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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.


Newness itself must be renewed

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley          April 3, 2016

“God of everlasting mercy,
who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed, 
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.”
(Collect of the Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday)

Throughout the Easter season, the Church’s newest members continue to reflect upon the meaning of their experience at the Easter Vigil when they were fully initiated into the mystery of Christ and His Church through baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist. The prayers of the Church’s liturgy during this paschal season express our praise and gratitude for the newness of life and redemption that we have celebrated during the Easter Triduum and that we renew constantly in the sacraments.


The sacrament of mercy

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley             March 20, 2016

On the First Sunday of Lent we heard that immediately after his baptism, “Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert” (Lk.4:1). For 40 days Jesus fasted, prayed and was tempted by the devil. Why was Jesus baptized in the first place? 

The baptism administered by John the Baptist was an act of repentance that began with a personal confession of sins (Mk.1:5). Those who went down to the Jordan to be baptized by John humbled themselves. Their action was accompanied by heartfelt prayer for pardon.