The Holy See announced Nov. 21 that Cardinal Bernard F. Law, former archbishop of Boston, has been replaced as archpriest of the Rome Basilica of St. Mary Major, by Spanish Archbishop Santos Abril Castello. Cardinal Law turned 80 Nov. 4, at which time he stopped being a member of Roman Curia agencies and is no longer eligible to attend the conclaves that elect popes. Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Law to the position in May 2004, about two years after he resigned as Boston’s archbishop amid criticism of his handling of clerical sexual abuse cases in the archdiocese.

When the sex abuse scandal broke at Penn State Nov. 5, I couldn’t help but think that if there was a “Cardinal Law” in the university’s midst, his name was Joe Paterno. I was a diocesan communications director when the church sex abuse scandal broke in 2002. At a meeting in May of that year I asked one of the bishops present, “Why doesn’t Cardinal Law resign?”

Without hesitation, he responded, “The only bishop in this country who doesn’t think Cardinal Law should resign is Cardinal Law.”

Penn State didn’t wait for Paterno to get the message; they fired him.

Is anyone listening? At least a year has been devoted to preparing people in the pews for the revised translation of the Roman Missal that goes into effect this Sunday, Nov. 27, and people are still asking, “Why?” Everyone should get that figured out by the time the fourth edition of the Roman Missal is published. In the meantime, you can read more about it here

By the way, those who have been calling it “the new Roman Missal” are incorrect, according to Dean Daniels, coordinator of the office of worship for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He told me during a recent interview, “There is nothing new about it. The Roman Missal is the Roman Missal.”

Blessed be the bard: An op-ed writer at L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, has claimed William Shakespeare for Holy Mother Church: “There may be questions regarding his identity, but not his religious faith.”

No beginning, no end: That applies only to God, but the Christmas retail season is attempting to co-opt it. Think about it: Do you know when the Christmas retail season actually begins and ends? Is there an official start and conclusion?

If you understand that the real Christmas season doesn’t begin until Dec. 25, please enjoy the following: If you think the Christmas season has already begun, play it in order to refresh your memory.