KC update: vicar general was once accused of harassing a young man — UPDATED

The sad story of the troubles in Kansas City has taken a new twist: The Catholic official who oversees sex abuse complaints against priests in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, has himself been accused of past sexual improprieties. A Kansas City man wrote the bishop of the diocese four years ago, alleging sexual harassment in [Read More...]

The astonishing story of a woman who forgave her son's killer

But that’s just the beginning. When I saw this on “The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” the other night, it floored me. Want to see the power of forgiveness?  Here. [Read more...]

Quote of the day

“Priests who engage in lewd conversations with teenagers are suspended from ministry for committing a ‘boundary violation,’ and are charged with sexual abuse. But Rep. Anthony Weiner can send pornographic images of himself to young girls and he is free as a bird. Indeed, the majority of New Yorkers say he should not resign… …If [Read More...]

In Detroit, "two competing visions of the Church's future"

The Archbishop has warned priests and deacons that they face severe penalties if they participate in a controversial conference this weekend in Detroit.  But that hasn’t stopped lay organizers from continuing with their plans. Details: Calling for more democracy within the Catholic Church, liberal Catholics from around the world are coming to Detroit this weekend [Read More...]

Thank you very much!

Well, 52 years ago yesterday, I was pulled screaming into the world.  Last night, I stopped screaming long enough to have pie. A lot of people made a fuss — see here and here — and I got a TON of emails and messages on Facebook.  I can’t possibly respond to every one individually, but [Read More...]

KC follow-up: "Jim decided that he could not just go through the motions of the ordination rite…"

Following the news I posted yesterday, about the deacon candidate who withdrew from his scheduled ordination, a reader alerted me to this posting below — the remarks the candidate’s pastor made at mass last weekend: Jim decided that he could not just go through the motions of the ordination rite in which he would have [Read More...]

Ordination update: 19 new deacons in Philadelphia

And the numbers continue to grow.  Welcome, brothers! Details, from the Catholic Standard & Times: The Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul was jammed June 4, as family, friends, clergy and fellow parishioners turned out for the ordination by Cardinal Justin Rigali of 19 men for the permanent diaconate. Preaching at a ceremony strikingly [Read More...]

A pagan converts after asking, "What if it were all true?"

Here name is Christie, described as a convert from New Age philosophy and Neopaganism. Read her account of what led her to the Catholic Church, and marvel anew at the ways God works: I was an arrogant fool sitting in on my very first Mass and watching it like I’d watch a National Geographic nature [Read More...]

Flashback: the world's first Ronald McDonald commercial

Eons ago, when the family television was a grainy box with three stations and rabbit ears, my mother made me put on a blazer and tie and took me down to the local NBC-TV studios in Washington, DC to appear, with about a dozen other kids, as an extra on an obscure and short-lived TV [Read More...]


Were you slapped at your confirmation? We don’t do that anymore and, in this week’s All Things New, I wonder if we need to bring back the slap: Earlier this month, I was serving as deacon at our parish confirmation in Queens. The bishop anointed each of the kids as they came forward and then—I [Read More...]

When do you think this church was built?

Would you believe…2003? It’s an Anglican Catholic Our Lady of Walsingham Church near Houston. And this one below? 2008. It’s St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Farragut, Tennessee. Both are part of a growing trend toward more traditional church architecture, according to this piece in the National Catholic Register: “That is an enormous change from [Read More...]

Stunning: "Korea's Susan Boyle"

This guy showed up on “Korea’s Got Talent” — yes, there really is such a thing — and just blew people away.  It’s not just his singing.  It’s also his story. Watch Sung-bong Choi, and be amazed and moved. Footnote: I’m told that the music he is performing was featured in Roland Joffe’s great movie [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

In fact, the story behind this picture is told right here. As the father pictured above put it: “I’ve always been a religious person, so I pray every day — and that helps me. My family is the light of my life.” Read the story to understand what that means. And keep this family in [Read More...]

Quote of the day

“There exists a Christian way of being present in the digital world: this takes the form of a communication which is honest and open, responsible and respectful of others. To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in [Read More...]

"I have decided not to accept the call to Holy Orders…" — UPDATED

A reader sent me the link to this bulletin, which carries the note below from a deacon candidate responding to the disturbing news in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.  He was scheduled to be ordained a deacon last weekend, but withdrew at the last minute. His statement: Dear Holy Family Parish: After a great deal [Read More...]

Ordination update: 4 new deacons in Rochester

They were ordained Saturday. Details, from the Catholic Courier: As four new permanent deacons in the diocese of Rochester sat down before a round of applause for them had ended, Bishop Matthew H. Clark joked that they lived out Jesus’ words a little too well. “You really should never sit down before the applause is [Read More...]

"Clearly, we have to do more…"

“We are assessing what went wrong and applying our analysis as we move forward. This past week, I met with our Independent Review Board chairman and discussed the objectivity of our decision processes. I have also met with parishioners, our priests and Chancery staff, as well as the media. These meetings and discussions will continue. [Read More...]

Have a hot topic to preach about? Keep it to yourself

That seems to be the unfortunate thinking among many priests (and, supposedly, deacons), according to this observer from the United Kingdom: I once asked an old faithful Catholic why so few people went to confession these days, and he replied at once: “Because we are never exhorted to do so from the pulpit.” This set [Read More...]