Welcome to Banter, the on-line rebirth of a column that appeared in print weekly from 1987-2004. The idea behind Banter is to exchange views about a variety of matters in a light-hearted manner. If you are expecting in-depth treatises that are the grist of academic and/or professional journals, you won’t find them here. I express my thoughts/ideas/comments/observations in as few sentences as possible. I hope you will respond in kind.

No Cash for Clunkers here: Since the auto industry has taken a pounding in recent months, it’s no surprise that the Archdiocese of Detroit has felt the economic crunch, too. According to Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who has only been on the job seven months, the archdiocese is running a deficit of $42,000 per day. Thus, he is cutting programs, services and 77 people from the archdiocesan staff. The church bailout program goes by the same name it’s always used: People in the Pews.

Storehouse of Catholic information: Want to immerse yourself in Catholic literature? Check out the Salzmann Library on the campus of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary. Call (414) 747-6478 for hours. Warning: Once you enter, plan to spend several hours browsing.