Pope Approves Tribunal to Investigate Bishops re Abuse Responses

For the most part, I think this is the right thing to do. Francis X. Rocca reports:ROME— Pope Francis ordered the establishment of a special court to try bishops for mishandling cases of clerical sex abuse, filling a widely decried gap in the Vatican’s approach to the problem.The Vatican on Wednesday said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which already holds responsibility for cases of sex abuse by priests, will also “judge bishops with regard to crimes of the abuse of offic … [Read more...]

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Christopher West Tells “Why” and Cordial Catholic Tells “How”

Christopher West chimes in on Why he remains a Catholic:First, I want to acknowledge that one can certainly find enough folly and corruption in the Church to want to leave (or never enter). But the folly and corruption in the Church is not unique to Catholics. It’s found everywhere human beings are found. If I were to leave the Church in response to the folly and corruption within her, I would soon find I’ve taken that folly and corruption with me – because it’s in me (not because I’m Cathol … [Read more...]

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Hating God Was So Much Worse Than Being Catholic

On social media, people are still responding to our invitation to explain why the heck they remain in this challenging, counter-cultural, sometimes counter-intuitive-seeming church.Here at Patheos, a couple more bloggers have answered the question, as well, and today we hear from two surprising sources who speak of having hated the whole notion of belief. Margaret Rose Realy gives a searingly personal account:At ten I stormed through a darkened church, past the communion rail and, … [Read more...]

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“Love Itself is Knowledge”: Melinda Selmys Comes to Patheos!

We'll be rolling out several new bloggers over the course of the summer, and we're very happy to get started by introducing you to the busy writer Melinda Selmys. We're sure she will enliven the conversation on faith here in the Catholic channel!Melinda describes her life as "the Divine equivalent of a Monty Python sketch," and once you get to know her you will appreciate the line and the sentiment. Given the title of her well received book, Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on … [Read more...]

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Climb Down from a Catholic Ledge: For every Koch, there is a Sarah

Participants in New York City's June 1-4 "Sacra Liturgia 2015" gathering received a letter from Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cardinal Sarah was appointed to that position by Pope Francis in November of 2014.The letter reads in part: When The Holy Father, Pope Francis, asked me to accept the ministry of Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, I asked: "Your Holiness, how … [Read more...]

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The Surest Way to Be Happy? Take the Diamond Path

Pondering this story, yesterday, about how focusing less on your own concerns and more on the needs of others leads to happiness, I recalled a childhood episode worth revisiting*:Recently I came across two items which superficially would seem to have nothing at all to do with each other. The first was an advertisement: a religious sister was promoting a women’s retreat about “finding oneself” and “coming to a place of ‘centered’ peace.”Highlighted within the ad was a sort of inverted pyra … [Read more...]

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On Happiness, Science Agrees with Jesus and the Saints

I mean, that's how I'm taking this:Now, after decades of research and a dozen clinical trials, researchers at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, say they’ve actually cracked the code to being happy, and published it in a handbook.Dr. Amit Sood led the research and says the first and foremost way to be happy is to focus our attention.“You can choose to live focusing on what is not right in your life,” Dr. Sood said. [...] “So for example, if you’ve had a difficult day, when you get back … [Read more...]

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Why are YOU Still a Catholic? Sometimes it is a Struggle

I remember sitting next to a a woman on a plane who was so passionate about her new Evangelical church. It was inspiring to watch her, and to hear her excitement. After she got done telling me all about it, I told her I was Catholic.She excitedly said, "Oh, then you should come to my church. I was Catholic...but this church has awesome music and great preaching." I looked at her, smiled and slowly said, "I wouldn't leave the Eucharist for anything!"Her demeanor changed and she said, "I … [Read more...]

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A Nation of Suckers: Jenner, Kardashians and a Commodity of Gossip

Over the past few days, I have wondered if I was the only person in America completely disinterested in the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner story, or -- correct that -- if I was the only contrarian refusing to become interested, simply because the voracious Jenner-Kardashian Machine, and their compliant media, so desperately wanted me to be interested, and so insistently needed me to approve, as well.These ghastly modern Pavlovs ring their outsized bell, and the world obediently begins to bark and yip … [Read more...]

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Book of Tobit, Perfect for Year of the Family

All week at Mass we have been treated to readings from the Book of Tobit, one of my favorite books, which I have called "instructive and under-utilized". I have used passages from this book both while helping to prepare liturgies for marriages and also for funerals. It has made me very appreciative, as well, of the Archangel, Raphael.Because it is a book so full of strong family relationships, it seems perfect that its cycle in the readings comes up in the Year of the Family. A couple of … [Read more...]

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Dear Catholic World: Why do YOU Remain a Catholic?

So, as I mentioned in this post, our own "Catholic Thinker", Tod Worner -- following the recent Pew report on diminishing Catholic numbers, and the glee that inspired in some corners -- decided to write a post on why he will not be leaving the Catholic church.Tod's piece reminded me of an older piece of mine from NPR, where I also catalogued why I remain a Catholic, and it inspired Monique Ocampo to explain why she remains, as well.And then Dr. Gregory Popcak chimed in, writing so well … [Read more...]

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About #Biking4Vocations? Even I Managed 45 Minutes!

So, these 2 Catholic priests and 3 seminarians are "biking for Priestly vocations." They're doing a a 29-day,1,400-mile bike pilgrimage from Saint Augustine, Florida to Rockville Centre, Long Island. My very own diocese!Several of us have been challenged by Father Michael Duffy -- a young priest of the diocese -- to participate, either by biking (or otherwise exercising) or praying for 45 minutes. OurUnfortunately, this is not retroactive, so I can't offer up my prayer time from last … [Read more...]

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Ashley Bridges Still Lives, but in Hospice

You recall this post from six months ago, concerning Ashley Bridges -- the young mother who was ten weeks pregnant with her daughter, Paisley, when she diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer.Her daughter Paisley will be a year old in July, and Ashley has been told she will probably not be alive to see it, but she is a fighter:“I am really pushing for Paisley’s first birthday. This is what I do. I do October, OK, I just got to make it to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving comes around — OK, let … [Read more...]

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Why I Remain a Catholic, Pew Studies Be Damned!

At a time when Pew studies suggest a vast exodus from Catholicism (although Sherry Weddell's antenna is up on some of the numbers) Tod Worner has written a terrific piece on why he is NOT leaving the church:I am NOT leaving the Catholic Church because I believe that the Catholic Faith is true.The edifice of Catholicism is Jesus Christ. Countless times, a good friend of mine has “flipped pages”. What he means when he says this is that he has read the Gospel of Mark. Again. And again. … [Read more...]

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