My neighbor, Anthony Weiner — UPDATED

Rep. Anthony Weiner represents my district in Queens — the 9th Congressional District — and, in fact, he lives within the boundaries of my parish, with a modest two-bedroom co-op just two blocks from our church. Recently, the home was put up for sale (but reportedly taken off the market last week).  A local real [Read More...]

What if we acted in real life the way we do on Facebook?

The result might look like this amusing video below, created to promote a new opera in London about online relationships. [Read more...]

Priest cancels planned reading of Quran during mass

It made headlines and sparked a firestorm of controversy when the news broke last week.  Now, the event has been scrapped: A plan to allow for the reading of the Quran from the pulpit during a Mass at St. Peter Church in Charlotte June 26 has been canceled, with an interfaith dialogue planned for October [Read More...]

"I wrestle being part of a church that is sometimes unable to preach the justice it professes…"

That was part of the potent and challenging message of a Catholic priest and theologian who spoke at a recent conference for chaplains in Milwaukee. Details: To achieve a genuine sense of unity within the Catholic Church, parishioners throughout the country need to embrace diversity and put aside prejudices, according to Fr. Bryan Massingale. An [Read More...]

Poll: most say they can disagree with key teachings and remain in the Church

That holds true for both Catholics and evangelicals, it seems. Details: Significant majorities of Americans say it is possible to disagree with their religion’s teachings on abortion and homosexuality and still remain in good standing with their faith. The findings, released Thursday (June 9) in a detailed survey by Public Religion Research Institute, held true [Read More...]

On obedience: "A priest shares in the humility of the cross"

Given recent developments in Kansas City, I couldn’t help but notice that Bishop Thomas Tobin in Rhode Island is offering some timely thoughts on the promises men make when they are ordained to the priesthood — including, of course, obedience: Obedience to “the bishop and his successors” is another commitment a priest makes to strengthen [Read More...]

They had me at Abe Vigoda

Below, the full version of the sweetly ridiculous, utterly delightful “flash mob” that was staged for Meredith Vieira’s last morning on TODAY.  The song: the omnipresent “Don’t Stop Believin’” [Read more...]

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...]