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Life as camino

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley          Sept. 4, 2016

On Aug. 10, I set out from Oviedo in Spain with my friend and fellow pilgrim, Bishop James Wall, to walk the ancient Camino Primitivo. Over the next 14 days, we would cover 212 miles as we made our way toward Compostela. The Camino Primitivo is the oldest of the network of pilgrim ways that make up the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James), which for the past 1,100 has carried pilgrims to the tomb of Saint James the Greater in the cathedral of the city that bears his name, Santiago de Compostela.


Shaping a culture of life: what about the death penalty?

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley         Aug. 21, 2016

High profile mishaps involving the execution protocols in our state as well as exonerations of death row inmates resulting from DNA evidence and/or new evidence have many people reconsidering their support of the death penalty.


Here we go again

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley           August 7, 2016

As the old French proverb goes, “The more things change the more they stay the same.” Two years ago a local Satanist generated considerable controversy when he announced that he would be conducting a black mass during which he intended to desecrate a consecrated Host before an audience of paying customers at the Civic Center in downtown Oklahoma City.


The trifecta!

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley              July 10, 2016

As I turned the page of the calendar and bid farewell to the month of June, I did so with a sense of relief, but also with a good measure of gratitude.

Why relief? The month of June was hard on many fronts. We saw the continuing onslaught of horrific terror attacks: first in Orlando, then in Istanbul. Our hearts are crushed with grief for the innocent victims of violence who are being sacrificed on the altars of hatred and intolerance.


Standing for freedom

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley         June 26, 2016

For the fifth consecutive summer, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for a Fortnight for Freedom to celebrate religious liberty as our first and fundamental freedom.

We are in the midst of this annual observance now. It began June 21 on the eve of the feast of the two great English martyrs for religious liberty, Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher. It will conclude on July 4, the birthday of our nation and its commitment to liberty and justice for all.


Make time for leisure this summer

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley             June 12, 2016

In Oklahoma, summer means heat. But, for many people summertime also is when we look forward to a much-anticipated vacation. Whether that means spending time leisurely at one of our beautiful Oklahoma lakes, a trip to the mountains, the beach or just time at home with family and friends, our vacation time is precious.


It’s about more than restrooms

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley                  May 29, 2016

Earlier this year I came across an “all gender” restroom in the airport of a large American city. I had never seen such a thing. I snapped a picture. It struck me as strange, certainly not something I would expect to find in Oklahoma, for example. That may be about to change.

The media have been highlighting recent legal attempts in some states to keep boys out of girl’s restrooms and vice versa. This latest restroom controversy is a manifestation of the new battleground over “gender.” This battle, however, is about more than who can use which restroom. According to rules just issued by the Obama administration, public schools ought no longer to differentiate between boys and girls based on their biological sex, but now ought to acknowledge and accept their personal “gender identity.”


A tribute to Bishop Edward J. Slattery

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley              May 15, 2016

On Sunday, May 8, I had the privilege of presiding at a Mass of Thanksgiving at Holy Family
Cathedral in Tulsa in gratitude for Bishop Edward Slattery’s 50 years of priestly ministry. 

Father Slattery was ordained a priest on April 26, 1966, for the Archdiocese of Chicago where he
served in a variety of pastoral assignments, including many years as president of the Catholic
Extension Society. Late in 1993, he was named the third bishop of Tulsa and on the Solemnity of
the Epiphany of the Lord in January 1994, Pope (now Saint) John Paul II bestowed upon him his
episcopal ordination at Saint Peter’s Basilica.


“The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus”

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley          May 1, 2016

As we look forward to ordinations in the weeks ahead, I have been reflecting on the gift and mystery of the priesthood. I am grateful for each of our priests. They are as varied in their gifts, talents and backgrounds as one could possibly imagine! The common denominator in such a diverse group of men is simply that we are priests of Jesus Christ. 


Looking at “The Joy of Love”

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley          April 17, 2016

“The Joy of Love” (Amoris Laetitia) is Pope Francis’s just released apostolic exhortation “On Love in the Family.” It serves as a fitting complement to his first apostolic exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium) released in 2013.

While both are characterized by their fresh approachable writing style and concreteness, this latest exhortation is much longer, and considerably more complex, dealing as it does with the many realities facing families and married couples around the world. “The Joy of Love” is the fruit of the deliberations of two recent Synods of Bishops on marriage and family that were held in 2014 and 2015.