Friday, April 5, 2013

Good News

It is really not easy to find truly good Catholic news in the world today. Still, there are little glimmers of hope here and there.


I watched the “livestream” of the installation Mass of Archbishop Alexander Sample. This was of particular interest to me, because I see Archbishop Sample as a shining star amidst a bunch of wimpy US bishops who has already set a good example for his brother bishops in several ways, but especially with regard to liturgical music. 

The installation Mass was better than some I’ve seen, despite some details that were neglected (for example, WHY can’t there be a real antependium on these altars, even when they are probably just tables set up in a big auditorium?! I mean, seriously, the white table cloth thing has to go. It’s not that hard to make a decent antependium.) There were no Native Americans (or other ethnic groups) dancing with bowls of incense, and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers carried the Book of the Gospels with appropriate reverence. Whew! But isn’t it sad that the good news is the absence of bad news? Oh well!

At any rate, Archbishop Sample can do great things for the Archdiocese of Portland, and I think he will give it his best shot. My prayers are with him on a daily basis.


A bishop has made a strong statement against the “V-Monologues” play that continues to plague Catholic university campuses. Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, wrote this on his Face Book page:

bishopearlboyealansingdioceseI recently had occasion to read the script of The Vagina Monologues . Oh my. This production is a train wreck on multiple levels. Most fundamentally, it is anti-woman, reducing her God-given genius and dignity to a bizarre emphasis on one physical aspect of her person.

It struck me that the operative word in the title doesn’t start with “v” – the operative word is “monologue.” The script is a series of narcissistic speeches about the physical appearance of female sexual organs, masturbation, lesbian coupling, and other topics that are equally dismissive of the true worth of a woman. As one might sadly expect, there is no suggestion anywhere that a woman might find happiness in a loving marriage.

We live in a world that too often treats women like disposable creatures who exist for sex and little else. While purporting to be part of an effort to oppose violence to women, this theatrical event actually embraces the dismissive outlook on women that leads to violence and exploitation of our sisters in Christ. There is nothing redeeming in this “play” and certainly it contains multiple teachings which are completely contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church as well as violations of human dignity.

Good for you, Your Excellency, for speaking up and pointing out the immorality of this play! Now if we can only get Catholic campuses to stop permitting the play to be performed there! When will bishops re-assert control over the Catholic colleges and universities in their dioceses?

Third: reports that

A Catholic church on Long Island has removed a 47 year-old Long Island man from his role as the parish's confirmation teacher, lector, and altar server after learning he was “married” to another man.

[The man, Nicholas Coppola] claims that he had been an open homosexual in his parish for years. Even his pastor, he alleges, knew of his engagement in the homosexual lifestyle but permitted Coppola to serve in leadership positions, including as an altar server, religious education teacher for children preparing for confirmation, and lector.

Well, in that case, probably some action should have been taken sooner. However, it appears that once the bishop learned about it, something was done.

Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, received a written complaint about Coppola. A diocesan official passed it on to Coppola’s pastor saying, “While not on a witch hunt, I know it would be of concern to you if a catechist were, in fact, ‘married’ as described.”

It’s a positive sign, I think, to see that the man was removed from ministry in the Church. Allowing a person living an openly homosexual lifestyle to teach in a Church setting certainly sends the wrong message. But then, we all knew that. It’s just nice to see our leaders take an active role in reversing the damage. Now, I would presume, Nicholas Coppola also has a better understanding of Church teaching on this issue, and the importance of that teaching – not only for the other parishioners, but for his own soul.

So there you have it: good news. Enjoy it while it lasts! ;-)


  1. Yay for Bishop Boyea! I'm so impressed with him.

    He came down and said Latin Mass earlier this year for our Latin Mass community (it's downstairs in the cathedral). It was beautiful!

  2. What?!? Cammie, you've been holding out on me! I didn't know you guys had a Latin Mass going there? Is it a traditional Latin Mass (EF)? Or Novus Ordo in Latin?

  3. Bishop Boyea has come out with one of the boldest statements of his career. Bless him for his courage. May he be a bright example to his brother bishops and continue to speak boldly in a manner worthy of his calling. Thank you Bishop Boyea!

  4. We've been very fortunate! We have a TLM with a high Mass that's usually the first Sunday and low mass the rest of the week.

    And I saw on his facebook page a week or so ago (and was impressed) that he was also speaking out about (if memory serves) a laicized former Maryknoll priest who was coming to our area saying:

    ""Disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women’s ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and laicization." This is sad--a former priest traveling the countryside, railing against the Church of Christ."

    It also said he went to Bishop Sample's installation Mass! How neat!

  5. There were many bishops at Archbishop Sample's installation. I have been trying to find a list of who they were. If all of them are of the same thinking as Archbishop Sample we have a lot of good bishops.

  6. Bill, I don't know all of the bishops who were present, but I do know that not all of the ones I saw there were of the same thinking of Archbishop Sample. Sad to say, but true. I think Archbishop Sample is well ahead of the pack in his thinking on a variety of subjects, and I hope he emerges as a strong leader of the USCCB.

  7. It's heartening to hear the news on these bishops! They certainly need our daily prayers, b/c they have so much responsibility to carry.

    Regarding who was present at the Portland installation, here's the list I found on the Catholic Sentinel web site:
    Bishops who came
    Here is a list of the bishops who are present for the installation of Archbishop Alexander Sample:

    Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo
    Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing
    Bishop Tod Brown of Orange
    Bishop Edward Burns of Juneau
    Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa
    Bishop Liam Cary of Baker
    Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia
    Bishop David Choby of Nashville
    Bishop James Conley of Lincoln
    Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco
    Bishop Michael Driscoll of Boise
    Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle
    Bishop Emeritus James Garland of Marquette
    Bishop Bernard Hebda of Gaylord
    Bishop Ronald Herzog of Alexandria
    Bishop Michael Hoeppner of Crookston
    Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville
    Cardinal William Levada
    Bishop John LeVoir of New Ulm
    Bishop Emeritus Anthony Milone of Great Falls-Billings
    Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix
    Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche of St. Paul/Minneapolis
    Archbishop Robert Schweitz of Anchorage
    Bishop Emeritus William Skystad of Spokane
    Bishop George Thomas of Helena
    Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima
    Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange
    Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Apostolic Nunicio of the United States
    Archbishop Emeritus John Vlazny of Portland
    Bishop Michael Warfel of Great Falls-Billings
    Bishop Paul Sirba of Duluth


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