections to the Vatican: […]

How Christian readers made “The Shack” a smash

posted by deacon greg kandra

In the unlikeliest of places — the New York Times — they had a story today about the unlikeliest of best-sellers, a Christian novel about God’s love. Take a look: Eckhart Tolle may have Oprah Winfrey, but “The Shack” has […]

Carlin at his best: “Baseball vs. Football”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Around the newsroom today, more than a few people have said, “You know, his last HBO special wasn’t that good. He was pretty angry and bitter at the end.” But to appreciate George Carlin and his talent, look no further […]

America’s faith: “3,000 miles wide and three inches deep”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Those busy people at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life have released more details of their ongoing study of what we Americans believe. Seems that we believe what we know — but what we know may not be […]

Pfleger returns

posted by deacon greg kandra

Obama’s controversial priest, who tore into Hillary Clinton a few weeks back and ended up suspended as a result, is back. Fr. Michael Pfleger returned to the pulpit at his home parish yesterday, and the Chicago Tribune was there: Comparing […]

More on the Legionaries in Baltimore

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A few days back, John Allen interviewed Baltimore’s Archbishop, who had some pretty stern words about the controversial Legionaries of Christ. I posted an item on it, and got some interesting responses. Allen has now published a follow-up in this […]

“Trouble in Madison”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That was the subject line on an e-mail I received from a deacon friend, who forwarded me this article from a newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. I hadn’t heard anything about it, but it looks like something we should keep an […]

The Pact

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Much has been written, and debated, about the bewildering news that 17 teenage girls from Gloucester, Massachusetts evidently made a pact to get pregnant. This is a tragedy. But, as this post over at Beliefnet reminds us, it may also […]

Voice of the Faithful weighs in on women priests

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A few weeks back, the Vatican decided to draw a line in the sand over the ordination of women as priests. Women who had been ordained illicitly and invalidly were to be automatically excommunicated. Now, Voice of the Faithful has […]

“Raised by Jesuits”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The invaluable James Martin over at America has reminded us of something easily overlooked: Tim Russert was “an honorary Jesuit” who was educated by Jesuits, and spoke often at Jesuit commencements: Russert seemed to embody a certain ideal of Jesuit […]

Flying the faith-filled skies. Or not.

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Anyone who’s flown lately knows that we have a lot to pray about. “Dear God, please don’t let them cancel my flight.” “Heavenly Father, I pray my bag does not have to be checked and that I don’t have to […]

Charm City less-than-charmed by Legionaries of Christ

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the most famous — some might say, infamous — religious orders in the world is getting something of a cold shoulder from the Archbishop of Baltimore. John Allen reports, from this week’s NCR: Demanding what he calls greater […]

“He’s a great guy and a great priest”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That’s the sentiment expressed below about a priest who was falsely accused of sexual misconduct — and has finally been cleared. I couldn’t agree more. I know this priest. He traveled with us to Italy on pilgrimage in 2004. I […]

Another priest crosses the line

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Elsewhere, I posted about the priest who spoke at Barack Obama’s church last Sunday, and the furor that’s causing. But get a load of this: Msgr. Jim Lisante, former head of the Christophers, and a pastor in the Diocese of […]

War’s other casualties, the chaplains

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a story we don’t hear told often enough — about life as a chaplain serving the soldiers, who are serving us, in Iraq: On a recent morning, an Army chaplain, Lt. Col. Richard E. Brunk Jr., met with a […]

Buh-bye: women priests formally excommunicated

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Women who consider themselves ordained in the Catholic Church can now consider themselves not ordained — and not Catholic. Here’s how Reuters reports the news: The Vatican issued its most explicit decree so far against the ordination of women priests […]

Priest bans autistic boy from parish – UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this story, out of Minnesota. I’m sure the priest must have very good reasons for choosing this course of action. But if I had to ask myself WWJD … well, I don’t […]

“Shenanigans”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

An astute writer over at the Washington Post’s On Faith blog has taken a hard look at the Catholic League, and the recent dust-up over John Hagee. The writer is, in a word, skeptical: The Catholic League is not the […]

First Jewish woman, first Muslim woman receive degrees from Catholic Theological Union

posted by deacon greg kandra

If this isn’t an interesting sign of the times, I don’t know what is. From the Chicago Tribune: As a teen, Sarah Bier traveled from Chicago to Israel to learn more about Judaism. But her journey to the Holy Land, […]

From “The Wanderer” to “The Thunderer”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Did you know St. Jerome has a connection to doo-wop? This, from today’s New York Times: An Italian-American bluesman records a song in Florida. An Irish-American disc jockey plays it at a radio station in Woodstock, N.Y. He tells a […]

St. ET?

posted by deacon greg kandra

This intriguing story takes the idea of the New Evangelization to whole new galaxy. Literally. From the AP: Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican’s chief astronomer said in an […]

Chaput: on priests, politics and battling “pastoral despair”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A nice blogger friend sent this my way last week, and I finally got around to reading it. Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput on politics, priests, laity and a lot of other important things. It’s just superb: Catholic leadership in the […]

A Catholic funeral for a killer?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Years ago, I can remember the debate that raged over whether John Gotti should receive a Catholic funeral and burial. But now comes this story out of Iowa. See what you think: The Catholic Church’s decision to grant Steven Sueppel […]

Katie Couric picks Randy Pausch for Time’s list

posted by deacon greg kandra

A gal in my office was asked to suggest a name for Time magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People. She picked someone who is a hero of mine — and a fellow I’ve written about frequently on the blog […]

Catholic leaders barred from Western Wall for wearing crosses

posted by deacon greg kandra

Several years ago, my wife and I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. When we got off the bus at the Western Wall to pray, a woman stopped us and told us we had to either take off our […]

Chilly Autumn

posted by deacon greg kandra

This stirred up attention some months back, and some people thought the Royal involved would give up any claim to the throne for the woman he loved. Evidently, no, according to the Times of London: Peter Phillips, the Queen’s eldest […]

Archbishop bars prominent priest as canon lawyer

posted by deacon greg kandra

This news will likely be raising some eyebrows, since the man in question is one of the most prominent, outspoken and uncompromising voices working as an advocate for victims of clerical sex abuse: Saying Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle had “failed […]

The Rudy-Egan flap: “More like gossip than news”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some New Yorkers, from the Rockville Center diocese, are now weighing in on the Rudy-Egan flap. Newsday has some reaction: Heading into the noon Mass at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre Tuesday, Anne-Marie Patton said she had no doubts […]

Americans rank high in “bible literacy”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Do you know your bible? It turns out, a lot of Americans do — and we’re faring better than people in other countries, according to this report: Americans are among the world’s most ‘Bible-literate’ people and Spaniards, French and Italians […]

BULLETIN: Egan “regrets” that Giuliani received communion

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Well, this bit of news is interesting — and it will be even more interesting to see how it plays out over the next few days: Moments ago, Edward Cardinal Egan issued a statement saying he deeply regrets former mayor […]

Benedict’s book: “We are known by name to the Lord”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The photograph above shows two pages of the extraordinary book that was presented to Pope Benedict, containing the names of victims of sexual abuse. The Boston Globe has a riveting account of how the book was created, with the story […]

The victims recall their meeting with the pope

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

If you’re wondering what transpired between the pope and the victimsof sex abuse whom he met during his visit, check out this remarkable story: Olan Horne, 48, a survivor of clerical sex abuse, believes that Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to […]

Benedict’s impact? “It will be seismic”

posted by deacon greg kandra

People are doing the inevitable Monday morning quarterbacking after the Pope’s visit — but nearly everyone is giving him raves. This piece nicely captures a lot of different voices and perceptions, from USA Today: Benedict XVI celebrated Mass before a […]

Catholics “smitten” by Penecostals

posted by deacon greg kandra

We’ve heard much about the Latino influence on the American Catholic Church — and how the tide of immigrants is replenishing the faith. But not all of those who come to this country Catholic remain in the Church. And the […]

The pope and the abuse victims: how it happened

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

All you have to do is read the lead in the Boston Globe’s exclusive to realize this is a Big Deal: Pope Benedict XVI, in a dramatic move likely to alter forever the image of his pontificate, met this afternoon […]

Healing after Virginia Tech: “Purpose and hope – the raw ingredients of happiness”

posted by deacon greg kandra

While much of Catholic America is fixing its gaze on the pontiff, as he speeds his way to the U.S., this remarkable story from today’s New York Times caught my eye. It’s timed to another significant event, tomorrow’s one year […]

Are Catholics happy campers?

posted by deacon greg kandra

By and large, yes. Days before the pope hits the States, a new survey takes the temperature of his American flock: According to the survey, eight out of 10 people are very satisfied or at least somewhat satisfied with how […]

Dwindling Catholic school enrollment: “A slow-moving disaster”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A new report paints the clearest picture yet of what is happening in Catholic education — and what isn’t. USA Today has a snapshot: For years, parents at St. Joseph School, a tiny Catholic school in Petersburg, Va., have fretted […]

DC pulls bobblehead pope ad

posted by deacon greg kandra

Personally, I think this sounds clever and cute. But others, I guess, disagreed. From the AP: The transportation agency for the nation’s capital has pulled a promotional video from YouTube after the Archdiocese of Washington complained about the star: a […]

William F. Buckley remembered as “truly touched by the grace of God”

posted by deacon greg kandra

What can you say about a man who said everything so remarkably well? This, from Catholic News Service: Mourners remembered William F. Buckley Jr. at an April 4 memorial Mass as a man of deep faith and unfailing confidence in […]

From tragedy, a lesson in forgiveness

posted by deacon greg kandra

You read stories like this and you cannot help but stirred by the human capacity to forgive. It’s from the New York Times, with a big fat hat tip to Rod Dreher at Beliefnet: For more than a quarter mile, […]

Hard times ahead for the Big Easy

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Hot on the heels of the news out of Camden, another diocese — in fact, an archdiocese — is bracing for massive “restructuring,” i.e., parish closings and mergers. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune: Archbishop Alfred Hughes on Saturday began asking […]

The faithful few: a snapshot of Catholics in Japan

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a corner of Catholicism we don’t often hear about: Japan. The New York Times reports on how the faith there is surviving, even as churches are dwindling: Fringed with sheer cliffs and the narrowest strips of flat land, covered […]

Camden announces largest closing of parishes in the country

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It may have not made big headlines, but I have no doubt it stunned a good many people in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey: a massive restructuring of the diocese that will see fully half of the parishes shuttered. […]

“To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world”

posted by deacon greg kandra

It remains, to my thinking, one of the great speeches of the last century. And it deserves attention again today. It’s Robert F. Kennedy’s improvised remarks in Indianpolis, delivered 40 years ago today, announcing the news of the assasination of […]

When the CEO is Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s not every day that you encounter the CEO of a major corporation who is also a devout Catholic. But the Associated Press just ran this intriguing profile of the new head of Eli Lilly and Co., and it bears […]

Majority of priests in Belleville call on bishop to resign

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is some pretty astonishing news: most of the priests in one prominent American diocese have called for their bishop to step down: When dozens of priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville met Wednesday in Germantown to discuss […]

Chiara Lubich dies

posted by deacon greg kandra

This moved a short time ago on the Catholic News Service: Chiara Lubich, the 88-year-old founder and perpetually smiling symbol of the Focolare movement, died early March 14 in her room near the Focolare headquarters in Rocca di Papa, south […]

Dueling headlines

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Social Encyclical Won’t Be Ready Before Summer Social Encyclical Due May 1?

BULLETIN: Kidnapped Iraqi archbishop found dead

posted by deacon greg kandra

Tragic and horrifying news. From the New York Times report: The body of the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho, who was kidnapped by gunmen in Mosul late last month as he drove home after afternoon mass, was […]

Spitzer’s other scandal: his abortion bill

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

With all the news buzzing today about New York governor Eliot Spitzer, it’s perhaps useful to look at his recently proposed legislation on the issue of abortion. It’s set alarm bells ringing throughout the state. My parish is one of […]

“Here comes everybody”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That was what James Joyce once said about the Catholic Church. It’s still that way, and we’re still “everybody” — a motley and wonderful bunch of saints and sinners, marching toward something we hope (despite all our obvious flaws) is […]

Mormons apologize for “inexcusable” disrespect toward Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

This hasn’t gotten too much attention outside Utah, but it should. The picture below is part of a series of controversial photographs which have been criticized for showing disrespect toward Catholicism by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of […]

Judge not? An aspiring deacon’s dilemma

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

In New Jersey, a nominee for the state’s Superior Court happens to be a man training to become a Catholic deacon. And that may cause a conflict, according to this South Jersey paper: A judge in Middlesex County who is […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

New York governor Eliot Spitzer and his wife Silda, March 10, 2008. Photo: by Mary Altaffer, AP

Foul ball?

posted by deacon greg kandra

What on earth does basketball have to do with Marcel Lefebvre? When it comes to a recent controversy in Kansas, a lot. The item below is from the Washington Post’s On Faith section: It’s easy to dismiss what happened in […]

A cardinal’s life, by George

posted by deacon greg kandra

What is it like to be a prince of the Church? The Chicago Tribune has taken the time to answer that question with a rich, in-depth look at a day in the life of Cardinal Francis George: The cardinal archbishop […]

A new monastery in Cuba?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

An astonishing bit of news from the Havana Desk: Cuba has invited the Catholic Church to open a new monastery on the island and a German Benedictine order said Wednesday it would send four monks to establish a “spiritual centre.”The […]

Moses the druggie?

posted by deacon greg kandra

And now, from our Psychedelic Desk, this bit of weirdness, which just crossed the wire: High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published […]

Three cheers for old Martin Sheen

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the most prominent and outspoken Catholic actors — and one of America’s most vocal advocates for the poor and disenfranchised — is about to receive an honor from the country’s most famous Catholic university. From the Associated Press: […]

Doing double duty

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you want to know what it’s like to be a priest in America in the early years of the 21st century, this piece from Pennsylvania may give you an idea: The Rev. Steven Palsa of St. Philomena Catholic Church […]

What creates ex-Catholics? — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That’s the serious, but provocative, question Rod Dreher posed in his blog this morning, springboarding off yesterday’s report from the Pew Forum: Why do you think people leave the Catholic Church? We tend to accept the explanation that suits what […]

Losing our religion

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some news today on religion in America — and it’s not all good. Americans are, on the whole, faith-filled people. But their loyalties are in flux: The U.S. religious marketplace is extremely volatile, with nearly half of American adults leaving […]

The Catholic town without a Catholic parish

posted by deacon greg kandra

The people who have settled in at the Catholic town of Ave Maria in Florida are facing a curious contradiction. They don’t have, officially, a parish: For four years, the idea of a parish in Ave Maria has been on […]

Vote for Obama = go to hell?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A Catholic journalist in the Washington Post is asking the question that may be on a few Catholic minds these days: is voting for Barack Obama a sin? Like most Maryland Democrats, I voted for Sen. Barack Obama in the […]

French priest chronicles “Holocaust by Bullets”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Generations after the Holocaust left its mark on the world, there are still new chapters being written about that dark moment in history. The Chicago Tribune today has news of a French priest helping to tell the story: At first […]

Rabbi weighs in on Tridentine “mass hysteria”

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing, on all sides, over the Pope’s revision of a prayer in the Tridentine Rite which mentions the Jews. Now, a leading rabbi has offered his thoughts in the Jewish Daily Forward: In […]

Condom nation — and condemnation

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A commentator over at Bloomberg is suggesting that the real problem facing the poor of the Philippines is that they’re having too many babies. And he blames the Church. So, of course, he has a latex solution: “The most unprepossessing […]

Bill Clinton: “If you were really pro-life, you’d want to put every doctor in prison”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is a remarkable piece of political theater: President Clinton blows up at a pro-life heckler at one of his wife’s rallies. You can read more details at this link, and there’s a brief MSNBC field report right here. h/t […]

“In Spain, it’s harder to cut down a tree than commit an abortion”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Here’s an eye-opener from across the Atlantic, courtesy the Associated Press: After same-sex marriage and fast-track divorce, Spain’s social revolution has hit a roadblock — abortion. The abortion law, severely restrictive during Gen. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship of the predominantly Roman […]

Gee, ya think?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A high-ranking Vatican official has put his finger on a big problem with the modern priesthood: The prefect of the Congregation for Religious has lamented that many Catholic priests are neglecting their duties under the pressure of conforming to secular […]

Reading, writing, religion: a snapshot of young Catholics today

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’re wondering what’s up with the next generation of American Catholics, you might find one answer right here: College-aged Catholics are much less inclined to go to church or rely on authority figures than their elder counterparts, reports William […]

Unmarried, pregnant…and fired — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What happens when an unmarried teacher in a Catholic school finds herself pregnant? A paper in Minnesota explains: Emily Prigge was in her first year of teaching fifth grade at St. Felix School in Wabasha when she found out she’s […]

Ain’t that a kick in the head?

posted by deacon greg kandra

And I mean, a kick in the ashes. Sometimes, it’s hard to know where reality ends and satire begins. Evidently, this weird news isn’t satire: Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the “Christian Ramadan” in an attempt to […]

“Do not cross”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This news is not exactly the sort of thing you want to read as you’re getting ready to head to mass on Sunday morning. But it’s happening more and more: Armed sheriff’s deputies removed the last man from the Catholic […]

Quasimodo?

posted by deacon greg kandra

For anyone who’s ever wondered who really rings the bells at Notre-Dame, today’s New York Times has the answer: Stéphane Urbain stood leaning against a heavy wood frame high in the north tower of Notre-Dame, wrapped in a navy blue […]

Something to give up for Lent: money

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’re looking for more reasons to give up something for Lent, a sociology professor is throwing in her two cents. And, speaking of money, it’s all about the economy, stupid: A University of New Hampshire professor claims that Lent […]

BULLETIN: Maciel dead

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

From the AP: VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Rev. Marcial Maciel, a Mexican priest who founded the Legionaries of Christ religious order and was disciplined by Pope Benedict XVI after sex abuse allegations, has died in the United States, his […]

Hiring Obama — and becoming Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s a story that hasn’t been reported very much: Barack Obama’s mentor, who converted to Catholicism. Busted Halo has the scoop: In the early 1980s, when Jerry Kellman interviewed a young, idealistic Ivy League graduate for a $10,000 a year […]

Sanctuary

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That is exactly what the immigrant in this story is seeking — and for the time being, a Methodist church is willing to provide it: A Mexican woman says she is “picking up the torch” from another illegal resident who […]

Lift high the cross

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is an interesting wrinkle in this election year — and I’m sure Massachusetts isn’t the only place confronting this issue: A Catholic church serving as a polling location won’t have to cover up religious images on election day. Officials […]

Majerus plays defense, goes silent

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, as expected, the Burke-Majerus feud is escalating, and others around St. Louis are starting to weigh in: A Roman Catholic archbishop’s call this week for Saint Louis University to discipline its popular basketball coach for publicly supporting abortion rights […]

St. Louis coach: “My value judgment happens to differ from the archbishop’s”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Well, here’s the latest on the controversy swirling around the St. Louis University basketball coach who is pro-Hillary, pro-abortion, and pro-embryonic stem cell research, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Surprised by the reaction to his pro-choice, pro-embryonic stem cell research […]

ESPN host opens mouth, swallows foot, nearly chokes

posted by deacon greg kandra

This outrageous incident is starting to get more and more attention — and deservedly so: According to some news and sports websites, ESPN anchorwoman Dana Jacobson graphically attacked Jesus Christ at a recent roast of her colleagues; she was reportedly […]

Showdown?

posted by deacon greg kandra

If it comes to a showdown between one of America’s most successful college basketball coaches and one of the country’s most outspoken Catholic bishops, who do you think will win? Whispers in the Loggia flagged this story yesterday. Here’s the […]

Flip that chancery

posted by deacon greg kandra

Seems Cardinal Roger Mahony has recently completed a little real estate transaction: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has sold its 12-story chancery on Wilshire Boulevard to help pay part of the costs of a record-breaking $660 million lawsuit settlement with […]

Debating “the issue of the generation”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That issue, of course, is abortion. And the Catholic News Agency today filed this report of a remarkable debate on the issue that just took place in Colorado: A Catholic-sponsored debate about the ethics of abortion packed hundreds into an […]

The pride of black Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

As we celebrate and honor the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., a Catholic paper in Rhode Island is taking a look at black Catholicism in America: John A. Daluz has seen many changes in his life, many of which […]

That all may be one

posted by deacon greg kandra

Has the ecumenical movement lost steam? That’s the big question behind Peter Steinfels’ column this Saturday, marking the centennary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. A snip from the New York Times: In many countries, Christians deeply devoted […]

Reversing sterilization: one family’s story

posted by deacon greg kandra

And now for something completely different — and utterly surprising: the story of a Georgia couple who reversed a sterilization procedure, and welcomed a bouncing baby boy: Etched into David Hanson’s memory is the image of his wife, Catherine, having […]

Abortion rate lowest in 30 years

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Just in time for the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, some surprising but very encouraging news on the abortion front today, from the Chicago Tribune: The abortion rate in the United States has fallen to its lowest level since 1974, […]

John Allen’s top 10 list: neglected stories of 2007

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The sage John Allen last week posted this chin-scratcher, and it’s worth a read: his picks for the 10 most neglected Vatican-related stories of 2007. From NCR: Every society has its shorthand ways of signaling what it considers important. At […]

Meet Fr. Michael Seed, Tony Blair’s priest

posted by deacon greg kandra

A British paper has what may be the best “get” of this still-young year: an interview with the man who helped bring Tony Blair into the Catholic Church: Father Michael Seed may be, according to his great friend Ann Widdecombe, […]

A stray bullet, a stricken child: “We will not be terrorized by this”

posted by deacon greg kandra

God’s ways are not our own — and tragedies like this one can only serve to deepen the sense of mystery that surrounds His plan. Take, and read, and pray: Fifth-grader Christopher Rodriguez sat down Thursday at his piano for […]

Fast food icon Carl Karcher dies

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone who’s driven through southern California knows the familiar bright signs of Carl’s Jr. Hamburgers. They’re almost as ubiquitous as McDonald’s. But word came today that the founder of that fast food empire — a devout Catholic, to boot — […]

“Today, religion is a choice, a cafeteria choice”

posted by deacon greg kandra

How can the church appeal to the young? That’s a question on a lot of minds these days, and this piece from the Cleveland Plain Dealer looks at a few answers: There are a lot of differences between the late […]

George Bush’s Catholic pilgrimage

posted by deacon greg kandra

A friend sent this item my way with the question: “Do you think he’ll convert after he leaves office?” I suppose anything is possible. It does seem that the president enjoys hanging out with nuns and priests and assorted Catholics, […]

A booming biblical school for Catholics in Dallas

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s some intriguing news from Texas, about a thriving school for ministry at the University of Dallas. The biggest surprise? It’s for Catholics: Brian Schmisek grew up full of questions – especially about his faith. Early on, he wanted to […]

The bible as business: teaching church management

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Villanova has embarked on something unusual: an M.B.A. program in church management. The Wall Street Journal has the scoop: The reputations of many Roman Catholic parishes have been tarnished in recent years, both by the priest sex-abuse scandals and a […]

Is Huckabee striking a chord with Catholics?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Apparently not. The man who won the Iowa caucus appears to have a bit of a Catholic problem, according to this interesting analysis in the blogosphere. A color coded map at the link tells the stark story: This suggests that […]

Extreme makeover: the NFP edition

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some savvy person decided that Natural Family Planning (NFP) needed a facelift. Or a makeover. Or something. And the Catholic Spirit newspaper is reporting on the results: For years, many of the engaged and newly-married couples receiving instruction in natural […]

Following a star … or two

posted by deacon greg kandra

With Epiphany Sunday upon us, we’ll all be following The Star — but a few people are already following other stars, some bold-letter ones who are slipping in and out of church in a bid to rehabilitate their image: Forget […]

Huckabee and Chesterton: together in Iowa

posted by deacon greg kandra

Did anyone else notice Mike Huckabee’s unusual quote last night in his Iowa victory speech? A Baptist minister running for president quoted a British convert to Catholicism, G.K. Chesterton: “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in […]

Don’t worry. Be happy.

posted by deacon greg kandra

And you will be, after you see and hear this amazing rendition of “Ave Maria,” by Bobby Ferrin. Hat tip to New Advent for linking to it, and to Alive and Young for first posting it. It’s just wonderful. Enjoy.

Cleared

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here’s some remarkable coverage of a story that we don’t hear often enough: a priest accused of sex abuse has been cleared: Christmas came two days early this week for parishioners of Our Lady of the Rosary Church when their […]

Greeley: “I’m Catholic. You got a problem with that?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With an eye toward today’s caucusing in Iowa, and an ear on the heightened religious rhetoric of the campaign, Andrew Greeley is offering a few thoughts — not all of them warm: I’m a Catholic. You got a problem with […]

“It was a year that strode boldly into the stall of human events and took a wide stance…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of my annual pleasures, on the last Sunday of the year, is sitting down and laughing until my sides hurt from reading Dave Barry’s annual round-up of the year-in-review. If anyone missed it this year, it’s at the link. […]

Lest we forget

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

We continue to live in an age of martyrdom. That much seems clear from this succinct report by CWN: At least 21 Catholic priests, deacons, religious, and seminarians died for the faith in 2007, the Fides news service reports. Each […]

Tony Blair = St. Paul?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I suspect we’ll be hearing more and more about Tony Blair’s conversion, as more experts and friends and enemies weigh in. Today’s nugget: from Ruth Gledhill, religion correspondent from the London Times, who spoke with one of the priests who […]

O, star of wonder…

posted by deacon greg kandra

People have been wondering about that star, the one that guided the magi, for 20 centuries, and now an astronomer at Notre Dame is giving it a shot: His quest: discovering just what “the star in the East” was that […]

Man protests commercialism by crucifying Santa

posted by deacon greg kandra

Whenever I think I’ve seen everything, someone comes along to prove me wrong. Such is the case with this unbelievable display in Washington State: If you’ve stood in one line too many at the mall as you watched your bank […]

It started at Downing Street…

posted by deacon greg kandra

More details are seeping out about Tony Blair’s conversion. This piece from the Guardian says that he actually began instruction before leaving his job as prime minister: Tony Blair began formal instructions to convert officially to Roman Catholicism four months […]

Stressed out about December 25th? Blame the pagans

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Most scholars agree that Christ probably wasn’t born on December 25th — and possibly not even in the winter. Now a historian has put forth an intriguing theory about the first December 25 Christmas: The church where the tradition of […]

It’s official: Tony Blair is Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

After months, if not years, of speculation, Tony Blair has crossed the Tiber. The report from the Times of London: The former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been received into the Roman Catholic Church. Mr Blair was received into full […]

It depends on how you define “indecent”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The priest who is accused of wandering around Colorado in The Altogether says he is altogether innocent: The Rev. Robert Whipkey, a Catholic priest accused of walking naked down a Frederick street in June, has pleaded not guilty to indecent […]

Maryland deacon charged with incest

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Grim news from the Archdiocese of Washington, where a deacon has been charged with sex abuse: Police have charged a Roman Catholic deacon with incest for allegedly abusing an underage female relative in the 1960s and 1970s. Dan Paul Stallings […]

Nature’s balancing act: a pregnancy puzzle solved?

posted by deacon greg kandra

For all those who are, were, or ever will be pregnant, here’s some fascinating news: scientists (who evidently have too much time on their hands) have figured out why women who are preggers don’t fall over when they stand up: […]

To err is human. To correct, hilarious.

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Straying momentarily from the world of religion, I just thought this was too funny not to post: the best typos and media blunders of 2007. A sample: In an article in Monday’s newspaper, there may have been a misperception about […]

The steadfast faith of Iraq’s Catholics

posted by deacon greg kandra

As we know, these are dire times for Christians in Baghdad. But in this season of hope, hope does spring eternal. The AP reports: The worshippers were searched at the door and snipers stood guard on the roof, but Sunday’s […]

Is anti-Catholicism the new anti-Semitism?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some thoughtful people are beginning to argue that it is — and it’s not hard to see their point, when you scan the list of popular movies and books. Author Phillip Jenkins has even argued it is “the last acceptable […]

Why Romney is no JFK

posted by deacon greg kandra

While the media watches and wonders what Mitt Romney will have to say tomorrow in his “religion speech”, at least one person is taking the time and trouble to remind us that there are significant political and theological differences between […]

Flip this archdiocese

posted by deacon greg kandra

You can’t surf cable TV anymore without finding a show about “house flipping” — turning over some piece of property for tidy profit. Now a version of this seems to be playing out in Boston, where the former cardinal’s residence […]

A Muslim in Iraq: “Tell me more about Jesus”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Every now and then, a conversion story hits you so hard you just stop and go “Whoa.” That pretty much sums up my reaction to this remarkable item from the Catholic News Agency. A stringer went over to Iraq and […]

Women priests: “We don’t feel we have to defend ourselves”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Two women who were “ordained” last month had their first “mass” last weekend. The Kansas City Star has details: Rose Marie Hudson and Elsie McGrath were ordained Nov. 11 by a bishop of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests group, in defiance […]

“I’ll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

In Great Britain, they’ve found a novel way to use 21st century technology in the service of a 1st century message: ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ is likely to become the most favoured carol in Catholic parishes up and down […]

Grieving for Sean Taylor: “The whole earth just shook here”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The death of Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins was a shock to fans and friends — and to the other players on the team. How do you cope with a loss like that? The Washington Post spoke with the […]

The Church’s “spiritual response” to HIV

posted by deacon greg kandra

I remember the reports that circulated after the death of New York’s John Cardinal O’Connor: though few people knew about it, he had spent many nights at a local AIDS ward, anonymously, bathing the sick and emptying their bedpans. No […]

Flashback: Kennedy’s “religion speech” of 1960

posted by deacon greg kandra

Amid reports that Mitt Romney is poised to give his own “religion speech” — perhaps trying to dispel any lingering misgivings about his Mormon faith — The Boston Globe has just reprinted John F. Kennedy’s own “religion speech” from 1960. […]

Hostage suspect at Clinton HQ claimed sex abuse by priest

posted by deacon greg kandra

The story, when it unfolded Friday, was bizarre. Now, it’s become something else — something sad, and more than a little bit shocking: The suspect arrested for allegedly holding hostages at Sen. Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire presidential campaign headquarters claimed […]

Lost in translation: the real meaning of the “Gospel of Judas”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Remember the Gospel of Judas? Well, an op-ed piece in the New York Times this morning says, in effect: forget it. The translators, it seems, played fast and loose with the material: Amid much publicity last year, the National Geographic […]

The thing with feathers

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The ink is still damp, but here’s Pope Benedict’s new encyclical, Saved By Hope. John Allen’s report is right here. Snip: We need the greater and lesser hopes that keep us going day by day,” Benedict writes in Spe Salvi, […]

Abortion’s other victims: the fathers

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A couple months ago, I posted an item on helping fathers who had been through abortions. Now, the first national conference on this issue is underway in California: The Reclaiming Fatherhood Conference, co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the […]

In Baghdad: “Things are the most difficult they’ve ever been for Christians”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A leading Christian in Iraq is speaking out about conditions there — and, not surprisingly, the picture he paints is grim: An Anglican clergyman in Baghdad, who has seen his flock murdered and forced into exile by Muslim extremists, says […]

Parish hopes to “bless” homosexual partners

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I can’t imagine this initiative will fly, but you never know: St. Francis Cabrini church, of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese, has announced on their website that they are ready to “bless” homosexual partners. The parish has published a […]

The deacon with a badge

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’ve always been impressed at the surprisingly large number of cops and former cops who find themselves attracted to the diaconate. There are a number of them in the Diocese of Brooklyn — each enthusiastically continuing the vocation to serve […]

Aboriginal artist will provide designs for World Youth Day

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some news from the other side of the world: Australia has chosen a native son to provide some of the important artwork that will be on display for World Youth Day 2008: The work of Richard Campbell, an Australian from […]

Greeley: “I wonder if it’s proper to impose our view on a society that doesn’t agree with us”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Andrew Greeley has weighed in on the bishops’ document on “Faithful Citizenship” and, as always, he has some provocative points: If we are to believe the media, the Catholic bishops warned American Catholics that if they voted for a candidate […]

Is Iran’s secret weapon the pope?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

We all know the pope has his hands full these days, what with Advent about to begin and the new encyclical about to be signed. But now something else has dropped into his “in” box: Iran. This comes to us […]

Remembering the Vietnamese martyrs

posted by deacon greg kandra

In a tradition that seems to be spreading, thousands of Vietnamese gathered this weekend in California to celebrate and commemorate the martyrs who were canonized nearly 20 years ago. The Los Angeles Times takes note: Several thousand Vietnamese American Roman […]

“The goal of a Christian life isn’t to be a priest, but to be a saint.”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It seems barely a week goes by without another story or two about women being “ordained” as Catholic priests. Now a woman, and a nun at that, has published a book on women and ordination. And Sister Sara Butler isn’t […]

“Good times never seemed so good…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

When I was in high school, one of my teachers — a nun — loved this song. We thought she was incredibly hip. Now, according to press reports, it has even more meaning than any of us pimply teenagers imagined […]

Breaking news: a stem cell breakthrough that spares embryos

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This bit of news from the world of science is potentially huge — and could have important significance both medically and morally: Scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling […]

“I’m thankful to be alive”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Thanksgiving and the holidays can be a difficult time for many of us. This year, the Associated Press profiles several families coping with tragedy — but counting their blessings: When American families gather together this week to give thanks for […]

The mind boggles

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

You read news like this and don’t know where to begin to understand it, or even explain it: Three boys ages 8 and 9 were being held Monday in a detention center on charges of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old […]

Roadside crosses in the crosshairs

posted by deacon greg kandra

An interesting controversy has erupted in Utah over a classic Christian symbol. The Salt Lake Tribune reports: A federal judge today heard arguments on whether the placement of 13 crosses on government land along Utah highways to memorialize fallen Highway […]

Jesuits to pay out record settlement in sex abuse cases

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

News broke over the weekend that the Jesuits will be coughing up some $50 million to more than 100 Alaskans who say they were sexually abused by members of the order. The payout is huge — not just financially, but […]

Democrats react to Cardinal O’Malley with silence

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Boston Globe went searching for some reaction, anything, to Cardinal O’Malley’s slap the other day at pro-abortion Democrats. They didn’t find much. The silence, perhaps, was telling: In 1935, Governor James Michael Curley was pushing hard for a bill […]

Sisters of Bethany find a new home with Episcopal nuns

posted by deacon greg kandra

Readers may remember the story of the Sisters of Bethany, who were forced to pack up and move after the record sex abuse settlement in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The sisters have now been offered a new place to […]

Priest convicted of sex abuse fights expulsion from Jesuits

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Jesuit priest who was convicted of sex abuse is back in the news. Seems he’s not going without a fight: The Rev. Donald J. McGuire, convicted of molesting two boys, said Wednesday that he’s fighting an effort by Chicago’s […]

Baltimore Archbishop: priest who resigned can return to ministry after counseling

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Archbishop of Baltimore has spoken out about the controversy surrounding a pastor who was relieved of his duties over liberties he took with the liturgy. The Baltimore Sun chatted with Archbishop O’Brien during the USCCB confab in Charm City: […]

George: “This is not about the safety of children; it’s about money”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The man who is pegged to soon head the USCCB is coming under increasing fire for his handling of sex abuse cases in Chicago — and a just-published piece of correspondence is adding ammunition: Cardinal Francis George and one of […]

Veterans Day: a chaplain remembers

posted by deacon greg kandra

This Veterans Day brings us this meditation from a veteran, and a Jesuit, William Blazek, SJ, MD, courtesy the Washington Post’s On Faith section: One thing that has always struck this veteran about those who serve our nation in the […]

That ordination in St. Louis: “God loves us, just ask Her” – UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

To paraphrase Britney Spears: oops, they did it again. Two women took part in what was billed as an ordination rite in St. Louis. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: To the Roman Catholic Church, the ceremony was not an ordination. […]

Neighbors express “outrage” over Baltimore priest’s resignation

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Last week’s item about the Baltimore pastor removed for liturgical abuse has prompted some strong reaction here on the blog — and in the streets of Charm City, as well. The Baltimore Sun has just published a followup: Much has […]

Pastor removed for another kind of abuse

posted by deacon greg kandra

It was bound to happen sooner or later. A priest has been sacked for abuse. No, not that kind. Liturgical abuse. From CWN, via the Baltimore Sun: Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin O’Brien has removed a pastor who invited a female Episcopalian […]

Back from Iraq: a mother’s story

posted by deacon greg kandra

I know a few journalists who have been to Iraq, and they always come home with astounding tales to tell. But nothing can quite compare to the stories of the soldiers on the ground, who spend months at a time […]

Just in time for Christmas

posted by deacon greg kandra

The rumblings about Tony Blair’s conversion to Catholicism are getting louder. Now, the British press is pounding the drums, and sounding awfully certain: Tony Blair will convert to Roman Catholicism within weeks when he is received into the church by […]

Bishop: let’s legalize prostitution

posted by deacon greg kandra

Yes, you read that right. A bishop in Great Britain has offered a modest proposal for controlling prostitution: Legalize it: A Roman Catholic bishop in the city of Portsmouth is backing a campaign to legalise brothels without in any way […]

Being pro-life: “The Church does not view abortion in isolation”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer has a few words on what it truly means to be pro-life, from the always-compelling Boston theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill. Not everyone will agree with what she has to say, but it’s worth pondering. Key snip: […]

Priest charged with stalking Conan O’Brien

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of television’s most famous Irish Catholics has been getting some unwanted attention from a member of the clergy, according to the AP: A priest has been arrested on charges of stalking late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien by writing […]

Lay Catholics release statement on “divisively partisan” politics

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

With the political season heating up, and the U.S. bishops planning to meet next week, some American Catholics are clearing their throats and asking for “civility”: A bipartisan group of American Catholics has issued a call for “civility in political […]

EWTN priest steps down over relationship with widow

posted by deacon greg kandra

This news escaped my attention earlier this week, but it’s quite a surprise, coming from one of EWTN’s most visible personalties. According to the letter read on the air the other day: Dear Family: Regretfully, I have a message that […]

Does Georgetown need an exorcist?

posted by deacon greg kandra

You can’t blame some folks for wondering. The fabled setting for the book and movie “The Exorcist” has sometimes seemed possessed by spirits that aren’t altogether Catholic. And there’s been even more controversy at the home of the Hoyas lately, […]

Glendon picked for Vatican post

posted by deacon greg kandra

To the surprise of virtually no one, President Bush has selected a Harvard professor as his new ambassador to the Vatican: President Bush plans to nominate Harvard University law professor Mary Ann Glendon to be his new U.S. ambassador to […]

Priest admits: yep, he’s gay

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A priest in Philadelphia couldn’t contain himself this weekend and, according to the blog Creative Minority Report, he felt he had something he had to share: A priest at a Jesuit University in Philadelphia announced he was gay during Mass […]

Banning bibles in Beijing

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Anyone planning to attend the Beijing Olympics next year will have to leave any dangerous and potentially lethal weapons at home. Things like, you know, your bible: Organizers of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing have published a list of “prohibited […]

Prominent Jesuit arrested and charged with sex abuse

posted by deacon greg kandra

Five years after it began, the grim news continues: A prominent Jesuit priest accused of sexually victimizing teenage boys who were his valets as he traveled the world leading Roman Catholic spiritual retreats was taken into federal custody yesterday in […]

A parish sit-in that’s lasted three years

posted by deacon greg kandra

In 2004, a group of angry parishioners in Massachusetts began a sit-in at their parish to protest its closing. They’re still there. From The Boston Globe: It has been three years since the Archdiocese of Boston, as part of its […]

There goes the neighborhood: the vanishing ethnic parishes

posted by deacon greg kandra

We’re seeing it here in Brooklyn, and it’s happening everywhere: ethnic parishes, built by the blood, sweat and tears of Slavs, Italians, Poles and Germans, are rapidly disappearing. Immigrants are moving to the suburbs, and their children are scattering. Here’s […]

Going Dutch: inventing their own mass in Holland?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

In some places, it seems, the era of liturgical innovation is far from over. And one of those places is Holland. Sandro Magister from Rome has done a little digging into what is happening to Catholicism in the land of […]

Was Padre Pio a fraud?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A few weeks ago, some people were running in circles with their hair on fire, saying Mother Teresa was an atheist and a fraud. Now, it seems, they’re doing the same thing about Padre Pio and his stigmata: John XXIII […]

“It’s devastating to see”: mission church destroyed in California fire

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The news seems to be improving for Southern California — but for many families, and many communities, the damage is done. That includes an Indian reservation where a mission church was destroyed. From CNS: A Catholic church on an Indian […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Malibu, California. By Phil McCarten, Reuters.

Anti-abortion AND pro-choice?

posted by deacon greg kandra

A pal sent this my way, and I’m tossing it out for general perusal and discussion — particularly as it applies to a certain Catholic (or two) running for President. Can you be anti-abortion, but also pro-choice? See what Michael […]

California burning

posted by deacon greg kandra

The firestorm in California has displaced hundreds of thousands of people — and swept away homes, memories and lives. As it so often does, Catholic Charities is stepping in to help: While reports of the fires raging through Southern California […]

Catholic-Muslim dialogue: “Our common belief in one God of mercy”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A remarkable event took place in Michigan recently: an experiment at dialogue between Muslims and Catholics, which resulted in a promising — inspiring, even — document. The Detroit News has this report: Prayerful dialogue rarely attracts the attention conferred on […]

Faith of our (founding) fathers: America’s Christian roots

posted by deacon greg kandra

Is America a Christian nation? It is, if you agree with Dinesh D’Souza. He’s just published a book on the subject and has a column in USA TODAY addressing America’s religious roots: We seem to be witnessing an aggressive attempt […]

The Holocaust’s other victims

posted by deacon greg kandra

A newspaper in Florida has a report on a group of Holocaust survivors seeking historical recognition — and many are not whom you’d expect. They are Polish Catholics, who were also sent to the camps: Michael Preisler’s arm still bears […]

The remarkable rise of Bobby Jindal

posted by deacon greg kandra

It’s hard not to like the story of this (as the New York Times puts it) “improbable” candidate for governor in Louisiana — a Catholic convert who could could give a completely new face to politics in the American south: […]

He’s got a little list

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That bit of patter from “The Mikado” could describe Italy’s most notorious cleric. Seems that priest who got into a little trouble last weekend may be ready to cause a little trouble of his own: A high profile Vatican cleric […]

Waldorf salad: Blair, Egan, Bloomberg at the Al Smith Dinner

posted by deacon greg kandra

Last night was the legendary Al Smith dinner here in New York, where a certain former British Prime Minister (who, rumors insist, is considering becoming a Catholic, and a deacon at that) was the keynote speaker. How’d it go? Let’s […]

The Colbert effect?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I’m not sure that this news didn’t have something to do with it…but there’s word this morning that pro-life Catholic candidate Sam Brownback may drop out of the race for the White House: Republican Sam Brownback will drop out of […]

“You don’t deny the sacrament to someone who requests it”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The controversy over what happened nearly two weeks ago in a San Francisco church is continuing, with others now adding their two cents. The San Francisco Chronicle has the story, with some background: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, founded in […]

Adam and Eve and Africa

posted by deacon greg kandra

Is it possible the capital of Eden was…Capetown? Some scientists seem to think so, according to The Independent: Primitive humans who inhabited the coast of South Africa 165,000 years ago and lived on a diet rich in shellfish could be […]

Is the S-CHIP bill pro-life?

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s been a lot of discussion and debate lately about the controversial S-CHIP plan to provide health care for low-income families. Now, a group of Catholics has weighed in on the subject, and Ryan Anderson at the Weekly Standard has […]

Cough it up

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The latest, from San Diego, via the AP: The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego is asking parishioners to donate $25 million to help pay for its $198.1 million settlement with childhood sex abuse victims. The diocesan headquarters and a […]

Scalia: “There is no such thing as a ‘Catholic judge'”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Recently, Clarence Thomas has been making headlines with his new autobiography. Now, another Supreme Court Justice has stepped into the limelight — and he’s talking about faith: Devout U.S. Catholics like himself may stand apart from much of the nation […]

Catholics for Hillary?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The always thought-provoking Deal Hudson is provoking thought this week on the subject of Hillary Clinton and Catholics. He wonders who is to blame if Hillary collects the Catholic vote next year: “If Giuliani and Clinton are the nominees, then […]

Motu Proprio II: The Empire Strikes Back

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Rumblings from Rome indicate a follow-up document is coming — a sequel, if you will — that may clarify the motu proprio and perhaps clear up a few misunderstandings: The Ecclesia Dei commission is preparing a new document on the […]

The Bishop’s Wife

posted by deacon greg kandra

This has only the faintest echoes of the classic movie starring David Niven, Cary Grant and Loretta Young. But it does involve a curious spiritual triangle, as an Irish Anglican bishop finds himself in somewhat awkward circumstances: The wife of […]

Catholics coping with infertility

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s stellar religion reporter, Ann Rogers, this morning tackles a topic rarely discussed in the Catholic Church: infertility. But it’s a subject of increasing interest, and concern, among many couples who are waiting longer to get married or […]

Would you give communion to them?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, it’s gotten a fair amount of attention in the blogosphere, and even on TV, where no less a luminary than Bill O’Reilly took note of it. I’m referring, of course, to San Francisco’s archbishop giving communion to the two […]

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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