Here it is: final draft of bishops’ document on preaching

H/T to my blogging comrade and neighbor Fr. Michael Duffy for finding this. Read it all here.  [Read more...]

Weigel: Church should get out of the civil marriage business

From his weekly column, published today: It seems important to accelerate a serious debate within American Catholicism on whether the Church ought not pre-emptively withdraw from the civil marriage business, its clergy declining to act as agents of government in witnessing marriages for purposes of state law. If the Church were to take this dramatic [Read More...]

Eastern Catholics explain value of married priests

It’s happening at a seminar in Rome.  From CNS: In Eastern Christianity — among both Catholics and Orthodox — a dual vocation to marriage and priesthood are seen as a call “to love more” and to broaden the boundaries of what a priest considers to be his family, said Russian Catholic Father Lawrence Cross. Father [Read More...]

St. Dorothy of New York?

Can I hear an “Amen”? Details: The U.S. bishops, on a voice vote, endorsed the sainthood cause of Dorothy Day, the co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, who was famously quoted as saying, “Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily.” The endorsement came at the end of a canonically [Read More...]

And now for something completely different: 10 bets you will always win

Check this out and amaze your friends at this year’s office Christmas party.   [Read more...]

Ordination update: 9 new deacons in La Crosse

They were ordained by Bishop William Patrick Callahan on October 27. The men shown above are, from left to right: Ray Heitzinger, Greg Kaiser, Bryan Hilts, Bob Reidl, Erv Burkhardt, Bishop William Callahan, Tom Skemp, Bob Zietlow, Tom Tierney, Jerry Ruesch. Congratulations and welcome, brothers!  Ad multos annos!  [Read more...]

Bishops approve document on preaching

From CNS:  The U.S. bishops approved their first new document in 30 years on preaching Nov. 13, the second day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore. The document, “Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily,” encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people’s daily lives. The vote was 227-11, with four [Read More...]

Northern exposure: meet the Yupik deacons from Alaska

Deacon wife and FOB Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher from Alaska sent me the picture seen here, from a retreat she and her husband — Deacon and iconographer Charles Rohrbacher — gave a couple years ago. Since I don’t post much on deacons up in Alaska, I asked her to tell me about this group. She wrote back: [Read More...]

Pell blames media for sex abuse investigation

From The Age in Australia: A defiant Cardinal George Pell has blamed a smear campaign against the Catholic Church for public pressure that led to a royal commission into child sex abuse. The Archbishop of Sydney said a commission into the Catholic Church was not needed, but he welcomed the broader inquiry announced by Prime [Read More...]

On the election: “Believers have been given a great gift”

Elizabeth Scalia writes in First Things, striking a chord or two of realism and common-sense spiritual hope: Like Moses, we let pride overcome our mission. The conservatives—obsessing on greatness—refused to acknowledge any weakness. But there is always weakness; not admitting mistakes is the greatest of them. By refusing to cede error or suggest moderation, the [Read More...]

Congratulations, George and Treasa!

FOB (Friend of the Bench) and assistant managing editor of the Catholic Review in Baltimore, George Matysek, tied the knot this weekend at Charm City’s historic basilica — just in time for the annual fall gathering of the USCCB just down the road. George’s new sister-in-law writes about the wedding here.  The happy couple has been [Read More...]

A sacrament on the digital continent

A remarkable and utterly 21st century experience from Concord Pastor Fr. Austin Fleming: Yesterday afternoon I was called by a hospice chaplain at a local nursing home to come and administer the Anointing of the Sick to a dying resident.  I found “Maria” in the company of her three daughters and a son-in-law.  Maria is [Read More...]

Churches cope with Sandy’s aftermath: “It’s an emotional overload”

From the New York Times, a rare look at how churches and congregations are also suddenly homeless because of Hurricane Sandy: Across the vast region hit by Hurricane Sandy, dozens of houses of worship are dealing with an extraordinary circumstance. Normally, their clergy members and lay leaders would be spending these weeks occupied with the [Read More...]

Dolan proposes a return to Friday abstinence

With word out that the bishops will consider a return to abstaining from meat on Fridays, it looks like a few places are already ahead of the curve with “Meatless Mondays”: For one day each week, the Los Angeles City Council wants residents to go vegetarian. In a unanimous 12-0 vote, the council approved a [Read More...]

“Will you join in our crusade…?”

More “Les Mis” music! Below, the international trailer for what looks, increasingly, like something truly great. [Read more...]

NY Times new president is a practicing Catholic who believes in “objective truths”

From A Journey Through NYC Religions: Tomorrow, Mark Thompson takes over as the new President and CEO of The New York Times. Thompson is a practicing Catholic who believes “that the truths of the Christian faith are objective truths, rather than being entirely subjective.” The position is primarily focused on running the business aspects of the Times. Thompson [Read More...]

Australian prime minister launches federal investigation into Catholic sex abuse

This is roughly the equivalent of an American president — or, perhaps, the Attorney General—ordering an investigation into the Catholic Church hierarchy in America. Details: Australia’s prime minister ordered a federal inquiry Monday into allegations of child sex abuse in state and religious institutions and community groups following a string of sexual abuse accusations against [Read More...]

Report: many Catholics use social media, but few follow blogs on the Church or faith

Here’s the press release from the USCCB for the report connected with the blogging encounter the Patheos Posse attended Sunday: Sixty-two percent of adult U.S. Catholics, representing an estimated 36.2 million people, have a profile on Facebook; 58 percent of Catholics age 30 and under share content such as pictures, articles and comments at least [Read More...]