Future nuns, priests face big questions

Once a month, female students pack the cozy chapel at the Holy Spirit Friary that overlooks the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.These gatherings are confidential, with no one discussing who is or who isn't among the 50 to 60 gathered in the pews. Students come to listen and to pray as they seek discernment about whether to pursue religious vocations -- as nuns."They keep this private for an interesting reason," said Father Seraphim Beshoner, a history professor. "If word gets out … [Read more...]

Seminaries, celibacy and doctrine

When it comes to nightlife in Washington, D.C., Dupont Circle is one of the places where people go to be seen.So Amy Welborn wasn't surprised to see familiar faces while visiting the hot spots with a friend in the late 1970s. It was easy to spot the Catholic University seminarians -- with their girlfriends -- even though the future priests were not wearing clerical garb."It was the spirit of the times," said Welborn, now a popular Catholic writer and online apologist. "Dating was pretty normal … [Read more...]

Layers of Catholic denial

Every day the headlines and cartoons seem to get worse.Every night stand-up comics crank out more nasty one-liners.So it's sad, but not shocking, that a Catholic priest told the Boston Globe about a partygoer who dressed up as a pedophile priest at Halloween.It's open season. Even though priests know they shouldn't take it personally, it's hard not to, said Father Donald Cozzens, a veteran Catholic educator who led a graduate seminary in Ohio."It's hard to imagine how this can end any time … [Read more...]

A priest keeps his collar

Father Mark Pearson can see trouble coming as he walks the sidewalks of Boston.He can see some faces harden after people make eye contact and then see his clerical collar. Some look away in disgust. A few men deliberately switch to a collision course. Pearson said one or two angry pedestrians have spat on him."If someone is upset, they may find a way to bump into you or give you a shove," he said. "Then they say sometime like, 'Oh excuse me, FATHER. Hey, did you molest anybody today, FATHER.' … [Read more...]


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