The question of Governor Cuomo and excommunication

In the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s radical proposals on reproductive health—which I preached about here—some people have started to say: “Enough.”  A few are even calling for his formal excommunication: The governor and his legislative lemmings just passed a draconian gun control bill designed to protect the children of New York. Almost in the same breath, [Read More…]

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Well-known Irish priest plans to defy Vatican—UPDATED

From the New York Times:  The Rev. Tony Flannery, 66, who was suspended by the Vatican last year, said he was told by the Vatican that he would be allowed to return to ministry only if he agreed to write, sign and publish a statement agreeing, among other things, that women should never be ordained [Read More…]

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After abortion: “I was standing alone in a sterile room wearing a hospital gown…”

I doubt you’ll read anything more harrowing or heartbreaking  than this remembrance by Katrina Fernandez of her abortion, which begins: With the upcoming March For Life, the topic of abortion seems to be every where at the moment. Because of this it’s been on my mind daily. Perhaps these daily reminders is what triggered the [Read More…]

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Obama set to name a Catholic as his chief of staff

The Washington Post notes: The man in line to become President Obama’s next chief of staff is one of his most loyal and trusted confidants — a rare Washington player, associates said, whose sole objective is protecting and advancing the interests of his boss. Denis McDonough, 43, is widely known for his pivotal role as [Read More…]

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Dance + shadow puppets = sheer wonder

A friend posted this to his Facebook page, and it was too good not to share. The incredible Pilobolus Dance Theatre performing their whimsical and wonderful “Shadowland”. “Amazing” doesn’t even begin to describe this.  See for yourself. [Read more…]

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Snapshot: how Ohio is coping with priest shortage, changing demographics

An interesting microcosm of what is happening all over, from the Dayton Daily News:  A looming shortage of active priests means that parishoners across the region — and around the U.S. — will be worshipping together more closely. Church leaders have been forced to reorganize and in some cases, churches and schools have been closed when as [Read More…]

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Closed abbey searching for another religious group to take it over

You’ll remember that the Blue Cloud Abbey closed its doors last summer. Now, the search is on for another religious group or community to take it over. Details:  Caretakers at Blue Cloud Abbey, the Benedictine monastery overlooking the Whetstone Valley in northeast South Dakota, are looking for another religious order to occupy their vacant premises. [Read More…]

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Homily for January 20, 2013: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Click here for the readings] Every year on the anniversary of 9/11, I find myself thinking of 9/12: September 12th, 2001. The day after. Waking up. Looking out the window. Seeing the beautiful late summer sky that morning, just like the morning before. From all appearances, nothing had changed. But, in fact, everything had changed. [Read More…]

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Pope to start tweeting in Latin

Details:  Pope Benedict XVI plans to tweet in Latin, Vatican spokesmen have announced, resurrecting the dead language in a postmodern medium starting Sunday. “Twitter is a tool which requires rapid communication,” Roberto Spataro, secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Latin Studies, told the Guardian U.K. “In English you say ‘the corruption of the best one [Read More…]

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“Sing all the time”

That’s the advice given to Lazaro Arbos on “American Idol” the other night — and I couldn’t agree more. This Cuban immigrant struggles with a monumental stammer. But listen to what happens when he opens his mouth to sing “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” For anyone who has ever battled the hurt and shame of stuttering…or [Read More…]

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Process begins to beatify 9-year-old Brazilian girl

From the AP, via  the Washington Post:  The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro has launched a process aimed at putting a Brazilian girl on the path to sainthood. Archbishop Orani Tempesta and Vatican representatives told reporters Friday that they had begun the process to beatify Odette Vidal de Oliveira, who was 9 when [Read More…]

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From Iowa family man to Catholic priest

And, along the way, he was also a permanent deacon. Details, from the Gazette: The Rev. Steve Witt has been a husband and a father. Now he’s a father, as in black shirt and white collar. Newly ordained in the Davenport Diocese of the Catholic Church, Witt’s experiences with marriage, parenting and losing a spouse are [Read More…]

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Crime wave hits New York churches

From the New York Daily News:  Is nothing sacred? Priests at some Bronx churches have seen an uptick in crimes inside and around their houses of worship. Purses are stolen from pews during Communion. Cars parked outside get broken into during Mass. “It’s very sad,” said Rev. Francis Skelly of Immaculate Conception Church in Melrose. [Read More…]

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Philly stunner: convicted priest at center of Lynn case recants

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:  Ten months ago, defrocked Catholic priest Edward V. Avery began serving a sentence of 21/2 to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually molesting a 10-year-old altar boy from the Northeast. On Thursday, Avery, 70, returned to a Philadelphia courtroom and recanted his guilty plea – denying any contact [Read More…]

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Planning a wedding? Good luck topping this…

Last May, British singer-songwriter Tom Fletcher stood up at his wedding reception and sang a speech to the bridal party. Last week, he decided to post it online. It’s become a sensation, with over eight million hits so far on YouTube. After you’ve watched it below, you’ll understand why. He set the speech to some [Read More…]

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“I Like Adoption”: this may be the most pro-life, pro-family video you will see

Take a few minutes and marvel at the Dennehy family below, in the short film “I Like Adoption.” Details: As you watch the story unfold, you see a family with a mixture of children the world would consider “normal” and those without limbs that many today would discard as a “burden”. To Michael and Sharon [Read More…]

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In a rare move, lay woman named as co-director of diaconate formation

From the Georgia Bulletin in Atlanta: New formation leaders are overseeing the growing permanent diaconate in the Atlanta Archdiocese. And in a rare appointment, a woman now shares the responsibility for shaping the future deacons. Penny Simmons, a retired bank executive and spiritual director in the deacon formation program, is one of the few women [Read More…]

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Connecticut priest charged in meth ring —UPDATED

Details:  A Connecticut priest was part of a cross-country drug ring that smuggled crystal meth from California into the well-heeled hamlets of Fairfield County, federal prosecutors said. Monsignor Kevin Wallin, a former pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Bridgeport, sold meth to undercover narcs six times since September 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday. [Read More…]

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