Saturday, November 16

Vatican finally laicizes the former Father Cipolla of Pittsburgh, something Bishop Wuerl has been trying to make happen for years.

Catholics in Scotland are feeling increasingly under siege.

Mario Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow, is said to be shocked at the level of crime his priests have to deal with on a daily basis. He is also understood to have been taken aback by the levels of lawlessness in Glasgow since taking up his post in the city earlier this year. As well as attacks on priests, Conti highlighted sectarian violence and attacks on immigrants during a high-profile sermon at a police memorial service attended by Strathclyde Chief Constable Willie Rae. Archbishop Conti said during the sermon: "I know from my 200 interviews with Catholic priests of the archdiocese that there are many of their parishioners who are afraid of going out at night, and many, others, including priests, who are intimidated and disturbed in public and in their own homes."

They held educational sessions on abuse in Tampa on Friday

Not many showed up.

Of more than 372,000 Roman Catholics in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, about 100 showed up at three discussions in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Brooksville to discuss new guidelines for dioceses to follow in sex abuse cases. "It's football night," said Martha Costantino Lorenzo, one of about 35 parishioners to show at St. Paul Catholic Church in Tampa. The timing, she said, excluded parents who felt obligated to go to high school games.

I'd have to say that I'm not surprised by the brilliant scheduling. The best place and time to talk to parishioners about anything is, of course, Sunday morning. But you know, if we do it then...there might actually be ask questions.

From the Sacramento Bee, tales of two priests:

Matthew Fox

He has lately become pastor to a "techno cosmic mass" that combines the dance culture of "raves" with the Christian liturgy at an old ballroom in Oakland, at 19th Street and Broadway. (The next techno cosmic mass will be held at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 24.)"I feel that ritual is very important," he says, "So we're deconstructing the liturgy. We're trying to show people that you don't have to take the drug Ecstasy to get high. If we do liturgy right, it gives the transcendence people are looking for in drugs."

And Zlatco Sudac

When Sudac walked onto the stage, many in the audience leaned forward in their seats. They soon discovered what many of his followers already knew -- on the orders of his bishop in Croatia, Sudac covers his marks.But that didn't seem to matter. The slight priest with the long brown hair -- many said he looks a lot like how they envision Jesus -- has a powerful stage presence. Although he needed an interpreter, Sudac's message of love and hope connected with the audience. There was nothing radical about what he said -- his words clearly fall into mainstream Catholicism. He spoke passionately about Christ and following him."I thought he was just excellent," Ruby Hernandez said during a break. She concedes she was curious about the stigmata. "He was chosen by God to have it, and I think he was chosen so people would come to hear what he has to say."

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Michael!


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