Reader: Santorum rips Cain on marriage, Sen. Casey gets another challenger, 40 Days for Life saves 229 babies

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. Rick Santorum goes after Herman Cain for not supporting a federal marriage amendment. On Meet the Press, Cain was asked if he supported amending the constitution in favor of defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman. “I wouldn’t seek a constitutional ban for same sex marriage, but I am p... More

Local TV Shows Move-In Day for St. Paul’s Largest Seminarian Class in 30 Years

Signs and stories of hope: From the University of St. Thomas: When seminarians from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas gather for their annual group photo at the start of the school year on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 7, it will be the largest such gathering since 1980. The seminary is welcoming 30 new graduate-level seminarians this fall, bringing the tot... More

Ordination: Hope for the future of the Church.

It's a target. The Roman collar proclaims to the world, "JESUS IS LORD. And I will live and die by that credo." I can’t think of any occurrences that signal hope for the future of the Church like the ordination of new priests. Baptisms are necessary, of course, but baptisms are so frequently simply cultural events, “the thing to do,” or just to keep the peace with g... More

Snapshot: 480 New Priests in 2011, Five Year Trend: Younger (+more cool stats)

The USCCB released this hopeful news yesterday: The average age of men ordained to the priesthood in 2011 is trending younger with the average age for the 2011 class at 34, with more than half between the ages of 25 and 34. This is slightly younger than in 2010, and follows the trend over the past five years of ordinands becoming younger. These figures stand out in The Class of 2011: Survey of O... More

If Church Law requires married priests & deacons to abstain from sex, what is to be done? (+ what did I leave unsaid before?)

Five days ago I blogged about my father’s canonical argument that the current law of the Church says permanent deacons (and all clerics) are obliged to abstain from sex with their wives. The aftermath has been about what I expected it to be: many people took the news in a spirit of curiosity and openness, and joined me in petitioning that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the proper authorit... More

Church Law says Permanent Deacons (and all clerics) are obliged to abstain from sex, notes Canonist Edward Peters {updated}

[To keep things simple I am keeping this topic limited to this one post which will be updated often - please scroll down for the latest updates - the most recent one took place Wednesday, Jan 19, 11AM ET] I have been struggling to decide the appropriate way to help bring this issue before the Church’s attention. Canon Lawyer Ed Peters This little point, illustrated my father Canon Layer Ed P... More

Inspiration: Top Chef hangs up hat to try on Roman Collar

Some afternoon inspiration for good measure: Kenneth Smith had been a fixture in the highly rated Upperline Restaurant of New Orleans, Louisiana, where for the past 11 years he served as the executive chef. But after about two decades working there, he has moved out of the kitchen and into New Orleans’ Notre Dame Seminary, on his way to becoming a priest. CNN sat down this summer with Smith,... More

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