Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith

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Are clergy nearer to God than thee? Voice of the Faithful takes on clericalism.

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Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke visits the Oratory of Ss. Gregory and Augustine to celebrate Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament followed by a Reception. As Archbishop of St Louis, Cardinal Burke canonically established the Oratory on the first Sunday of AdveThe picture of clericalism — Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke in full regalia


Pope Francis and lamb

Two good pieces about Pope Francis:

“Pope Francis in hot water over ‘personal’ phone calls,” Yahoo News

“John XXIII: The accidental saint,” National Catholic Reporter

Phyllis Zagano

Phyllis Zagano, Hofstra University professor and occasional Reasonably Catholic guest, invites you to the following free online seminar on “Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future,” which will run from June 9 to July 8, 2014. See registration info below:

Instructors for this FREE seminar are Gary Macy, William T. Ditewig, and Phyllis Zagano, all noted researchers and authors of articles and books on the women’s diaconate. Dr. Zagano also is the 2012 recipient of VOTF’s Catherine of Siena Award.
To register here, follow the directions below. Then review the materials needed for the seminar and the course outline.
• How to Register
• What You Need
• Course Outline
1. Go to the initial registration page and enter your country name (example: United States) there. This will allow Dr. Zagano to show visually where the participants reside. Now click the “Click here to enroll” button.
2. On the CourseSites screen, click the Self-Enroll option.
3. Assuming that you have never used CourseSites before, on the next screen choose the second option: I need a CourseSites account. (If you already have an account, proceed with the log-in option and choose the Hofstra Women Deacons course.)
4. Complete the next screen (1. Create a New Student Account) with your name, email address, user name, password and other information. Also, make sure your screen shows None as the “institution/district/company” option.
5. Click Continue and on the next screen click Go to course to open the “Blackboard” for your new account.
That’s it! You are registered. The site will send your email address a verification and a welcome message; confirm the email when it arrives. You will receive future communications and notices about course-related materials at the same email address.
Although the online seminar itself is free, you do need to purchase two books to participate. Both are easily available, in softcover print or as a Kindle download, at reasonable prices from Purchase books through the links below.!

Ordination of Women to the Diaconate in the Eastern Churches: Essays by Cipriano Vagaggini Collegeville, MN, Liturgical Press, 2013.
Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future.
(With Gary Macy and William T. Ditewig) Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2011.

During the seminar, the first four days of each week will contain readings and lectures (about one hour’s worth of work per day).
Each Friday, the Discussion Board will open for three days. Where possible an instructor or a teaching assistant will join in.
The seminar will consider questions related to past, present, and future during the discussion:
1. In the past: Who were the women deacons in the early church? Were they ordained? What did they do? Why did they disappear?
2. In the present: When was the diaconate rejuvenated, and why? Has there been consideration of women in the diaconate?
3. In the future: What are the obstacles to women in the diaconate? How can these challenges be addressed? What would it mean for women to be ordained?

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Smile! It’s tax day! We advanced “the common good”!

Listen to an episode about Catholic social teaching on taxes.

Fr. Fred Kammer, SJJesuit Fr. Fred Kammer, a lawyer, author, teacher and retreat director based at Loyola University in New Orleans, where he is the director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute, explains Catholic social teaching on taxes and how US tax policy is too regressive and thus out of step with moral dictates dating back to ancient times which also have long been promulgated by the Catholic Church. Fr. Fred has advocated for social justice in many capacities, including as the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the nation’s largest voluntary human service network. He now serves as director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola. He is the author of  Doing Faithjustice: An Introduction to Catholic Social Thought (1991, Paulist Press);   Salted with Fire: Spirituality for the Faithjustice Journey (1995, Paulist Press, and 2008, Wipf and Stock Publishers); and Faith. Works. Wonders.—An Insider’s Guide to Catholic Charities (2009, Wipf and Stock Publishers).

Here is the excerpt Fr. Fred read from a favorite speech. It was given by the late Czech poet and president Vaclav Havel in 1986 at Liberty Hall in Philadelphia:

“Either we have hope or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul, and it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart … Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed … Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. It is this hope above all which gives us the strength to live and continually try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do now.” [Father Fred notes that three years after Havel gave this speech the Berlin Wall fell.]

Also, salvaged from the cutting room floor (ran out of time!), here’s audio of Fr. Fred’s answer to the question, “How is New Orleans doing, economically?”

Click to listen:


Big promotionsNEW SAINTS — Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII will be canonized on April 27.


Bria and StephNEW MYSTICS — UConn seniors and NCAA national basketball champions Bria Hartley and Stephanie Dolson were just drafted by the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

Below: photos from the Hartford parade celebrating the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams’ winning all the marbles. The only other time a school won dual national championships was ten years ago — and it was UConn then, too. Two-hundred thousand people turned out for the parade and rally at the capitol — twice as many as turned out for Pope Francis’ Palm Sunday homily in St. Peter’s Square. Word is his holiness is working on his jump shot.

parade 1 parade 2 parade 3 parade 4parade 5The band, the women, the men (Shabazz Napier with arms outstretched), and NBC 30’s sportscaster Kevin Nathan, who does a great job and happens to be Catholic!

Finally, with thanks and a hat tippo to my sister-in-law Sherry, here’s a video of an Irish priest serenading a bride and groom with his take on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”:

Singing padreClick below to listen:


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Our April Fools’ Day Catholic Joke Show: We kid because we love!

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Pope_in_a_clown_noseA CATHOLIC JOKE SHOW? Why not? We’re sure Pope Francis would bestow his blessing. Here he is in a photo from last November, donning  a red clown nose with newlyweds who volunteer with a clown-therapy charity.



Pope and PrezPresident's gift to PopeGifted Leaders

From the New York Times coverage of President Obama’s visit with Pope Francis:

The two men appeared to share a lighthearted rapport during an exchange of gifts. Francis, an Argentine and the first pontiff from the Southern Hemisphere, gave the president two medallions, including one that symbolized the need for solidarity and peace between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

He also presented Mr. Obama with a copy of “Evangelii Gaudium,” or “The Joy of the Gospel,” the apostolic exhortation that Francis released last November as his call for a new era of evangelization and for a renewed focus on the poor.

Mr. Obama presented Francis with a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House garden, noting that the box was made from reclaimed wood from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.

“If you have a chance to come to the White House, we can show you our garden as well,” the president said. Using a Spanish phrase that can be translated as “Why not?” or “For sure,” Francis quickly responded.

“Cómo no?” he said.



2014 Assembly Logo DRAFT Purple 102513Voice of the Faithful in Hartford

HARTFORD — On Saturday, April 5, Voice of the Faithful comes to the Connecticut Convention Center for a day of presentations, workshops, prayer, and collegial collaboration.
Guest speakers will be John L. Allen, Jr., Catholic news correspondent and analyst for The Boston Globe and founder of the Vatican beat for National Catholic Reporter; and Fr. Thomas Reese, NCR‘s Senior Analyst and author of The Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church.

Featured presenters in six afternoon workshops include Fr. Tom Doyle, noted survivor advocate; Michael Ryan, specialist in guidelines for parish donations security; and four “conversation starters” from pastoral ministries for the Female Voices workshop.

The Assembly begins with registration at 9 a.m., the opening prayer is at 10 a.m. and the workshops begin at 2.

The assembly will close with a panel on new pathways to healing and reform, featuring Fr. Jim Connell, a canon lawyer and retired pastor who also helped found the Catholic Whistleblowers; Prof. Tom Porter, a trial lawyer, mediator, and Methodist minister from Boston University’s School of Theology, and William Casey, coordinator of a restorative justice program and former chair of VOTF’s Board.

Here’s the full agenda. Lunch is included in the $80 per person registration fee.

You can register easily online, or print out this registration form and mail it to the office (P.O. Box 423, Newton MA 02464) with a check for $80.

Please complete one form for EACH person; it’s the only way to choose your workshops.

If you stay overnight in Hartford, you may make reservations at the Marriott Hartford Downtown, located right next to the convention center, for only $89 per night.



Q. No Fr. Guido Sarducci in the joke show?


fr guido sarducci  A. No, while the clerical garb, cigarette and accent are funny, his material’s kinda — meh. Doesn’t translate well to radio.


Q. What about Bill Maher?

BILL MAHERA. Nah. Not funny. Just mean.


Q. Who told that last groaner of a joke about the guy who paints the house?

fr. joseph martinA. The late Fr. Joseph Martin