Advertisement

The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

The Pope And Bishops Archives

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 […]

Advertisement

“There is no better time for repentance” — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

“The crisis of authority endures. There has been some accountability for the abusers, but not nearly enough for the bishops who enabled them. And now the shadow of past sins threatens to engulf this papacy. Popes do not resign. But […]

Advertisement

Why the whip?

posted by jmcgee

The news that Pope John Paul evidently engaged in self-mortification — whipping himself as a form of penance — has sparked some curiosity about this ancient practice. The BBC has some background: Flagellation is the beating or whipping of the […]

Advertisement

And now, England gets ready for a really Big Ben

posted by deacon greg kandra

As in Benedict the Pope, who is reportedly headed to England next year: Pope Benedict XVI is to visit Britain in 2010, the BBC has learned. It will be the first papal visit to Britain since 1982, when Pope John […]

Bono and the pope: an encore?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The celebrated rocker knows his way around the Vatican, and he’s no stranger to papal audiences (see the photo above.) And a report indicates may meet with John Paul’s successor later this year: Bono has been invited to meet with […]

John Paul, Laborer

posted by deacon greg kandra

Every time I see this picture, of Karol Wojtyla, I’m struck by the family resemblance. My father looked like that. And his father before him — a man who worked in the coal mines of Pennsylvania along with countless other […]

Popcorn with the pontiff: Benedict as film critic

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope had some warm words recently for a TV film about one of his favorite saints: Pope Benedict XVI praised a made-for-television movie dedicated to St. Augustine, saying the two-part miniseries “represents every aspect of the human life experience […]

On the pope and the media

posted by deacon greg kandra

Most people might not consider Pope Benedict a Great Communicator, on a par with his predecessor Pope John Paul. But as John Thavis at CNS notes, the pontiff has a deeper understanding of the media and communications, and even mentioned […]

Pope fractures wrist

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those of you waiting for your personally autographed copy of the latest encyclical may have to wait a while. This just in, from the hills of northern Italy: Pope Benedict XVI has suffered a small fracture to his wrist after […]

“Truly cordial”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those are the two words used by the Vatican to describe the meeting between President Obama and Pope Benedict. NCR’s John Allen has details: When President Barack Obama came calling on Pope Benedict XVI today, the two men enjoyed a […]

The pope and the president: a first report — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

From Catholic News Service: Pope Benedict XVI welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama to the Vatican July 10, and the two discussed world issues addressed at the Group of Eight summit. As they met, Obama told the pope, “It’s a great […]

Different strokes

posted by deacon greg kandra

That might be how one could sum up what are seemingly two differing views of President Obama, one from the Vatican and the other from U.S. bishops: Ever since he took office, President Obama has been given a cold reception […]

When Benedict meets Barack

posted by deacon greg kandra

With President Obama and Pope Benedict about to have their first face-to-face meeting tomorrow, commentators are weighing in on What It Will Mean. Here’s the WaPo’s (Catholic columnist) E.J. Dionne: Whether he is the beneficiary of providence or merely good […]

Will anyone care about “Caritas”?

posted by deacon greg kandra

After many months of delay, Pope Benedict’s third encyclical arrives tomorrow. And at least one observer is asking: “Will anybody care?” In the days leading up to this week’s scheduled release of Pope Benedict XVI’s latest encyclical, there’s been a […]

A 10-year-old from Long Island meets the pope: “I thought it was cool!”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Were you nervous?“Yes!”Did you pray last night?“Yes!”Your outfit is perfect.“My mother picked it out!”What is Pope Benedict XVI like?“Nice! Really nice!”Did the Pope say anything?“Yes!”What did he say?“God bless!”Did you say anything to him?“I said ‘God bless you.’ And ‘thank […]

“This pope didn’t come as a German pope…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

“The speeches of the pope were of enormous importance to everybody, not only to us, but to everybody. What he contributed at Yad Vashem was a completely different approach which was an enrichment to the culture of memory, and it […]

Heart and soul

posted by deacon greg kandra

Seems the pope has a new doctor, according to CNS: Pope Benedict XVI has chosen as his new personal physician a cardiologist with strong ties to the Vatican. Dr. Patrizio Polisca, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Rome’s Tor Vergata […]

The latest on Benedict in the Holy Land…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…can be found at this terrific site. Schedules, comments, homilies, you name it. It’s an offshoot of this fan site, which is also a small treasure trove of Ratzingeriana. PHOTO: The Pope arrives to celebrate mass in Amman, Jordan, May […]

“Prayer is a true force”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope met the press yesterday — again — chatting with reporters on the flight to Jordan and answering a few questions about the Middle East. At one point, he was asked about how the Church might contribute to the […]

Swiss Miss: Vatican’s legendary guard may admit women

posted by deacon greg kandra

Could one of the most famous all-male bastions at the Vatican be ready to welcome women into the ranks? Maybe: The Vatican’s Swiss Guards will swear in 32 new recruits Wednesday amid suggestions from their new commander that women might […]

Agca says he’s now a Catholic

posted by deacon greg kandra

Stranger things have happened. But reports from Italy say the man who attempted to assassinate the pope has converted to Catholicism. From the website CathNews: In a letter written from a Turkish prison, Mehmet Ali Agca, author of the failed […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict visits survivors of the devastating earthquake in L’Aquila. You can read more about it here. PHOTO:  from Sky News

Wojtyla’s “Rule for Spouses” revealed

posted by deacon greg kandra

This news strikes me as something that could be wonderfully beneficial for couples preparing for marriage — not to mention, those already married. From Catholic News Agency: In its Thursday printed edition, the Italian daily Il Messagero published an unknown […]

Hope from the pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

“‘Hoping against hope: is this not a magnificent description of a Christian? Africa is called to hope through you and in you! With Jesus Christ, who trod the African soil, Africa can become the continent of hope! We are all […]

Q: “Is the Church’s position on fighting AIDS ineffective and unrealistic?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A: “I would say the opposite. I think that the reality that is most effective, the most present and the strongest in the fight against AIDS, is precisely that of the Catholic Church, with its programs and its diversity. I […]

Papal fashion, c. 1980

posted by deacon greg kandra

While Pope Benedict prepares to depart on his first trip to Africa, it’s interesting to flashback to his predecessor’s trip to the continent nearly 30 years ago. John Paul visited six countries on his first tour — and offered some […]

An apology from the pope: “A mishap I sincerely regret”

posted by deacon greg kandra

As has been widely reported, Pope Benedict penned a letter to the world’s bishops about the Williamson boondoggle — and expressed regret for how it was handled. You can read the entire text here. A snip: One mishap for me […]

Upon this rock

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict is poised to make some history when he visits the Holy Land this spring, according to the Associated Press: Pope Benedict XVI will show solidarity with Jews and Muslims during his first papal trip to the Holy Land […]

Pope to baptize California woman at Easter Vigil

posted by deacon greg kandra

Continuing his custom, Pope Benedict plans to baptize a number of new Catholics at the Easter Vigil this year — and one of them will be a woman from California. CNS reports: This year, parishioners at St. Joseph Church in […]

PR and the pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

Another voice has weighed in with criticism of how the Vatican gets out its message — or, more often, doesn’t. Noted Catholic editor Philip Lawler offered his thoughts in an Op-Ed piece for this morning’s USA TODAY: “We didn’t control […]

Benedict speaks, and the Speaker listens — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

If you’re wondering what the Holy Father had to say to the Speaker of the House, Whispers has a glimpse: Following the General Audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, […]

Cardinal George flashback: “We have a unique situation in America, for good or for ill…”

posted by deacon greg kandra

While the hand-wringing continues over the planned meeting between Nancy Pelosi and Pope Benedict, I thought it might be instructive to look at an item that John Allen posted in the pages of NCR five years ago: In January 2001, […]

On Pelosi and the Pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

By now, you’ve probably heard reports that the Speaker of the House is planning to meet with Pope Benedict. As of right now, it’s unconfirmed. The Washington Post — the source for the story — reports: If working on NATO […]

Report: Pope Benedict heading to Holy Land this spring

posted by deacon greg kandra

Some interesting and timely news out of Rome early this morning: Two months after his trip to Africa, the Holy Father is scheduled to visit the Middle East where he will see the place of Jesus’ baptism, a mosque in […]

Merkel to pope: let’s talk

posted by deacon greg kandra

Two famous Germans — one a chancellor, the other a pope — chatted on the phone Sunday. They didn’t talk about the weather. From the AP: The German chancellor called the pope Sunday, days after she demanded he clarify the […]

Ben and ‘Bam: more in common than we think?

posted by deacon greg kandra

The venerable John Allen speculates that Barack Obama and Pope Benedict, while poles apart on some important issues, still share some common ground: The prevailing view in the Vatican leadership, even among Benedict and his conservative supporters, seems to be […]

Vatican to SSPX bishop: recant — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Vatican has upped the ante in the case involving a prominent member of the SSPX who denies the Holocaust: The Vatican demanded Wednesday that a bishop who denied the Holocaust recant his positions before being fully admitted into the […]

USCCB on SSPX

posted by deacon greg kandra

The U.S. bishops have just released a statement on the SSPX debacle: Statement of Cardinal Francis George, President USCCB Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the personal penalty of excommunication incurred by four schismatic bishops belonging to the Priestly Society of […]

And it’s a good way to shed those last pounds from Christmas…

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope, today, on fasting: Pope Benedict XVI says fasting is important for modern Catholics because it helps make them aware of the deprived state in which many people live. Benedict says that through fasting “we make a statement that […]

More SSPX fallout: “It’s particularly disturbing, in that he is also a German pope” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Monday, there was still more fallout now from the pope’s decision to lift the excommunications of four SSPX bishops: A leading member of Germany’s Jewish community said Monday that Benedict XVI, the German-born pope and leader of more than a […]

Pope decries “pessimism” of annulments

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict is evidently trying to crack down on what he perceives as a growing number of easily-received annulments: Granting marriage annulments too easily and without real cause plays into a modern form of pessimism that basically says human beings […]

But can you use it on Fridays during Lent?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I’ve received no less than three e-mails today with this image (you can click to enlarge). It comes from the blog Creative Minority Report:

A little message from the folks at SSPX

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone curious about what SSPX thinks about the Pope’s recent decision to lift their bishops’ excommunication should take a glance at the SSPX literature. They contend they were… a) never really excommunicated. b) not really in schism. But wait, there’s […]

Pope: Journalists should bear “silent witness” with “serenity of conscience”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope offered a few words recently to a group of Catholic journalists, and they’re worth reading and pondering: Benedict XVI has sent a message to participants in the national congress of the Italian Catholic Press Union (UCSI). The congress, […]

“It is scandalous that someone of this stature in the Church denies the Holocaust” — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

“The reinstatement is an internal Church matter. However, it is scandalous that someone of this stature in the Church denies the Holocaust. Denial of the Holocaust not only insults the survivors, memory of the victims, and the Righteous Among the […]

A schism ends, a controvery erupts — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

This little bit of news, about the Pope’s reinstatement of four SSPX bishops, is raising a few eyebrows. Jeff Israely, at TIME magazine, takes a closer look: Pope Benedict XVI has reinstated four bishops from an archconservative breakaway wing of […]

YouTube? MePope

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Vatican’s very own YouTube channel debuted today. Very snazzy. Take a look. Now, if they could just do something about that awful Vatican website.

The Vatican and Obama: “What is it that Rome doesn’t get?”

posted by deacon greg kandra

With a new president now working in The Oval, commentators have started looking at how he will get along with the Vatican — and vice versa. From CNS: The Vatican has struck a positive tone as it opens relations with […]

And now, a word from the pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

Benedict sent a cable to the new president on this historic day: ON THE OCCASION OF YOUR INAUGURATION AS THE FORTY-FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA I OFFER CORDIAL GOOD WISHES, TOGETHER WITH THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS […]

Vatican cuts deal for its own channel on YouTube

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope is taking another big leap into new media: The Vatican will soon have its own channel on the video sharing site YouTube where the Catholic faithful or the curious will be able to see Pope Benedict or Church […]

The sins that only the pope can forgive

posted by deacon greg kandra

Few Catholics are aware of it, but now there’s word that the Vatican is lifting the veil on a secretive panel which deals with only the most serious of sins: One of the Vatican’s most secrecy shrouded tribunals, which handles […]

“A tale with plenty of cliffhangers”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A new book is taking a fresh look at one of the landmark events of the 20th century, and the New York Times’ Peter Steinfels offers a preview: Was the Second Vatican Council, as the cultural historian the Rev. John […]

Benedict’s message to Barack

posted by deacon greg kandra

The always-interesting John Allen has some insight and context in today’s New York Times regarding the Vatican’s new document Dignitas Personae: The roughly 67 million Catholics in the United States make up nearly one-quarter of the American population, but just […]

On Benedict’s tree: it’s REALLY green

posted by deacon greg kandra

When it comes to Christmas trees, some of us are still trying to untangle the lights and keep the dog from lifting his leg on the trunk. But those wise souls at the Vatican are already thinking ahead to what […]

Can you rent it at Netflix?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict continues to use every modern tool he can to spread The Word. The pope who sent text messages at World Youth Day is now using another tool for the New Evangelization: In preparation for Christmas, Pope Benedict XVI […]

A day in the life

posted by deacon greg kandra

What’s it like to be an archbishop? Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston lets us know regularly in his engaging, self-named blog. And now Wilton Gregory of Atlanta is getting into the act, with a lengthy look at one day in […]

All wrapped up for Christmas

posted by deacon greg kandra

Below is a casual little snapshot of Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Toledo, Spain, just hanging out with some of his pals. Cardinal Llovera was just tapped to succeed Francis Arinze as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and […]

Speaking of altar servers…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…maybe she’s been reading my mind (or reading my blog?) but Amy Welborn has been inspired to link to this very good address by the pope to altar servers from 2006: Dear Altar Servers, you are, in fact, already apostles […]

An audience with the pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

Ever been to a papal audience? Amy Welborn has — and she posted this neat little account, with pictures, over at her blog. I’ve been to two of them — one in St. Peter’s Square, the other in the Paul […]

“Any one of us would consider it a privilege to die tomorrow to bring about an end to abortion”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The bishops meeting in Baltimore is about to produce its most important and timely document, probably later today. From the Washington Post: The nation’s Catholic bishops Tuesday approved a statement declaring that if the Democratic-controlled Congress and the incoming Obama […]

“You thank the Lord today for the gift of your child…”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

This is a not-insignificant development down at the bishop’s gathering in Baltimore — and one that we can only hope will have far-reaching acceptance and implications: In a gesture with clear implications for debates over abortion, the U.S. bishops this […]

O’Malley on Obama

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The always-interesting Michael Paulson at the Boston Globe has just posted an interview with Beantown’s cardinal archbishop, Sean O’Malley, in which he discusses the election, abortion, and a raftload of other things: Q: So many bishops spoke out on abortion […]

“It ain’t easy being a bishop”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Periodically during this election cycle I’ve wondered: “Why on earth would anyone want to be President?” And now I’m wondering the same thing about the job of bishop. Once, it was a job with plentiful perks; but increasingly, it’s all […]

B16: “Congrats!”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The man elected yesterday to be the leader of the free world received a congratulatory message today from someone who’s above his pay grade: Pope Benedict XVI sent a personal message to President-elect Barack Obama Nov. 5, congratulating him and […]

Allam: “Extremism and terrorism” are mature fruits of Islam

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

You probably remember the Muslim Who Became A Catholic earlier this year, when baptized by Pope Benedict during the Easter Vigil. He hasn’t forgotten his Muslim roots, and is speaking out: The Muslim-born journalist baptized by Pope Benedict XVI at […]

What would Fr. Louis say?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Fr. Louis, of course, being Thomas Merton — who might raise an eyebrow over the historic naming of a Trappist to be a bishop. From Whispers: On Saturday, the Pope named Dom Yvon Moreau, abbot of Notre Dame du Lac […]

Another “intrinsic evil”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

While abortion gets most of the press — and the lion’s share of attention from the nation’s bishops — there is another hallmark issue of this particular election that has gone largely undiscussed by the hierarchy. Until now. Writing in […]

How about calling it “Benedict’s Bench”?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

One of the more innovative and modern ideas to come out of the Synod of Bishops is one that at least one American bishop has already embraced: blogging. From Zenit: One of the auditors at the world Synod of Bishops […]

Barack’s bishop

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Yes, there is one who is a fairly vocal supporter of the Illinois senator. But he’s not an American. He’s Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, in Africa. Rocco has the scoop, and this quote: “Of course I believe that abortion […]

Scranton bishop: “Pro-choice candidates support homicide”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It’s now less than 30 days to what may be the most critical election in decades — and the Catholic Church is kicking it up a notch. From Sunday’s New York Times: As the Roman Catholic Church observes its annual […]

Affairs of state, French edition

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Even as the world celebrates the feast of one of France’s greatest saints, the country known as the church’s “eldest daughter” is roiled in an embarassing diplomatic mess. From a French news service: France has settled on an envoy to […]

Little Joey Ratzinger: “A lively child, but not an earthquake”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

If you want to know what Pope Benedict was like as a little boy, just ask his brother. So, someone did. And a rare and revealing interview with the other Ratzinger priest has now been published: In an interview by […]

A modest proposal for the pope

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

With the world economy on the brink of calamity, if not collapse, here’s an idea. It comes to us from Austin Ivereigh at the blog of America magazine, In All Things: The task: to recover the connection between money and […]

Promoting “respect, dialogue, friendship” in the media

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Vatican has issued its theme for the upcoming World Communications Day — traditionally marked on the Sunday before Pentecost, when the era of Christian communication began. From Zenit: The theme chosen by Benedict XVI for World Communications Day reflects […]

“The gift of dynamic, zealous preaching is rarely given to the lazy”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What’s it like for a priest from Pennsylvania to become an archbishop in Kentucky? John Allen has a pretty interesting interview with Louisville’s Joseph Kurtz, in which he talks about southern Catholicism, the importance of vocations — he’s a real […]

Mass disappearance in Michigan

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

One Michigan diocese is struggling with some familiar problems — less money, fewer priests, crumbling churches — and is taking steps to address those issues. First up: eliminating at least one mass at every parish. Here’s more, from the Jackson […]

Bishops to candidates: can we talk?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The answer, for now, seems to be…maybe. From the Catholic News Agency: Leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have invited both major party presidential candidates to meet with them before the election, reportedly to discuss social issues. […]

Pssssst? Want a free iPod? Read this

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Only hours after I blogged about the U.S. bishops’ voters’ guide, I stumbled across this bit of news. They’re trying to entice people to read it — and using a decidedly unorthodox (ahem) way to get attention: In an effort […]

Pope Benedict: “I love France”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

On his way to France to visit Paris and Lourdes, the pope followed his now-familiar custom of wandering to the back of the plane to chat with the press. He spoke in French about the country he was about to […]

Biden’s new bishop responds

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The new bishop of Wilmington has just weighed in with his own statement about the Bungling of Biden. He basically points to the USCCB statement on the affair and says, “Yeah, what they said.” And then he appends this little […]

Bishops blast Biden

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Late yesterday, the U.S. bishops released their weekly smackdown of a prominent American Catholic pol. And Washington’s Archbishop Wuerl added his own voice, in a letter to his priests: Our Catholic faith proclaims what is already written in our human […]

Biden on abortion: “For me to impose my judgment is inappropriate”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

First, Pelosi, now Biden. Another prominent American Catholic politician is wading into deep — and hot — water over the issue of abortion. And it happened, once again, in remarks made on “Meet the Press.” This time, it was Delaware […]

The Speaker accepts: Pelosi to meet with her archbishop

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Hours after San Francisco’s Archbishop published a letter, inviting the most prominent member of his flock for a friendly chat about abortion, the Speaker of the House accepted. This, from the AP: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, under fire from U.S. […]

A bishop prays at the GOP convention

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

It didn’t get much attention, but Wednesday night the Bishop of Orlando, Thomas Wenski, delivered a prayer at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Take a look at what he had to say:

Niederauer on Pelosi

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Better late than never: Nancy Pelosi’s archbishop has finally weighed in with his response to her controversial and much-criticized appearance on “Meet the Press.” Near the end of his long statement, after pointing out the mistakes, misstatements and outright falsehoods […]

Heralding “Love in Truth”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Pope Benedict is about to release his third encyclical — and it might be time to consider these as comprising a Blessed Trinity, dealing as they do with Love, Hope and Truth. Amazon has a listing for the new letter […]

When Benny met Ingrid

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The world’s most famous former hostage finally met with Pope Benedict on Monday, in a dramatic encounter full of emotion. From Reuters: Freed French-Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt hugged Pope Benedict on Monday and told him how she was overcome with […]

Happy Labor Day, from Pope John Paul

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Karol Wojtyla, as a young factory worker in Poland. “I come from your midst. I come from the quarries of Zakrzowek, from the Solvay furnaces in Borek Falecki, and then from Nowa Huta. Through all these surroundings, through my own […]

Remembering the OTHER Pope John Paul

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

He only served for 33 days, but he is being remembered as “the other Pope John Paul,” on the 30th anniversary of his election. From CNS: Thirty years ago Aug. 26, a conclave of 111 cardinals elected Italian Cardinal Albino […]

Rhode Island bishop: stop the raids

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The bishop overseeing America’s smallest state is making some big news this morning. This crackled over the wire a short time ago: Rhode Island’s Roman Catholic bishop is calling on U.S. authorities to halt mass immigration raids and says agents […]

Benedict: I used to be “more severe” — UPDATED

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The full transcript of this exchange should be interesting reading. But for now, we have to content ourselves with this account, via John Allen: Pope Benedict XVI told a group of priests yesterday that he was once “more severe” in […]

O’Malley at 5 — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Hard to believe, but it’s been five years since Sean O’Malley became the Archbishop of Boston, replacing the notorious Bernard Law, who had left in disgrace several months earlier. I’ll be up front about this: I’m an O’Malley fan. (It’s […]

Meet the new “Pope of the People”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Benedict’s predecessor was known for being “the people’s pope,” but this report from Sydney suggests someone else may now be able to claim that title: The shy professor of theology turned cardinal, chief inquisitor and keeper of the Catholic faith […]

“I am deeply sorry”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Those four words were spoken by Pope Benedict Saturday, in a dramatic and widely anticipated gesture that may help heal some deep wounds in the Australian church. The AP has the story right here: Pope Benedict XVI apologized Saturday to […]

WYD: a letter from Sydney

posted by deacon greg kandra

A deacon from Sydney, Australia by the name of Elliott Casalegno sent me the following dispatch. It’s a great ground’s-eye view of what it’s like to be a part of this remarkable event. Read, and enjoy: It is my first […]

Picture of a man enjoying his job

posted by deacon greg kandra

G’day!

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict, clearly getting into the Australian swing of things, as he begins World Youth Day. You can read the texts of his addresses right here. H/T to Rocco.

The bishop and the beach house

posted by deacon greg kandra

Duty demands that I once again post a picture of Anne Hathaway. It seems her ex-boyfriend was not only involved in some shady dealings with the Vatican. He also bought the beach home of a bishop. My paper of record, […]

Could the pope aid an Anglican split?

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s the question explored in this fascinating piece from Time magazine, which indicates the Vatican is already heavily involved, and a mass migration across the Tiber may be in the works: For an ordained clergyman to depart his cradle faith […]

A reason for Wilmington to rejoice

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over at Jesus Goes to Disney World, Fr. Austin Murphy has the scoop on the soon-to-be bishop of Wilmington — who, it turns out, just happens to be a cousin of his: As has been anticipated, the Holy Father today […]

World Youth Day: “There’s nothing immoral with a little commercialism”

posted by deacon greg kandra

There’s growing buzz about the upcoming World Youth Day in Australia, and now there are souvenirs to be had: Catholic pilgrims and the public will be able to buy papal mementos after Sydney’s archbishop gave his blessing to indulging in […]

The pope’s gangster

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, actually, he’s just going to be meeting the Pope during World Youth Day festivities — but his story is a compelling one of crime and conversion: A FORMER hitman will share the stage with Pope Benedict XVI at World […]

The juror with a mitre renders his verdict

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Some days back, I blogged about the bishop of Pittsburgh’s new part-time job as a juror. Now, an update: Bishop David Zubik completed his jury service yesterday when the Allegheny County criminal court jury he was serving on rendered its […]

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. […]

Burke moves up — and on

posted by deacon greg kandra

Big news out of the Vatican this morning, as one of America’s leading canon lawyers — and one of its most prominent lightning rods — gets a promotion. From Rocco: This morning, Pope Benedict named Archbishop Raymond Burke of St […]

When in Rome…

posted by deacon greg kandra

…you will receive communion from the Pope on your knees. That’s the word from the Catholic News Service: Receiving the Eucharist on the tongue while kneeling before the pope will become the norm at papal liturgies, said the Vatican’s liturgist. […]

Twelve angry men — and one has a mitre

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, this is something you don’t see every day: news that an American bishop is going to perform a valuable civic duty, and spend time doing what so many of us dread. I refer, of course, to jury duty. From […]

Baltimore’s Archbishop holds meeting over Legion of Christ controversy

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over the weekend, the Archbishop of Baltimore had a meeting to discuss his ongoing concerns over the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi. A priest who was there has blogged about it: On Saturday, Archbishop Edwin O’Brien met with a […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“Heart speaks to heart”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

For this feast of the Sacred Heart, you should check out this stirring homily, delivered the other night by James Douglas Conley, new auxiliary for Denver, whose episcopal ordination takes place this day. A grateful h/t to the always-alert Rocco […]

On your knees?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A number of people noticed that Pope Benedict distributed communion on the feast of Corpus Christi to faithful who were kneeling. Is something up? Catholic News Service says, no: The four dozen people who received Communion from Pope Benedict XVI […]

“Peace, son”

posted by deacon greg kandra

This shot tells a beautiful story of a father’s love for his son. It comes from Texas Catholic — and an alert reader sent it my way. It’s Shreveport’s new Bishop Michael Duca being embraced by his father Lewis during […]

Quote of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“We prostrate ourselves before a God who, like a Good Samaritan, was first to bow to mankind as a way to rescue and give him new life, who knelt before us to wash our dirty feet. Worshiping the Body of […]

Doing the Egan Shuffle

posted by deacon greg kandra

Rocco got the first scoop on this story yesterday, and now the New York Times is running with it. Seems the Cardinal Archbishop of New York is in a personnel-shuffling mood: Cardinal Edward M. Egan has reassigned almost 10 percent […]

And the red hat goes to…

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the most popular parlor games right now — being played in sacristies and vestibules and parking lots across this great land — is figuring out who will be the next Archbishop (and, presumably, Cardinal Archbishop) of New York. […]

Grilling the pope?

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is an interesting little news nugget: an attorney who wants to grill the pontiff about sex abuse in one American archdiocese: Pope Benedict XVI should be questioned soon about clergy sex abuse in the Catholic church because he is […]

Bishop: no more communion outside of mass

posted by deacon greg kandra

A bishop in a neighboring diocese, Rockville Center, has just issued a pastoral letter, and he’s cracking down on how and where the Body of Christ is distributed. From Newsday (Long Island, New York): For three decades, students at elite […]

Bling!

posted by deacon greg kandra

That seems to be the operative word for the fellow on the right. (You recognize the gent on the left, I’m sure.) Anyway, he’s none other than Catholicos Karekin II, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He visited with Pope […]

Aloha to Papa

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The pope’s visit is just a happy memory now, but one writer, from Hawaii, has just published her delightful account of her visit to New York. (H/T to Rocco, who always seems to be in the right place at the […]

B16, u r BFF, OMG!

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Pope who has an iPod is getting into text messaging. (When is he going to start a blog, like one of his cardinals?) Here’s what is being planned for the World Youth Day gathering later this year: Pope Benedict […]

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 […]

Communion and politicians: Wuerl weighs in

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl, has now joined Cardinal Egan in discussing the controversy over communion during the pope’s visit. From the Catholic Standard: A decision regarding the refusal of Holy Communion to an individual is one that should […]

What makes Giuliani different

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Those who lump him together with the likes of Nancy Pelosi or Ted Kennedy may be mistaken. Or so suggests Elizabeth Scalia, at Inside Catholic: As a politician, Giuliani has never been a legislator or a judge; he has neither […]

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 […]

Egan and Rudy, Part Deux

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The controversy swirling around Rudy Giuliani receiving communion at St. Patrick’s just won’t stop. The latest to weigh in is Phil Lawler at CWN, who notes: In his public rebuke to Rudy Giuliani for improperly receiving Communion during Pope Benedict’s […]

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 great secret for which I was born”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That is how Thomas Merton beautifully described his ordination to the priesthood. Any man receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders would have to agree. And I suspect the fellow below is thinking that, too. He is one of the 29 […]

John Allen reveals the story behind the story

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

So much has already been written about Pope Benedict’s remarkable meeting with sex abuse victims — but this piece by John Allen tells the story behind the story. It’s just one more reason why Allen remains one of — if […]

Will Benedict’s visit boost vocations? UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

Well, in New York City, the answer seems to be yes. A reader sent this my way, from the New York Daily News: A clergy-starved Archdiocese of New York was facing a crisis – until Pope Benedict arrived. For the […]

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, the shepherd who is led

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the best dissections of the papal visit — and this particular pope — can be found over at Pajamas Media, where The Anchoress has posted this superb insight: After the glamor and punched-up charisma of John Paul II, […]

“There’s something comforting about a stubborn pope”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Even non-Catholics can’t help but admit that this pope is impressive. Take this, for example, from a columnist in Chicago, wrestling with the Church’s stance on abortion: To believe in God’s autonomy over human life, however, is a hard sell. […]

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 […]

What I saw: my day with B-16

posted by deacon greg kandra

I thought it might be interesting to just post a few pictures from today’s mass at Yankee Stadium, to give you a “Deacon’s Bench” glimpse of the day. My wife and I left Forest Hills, in Queens, about 9 a.m. […]

Waving buh bye

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the better shots I took at Yankee Stadium, if I do say so myself: the Holy Father waving goodbye after the final blessing and preparing to start recessing into the dugout. For the curious: it’s a Pentax K100 […]

No hard line from the pope on communion for pro-abortion pols

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

John Allen over at NCR confirms what I suspected after I spied Rudy Giuliani in the communion line at St. Patrick’s Cathedral: At least three times during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United States, a prominent pro-choice Catholic politician […]

Yes, I was there

posted by deacon greg kandra

Here it is: proof that Your Humble Blogger was indeed at Yankee Stadium today for the big papal finale. The fellow on the left is yours truly, from approximately where we sat for the mass. I’ll post more after my […]

Peggy Noonan: “If you didn’t get choked up, you weren’t alive”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Peggy Noonan has taken pen in hand to write about the pope’s visit — and captured this moment in time as only she can: You knew he had arrived by the cheer that welled up from the street. It was […]

Quote of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

So let us lift our gaze upward! And with great humility and confidence, let us ask the Spirit to enable us each day to grow in the holiness that will make us living stones in the temple which he is […]

Anybody else catch this?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Watching the mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral this morning on EWTN, I got a glimpse of Rudolph Giuliani. In line. For communion. Maybe he just got a blessing. I dunno. He also popped up at the end of the mass […]

College students: “He doesn’t act like a rock star, and that’s okay, too”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone curious about how young people are responding to Pope Benedict just hop over to Inside Catholic, where there’s a terrific piece by Elizabeth Scalia and John-Patrick Mauro on that very subject. They look at the reaction to the pontiff […]

“A joyous time for Catholics, and it wasn’t such a bad week for Methodists, either”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The Leader of the Free World had some warm words today for the Vicar of Christ, at the Catholic Prayer Breakfast: It was a privilege to welcome Benedict XVI to the United States, President George Bush told the crowd at […]

Pope Benedict, “Cultural Catholic”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The excellent papal commentator and writer David Gibson has zeroed in on an important theme of Benedict’s visit thus far — one that, perhaps, has been overshadowed by all the headlines about the sex abuse crisis. From the Wall Street […]

What do you wear to a papal mass at a stadium?

posted by deacon greg kandra

My wife and I have been wondering the same thing — and so this nifty article in the Washington Post was of particular interest: “So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat? or ‘What are we to […]

Quote of the day

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

“I don’t go to Mass, but today I went with my mother, and his sermon there and his apology about the sexual abuse blew me away, and I had tears in my eyes that I wasn’t ready to have. It […]

Worth a thousand words

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict, at Nationals Stadium, Washington DC. April 17, 2008. Photo from Associated Press/CBS News.

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 […]

Who cares about the pope?

posted by deacon greg kandra

That’s the question posed by Fr. James Martin at the continuing blog, A Papal Discussion, over at the New York Times, and he’s got some compelling answers: Most Catholics, even those who may disagree with some of the pope’s statements, […]

What did you hear?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Anyone who saw the papal mass this morning in Washington heard a real melting pot of music and languages, and Catholic News Service has an overview: The liturgical celebration of Pope Benedict XVI’s April 17 Mass in Nationals Park reflected […]

Every pope needs a deacon. Or two.

posted by deacon greg kandra

From vespers at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, April 16, 2008. Anybody know who those two lucky fellows might be?

Bush to Benny: “Awesome speech!”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The president is a fan. H/T to Fr. James Martin, SJ from The Good Word, the preaching and scripture blog of America magazine.

Communion confusion

posted by deacon greg kandra

People on both sides of the Great Communion Debate will find much in this story to ponder and quarrel over: Catholic members of Congress who publicly support the right to abortion will trek to Nationals Park Thursday for a Mass […]

Kumbaya, anyone?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

All poped out yet? Good. Here’s a pretty interesting nugget from today’s Washington Post on the pope and his music — or, rather, the music you will probably be hearing at the papal masses: Catholics don’t argue about abortion or […]

The Audacity of Pope

posted by deacon greg kandra

Your Humble Blogger has hardly been idle. I just posted a little something over at the CBS News blog “Couric & Co.”: Watching Pope Benedict step out of his limousine this morning and wave to the thousands cheering on the […]

Father What-A-Waste

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

That’s Katie Couric’s cheeky nickname for the dashing and telegenic Fr. Thomas Williams, who played football for the University of Michigan before becoming a priest with the Legionairies of Christ. He’s now a Vatican analyst for CBS News. And here’s […]

Magnificent bloggery, the papal edition

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

Over at the New York Times, they have a running blog of various religious observers and experts, discussing the papal visit. Fascinating stuff. Some excerpts: From Fr. James Martin, SJ: “I am deeply ashamed,” Pope Benedict XVI said this morning, […]

Wilkomen!

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

In case you missed it earlier, here he is, stretching his legs at Andrews Air Force Base and saying howdy to the Bush family.

Who Benedict is — and isn’t

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The ink is starting to flow, and the analysis of the papal visit is going to be thick (and probably inaccurate). But over at Pajamas Media, The Anchoress has placed Pope Benedict in an interesting context. Seems all those nervous […]

Praying for vocations inside New York City’s seminary

posted by deacon greg kandra

One of the stops Pope Benedict will be making this week is at the seminary for the Archdiocese of New York. And the New York Times has a compelling look at how vocations are doing there (hint: not great) and […]

But how do you wrap it?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

What do you give the man who has everything? Some Catholic schools came up with a wonderful idea for the pope’s birthday: Pope Benedict XVI turns 81 on Wednesday during his stop in Washington, D.C., and Catholic school students say […]

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 […]

Wasn’t planning D-Day easier than mass at Yankee Stadium?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Jesus only had to feed 5,000. The pope has to contend with 57,000, or more, at the massive mass planned for next weekend at Yankee Stadium. (Your Humble Blogger, with Spouse, will be there.) How do you pull off something […]

George W. Bush, “closet Catholic”

posted by deacon greg kandra

A pal sent this my way: a fascinating piece on George Bush and Catholicism from the Religion News Service, reprinted in tomorrow’s edition of the Washington Post: Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI’s election in 2005, President Bush met with a […]

Peggy Noonan on “the man at the window”

posted by deacon greg kandra

While most of the world is turning its attention to what Benedict will be up to when he arrives in America next week, Peggy Noonan is poking around the Vatican, and writing about it with characteristic eloquence and verve: You […]

Praying with the pope

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Vatican leaves nothing to chance. They’ve released all the prayers, readings, and even the hymns for the pope’s upcoming visit — and you can even download them. From CWN: The Missal covers each of the major public events on […]

The Vatican’s “heartthrob”

posted by deacon greg kandra

That would be the fellow on the right. It was only a matter of time before the media zeroed in on one of the pontiff’s more telegenic employees: his secretary. Time magazine has taken up this difficult journalistic task: When […]

“We live it every day”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

In its ongoing run-up to the pope’s visit, the Washington Post is taking a look at how some Catholics live, and has discovered — surprise surprise — that some of them really are Catholic: During an era when two-thirds of […]

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 […]

How cool is this?

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is the graphic appearing on the sides of buses in Washington, DC: h/t to The American Papist.

Mass merchandising for the papal visit

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I remember going to the Mall in Washington to see Pope John Paul II on his first trip to the United States, nearly 30 years ago. Vendors sold tee shirts saying “I Got A Peek At The Pope.” They’ve gotten […]

Pope’s message could be not just what he says, but what he wears

posted by deacon greg kandra

Leave it to a commentator in Los Angeles — where trends begin and fashion queens reign — to understand, better than his counterparts in the East, that some of the pontiff’s most important pronouncements aren’t made with phrases, but with […]

Meet the deacon who’s building the pope’s altar

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

On a good day, I can hammer a nail straight into a piece of wood. Most days, I might add, are not good days. I have no talent for carpentry. So I was both envious, and impressed, with this wonderful […]

Meet the pope’s tour guide

posted by deacon greg kandra

Predictably, there’s a flurry of press coverage these days about the pope’s upcoming visit to the U.S. — and the New York Times has contributed a snowflake or two with this profile of the papal nuncio, whom The Gray Lady […]

Magdi Christian Allam’s next sacrament: marriage

posted by deacon greg kandra

The astonishing story of the Muslim who was baptized by the Pope at the Easter Vigil now has another interesting twist. He will be married in the Church next month: The Muslim journalist Magdi Allam, who was received into the […]

The house that Benny built

posted by deacon greg kandra

This is the first glimpse at the design for Yankee Stadium’s papal mass on April 20. You can read more about it via the National Catholic Register right here. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. I don’t care if […]

Braxton: a little background

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

A few readers have been wondering just what kicked up the kerfuffle in Belleville, and what exactly Bishop Braxton had done to incur such animosity among his priests. As usual, I turned to the definitive source on episcopal matters, and […]

DiNardo: “The media has been crucial since the moment St. Paul sent a letter”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The first cardinal from the Lone Star State used an opportunity recently to speak up — and speak out — on television and the media. He spoke in late February at the seventh annual Catholic Television of San Antonio (CTSA) […]

Humanae Vitae at 40: “This is when the door to the cafeteria opened”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The popular press is beginning to notice a not-too-insignificant anniversary this year: the 40th of Humanae Vitae. The Religion News Service takes note here: Asked about her church’s ban on artificial birth control, Emily Kunkel inhales deeply and pauses. “It’s […]

Notice anything different?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict continues to put his own distinctive stamp on the pontificate. Below, the pope in Brazil in May of 2007: And here he is today, Palm Sunday, in Rome, 2008:

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 […]

“Become more Catholic, or else”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone wondering what the pontiff will have to say when he visits the U.S. next month need look no further than the current issue of the New York Sun, which has this tantalizing preview: Pope Benedict XVI will use his […]

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 […]

Whatever happened to the papal tiara?

posted by deacon greg kandra

I was wondering about that not long ago, and a pal sent me this little bit of information. Turns out, it’s at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington: The display of two papal gifts is housed on […]

Ladies and gentlemen: Benny Bear — UPDATED

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope’s upcoming trip now has an official souvenir. From a sidebar in USA Today: The first officially announced souvenir for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit is a tiny T-shirt for a teddy bear, says Archdiocese of Washington spokeswoman Susan Gibbs. […]

“No believer should die alone and abandoned”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Pope Benedict met with members of an international gathering of doctors and medical personnel and used the occasion to reaffirm the Church’s teachings on euthanasia: The Holy Father received participants in an international congress entitled: “Close by the Incurable Sick […]

What does Benedict have in common with the Blues Brothers?

posted by deacon greg kandra

Answer: they’re on a mission from God. The pope today released his message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and as the Vatican website makes clear, the theme is missions: Dear brothers and sisters, 1. For the World Day […]

Lift high the cross (or crucifix)

posted by deacon greg kandra

As the plans for Benedict’s visit in April start to come together — and the itinerary becomes finalized — everybody wants to get into the act. And an effort seems underway to try and involve as many locals as possible, […]

“I got a peek at the pope”

posted by deacon greg kandra

When John Paul made his first visit to these shores, in 1979, I was a “marshall” on the Washington mall — an usher, really, bused in with my parish — and vendors were selling tee shirts with that cute saying […]

DiNardo: “When you come to Jesus, you get a job”

posted by deacon greg kandra

The new cardinal from Texas was making himself at home with his Episcopalian neighbors the other day, and the Galveston County Daily News was there: Malcolm Gee of Texas City seemed just a little bit nervous at Moody Gardens on […]

Voting and the “hierarchy of values”

posted by deacon greg kandra

Across the country, bishops have been weighing in on politics and faith during this election year. And my own bishop has just added his two cents, as reported by CNS: A “hierarchy of values” exists, which means not all political […]

The pope to deacons: “You give witness to the world today”

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The Holy Father had some warm words last week for permanent deacons — yes, you heard right: the pope actually chatted up the diaconate. It came during a Q&A with Roman clergy. Here’s the entire exchange, as reported by Zenit: […]

“Virgin of hope”: Pope John Paul’s prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

The prayer below was offered by Pope John Paul II at the conclusion of the rosary, during his final pilgrimage to Lourdes in August, 2004: Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,Blessed by the Most High!Virgin of hope, dawn of a […]

Orange you glad he’s our pope?

posted by deacon greg kandra

It seems Pope Benedict is also Pop Benedict. Soda pop, to be exact: Winston Churchill made no secret of his love of brandy and cigars; Margaret Thatcher was bereft without her handbag, and Pope Benedict XVI, I can reveal, has […]

Pssst! Want tickets to see the pope?

posted by Deacon Greg Kandra

I’ve been told it’s a lost cause, but American Papist has a few ideas. Check ‘em out. And good luck. I know the Diocese of Brooklyn has been given a grand total of three (3) tickets per parish. My parish […]

In other news…the news

posted by deacon greg kandra

The pope today released his message for World Communications Day, which doesn’t happen until May. Perhaps he had a more urgent point to make. The high points, from CNS: In a world where the media increasingly distort facts and manipulate […]

Cardinal Law, five years later

posted by deacon greg kandra

Anyone wondering what the former cardinal archbishop of Boston is up to these days can find the answer in the pages of this week’s National Catholic Reporter, courtesy John Allen: Five years after the most tumultuous fall from grace in […]

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 »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.