WXXI AM News

catholic church

On Friday, Reverend Denise Donato – the founding pastor at Mary Magdalene Parish in East Rochester – will become the first ordained female bishop of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC). The ECC broke off from the Roman Catholic Church over the issue of the pope’s infallibility in the late 19th century. In 1994, Pope John Paul II wrote, “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.” Both of his successors upheld that statement.

What do parishioners think? A new survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University shows 60 percent of American Catholic women support the possibility of women being ordained. Does this signal change?

This hour, we talk about the modern Catholic Church and the role of women in it. Our guests:

The widespread outbreak of the flu has resulted in some changes for local Catholics attending Mass.

In a memo from the Vicar General of the Rochester Catholic Diocese, the Very Reverend Paul Tomasso, there are various protocols that have been outlined.

They include letting parishioners know that they may offer the “Sign of Peace” with a simple nod or bow of the head rather than shake hands. 

One of the most well connected priests in the world is a Rochester native who assisted the Vatican during the transition period between Popes Benedict and Francis. Father Thomas Rosica is the CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Media, and is a priest of the Congregation of St. Basil. He's back in his hometown to host a retreat, and he joins us on Connections to talk about the work and impact of Pope Francis.

Father Rosica has worked as a media attaché for Francis, providing English language translation. He sees this Pope as a hand reaching out to the truly needy around the world. We discuss the refugee crisis, the meaning of "pro-life," and what it means to be Christian.

Father Roy Bourgeois was a Catholic priest for 40 years, but the Vatican defrocked him in 2012 for supporting women in the priesthood. Bourgeois has spent his career advocating for equality and justice, from the rights of the poor and oppressed, to women's ordination. He's in Rochester for an event on Wednesday night, but first, he's on Connections.

We examine the significance of Pope Francis to the Catholic Church. His public statements appear to be significantly further left on social issues than his predecessor. But is that reflected in actual doctrine? Are there real changes afoot, or is this simply a Pope with a defter public touch? With us are: 

  • Fr. George Heyman, president of St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry in Pittsford
  • Fr. Edward Salmon, McQuaid Jesuit High School
  • Nora Bradbury-Haehl, director of faith formation at St. Patrick's Church in Victor

Roman Catholic Priestwoman Patti LaRosa discusses the future of the Roman Catholic Church following the resignation announcement by Pope Benedict XVI. Will conservative traditions continue in the Church?