December 16, 2018

Well, this was different. Before Mass today, one of the priests was casting about for a homily idea. “Well, if I were you, I’d preach about Bambinelli Sunday,” I told him. His eyes lit up. “You want to preach?,” he asked me eagerly. “Sure,” I said, having only the vaguest idea of what I would say.  I wasn’t scheduled and hadn’t really prepared anything. I printed out a text from the Vatican website and, without much preparation beyond a quick… Read more

December 15, 2018

I’ve posted stories about this tireless priest in the past — most recently, about his marketing of his mother’s spaghetti sauce — and now the Daily Mail has caught up with him and posted the video below. Check it out.  Meanwhile, the AP caught up with him in California this week: Father Jim Sichko has a 50-state congregation and a simple mandate from the pope: Go forth and do good deeds. That’s why the Roman Catholic priest found himself… Read more

December 14, 2018

From NCR:  A Nashville deacon who has raised questions about the completeness of the diocese’s recently published list of priests accused of sexual abuse has been removed from ministry for “carrying on a public disagreement with the Diocese,” according to a letter from his pastor. In the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, more and more dioceses are moving to publish such lists, raising questions about who is — and is not — on them. Deacon Ron Deal first… Read more

December 14, 2018

Check out the video below from Detroit: Some thoughts: It’s highly unusual for a local media outlet to give this kind of attention to a family funeral. But it appears to have done some good. The archdiocesan response was compassionate and constructive. Pray for the healing of all concerned. It may be that there are other issues involved here that compel the priest to get the “assistance he needs.” Far too often, it is experiences like this that drive people… Read more

December 14, 2018

From Vatican Media:  In the spirit of Christmas, Pope Francis is inviting a group of poor people to a lunch offered by the athletes of Italy’s military finance police, said the Office of Papal Charities. On behalf of Pope Francis, the Office headed by the Pope’s official Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, has invited the poor people to the Christmas lunch on December 18 hosted by the Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme Gialle (Yellow Flames Sporting Group) at the sports centre of the Guardia di Finanza (Finance Police), at Castelporziano, close to… Read more

December 14, 2018

Details:  One of the Vatican’s top legal minds has opened the way for a revision of the Catholic position on Anglican orders by stressing they should not be written off as “invalid.”   In a recently published book, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, calls into question Pope Leo XIII’s 1896 papal bull that Anglican orders are “absolutely null and utterly void.” “When someone is ordained in the Anglican Church and becomes a parish priest… Read more

December 13, 2018

Amazing story:  Nearly 20 years ago, former President George H.W. Bush wanted to sponsor a Filipino boy named Timothy through Colorado Springs-based nonprofit Compassion International — but first, he needed a pseudonym. “He’s passed away now, so it’s probably not a classified name anymore — it was George Walker,” said Wess Stafford, Compassion president emeritus. “That’s the same name that he used, apparently, whenever he checked into a hospital and they needed to have it unknown that he was in… Read more

December 13, 2018

The story out of Bridgeport a few days ago garnered a fair amount of attention, and now CNA has a helpful explainer: In fact, the possibility of lay “parish life coordinators” exists in the Code of Canon Law, and has been an option available to bishops since in 1983. Canon 517 of the Code of Canon Law gives the diocesan bishop options for dealing with circumstances in which it is not possible to assign to a parish a priest who… Read more

December 13, 2018

Some interesting insight and analysis from the folks at Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows what people are talking about — and not — from the pulpit: Most Americans who attend religious services regularly do not hear about certain current issues from the pulpit. Among those who attend religious services at least once or twice a month, only about four in ten say that their clergy speaks out about the issue of abortion (45%) or the issue of homosexuality (42%)…. Read more

December 13, 2018

There’s a lot of common sense wisdom in this commentary by Jennifer Roback Morse on how the laity can do their part to address problems in the Church: We as laity don’t have the power to “make” the clergy, much less the pope, do what we want. We can complain all day long. But at the end of the day, where will we be? We’ll be another day older, angrier and more frustrated. Angry people don’t attract people to the… Read more

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