NY Times: Pope sets tone in U.S. with “inclusive prelate” for Chicago

Their take on the big news from Saturday morning: Pope Francis’ choice of prelate for Chicago was highly anticipated as a sign of the direction he intends to set for the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Chicago is the nation’s third-largest Roman Catholic diocese, with 2.3 million members, and its archbishops have often [Read More...]

Pope establishes commission to reform annulment process

This is huge. From Vatican Radio:  The Holy See Press Office on Saturday announced Pope Francis has decided to establish a Special Commission  for the study of the reform of the matrimonial processes in canon law. The decision was made on August 2, 2014. This Committee will be chaired by Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, Dean [Read More...]

Spokane’s Blase Cupich to be next Archbishop of Chicago—UPDATED

Details:  Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will be named the next archbishop of Chicago,The Associated Press has learned. [UPDATE: The Vatican Saturday morning made it official. Read more about that here.] Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George, according to a person with knowledge of the selection, who spoke Friday on the condition of anonymity because the person [Read More...]

For sale on eBay: the pope’s zucchetto!

Place your bids now:  It’s a good thing this pope wears more than one hat. Pope Francis’ white skullcap is selling for close to $130,000 on eBay, after an Italian TV show host managed to finagle it out of his holy hands. The host of the comedy show “La lene” (The Hyenas) got up in the [Read More...]

“We are called to be a missional church…”

Elizabeth Scalia this morning offers some words of wisdom that strike me as very diaconal in nature—but with a message for all of us seeking to serve the Church and save souls—especially our own. To wit:  Incarnational Evangelization happens when Christian men and women leave the comfortable place of their own origin, just as the Word [Read More...]

Priest removes married gay couple from parish ministry

From The Billings Gazette in Montana: On Aug. 6, four days after the Rev. Samuel Spiering arrived as the new administrator of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Lewistown, he met with parishioner Paul Huff to ask him if he and his partner, Tom Wojtowick, had gotten married. After Huff confirmed the fact, the [Read More...]

Ladies and gentlemen, Mark Shea sums it all up

The best thing I’ve read all day:  We need to become more fully Catholic, but in the sense of personal conversion, not in the sense of purging the church of lukewarm believers. By that I mean helping people to become more fully Catholic, as Pope Francis has been trying to do. This challenge, to me, [Read More...]

Bishop on divorced and remarried Catholics: “We’ve got to do something!”

It’s rare to hear a bishop be so blunt, but Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin is that and more in his column for his diocesan newspaper: I understand completely the arguments against taking a more “pastoral approach” to this topic, primarily that to do so would betray the sacred teaching of Christ we are obliged to [Read More...]

Dominican tapped to replace Cardinal Pell as Archbishop of Sydney

  Details:  The Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, has been appointed the ninth Archbishop of Sydney, replacing the controversial Cardinal George Pell. The Vatican announcement comes several months after Cardinal Pell was appointed to a newly created Secretariat for the Economy in Rome, charged with cleaning up the Vatican’s finances. Bishop Anthony immediately committed the [Read More...]

“Catholic witchdoctors” in Bolivia?

photo by: Raphaël Verona  CNN has this glimpse at a curious strain of religion in Latin America, blending elements of Catholicism and magic. The notion of “Catholic gods” is bizarre and false, and some of this is just not Catholic at all, dwelling in a limbo between the sacred and the superstitious. But it’s an interesting phenomenon many [Read More...]

Joe Biden in Iowa: “You’re looking at a kid who had 12 years of Catholic education”

From The New York Times:  At a Vatican meeting a few years ago, Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly asked Vice PresidentJoseph R. Biden Jr. for some advice. “You are being entirely too hard on the American nuns,” Mr. Biden offered. “Lighten up.” Last year, Mr. Biden seized on an audience with Pope Francis as another opportunity to praise the [Read More...]

Cardinal Dolan explains why he is serving as Grand Marshall in the St. Patrick’s Day parade

From his column in New York Catholic: I haven’t been in this much hot water since I made the comment, right after I arrived as your archbishop five-and-a-half years ago, that Stan Musial—my boyhood hero of my hometown St. Louis Cardinals—was a much better ballplayer than Joe DiMaggio! Now I’m getting as much fiery mail [Read More...]

Here’s a great way to help support vocations—and it’s an offer too good to refuse

The folks over at Vocation Boom, the non-profit working to boost vocations to the priesthood, contacted me this morning about a great opportunity for all of you to get involved in their project—and get something extra in return. They’re hoping to expand their offerings over the next several months. To do that, they need bucks. [Read More...]

Irish bishop bows to pressure, says he will postpone introduction of permanent deacons

Details:  Protests over the proposed introduction of a male-only lay ministry in the Catholic diocese of Killaloe have forced the local bishop to back down and postpone the move. In a letter read out in parishes on Sunday, Bishop Kieran O’Reilly acknowledged the concerns raised by lay women and groups in the western diocese about the [Read More...]

Fast Company magazine takes a look at “blogging nuns and tweeting monks”

Suddenly, the mainstream media has discovered religious folk on the web.  Who knew? Details:  In 2006, Julie Vieira was getting ready to take her vows to become a nun. As she browsed the web, it became clear to her that nuns had an image problem on the Internet. “The pictures of nuns that popped up in searches [Read More...]

Here comes the judge: meet the deacon on the bench

Details: When the Honorable Marc R. Kellams speaks at the dinner following the Red Mass in Fort Wayne on Wednesday, Sept. 24, he will bring the perspective of a Catholic deacon and a circuit judge in southern Indiana’s Monroe County. The Red Mass — an ancient custom dating back to the 13thcentury when the solemn [Read More...]

Report: Cardinal Burke “demoted”?

As yet, no official confirmation from the Vatican. But this broke tonight, from Sandro Magister:  In his first months as bishop of Rome, Pope Bergoglio immediately provided for the transfer to lower-ranking positions of three prominent curial figures: Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Archbishop Guido Pozzo, and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, considered for their theological and liturgical sensibilities [Read More...]

Stunning: gun instructor’s children send a message to the little girl who shot him

This is extraordinary. As someone noted elsewhere: “There are some good homilies right there.” Oh yeah. Just watch. [Read more...]