When I wrote about Janine Denomme last month ("Is women's ordination old news?"), I reported that she was not only fighting for the right to be ordained, but literally for her life. Today she lost that second fight. Janine died this morning of cancer.
A former Jesuit Volunteer, social justice activist, Catholic high school and university teacher, lay preacher, church musician, parish council member, spiritual director and--a month before her death--an ordained priest through the Roman Catholic Womenpriests organization, she passionately served her church and community and inspired many with her courage and spiritual wisdom.
Sadly, because the church excommunicates women who pursue ordination, the Archdiocese of Chicago has refused to allow her to be buried at her Catholic parish.
The Supreme Court today issued two rulings that might seem, at first blush, contradictory. In the first, the Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to life without the possibility of parole except in cases of homicide. In the second, the Court held that the federal government can refuse to release a sex offender, even though his or her sentence is completed, if there is a likelihood that the offender remains a threat to society. The latter outcome seems to be more punitive and the former less so.
I am no constitutional scholar, and so I will pass on any analysis of the legal arguments. But, insofar as law must embody justice, we can all conclude that the Court got it right. It is cruel to conclude that a juvenile is beyond redemption. It is not so unusual: I can hear my mother counseling me to stay away from a certain classmate: “He is a bad egg, and he will never change. I knew his father!” But people do change, and none more than youth. The Court put the possibility of mercy and redemption above the demands of simple, adult justice. That is the right call.
A U.S. Franciscan woman religious was elected May 13 to lead the Union of International General Superiors, the worldwide network that bonds some 600,000 women religious.
Franciscan Daughter of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Mary Lou Wirtz, took over from Scottish born UISG president, Sister of Notre Dame de Sion, Maureen Cusick.
The election by the UISG Council of Delegates took place following a five-day gathering of the organization’s general assembly, which drew some 800 general superiors to Rome.
The UISG is an outgrowth of the Second Vatican Council. It is a canonically approved organization of general superiors of institutes of Catholic women religious and is intended to provide an international forum in which women religious leaders can share experiences, exchange information, and set directions for their work.
Wirtz has been the general superior for the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary for the past year. That congregation’s mission includes:
The Associated Press and CNN is reporting that the Vatican's U.S. lawyer Jeffrey Lena is to appear in a Louisville, Kentucky, court today to file a motion Monday denying that the church issued a document mandating secrecy in the face of abuse allegations, as many victims allege. CNN says:
"Whether or not the Vatican succeeds in getting the Louisville case dismissed based on those arguments will likely have implications for church abuse lawsuits across the country -- including two other suits that target the Vatican -- at a time when allegations of abuse and cover-up are dogging the church worldwide."
As soon as we have more news on this, we will post it here.
The Boston Globe is reporting: Ten Boston-area churches that were closed by the Archdiocese have lost their final appeal to the Vatican to remain open, according to a spokesperson for the Council of Parishes, which includes eight of shuttered churches.
Do you have a friend who constantly links terrorism to Islam? Who even thinks that violence is in the DNA of Islam?
You might give that friend the gift of a new book by the noted church historian, Philip Jenkins. It’s called: Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years.
Today's Wall Street Journal has an interesting story, That Bright, Dying Star, the American WASP, about the long decline of the influence of the Protestant elite.
"The fact that we're going to zero Protestants in the [Supreme} Court may not be as significant as the fact that [Elena Kagan's] appointment perfectly reflects the decline of the Establishment, or the WASP Establishment, in America," said David Campbell, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame."
With so many Catholics at the pinnacle of office - in politics and business, are we at a tipping point ourselves?
There's a Jesuit priest here in Los Angeles who anxiously needs a little Hugh Hefner in his life. And, no, that's not what I'm talking about.
The priest is Fr. Greg Boyle, a local hero for the lives he's saved from the vise-grip of gangland -- placing homeboys and homegirls in jobs, getting them counseling, keeping them on the straight line to something resembling a better life. His organization -- Homeboy Industries -- helps 12,000 young men and women move away from the violent life each year.