“Girls Scouts USA does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood”

Those are the words of the Girl Scouts’ Catholic CEO, spoken last week in Washington. Details: Girl Scouts of the USA is working with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops “to answer some questions they have,” the organization’s chief executive officer said May 30. Anna Maria Chavez, a Catholic who has been the Girl Scouts [Read More…]

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In letter, Cleveland bishop acknowledges “growing disconnect” with priests, seeks to repair rift

Details: Bishop Richard Lennon has sent a conciliatory letter to the priests in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, acknowledging that his relationship with many of them has deteriorated. In a letter obtained by The Plain Dealer, Lennon wrote to the diocese’s priests on May 21, saying “I have become aware of a growing disconnect between many [Read More…]

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“Do this in memory of me…”

Lest we forget: while a lot of people consider these days to be the unofficial start of summer, they also serve to help us as a nation remember sacrifice, and loyalty, and pride.   Almost back-to-back, there’s Memorial Day, the anniversary of D-Day (today, 6 June) and then Flag Day (14 June) and, of course, [Read More…]

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Worth a thousand words, Brooklyn edition

Behold: the world’s most beautiful water tower, a wondrous cathedral among the pigeon coops. Read all about it. [Read more…]

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“I thought you’d never come back!”

That — or words to that effect — seems to be what this beagle is trying to say. The dog was a puppy when her owner left for Afghanistan, and is now seeing her for the first time in six months. All together now:  “Awwwwwww…” [Read more…]

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NY Times: Plan B pill may not induce abortion — UPDATED

This will come as news to a lot of us who are pro-life.  But here’s what the Times is reporting: Labels inside every box of morning-after pills, drugs widely used to prevent pregnancy after sex, say they may work by blocking fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman’s uterus. Respected medical authorities, including the National [Read More…]

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Ordination update: 11 new deacons for Rochester

From the Catholic Courier: Based on numbers alone, the deacon ordination held June 2 at Sacred Heart Cathedral would qualify as one of the more strikingly positive events in diocesan history. Eleven men were ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Matthew H. Clark. With eight becoming permanent deacons, this was one of the largest such [Read More…]

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Pope sends jubilee wishes to Queen Elizabeth

Details: A letter from Pope Benedict XVI to Queen Elizabeth II was read out at a Service of Thanksgiving here in Rome on Tuesday, the final day of celebrations for her diamond jubilee. The Service at All Saints Anglican Church in Rome was attended by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal [Read More…]

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Egregious Twaddle is here! Awright!

That picture pretty much sums up my feelings right now. The terrific Joanne McPortland (longtime Friend of the Bench and frequent commenter, back when I had such things) is here at Patheos, at long last, with her blog Egregious Twaddle. I’ve been a fan of her twaddling for a while now, and after I read [Read More…]

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Ordination update: 12 new deacons in Hartford

Just like the apostles!   They were ordained on 4 June by Archbishop Henry J. Mansell at Hartford’s Cathedral of St. Joseph. Read all about it here. Congratulations, brothers, and welcome!  Ad multos annos! [Photo by Jack Sheedy] [Read more…]

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Poll: 80% of Americans do not doubt God’s existence

A new study by Pew finds some interesting trends on religion and values across the last 25 years. Check this out: The United States continues to be a highly religious nation. Most Americans say they belong to a particular faith and large percentages agree with statements about key religious beliefs and behaviors. About three-quarters of [Read More…]

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America magazine names new editor

And he’s the youngest ever: For over a century, America, the only national Catholic weekly magazine in the United States, has provided a provocative and distinctly Jesuit voice on religion, society, politics and culture.  That proud history continues today as America’s board of directors named Matt Malone, SJ its newest and youngest editor-in-chief.  Father Malone, 40, who [Read More…]

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Headline of the day

‘Titanic’ theme song even makes Celine Dion feel sick [Read more…]

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The world of “Beep Baseball,” blind America’s pastime

This was news to me, but it’s really quite remarkable: The rules of beep baseball are much like the original game, except the pitcher plays for the batting team and the bases are more like tackling dummies. (Also, the team names are way cooler. Minnesota Fighting Lions? Cleveland Scrappers?) It’s wild and fiercely competitive, and [Read More…]

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NZ no-no: Bishops rule out using iPad for Mass — UPDATED

Just days after one of their priests sang the praises of using the iPad for Mass, New Zealand’s bishops have said, “Not so fast.” Details: The New Zealand Bishops have told their priests that only the official printed copy of the Roman Missal may be used at Mass and at the Church’s other liturgies. They [Read More…]

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New name for Crystal Cathedral to be announced

It will happen Saturday: The Crystal Cathedral – a church that carries a name reflective of its glass-paned windows – will be renamed on Saturday. The Catholic Diocese of Orange plans to announce the new name of the church it bought in bankruptcy proceedings at a Saturday ordination of four priests. The new name for [Read More…]

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History: first permanent deacons ordained in Ireland

‘Tis a wonderful thing: The first permanent deacons in the Irish Catholic Church were ordained in Dublin last night [Monday] by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. The eight men ordained at the Pro-Cathedral are: Eric Cooney from Monkstown, who works in financial services; Gabriel Corcoran from Dundrum, a lecturer in the Dublin Institute of Technology; Gerard Larkin [Read More…]

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Don’t start shopping for that retirement home in Florida yet…

…you might have to put it off a few years: American International Group Inc. (AIG) Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche saidEurope’s debt crisis shows governments worldwide must accept that people will have to work more years as life expectancies increase. “Retirement ages will have to move to 70, 80 years old,” Benmosche, who turned 68 last week, [Read More…]

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