emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
VATICAN CITY – Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday, becoming the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.
He chose the name Francis, associating himself with the humble 13th-century Italian preacher who lived a life of poverty.
Francis shyly waved to the crowd of more than 100,000 people who packed a rain-soaked St. Peter’s Square for the announcement, marveling that the cardinals needed to look to “the end of the earth” to find a bishop of Rome.
In choosing a 76-year-old pope, the cardinals clearly decided that they didn’t need a vigorous, young pope who would reign for decades but rather a seasoned, popular and humble pastor who would draw followers to the faith and help rebuild a church stained by scandal.
Location of Limerick Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As construction was winding down at the new Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Church building in Limerick, Jack Schmidt sneaked in to get a glimpse of his past.
The retired Peco worker had grown up in West Kensington as a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, which closed in 2006 and which was demolished last year.
But inside Blessed Teresa was a 37-foot-high reminder of the years Schmidt, 71, served as an altar boy, attended Boy Scout meetings, and went to school in the Philadelphia parish. St. Boniface’s towering white marble altar had found a new home at the Montgomery County Church.
“It was a good feeling just knowing that St. Boniface was not completely gone,” said Schmidt, of Clifton Heights, Delaware County.
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The first U.S. church official convicted of covering up sex-abuse claims against Roman Catholic priests was sentenced Tuesday to three to six years in prison by a judge who said he “enabled monsters in clerical garb … to destroy the souls of children.”
Monsignor William Lynn, the former secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, “helped many but also failed many” in his 36-year church career, Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said.
Lynn, who handled priest assignments and child sexual assault complaints from 1992 to 2004, was convicted last month of felony child endangerment for his oversight of now-defrocked priest Edward Avery. Avery is serving a 2 1/2 – to five-year sentence for sexually assaulting an altar boy in church in 1999.
NORRISTOWN — A suburban Philadelphia coroner said Thursday that 88-year-old Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died of natural causes a day after he had been ruled competent to testify at the child-endangerment trial of a longtime aide.
Officials had said Bevilacqua, who served as archbishop from 1988 to 2003, was suffering from dementia and cancer. But last month, prosecutors asked the coroner to investigate because of the timing of his death.
Bevilacqua, spiritual leader of the archdiocese’s 1.5 million Roman Catholics from 1988 to 2003, died Jan. 31 at a seminary and was laid to rest without an autopsy. He was suffering from dementia and cancer, according to church officials and his lawyers, and his death was widely assumed to be from natural causes.
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, the retired Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia whose competence to testify in an upcoming church sex abuse trial was hotly debated in court, died in his sleep on Tuesday, the church said.
The cardinal, 88, led the Philadelphia archdiocese, the nation’s sixth largest, from 1988 to 2003. Church spokeswoman Donna Farrell said Bevilacqua died at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, the traditional home for the leaders of the Philadelphia archdiocese, where he had lived since retirement.
Whether Bevilacqua was well enough to testify had become a pivotal issue in the sex abuse trial of three priests, one now defrocked, and a former archdiocese school teacher. Another church official, Monsignor William Lynn, faces charges of child endangerment but is not accused of abuse.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is making the national news as of late but unfortunately it is not for something wonderful. Instead the archdiocese has been in the spotlight for its handling of sexual abuse cases involving its priests. It is believed that Pope Benedict will now accept Cardinal Rigali’s resignation (he turned 75 last year) in light of the scandal rocking the archdiocese in which Rigali’s leadership has come under heavy fire. Rigali has been the head of the Philadelphia archdiocese since 2003.
The leading contender to replace Cardinal Rigali is Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, the first Native American to serve as the bishop (Ordinary) of a diocese in the Roman Catholic Church. Chaput is considered to be a conservative who follows church teachings and at one time was a Capuchin monk. This leadership change will be officially announced in the very near future.
St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where Mike O’Pake graduated from, was bequeathed $2 million dollars. The use of this gift was left to the discretion of the university.
Alvernia University, in Reading, will be the repository for the senator’s entire political memorabilia collection, which chronicles his 42-year career in politics. Eventually the collection will be made public for use by students, scholars and for viewing by the public. Alvernia University was also entrusted with the archives of Shillington native and world-famous author John Updike. Alvernia University said it was “humbled” to be entrusted with the senator’s collection.
Alvernia is slated to receive money from the senator’s estate. However, the amount is unclear at this time. Also in the senator’s will are the Jesuit Center in Wernersville and St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Reading. What ever money remains, after all other bequests and bills are paid, is to be split between these three institutions. Senator O’Pake’s properties and their contents were bequeathed to a caretaker of a disabled family member.
I read with great sadness that someone felt the need to break into the former St. Peter’s R.C. Church on South Street, vandalized the interior and tried to start a fire. How low can you get, vandalizing a church!
I hope you are caught and punished to the fullest possible extent of the law!
Two thumbs down for this/these scumbag thug(s)!
If you have any information, contact Detective Tom Leahan, Pottstown PD at 610-323-1212.
The Empire State Building lights up to commemorate many things. Lately the Grateful Dead and Communist China to name a few. Now it seems the Catholic Church would like to commemorate Mother Theresa’s 100th birthday. They requested that the Empire State Building be lit up on August 26th in honor of Mother Theresa’s birthday and were flatly told NO. No explanation was given and phone calls were not returned. Hmmmmmm….
So let me get his straight. We can celebrate the Chinese Cultural Revolution, sex, drugs and rock and roll but the achievements of a woman’s heroic fight against poverty and disease in the slums of India is a no-no? What the heck is wrong with this picture??? Did somebody wake up on the wrong side of the bed that morning or what!