catholic church

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Diocese of Ogdensburg

About 4,000 Catholics gathered in Lake Placid this past weekend to reinforce their faith and hear how they can bring more individuals into the church.


The spiritual leader of Roman Catholics in western Massachusetts offered a broad apology today to people wounded by the clergy sex abuse scandal, to those embittered by church closings, and to people who were alienated from the church over racial and cultural differences or sexual orientation.

Pope Francis has brought something controversial to the papacy—the prospect of change. In his new book, The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis, Gary Wills, New York Times best selling author of Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition and What Jesus Meant, takes on one of the most pressing questions in modern religion today: what does the future hold for the Catholic Church?

Gary Wills is a historian, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and professor emeritus at Northwestern University. He joins The Roundtable today to discuss the novel behavior of the current pope and his own opinions on the future of the papacy.

 Tomorrow is the big day.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that he’s looking forward to Pope Francis’ address to Congress. 

  The election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis has reinvigorated interest in the Church for many people, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. With a winning smile and a casual ‘Buona Sera’ the new Pope greeted the world, and the world was entranced. His message of simplicity, and his commitment to the poor and marginalized, have attracted the rapt attention of an often cynical world.

  Austen Ivereigh is a British writer, journalist, and commentator on religious and political affairs who holds a PhD from Oxford University. His work appears regularly in the Jesuit magazine America and in many other periodicals. He is well known on British media, especially on the BBC, Sky, ITV and Al-Jazeera, as a Catholic commentator.

Ivereigh has written a biography of Pope Francis that describes how this revolutionary thinker will use the power of his position to challenge and redirect one of the world's most formidable religions. The book is The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.

  Critically acclaimed and bestselling author James Carroll has explored every aspect of Christianity, faith, and Jesus Christ except this central one: What can we believe about—and how can we believe in—Jesus in the twenty-first century in light of the Holocaust and other atrocities of the twentieth century and the drift from religion that followed?

In Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age, Carroll explores how one can retrieve transcendent faith in modern times.

10/20/14 Panel

Oct 20, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Texas Hospital Apology
Catholic Church Gay U-Turn
NY No Gun List
Voter ID Decision
Black Vote for Senate
Opera Protest

    Sr. Nancy Murray, a sibling of comic actor Bill Murray, will be in the Capital District on Saturday – September 20th - to perform her one-woman play about a nun, Sr. Dorothy Stang, who was murdered in Brazil in 2005.

  Sister Dorothy was a grey-haired woman of God who spent 40 years working to protect the poor and the Amazon rainforest of Brazil until her violent death.

Rooted in Love: The Life and Death of Sister Dorothy Stang,” will be performed on Saturday night at 7 pm, at the Rensselaer Newman Foundation’s Chapel + Cultural Center in Troy, NY. The play was written and is performed by Sister Nancy Murray who joins us this morning.

9/15/14 Panel

Sep 15, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Islamic State Threat
Senate Control
Obama Legacy
"Living in Sin" Couples Married by Pope

Boston Globe Launches Site About Catholicism

Sep 3, 2014
The Vatican

The Boston Globe has launched a new website about Catholicism,, which will feature news and analysis about Catholics and the Catholic Church, which has been a strong presence in the Boston area and Northeast for centuries. Teresa Hanafin is the editor.

7/8/14 Panel

Jul 8, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain and Political Consultant Libby Post.

Topics include:
Pope meets with Abused
Afghan Vote Fraud
Pot Legalization
Abortion Buffer Zones
Chicago Killings
TU Stories

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Religious news figured prominently in the headlines during 2013.   The world was shocked in February 2013, when Benedict became the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. Fast forward nine months: Benedict's successor, the Argentine Pope Francis, was named Time Magazine's "person of the year." Not bad for a fellow who once upon at time worked as a bouncer!

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Religious history was made over the weekend in Albany when the city's first "woman priest" was ordained.

On Sunday, Mary Theresa Streck of Albany was ordained a woman priest in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. A former Sister of St. Joseph, Streck is an artist and peace activist who is cofounder and director of the Ark Community Charter School in Troy.

    Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal by Michael D'Antonio is an explosive, sweeping account of the scandal that has sent the Catholic Church into a tailspin -- and the brave few who fought for justice.

Wikimedia Commons/Aibdescalzo

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope — first pontiff from the Americas. His papal name will be Francis.

  Just days after the Pope announced his resignation; we will talk about the priesthood with Garry Wills. Bestselling author of Papal Sin and Why I Am a Catholic?, Wills spent five years as a young man at a Jesuit seminary and nearly became a priest himself.

But after a lifetime of study and reflection, he now poses some challenging questions: Why do we need priests at all? Why did the priesthood arise in a religion that began without it and opposed it? Would Christianity be stronger without the priesthood, as it was at its outset?

His new book is Why Priests?: A Failed Tradition.

Wikimedia Commons / Cy White

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan says electing a new pope is all new to him since he's still learning what it means to be archbishop.

At a news conference Monday, Dolan quipped he was "still writing thank-you notes from when I was made a cardinal" last year.

WIkimedia Commons / Rvin88

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign Feb. 28 — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.

He emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires "both strength of mind and body."

A Roman Catholic church in Chicopee closed by the Springfield Diocese in 2009 is scheduled to start celebrating a weekly Mass again a year after the Vatican determined that local church officials could not sell the building. 

The diocese announced Wednesday that a weekly Mass would be celebrated at St. Patrick starting Dec. 1.

The diocese stressed that the decision does not mean that St. Patrick would re-open as a distinct parish. St. Patrick remains a subsidiary of Holy Name of Jesus Parish.

The diocese closed St. Patrick in 2009 and merged it with Holy Name.