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NEWS
September 18, 2015 | By Julia Terruso and Jeremy Roebuck, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Philip DiWilliams had mostly kept to himself what happened in a Roman Catholic High School counselor's office in 1969. Years later, when he decided to seek therapy, he told his wife, but did not want to upset his children. Now, as Philadelphia prepares to welcome Pope Francis with all the celebration a papal visit garners, DiWilliams has decided to share his story. "I don't understand why the mind works like it does. Why I can sit here years later and tell myself, 'It wasn't my fault,' but it still bothers you," says DiWilliams, 59, of Roxborough.
NEWS
September 15, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gabrielle Bowes had a soccer game Sunday morning, but skipped it because the 9-year-old's father insisted the family attend 10:30 Mass at St. Christopher Catholic Church. He suggested everyone dress nicely, since they would be bringing up the gifts during Communion. In the quiet final moments of the Mass, Gabrielle sat in the last pew with her sister Riley, 11, brother Matthew, 12, and parents Bernadette and Richard Bowes. The monsignor asked parishioners to stay for a final announcement.
NEWS
September 13, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The former Archbishop Wood High School basketball coach fired last year for his presence at an attack on a gay couple in Center City filed notice Friday that he will sue the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, alleging slander. The notice of the impending lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court by Francis McGlinn against Archbishop Charles J. Chaput; the archdiocese; and its spokesman, Kenneth A. Gavin. The legal notice to sue does not include the complaint, which would outline the reason for the lawsuit, but it clearly involves statements made by Gavin last September after three graduates of Wood were arrested in the Sept.
NEWS
September 10, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
Parents of children attending Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools are now being required to sign a document pledging support for the schools' "Catholic identity" and recognizing that in all questions involving church law, "the final determination rests with the archbishop. " The archdiocese is asking all its schools to include the one-page "Memorandum of Understanding" in entrance applications and school handbooks, said spokesman Ken Gavin. The purpose "is to simply inform parents that we are Catholic schools, that we will teach the doctrine of the church, and have them sign that they understand and are in agreement," he said.
NEWS
August 30, 2015 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
Black people have been part of what became the Catholic Church since Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry the cross toward Calvary, but Sheena Turner, 22, says she still gets the question: "You're Catholic?" Msgr. Federico A. Britto, pastor of St. Cyprian Church in West Philadelphia, says he gets a different query: "You're black and a priest?" What is to some the confounding juxtaposition of black and Catholic represents a persistent image of the Catholic Church as a white institution, and the assumption that if you're black, you're Protestant, said Deacon William Bradley, director of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Black Catholics.
NEWS
August 28, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
WHEN STEFAN Johnson was just a kid, he served as an altar boy at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul during a dark period in Philadelphia's history, when murdered cop after murdered cop was laid to rest there between 2007 and 2009. Meanwhile, Stefan's own father, whom he has never met outside of prison walls, was serving a life sentence for abetting in a double murder for hire. A few years later, when Stefan was a college student at Villanova University, he spent many quiet moments alone inside the hallowed walls of the basilica every Sunday night before locking it up. At just 18, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had entrusted Stefan with the security of its mother church - and he never let the church down.
NEWS
August 21, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has settled a civil lawsuit brought by an accuser whose testimony helped convict two Catholic priests and a former parish-school teacher on sexual abuse charges, and aided in the unprecedented prosecution of a church administrator for covering up the priests' crimes. In filings Tuesday, Common Pleas Court Judge Jacqueline F. Allen said the plaintiff - a 26-year-old man identified only as "Billy Doe" - had "settled any and all claims" against the archdiocese and two former church officials.
NEWS
August 21, 2015 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia isn't sure if "the Francis effect" explains it, but 20 men of the archdiocese have entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary this year to study for the priesthood - a more than threefold increase from a year ago. "Last year we had six" enroll for the new term, Bishop Timothy Senior, rector of the seminary, told a news conference Wednesday. This is, he said, the largest one-year spike in local vocations in a decade. Between six and 10 men of the archdiocese enter the seminary in a typical year, said Senior, an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese, and about half continue to ordination, which takes up to nine years.
NEWS
August 21, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
THE NUMBER OF MEN beginning their journey into priesthood in Philadelphia more than tripled this year and yesterday church officials attributed that rise, in part, to what has become known as the "Francis Effect. " Bishop Timothy Senior, rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, said the school welcomed 20 men from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia when the academic year started this week. That's up from just six men last year. "It is the highest number of priestly vocations in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 10 years," Senior said.
NEWS
August 20, 2015 | BY CHRISTINE KILBRIDE
"MASS HAS ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. " The response, "Thanks be to God," has been uttered with more relief than I care to admit the past few years. My faith has been shaken - by scandal, by political squabbles and by discrimination. The sacred trust that I established throughout all my sacraments - Holy Communion, confirmation, reconciliation - somehow seems tarnished. These struggles have been recurring in my mind as Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families draws nearer.
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