Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith


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‘The Other Catholics’: remaking a Church that’s taking too long to change

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other-catholics-and-author

Hofstra Professor Julie Byrne’s new book, The Other Catholics: Remaking America’s Largest Religion, 10-plus years in the making, explores “independent Catholics,” churches that are not formally connected to the Roman Catholic Church but which hold to the tenets of apostolic succession, the seven sacraments, and devotion to the saints.

Progressive-minded Catholics will take encouragement from her argument that it’s the most left-leaning of these churches — those which, for instance, allow same-sex marriage and female clergy – that are the Roman church’s future, its “research labs.” In fact, she points out, Roman Catholic priests are already turning to independent churches for help — such as when a couple wants to be married but the bride, say, has been divorced.

Independent Catholics are believers who love the Roman Catholic Church but who “are tired of waiting” for change.

“What we see now after all these years since Vatican II, with even the papacy of Pope Francis, it’s very clear there are limits to what Francis can change,” says Julie, “how fast the Roman church can change. There are Roman Catholic progressives as well as ex-Catholics who are really tired of waiting for the change. That is why the independent Catholic groups that have been working in small churches for all these years are seeing so much interest. They’re doing the changes already, such as ordaining women, open communion for the divorced and anybody, marrying LGBTQ, ordaining anyone, basically, and having open sacraments regardless of a person’s background. If he or she has completed the training, the sacraments are open.

“The Roman church generally does pretty well on social justice issues, but it doesn’t do so great on what I call sacramental justice issues.”

 

 

 

 

 


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LGBTQ Catholics have Dignity on their side! Plus, Mother Teresa goes marching in!

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marianne-duddyburke-headshotdebbie-carpenterpaul-scarbroughMarianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, with Connecticut members Debbie Carpenter and Paul Scarbrough, which seeks full equality in the Catholic Church for LGBTQ Catholics.

mat-schmalzMat Schmalz, professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, an expert on global Catholicism, on the recent canonization of Mother Teresa.

 


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“God is found even in grouchiness”

Fr John 1Fr John 2Fr John3

Regular guest Passionist Father John Baptist Pesce of Holy Family Monastery in West Hartford, CT, explains why it’s a sign of progress that the Catholic Church is infuriating segments of its flock.

 

Hoof it for Haiti

Also, Jeff Cantin, organizer of this year’s 5K walk, run and roll to benefit Haiti, tells about plans for the 9th annual event, to take place rain or shine on Sat., Sept. 24, at St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Rocky Hill, CT.

Click below to hear the episode:

https://reasonablycatholic.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/reasonably-in-action04.mp3

 

 


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Encore episode: Introducing Wesleyan’s new Catholic chaplain

Click below to hear the episode:

https://reasonablycatholic.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/reasonably-in-action03.mp3

 

Fr. Bill Wallace

Until recently, Augustinian Father William Wallace wore an additional hat, as a practicing lawyer in lower Manhattan, handling fraud cases in the New York Attorney General’s office. Recently, he retired from that job to become Wesleyan University’s new Catholic chaplain.

 


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A year after lye attack on her face, Rev. Alexandra counts her blessings

 

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AlexandraAlexandra Dyer, a Roman Catholic woman priest, lectors at a July liturgy at St. Praxedis Roman Catholic Church in New York City. In her former day job as the head of an NYC non-profit arts organization, Rev. Alexandra uncovered malfeasance, prompting the embezzler to hire a young man to throw industrial drain cleaner in her face as she walked to her car. Both criminals are now serving time on Rikers Island, and Alexandra has been busy healing. She recounts how, along that process, she had a spiritual experience which solidified her already strong faith.

 

Here’s a link to the Reasonably Catholic episode featuring Alexandra’s ordination. In the photo below the Rev. Gabriella Velardi Ward is among those ordaining Alexandra Dyer:

https://reasonablycatholic.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/rc2014_5_20_for_pacifica.mp3

 

 

Gabriella blesses Alexandra

An interview with Rev. Gabriella Velardi Ward:

https://reasonablycatholic.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/rev-gabriella-velardi-ward.mp3

 

Photojournalist Judith Levitt, who creates portraits of Roman Catholic Women Priests looking “like little Popes,” as below, discusses her art

https://reasonablycatholic.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/photojournalist-judith-levitt.mp3

Bishop Patricia Fresen. Photograph by Judith Levitt

Bishop Patricia Fresen. Photograph by Judith Levitt

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Papal commission on women deacons: an encore broadcast

FutureChurch founder Sr. Christine Schenk and Hofstra University Prof. Phyllis Zagano, the mother of the female diaconate movement,  reacted in May to Pope Francis’ announcement that he would establish a commission on the subject. On the occasion of his doing so last week, we rebroadcast that episode. Prof. Zagano will be a member of that panel and will report back on a future show.

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Part II of radio host/columnist Colin McEnroe on his developing Christian faith

Click below to hear the episode:

https://reasonablycatholic.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/reasonably-in-action0.mp3

 

Colin show logoColin headshot IIIn the second of two episodes, WNPR radio host and Hartford Courant columnist Colin McEnroe tells how the inspired founder and pastor of Riverfront Family Church in Glastonbury, CT, the Rev. Nancy Butler, is encouraging him along the Christian path — and wishes he’d hurry up about it — as she deals with the ravages of ALS.

Colin had only the sketchiest of religious upbringings (when, as a boy, he asked his parents to bring him to church, they dropped him off there and went home) but now he rarely misses a service and he even belts out the songs! Going to church nourishes him, he says, like nothing else.

Click below to find Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1838 Harvard Divinity School address, considered one of the best commencement speeches ever. Colin read it to Nancy, pausing as they unpacked a phrase here and then — she said she agreed with every word — then he cried on his drive home.

http://www.emersoncentral.com/divaddr.htm

 

 

 

 


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Radio host/columnist Colin McEnroe finds his spiritual home — in a Baptist church

Click below to hear the episode:

https://reasonablycatholic.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/reasonably-in-action02.mp3

ColinColin McEnroe, host of WNPR’s “The Colin McEnroe Show” and a Hartford Courant columnist, tells how, after a lifetime of seeking, he found his spiritual home at Riverfront Family Church in Glastonbury (www.riverfrontfamilychurch.com), whose pastor Nancy Butler has ALS and is determined, in her last days on earth, to do, in Colin’s words, some “spiritual carpentry” on him. Though Colin is sure he’d win no prizes for “best Christian,” he says he might be this year’s “most improved.” Part II of our chat airs next Tuesday, Aug. 2nd.

Here is a recent column about how his developing faith has changed him:

http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-mcenroe-reconsidering-being-mean-0703-20160701-column.html

 


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It’s how they roll: in a 5th tour, Nuns on the Bus take on the disparities among us

Click below to hear the episode:

https://reasonablycatholic.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/reasonably-in-action01.mp3

Nuns on the Bus Sister Simone Campbell, left; Sister Larretta Rivera-Williams, above right; and Sister Susan Francois pass the cell phone among themselves for an interview about their fifth bus tour, this one themed “Mend the Gaps.” The 13-state tour, designed to hit both political conventions, is a project of the non-profit lobbying group Network, of which Sister Simone is the executive director. Go to www.networklobby.org or nunsonthebus.org for details about the sisters and their work.

The bus will park at Holy Family Passionist Monastery and Retreat House, 303 Tunxis Road, West Hartford on Sunday, July 24. Interested visitors are invited to caucus at 4 p.m., then attend Mass afterward.

 

Also, Commonweal film critic Richard Alleva reviews “The Innocents,” a quietly powerful film about a post World War II convent of Polish nuns in trouble.

 

 


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Willing to get in ‘a little Gospel trouble’

Click below to hear today’s rebroadcast of an unfortunately timely episode from Feb. 3, 2016.

 

\Deacon ArtDeacon Arthur Miller, who headed the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office of Black Catholic Ministries until it was eliminated last year (as was the Office of Hispanic Ministries), is still finding plenty of ways to inspire. An activist, author (of The Journey to Chatham, about his growing up in Chicago in the ’50s when he was a schoolmate of Emmet Till, whose murder helped spark the civil rights movement), and popular speaker, Deacon Art was recently arrested for blocking traffic as part of a Black Lives Matter Moral Monday protest in Hartford.