In our reporting on Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn's agreement to come under supervision by the Clay County, Mo., prosecutor, we noted that such agreements are rare. A similar arrangement was made in 2003 between the Maricopa County, Ariz., attorney and then-Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien.
As much as I’ve recently voiced skepticism over the bishops’ new “religious liberty” initiative, I also think colleague Michael Sean Winters has put it as plainly as possible that the Obama administration has a significant choice to make, and if it goes the wrong way it could be costly in the Catholic world.
By way of the new and vaunted “religious liberty” effort, I think it is a thinly disguised – and potentially very costly in multiple ways -- effort to reclaim the credibility that has profusely leaked in recent decades from the episcopal culture. The point to be made in that instance is that the bishops are receiving a great deal of the pushback from Catholic politicians and the Catholic public. The problem is that the bishops have not made a persuasive case in the sex and gender issues they find most disturbing. And while they may point to relativism, secularism, a hyper-sexed society and whatever other ills they perceive lurking about, the fact o f the matter is they have mostly themselves to blame for their decreased standing in the general culture.
The theory goes like this: Craven and base politicians, focused only on the next election, will give the people whatever they want. This is mainstay of modern thought, the supposed dark side of democracy -- the point when pandering meets public opinion polls. And yet, on one topic this bedrock notion crumbles.
The iconic Crystal Cathedral, built by the Rev. Robert Schuller and made famous as the site of his "Hour of Power" television show, is set to become the cathedral of the Diocese of Orange in southern California.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Kwan announced Nov. 17 that the board of directors of Crystal Cathedral Ministries had selected the diocese as the preferred buyer for the cathedral and its 31-acre campus, which had been the subject of complicated bankruptcy proceedings.
The diocese will pay $57.5 million for the Garden Grove property that includes the 10,000 glass-paned cathedral, an adjacent glass tower and chapel, several large centers, a school (pre-K through high school), an arboretum and a memorial garden.
The CCM board chose the diocesan proposal over a competing bid of $59 million by Chapman University, saying it wanted to ensure that the campus would remain the site of worship and outreach ministries.
The Associated Press is reporting:
VATICAN CITY – Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in disgrace as Boston's archbishop in 2002 after the priest sex abuse scandal exploded in the United States, has left his subsequent job as head of a major Roman basilica.
The Vatican said Monday that Pope Benedict XVI had accepted the 80-year-old Law's resignation as archpriest of St. Mary Major basilica and had named as Law's replacement Spanish Monsignor Santos Abril y Castello.
In the ongoing debate about food in the United States, Congress outdid itself Thursday by siding with the french fry and pizza industries and declaring, or reaffirming, pizza as a vegetable because it has two tablespoons of tomato paste per slice, thereby securing its place on the school lunch menu.
Opinion by James Carroll The Catholic Church sets foot in tricky waters
Ontario, Calif. -- Mass celebrates Black Catholic History Month
United Kingdom -- Delia Smith wants to do for Catholicism what she has done for cooking
Boston -- Local priest cleared of abuse charges
Cotonou, Benin -- Anyone just tuning in now to Pope Benedict XVI, who doesn’t know much about him but somehow caught wind of his Nov. 18-20 trip to Benin, could be forgiven a bit of confusion about exactly what the pope came here to say about the political role of Catholicism in Africa.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There's only "one question worth asking" about religious life today, Holy Spirit Fr. Anthony Gittins told a crowd of some four hundred gathered for the Religious Formation Conference's congress here this morning.
Amidst continuing talk of diminishment of religious orders, and worries about how ministries will continue with fewer numbers, the professor, social activist, and hospital chaplain put it bluntly:
“Numbers and age are of little consequence," said Gittins. "The only question worth asking…is whether we are running, standing still, or just twitching nervously as we wait for death.”
Instead, Gittins, who is a professor of mission and culture at the Catholic Theological Union, said “now is the moment for religious to stand up and to stand fast." Otherwise, he said, “it remains a serious danger that the church of poverty and prayer will disappear.”
Offering concrete examples for how to do forward, Gittins said members of religious communtities must seek out the markings of "spirit-led" people to answer their call, including "looking for trouble" and leading lives that are "full and worthwhile and never boring."
By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
tArchbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, has long been one of Africa’s most visible, and most influential, Catholic prelates. He’s a former president of SECAM, the umbrella group for bishops’ conferences on the continent, as well as a former president of the Nigerian bishops. He’s also a member of the Vatican council of the Synod for Africa, which means he had a hand in drafting the post-synodal document, Africae Munus, or “Africa’s Commitment,” which Benedict XVI presented today in Benin.
tOnaiyekan, 67, is on hand in Benin, part of a cross-section of African bishops taking part in the papal trip. He sat down this afternoon for an interview with NCR, following a lunch in his Cotonou hotel which amounted to an informal reunion of bishops from up and down the continent.
tThe conversation with the always-outspoken Onaiyekan included the following highlights: