February 18, 2019

From The New York Times:  The Vatican has confirmed, apparently for the first time, that its department overseeing the world’s priests has general guidelines for what to do when clerics break celibacy vows and father children. “I can confirm that these guidelines exist,” the Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti wrote in response to a query from The New York Times. “It is an internal document.” The issue is becoming harder to ignore. “It’s the next scandal,” [Vincent Doyle, the son of… Read more

February 18, 2019

It was one of the most famous moments in the early years of John Paul’s papacy when the future saint arrived in Nicaragua for a visit and greeted a kneeling Father Ernesto Cardenal with sharp words and a wagging finger. Watch below. Now, with the elderly priest evidently facing the last days of his life, Pope Francis has reportedly lifted a suspension that was imposed by John Paul: Pope Francis has rehabilitated Father Ernesto Cardenal, a priest-poet that John Paul… Read more

February 18, 2019

Great news:  A bill that would outlaw abortions solely based on a Down syndrome diagnosis cleared the Utah House of Representatives on Friday. Unlike a version of the bill that died after the clock ran out during last year’s legislative session, HB166 includes a provision that its sponsor, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, said addresses concerns that the bill would be unconstitutional and result in millions of taxpayer dollars spent to defend it in court. “This bill is not unconstitutional,” Lisonbee said on… Read more

February 18, 2019

From Catholic New York:  Deacon Eugene Burke, who served for 46 years at St. Gabriel parish in the Bronx and was a member of the first class of permanent deacons ordained for the archdiocese, died Jan. 28. He was 93. Deacon Burke, who was ordained in 1973, had served at St. Gabriel’s until his death. He was engaged in the parish’s sacramental and liturgical life, performing baptisms and witnessing weddings. He visited the homebound and individuals in nursing homes. He… Read more

February 17, 2019

Hot on the heels of the McCarrick defrocking, and just in time for the summit in Rome, The New York Times offers a glimpse into the lives of gay Catholic priests. The timing is notable, but so is the prominence of the coverage: this story is the lede on the Times website Sunday afternoon. An excerpt: The closet of the Roman Catholic Church hinges on an impossible contradiction. For years, church leaders have driven gay congregants away in shame and insisted… Read more

February 17, 2019

From The Washington Post:  In Catholic Church law, being forcibly laicized is sometimes called the death penalty for priests. A dismissal from the priesthood is permanent — something that can’t even be said of excommunication. Even priests who request laicization are told to move away and, unless necessary, to keep quiet about what happened to avoid scandalizing other Catholics. No working in parishes, seminaries, Catholic schools. Your previous identity is wiped out. But, in the eyes of the church, the… Read more

February 16, 2019

From Vatican Media:  The Holy Press Office has published a statement from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, concerning the case of Theodore Edgar McCarrick. The Congresso of the CDF, which investigated the accusations, has issued a decree finding McCarrick “guilty of the following delicts while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power”. The Congresso has imposed the… Read more

February 15, 2019

Details:  Pope Francis has got a real mess on his hands. In just a few days he will gather the presidents of the all the world’s episcopal conferences in Rome to make them understand there must be “zero tolerance” for priests who sexually abuse minors. But on the eve of this important meeting, yet another long-serving Vatican official has been revealed as a perpetrator. Msgr. Joseph Punderson, who has worked at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura since 1993… Read more

February 15, 2019

RNS noticed something others may have missed: As Julián Castro officially launched his candidacy for president over the past few weeks, he invoked a certain female figure so frequently she might as well have been his running mate. On Dec. 12, as he declared that he was forming an exploratory committee, Castro, 44, a Texan who served as U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development during President Obama’s second term, stood in front of a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the… Read more

February 15, 2019

In an unusual twist, one of the men began formation for the permanent diaconate, and eventually discerned a call to the priesthood—but he wanted to be ordained a deacon with his former classmates. Details from The Miscellany:  Sixteen new permanent deacons will be serving the Diocese of Charleston, and one man is now closer to the priesthood after being ordained to the transitional diaconate. Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone ordained the men at St. Michael Church on Feb. 9. The liturgy… Read more

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