Category Archives: Church (ecclesiology)

Being a Catholic Priest–and Married, salient reflections….

A dear friend of mine, Father Richard Cipolla published an article today in the Wall Street Journal on what it means for a faithful Christian to belong to Christ faithfully, moving from an Episcopal Church to full communion with the Catholic Church and being a married Catholic priest. The life of sacrifice and joy is clear in Cipolla’s story. For me, it is a testament of grace to know Father Richard and his wife, Cathy, and to have met his children. Wouldn’t be good if all the clergy could say that with conviction and love. Last week Father Richard celebrated his anniversary of ordination to the Catholic priesthood on January 28 in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Let us pray for him and Holy Mother Church.

The WSJ article follows:

Being a Catholic Priest–and Married

The pope has created a new diocese for bringing Episcopalians into the church.

By Richard Cipolla

Richard Cipolla.jpg

Last month, Pope Benedict announced the formation of an American “ordinariate,” or special diocese for Episcopal congregations that want to move to Roman Catholicism (driven largely by Episcopalianism’s liberal drift). These congregations, the pope ruled, could keep some of their Anglican liturgy. More significantly, a small but sizable number of married Episcopal priests will now become married Catholic priests.

As a married Catholic priest ordained in 1984 under a special provision set forth by Pope John Paul II (for individual priests, judged on an individual basis), I have closely followed Pope Benedict’s announcement. I rejoice in this catholic and generous gesture by the pope and am overjoyed that these priests and their families will be welcomed into the Catholic Church. But that is not to say it won’t bring its own share of challenges.

My experience as a married Catholic priest for 28 years brings to mind several thoughts, both practical and spiritual. First, the church must support new priests’ families financially. During my first years as a married Catholic priest, there were times when we could not pay the heating bill. When I was ordained, it was made quite clear to me that I should not look to the church as my main source of income but rather to a full-time job outside of the church. My parish duties have thus always been secondary.

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Anthony Joseph Cardinal Bevilacqua, dead at 88

Anthony J. Bevilacqua.jpeg

Last evening at 9:15pm, Anthony Joseph Cardinal Bevilacqua, 88, 7th archbishop of Philadelphia, died in his sleep in his quarters at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. He retired from his episcopal duties in 2003.


Philly.com has an extended article on the late Cardinal (1923-2012). He was appointed to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1987 and installed in 1988.


The Pope’s note of condolence to Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:


HAVING LEARNED WITH SADNESS OF THE DEATH OF CARDINAL ANTHONY BEVILACQUA, ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS OF PHILADELPHIA, I OFFER MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO YOU AND TO ALL THE FAITHFUL OF THE ARCHDIOCESE. I JOIN YOU IN COMMENDING THE LATE CARDINAL’S SOUL TO GOD, THE FATHER OF MERCIES, WITH GRATITUDE FOR HIS YEARS OF EPISCOPAL MINISTRY AMONG CHRIST’S FLOCK IN PHILADELPHIA, HIS LONGSTANDING COMMITMENT TO SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE PASTORAL CARE OF IMMIGRANTS, AND HIS EXPERT CONTRIBUTION TO THE REVISION OF THE CHURCH’S LAW IN THE YEARS FOLLOWING THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL. TO YOU, AND TO ALL THE CLERGY, RELIGIOUS AND LAITY OF THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA, AND TO THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY, I CORDIALLY IMPART MY APOSTOLIC BLESSING AS A PLEDGE OF CONSOLATION AND PEACE IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI


May God be merciful to His Eminence.

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Church has role proposing a more excellent way: happiness & freedom


At 11:30 am, Rome time, Pope Benedict XVI met with the bishops of region IV (Baltimore, Delaware, Virginia, DC and the Military Services) to give his address during their Ad Limina

Below is a selection of the Pope’s text, (emphasis mine):

For her part, the Church in the United States is
called, in season and out of season, to proclaim a Gospel which not only
proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to
human happiness and social prospering
(cf. Gaudium et Spes, 10). To the extent
that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the
proclamation of these truths, whether constricting it within the limits of a
merely scientific rationality, or suppressing it in the name of political power
or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also
to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate
vocation, our relationship to God. When a culture attempts to suppress the
dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it
inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey
, as the late Pope John Paul II
so clearly saw, to reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person
and the nature of society.

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Cardinal Francis Eugene George, OMI, turns 75, submits resignation

Cardinal George OMI.jpgToday is Cardinal Francis Eugene George’s 75th birthday. Congrats and continued blessings!!!

His Eminence is this nation’s highest profiled cardinal and bishop who is a superb public thinker as well as a pastor of souls. Since 1997 he’s been the archbishop of Chicago and since 1998 he’s been a member of the College of Cardinals. Both positions were given to him by Blessed  Pope John Paul II.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law says of a bishop who reaches his 75th birthday:
A diocesan bishop who has completed the seventy-fifth year of age is requested to present from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who will make provision after he has examined all the circumstances (401).
The Chicago Tribune ran this article today.
Pray for Cardinal George and for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
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Ordination of bishops

Today the Pope ordained, or consecrated, if you will, two priests as bishops of the Holy Roman Church. Noteworthy is the New York native, now Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Charles John Brown, 52, until now an official in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. May I note that among other things Archbishop Brown is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Rome’s Benedictine school, Sant’Anselmo (places close to my heart)! A snippet of the Benedict’s homily follows:

Charles Brown.jpg… how can we fail to recognize in all this certain essential elements of episcopal ministry? The bishop too must be a man of restless heart, not satisfied with the ordinary things of this world, but inwardly driven by his heart’s unrest to draw ever closer to God, to seek his face, to recognize him more and more, to be able to love him more and more. The bishop too must be a man of watchful heart, who recognizes the gentle language of God and understands how to distinguish truth from mere appearance. The bishop too must be filled with the courage of humility, not asking what prevailing opinion says about him, but following the criterion of God’s truth and taking his stand accordingly – “opportune – importune”. He must be able to go ahead and mark out the path. He must go ahead, in the footsteps of him who went ahead of us all because he is the true shepherd, the true star of the promise: Jesus Christ. And he must have the humility to bend down before the God who made himself so tangible and so simple that he contradicts our foolish pride in its reluctance to see God so close and so small. He must devote his life to adoration of the incarnate Son of God, which constantly points him towards the path.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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