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...]

LCWR and Rome: the Opera of Catholicism – UPDATED

Recently, while watching some Catholic sniping and squabbling amid these internet comboxes wherein I dwell and make my living, I noted a particularly dramatic note of victimhood being voiced in one channel and fervent, mustachio-twirling glee emanating from another, and I suddenly realized why opera is an art-form created and first-sustained in Catholic cultures. We do love our arias and our grand, sweeping themes.The issue I had been monitoring was the sort of simple doctrinal rumpus that … [Read more...]

NPR’s really good piece on the LCWR Story

Every time I think I've had it with NPR, they surprise me -- they pull me back from the ledge with something really good. This time, it's a three-way interview on the LCWR story with Journalist John Allen, Christendom College's Donna Bethell and Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK. All three are considerably more thoughtful and balanced on the issue than some print-media reports and Catholic analysts would suggest.Give it a listen or read the text. It's good stuff. … [Read more...]

LCWR, the SSPX and the Vatican; Fun Times in Catholicland UPDATED

Busy days here at Patheos and I am only now getting to a bunch of emails from people asking me what I think about "this misogynist outrage from the Vatican" concerning the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Others, possibly recalling a piece I wrote three years ago sound like they're rubbing their hands together in anticipation; "I can't wait to see what you have to say about this!" wrote one woman.I wrote back, "what I think may surprise you."The possibility of the … [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...]

Me, as a Nun, and New Cecilias! UPDATED

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I have one of those very ordinary faces that are a dime-a-dozen in a crowd. People are always telling me, "I work with someone who looks exactly like you," or "I grew up with someone who could be your double; I hated her, come to think of it." Or, "we had a maid, looked like you."But this time, I think I may have found a genuine doppelganger, or one who, at least in 1948, looked like me in my own younger years.She was a religious, a novice with the Sisters of St. Francis, of Perpetual … [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...]

Feast of Dear St. Philip Neri

Today is the memorial of my dear patron, teacher and friend, St. Philip Neri, whose chapel in Santa Maria in Vallicella (also called Chiesa Nuova) in Rome feels like a very natural and welcoming second home, for me -- where I was able to participate, daily, in the mass on my last visit.In her column, "A Word in Season" Pat Gohn takes a really wonderful look at this very great saint, whose "mission" was to the people of Rome; the churches and hospitals he built are still serving. The Oratory … [Read more...]

"But You’re So Happy!"

I love this story from Sr. Mary George, FSMG:I am a firm believer that children say some of the most heartfelt prayers that I know. So, I asked my 1st grade class on Thursday to do me an extra special favor. I explained to them that 23 sisters would be renewing their vows on Sunday and I would be one of them. Could they pray for us at Mass?They gave me many heartfelt assurances that they would do so and then immediately a plethora of hands went up into the air. What exactly are these … [Read more...]

Annulments: Myths and Reality

We've talked a few times about the very real healing that can come through annulments but over at OSV Mary DeTurris Poust and Dennis Poust have together written a particularly good piece on the myths (and there are a lot of myths out there) and realities of this process, which is very much a mischaracterized and misunderstood part of the ministry of the church. The Pousts write from the perspective of a couple who has gone through this process together, and that brings a voice of true … [Read more...]


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