Archbishops and bishops

‘Rose-colored glasses’ provide vision for St. Louis

Bishop Louis W.V. DuBourg and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne were key builders for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

However, they always didn't see eye-to-eye. In fact, St. Philippine Duchesne lamented in a letter dated September 1823 that the visionary DuBourg "sees everything through rose-colored glasses," which is among the earliest written usages of the phrase to describe optimism when a situation calls for skepticism or doubt.

Bishops urge action on conscience protection for health care workers

WASHINGTON — The chairmen of the U.S. bishops' pro-life and religious freedom committees have asked U.S. Catholics to contact members of Congress and urge them to enact the Conscience Protection Act as part of the funding bill for fiscal year 2018.

Congress faces a March 23 deadline to approve an omnibus appropriations measure that likely would fund the government through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Lawmakers will consider whether to include the Conscience Protection Act of 2017 in the bill.

Bishops consider ways to revitalize appeal of a Catholic education

WASHINGTON — Catholic bishops are looking to "transform" Catholic schools in response to decades of declining enrollment that has forced hundreds of schools to close since 2005.

The effort, said the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Catholic Education, encompasses a wide-ranging look at issues facing Catholic schools and a renewed effort to help parents better understand that the spiritual development of a child goes hand in hand with academic achievement.

Congo’s bishops criticize excessive force to break up protests

A priest and other demonstrators chanted slogans at a protest organized by Catholic activists in Kinshasa, Congo. At least six people were killed during demonstrations across the country against Congolese President Joseph Kabila and delayed elections.

KINSHASA, Congo — Congo's bishops condemned the "excessive and disproportionate use of force" by security forces that dispersed protesters demanding President Joseph Kabila hold fresh elections in line with a Church-brokered accord.

In a Jan. 22 report, the bishops' conference said "peaceful marches" had been "violently repressed and smothered with tear gas and bursts of fire" in 95 Catholic parishes, leaving six dead and 127 injured, some by police bullets.

Central African bishops criticize ‘complicit’ politicians, church attacks

BANGUI, Central African Republic — Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic urged international peacekeepers to act more effectively and condemned attacks on churches and the "manipulation of religious feeling."

Bishop DuBourg’s arrival 200 years ago helped transform St. Louis into the ‘Rome of the West’


In the second decade of the 1800s, Catholicism was teetering in the future Archdiocese of St. Louis.

"Catholics in the area had 'calloused hearts' and 'extreme indifferentism,'" an archdiocesan history reports. "There were few priests, religion practice was spasmodic and the quality of faith was uneven."

The church, at the site of the current Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, "was a tumbledown log building which needed a lot of repair." And the rectory was little more than a shack or barn, without doors, floors, windows and furniture.

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