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On the third day of his four-day visit, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass at the shrine of Our Lady of Fátima, addressed charity workers and met the Portuguese bishops. His visit concludes today with Mass in Porto and a farewell speech before he flies back to Rome.

Fr Federico Lombardi says he is surprised by the number of people turning out to see the Pope in Portugal.

The BBC reports that businesses affected by the papal Mass at Coventry Airport in September have been told they will not get compensation.

Rome Reports speaks to Sister Bernadette Sangma who is raising awareness of human trafficking at next month’s World Cup (video).

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York says he was filled with “dread and revulsion” when he saw the head of Our Lady of Nagasaki.

Andrew Brown of the Guardian says this is turning out to be a “very much less conservative papacy than anyone expected”.

Ross Douthat of the New York Times demands the resignation of Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, responds to his critics at the National Catholic Reporter.

And Greg Burke marvels at the wax body parts on sale in Fátima.


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A welter of articles defending the Pope’s handling of the abuse crisis have appeared in the wake of Fr Thomas Brundage’s revealing article on the “Murphy case”. Here are some notable ones: Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Thomas Collins, Archbishop Henryk Muszynski, the Executive Committee of the USCCB, Bill Donohue, the Anchoress, Jimmy Akin and Bess Twiston-Davies.

Andrew Brown says the Pope is not as powerful as many non-Catholics assume he is.

Tom McNichol of the Atlantic compares the abuse scandal to Watergate, dubbing it “papalgate“.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), doesn’t want Benedict XVI to resign. Kenneth Briggs disagrees.

And Sean Curnyn of First Things is transported by Johnny Cash’s biblically inspired last recording.

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The patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church has accused Iraqi authorities of complicity in the murder of Christians in Mosul.

A thousand Christians are leaving the Holy Land every year, says Rome Reports (video).

Spiegel Online says Christians are the most persecuted people in the world.

Spain’s bishops have described a radical liberalisation of the country’s abortion law as “a step backward“.

Two years after World Youth Day, Sydney is seeing an upsurge in vocations and ordinations.

The next consistory to create new cardinals may take place in November.

Fr John Zuhlsdorf says the long-awaited “Instruction” on Summorum Pontificum may be imminent.

The campaign to delay the new English translation of the Mass has attracted more than 17,000 signatures.

The National Secular Society continues to fume about the Pope’s visit to Britain.

Three English bishops are taking the fight to save their adoption agencies to the High Court.

The election advice of the bishops of England and Wales will be published this week (previews here and here).

Hundreds of people have attended a national congress in London for Catholics working with young people (photos).

An Irish bishop has said he was embarrassed to kiss the Pope’s ring during the Vatican abuse summit.

The Pope has ended his “profound” week-long Lenten retreat (video).

Hundreds of Polish Catholics are converting to Judaism, says the New York Times.

Archbishop Dolan of New York has given another major television interview (video).

Hugh McLoughlin responds to those who suggest that Pope Benedict disapproves of the Scottish Church.

Giovanni Maria Vian, editor of L’Osservatore Romano, says Benedict XVI has a deep concern for priests.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, discusses evangelisation in the digital world (audio).

John Allen says the growing presence of foreign priests is helping to make American Catholicism less insular.

A Catholic who defended waterboarding on EWTN is facing severe criticism, the New York Times reports. R R Reno criticises the report.

The Wall Street Journal wonders if we are seeing the beginning of the end of the Reformation.

Tom Holland defends the much-maligned St Paul, as does Sarah Ruden.

Joseph Bottum and R R Reno clash over whether other countries should learn from France’s approach to religious freedom.

Fr Aidan Nichols OP has given a Lent lecture on the priesthood (video) and the Congregation for Clergy has uploaded a trio of videos to YouTube about the priest as Alter Christus.

And Vaticano Spa (“Vatican Ltd”), a book about the alleged murky financial dealings of the Vatican, is a bestseller in Italy.

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The Pontifical Council for Culture is creating a foundation to focus on relations with atheists and agnostics.

Rome’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is preparing to welcome the Pope on March 14 (video).

The Italian bishops’ conference has issued a document calling for attention to the problems of the Mafia-dominated south of the country.

A French bishop has accused the civil authorities of responding with “ineptitude” to the desecration of a church in his diocese.

A Spanish priest who died celebrating Mass is to be beatified on April 25.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq has decried the “endless” series of murders in Iraq.

Church leaders in South Korea have deplored a court ruling that the death penalty is constitutional.

The Brazilian Catholic Church is suing Columbia Pictures over its use of the Christ the Redeemer statue in the apocalypse film 2012.

The Friends of the Ordinariate (FOTO) website is now welcoming members of the Traditional Anglican Church/The Church of Ireland (Traditional Rite) and Roman Catholics.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan has given a revealing television interview in which he discusses potholes on Madison Avenue, John O’Connor, dog breeds, sledgehammers, St Patrick’s Day and his own weight.

Canadian Catholics seem less divided over the new English translation of the Roman Missal than Americans, says Deborah Gyapong.

The director of the St Dominic’s Institute in Rome discusses the role of Muslims in Catholic schools.

George Sim Johnston explains why Vatican II was necessary.

Law professor Brian Scarnecchia discusses the “absurd fate” of frozen human embryos.

Zenit publishes Pope Benedict’s meditation for Rome’s priests (part one and part two).

Fr Robert Barron explains how Catholics can overcome “internet superficiality“.

The Dominican Sisters of Mary have taught talkshow host Oprah Winfrey to pray the rosary.

And Fr James Martin SJ explains why he’s tiring of the comedian Sarah Silverman.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Pope Benedict XVI said true conversion prevents us becoming “slaves of evil or at least prisoners of moral mediocrity” at his general audience yesterday (video). He received ashes at St Sabina, in accordance with tradition (video).

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has a simple message for Lent: “Get back to confession.”

Fr Tom Rosica, head of Salt + Light Television, Canada’s national Catholic television station, has uploaded a series of Lenten meditations to YouTube.

More than one million people have already reserved a place to see the Turin Shroud when it goes on display for the first time in a decade in April.

Pope Benedict XVI must not overlook the suffering of those abused in the care of Church-run institutions in Northern Ireland, an abuse victim there has said.

Paul Inwood, Director of Music and Liturgy of Portsmouth diocese, says the impact of the new English translation of the Mass “is not as upsetting as one might have thought” (scroll down to comments). Meanwhile, Jeffrey Tucker is disturbed by Mr Inwood’s suggestion that he attended a demonstration Mass with the new texts with music.

The BBC hopes that the Pope will appear on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day during his visit to Britain.

No more than 200 people attended the protest against Pope Benedict in London last Sunday, says Fr Tim Finigan.

A father in Chicago could be jailed after taking his three-year-old daughter to a Catholic church.

Andrew Sullivan is appalled by EWTN’s decision to broadcast an interview with a leading apologist for torture (warning: graphic images).

Rob Vischer asks what Catholic legal theory has to say to the Tea Party movement.

And No Hidden Magenta says the Church and controversial ethicist Peter Singer have a surprising thing in common.

This morning’s Catholic must-reads

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The Holy See and Israel insist talks are making progress.

Benedict XVI sends a message to a conference organised by the Italian bishops, explaining why God matters.

Singer Sinead O’Connor demands the Pope’s resignation.

Fr Robert Barron reflects on the example of the English martyrs.

Fr Raniero Cantalamessa urges priests to depend on the Holy Spirit.

Former Ratzinger student Fr Vincent Twomey says the Irish faithful should be allowed to choose their own bishops.

Fr Ray Blake considers how to make bishops more accountable.

John Allen catches up with “this generation’s Fulton Sheen”.

Papabile Archbishop Ravasi discusses the origins of his vocation.

Archbishop Dolan savours Tastykake

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Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York tucked into a Tastykake with Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia during a break at the US bishops’ plenary meeting yesterday.

The prelates had made a friendly wager on the outcome of the Yankees-Phillies baseball World Series. If the Phillies had won, Archbishop Dolan would have given the cardinal a crate of bagels. In the end, Cardinal Rigali presented the archbishop with a “taste of Philadelphia”.

The Catholic News Service has the details.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 17, 2009 at 9:12 am

In the paper this week

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In this week’s Catholic Herald, Archbishop Vincent Nichols says the way we treat the elderly “gives the lie to claims … that we are a most well-developed society”. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor applauds Pope Benedict’s “generous response” to Anglican traditionalists. Edward Pentin previews the Pontiff’s trip to the birthplace of Paul VI on Sunday and Freddy Gray profiles the Catholic Democratic Congressman who is leading the charge against abortion in Obamacare.

An exorcist explains why the Devil is afraid of you and the new Bishop of the Forces says it’s “hugely important” to pray for military chaplains on Remembrance Sunday. Simon Cole talks to the Lutheran pastor who preached the Sermon on the Mount to the Stasi. Fr Michael Rear says the Pope’s Anglican offer was 400 years in the making. And John Newton calls for a revival of Gregorian Masses for departed souls. David Campanale says the time has finally arrived for Christian Democracy in Britain, Mary Kenny reckons Radio 4 has finally given John Paul II his due and Will Heaven urges you to down a gin and tonic.

Andrew M Brown is dazzled by Bright Star, Alan Caine is exhilarated by Turner and Michael White sees an 84-year-old maestro who’s still on top form. Jonathan Wright wonders how dangerous the Reformation really was, Jack Carrigan salutes the people who brought down the Wall and John Hinton is impressed by the derring-do of a former Tablet editor.

Finally, we explain why Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is checking his post for a consignment of tastykakes.

That’s just a hint of what’s in the paper this week. For the full experience, you can buy the paper at your local Catholic church this weekend or take out a subscription.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 6, 2009 at 10:13 am

Archbishop Dolan takes on the Gray Lady

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Archbishop Timothy Dolan sounds like he’s really annoyed with the New York Times.

Photo: Archbishop Dolan raises the Book of the Gospels during his installation Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in April 15 (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Archbishop Dolan joins the episcopal bloggers

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Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has become one of the highest-ranking Catholic churchmen to start a blog.

Über-blogger Rocco Palmo says he was stunned to discover that the convivial archbishop has been blogging quietly since October 6.

In his latest post, the archbishop confides that he has been a New York Yankees fan since 1961 and says he “will feel bad for my friend and mentor, Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia, when the Yankees beat his Phillies” in the World Series.

Photo: Archbishop Dolan pictured at his installation Mass in New York in April (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm