German priest asks Pope Francis personally to waive his vow of celibacy

This is highly unusual:  German priest Stefan Hartmann has sent a personal petition to Pope Francis asking him to waive his vow of celibacy, which he posted on his Facebook page. As Francis continues his leadership of the Catholic Church, many have wondered whether there will be a change in the requirement of priestly celibacy, a practice [Read More...]

Ka-ching: the cost of married priests

Fr. Dwight Longenecker, married with children, crunches the numbers: Many Catholics have no idea in the world what a priest is paid. Many imagine that we all take a vow of poverty and that we live day by day on faith. Some think the bishop pays us. He doesn’t; the parish pays according to guidelines [Read More...]

Dublin’s archbishop supports discussion of married priests

Details:  The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has backed the Pope’s call for open and immediate discussion on married priests. Dr Martin told an Easter service at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral that he is open to dialogue on married men in the priesthood. His comments, reported by the Irish Independent, come after Pope Francis signaled the need for the Catholic [Read More...]

Shock: former high-ranking priest in New Hampshire sentenced to four years in prison

From The Manchester Union Leader in New Hampshire: The one-time top ranking priest in the Diocese of Manchester, the Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault, was sentenced to four years in New Hampshire State Prison today by a judge who urged him to do good in prison. Arsenault was also ordered to repay $300,000 in restitution [Read More...]

Jesuits report big jump in vocation inquiries

From CBS News:  Sean McCreight has a passion for teaching. But the 25-year-old California native is leaving that behind to pursue an even higher calling: becoming a Jesuit priest. “I think to see Pope Francis living an active religious life, that’s another aspect that’s attractive to me,” he said. “His life is so filled with [Read More...]

Cleared Chicago priest under investigation again, but will remain in ministry

You may remember this story from just last week.  The priest at the center of it is now facing new charges. From The Chicago Sun-Times: A Chicago Catholic priest, who became the subject of a second child abuse allegation on Monday, will remain in active ministry but will not be alone with children, the archdiocese [Read More...]

Priest ordered to stop involvement in “Pope Francis House of Hope” for addicts

Details:  The Rev. John Stabeno calls his Monday-night meetings a sobering dose of “reality.” In the basement of St. Charles Borromeo, dozens of drug addicts and alcoholics and their family members meet weekly to vent, cry, laugh, and smile. Stabeno, a 14-year priest in the Diocese of Camden, says he tries to keep it real [Read More...]

An Easter message from a dying priest: “My faith in the Resurrection is the reason for my hope”

This email was forwarded to me last night. It comes from Father Tom Wehinger in the Diocese of Toledo, who sent it around to clergy in the diocese on Monday: After five weeks of illness, I have been diagnosed with liver cancer – stage four. The cancer is too advanced for having any kind of [Read More...]

Cleared: Chicago priest reinstated in parish after board calls sexual misconduct charges “unfounded”

A reader sent this my way with a note: “People need to know that sometimes allegations against priests are unfounded.”  He’s right. These kinds of stories don’t get reported often enough. From The Chicago Tribune: A priest has been reinstated to a parish in the Lakeview neighborhood after an investigation concluded that an allegation of [Read More...]

Encore: The Singing Priest, Fr. Ray Kelly, talks about his “Hallelujah” wedding song—UPDATED

He appeared on RTE’s “The Late Late Show” a few nights back.  He performed an encore of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” just as he did at the wedding, and talked about that phenomenal (and controversial) moment below. UPDATE: Writing at Catholic Vote, Kate O’Hare offers some poignant, hopeful thoughts on this phenomenon, and what it might [Read More...]