Former deacon sentenced to jail for stealing from collection plate

Details:   Joseph Thomas Finnigan, the 73-year-old Catholic deacon who admitted stealing $120,000 from Grand Haven collection plates over some five years, will spend the next year of his life in jail and the rest of his life trying to pay back the money.  Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing’s words and sentence Monday, April 29, [Read More…]

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Woman student in art parade dresses like pope—but naked from the waist down—UPDATED

But wait, there’s more:  At an annual art school parade [at Carnegie Mellon University], a female student dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down while she passed out condoms. Even more, witnesses say the woman had shaved her pubic hair in the shape of a cross. The Diocese of Pittsburgh has asked [Read More…]

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The lesson: capuchins are very touchy

Good to know for all those who have dealings with Cardinal O’Malley or Archbishop Chaput. Below a video that shows an experiment involving a pair of capuchin monkeys.  One is rewarded for a task with a cucumber; the other gets a grape. Watch what happens when the Cucumber Capuchin realizes what’s going on. [Read more…]

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Head of German bishops’ conference says the idea of women deacons “no longer taboo”

From a German news website: Germany’s top Roman Catholic has called for women to be allowed to become deacons, which would enable them to perform baptisms and marriages outside of mass – a novelty for Catholic women. Archbishop of Freiburg Robert Zollitsch, who chairs the German Bishops’ Conference, called for the change at the end [Read More…]

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USCCB hires Sarah Palin advisor as Cardinal Dolan’s spokesperson—UPDATED

The e-mail went out this morning: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomes Kim Daniels on board as spokesperson for the president of the USCCB, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Daniels brings to the USCCB her experience as director of Catholic Voices USA, an organization of lay Catholics that works to bring the positive message of the [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Student shoots himself at Catholic high school in Cincinnati—UPDATED

Details:  A student shot himself with a gun in front of classmates at his Cincinnati high school Monday morning, officials said. Authorities arrived at La Salle High School after several students called 911 around 9 a.m. The victim, believed to have been trying to commit suicide in a classroom, was rushed to the University of [Read More…]

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Report: priest who admitted to groping teenager continues to work with children

You may remember the story of Newark’s Fr. Michael Fugee from February.  Now, an update from the Newark Star-Ledger:  Six years ago, to avoid retrial on charges that he groped a teenage boy, the Rev. Michael Fugee entered a rehabilitation program, underwent counseling for sex offenders and signed a binding agreement that would dictate the [Read More…]

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Chicago priest’s confession: he crossed the border illegally

His story, and why he did it, from the Chicago Tribune:  Just days after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by climbing a wall, a Chicago priest said Sunday that what he did was wrong and urged parishioners in his Southwest Side church to apologize if they had done the same. “And by recognizing you did something [Read More…]

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Four stabbed at New Mexico Catholic church during Mass

Details:  At least four people were hurt at an Albuquerque church Sunday when a visitor jumped out of the pews and stabbed a choir member during a song, police and witnesses said. The victims did not appear to have life-threatening injuries, police said. Two parishioners told the Los Angeles Times that after communion at the [Read More…]

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Spring fever: First Communions, weddings and “people who act as though they are at a ball game”

My blog neighbor Fr. Mike Duffy notes that it’s that time of year again: the season for weddings and First Communions.  Unfortunately, as Fr. Duffy notes, these events are often the very definition of a “mixed blessing”: I would never want to be cold or discourage anyone from coming to Church.  But I do hope [Read More…]

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