The vocation that Lincoln lacks: permanent deacons

With all the news this week about the retirement of Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, one detail that went largely unmentioned was his diocese’s lack of deacons. The diocese has a significant number of priests, of which the bishop is justly proud. But deacons are another matter. According to the diocesan website, there are [Read More…]

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Cardinal Dolan on humor, joy and the spiritual life

He appeared at Fordham University last night, in a conversation with Stephen Colbert that was moderated by Fr. James Martin, SJ.  Here’s part of the cardinal’s opening remarks: My assignment was to share with you for a few moments what you might call the theological reasons for laughter. Why would a person of faith be [Read More…]

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In Lebanon, pope issues call for religious freedom in Middle East

It couldn’t be a more timely or urgent declaration. Details: Pope Benedict XVI presented a major document calling on Catholics in the Middle East to engage in dialogue with Orthodox, Jewish and Muslim neighbors, but also to affirm and defend their right to live freely in the region where Christianity was born. In a ceremony [Read More…]

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“Not guilty of grave delict”: Joliet priest permitted to resume limited ministry after abuse accusation

A reader sent this my way with a note: “Don’t these guys understand how bad this looks to the public, especially when the won’t consent to talk about the decision but hide behind Canon Law?” Details: The Diocese of Joliet is not denying that the Rev. F. Lee Ryan had inappropriate sexual relations with a [Read More…]

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“Planned Parenthood was created for the sole purpose of killing children that look like mine”

Details: Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), who has four adoptive children of African American, Hispanic, and Native American descent, said on Friday that Planned Parenthood “was created for the sole purpose of killing children that look like mine.” “Like the pro-slavery forces who invaded Kansas, the pro-abortion forces in Washington and elsewhere want us to believe [Read More…]

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“The cross is something wonderfully great and honorable…”

“Had there been no cross, Christ could not have been crucified. Had there been no cross, life itself could not have been nailed to the tree. And if life had not been nailed to it, there would be no streams of immortality pouring from Christ’s side, blood and water for the world’s cleansing. The legal [Read More…]

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The most influential Catholic you’ve never heard of

I’m in Washington for some meetings at the USCCB this week, and the gentleman in the picture sat next to me at dinner Thursday night. He introduced himself. “Hi, I’m Mike Lewis,” he said. I asked him what he does. “I’m a graphic designer for the USCCB,” he replied. I nodded. Long pause. “Remember the [Read More…]

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Our Sunday Visitor plans Philadelphia edition

The press release: Our Sunday Visitor and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have partnered to replace the Archdiocese’s former newspaper, Catholic Standard and Times, with a special Philadelphia edition of Our Sunday Visitor’s OSV Newsweekly. OSV Newsweekly is the largest national Catholic weekly in the country. Former Catholic Standard and Times subscribers will now receive Archbishop [Read More…]

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AP: Man behind anti-Muslim film is “a southern California Coptic Christian with a checkered past”

The Associated Press reports: The anti-Muslim film implicated in mob protests against U.S. diplomatic missions in the Mideast received logistical help from a man once convicted of financial crimes and featured actors who complained that their inflammatory dialogue was dubbed in after filming. The self-proclaimed director of “Innocence of Muslims” initially claimed a Jewish and [Read More…]

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USCCB launches Spanish-language Facebook page

Details: As part of their continued efforts to reach the growing number of Hispanic Catholics, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced this week it’s launched a Spanish-language page on Facebook. Found at www.facebook.com/USCCBEspanol, the page features “a variety of updates from USCCB on news, issues of concern to the Catholic Church and faith-building resources,” [Read More…]

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In new statement, Vatican condemns Libya attack

From the Vatican website this morning: The Holy See Press office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, issued the following statement to press Thursday morning: “The very serious attack organised against the United States diplomatic mission in Libya, which led to the death of the ambassador and of other functionaries, calls for the firmest possible condemnation on [Read More…]

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Diocese of Nashville, other groups join in suits over HHS ruling

The number of groups suing the government over the contraception mandate continues to grow: The Diocese of Nashville, along with seven Middle Tennessee Catholic entities, have filed suit in Federal Court seeking to block a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring them to provide coverage for oral contraception as part of the [Read More…]

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Something’s brewing in Milwaukee: deacons!

Below is a snapshot of Milwaukee’s newest deacons, ordained just last weekend.  As the director notes in an e-mail: “These men are the first class of deacons to be formed entirely using the New Directory… in Milwaukee.  We are very proud of them!”  Congrats! [Read more…]

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Is Catholic journalism just PR?

There’s a question for the ages.  This is something everyone who works in church media wrestles with — and the question isn’t an easy one to answer, especially when the organization you’re covering, the Church, is also the one signing your checks. But John Burger, late of the National Catholic Register, got one answer following [Read More…]

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Great moments in irony: Hillary Clinton on religious tolerance

“The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.” — Statement on Benghazi attacks [Read more…]

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Want to be ordained? There’s an app for that

Well, you won’t actually be a real priest, minister, rabbi or bishop, but you will be able to see what you’d look like if you were. Details: From the supremely useful to the breathtakingly inane, there’s a cell phone application out there to fulfill all your needs — even the ones you didn’t know you [Read More…]

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Poll: Obama holds lead among Catholics

This, from the Daily Caller: A new poll by a Catholic advocacy group shows President Barack Obama has a slight lead over Gov. Mitt Romney among non-Hispanic Catholics, despite the stalled economy and his 2012 establishment of church regulations requiring them to fund contraception and abortion-related services that they abhor. The poll of 2,629 likely [Read More…]

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Best love letter. To Michigan. Ever.

I’ve never even been to Michigan, and I’m in love with it. Check out this delightful sing-a-long video produced to promote the state, shot in 50 cities with a gazillion or so people and a whole lotta heart. (And get a load of the altar servers!) [Read more…]

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