Fr. Raymond J. de Souza is the pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary parish on Wolfe Island, and chaplain at Newman House at Kingston, Ont.'s Queen's University.

It’s become something of a routine now. Pope Francis delivers a spontaneous lambasting of priests who do this or that which he disapproves of, and priests get in touch to ask what we should make of it all.

Mother Angelica was called to greatness

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The death of Mother Mary Angelica, the American Poor Clare who founded EWTN, has produced much commentary puzzling over an apparent contradiction. An orthodox and traditional nun was at the same time an entrepreneurial pioneer in Catholic television and did not blanch from charting a path independent of Catholic bishops. How could this be? She had conservative ideas but seemed to operate like a liberal.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is the star of the new evangelization

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It was a good idea that didn’t work. Before the reform of the Roman calendar in the 1960s, the octave day of Christmas — Jan. 1 — was celebrated as the feast of the circumcision and holy name, as Jewish boys were named on the eighth day after birth. There was a minor feast of the divine maternity of Mary in the calendar on Oct. 11, which St. John XXIII chose for the opening of Vatican II, and now serves as his feast day.

The Synod’s curious biblical commentary

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VATICAN CITY - One of the most repeated themes during the Synod on the Family was the need for a more biblically based approach. The original working document for the Synod — the Instrumentum Laboris — came in for repeated and severe criticism for taking as its starting point sociological data rather than the Word of God.

Which Canadian way will alter the Tiber?

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VATICAN CITY - Canadians had a rather prominent role in the first week of the Synod on the Family. Two of the language- based discussion groups elected Canadians as their moderators — Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto for one of the English groups, and Cardinal Gerald Lacroix for one of the French.

African bishops fired up in defense of marriage

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The Synod on the Family begins Oct. 4 and promises to be a rather unpleasant few weeks in the life of the Church.

Philip Neri’s heritage of joy

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WOLFE ISLAND, Ont. - One of the highlights of my summer is “Seminarian Week” on Wolfe Island.

Condemned for the holy truth

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When Pope Paul VI was beatified last October, his feast day was set for Sept. 26, the date of his birth in 1897, rather than the customary date of death, Aug. 6, 1978. Blessed Paul VI died on the feast of the Transfiguration, so another day for his feast had to be found, otherwise it would never be celebrated.

Andrey Sheptytsky and the lions of Lviv

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Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) for 44 tumultuous years, has been decreed by the Vatican to be worthy of sainthood, needing only an approved miracle for him to be beatified.

A blasphemous gift

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KRAKOW, POLAND - Was the “crucifix” given to Pope Francis by Bolivian President Evo Morales — a corpus hanging on the hammer-and-sickle — blasphemous?

Politics, pastor and presidents

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When the massacre at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., took place, I was in the United States. I heard the news from another priest who, clearly devastated by the bloodshed in the house of God, added quickly thereafter a comment about the debate over gun control. I was struck at how even such a great wickedness was seen so quickly through the prism of politics. And indeed, in the days after the massacre, the talk shifted to political debates over gun laws and the confederate flag. The pastor of Mother Emmanuel, Clementa Pickney, murdered in his own church while leading a Bible study, was also a member of the South Carolina state senate, a pastor holding political office.