If you're in Chicago this weekend and looking from something to do, check out "Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution," The annual national conference on peacemaking of Pax Christi USA. The event starts today at the Wyndham O'Hare Hotel in Chicago and goes all weekend.
I know Pope Benedict has declared this "The Year of the Priest," but that doesn't mean any old Joe can impersonate one.
This strange news item out of the City of Brotherly Love: A 26-year-old man dressed as a Catholic priest and entered the intensive care unit room of an injured Philadelphia police officer and comforted the officer and his family last month. Paul Schlear of North Philadelphia also has admitted to wearing an alb in processions at the funerals of two fallen police officers. According to one report, he pretended to talk to Cardinal Justin Rigali on his cell phone while at the hospital.
A statement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia called the matter deeply disturbing. "The Archdiocese, which has fostered a close prayerful relationship with the men and women of the Philadelphia police force and their families, is pained by the duplicity of anyone who would betray the Church and cause such hurt to God's people in such a vulnerable position," the statement said.
Former Bush I ambassador to the Vatican Thomas Melady and Fred Rotondaro, chairman of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, write in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post that "the time is ripe to end the nation's divisive abortion battles."
The king of fake news dances to "The King of Glory."
A Buffalo pastor, now retired, has admitted in court that he stole $213,000 from his last parish. He has, apparently, escaped jail time by paying it all back. Here's the story from The Buffalo News:
He owns a home on nine acres of wooded land in Colden, a condominium at the Estero Beach & Tennis Club in Fort Myers, Fla., and another condo in the U. S. Virgin Islands.
And on Thursday, when he pleaded guilty to stealing $213,732 from Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Cheektowaga — including taking money out of the collection plate—he avoided a prison term by repaying every cent of his theft.
Because he repaid the money he stole, including a last check for $94,619.88 on Thursday, Buscaglia said he had agreed to impose five years' probation on Sullivan when he returns for sentencing Oct. 5.
Prosecutors got onto the case with two anonymous tips. The story details how Sullivan skimmed the money and how he got way with it and then adds some Buffalo church history:
Agence-France Presse is reporting:
AOSTA, ITALY - Pope Benedict XVI's operation for a fractured wrist on Friday "went well," the president of the Val d'Aosta region said in televised remarks.
"Everything went well" in the operation performed with a local anaesthetic in the hospital in Aosta, northern Italy, where the pope is on holiday, said Augusto Rollandin.
From the Associated Press 30 minutes ago
AOSTA, Italy — A hospital spokesman says Pope Benedict XVI is undergoing surgery after breaking his right wrist in a fall during his vacation in the Italian Alps.
The NY Times profiles Sotomayor's Catholic grade school.
Shortly after our pop-culture critic, Sr. Rose Pacatte, did her review of the Dan Brown/Tom Hanks/Ron Howard collaboration, Angels & Demons: Everyone's trying to save the church, I noted that Columbia TriStar Motion Pictures was in pre-production of a movie of "Priest," the Korean comic book series created by Hyung Min-woo, starring a submachine gun toting, Roman collar wearing "warrior" priest.
Now I see that Nicolas Cage is talking about a sequel to his comic book brought to life movie of 2007, "Ghost Rider." According to the comics reporter of the Digital Spy Web site, Cage has agreed to reprise his role as the motorcycle-riding, flaming-skull spirit of vengeance Johnny Blaze, but he wants to "reconceive" the movie.
"I would like to go in a whole other direction," Cage is quoted as saying. "I would make it much less of a Western and more of an international story."
Cage's idea? Set the next story in Europe and have Johnny Blaze team up with the Catholic church.