A “Priesthood” Disingenuous, Thoughtless and Vain UPDATED

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"I am Long Island's first female priest!" Deacon Greg has the story, from Newsday (while Tom has the impatient snark): A Sag Harbor grandmother says she has become the first Long Island woman to be ordained as a priest in a group that seeks equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church. Eda Lorello, a longtime church worker, said she was ordained during a service in Wellesley, Mass., on Aug. 10 organized by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an advocacy group that says it has ordained … [Read more...]

Priestly Celibacy and Earthbound Thinking

Fr Emil Kapaun carying GI

Father Emil Kapaun is going to receive a posthumous Medal of Honor, and that's a very good thing. His cause for sainthood has been opened, as well, and that's a good thing, too, for all of us and for the Catholic priesthood, which being pelted and sometimes willfully misunderstood, by many, especially those who cannot see a priest without thinking, "that person is not having sex. How weird, and unhealthy." There is great power in celibacy, which is why Taoists and Buddhists practice it to … [Read more...]

A New Priest, A New Blog for Patheos

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Longtime Patheos readers are familiar with Father Michael Duffy, although they may remember him best as Seminarian Michael Duffy, who shared with them his thoughts on the clerical collar as both yoke and witness and the seminary as seedbed for lifelong growth. Deacon Greg noted his June 9th ordination for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, and today we welcome him as our newest blogger as he launches "Father, Where Art Thou?"; A Newly-Minted Priest Explores His Fatherhood. By beginning … [Read more...]

A Church Where Sheep May Safely Graze

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Imagine you're pregnant, unchurched and addicted, and you want to step out of the darkness and into the light. What sort of hand will you trust to lead you out? My first child was conceived out of wedlock. I was, at the time, not only unmarried but also a crystal meth addict. I was not Catholic but some strange combination of agnostic/lapsed Protestant; my boyfriend and the father of my child was a Catholic. Obviously neither he nor I were living virtuous lives at the time, but the reality … [Read more...]

Acknowledging Our Faithful Gay Priests Might be a Start – UPDATE

Over at First Things, Joshua Gonnerman brings a provocative title: Dan Savage was Right. Relax. He doesn't argue that Savage was right to call the bible "bullshit", but Gonnerman does write: Savage is of course wrong to refer to the Bible as bullshit. It is the prime document of the Christian faith, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and treasured by the churches throughout the ages. Only in Scripture can we encounter Christ and through him reach towards divinization, and the Scripture in which … [Read more...]

Benedict at 85: a Cloister Unto Himself

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Today is the 85 birthday of our dear Pope Benedict XVI, and he speaks very plainly to the day: “I find myself on the last stretch of my journey in life, and I don’t know what is awaiting me.” “I know, however, that the light of God exists, that he is risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness and that God’s goodness is stronger than any evil in this world, and this helps me go forward with certainty." In a few days we'll celebrate the 7th anniversary of his … [Read more...]

Successful Satire Always Bites a Little

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Today Father James Martin and our own Max Lindenman have created some biting satire (I might call Fr. Martin's piece more of a parody) and I think both of them will tickle your funnybone while also biting the ankle -- all with the result of getting you thinking, as they certainly did me. First up, Fr. Martin does a brilliant (and brilliantly balanced) job of recreating the sort of exchanges all-too common to the combox, the FB page, the Direct Messages and so forth -- we Catholics are a … [Read more...]

The Primacy and Constancy of Christ-as-Truth – UPDATE

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Reading the always-terrific John Allen the other day, I found myself miffed at the notion that some Vatican-watchers think our hard-working Benedict XVI is not engaged enough -- is in fact, a "part-time Pope". At the end of John Paul's reign, Politi writes, the papacy was widely understood to play these unique roles: "Respected interlocutor of the religions of the world, beginning with the other two great monotheisms: Judaism and Islam." "Spokesperson for human rights, beyond … [Read more...]

“A House of Prayer; a Temple of Intercession”

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Would to God that . . . all men could know how very easy it would be for them to arrive at a high degree of sanctity. They would only have to fulfill the simple duties of Christianity and of their state of life; to embrace with submission the crosses belonging to that state, and to submit with faith and love to the designs of Providence in all those things that have to be done or suffered. . . This is the spirituality of all ages and of every state." --Father Jean Pierre de Caussade, … [Read more...]

Bishopalooza! Great American Bishops -UPDATED

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Recently the Gregorian Institute polled some Catholic bloggers and writers, asking them to name the top ten American Catholic Intellectuals, lay or clergy. I was flattered to be among those polled, but never did manage to participate. For the record, the (slightly controversial) Top Ten came in as follows: 1. Orestes Brownson (1803–1876) 2. John Courtney Murray (1904-1967) 3. John Senior (1923-1999) 4. Avery Dulles (1918-2008) 5. James Schall (1928-) 6. Ralph McInerny … [Read more...]

Penn State, Paradigms and Poor Me

With all there is to read on the Penn State/Sandusky story, here are two excellent pieces that should rise to the top of the pile: Read Mark Shea on Betrayal and the Power of a Relationship: But though lots of combox warriors are quite adept at fantasizing about how bravely they would have behaved and how vile Mike McQueary is in comparison to their brave selves, how they would have taken a baseball bat to Sandusky had they caught him in flagrante, the reality is that, if the Milgram … [Read more...]

NY’s Tri-Diocesan Merger of Seminaries

Seminary Merger

(Photocredit Gregory A. Shemitz for The Long Island Catholic) Patheos' Future of Seminary Educationsymposium included some thoughts specific to Catholic Seminaries, but there was one issue I really wanted to write about and couldn't because the timing was off -- the truly historic Tri-Diocesan merger of three important seminaries in the New York area: Archbishop Dolan and his brother bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre Nov. 10 jointly signed a joint … [Read more...]

The Priest as Bridge and Balm – UPDATED

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Over on the Dedicated-Catholic page of Patheos' symposium on the Future of Seminary Education, two more entries, and I think they're both exceptional expositions of both the challenges facing our new generation of priests, and the profound gift of opportunity that lies within those very challenges. Read Deacon Greg Kandra's remarkable and moving story (it made me cry) of Father Martino BaThong Nguyen, who was born in great deprivation in Vietnam and now serves in the Diocese of Savannah in … [Read more...]

A Catholic Seminarian Reflects UPDATED

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Michael Duffy will be ordained a transitional deacon on December 8, in anticipation of his ordination next June. Some may remember his contribution, last year, to our "Habit of Witness" series, when he wrote about "The Collar as Yoke and Witness" As part of our Symposium on Seminary Education, he shows up tonight on the Catholic page and writes very effectively (and affectingly) on the experience of a seminary formation: We are all called to follow and to conform to the promptings and … [Read more...]