Benedict’s last Angelus: “The Lord is calling me to ‘climb the mountain'”

The text of the pope’s final Angelus, delivered today: Dear brothers and sisters! On the second Sunday of Lent, the liturgy always presents us with the Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The evangelist Luke places particular emphasis on the fact that Jesus was transfigured as he prayed: his is a profound experience of [Read More…]

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Bombshell: Cardinal O’Brien of Scotland accused of “inappropriate behavior” by four priests

After making big news Friday, with his call for a married priesthood, Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien is now making headlines again— and the news is a stunner: Britain’s most senior Catholic clergyman, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has been reported to the Vatican for inappropriate sexual behaviour. Three priests and one former priest have sent statements to the [Read More…]

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Clearance sale: all Benedict merchandise must go!

If you’re wondering how gift shops and purveyors of Catholic kitsch are handling the coming papal transition, here’s one answer:  Commemorative tchotchkes will be ready not long after we hear “Habemus Papam” from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Until then, Pope Benedict XVI merchandise must go. Nelson Fine Art & Gifts, a manufacturer of [Read More…]

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Cardinal Roger Mahony, scapegoat

In his own words:  [Fr. Ron Rolheiser] calls our suffering what it really is:  painful and public humiliation, which is spiritually a grace-opportunity.  I have tried to live out–poorly and inadequately far too often–his two implications of humiliation: 1.   the acceptance of being scapegoated, pointing out the necessary connection between humiliation and redemption; 2.   this scandal [Read More…]

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Posthumous Medal of Honor for Fr. Emil Kapaun, candidate for sainthood

Very good news, from Kansas: Emil Kapaun, a priest from Kansas celebrated for his actions during the Korean War and in a North Korean prisoner of war camp, will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama, the nation’s highest military award for bravery Former Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt of Goddard called The Eagle [Read More…]

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Maryland bill would allow citizens to pick their own gender

From my home state, some facepalm-inducing legislation, courtesy Mark Shea:  Senate Bill 449 would remove male and female as the two forms of being human and replace that with a self-determined gender identity. According to the bill: “GENDER IDENTITY” MEANS A GENDER–RELATED IDENTITY, APPEARANCE, EXPRESSION, OR BEHAVIOR OF AN INDIVIDUAL REGARDLESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S ASSIGNED SEX [Read More…]

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Pope’s Twitter account to be closed—UPDATED

And a brief, bright era in new media comes to an end.  Let’s hope his successor will have his own account: At the same time as Pope Benedict XVI leaves office on February 28, his Twitter presence as @Pontifex will also come to an end, according to Vatican Radio. The news may come as a sad blow to the [Read More…]

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Vatican slams resignation “gossip” in media

From the BBC: The Vatican’s chief spokesperson has criticised the media for reporting “misinformation” about the Church. Father Federico Lombardi said some were trying to profit from a time of disorientation in the Catholic Church to spread “gossip” and “slander”. Father Lombardi made the comments in an editorial on the Vatican radio website. Pope Benedict [Read More…]

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British cardinal argues for married priests—UPDATED

Details:  Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry and have children, Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric said Friday. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who heads the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said the requirement for priestly celibacy is “not of divine origin” and could be reconsidered. He told BBC Scotland that “the celibacy of the clergy, [Read More…]

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FYI: Catholic teaching on the “morning-after” pill and rape

With the controversy swirling around the German bishops story yesterday, a deacon reader thought it would be helpful to lay out church teaching on this subject. Here, from the National Catholic Bioethics Center:  The “morning-after” pill, also known as “Plan B,” is often provided in hospital emergency rooms to women who have been sexually assaulted. [Read More…]

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Richmond bishop issues directive on unique Anglican-Roman Catholic community

You may remember this story from last fall  Now, an update:  Diocese of Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has issued a directive to a one-of-its-kind Virginia Beach church to bring its liturgical celebrations, primarily the Mass, into conformity with the universal Roman Catholic Church. At the same time, he has offered options for additional combined [Read More…]

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Split: Survey shows U.S. Catholics hoping for change, yet embracing tradition

From the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:  As the pontificate of Benedict XVI winds down, many American Catholics express a desire for change. For example, most U.S. Catholics say it would be good if the next pope allows priests to marry. And fully six-in-ten Catholics say it would be good if the next [Read More…]

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Help wanted: Pope. Job requirements include…

If you wonder what the cardinals will be looking for when they gather in the Sistine Chapel next month, well, they’ve already narrowed their requirements. Details from CNS:  One task facing the College of Cardinals already has been completed: A job description for the Catholic Church’s chief evangelizer already is written. He must be humble, [Read More…]

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German bishops allow “morning after” pill in cases of rape—UPDATED

Details from the AP:  Roman Catholic-run hospitals can prescribe limited emergency contraception to rape victims, German bishops said Thursday as they sought to contain fallout from an embarrassing recent case in which two hospitals refused to treat a woman. In a statement issued at the end of a regular meeting in the western city of [Read More…]

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The final days: details of Pope Benedict’s schedule released; SSPX matter “entrusted to next Pope”

From VIS:  This morning Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, presented information related to the Holy Father’s calendar and clarified some issues that have been raised in the past few days. At 9:00am on Saturday, 23 February, the Holy Father and the Roman Curia will conclude their spiritual exercises. Traditionally, the [Read More…]

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Seminarians respond to Benedict resignation

CNS dropped by the Pontifical North American College in Rome to get some reaction to the resignation.  The result is this excellent video by producer Robert Duncan.  Check it out. [Read more…]

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Best. Save the date. Notice. Ever.

We now take a break from Papal Overload for this little palate-cleanser. Little Daniel is looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah.  So much so, in fact, that he produced this frankly awesome rap video to alert family and friends and get them to Save the Date. Oy! [Read more…]

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Who is the only living cardinal to have voted in three conclaves? —UPDATED

That would be Washington’s Cardinal William Baum. His secretary for several years was Msgr. Bart Smith. The cardinal was in poor health, so Msgr. Bart accompanied him throughout the conclave (he was the last out of the Sistine Chapel before the votes took place) and he was on the balcony behind the new Pope when [Read More…]

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