“Pope Francis has challenged us all to look more closely at the way we are as a church…”

A paper in South Jersey, the Courier-Post, looks at the controversy over where bishops live, including some bishops in New Jersey. The reporter, obviously acting out of desperation, spoke to a couple (cough) Catholic bloggers (cough). A snip:  Controversies have flared recently over church leaders’ pricey homes in the Atlanta and Newark dioceses. And Pope [Read More...]

The Passion: who reads what?

After reading the post about Elizabeth Scalia’s forgettable Palm Sunday, a couple folks on Facebook noted that, in fact, the congregation (voicing the “crowd”) isn’t really supposed to be involved in this gospel reading. Similarly, the voice of Christ should only belong to the priest (unless, for some reason, that’s just impossible.) I was surprised [Read More...]

A Palm Sunday to forget

This sounds just awful. From the vault, Elizabeth Scalia’s reflections on last year’s Palm Sunday fiasco at her parish: This past Sunday”Palm Sunday”the assembly was invited to put down their missalettes. The priest celebrant was escorted from the sanctuary and into a pew, and members of the liturgy committee entered with bare feet and grave [Read More...]

The pope poses for a Palm Sunday selfie

Details:  Pope Francis, marking Palm Sunday in a packed St. Peter’s Square, ignored his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, he hopped off his popemobile to pose for “selfies” with young people in the crowd. In his homily, Francis called on people, himself included, to look into their [Read More...]

Deacon, on a mission from God

The third Blues Brother has been discovered. Palm Sunday vigil Mass at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Forest Hills, Queens. Photo by Rosalind Chan-Ganzhi [Read more...]

Homily for April 13, 2014: Palm Sunday

Back in the 1960s, there was a TV show called “That Was The Week That Was,” which satirized current events.  In many ways, it was a precursor to “Saturday Night Live” or “The Daily Show.” Well, what we are beginning today will commemorate the ultimate “week that was.” I’d like to take just a moment [Read More...]

Why what Francis said about sex abuse yesterday matters

John Allen, as usual, sees the bigger picture. Writing about yesterday’s strongly-worded remarks on clerical sex abuse, Allen notes:  Three points about Friday’s statement seemed noteworthy to observers who have followed the arc of the church’s abuse scandals over the last two decades. First, Francis did not merely express regret or sadness for the pattern [Read More...]

The best Catholic? A former Protestant

Mark M. Gray from CARA has some fascinating insight into which Catholics are most involved in church life—and it turns out, it’s the converts: Do you want to know the best way to ensure your child grows up to be a faithful, knowledgeable, and active Catholic? It’s simple: 1) Raise them as a Protestant AND 2) Only [Read More...]

Pope Francis on priest sex abuse: “I feel compelled…to personally ask for forgiveness…”

Strong words this morning: I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The Church is aware of this damage, [Read More...]

Ladies and gentlemen, the bishop of Albany

Photo: Patrick Dodson/Pool I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Albany, you are blessed. You can read more about the ordination and see pictures here. Below, courtesy Rocco Palmo, Bishop Ed Scharfenberger greets his new flock. [Read more...]