The Deacon's Bench
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“Why this trip to Malta? There are many reasons. First, St. Paul. The Pauline Year for the universal church has ended, but Malta is celebrating 1,950 years since the shipwreck, and this occasion once presents us with the figure of […]

We’ve seen it everywhere and taken it for granted, but yes: someone did invent that stretch of canvas you see at the circus. And word came this week that he has bounced to that Big Top in the sky: One […]

“I happen to think this is a great and important time to be Catholic. Really. No joke. How often do we get to be right smack in the middle of an opportunity for radical Christ-based, Holy Spirit-generated change – and […]

The local press is taking a closer look at Archbishop Jose Gomez — and everybody seems to be scratching their heads: Gomez, 58, who will succeed Cardinal Roger Mahony, is a reflection of the future of American Catholicism. Born in […]

“The simple fact is: this can’t be a day like any other. Scripture tells us that on the day Christ died, the world – literally – cracked open. The earth quaked. To this day, we cannot help but remember what […]

Whatever your noble intentions may be, Mr. Donohue, it’s time for you to slip away and, frankly, shut up.  Please.  You are doing more harm than good, and making our church look idiotic. If you truly love our faith and […]

The striking and dramatic Stations of the Cross below were created by Deacon Bernard Deschler (another Brooklyn boy).  I really think that they’re something extraordinary, and that they ask us to look at Christ’s Passion in a new way.  Check […]

As one friend of mine noted, reading this item, “We live in interesting times…” : One week before the most solemn day in the Christian year, the city of Davenport, Iowa removed Good Friday from its municipal calendar, setting off […]

For some handy answers, James Martin, S.J. has pulled together a number of the conclusions drawn from the National Review Board that investigated the scandal in this country.   It shows how complicated the problem really is — and how it […]

John Allen has taken pen in hand and written an op-ed piece for the New York Times that puts the present crisis in a valuable context: Considerable skepticism surrounds the Vatican’s insistence that in 1980 the pope, then Archbishop Joseph […]