You’re invited: Jubilee for Deacons in Rome during Year of Mercy

The following letter has been sent out this week from Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization:  Dear Deacon: As you are aware, the Holy Father has charged the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization with organizing the upcoming Extraordinary Holy Year, the Jubilee [Read More...]

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Deacons in “a new model of parish management” in St. Louis

This won’t be a surprise in some places, and it echoes what is happening now in Pittsburgh. But it’s interesting to realize that, in certain dioceses, this sort of thing is still radical and new. From the St. Louis Review: The clergy appointments announced in the paper this week include one that might sound unusual: [Read More...]

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I’ll be there. Will you?

As luck (or the Holy Spirit) would have it, my office closes early tomorrow and I’ll be able to take the short walk from my desk to this beautiful church for a special Holy Hour. Won’t you join me? If not with your presence, with your prayers? From Kathryn Jean Lopez: We must pray unceasingly [Read More...]

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Coming to TV this Halloween: “Exorcism: Live!”

A better title might be “Exploitation: Live!”  BYOPS (Bring Your Own Pea Soup). Details from The Los Angeles Times: Destination America is looking to instill a little more fright — and a few less spirits — into viewers this Halloween with “Exorcism: Live!” Yes, it’s a real show. On television. And it’s not a parody. Just as [Read More...]

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Planned Parenthood website hacked? Really? — UPDATED

CNN reports:  Planned Parenthood’s website went down Wednesday afternoon in what the nonprofit health services organization called “an attack by extremists.” The hack comes in the wake of the publication of several undercover videos by anti-abortion activists seemingly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue and organs for medical research. Selling fetal organs for a [Read More...]

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Austrian theologian: “Married priests and women deacons should be reintroduced as soon as possible”

From The Tablet in London: The dean-elect of Salzburg University’s Catholic theological faculty has called for married priests and women deacons in the Church. “Married priests and women deacons should be reintroduced as soon as possible. That would bring new dynamism to the Church”, the future dean of Salzburg University’s Catholic theological faculty, Professor Dietmar [Read More...]

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Church in Spain declares transgendered person not “suitable” to be a godparent

From Huffington Post in Spain: Alex Salinas is 21 years old. He was assigned female at birth, but is now living as his authentic self as a man. He is a “firm believer” and wants to be a godparent at his nephew’s baptism but the diocese of Cadiz and Ceuta is standing in his way. [Read More...]

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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 [Read More...]

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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 [Read More...]

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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 cover-up of sexual abuse. “The West Wing” scribe Josh Singer co-wrote [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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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 devotion people have [Read More...]

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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 coterie protesting the show’s play-within-the-play, because, the demonstrators say, [Read More...]

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Are you doing this at Mass? Stop that!

View image | gettyimages.com This 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 finish [Read More...]

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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 people preach [Read More...]

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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 it. Radio New Zealand has reported that there is no [Read More...]

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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 communion? Mr. Matsuo, who is transgender, left and never [Read More...]

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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 beauty. Here’s the present church for [Read More...]

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