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On this day: St. Genesius


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Genesius.

"Genesius was a comic actor during the reign of Diocletian, the emperor who was intent upon eliminating the Christians from the empire once and for all. When Genesius's theatrical troupe was commanded to perform before Diocletian, they decided to prepare a play that would be topical: they wrote a new farce that mocked the Christian sacrament of baptism.

Morning Briefing


Cloyne vicar says 'conscience' prevented him from reporting abuse


A day after retired Bishop John Magee broke his silence on the Cloyne Report, which found that as bishop of Cloyne he did not implement church guidelines on handling clergy sex abuse, his chief lieutenant has confessed that he should have resigned in 1996 because he could not in conscience uphold those church guidelines.

In an Aug. 24 letter to The Irish Catholic, Msgr Denis O'Callaghan, the Cloyne diocese's vicar general and delegate for child protection, wrote that he came to realize that his commitment to the pastoral care of priests conflicted with church guidelines to report clergy abuse to civil authorities.

Housing First


In the past five years a new philosophy has replaced old attitudes about serving the homeless. The old view was: provide addiction treatment; provide detox; provide medical care; provide anti-psychotic drugs; provide temporary shelter in a hospital or other care facility that can access all these services.

Today the watchword is Permanent Housing First.

Women religious: which group points way to the future?


I knew it was inevitable that the objections would begin to fly when John Allen, in his Aug. 19 column about World Youth Day, used a finding in a 2009 survey on religious life to bolster points he was making about a rise in what he terms “evangelical Catholicism.”

More than a few women religious from the “liberal” side of the divide reacted to the implication that the future of religious life is emerging from the conservative side of things.

Tax break for clergy questioned


From The Wall Street Journal:

As Congress scrutinizes every nook and cranny of the budget for possible revenue, a surprising court decision is allowing clergy members to buy or live in multiple homes tax-free.

The U.S. Tax Court ruled that Phil Driscoll, an ordained minister and Grammy Award-winning trumpeter who went to prison for tax evasion, didn't owe federal income taxes on $408,638 provided to him by his ministry to buy a second home on a lake near Cleveland, Tenn.

Under a provision of the tax code known as the parsonage allowance, first passed in 1921, an ordained clergy member may live tax-free in a home owned by his or her religious organization or receive a tax-free annual payment to buy or rent a home if the congregation approves.

Experts say the parsonage allowance was originally included as a way to minimize taxes on clergy members, whose compensation was often meager. It still is widely used for that purpose, church officials said, although the IRS doesn't track usage of the benefit.

On this day: St. Rose of Lima


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Rose of Lima.

". . . with the emergence of new cultural histories and the study of mentalités, critics have begun to examine the broader contexts of Rosa's life: the role of the Counter-Reformation, the extirpation of idolatrous practices in Peru, and the development of a cr'ollo identity. Scholars . . . ask why Rosa de Lima was America's first saint. . . . A recent study of the politics, dogma, and iconography involved suggests that Rosa was in the right place at the right time and that her image could be molded to fit the changing needs of the faithful."

--from "'Redeemer of America': Rosa de Lima (1586-1617), the Dynamics of Identity, and Canonization," by Kathleen Ann Myers, inColonial Saints: Discovering the Holy in the Americas, 1500-1800, edited by Allan Greer and Jodi Blinkoff, Routledge, 2002, page 253.


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In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS