SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Christopher R. Altieri

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December 12, 2019
The Vatican announced a major shake-up on Sunday, December 8 – to the surprise of several veteran Vatican watchers, including this one – which involved a move out of a big archdiocese and into the Curia for a long-standing favourite of Pope Francis, a resulting vacancy in a capital see, and an internal transfer for
December 12, 2019
Catholics in Buffalo reacted with relief last week, when news broke that the embattled bishop of the troubled diocese in western New York had thrown in the towel after more than 18 months of unremitting and increasingly intense critical attention to his record. Whistleblower Siobhan O’Connor told the Catholic Herald: “My immediate reaction was one of
December 06, 2019
The Holy See has confirmed that a meeting between Pope Francis and Malta’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, remains on the papal schedule for Saturday, despite pressing requests from Maltese citizens and civic action groups that it be cancelled, and as calls continue for the embattled Mr Muscat’s immediate resignation. In response to queries from The
December 05, 2019
The Italian diocese of Vittorio Veneto late last month became the latest to issue guidelines for the implementation of Pope Francis’s 2016 post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Predictably, the news caused a stir in the Italian Catholic press, and even made it into the English-speaking news cycle. The diocese shared the document with the Catholic Herald.
December 05, 2019
The big news from the US last week concerned the unprecedented amends Bishop Mark E Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston has ordered his disgraced predecessor, Bishop Michael J Bransfield, to undertake. These measures include specific apologies to some of those he wronged and restitution of roughly $900,000 he either misappropriated from diocesan funds for personal use, or
December 05, 2019
Critics of Malta’s embattled prime minister Joseph Muscat are urging Pope Francis not to receive him in an audience reportedly scheduled for this weekend. Last Sunday Muscat announced that he would step down in January, after a new leader is chosen for his Labour Party, amid calls for his immediate resignation. Muscat has faced increasingly intense
November 28, 2019
The Holy See is caught in a financial scandal that has seen it suspended from the information-sharing network of the world’s premier financial intelligence club. Some of the players in that scandal are tied to other murky financial doings. If the Holy See doesn’t get a handle on the business – and soon – the
November 21, 2019
If you want to know how the reform of Vatican finances is going, two developments are a bellwether: the appointment of Fr Juan Antonio Guerrero SJ to succeed Cardinal George Pell as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy; and the bizarre, unceremonious end of Swiss layman René Brülhart’s tenure as president of the Vatican’s
November 21, 2019
Last week’s events in Rome offer a point of focus – Buffalo, New York – from which to pull back and take a broad view of the leadership crisis that has engulfed the Catholic Church worldwide. The question is: where are we? It is a more difficult question to answer than it might seem at
November 21, 2019
An Argentine prosecutor has requested international assistance in the capture of a senior Catholic prelate, Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who is accused of criminal sexual misconduct with seminarians in his native Argentina, and whose last known address was in Vatican City. Queries from the Catholic Herald to the Press Office of the Holy See, asking whether
November 14, 2019
The US bishops are making their ad limina visits this month, the pilgrimages bishops must make every five years “to the threshold of the Apostles” – particularly Peter and Paul – during which they pray at the tombs of the first Bishop of Rome and the great evangeliser of the Gentiles. These days, ad limina
November 14, 2019
The embattled bishop of Buffalo, New York, Richard Malone, on Thursday morning flatly dismissed rumours he had submitted his resignation to Pope Francis. The Catholic Herald met Malone as the bishop emerged from St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, following the New York bishops’ ad limina Mass, and asked him directly whether there is any truth to
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