A Musical Birthday Card to (and from) St Teresa: No Worries

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I am disturbed. I am affrighted. And I suspect I'm not alone. In the world, the apocalyptic horsemen ride hard. In the Church, folks are either toppling statues (and statutes) or busy sending out Save the Schism Date postcards, at least as far as anyone can tell from the garbled barque-to-shore transmissions and the excited utterances they provoke. Here in my house (in your house, too, maybe) the everyday demons of worry and sorrow are never far away.So here, without further comment, is the … [Read more...]

Thanks, Catholic News Service, But No Thanks

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As Deacon Greg Kandra reports at The Deacon's Bench, Catholic News Service (CNS) today released matching videos purporting to summarize two sides of a hot-button debate on the eve of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. While only one thread in a tangled rope of issues facing families, Catholic or not, in the world today, the discussion of whether Catholics who marry after a civil divorce (but whose first marriage was validly sacramental and has not been declared null) might be admitted to … [Read more...]

A Little (Astonishing) Perspective as an Antidote to Dread

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 The world, it seems hard to deny, is on an express handbasket to hell. For Catholics, as for other people of faith, the challenge is how to find and proclaim the Good News in the horrific headlines. How to find and praise God in the horror. How to live the Spirit's gift of wonder and awe when all around us are losing heads, literally and figuratively, and blaming it on somebody's idea of religion.I don't have answers to those challenges. What I do have is a moment or two of … [Read more...]

Don’t Judge a Bishop by His Residence (or the Pope’s)

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I love Pope Francis. I don't love when the world---(including more than a few Catholics)---uses Francis as a stick to beat bishops with.Today's CNN frontpage feature, headlined "The Lavish Homes of American Archbishops," uses public real estate and tax data to profile U.S. archepiscopal residences valued at more than $1 million. The investigation's subhead says it all: "10 of the country's top church leaders defy the Pope's example."I'm no fan of bishops who bling for bling's sake. And … [Read more...]

The Magdalene’s Cave: Thoughts on Priesthood and Women

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I've said it before. I am a Catholic woman who once believed, passionately and thoroughly, that women were called to ordination in the Catholic Church. And now I don't. On the feast of the Magdalene, that Apostle to the Apostles and┬ápatroness of uppity women, some thoughts.First, though, a caveat. My changed position is not really about thinking. When people ask me why I no longer have issues with a male priesthood, I could say, like a certain president, that my thinking on the subject has … [Read more...]

Looking East Clearly: More on Orthodox Divorce and Remarriage

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My┬árecent post on the "Orthodox solution" has provoked a lot of conversation here and on social networks. Most of the reaction has been from Catholics who do not wish to see the Church alter its practice of denying the sacraments to divorced Catholics who remarry, and interpreted calls to look to Orthodox practice as a signal that the upcoming synod might seek such an alteration. My purpose---and, I believe, the purpose of Cardinal Kasper and other Church leaders who recommend exploring what … [Read more...]

People, Look East: Exploring the Orthodox Experience of Divorce and Remarriage

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We're divorced and remarried, but we love God and love the Church. Are we excommunicated? Why can't we receive Communion? I heard Orthodox Christians can!In anticipation of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod on the Family, the question of pastoral care for the divorced and remarried has emerged as an issue of great concern. In areas of the world where divorce is common, this question rated high urgency on the surveys sent to bishops' conferences to prepare for the synod. (In other parts of the … [Read more...]

Strange Bedfellows, and Real Questions About Sex–UPDATED

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Yes, Planned Parenthood counselors enthusiastically provide "sex-positive" advice to teens who ask. What's more interesting to me is what kids are asking, and why.I admit I was more bemused than outraged by the Daily Caller's story on the release of Live Action's latest Planned Parenthood sting video. In the past, LA has used actors and hidden cameras to catch Planned Parenthood workers appearing to violate laws or policy with regard to sex-selective abortions or procurement of a … [Read more...]


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