Pope and African Bishops to Cardinal Kasper: “Can you hear us now?”

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Presented for your consideration: Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea (which, for the Eurocentric, is an African country) as Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship. Listen up.Deacon Greg Kandra has the story at The Deacon's Bench, via The Vatican Insider:The Vatican has an African cardinal leading a Vatican Congregation once again. Nigerian cardinal Francis Arrinze was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2002 … [Read more...]

Brittany and Lauren: A Diptych for the Dying

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Over this weekend of saints and souls, Brittany Maynard, diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, took her own life. Lauren Hill, diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, took her first and last layups as a college basketball player.Both young women's stories played out in the public arena. Both challenge, poignantly, Americans' beliefs about death---that very uncomfortable reality we would rather die than face.I am not the only one seeing Brittany and Lauren as contrasting icons, two … [Read more...]

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 patroness 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 recent 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...]


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