It was 20 years ago yesterday…

…that Pope John Paul II issued his apostolic letter  Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, “reserving priestly ordination to men alone.” The document was issued on May 22, 1994. The conclusion: The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. As [Read More...]

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a decree of excommunication

You can take a gander here.  The announcement from her bishop, Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois: Please be advised that Ms. Mary F. Keldermans of Springfield, Illinois, has attempted to be ordained a priest for “Roman Catholic Womenpriests, Inc.” in a ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Springfield on May 5, 2014. [Read More...]

Homily on the suicide of a priest: “Our God is merciful, loving, compassionate and forgiving”

You probably remember this story about the priest from Florida who took his own life. Below, the homily delivered at the priest’s funeral on Monday by Bishop Robert Lynch. There are three things that are for certain in every human life: birth, death and taxes. While we ourselves are responsible for the third, our taxes, our staunchly pro-life teaching [Read More...]

Report: Italian women write to pope, asking for review of priestly celibacy

This is, in a word, unusual. From Vatican Insider:   The Pope has received a letter signed by 26 Italian women who admit to have feelings for a priest or a monk and are asking for a review of the celibacy law. “Dear Pope Francis, we are a group of women from all over Italy (and [Read More...]

Tampa priest who committed suicide was under investigation

Details: A popular priest killed himself Monday, days after the Diocese of St. Petersburg launched an investigation into his church’s finances, authorities said. A maintenance worker found the Rev. Vladimir Dziadek, 57, at the bottom of a staircase in the living quarters at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Monday, police said. A few days earlier, [Read More...]

Report: Tampa priest committed suicide

Details: A Tampa priest that died earlier this week committed suicide, according to reports. A memorial near the altar at St. Joseph’s Parish honors Father Vladimir Dziadek. According to police, a maintenance man discovered Father Vladimir at the bottom of a staircase along with a broken belt in the church office on Monday morning. The Hillsborough [Read More...]

New Jersey priest dies while mountain climbing

Details: The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office has identified the climber who fell about 1,000 feet on Mount Hood Tuesday morning as a Catholic priest from New Jersey. They say 57-year-old Rev. Robert J. Cormier was from Jersey City, New Jersey. From the air rescuers said they saw no signs of life from Cormier and [Read More...]

Jackie Kennedy’s revealing correspondence with an Irish priest

With the 20th anniversary of her death approaching, suddenly, Jackie O is popping up everywhere.   The Washington Post offers us this insight into her life, culled from letters to a priest she only met twice:  For more than a decade, Jacqueline Kennedy revealed pieces of her life in ink that she never spoke of — [Read More...]

What’s your pastor worried about?

The good folks at CARA have some answers:  CARA recently asked a random sample of pastors in our National Survey of Catholic Parishes (NSCP), “What is the greatest challenge facing your parish in the next five years?” Each pastor could respond in their own words. These were then examined for common themes and content. First [Read More...]

Liturgical dance? Check out these tap-dancing seminarians in Rome—UPDATED

From the North American College (via Joan Lewis of EWTN) comes this demonstration of terpsichorean talent by some happy hoofers at the rector’s dinner last month. UPDATE:  Got an email Sunday morning from a reader the Pontifical North American College in Rome: Since your blog is, after all, the “Deacon’s Bench,”  thought you might like [Read More...]