Prayer and Penance: Did Twitter Hasten Benedict’s Retirement?

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In hindsight, we're seeing clues, now, and reading words he uttered indicating that Pope Benedict XVI has clearly been thinking of renouncing the papal throne for some time.Forgive me if this sounds absurd on the face of it, but I am wondering if, despite these pieces of evidence, Benedict's recent entry into Twitter has had anything to do with the seeming abruptness of his announcement.Before you scoff, consider: the pope's interest in, and support of, the church's engagement with new … [Read more...]

Abuse cover-ups about more than a “clergy culture” – UPDATED AGAIN!

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(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)Over on Facebook, our friend James Martin, SJ noted that the National Catholic Reporter, in a long editorial, applauds Archbishop Jose Gomez for his public disciplining of Cardinal Roger Mahony:Gomez's words are a direct contradiction of the weak defense that Mahony has advanced for years . . "Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem," Mahony wrote. In studying for his master's degree in social work, he … [Read more...]

“No one hates men! But…damn these men!” – UPDATED

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On Facebook, Diane of Te-Deum blog embedded this interview between Christiane Amanpour and Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, whom Amanpour calls "a practicing nun."Because she's a class-A journalist, is the haughty Christiane. She's like the Anna Wintour of elite broadcasters, but even less interesting.Full disclosure: as a Benedictine Oblate, I've read and gleaned much wisdom from Sister Joan's books on Monasticism; she has a lot of good and instructive things to say about the psalms and … [Read more...]

A Papal-Ordered Penance – UPDATED

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Joanne writes on the pope-ordered penance that accompanied the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland:. . . at the request of the Holy Father—the papal legate Cardinal Mark Ouellet spent last night in St Patrick’s Purgatory, fasting and keeping barefoot vigil in prayer for reconciliation and healing of the grievous wounds dealt by Ireland’s clergy abuse scandals. [...]Of course, this gesture will be read by many (if not most) as one more cynical photo opp, one mo … [Read more...]

Does Mo Dowd think Celibacy = Pedophilia?

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Zoran Karapancev / Courtesy of Shutterstock.comI hadn't read Mo Dowd's latest screed because I've been really busy and because, well, her Yosemite Sam act has really begun to bore me over the years -- as Joanne (envisioning Dowd as another Looney Toon fave) writes here:I wonder sometimes why she doesn’t simply self-destruct in her Tasmanian Devil hissing and spinning...Anyway, because I read Joanne's piece, I read Dowd's -- and if you're going to read either you should read both. T … [Read more...]

The Talking, Thinking and Wondering Will Continue

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There is a saying attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, that I used to keep up on my header: "Ideas lead to idols; only wonder leads to knowing."I wonder about that phrase often, and continually draw new understanding as I apply it to different subject matters. It reminds me that I am not only free to ponder, but that as a Catholic, I am (quite contra-CW) required to think. Not to give in to the soft tyranny of sentimentalism until I'm so busy feeling that thinking is dismissed; not to … [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...]

Pavone Story Still Murky

I got an email from someone the other day asking me why I have not written about the Fr. Frank Pavone story since the day it broke.The short answer is, because we really don't know anything more today than we did on September 13 -- things are still pretty murky, but this week, the water got stirred a little...which means it's even murkier.Pavone is still in Amarillo; contrary to hyper-dramatized internet reports that he is being held prisoner in a remote and horrible convent where he is … [Read more...]

Bishop Finn Indicted, “Significant Charge”

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The breaking news out of Kansas City:A Jackson County grand jury has indicted Bishop Robert Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse.The charges, announced at a news conference today, make Finn — leader of the 134,000-member diocese — the highest-ranking Catholic official in the nation to face criminal prosecution in a child sexual abuse case.The charges stemmed from the long-simmering controversy surrounding Fat … [Read more...]

Bloomberg: No Clergy, No FDNY -UPDATE

So, let me get this straight, just so we're all on the same page, here.When two hijacked, terrorist-piloted passenger jets were deliberately flown into the Twin Towers, in an act of war against our nation, the first recorded casualty was a Roman Catholic priest and NYFD chaplain -- Fr. Mychal Judge -- who had ridden to the burning towers, and blessed doomed firefighters, hearing last confessions on the way.And while Judge's body was being carried away from the catastrophe by the … [Read more...]


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