Turnabout: After backlash, Oregon school reverses policy on hiring gays

The latest on a story I posted yesterday, from The Oregonian: The St. Mary’s Academy board voted Wednesday night to change the school’s policy on hiring gay employees after facing backlash over the administration’s decision to rescind a job offer to a gay counselor. Students and high-profile donor Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear, had earlier condemned [Read More…]

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A priest faces death with faith: “I became a Jesuit to save souls, including my own”

From The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Since being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in late January, the Rev. John Schlegel has given away most of his books, artwork and clothes. He has visited friends in Dallas; Denver; Chicago; Omaha, Neb.; New York; London; Oxford, England; and Dubuque, Iowa; and met with Pope Francis in Rome. And he [Read More…]

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Measuring the “Francis Effect”: in poll, most say they believe pope will attract Catholics back to the Church

A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) offers an interesting snapshot of the “Francis Effect“ in the U.S., just ahead of his first visit: More than one year into his papacy, Pope Francis remains popular among the American public. Two-thirds (67%) of Americans have a favorable view of the pope, while 15% [Read More…]

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Dog bites man: star of “Big Bang Theory” says being religious in Hollywood “not trendy”

Really? Who knew? Details:  Mayim Bialik is best know for her role as “Blossom” on the NBC sitcom of the same name and as the quirky Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory,” but the 39-year-old is also known as a person of faith in Hollywood. Bialik has consistently used her celebrity as a [Read More…]

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Trump: “I’m going to have to scare the Pope…

He offered some wisdom to CNN yesterday:  Donald Trump has revealed he would warn the Pope that ISIS were out to get him if they meet next month. In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Chris Cuomo asked the billionaire businessman what he would say in to Pope Francis if he came face-to face with him during [Read More…]

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Italian priest offering couples a “baby bonus”

View image | gettyimages.com From The Telegraph: A town in Tuscany is offering a “baby bonus” of €2,000 (£1,420) to encourage larger families, as Italy frets over its low birth rate. But there are conditions – couples must be Italian and committed Catholics who were married in church, and the bonus only kicks in with [Read More…]

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People who are divorced and remarried aren’t excommunicated? Really?

The pope’s remarks earlier today seem to have caught some people by surprise. In fact, he didn’t really say anything new. He reminded the world of what the Catholic Church teaches about divorce and remarriage and encouraged an attitude of mercy and welcome toward those in these circumstances. Those who are curious can check out the [Read More…]

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Report: women entering religious life later

View image | gettyimages.com Moments after posting this item about the new Little Sisters of the Poor, I stumbled on this report on women religious, which seems noteworthy: Marie Racine was well established, a software engineer for 17 years, when something happened. “We had a meeting, and all of the sudden when they introduced the new [Read More…]

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A new bishop drops by

We had the great privilege today of welcoming back to my parish Brooklyn’s newly ordained Bishop James Massa. Bishop Massa began his priesthood at our parish 29 years ago; it was his first parochial assignment after ordination, and he was chiefly responsible for introducing something new and different to the parish—RCIA—and was remembered by many longtime parishioners [Read More…]

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What ever happened to that Buffalo church being moved to Georgia??

A friend dropped me a line to ask if I’d heard anything more about this unusual undertaking. I posted on it a few years back, when The Deacon’s Bench was still at Beliefnet:  Instead of building a neoclassical church, Wilbur’s growing parish wants to buy classical-style St. Gerard’s, take it apart and ship it 900 [Read More…]

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