Cardinal O’Malley speaks out on Planned Parenthood and “the throwaway culture”

The USCCB has just released this statement from Cardinal O'Malley regarding recent news about Planned Parenthood: WASHINGTON—Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., archbishop of Boston and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), responded, July 29, to recent videos showing leaders from Planned Parenthood discussing the provision of fetal organs, tissues, and body parts from their abortion clinics.Full text of Cardinal O’Malley’s stateme … [Read More...]


Their days are numbered: after thousands of years, Rome to stop using Roman numerals

Wow.From The Telegraph: They have survived thousands of years since their birth in ancient Rome, but Roman numerals are finally to be phased out after they were deemed too complicated for the modern-day capital.Until now, Rome has remained stubbornly wedded to the ancient numeric system on its street signs, official documents, bills and identity cards.However, under a new directive approved by Rome city council this week, the numerals will have to be written out f … [Read More...]

First look: trailer for “Spotlight,” starring Michael Keaton, on the Boston sex abuse scandal

From Variety: The film from director/co-writer Tom McCarthy tells the true story behind the Boston Globe’s investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church. The group of reporters won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003 after uncovering the local Boston Archdiocese’s massive cove … [Read More...]

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 ap … [Read More...]

Farewell, my lovely: a New York church prepares to close

I received this message two days ago, from a New York City parish just a few blocks from my office that is slated to close.I was impressed by the fervor and prayerfulness surrounding events the people in the pews are planning for their church. I think it speaks to the sense of dedication and d … [Read More...]

Protesters complain about Mel Brooks making fun of Hitler

Seriously?From The Washingtonian: Olney Theatre’s production of Mel Brooks’s 2001 musical The Producers only has three more performances, but it’s not going to close without a bit of manufactured controversy. Audience members at Montgomery County playhouse are going to have to walk past a small … [Read More...]

Are you doing this at Mass? Stop that!

View image | gettyimages.comThis crossed my Facebook feed this afternoon and it's too good not to share.  From EpicPew, a few of the 10 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong at Mass (#5 irks me no end): 1. Changing posture early Seriously, what’s the deal? Why can’t we just wait ’til we actually fini … [Read More...]

How grieving the loss of his children led this father to the priesthood

And that's not all.A remarkable vocation story, and a remarkable vocation, from The Cody Enterprise in Wyoming. Among other things, it gives a powerful sense of what it means to minister in some of the more remote corners of the country: In the New Testament, Paul asks the Romans, “And how can p … [Read More...]

A continent loses its only Catholic priest

From Christian Today:  The romantically-named Chapel of the Snows in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, has provided services and chaplaincy for research staff for more than 50 years. Now, though, staff cutbacks and declining attendance at services mean that Roman Catholics will no longer be part of … [Read More...]

New York Times: Gay, transgender Catholics urge Pope Francis to take a stand

From this morning's paper: Lui Akira Francesco Matsuo said he was standing in line for communion one Sunday at his Roman Catholic church in Detroit when a fellow parishioner pulled him aside: Didn’t he know that the archbishop had just urged supporters of same-sex marriage not to take comm … [Read More...]

Building something beautiful in South Carolina—UPDATED

Not long ago I chronicled the exceptional renovation work undertaken in my diocese at Holy Name of Jesus Parish. Now, in a move even more ambitious, our own Fr. Dwight Longenecker (shown above) has broken ground on a new church for his parish in Greenville, South Carolina, and it's a … [Read More...]

A priest’s wife tells her story

Over at CNEWA, we've just posted online the Summer edition of our award-winning magazine, ONE. The issue features a fascinating glimpse into the life of a married Orthodox priest in suburban Chicago —who, to support his growing family, works nights at a nearby factory:As the city of Chicago p … [Read More...]

Why does mercy matter?

View image | gettyimages.comA timely reminder from today's Office of Readings. This comes from a sermon by Saint Caesarius of Arles: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. My brothers and sisters, sweet is the thought of mercy, but even more so is mercy itself. It is what all … [Read More...]

“Rethinking the script on abortion”

The New York Times takes notice:  Rick Perry’s voice softens when he talks about the joy he gets from looking at his iPad and seeing “that 20-week picture of my first grandbaby.” Marco Rubio says ultrasounds of his sons and daughters reinforced how “they were children — and they were our children.” … [Read More...]

Want to save souls? Try this.

My blog neighbor Larry D has the scoop on an impressive apostolate that began in Detroit, but is catching fire and winning converts around the world. He turns a welcome spotlight on the St. Paul Street Evangelization project.From The Michigan Catholic:  Just three years ago, Steve Dawson took an … [Read More...]

Meanwhile, over at the Episcopal Church …

... they have their own headaches: An Episcopal priest shocked his Queens congregation recently when he left his wife and married someone else — a much younger man. The Rev. Juan Andres Quevedo-Bosch, 59, the archdeacon of Queens and rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Astoria, announced ov … [Read More...]

Homily for July 26, 2015: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Friday, the New York Times offered its readers some interesting advice: it published ideas from experts on how to get a table at the best and most exclusive restaurants in New York City. The ideas ranged from calling in favors, to asking friends of friends to make a call, to even getting a … [Read More...]

Fordham sends its video welcome to Pope Francis

You may have seen how Stephen Colbert did it.Now, here's Fordham's President Rev. Joseph M. McShane and a few football players. … [Read More...]