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Will Pittsburgh police brass be reshuffled?

Written by Liz Navratil on .

 

Acting Pittsburgh police Chief Cameron McLay has asked the bureau's commanders where they prefer to work next year, opening up the possibility that some of them could be reshuffled.

The bureau has nine commanders -- one for each of the six neighborhood stations, one overseeing major crimes, another working in narcotics and vice, and another in the warrant office.

Some of the commanders have been in their current positions for several years.

"What you are hearing about is the leadership style of our new police chief," Pittsburgh public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.

"The style of leadership, as he said in his introductory press conference, is one where he sees his biggest role as developing the future leaders of the organization that is the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police...In order to develop people, you cannot leave them stagnant in one position year after year."

Ms. Toler said there is no firm timeline for making changes to the command staff.

"The chief is assessing the entire department, as should be expected being that he is coming in to a brand-new position and a brand-new bureau."

 

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Skurla, Wuerl on the family synod

Written by Peter Smith on .

It's surely a coincidence that the Vatican's synod on the family began just a day before the U.S. Supreme Court all but signaled that same-sex marriage would be the legal norm in America.

 

As I noted in my story Sunday, the synod comes as Catholic tradition on the family is already a tough sell even among Catholics.

 

Archbishop William Skurla of the Byzantine Eparchy of Pittsburgh acknowledged that the Roman Catholic Church's traditional view on marriage is practically a minority viewpoint now. And that, he told Vatican Radio, isn't the only challenge. These days, families that stay together, pay together. People whose marriages are broken are often financially broke as well.

 

Vatican Radio reported on Archbishop Skurla's comments in an interview. He's one of the select group of delegates there.

 

“it is more difficult to speak to the world, because always we have to explain our position as almost a minority understanding of the place of the family in society today.”

Another challenge he cited is that which results a lack of permanence, with families frequently moving from place to place. “It creates an atmosphere where there is not the same kind of support that we had, say, thirty, or forty, or fifty years ago from the family in the community that people are trying to raise their children in.”

The archbishop also highlighted a third challenge which pertains to stability caused by the economic status of the family. “A change during the last twenty years,” he said, “is that the more stable families are actually the more successful [financially] families,” while those that “have to struggle economically have more difficulty in staying together.”

Also a delegate is Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., native and former bishop of Pittsburgh.

 

Cardinal Wuerl told Vatican Radio not to "expect sound bite solutions” to today's family challenges:

 

“The secular world, the secular vision doesn’t have a lot of space for a relationship with God, or a transcendent reality beyond us … that world has created a individualism and a self-referential world that doesn’t leave a lot of space for a healthy marriage and a family life that is going to follow on from that”.

 

 

And to Catholic News Service he said of the debate over communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics:

"The reception of Communion is not a doctrinal position. It's a pastoral application of the doctrine.... Just to repeat the practice of the past without any effort to see whether there is some awareness, openness, influence of the Spirit that might be helping us in total continuity with our past practice to find a new direction today."

 

 

 

 

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Aliquippa officials still mum on police officer firings

Written by Molly Born on .

Three Aliquippa police officers were fired last week, but officials still aren't saying why.

Today, police Chief Donald A. Couch Jr. declined comment and referred all questions about the terminations to solicitor Myron Sainovich, who still hasn't returned my calls.

Last week, Assistant Chief Joseph Perciavalle confirmed that patrolmen Paul Cain, Angelo Lewis and Eric McPhilomy were let go on Wednesday -- leaving 16 full-time officers, including the top brass.

Chief Couch said citizens should not be alarmed that the force now includes three fewer officers.

"I'm sure the residents are concerned there might be a lack of police coverage, but I assure them [there is] not," he said today. "The public is not at any kind of additional risk."

I'm planning to file a Right-To-Know request for details on the firings and will update this post here or on www.post-gazette.com.

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Harrisburg bishop: No boy-girl contact sports

Written by Peter Smith on .

Bishop Ronald Gainer -- appointed late last year to head the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg -- is prohibiting girls from boys' contact sports teams at Catholic schools and in Catholic youth leagues, citing "safety & modesty" concerns.

The policy is at this link, and excerpts follow. But it's worth pointing out that if this approach seems traditionalist and even archaic -- something that would be pigeonholed into the conservative thought of the papacies of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and contrary to the modern ethos that enthrones equality above virtually all other concerns -- remember that Bishop Gainer was appointed to Harrisburg by Pope Francis. For all the conversation recently about Pope Francis' appointment of different kinds of bishops than his predecessors (see Chicago), this is just a reminder that Francis is more complex than that. Bishop Gainer, an Eastern Pennsylvania native, was originally a John Paul appointee as bishop of Lexington, Ky., who made it perfectly clear that the pro-life, anti-abortion agenda was "THE paramount issue of are time" for Catholics as both believers and voters. Now that he's in the state capital here, it shouldn't be a surprise that he'd implement rules with a traditionalist understanding of gender roles.

"Gospel-based values are taught and learned in these athletic programs by developing respect for self and for others through competitions and other forms of human interaction in which dignity, integrity, fairness and moral strength are emphasized. Christian witness to authentic Gospel values is given by all who are involved in these programs in the form of adherence to appropriate norms of conduct, decorum and moral discipline.

"Preparation for Christian adulthood likewise involves the development and encouragement of appropriate, dignified and respectful forms of contact between male and female students. The Diocese therefore believes that it is incompatible with its religious mission and with its efforts to teach Gospel values to condone competitions between young men and women in sports that involve substantial and potentially immodest physical contact.

"Consequently, the Diocese has adopted this policy prohibiting co-ed participation in thefollowing sports: wrestling, tackle football and tackle rugby. In any sport in which co-ed participation is permitted, the appropriate ecclesiastical authority designated by the diocesan bishop may issue and enforce rules of conduct that reflect morally appropriate norms of contact between participants."

H/T WITF.

 

 

 

 

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Follow the Pirates' Wild Card game, test your knowledge with #pgbucs

Written by Ethan Magoc on .

Welcome to Buctober! Where do you plan to watch the Pirates take on the San Francisco Giants tonight?

Whether you have a ticket, will watch from your couch or a bar, or plan to join the crowd on the Clemente Bridge like these fans last year...

Roberto Clemente Bridge fansJulia Rendleman/Post-Gazette

...we hope you'll enjoy the game with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's social media team. We'll be populating the #pgbucs hashtag on Twitter and Instagram throughout the night.

Why should you join us on your second screen?

Our staff will post a mix of trivia that will challenge your Pirates knowledge, along with compelling photographs of fans, the players and the buzzing atmosphere surrounding this second-consecutive home opening to Buctober.

You can follow our staff covering the game itself: Bill Brink, Jenn Menendez, Brady McCollough, Paul Zeise and Jerry Micco.

And the #pgbucs conversation will happen @PittsburghPG on Twitter and Instagram.

Let's go Bucs.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.