A blast from the past: all about Pope Francis’ crozier

The always-reliable Cindy Wooden at CNS has the scoop on the papal accessory a lot of people were talking about—or complaining about (see comments here)— yesterday: At last evening’s Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Pope Francis carried a crozier that most people associate with Blessed John Paul II. As a matter of [Read More…]

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Meet Matt Malone, editor of America

I can report from personal experience that Fr. Matt Malone is a very nice man, and exceedingly tall.  I first met him a few years ago, when he was a guest on my TV show, “Currents.”  Now we’re both working as magazine editors. He’s being profiled in the New York Times. I’m not. Go figure. [Read More…]

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The “villas of misery” that inspired Jorge Bergoglio

Another fascinating dispatch from John Allen, continuing his visit to the pope’s homeland: In Argentina, they say that if you want to understand the priestly soul of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, then you have to know the villas miserias, literally “villas of misery,” meaning the slums in Buenos Aires where the poorest of the poor are found. [Read More…]

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Divine Mercy: trust in the original iron man

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“See you soon!”

Those are the cheerful, friendly words that Pope Francis used from the loggia of St. John Lateran, closing out an eventful Sunday during which the Holy Father finally took possession of his home basilica in Rome.   (I can’t help but notice that in the picture here, he is using what appears to be the [Read More…]

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Austin to ordain 11 deacons—including a former congressman—UPDATED

Is this a first?  I could be wrong, but I’m not aware of any other former U.S. congresmen ordained to the diaconate. Details:  Bishop Joe Vásquez will ordain 11 men to the permanent diaconate April 13 at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Cedar Park. Permanent deacons serve the church in the three-fold ministry of word, [Read More…]

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All are welcome: public funeral for Roger Ebert at Chicago cathedral

Details: Funeral services for legendary movie critic Roger Ebert have been set for Monday. The service is scheduled at Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. State St., a church official confirmed. The program starts at 10 a.m. and will be open to the public, but seats will be first-come, first-served, a publicist for Ebert’s family said [Read More…]

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Pope Francis’ humility: “It’s an expression of his magisterium…he’s sending a message…”

John Allen, wrapping up his visit to Argentina, draws some interesting conclusions about the new pope from those who know him best: I arrived in Argentina under the assumption that what we’ve seen from Pope Francis so far is mostly a matter of style, and that the real substance of his papacy is yet to [Read More…]

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Seeking truth: meet the deacon who is a forensic scientist

Details from the Times-Republican in Iowa: Some may call it CSI with animals, but Gary Pusillo prefers to call his work forensic science. Pusillo, a rural Marshalltown resident, runs his own company, INTI Services, that investigates problems in animal husbandry. He travels across the country and abroad. Pusillo is often called to farms that supply [Read More…]

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Miami officials try to shut down Mother Teresa soup kitchen

From the Miami Herald:  Thirty-three years ago, Mother Teresa of Calcutta came to Miami to put her merciful motto of love into action: “To serve the poorest of the poor.” Since then, each morning a group of sisters of the congregation of the Missionaries of Charity, donning their distinctive white blue-bordered saris, passes through the [Read More…]

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Students start blog to support embattled chaplain

This is really quite remarkable. At a secular university, Catholic students have banded together to create a website expressing support for the faith-professing chaplain that gay students are trying to get fired. Dawn Eden has the scoop. You can find some of the wonderful testimonials here.   (I have to note: yesterday, after posting on this [Read More…]

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Catholic university blocks student group because it’s Catholic

You can’t make this stuff up:  Spokane’s Gonzaga University has denied a Knights of Columbus group application to be recognized as an official student organization. Those seeking the status were notified of the University’s decision at a meeting on March 7. The group was notified of the decision by Dean of Students Kassi Kain and [Read More…]

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Pope Francis urges CDF to “act decisively” on cases of sexual abuse

Details from CNS: Pope Francis reaffirmed the importance of responding decisively to the problem of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy and called on the Vatican office dealing with suspected cases to continue carrying out its mandate. During an April 5 meeting with Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation [Read More…]

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Judge rules morning after pill must be available to minors without prescription

In effect: a court has ruled that anyone should be able to get it, at any age, anywhere, Details:   A federal judge in Brooklyn has ordered the FDA to make the morning-after birth control pill available over the counter to people of any age without a prescription, overturning a decision by Health and Human Services [Read More…]

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Hilarious “Ode to Sleep Deprived Parents” set to “Carmina Burana”

You don’t need to know a note of music to love this. Details:  We dare you not to giggle when you hear “Ode to Sleep Deprived Parents and Terrorizing Toddlers,” performed with somber gravitas by more than 200 members of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and set to the music of “O Fortuna,” the intense opening [Read More…]

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Two gay college students try to have priest fired because he counsels students not to have sex—UPDATED

Is this from The Onion? No:  Two gay seniors at George Washington University say they feel alienated because the chaplain at George Washington’s Newman Center rejects homosexuality, and they aren’t going to take it anymore. The seniors, Damian Legacy and Blake Bergen, have announced a coordinated campaign to rid the campus of the Roman Catholic priest, reports The GW Hatchet, the school’s independent student newspaper. [Read More…]

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“Celibacy and chastity won’t kill you”

This may be the most clear-eyed and honest piece on homosexuality and the Catholic Church that you will read… …or at least, that you will read this week. Terry Nelson knows whereof he speaks.  From Abbey Roads:  The friends who approve of same sex marriage usually approve of divorce and remarriage, contraception and abortion, euthanasia, [Read More…]

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Attorneys General urge HHS exemption for businesses

Hot on the heels of this item, about a deacon who won his case against the HHS mandate, comes this story from the Christian Post: A coalition of 13 attorneys general issued a collaborative letter to the Obama administration, urging it to provide exemptions to privately owned businesses under its Department of Health and Human [Read More…]

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