Some good advice for watching the debate tonight

From the legendary Newton Minnow, who knows a thing or two about television and debates, in today’s New York Times:  The debates are an institution now, and among the most watched television events in America. They are one place in the modern campaign — perhaps the only place — where the voter is treated with [Read More…]

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Another Catholic newspaper folds

The Diocese of Rockville Centre has made official what had been rumored for some months: the Long Island Catholic weekly newspaper is being converted into a monthly magazine. From the paper’s website:  On October 2, 2012, Bishop William Murphy announced that The Long Island Catholic is changing formats from a newspaper to a magazine model. Sean Dolan, director [Read More…]

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Pope Benedict: “Religious freedom is the pinnacle of all other freedoms”

This morning, I attended a staff meeting where we spent over three hours dissecting and reflecting on parts of Pope Benedict’s recent apostolic exhortation delivered in Lebanon. Many Catholics, I suspect, haven’t read it, or read it closely. But in the course of just 100 paragraphs, The Holy Father  presents some  challenging and  timely themes [Read More…]

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What the media doesn’t “get” about the Catholic Church

Well, there are a lot of things. But here’s one take, from the great Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the USCCB, who offers some important distinctions about the media, balance, and covering the Catholic Church:   Margaret Sullivan now wears the public editor hat at The New York Times and with a recent ombudsman column took on a huge [Read More…]

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“Faith opens our eyes to human life in all its grandeur and beauty”

That’s the theme for this year’s Respect Life month, October. Details: During October, designated each year as Respect Life Month by the U.S. Catholic Church, Catholics should “renew their personal commitment to defend all human life, especially the most vulnerable members of the human family,” said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life [Read More…]

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NFL’s Man of the Year, Matt Birk of the Ravens, speaks out against gay marriage

The story, from the Baltimore Sun: Ravens center Matt Birk is expected to film a video this week opposing Maryland’s new same-sex marriage law, making him the second player on the team to take a public stand on the referendum. Birk, a Roman Catholic and father of six, is pressing a view opposite that of [Read More…]

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“Preach the truth, always with love”

Another great video from Catholic News Service, featuring three men who will be involved in the Synod on the New Evangelization that begins next week:  Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Cardinal Timothy Dolan. [Read more…]

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10 ways Vatican II shapes the Church today

From the USCCB comes this list, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, which will be marked next week. This piece was put together by Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, who chairs the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship.  (I’m pleased to see that he mentions deacons, of course…) The [Read More…]

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Ryan in Iowa on HHS mandate: “This isn’t just a Catholic thing”

From the Des Moines Register:  Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s visit Monday night to a Catholic college in this historically Catholic city underscores the competition in this presidential race over a religious group whose political views cross party lines in key areas. Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman who is Catholic and doesn’t hesitate to mention [Read More…]

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Ordination preview: 19 scheduled to be ordained deacons in Richmond

It will be happening on Saturday October 13th.  The Catholic Virginian is wasting no time trumpeting this happy event.  Read biographies and see  pictures here.   (Nice collars!) And, by the way: prayerful good wishes to FOB (Friends of the Bench) Joe Marotta and James Conklin! [Read more…]

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Strike a pose: women playing dress up as priests

Joanne McPortland, bless her, nails it:  A curious slideshow featured in yesterday’s New York Times Review section (H/T to Katrina Fernandez) makes me saddened and bemused enough to break off from the pilgrimage posts for a minute. Entitled Women as Priests, the slideshow by photographer Judith Levitt profiles 10 women—all white, all of a certain [Read More…]

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Pennsylvania nuns lacking voter ID call law “unfair and ridiculous”

From the Scranton Times-Tribune: For decades, Sister Jeanne Gallagher, I.H.M., taught young children about government and the importance of voting. As the November election nears, the 86-year-old nun and retired teacher fears the state’s controversial Voter ID law will keep her and other senior citizens from having their say in who leads the country. Sister [Read More…]

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“We cannot separate who we are from how we live”

“We pray for all of those gathered here that they might welcome the strength of the Holy Spirit and the interior dynamism with which He fills our hearts. We do so just before the beginning of the Year of Faith given to us by the Holy Father, because there is a “need to rediscover the [Read More…]

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Theme for next World Communications Day: social networks

From the Vatican:  One of the most important challenges facing the task of evangelization today is that which is emerging from the digital environment. Pope Benedict XVI calls attention to this particular topic, in the context of the Year of Faith, in his choice of the theme for the 47th World Communications Day, “Social Networks: [Read More…]

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Sister fact(s) from The Anchoress

She’s got a mega-roundup of nun newsiness over at her joint, pegged to the feast of St. Therese. It’s quite a collection: Let’s start with the Sisters of Life for no other reason than they’re in my header! They’ve clothed 7 New Novices, and celebrated six first professions and one final. The Sisters of St. [Read More…]

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What president had the codename “The Deacon”?

James Earl Carter, whom Forrest Wickman argues in Slate was America’s most religious president: It’s impossible to know the contents of a man’s heart, but historians who study the religious lives of the presidents point again and again to the words and deeds of James Earl Carter Jr. The Georgia Baptist set a new standard [Read More…]

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Tired of people using cell phones during dinner? Try this.

It’s called the “Phone Stacking Game.”  Let’s see if it catches on: [Read more…]

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Canon law expert endorses possibility of women deacons

Hot on the heels of this piece from a retired auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, another priest from that diocese has also announced his support for women deacons.  He is Msgr. John Alesandro, who among other things has served that diocese as Vicar General, Chancellor and, for a time, Diocesan Administrator. From Newsday: It is [Read More…]

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