Understanding annulments

The National Catholic Register offers a helpful primer on annulments this week, beginning with a story about a deacon: Deacon Patrick O’Toole remembered how far away he felt from the Church 17 years ago. He wasn’t a deacon then — his wife had left, divorced him and took his children. He felt broken and angry, [Read More...]

People, look East

My blog neighbor Joanne McPortland has posted an excellent primer on the whole Orthodox-Catholic-Why-Can’t-We-Get-Communion-If-We’re-Divorced-And-Remarried debate: Cardinal Kasper and others are reminding us that justice and mercy are inseparable. In practice, what the West can learn from the East is not that marriage is no big deal (because it is the biggest of deals for us both) [Read More...]

UPDATE: Priest who shamed unwed mother at baptism faces probe, sanctions

Details: A priest who was caught on video shaming a single mother before the baptism of her baby in Cebu last Sunday now faces an investigation and sanctions from his own religious order. In a statement, the Congregatio Redemptoris said it was deeply saddened over the incident at the Sacred Heart Chaplaincy in Mandaue City [Read More...]

Baton Rouge Diocese condemns ruling that could compel a priest to testify about confession

From NOLA.com:  The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has issued a statement decrying a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court that could compel a local priest to testify in court about confessions he might have received. The alleged confessions, according to legal documents, were made to the priest by a minor girl regarding possible sexual abuse perpetrated by another church parishioner. [Read More...]

Priest berates unwed mother at baby’s baptism: “The baby was born due to sin”—UPDATED

Here’s something else to throw on the agenda for the upcoming Synod: children born outside of wedlock. I’d argue it’s not just the couples involved that need counseling; judging from this, so do some clergy. The working document on the Synod notes about teenage mothers: Above all, they are to be esteemed for the love [Read More...]

Italian archbishop proposes 10-year ban on naming godparents to stop Mafia influence

Details:  After a pledge by Pope Francis to “excommunicate” mobsters from the Catholic Church, an archbishop in southern Italy has proposed a 10-year ban on naming godparents at baptisms and confirmations as a way to stop the Mafia from spreading its influence. Monsignor Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini, the archbishop of Reggio Calabria, wrote to Francis some [Read More...]

Scenes from an ordination

What a day. The Diocese of Brooklyn ordained 13 men to the priesthood today in a ceremony that stretched nearly three hours. The setting—the newly-consecrated Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph—was packed; the place seats about 1400 and there were a lot of standees in the back. It was a glorious liturgy, though. Below, some highlights. I [Read More...]

In the email: “Do children no longer have to be baptized with saints’ names?”

A reader writes:  In our parish, the two youth ministers are Heather and Austin. Last Sunday Father baptized a Tiffany,a Madison, and a Greysen. I remember when my children were being baptized in the ’80′s Father made a point of saying that the names were “approved” as they were saint’s names. And I remember a [Read More...]

How we receive Holy Communion: a Corpus Christi reminder

I wrote the following for my parish bulletin this week. It doesn’t say anything most of us don’t already know—but someone you know may appreciate it. ++  As we mark Corpus Christi, celebrating the Body and Blood of Christ, it’s a good time for a refresher course on the reception of Holy Communion. Giving out [Read More...]

“I am not worthy to be here”: death row inmate confirmed by bishop

From The Catholic Sentinel in Portland, Oregon: One of Oregon’s most infamous prisoners Tuesday received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Archbishop Alexander Sample in a heavily-guarded private ceremony in the maximum security prison here. Gary Haugen was convicted in November, 2011 of murdering a fellow inmate while serving a life sentence for the murder of [Read More...]