MY COUSIN THE SAINT
A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholic Church’

A saint from Brooklyn?

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Today’s New York Times:

Brooklyn, the borough of churches and trees, Walt Whitman and Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Mike Tyson, has never lacked for people of distinction — except perhaps in one category.

Nobody from Brooklyn has ever been made a saint.

But at a special church service on Thursday night, Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn opened what is known as a “canonical inquiry” into the cause of sainthood for a Brooklyn priest, Msgr. Bernard J. Quinn.

Miracles, doctors and the Consulta medica

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today: “Raymond Martin Joson, 81, of Haverford, a pioneering neurosurgeon who consulted with the Roman Catholic Church about medical miracles, died of heart failure Thursday at his Haverford home.” The full obit is here.

What, you may ask, was an esteemed Philly doctor doing getting involved in determining miracles for the Vatican? Well, it’s all part of the process, which I go into detail about in my book. Miracles, I learned, are almost always medically oriented — a healing of some sort. Before the priests in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints determine whether a venerable has been an intercessor for a healing miracle from heaven, doctors take a hard look at the medical records. In this regard, the Vatican has a consulting group of several dozen doctors who make up what’s called, in Italian, the Consulta Medica. The job of the doctors is not to declare a miracle. Rather, they study the medical history and records of a “healed” person to see if there is any medical explanation for the purported cure. If there is, the alleged miracle is tossed. But if a panel of five reviewing doctors agree by at least a 3-2 vote that the cure is “medically inexplicable,” then the case history goes to the priests to determine who was prayed to and if those prayers were answered with a miracle.

Is this the right direction?

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

The New York Times reports: VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI reaching out to the far-right of the Roman Catholic Church, revoked the excommunications of four schismatic bishops on Saturday, including one whose comments denying the Holocaust have provoked outrage.  The decision provided fresh fuel for critics who charge that Benedict’s four-year-old papacy has increasingly moved in line with traditionalists who are hostile to the sweeping reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s that sought to create a more modern and open church.

NY Times: Liberal Catholics argue from within the church

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

The Times reports today: “In a departure from previous elections, Democrats and liberal Catholic groups are waging a fight within the church, arguing that the Democratic Party better reflects the full spectrum of church teachings.” Read the whole story here

Common sense

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

There is a chapter in my book called “Believe What You Can,” and it underscores a common-sense outlook for lapsed Catholics like myself who are interested in returning to church, but know there is much about Catholic teachings that we can never embrace or support. I came across two fine essays by thoughtful Catholics that give voice to a couple of issues that tend to keep many Catholics comfortably on the sidelines: the ban on contraception and voting issues.

Excerpt No. 1: “Catholics the world over support the use of contraception, and those who can access it use it. It would enable hundreds of thousands if not millions more families to make informed decisions about their futures if the church lifted this ban – not to mention the impact it would have on HIV prevention.”

Excerpt No. 2: “In 2008, the group Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good have put out a very different voter guide. They list 10 key issues: Dignity of work, economy, environment, education, foreign policy, health care, immigration, Iraq war, life, and poverty. For each issue, they highlight some key positions held by both Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama. There is no negative condemnation of either candidate.”

Why she took communion

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Sally Quinn

Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn, writing at the paper’s On Faith blog, offers this compelling discussion about the politics of Holy Communion.

An excerpt: “I took Holy Communion at Tim Russert’s funeral mass. I am not a Catholic….Often, in Catholic churches, when Communion is offered, the bulletin will include instructions from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “for our fellow Christians” who are not Catholics: “Members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion.” Sometimes priests will invite non-Catholics to come up and receive a blessing. There were no guidelines in the program at Tim’s funeral mass. If there had been, I would not have taken Communion.

The entire post is here, along with a hundreds of comments.

Yes You Can

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Commonweal explains why Roman Catholics can vote as they choose in this presidential election — even for a Democrat such as Barack Obama.

Gerald J. Beyer writes:: “As an institution, the Roman Catholic Church does not tell believers for whom or against whom they must vote, despite what some politicians, pundits, and pastors suggest. Rather, as the U.S. bishops write in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (2007), ‘the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience.’ “