Main Menu  

ARCC Banner
ARCC invites our Newsletter friends who are not already members to consider joining and supporting ARCC.
Advent wreath 
O come, O come, Emmanuel.
So.....What Kind of Church Do I Want?
John W. Greenleaf     Nov.29, 2012

Just before Thanksgiving, I had an email exchange with an old friend, who is now a member of the episcopal hierarchy.  He asked me, with a small dose of annoyance, just what I wanted from the church.


I told him I could think of ten points........

  1. I want a church that affirms the worth, the dignity, and the autonomy of every woman and man, compatible with the rights of others: a church that supports democracy and human rights and aims at the fullest possible development of every human being.
  2. I want a church that affirms the equality of men and women: that all persons regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation deserve respect and the freedom to live and love in peace.
  3. I want a church that stresses that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility: that a fair society is based on reason and compassion, in which every person plays his or her part.
  4. I want a church that stresses and practices tolerance and freedom of expression: a church that realizes that all doctrines evolve and that all official teachers (Magisterium) must also be humble learners. We don't have all the truth. We pursue the truth....
  5. I want a church that rejects intimidation and holds that conflicts must be resolved through patient and humble dialogue.
  6. I want a church that upholds freedom of inquiry in every sphere of human life: the unexamined faith is a childish faith. Adult believers question and probe as they believe.
  7. I want a church that upholds artistic freedom, the value of human creativity, and recognizes the transforming power of art: a church that is not afraid of contemporary art.
  8. I want a church in which the ordained leaders dress and act like healthy contemporary leadership people not museum-piece Renaissance princes.
  9. I want a church in which humility and openness to the signs of the times are the key virtues rather than an arrogant condemnation of all that is contemporary.
  10. I want a church that realizes that the face of Christ is best seen and honored in the face of the woman or man sitting next to me on the bus as I go to work each day.




Some things we have been reading  


Statement by Fr. Roy Bourgeois about his dismissal from Maryknoll

Nov.20, 2012


I have been a Catholic priest in the Maryknoll community for 40 years. As a young man I joined Maryknoll because of its work for justice and equality in the world. To be expelled from Maryknoll and the priesthood for believing that women are also called to be priests is very difficult and painful.

The Vatican and Maryknoll can dismiss me, but they cannot dismiss the issue of gender equality in the Catholic Church. The demand for gender equality is rooted in justice and dignity and will not go away.

As Catholics, we profess that God created men and women of equal worth and dignity. As priests, we profess that the call to the priesthood comes from God, only God. Who are we, as men, to say that our call from God is authentic, but God's call to women is not? The exclusion of women from the priesthood is a grave injustice against women, our Church and our loving God who calls both men and women to be priests. 

When there is an injustice, silence is the voice of complicity. My conscience compelled me to break my silence and address the sin of sexism in my Church. My only regret is that it took me so long to confront the issue of male power and domination in the Catholic Church.

I have explained my position on the ordination of women, and how I came to it, in my booklet, My Journey from Silence to Solidarity. Please go to:
In Solidarity,

Roy Bourgeois sig  

Bourgeois' lawyer asks Maryknoll for 'honest answers'
Joshua J. McElwee     Nov.29, 2012

Roy Bourgeois' canon lawyer has written to the leadership of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, asking for "honest answers" about the order's involvement in the Vatican's dismissal of the longtime peace activist and priest. . . . . Dominican Fr. Tom Doyle's questions include what knowledge the religious order had of the move by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and why it hasn't shared the official document from the papal office.

The dismissal drew criticism from a former head of the U.S. missionary order, who said in an interview it represented interference "with the integrity of the society."

. . . .

Among Doyle's questions to the Maryknoll leadership:

  • "Has there been any communication between the Holy See and the Superior General of Maryknoll between June and the present?"
  • "Did the Superior General or anyone in the leadership structure of Maryknoll have any reason to believe that the Holy See was contemplating the action it took?"
  • If the superior general was not in communication with the Vatican, "does he believe that this apparently unilateral intrusion into the affairs of a religious institute should go unquestioned?"
  • "What are the contents of the communication from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith? Will this communication be shared with Roy and with me as his counsel?"

Doyle provided a copy of his letter to NCR on Wednesday, after Doyle said he received a response from a member of Maryknoll's leadership team.


In that response, Doyle said, the Maryknoll leader said Dougherty has been out of the country since Nov. 17 and said he would be able to meet with Bourgeois at Maryknoll's New York headquarters to discuss the matter Dec. 6.

Fr. Tom Doyle is a former ARCC Board member and is an ARCC Presidential Advisor.
Mercy sisters support Roy Bourgeois
Joshua J. McElwee     Nov.30, 2012

The leaders of one of the largest groups of Catholic sisters in the western hemisphere have expressed support for a U.S. priest dismissed by the Vatican for his backing of women's ordination.

The leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is "saddened and disturbed" by the Vatican move, made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith against Roy Bourgeois, they wrote in a statement Wednesday.


The full statement from the Institute Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas is available here. 

Read more


Roy Bourgeois: They finally got him

Tom Roberts    Nov.29 2012


Ah, they finally got him, as we all knew they probably would. Eventually. And with a press release it was done: Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest for 45 years, was told that the Vatican "dispenses" him "from his sacred bonds."

And the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, caught in the culture that finds advocating for women's ordination such a grievous and unpardonable offense, "warmly thanks" Roy "for his service to mission and all members wish him well in his personal life."

. . . .

It's a clear case: the priest attended a woman's ordination ceremony and, as the release noted, his "disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women's ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and laicization."

The three biggies, all at once, all wrapped up in less than four years' time.

. . . .

What's glaringly clear is what's tolerable and what's not tolerable to the all-male, celibate culture of hierarchy.


Roy Bourgeois wanted to talk about the rights of women in the church. That's the ecclesial crime that will get you kicked out.  

Read more



In Memory of Roy Lawrence Bourgeois Sr.


April 21, 1913 - November 30, 2012


Roy L. Bourgeois, Sr. entered into eternal rest on Friday, November 30, 2012 at the age of 99. He was a native and lifelong resident of Lutcher, LA.


Beloved husband of the late Grace Haydel Bourgeois. Son of the late Anicet and Yolande Bourgeois. Father of Janet B. Hymel, Ann B. Bourgeois, Fr. Roy L. Bourgeois, Jr., and Denis "Dan" Bourgeois. Father-in-law of Sissy Bourgeois, and the late Wayne "Pint" Hymel and Richard J. Bourgeois, Sr. Brother of Marion Landry, and the late Ruth Bleakley, Elaine Foret, Arthemise "Sis" Bleakley, Percy and Harold Bourgeois. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 7 great-great grandchildren. Predeceased by one grandchild Denis J. Bourgeois, Jr.


Mr. Bourgeois was a lifetime member of the Lutcher Volunteer Fire Department and was retired from Louisiana Power and Light Company after many years of service. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 2130 Rectory Street, Paulina, LA on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 from 10:00 AM until 11:15 AM.


A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 AM. Interment will be in St. Joseph Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Peter Chanel Building Fund.


Arrangements under the direction of H. C. Alexander Funeral Home, Lutcher, LA. Information (225) 869-5553. Condolences may be offered at 

Send letters of support to 

Fr. Roy Bourgeois SOA Watch

PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903

Editorial: Ordination of women would correct an injustice
NCR Editorial Staff     Dec.3, 2012


The call to the priesthood is a gift from God. It is rooted in baptism and is called forth and affirmed by the community because it is authentic and evident in the person as a charism. Catholic women who have discerned a call to the priesthood and have had that call affirmed by the community should be ordained in the Roman Catholic church. Barring women from ordination to the priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand.

. . . . 

The most egregious statement in the Nov. 19 press release announcing Roy Bourgeois' "excommunication, dismissal and laicization" is the assertion that Bourgeois' "disobedience" and "campaign against the teachings of the Catholic church" was "ignoring the sensitivities of the faithful." Nothing could be further from the truth. Bourgeois, attuned by a lifetime of listening to the marginalized, has heard the voice of the faithful and he has responded to that voice.  

. . . .

Our message is that we believe the sensus fidelium is that the exclusion of women from the priesthood has no strong basis in Scripture or any other compelling rationale; therefore, women should be ordained. We have heard the faithful assent to this in countless conversations in parish halls, lecture halls and family gatherings. It has been studied and prayed over individually and in groups. The brave witness of the Women's Ordination Conference, as one example, gives us assurance that the faithful have come to this conclusion after prayerful consideration and study -- yes, even study of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.
NCR joins its voice with Roy Bourgeois and calls for the Catholic church to correct this unjust teaching. Read more

Jesuit, 92, penalized after eucharistic liturgy with woman priest
Joshua J. McElwee      Dec.3 2012

A Catholic priest who participated in a eucharistic liturgy with a woman priest last month has been ordered to no longer celebrate the Mass or perform any other priestly duties.


 Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan, a 92-year-old Milwaukee-area priest, said the superior of his religious community told him of the restrictions Nov. 29, saying they came at the request of Archbishop Jerome Listecki.


Brennan, a retired parish priest and former missionary to Belize, participated in a liturgy Nov. 17 with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a woman ordained in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests movement.

. . . .

Brennan said the restrictions include:

  • Suspension of priestly faculties, prohibiting him from performing any priestly duties in public;
  • Refraining from contact with media, "through phone, email, or any other means";
  • Not appearing as a Jesuit at any "public gatherings, protests or rallies";
  • Not leaving the Milwaukee area "for any reason" without his superior's permission.
. . . .

Brennan likened his support for women's ordination to support for women's suffrage: He remembers that at one time, his mother was not able to vote.  

Read more


Send letters of support to

Rev. Bill Brennan  

10100 West Bluemound Rd,  

Wauwatosa, WI 53226.

Being Catholic Re-Defined
John Chuchman    Dec.2012
Closed church
Bishop checked our Voting Records.



Catholic Scholars Jubilee Declaration update
The the latest sponsors of the Catholic Scholars Jubilee Declaration include Bishops Thomas Gumbleton, Geoff Robinson, William Morris and Pat Power as well as former Republic of Ireland president Mary McAleese



Send a Christmas Card to the    Vatican's Nuncio.
(and Archbishop Sartain, Bishop Blair and Bishop Paprocki too!)
Nun Justice Project

Send your own paper Christmas Card to the Vatican's Nuncio Archbishop Viganó (see address below)

  1. Wish him a blessed Christmas
  2. Tell him of your love and support for U.S. Nuns
  3. Ask him to request the Vatican to rescind its mandate to LCWR          



Send an immediate online Christmas greeting to three US bishops delegated to implement the mandate


 Send paper Christmas cards to everyone


Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó Apostolic Nuncio 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW  Washington, DC 20008


For personal delivery to the Nuncio in Washington by   members of the Nun Justice Project, send your cards to


Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó 

c/o Nun Justice Project Members PO Box 15057,  Washington, DC 20007       


Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

Archdiocese of Seattle 710 9th Avenue  Seattle, WA 98104                                    

Bishop Leonard Paul Blair The Catholic Diocese of Toledo  1933 Spielbusch Ave.  Toledo, OH 43604                                        
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki Diocese of Springfield, IL 
1615 West Washington St.
Springfield, IL 62702-4757                      


Read more

Former bishops' staffer banned over women deacons
Joshua J. McElwee     Dec.6, 2012

A former key U.S. Catholic bishops' conference staffer has been told he is not allowed to speak publicly in the Philadelphia archdiocese because he co-authored a book investigating the possibility of ordaining women as deacons.


William Ditewig, a theologian and deacon who previously served as the head of the bishops' secretariat for the diaconate, has been told his public presence in the archdiocese would cause "doctrinal confusion."


Ditewig, who has authored 10 books on the permanent diaconate and lay ministry, told NCR he had no intention of discussing the question of women deacons during his talk, which was to be an update on the state of the diaconate.

. . . .

Notice of the cancellation, which was made available to NCR Monday, came from the archdiocese's speaker approval commission, a group of six priests and one lay female theologian tasked with reviewing speakers for archdiocesan events.

Their cancellation came without consultation with the deacon.

Read more

Pope names 6 new non-European cardinals
CNN Wire Staff     Nov.24, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI appointed six new cardinals in a special ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday, all of them from countries outside Europe.


One of those elevated to the College of Cardinals was American Archbishop James M. Harvey, who currently serves as prefect of the papal household, according to Vatican Radio.

The others were Bechara Boutros Rai, a Maronite patriarch from Lebanon; Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, an Indian archbishop and head of the Syro-Malankara Church; Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria; Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, Colombia; and Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines.

. . . .

The new cardinals are all reportedly younger than 80, meaning they could play a role in picking the next pope.

Read more



Spoiler alert: Pope Benedict XVI chooses his own successor! (says my crystal ball)

Bryan Cones     Nov.24, 2012

That's how I read yesterday's elevation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle to the rank of cardinal.

. . . .

  1. Tagle is a theologian in Ratzinger's mold, with a twist. Tagle, who has his doctorate from the Catholic University of America, has been serving on the International Theological Commission, part of Ratzinger's former Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, since 1997.   . . . .
  2. He's from the Philippines, a traditionally Catholic but outside the Christianity's Near Eastern and European cradle.  . . . .   Tagle's election as pope would signify a significant shift in focus to the Southern part of the globe, where most Catholics live, and to Asia, where most Christians are minorities.
  3.  He's young! At only 55, Tagle's election would make sense.   . . . .
  4. He's a great communicator (in the mold of John Paul II) and already has a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. It wouldn't be news if Chito (Tagle's nickname) started tweeting.

It's hard to find anyone who says anything bad about this guy: He takes the bus, eschews clerical privilege, rides a cheap bike, and exudes simplicity, humility, and down-to-earthiness. If the College of Cardinals were to choose him as the next bishop of Rome, they would be making a choice for change indeed.  

Read more


The cost of becoming a cardinal
Andrea Rornielli    Nov.22, 2012

Even though there are only six of them, Rome's ecclesiastical tailors started work immediately on the vestments for the Church's newly elected "princes".


When a bishop is created a cardinal, they stop wearing the violet coloured garments they donned previously and replace these with red coloured ones. Tailors prepare a list of all the garments and accessories cardinals will need. Those who wish to make a gift to a cardinal can consult this list.


  Here are the current prices for items prepared by Rome's  Cappa magna most renowned tailor, Gammarelli, which has traditionally been the Pope's tailor. The red mozzetta  which cardinals wear with their choral vestments, costs about 200 Euro, but the price goes up if one chooses cord buttons  - which are hand made and more sought after (they cost 20 Euro each) - instead of cloth buttons. The red cassock costs approximately 800 Euro, while the three-cornered hat without a bow, which is typical for cardinals, can cost between 80 and 120 Euro. The red and golden cord for the pectoral cross costs around 80 Euro: the price varies according to how elegant it is and the size of the bow on the back. The red fascia which is worn with the red cassock and the black cassock with red piping, costs about 200 Euro. A black cassock with red piping costs approximately 600 Euro, while the cardinal's red zucchetto is priced at around 40 Euro. Finally, the red socks cost about 15 Euro for a pair.  


Given that cardinals usually purchase two sets of each of these outfits, they can expect to spend around four to five thousand Euro to complete their wardrobe. The cardinal's ring is a gift from the Pope.   

(1.00 EUR = 1.29863 USD) 

Read more
Pope Joins Twitter: Benedict XVI's Screenname Will Be @Pontifex
Nicole Winfield     Dec.3, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI will start tweeting in six languages from his own personal handle @Pontifex on Dec. 12.


The Vatican said Monday the pope will be using a question and answer format in his first Tweet, focusing on answering questions about faith - in 140 characters.

Read more



Rocco Palmo  @roccopalmo tweet:

B16 to send first @Pontifex tweets in St Peter's Square at close of General Audience next Wed, 12 December  #HabemusPapam  Questions can be submitted using the hashtag #askpontifex.  

Vatican disciplines Austrian dissident priest
Philip Pullella    Nov.29, 2012

The Vatican has cracked down on a prominent Austrian Roman Catholic priest who has been leading a disobedience campaign to openly challenge Roman Catholic teachings on celibacy and women priests.


The Vatican said on Thursday it had stripped Father Helmut Schueller of the right to use title monsignor and said he also was no longer a "Chaplain of His Holiness". Schueller remains a priest.

. . . .

Schueller is head of the group "Call to Disobedience", which has broad public backing in opinion polls and says it represents about 10 percent of the Austrian clergy. 

. . . .

The group wants Church rules changed so that priests can marry and women can become priests. It has said it will break Church rules by giving communion to Protestants and divorced Catholics who remarry.


Schueller told Austrian media that the Vatican decision had not shaken his principles.

Read more



No one can say why Austrian priest lost 'monsignor' title

John L. Allen Jr.    Dec.6, 2012


Famously, the behavior of bureaucracies is often driven as much by compromise, by an effort to balance competing agenda, as by strict logic. It's a rule of thumb that certainly applies to the Catholic church, and there's probably no better recent example than the Vatican's decision to strip Austrian Fr. Helmut Schüller of his title as "monsignor."


It's a rap on the knuckles obviously intended to make a statement, and yet no one in authority seems to want to say out loud quite what that statement is.


Beyond confirming that it happened, senior Vatican spokespersons have directed inquiries about the move to the Vienna archdiocese. Meanwhile, Michael Prüller, a spokesperson for Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, has told reporters that the decision "was made in Rome" and "has nothing to do with us."


The result is that while the world knows Schüller is no longer a monsignor, there's no official explanation as to why.

Read more

Pope keeps Scicluna as member of Vatican congregation
Karl Stagno-Navarra     Dec.1, 2012

The Vatican's former sex crimes prosecutor, who last week was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of Malta, is keeping a foot in his old office.


Pope Benedict XVI  named Bishop Charles Scicluna a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Scicluna had been based at the congregation for 10 years as its chief prosecutor, or promoter of justice, investigating clerical sex abuse cases and earning the respect of victims and even some of the Vatican's toughest critics for his hard line against pedophile priests.


As a member of the congregation now, Scicluna will sit alongside the two dozen cardinals and handful of bishops who judge the abuse cases that come before the office.    

Read more


Vatican names bishop for troubled Irish diocese
Associated Press     Nov.24, 2012

The pope on Saturday named a new bishop for the troubled Irish diocese of Cloyne, where for years its previous bishop ignored the Irish church's own rules requiring suspected priestly sex abuse to be reported to police. The new bishop promptly vowed to do everything in his power to help abuse victims heal.


Cloyne has been without a resident bishop since John Magee, private secretary to three popes, resigned in disgrace as bishop in 2010 after a church-appointed commission found that he and his deputies fielded complaints from parishioners about two pedophile priests starting in 1995, but told police nothing until 2003, and little thereafter.

. . . .

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday named the Rev. Canon William Crean, a parish priest in Cahersiveen, to replace the apostolic administrator who has been running the diocese in Magee's absence. Crean, 60, has been a director of religious education in several Irish schools and received his theology degree from the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Read more

New poll shows most Irish Catholics ignore church teachings, skip Mass
James O'Shea     ov.30, 2012

Over one in five Irish who say they are Catholics do not believe in the resurrection, or that God created the universe, an Irish Times poll has shown.

It also showed that seven per cent of Irish Catholics do not even believe in God. 84 per cent believe priests should marry, while 80 per cent believe women should be priests.

The survey reveals ala carte Catholicism is very much in fashion in Ireland, with 78 per cent saying they do not follow church teaching but their own individual conscience on issues.
Meanwhile 45 per cent do not believe in hell and 18 per cent do not believe that God created man.

On some issues however they are traditional. 92 per cent believe in God, 82 per cent believe in heaven and 84 per cent believe Jesus was the son of God.

Read more

Child sex inquiry beset by thorny problems
Bob Briton     Dec.4, 2012

The enormity of the task before the child sex abuse royal commission is becoming clearer by the day. Decades of criminal acts and cover-up are not going to be exposed and considered quickly or easily. Commissioners on the royal commission announced by Prime Minister Gillard will have to confront thorny questions of the meddling power and influence of large religious organisations like the Catholic Church in modern-day Australia. Lawyers and insurers are moving to protect their clients as thousands of victims prepare to recount their harrowing experiences in the care of once-trusted institutions.

Read more

Second defendant in Vatican leaks case drops appeal;
Vatican tribunal explains guilty verdict
Nicole Winfield     Dec.1, 2012

A computer expert convicted along with the pope's former butler in the Holy See's leaks scandal has dropped his appeal, the Vatican said Saturday, signaling an end of sorts to a case that convulsed the Vatican for the past year.


  Claudio Sciarpelletti was convicted Nov. 10 of aiding and abetting Paolo Gabriele, the pope's trusted butler who himself was convicted of stealing the pontiff's private papers and leaking them to a journalist in one of the Vatican's gravest security breaches in recent times.

. . . .

"This closes a precise part" of the case, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Saturday. "Whether there is particular research going on, I have no current information to give."

. . . . 

Asked Saturday whether the closure of both trials signaled an opening for the pope to pardon Gabriele, Lombardi demurred.


"I have no news to communicate about Paolo," he said.

Read more
Vatican introduces new security measures after Vatileaks scandal
Josephine McKenna    Dec.2, 2012

Vatican flag Vatican clergy and employees will be issued an identity card complete with a microchip-tracking device in sweeping new security measures designed to prevent a repeat of the Vatileaks scandal.


Much tighter controls have already been introduced for anyone seeking access or photocopies of the Holy See's archives, dossiers and documents.


The Papal Apartments, which include the living quarters of Pope Benedict XVI and the offices of his personal staff inside the Apostolic Palace, are totally off limits to anyone without strict authorisation.


Slovenian priest, Mitja Leskovar, an anti-espionage expert nicknamed 'Monsignor 007', is in charge of implementing the new security procedures with the identity cards expected to be introduced from January 1.

Read more
Maestro Georg - B16 Taps Secretary to Run the House
Rocco Palmo     Dec.7, 2012

In a move of massive significance which'll be seen as either a doubling-down on the clout of B16's longtime private secretary - or his being distanced from the daily minutiae of the Papal Apartment in the wake of the "Vatileaks" fiasco - at Roman Noon, the Pope named Msgr Georg Gänswein, his closest aide from well before his 2005 election, as prefect of the Papal Household. 


With the nod, the 56 year-old native of Germany's Black Forest was simultaneously elevated to the rank of archbishop.

. . . .

Developing - more to come. 

Read more

Catholic diocese: Va. Beach parish must alter worship
Jeff Sheler     Nov.20, 2012

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has told the nation's only blended Catholic and Episcopal parish it must change its worship services so Catholics and non-Catholics meet in separate rooms for Holy Communion.


 The parish, Church of the Holy Apostles, is led by Catholic and Episcopal co-pastors and has worshipped together for more than 30 years.


In an emotionally charged meeting Monday with parish leaders, representatives of the Catholic diocese voiced support for the ecumenical congregation, said the Rev. Michael Ferguson, the parish's Episcopal pastor.


But the officials made it clear the current worship practice - using a combined liturgy in which the priests move to separate altars in the same room to say the Eucharistic prayers - was unacceptable, Ferguson said.


They instructed the parish to come up with a plan that provides for separate liturgies in separate rooms, Ferguson said.

. . . .

Ferguson said parishioners at the church on Lynnhaven Parkway are still upset by DiLorenzo's removal of the parish's Catholic co-pastor, the Rev. James E. Parke, earlier this month.


DiLorenzo gave no reason for Parke's dismissal, which was communicated in a letter to the parish on Nov. 2 - one day after the parish celebrated its 35th anniversary. Parke has been temporarily replaced by Monsignor Raymond Barton, the parish's founding Catholic pastor in 1977.


In the same letter, DiLorenzo said he was sending in a team to determine whether the way the parish worships is consistent with Catholic doctrine.

Read more
The situation as it stood in 2006, after Bishop DiLorenzo's 2004 arrival
Retired Bishop Sullivan to go home for hospice care
Steven G. Vegh    Dec.6 2012

Retired Catholic Bishop Walter F. Sullivan has an inoperable liver tumor and was due to be released Wednesday from St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond for hospice care at home, a diocesan spokesman said. 

Notre Dame concludes comprehensive review of GLBTQ student services and support
Dennis Brown     Dec.5, 2012

Aftera five-month review process, University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., has accepted recommendations from the Office of Student Affairs to expand and enhance the support of and services for students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ), including the creation of a University recognized student organization.


The recommendations are part of a comprehensive pastoral plan that includes an array of initiatives grounded in the Catholic mission of the University. 

A Pink Slip From the Pope
L.V. Anderson    Dec.3, 2012

A survey of 40 Catholic priests in the Kansas City, Mo., area indicates that Bishop Robert Finn has lost the support of his priests since he was convicted earlier this year of failing to report child abuse by a priest in his diocese. Many priests and other critics have suggested that Finn resign. If he does not, the only way for him to be removed from office is for the pope to fire him. How common is it for a bishop to be fired?


Quite uncommon. As a rule, the Vatican avoids firing bishops outright, since doing so reflects poorly on the church and implies that it was a mistake for the pope to have appointed the fired bishop in the first place. In cases of conflict between the Vatican and a bishop, the Vatican usually pressures a problematic bishop to resign before resorting to actively dismissing him.


In recent years, the most famous cases of bishops being fired by the Vatican have been cases of liberal bishops who question church doctrine. In 1995, Pope John Paul II fired Jacques Gaillot, the Bishop of Evreux in France, after Gaillot offered to bless gay couples, endorsed condom use and the abortion pill, and expressed support for the ordination of married priests. In a similar case in Australia last year, the bishop of Toowoomba, William Morris, was fired by Pope Benedict XVI five years after writing a letter to his parish suggesting that the church should consider ordaining women and married men. 


Pope Benedict XVI appears to have a more liberal attitude toward firing than his predecessor; he has also fired three other bishops (in Slovakia, Congo, and Italy) for financial mismanagement.

Read more

LCWR wins award for freedom in the church
Porsia Tunzi    N ov.21, 2012


The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents thousands of American nuns, has been awarded the Herbert Haag Prize for 2013 for Freedom in the Church.

The Catholic-based Herbert Haag Foundation honored LCWR "for their candid stance in this crisis, for their persistent loyalty to the Christian message and for the spiritual energy with which they carry the conflict," according to a recent press release.


The award honors "people and institutions that engage themselves in the spirit of the apostle Paul for freedom in the church and in doing so give witness to the world," the press release said.


"The good name of US women religious has been known for a long time, far beyond the United States and stands in contrast to the scandals of clergy sexual abuse and financial mismanagement within other sectors of the Church," the press release continued.

Read more

Bernard Häring, a witness of critical love for the church
Fr. Charles E. Curran     Nov.24, 2012

The following is adapted from Fr. Charles Curran's contribution to Not Less Than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience, from Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero, edited by Catherine Wolff, which will be published by HarperCollins in February 2013. Redemptorist Fr. Bernard Häring would have been 100 on Nov. 10. 


B. Haring My appreciation for Bernard Häring was summed up in the dedication of my 1972 book, Catholic Moral Theology in Dialogue -- "To Bernard Häring CSsR, teacher, theologian, friend, and priestly minister of the Gospel in theory and practice on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday."  . . . . 

. . . .

On July 29, 1968, Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae reiterating the condemnation of artificial contraception for spouses was publicly released. I was the leader and later the spokesperson of what started as a group of 10 of us, mostly from The Catholic University of America, who read the encyclical that night and drafted a response to it. Our 10-short-paragraph statement concluded that Catholics could responsibly decide to use birth control if it were for the good of their marriage.

After finishing the statement, we called a number of other theologians in the cou
ntry, looking for more signatures. I reached Häring in California, read him the statement, and was ecstatic when he agreed to sign.  On the morning of July 30, I acted as the spokesperson for the then 86 Catholic scholars, including Häring, who had signed the statement. Ultimately more than 600 signed. This forthright and early response to the encyclical gained worldwide attention. Häring himself then and later without doubt became the most prominent and public proponent in the Catholic world for disagreeing with the conclusion of the encyclical.

. . . .

After much correspondence back and forth it became clear in late 1985 that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was going to take action against me, which they ultimately did in declaring that I was neither suitable nor eligible to be a Catholic theologian. However, they did agree to have an informal meeting of myself with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and some officials of the congregation in March 1986. I was able to bring one advisor. All along Häring had agreed that if there were such a meeting he would accompany me.

Häring's presence was a source of great strength and consolation to me. He began the session by reading a two-page paper titled "The Frequent and Long-Lasting Dissent of the Inquisition/Holy Office/CDF." It was Häring at his forthright best at speaking to power.  

. . . .

The next day, the fourth Sunday of Lent, six of us went to Häring's religious house to celebrate a liturgy at which he presided. The Gospel was the parable of the prodigal son. Häring in the homily looked at me and said that the church was the prodigal son who had taken all my treasure and my work for moral theology and fed it to the pigs. But the Holy Spirit was calling on me and the others present to take the role of the Father and forgive the church. Only with a spirit of forgiveness and hope can we continue to celebrate the Eucharist. He ended the homily by repeating twice that Christians are people who have hope.  


In the last few years I have often been encouraged by the witness of Bernard Häring. A defensive centralization continues to mark the attitude of the Vatican to any attempts to bring about change.  

. . . .   

Meanwhile all of us have seen family and friends leave the Catholic church because of its intransigence. Many people have asked me if I see any signs of hope in the church today. I remind them and myself that hope is not hope if you see it in front of you. St. Paul tells us that hope is hoping against hope. Hope is believing in light in the midst of darkness and life in the midst of death.

Bernard Häring was truly a person of hope.  

. . . .   

In the last years of his life he experienced the return of a centralization and authoritarianism he thought had been vanquished by Vatican II.
Häring's witness of critical love for the church, his forthrightness, and his hope even in the midst of darkness enabled him to continue the struggle for church reform. His witness gives hope and strength to all.

Read more

Robert C. Mickens speaks about The Vatican's implosion 
CityClubofCleveland     Nov.20 2012

Robert C. Mickens, Vatican correspondent and columnist for "The Tablet," speaks about The Vatican's implosion and what it means for American Catholics in a 56 minute video.


I've chosen to speak to you today about what I've begun to call for several years now "The Vatican Implosion." Now, what do I mean by implosion? Well, I define it as the collapse of an entire system, a structure, an ethos, a culture if you will, of global church governance. It's the crumbling of what's as close to an absolute monarchy as anything that ever existed in the world, certainly in the western world. In fact, the Catholic hierarchy, and certainly its center in Rome, could arguably be called the last absolute monarchy in the west today. It is imploding, I think, for a variety of reasons . . . .   


   Robert C. Mickens

Read all about it: Pope has not canceled Christmas
Philip Pullella   Nov.29, 2012

And so it came to pass that in the eighth year of Pope Benedict's reign, some tabloid and social media decreed that he had cancelled Christmas.

The day after Benedict's latest book "The Infancy Narrat
ives - Jesus of Nazareth" - was published on November 20, Vatican officials found some headlines they were not expecting.
"Killjoy pope crushes Christmas nativity traditions," read one tabloid headline, claiming that Benedict had snubbed traditions such as animals in nativity scenes and caroling.
"Pope sets out to debunk Christmas myths," ran another.

Holy Scrooge! Some blogs unceremoniously branded Benedict the new Grinch that stole Christmas and one rocketed him to the "top of the grumpy list for 2012."
And then there was this zinger headline from a web news site: "Pope bans Christmas". 

. . . .

Alarmed by some of the headlines, the Catholic social network XT3 felt compelled to run a blog that dissected the media's coverage of the book.  It was headlined: "The pope has not banned Christmas".
So what was all the fuss about?

In the 137-page book, the pope states a fact: that in the gospels there is "no reference" to the presence of animals in the stable - actually, it was probably a cave - where Jesus was born.
Bloggers had a feast with that, with one calling it "Bombshell number one". . . . .  "No one's faith should be shaken by this book," said Dodaro. "On the contrary, it should be fortified by this account. This is a believable account of the birth of Christ," he said.

And in St Peter's Square, workmen have started building the Vatican's larger than life nativity scene, which is expected to have animals and singing angels.

Read more



Pope urges Bartholomew I to 'continue towards communion' 

ANSA     Dec.1, 2012


Pope Benedict XVI on Friday urged the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I to "continue with confidence along the path that leads to the recovery of full communion" between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. 


In a message conveyed by a papal delegation to Istanbul for the feast of St Andrew the Apostle, the pontiff said "much progress" had been made "on this road" thanks to the "assiduous and active support" of Bartholomew I . 

Read more

Anglicans vow to vote again on allowing women bishops
Trevor Grundy      Nov.29, 2012

The Church of England plans to rush through legislation to consecrate women bishops after last week's surprising defeat at the church's General Synod in London.

The church's Archbishops' Council ended two days of closed-door meetings on Wednesday (Nov. 28), and said a plan to allow women bishops needs to be "restarted" when General Synod reconvenes in July. Church leaders originally said the issue could not be reopened until 2015.

Read more

Audio Book Review: 
Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church 
by Jason Berry
Audio Book Review: Render unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church by Jason Ber...


New book on women's ordination
Publication Date: October 12, 2012 


Incompatible with God's Design is the first comprehensive history of the Roman Catholic women's ordination movement in the United States.  Mary Jeremy Daigler explores how the focus on ordination, and not merely "increased participation" in the life and ministries of the church, has come to describe a broad movement. Moving well beyond the role of such organizations as the Women's Ordination Conference, this study also addresses the role of international and local groups.


In an effort to debunk a number of misperceptions about the movement, from its date of origin to its demographic profile, Daigler explores a vast array of topics. Starting with the movement's historical background from the early American period through the early 20th century to Vatican II and afterward, she considers the role of women (especially Catholicism's more religious adherents) in the movement's evolution, the organization of the ordination movement in the United States, the role and response of clergy and Vatican teachings, the reality of international influences on the U.S. movement, and the full range of challenges-past and present-to the ordination movement.


Scarecrow Press   (Use Promo Code 7F12DAIG and Save 35%) 2013 * 216 pages 978-0-8108-8479-3  * Hardback * $75.00 
Kindle edition  $42.74 


New Translation of the Roman Missal 

Lost in translation
                           Lost in translation                             URL

Petition For The Revocation of the 

2011 Roman Missal 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano Papal Nuncio to the United States
3339 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-3610


The First Sunday of Advent 2012 is here , and with it, the anniversary of the implementation of the new English version of the 2011 Roman Missal.


This Missal has met with only limited reception by the faithful, and is still a source of controversy and anger among regular Mass goers. In a recent survey by the magazine U.S. Catholic 49% of those surveyed dislike the translation and are unhappy about using it.

We, the undersigned, feel we are stunted in our ability to engage in "full, conscious and active participation" at Mass because of the new English version. We are scandalized at the process by which this Missal was produced and then forced on Catholics. We need liturgical language that is elegant yet connected to daily human experience. We seek a liturgy that lifts the spirit and gives hope, not one composed in a heavy, obscure and penitential style.


We urge the implementation of the 1998 Missal that was approved overwhelmingly by the Bishops of the English-speaking world, and the revocation of the 2011 English Missal.

We understand this action to be our duty in baptism, for the greater good of the Church (Code of Canon Law c.212,3.) 

Sign here 



One year on, has the new Mass won you over?


It's a year since Catholic parishes started using the new translation of the Missal. Before its introduction many people were critical, saying the wording was overly Latinate and would be hard to say. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. One year on, how have you found it? Please take a minute to take part in the following anonymous survey, which has 10 questions.

Tablet Survey

Bar is set low in acceptance of year-old English missal
Anthony Ruff    Dec.1, 2012

The first Sunday of Advent, Dec. 2, marks one year since the new translation of the Roman Missal was implemented in parishes in the United States and much of the rest of the English-speaking church. Here's the good news: The transition to the new English missal has gone better than many of us expected. After a month or two of awkward and hesitant liturgical exchanges, the people in the pews seem to have gotten used to the new texts.   . . . .


I suppose a bishop who had wondered how much flak he'd get can heave a sigh of relief a year later and say to himself, "It worked." I suppose a curial official intent on "reforming the reform" can say to himself, "We got away with it." The people are putting up with it, the clergy didn't rise up in revolt. Call it a success.

But do we really want to set the bar that low?

What about building up the church in love and peace? What about a buzz of excitement around a widely welcomed liturgical improvement? What about strengthening the bonds of mutual respect between the hierarchy and liturgical scholars? What about having church leaders we're proud of?
I don't see much evidence of that.  

. . . .

The reaction to the new missal mostly seems to be mild bemusement or irritation or confusion, but not protest or outrage. When it comes to liturgy, Catholics are quite patient. Most Catholics have no reason to track the dirty politics behind the scenes of how the Vatican centralized and micromanaged the translation process beginning in 2001, threw away 17 years of transparent and collegial work on a very fine revised English translation, and botched the new missal by making some 10,000 mostly ill-advised changes at the last moment.

And when they're attending liturgy, most Catholics are probably also not tracking the convoluted and inelegant language of the new missal. I haven't heard anyone report they've detected more scriptural allusions in the revised priests' prayers. It's rather easy to tune out what lacks appeal, and people's reduced attention to liturgical texts is a significant piece of why "it worked."


There is some heartfelt and enthusiastic support for the new missal. It is limited to a small band of the church, as anyone who spends much time in the Catholic blogosphere can attest. These are the traditionalist conservatives most upset with the direction of liturgical renewal since the Second Vatican Council and most anxious to "reform the reform." From this quarter, and only from there, comes the claim that the new texts are beautiful and poetic. One wonders whether this small group isn't increasingly the bishops' base of support, whether it's the missal or any other church controversy.


 In the discussion of liturgical translation at the November meeting of the U.S. bishops' conference, Bishop Robert H. Brom of San Diego and Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Burlington, Vt., offered contrasting visions of leadership, church unity, collaboration, and the relationship between bishops and priests. This is significant, for the new missal isn't just about texts -- it's also about power.

. . . .

The proper response to the new missal is not to storm the Bastille and topple the monarchy (though it is interesting that the small group inclined to this view seems to be growing). Most Catholics are merely disappointed and irritated, which is hardly the basis for a revolution. Most of us who see the deeper problems represented by the missal are committed to working collaboratively with our leaders to make a constructive contribution to the renewal and reform of our church. It is not unreasonable to hope that voices like Brom's will grow louder, with a revision of not just the missal but also the misguided translation principles that made it possible. And let it be said, there are certainly some good things in the new translation worth retaining. 

Read more

Upcoming Event 



Elephants in the Living Room 

Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB 

on The New Roman Missal  


Fr. Ruff participated for several years as an active member of ICEL.  From his perspective as a member of the ICEL, Fr. Anthony will look at the new Mass translations and the real history behind the changes.

St. Robert Bellarmine

27101 West Chicago

Redford, MI

Friday, December 14, 2012    1:00 PM


A light lunch will be served at noon.  

Please RSVP Tom Kyle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.







This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 






Like us  on Facebook 
Like us on Facebook