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On this day: St. Hilary of Arles, Bishop


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Hilary of Arles. He was born about 403, and, at an early age, he joined Lérins, the monastery founded by his relative, St. Honoratus. Hilary succeeded Honoratus as abbot, and, in 429, as bishop of Arles.

Bishop Hilary's famous clash with Pope Leo the Great came in 445 after Hilary deposed Celedonius, bishop of Besançon, for marrying a widow and, before his ordination, for having presided over a trial that ended with capital punishment.

Celedonius appealed to Rome. Even though Pope Leo knew that a predecessor, Pope Zosimus, had granted primacy over Besançon to Arles, he quashed Hilary's ruling.

Morning Briefing


Canadian bishop pleads guilty to possessing child pornography


Catholic News Service reports:

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) -- The former bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Bishop Raymond Lahey pleaded to the charge of possession "for the purposes of importation child pornography in the form of graphic computer images." However, he told the judge he was not guilty of possession with the intent to distribute.

Biden and the Rosary Beads


As the White House contemplates whether to release photos of bin Laden's remains, the picture of the "situation room" during the operation to capture bin Laden continues to captivate. President Obama is described as "stone-faced," Hillary Clinton anxiously places her hand over her face, vice-president Biden grasps his rosary beads.

Biden and rosary beads? Yes, it's true. Though Biden usually carries a rosary ring, rather than a full set of beads, he has long relied on it to bring him comfort. According to the Chicago Sun-Times' Michael Sneed, Biden recites the rosary daily.

Thank you, Mr. Biden, for reminding us that socially and politically liberal Catholics can also find meaning in this traditional devotion.

Three Possible Popes


ROME -- There’s no indication whatsoever of any health crisis around Pope Benedict XVI, and every reason to believe he’s capable of leading the Catholic church for some time to come. Nevertheless, the May 1 beatification of John Paul II brought a host of media agencies to Rome anxious to update their briefing books for an eventual conclave, which meant that speculation about possible successors has been in the air.

Webathon: Sacked bishop coverage is an example of NCR watchdog work


I hope you are following the NCR reports on this Web site this week about the sacking of Australian Bishop William Morris of the Toowoomba diocese He was removed by the Vatican this week after an Apostolic Investigation, which came in the wake of comments Morris made some years back suggesting the church be open to married and women priests.


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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