Bishop Braxton on Belleville Diocese's Catholic Charities

Monday, November 14, 2011 6:55 PM Comments (14)

I had a few minutes with Bishop Edward Braxton of the Diocese of Belleville, Ill., during a coffee break at the conference.

The fight for religious freedom has became a high-stakes battle that could force Catholic leaders to choose between maintaining critical social services or upholding Catholic teaching on marriage and life.

And no one knows that better than Bishop Braxton, who has witnessed the closure of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Belleville. The staff and clients of the agency are in the process of shifting to a secular entity, Christian Social Services of Illinois, that is likely to be established in February, according to the bishop.

Once the state required all foster...READ MORE

Filed under bishop braxton, catholic charities, diocese of belleville

More From Bishop Lori on Religious Freedom

Monday, November 14, 2011 6:02 PM Comments (5)

In the wake of the recent decision of Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois to spin off from the Diocese of Belleville, ensnared in the new state law that granted same-sex couples the right to seek civil unions, I asked Bishop William Lori whether the new USCCB ad hoc Committee on Religious Liberty that he heads would orchestrate both federal and state challenges to the free exercise of religion.

And, if there was not an orchestrated approach, could the decisions made by state Catholic conferences set precedents that could harm the USCCB’s battle at the federal level?

Bishop Lori said the USCCB committee would maintain a “relationship with all state Catholic conference...READ MORE

Filed under bishop lori, catholic charities, diocese of belleville, religious freedom

Archbishop Dolan Fires Up Assembly

The Church is 'hardly some ... outmoded club of sticklers.'

Monday, November 14, 2011 2:12 PM Comments (18)

Invoking the spirit of Blessed John Paul II, Archbishop Timothy Dolan opened the U.S. bishops’ 2011 fall meeting with a passionate call for his brother bishops to embrace the New Evangelization and grapple more effecitively with the waning numbers of cradle Catholics still practice.

Archbishop Dolan summarized the problem with a quote from Father Ronald Rolheiser’s reflection on an emerging “post-ecclesial era, as people seem to prefer.”

“A King but not the Kingdom,
a shepherd with no flock;
to believe without belonging;
a spiritual family with God as my father, as long as I’m the only child;
‘spirituality’ without religion;
faith without the faithful;
Christ without...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop dolan, usccb

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About Joan Frawley Desmond

Joan Frawley Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in Menlo Park, Ca, in the San Francisco Archdiocese.