An obscure priest from Belgium laboring in a remote missionary outpost seems an unlikely candidate for worldwide fame. Fr. Damien never wavered in his work on behalf of the miserable and abandoned, despite criticism and slander. Now home at last, St. Damien de Veuster, apostle to the lepers, intercedes for all peoples.
Who was John Vianney, and why is he patron of the Year for Priests? Fr. Vianney was sent to Ars in part because he barely qualified for the priesthood. His zeal for souls soon had thousands lining up outside his confessional. But the Curé’s methods were simple: Any parish priest today can imitate him.
In October 2009, Pope Benedict XVI announced an ecumenical initiative that rumbled throughout the Christian world: He invited Anglicans throughout the world to join the Catholic Church—with their liturgy, customs, and prayers intact. What will be the effects of this unprecedented "personal ordinariate"? The view from (Anglo-)Catholic Britain.
Pope Benedict’s gesture to Anglicans seeking a way into the Catholic Church has raised hopes for Catholics and Anglicans who have long prayed for a reunion. But inviting Anglicans to cross the bridge may not be that simple. The complexities of modern-day Anglicanism pose a challenge—as does the age-old objection to authority.
"In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do [in the way of penance]."
~ Anglo-Saxon "Ecclesiastical Institutes" translated from Theodulphus by Abbot Aelfric about A.D. 1000; explaining the English term "shrovetide" (from "to shrive", or hear confessions) wherein the religious idea is uppermost; but before long, human nature allowed itself some exceptional licence.