No "Mad Men" this summer?! Nooooooo!

Some people count the days until baseball’s opening day.  The rest of us measure our lives by the number of months until “Mad Men’s” return. But now, there’s this depressing news: Fans accustomed to spending their summer Sundays with Don Draper may have to wait a while longer. It looks increasingly likely that the fifth [Read More...]

"Prejudice against single pastors abounds"

Here’s a surprising problem that Catholic pastors don’t confront, from a piece in the New York Times: Like all too many Americans, Mark Almlie was laid off in the spring of 2009 when his workplace downsized. He has been searching for an appropriate position ever since, replying to more than 500 job postings without success. [Read More...]

Quote of the day: "The only true Holy One is the Lord"

“An accusation leveled at a priest is a horrible thing, because it is nearly impossible today for a priest to have a fair hearing. There is no perfect justice or charity in this world, but these days falsely-accused priests don’t get anything like even the world’s “justice”.  But even when priests are guilty of that [Read More...]

A Lenten lectio: "Serenity now!"

I know the feeling. A classic bit from “Seinfeld”: [Read more...]

Statement from Fr. Corapi's superior — UPDATED

More details are trickling out about the Corapi story. The statement below, from the accused priest’s superior, just popped up over at Pat Archbold’s blog at the National Catholic Register.  It is dated the same day as Fr. Corapi’s statement on his blog: Statement from Rev. Gerald Sheehan, Regional Priest Servant Society of Our Lady [Read More...]

Great word cloud: books everyone must read

Take a look at this nifty word cloud of titles (you can click to enlarge): Check out the story behind it for more. [Read more...]

Writing straight, with crooked lines: the amazing odyssey of a monk who married…and returned to the priesthood

This has to be one of the more surprising life journeys — and surely an example of God’s unfailingly creative penmanship at work: In the morning cold of a farmhouse in the foothills of the Cascades, his hand is stiff as he grasps the broad-edged pen. His eyes have aged. But the 78-year-old priest and [Read More...]

Too many men: the shocking effects of abortion in Asia

A new study out of Canada paints a grim picture: Abortions of female fetuses have led to a massive surplus of young unmarried men in India and China, raising fears of an outcast group that could threaten the social fabric, a study said Monday. The trend took root in the 1980s when ultrasound technologies made it [Read More...]

The Corapi case: what we know, what we don't

Well, to paraphrase Garrison Keillor: it’s been a quiet weekend at The Deacon’s Bench. Which is to say: um, no.  Not so much. The blogosphere is still trembling from The Corapi Quake.  There’s been an unprecedented reaction to this story about the famous priest’s very public admission that he has been accused of impropriety and [Read More...]

A note to all those eager to help Fr. Corapi

A few people in the comments have offered legal help to the accused priest. Please note: I will not post addresses or phone numbers.  I have no way of verifying whether they are legitimate, and can’t vouch for the people posting them. I’m sure, in the 10 days since he first learned of the allegations, [Read More...]

Cuomo the Catholic

The faith of New York’s governor is in the spotlight these days, and the New York Times shines even more light on it: He goes to Mass, though not every Sunday. He considers himself a practicing Roman Catholic, yet avoids calling himself devout. He opposes the death penalty, as church leaders do. But he is [Read More...]

Taking a plunge: Catholic weddings drop dramatically

Is the Church doing something wrong? Why are more people opting for weddings that have nothing to do with a church? Details, from the Providence-Journal in Rhode Island: Michaela Connors-Mare never set out to marry outside the Catholic Church. It just turned out that way. It was 2005. Michaela, then 29, had met Nelson Mare [Read More...]

"March Madness" and the case against Fr. Corapi

Dr. Gerard Nadal — a frequent visitor and commenter here — says aloud on his own blog what many have been thinking: It is possible that the allegations are true in whole, or in part. While I strongly doubt that may be the case, it is nevertheless a possibility, grounded in the reality of past [Read More...]

Another memorable image of Jesus and St. Joseph — UPDATED

This, from Orlando and the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe.  (Visitors to Disney World will be familiar with it — it’s practically my second parish!) This is a life-sized bronze depiction of Jesus with his foster father in their workshop.  (Note: some pieces of wood arranged like a cross [Read More...]

On this Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

An unusual image of the beloved saint, below, from the great John Collier.  As the artist explains: “Joseph dressed as a carpenter with the Child Jesus standing beside him. Jesus holds a plumb line to say that He, as the Plumb Line, is a fixed point against which all else can be measured.” Litany of [Read More...]

Accused: Fr. Corapi placed on "administrative leave" — UPDATED

The celebrated speaker and televangelist posted the following statement on his web site: On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. There seems to no longer be the need [Read More...]

John Paul's relics appearing in Poland

Several weeks before the former pontiff’s scheduled beatification, remnants and reminders of his life are everywhere.   Pictured below: the blood-stained sash he wore when he was shot, now on display in Czestochowa, Poland. Details: Pope John Paul II is not yet a saint, but objects donated by his longtime secretary are already being venerated [Read More...]

And when you're done, fetch my pipe and slippers

A seminarian I know is looking for a summer job and asked his friends on Facebook for any suggestions.  Someone posted the link to the blog post below, from Georgetown University in the fall of 2009. I can only conclude that they just aren’t making 19-year-olds the way they used to.   This sophomore was [Read More...]