A response to Chaput: “This can have very serious negative consequences for couples”

A few days ago, I posted on the radical proposal of Philadelphia’s Archbishop Chaput, who suggested that clergy might conceivably stop signing civil marriage licenses as a form of “principled resistance.” Now canon lawyer Ed Peters has responded:  I share Philadelphia Abp. Charles Chaput’s deep frustration at how confused the Church was made to appear [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Building the unity of the Church, this is the task of every one of us”

From his daily homily:  Every Christian is called to work for the unity of the Church, allowing ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit who creates unity in diversity, said Pope Francis at Mass Friday morning at Casa Santa Marta. Pope Francis based his homily on the First Reading from Saint Paul’s Letter to [Read More...]

A life well-lived: “You could just sense the Holy Spirit in Jim”

It’s rare to find a  secular newspaper offering this kind of tribute to a Catholic teacher. But this week, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer penned a poignant and inspiring piece that demands wider circulation. Take a look: Jim Skerl’s squad had more members than Chuck Kyle’s football team at St. Ignatius High School — [Read More...]

What could be more terrifying than “The Shining”?

How about “The Shining” in an IKEA store? Check out this inspired bit of advertising genius, created for Halloween. The only thing missing is Jack Nicholson. [Read more...]

Pope Francis calls for abolition of death penalty, life sentences

From VIS:  Today, the Holy Father received delegates from the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP), addressing them with a speech focusing on the issues in their subject area that have recourse to the Church in her mission of evangelization and the promotion of the human person. The Pope began by recalling the need for [Read More...]

What we have come to: little girls dropping the f-bomb

From USA TODAY:  “What is more offensive — a little girl saying (expletive) or the (expletive) unequal and sexist way society treats girls and women?” That’s the question five little girls in princess dresses and tiaras ask in a video that is going viral and sparking controversy online both because of the R-rated content and [Read More...]

Archbishop Cupich will forgo mansion and live in cathedral rectory

Details, from The Chicago Sun-Times: Archbishop Blase J. Cupich is eschewing opulence. He has decided to live at Holy Name Cathedral rectory, more modest than the North State Parkway mansion [shown above] where previous Chicago archbishops have resided, the Archdiocese of Chicago revealed Wednesday. The rectory living quarters are “very modest…not extravagant in any way,” [Read More...]

A little time with the Little Sisters

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent tonight with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Queens Village, leading their monthly Holy Hour for Vocations. They were warm and welcoming, despite the steady autumn drizzle that I suspect kept a lot of people at home tonight. I’m also told that the house was a little emptier; [Read More...]

Seminarian with brain cancer writes to Brittany Maynard: “Our lives are worth living”

Remarkable and moving witness, from the Diocese of Raleigh website: Philip Johnson, a 30-year-old Catholic seminarian from the Diocese of Raleigh who has terminal brain cancer, has written an article responding to Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old woman who has publicly stated her plan to commit suicide due to the fact that she has a terminal [Read More...]

Pope Francis: division in the Body of Christ “dismembers us” and starts war

Once again, the pope has delivered a message that, in light of recent events, might be seen not only as timely but also pointed: The Church as the Body of Christ was the focus of Pope Francis general audience this Wednesday morning, attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists in an autumnal St. [Read More...]

The synod revealed “a movement of plates that make up the map of the Catholic world”

Theology professor Massimo Faggioli has a compelling analysis of the recently-completed synod—one that is based not just on ideology, but also on geography. Take a look: What took place over the two weeks of the Synod was a genuine debate between competing ideas of what the church’s relationship ought to be with modern culture, the [Read More...]

New York Catholic high school changes course, cancels film shoot with gay theme

Details: A Catholic boys’ school has reversed its permission to allow civil rights drama Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page as a lesbian couple, to shoot on location in New York State. Salesian high school in New Rochelle, New York, had been expected to double for a town hall in Ocean County, New Jersey, where Moore’s [Read More...]

Ben Bradlee, the pope and me

I met Ben Bradlee once nearly 40 years ago, when I took a summer journalism seminar for high school students at the University of Maryland. The teacher was a junior editor at The Washington Post, and he scored the great coup of getting his boss, Bradlee, to come in one day to talk with us [Read More...]

Chaput: clergy might stop signing marriage licenses as “principled resistance”

Strong words from the Archbishop of Philadelphia: Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput says he was “very disturbed” by the debate over church teachings on gays and remarried Catholics at this month’s Vatican summit, saying it sent a confusing message, and “confusion is of the devil.” In a lecture delivered Monday evening in Manhattan, Chaput also suggested [Read More...]

Crescat: the big issue the bishops at the synod overlooked

This was, in her estimation, a glaring sin of omission—and I think she’s absolutely correct. What was missing?  Single parents—perhaps the most neglected demographic in the Catholic Church, and one that is only growing. As Katrina notes:  “Special attention should be given to the accompaniment of single-parent families, in a particular way to help women who [Read More...]

Are you free Wednesday night? Stop by and spend an hour with Jesus, the Little Sisters, and me

I got a very nice email a couple months back from The Little Sisters of the Poor, inviting me to take part in their monthly Holy Hour for vocations here in Queens. I was happy to accept. I’ll be there tomorrow, Wednesday October 22, at 6:30. I’ll offer a brief reflection on my own vocation and, I [Read More...]

Possible treatment for paralysis? “This is more impressive than a man walking on the moon”

A remarkable development that appears to show great promise—and, not insignificantly, involves using adult cells: Darek Fidyka, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a knife attack, can walk again after doctors used a new technique to construct a “nerve bridge” between two stumps of his damaged spinal column. The technique, described in the [Read More...]

Pope: “A Christian is one who knows how to await Jesus…he or she is a person of hope”

“He who does not await Jesus, who closes his door to Jesus, does not allow him to go forward with his work of peace, of community, of citizenship. And he does more: he gives us a name. He renders us children of God. We need to adopt an attitude that contains Christian hope. A Christian [Read More...]