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On this day: Bd. Joana of Portugal, O.P.


On this day we commemorate Blessed Joana, Princess of Portugal, daughter of King Afonso V and Isabella of Coimbra.

Joana was born in 1452, heiress to the throne of Portugal. She wanted to become a Dominican nun, but her father and her brother pressured her to marry. There were offers from Richard III of England and Charles VII of France, among others.

Uganda's \"Kill the Gays\" bill returns to Parliament's table


The Ugandan bill that would impose the death penalty on some gays and lesbians was scheduled to be debated today. By chance, however, a walkout by female members of Parliament because of a dispute over an unrelated bill cancelled the debate.

"We were saved by the lack of quorum," said Frank Mugisha, the director of the gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda. Mugisha and others believe that the bill might have passed today because so many members of Parliament were in favor of it.

Theologian loses license


The Tablet (of London) is reporting today that:

The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, has withdrawn theologian David Berger's missio canonica. After outing himself as a homosexual in April 2010, Mr Berger was fired from the Pontifical Academy of St Thomas Aquinas last August for sharply criticising the Church for its "hypocritical and bigoted" attitude towards homosexuality.

Last year, Berger published a book, Der heilige Schein. Als schwuler Theologe in der katholischen Kirche (The Holy Illusion: A Gay Theologian in the Catholic Church), and gave this interview to Der Spiegel: The church's homophobia and its shift to the right.

Bush Catholic Seeks $200 Million from Karl Rove in RICO Suit


Last July, in this space, I wrote that “if you want to spend a strange afternoon, google ‘Scott Bloch’ and just see what pops up. Too weird for words.”

Don’t say you weren’t warned – and it’s getting stranger yet.

The Washington Post reports today that Bloch, former “Special Counsel of the United States” under George W. Bush, has filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) suit against Karl Rove and others seeking $200 million in damages. Even in a town where it takes a “billion here and a billion there and pretty soon we’re talking about real money,” that’s real money. Prison sentences of the kind Bloch recently received, it seems, do not make the heart grow fonder.

Presbyterians lift ban on gay clergy


HT to the Religion News Service Blog:

After all the fights, all the ink that's been spilled, all the churches that have been torn in two, the fight over homosexuality in the Presbyterian Church (USA) is more or less over after the church ratified a move to rescind a de facto ban on gay clergy.

[RNS'] own Dan Burke will have more on this later today. A Presby pastor who was tried and acquitted for marrying two lesbians calls it the "moral awakening of mainstream Christianity."

NCR will post Burke's piece from Religion News Service as soon as it is available.


On this day: St. Francis Jerome, S.J.


On this day we celebrate the feast of St. Francis Jerome (1642-1716). He begged his Jesuit superiors to send him to the foreign missions, but they told him to "concentrate all his zeal and energy on the city and Kingdom of Naples".

He became a renowned preacher, in the church and on the streets, in the city and in the surrounding hamlets. Among those he brought back to the sacraments was Marie Alvira Cassier.

-- Alvira, The Heroine of Vesuvius: A Remarkable Sensation of the Seventeenth Century, Founded on Facts Recorded in the Acts of Canonization of St. Francis of Jerome, by Rev. A. J. O'Reilly, D. D., Sadlier, 1885.

He did what? Archbishop Chaput destroyed the files?


Did you get a chance to read the latest chapter in the very revealing saga of the sacked Australian bishop, William Morris?

NCR Editor at Large has been following the story and reports on today's Web site that Morris, referring to a report written by Archbishop Charles Chaput, said to Roberts he knows it exists because Chaput sent him an e-mail 'telling me that he'd sent an electronic copy as well as a hard copy to the dicastery for bishops, and then he did what he was supposed to do. He destroyed both the electronic copy and the hard copy, so he didn't have a copy any more.'"


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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017