Call off the search team!

I’m fine.  If anyone was wondering where I’ve been, no worries:  I’m taking a couple weeks off to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary.  My bride and I are in sunny Orlando, where we’re spending an inordinate amount of time sleeping late and over-eating and rubbing elbows with royalty.  (This place is crawling with princesses, by [Read More...]

Just for the halibut: no meat on Fridays

It’s happening in England, beginning on September 16th, the anniversary of the pope’s trip to the UK. From ZENIT: The bishops of England and Wales are re-establishing the practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays as a penance to identify with Christ on the cross. In the resolutions published from their spring plenary assembly, which [Read More...]

On women deacons: "Not all of us are agitating for such a 'restoration'"

Evidently irked by Phyllis Zagano’s argument in support of women deacons, Daniel Van Slyke today offers a counter-argument, in the form of an open letter to the pope, in Crisis: The specific roles assigned to deaconesses in ancient documents such as the Didascalia Apostolorum comprise charitable services for women, the instruction of female catechumens, and [Read More...]

What about the deacon wives?

Chicago is getting set to ordain a dozen new deacons, and the Catholic New World looks at an often-overlooked aspect of the deacon’s vocation: his wife. Snip: There are close to 600 permanent deacons in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and most of them are married. Many of the wives live lives of service, volunteering in [Read More...]

Basta! Don't try this at home

An Italian bus driver using two cell phones, and steering with his elbows … ?! Turns out, he’s been suspended. Read more. [Read more...]

If I were a rich man: study sheds light on religion and wealth

Does what you believe affect what you earn? Some insight, from the New York Times: The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large, much larger than the differences among states and even larger than those among racial groups. The most affluent of the major religions — including secularism — is Reform Judaism. [Read More...]

Shock: mom defends giving Botox to eight-year-old

And now  the mother is under investigation. Details: A San Francisco mom defends using Botox to remove the lines from the face of her 8-year-old daughter. The interview first aired on ABC’s Good Morning America Thursday morning and immediately touched off a controversy and now there is an investigation. Child Protective Services is now getting [Read More...]

Live on stage: "The Exorcist"?

Watch out for the pea soup: the blockbuster novel and movie (based on the true story of a Catholic exorcism) is being adapted for the stage and will have its world premiere next year in Los Angeles. From the New York Times: The playwright John Pielmeier (“Agnes of God”) is writing the stage version of [Read More...]

What went wrong in Philadelphia?

“Apparently Philadelphia’s bishops don’t fully grasp that by failing to speak openly from the outset they will continue to pay a higher price, in terms of both credibility and cash. If only they would have followed the example of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago. Confronted with an accusation against him, Cardinal Bernardin openly, [Read More...]

Church of England reports rise in church attendance

It’s happening in Rhode Island with Catholics — and now, across the pond, too. From the Religion News Service: In a challenge to conventional wisdom that church attendance is plummeting across Britain and Western Europe, the Church of England says attendance at its 43 cathedrals grew 7 percent last year. A report by the Rev. [Read More...]

Divine Providence: in Rhode Island, Catholics are coming home

An evangelization effort seems to be paying off, according to the Providence Journal: Mass counts released Thursday by the diocese show that while Mass attendance among Rhode Island’s Catholics grew by a mere 1.9 percent between October 2009 and October 2010, that reversed a decline that had been observed over a number of years, as [Read More...]

Catholic professors slam Boehner: "Your record is at variance from the Church's ancient moral teachings" — UPDATED

It’s not often that a conservative Catholic speaker at Catholic commencement comes in for criticism from Catholics — but that’s exactly what has happened to the Speaker of the House. From the New York Times: House Speaker John A. Boehner, a Republican who grew up in a devout Roman Catholic family in Ohio, is scheduled to [Read More...]

"Love our Lady…"

I’m working my way through St. Josemaria Escriva’s “The Way,” and this jumped out at me this morning — apt thoughts for a deacon, and for this month devoted to Mary: “Love our Lady.  And she will obtain abundant grace to help you conquer in your daily struggle.  And the enemy will gain nothing by [Read More...]

Presbyterians vote to ordain gays as ministers, elders and deacons

Details from the New York Times: The outcome is a reversal from only two years ago, when a majority of the church’s regions, known as presbyteries, voted against ordaining openly gay candidates. This time, 19 of the church’s 173 presbyteries switched their votes from no to yes in recent months. The Twin Cities presbytery, which [Read More...]

Pfleger update: "I'll preach at other churches"

The controversial Chicago priest made a statement about his situation last night. Details from the AP and the Chicago Sun-Times: The Rev. Michael Pfleger, suspended by the archdiocese after suggesting he would leave the church if he is removed from his parish, says he will begin preaching at other churches if he is not reinstated [Read More...]

On IVF: "I believe there is an ethical path a couple can take…"

A father, and committed Catholic, states his case for the Church revising its teaching on in vitro fertilization (IVF).  His story began with a medical mixup, and turned into a moral and ethical quagmire. From CNN: On September 24, 2009, the day Carolyn gave birth to a very loved baby boy, who was immediately turned [Read More...]

"Your Holiness, it is time for women deacons…"

Somehow I missed this when it was published several days ago, but it’s worth a look: an open letter by researcher and author Phyllis Zagano on the thorny issue of women being ordained…not as priests, but as deacons. A snip: I am not writing to argue for woman priests. But you told me many years [Read More...]

"Gotta Share!": a social network musical

Only in New York. The gang from Improv Everywhere breaks into song at a conference — and it’s pretty funny. Keep your eyes peeled for the singing priest! [Read more...]