Is is mere coincidence that William Donald Schaefer – the legendary Baltimore City councilman, mayor, Maryland governor and comptroller – died almost exactly one year after Archbishop William Donald Borders?
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After a leading New Hampshire politician referred to Manchester Bishop John McCormack as ”a pedophile pimp,” Gov. John Lynch called for House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt to retract his comments.
The Union Leader has the story:
“These comments have no place in the public discourse, and the people of New Hampshire have a right to expect a higher level of civility and judgment from their elected officials,” Lynch said Saturday. “I would urge the majority leader to retract his comments.”
Bettencourt, a Salem Republican, posted comments late Thursday night about McCormack after he spoke at a rally earlier that day criticizing the House two-year budget proposal.
McCormack is the leader of New Hampshire’s 290,000 Catholics. He told a crowd estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000 people that the budget plan Republicans passed neglects society’s obligation to care for the poor and vulnerable.
Bettencourt Friday stood by his statement although other Republican leaders either disagreed with his statement or said he should have chosen his words more carefully.
Diocese of Manchester spokesman Kevin Donovan said Bettencourt’s remarks are false and defamatory, meant to distract people from the budget issues.
Pretty much everything you need to stay in the loop!
During a March 2 testimonial at a special celebration of Cardinal William H. Keeler’s upcoming 80th birthday, Richard Berndt told a story that demonstrated why friends know the retired archbishop as a master of the one-liner.
Speaking at the Center Club in Baltimore, Berndt recalled how he and the cardinal were walking back to the Catholic Center after a meeting with The Baltimore Sun in the late 1990s. Berndt, who was an attorney for the archdiocese, was discussing some difficult personnel matters with the cardinal as the two strolled by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Cardinal Keeler looked up and pointed to a sign on a small office building at the southeast corner of Mulberry and Cathedral streets.
“Psychic Reader Advisor – The Mystical Tarot,” the sign proclaimed.
The cardinal told Berndt that the psychic advisor herself had come up to him on the street a few days earlier and introduced herself as a neighbor and a professional competitor. She told the leader of the Premier See that both of them were “in the same business.”
Standing in front of the grand basilica, the cardinal looked at the psychic and deadpanned: “I think you have a lot less overhead.”
“I went away happier for hearing him tell that little story,” Berndt remembered with a laugh, “and thinking that Cardinal Keeler had room in his heart for every person – even lawyers and psychic readers.”
Earlier this week, I had the honor of spending some time with Cardinal Keeler at his residence at Mercy Ridge Retirement Community in Timonium. I caught a glimpse of his humor near the end of an interview when I asked the cardinal if he missed the administrative work at the Catholic Center. Without skipping a beat, he replied with a confident “No!”
Then, he laughed — and laughed hard.
For more on how the cardinal feels about becoming an octogenarian and what he’s been up to in retirement, check out this story in The Catholic Review. Next week, we will have more on his birthday celebration. The cardinal’s actual birthday is March 4.
Happy birthday, Your Eminence!
On a 7-4 vote, the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee agreed to send a bill legalizing same-sex marriage to the Senate floor. The full chamber is expected to debate the measure the week of Feb. 21, with the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC) projecting a final vote to take place Feb. 28.
In a written statement released after the Feb. 17 committee vote, the MCC said the measure (Senate Bill 116) would “redefine marriage in our state and drastically alter a social institution that derives from our human nature as men and women.”
The MCC said that although the committee added limited religious exemption amendments, the bill continues to provide no protections for an individual’s religious freedoms, “such as those of a clerk forced to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.”
“More importantly,” the statement said, “our fundamental concern about redefining marriage is for the sake of our whole society, and particularly for children and their elemental desire to know and ideally to be raised and loved by their biological mother and father.”
The MCC said that “stripping marriage of its unique connection to parenthood erases from law the right of a child to a mother and father and ignores an essential question of why government favors marriage between one man and one woman over all other relationships.”
Catholic leaders have taken a strong stance against same-sex marriage and Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien has repeatedly called on Catholic voters to contact their lawmakers on the issue.
An intense debate is expected in the Senate, where the bill is one vote short of approval. There are only a handful of senators who have not stated their position on the issue.
If the measure is approved in the Senate and wins support in the House of Delegates, Gov. Martin J. O’Malley has promised to sign it into law.
Not everyone is pleased with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ decision to extend the academic calendar by 20 days in its Catholic elementary schools.
Nancy Brown, whose children attend St. Cornelius Catholic School, 3330 Bellflower Blvd., said time out of the classroom, for traveling, summer camp and family outings is just as important.
“The church has always said its focus is on the child as a whole,” she said. “There’s more to a child than just the academic production.”
“We prize our time with our children,” added dad Alex Fraga, whose two children attend St. Cornelius.
Paul Regan, whose children attend St. Joseph, said the diocese should consider adding 45 minutes to the school day, which would amount to the same time as a 20-day increase.
“Twenty days is too long; they’re basically adding another month,” he said. “There should be another way.”
The tuition increase will vary from school to school and the diocese has said it would work with low-income families.
The increase from a 180-day to a 200-day academic calendar will affect most of the diocese’s 210 elementary schools and more than 52,000 students in the archdiocese’s area, which includes schools in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
Long Beach’s Press-Telegram has more here.
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,600 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 44 new posts, not bad for a blog that’s less than two months old! There were 91 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 25mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was December 10th with 345 views. The most popular post that day was Send the pope a Christmas message.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were catholicreview.org, facebook.com, twitter.com, littlesistersofthepoorbaltimore.org, and whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for christmas greetings, old christmas cards, christmas message, old christmas card, and camauro.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Send the pope a Christmas message December 2010
Why the pope wore that ‘Santa hat’ November 2010
‘Christ has no hands but ours’ December 2010
The Little Sisters of the Poor ain’t no patsies November 2010
VIDEO REPORT: John Harbaugh on faith and the Ravens December 2010
Well, the verdict is in on my original black/white/orange theme for The Narthex: it looked really cool, but it was hard to read.
I just switched the theme to something that should be a bit easier on the eyes. I might experiment with some other themes in the coming weeks. Let me know what you like! Thanks for your input!