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Three cardinals dropped from C9 as reform process nears end...  

The Vatican said Wednesday that while there are no immediate plans to add new members to the C9, Pope Francis has released the three eldest cardinals from the duties of the advisory group. Papal spokesman Greg Burke told journalists in a briefing Dec. 12 that the pope sent letters to Cardinal George Pell, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz...

what do you think?

2018-12-12 12:35:21



Despair and false doctrine...  

A little morsel gleaned from St Augustine by way of the banquet that is Sohrab Ahmari's conversion story, From Fire By Water... "All false doctrines seek to negate man's responsibility for sin." I was just pondering the same thing this morning as we were discussing the terrible epidemic of suicide in America. Drugged and drunk with booze and pills...

what do you think?

2018-12-12 10:20:33



Why did the Second Person of the Trinity, rather than the Father or the Holy Spirit, become incarnate?  

As we await the approaching Feast of Holy Christmas, we have been pondering some of St. Thomas Aquinas' teachings on the Incarnation. Today we will consider why it was the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who became incarnate. Most people have never even thought of this question let alone sought to answer it. God could have chosen many different ways to save us; He chose to act as He did not because it was required but because it was fitting...

what do you think?

2018-12-12 10:01:50



Would Jesus have come if Adam had not sinned? Why did he wait so long before coming?  

Continuing our series of questions related to the Incarnation, we next ponder whether Jesus would have come at all had we not sinned in the garden. We also consider why He waited thousands of years before coming to our rescue. Would Jesus have come if Adam had not sinned? St. Thomas Aquinas first states that there are different opinions on the matter...

what do you think?

2018-12-12 05:54:34



Why I won't ask Pope Francis to resign...  

A lot of people are upset about Pope Francis. Some have called on him to resign. Some have gone so far as to make the outrageous claim he is not really the pope. Although I don't agree with some of his actions, I will not be calling on him to resign, nor claiming he is not really pope. However, that does not mean that I plan to sit around doing nothing about our current troubles in the Church...

what do you think?

2018-12-12 05:22:53



Five dead in Brazilian cathedral shooting, cathedral priest asks for prayer...  

A gunman killed at least four people people Tuesday, inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception in Campinas, Brazil. After opening fire inside the cathedral, the gunman took his own life. The man entered the cathedral at the conclusion of a midday Mass on Dec. 11 and began firing, according to the Military Police of Campinas...

what do you think?

2018-12-12 02:53:05



Pope Francis on the 'gay Mentality' that has 'influenced the Church'...  

On Dec. 3, The Strength of a Vocation, a book-length interview with Pope Francis by Father Fernando Prado, a Spanish Claretian Missionary, was published in 10 languages. Father Prado, a theology professor at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, asks 60 questions on a wide range of topics, including priestly, religious and consecrated vocations...

what do you think?

2018-12-12 01:02:05



U.S. Supreme Court will not hear case of states defunding Planned Parenthood...  

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from states that were seeking to terminate Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood, meaning that these contracts will remain. Kansas and Louisiana had attempted to block Medicaid funds from being used for preventative care services provided by Planned Parenthood. A lower court ruled that this policy violated federal law...

what do you think?

2018-12-11 08:35:15



The quiet epidemic of lonely Catholics...  

The more I listen to the experiences of Catholics, the more I get the sense that we are facing a quiet epidemic of loneliness. It is found in the young people who fly to sex addiction, because they fear real people who may break their hearts. It is in spouses who stop communicating because of the pain, wounds, and repeated isolation they feel from one another...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 21:47:57



Tale of two New York Times stories: Seeking links in the ultimate anti-Pope Francis conspiracy...  

What we have here are two interesting stories, which appear to be connected by a bridge of New York Times paranoia. It's that latest addition to a growing canon of work attempting to connect Donald Trump to a vast right-wing Catholic conspiracy to bring down the compassionate, progressive Pope Francis. The first story is a legitimate profile of Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 20:33:54



What's the meaning of life? Here are three possible answers.....  

The first option is nihilism. That is, that there is no meaning of life and the search for meaning if a fool's errand, a wild goose chase, a pointless quest. If that is your point of view, then I guess you might as well stop reading this post right now and go make a sandwich. However, if you believe there is some meaning to life...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 12:07:45



If a man wouldn't make a good husband and dad, he won't be a good priest either...  

A good husband is totally faithful to his wife. A good priest is totally faithful to the Church. A good husband teaches his children how to totally love their mother. A good priest teaches his flock how to totally love Christ and His Church. A good husband leads his wife closer to God. A good priest leads his flock closer to God...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 10:21:24



19 martyrs killed in Algeria's 1990s civil war are beatified — first time in a Muslim nation...  

A cardinal dispatched by the Vatican to Algeria has held an unusual beatification ceremony for 19 monks, nuns and other Roman Catholics who were killed during Algeria's civil war in the 1990s. The ceremony, on Saturday in the western city of Oran, was the first in the Muslim world, according to Algeria's religious affairs minister...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 07:22:16



I am happy to proclaim that Christ is very much alive in the heart of small town America...  

One of the most discouraging things about small town America is the way that corporate gigantism has ripped its heart out. This is made all too painfully evident when I drive on the back roads to Charlotte from my home in South Carolina, which is my preferred route when time permits. Taking these country roads, I pass through several small towns that have become like the ghost towns of the legendary west...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 06:58:31



Possibly lying in Confession? Help for the scrupulous...  

Please set your mind at rest. In the first place, saying, "Okay, Father" is ambiguous in meaning. It can mean, "Yes, I will do that," or it can mean, "I acknowledge your recommendation." "Okay" is an ambiguous word that we use in English as a way of helping conversations and social interactions along. It can even mean...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 06:25:50



Virginia high school teacher fired for refusing to use transgender student's new pronouns...  

A Virginia high school teacher was fired Thursday for refusing to use a transgender student's new pronouns, a case believed to be the first of its kind in the state. After a four-hour hearing, the West Point School Board voted 5-0 to terminate Peter Vlaming, a French teacher at West Point High School who resisted administrators' orders to use male pronouns to refer to a ninth-grade student who had undergone a gender transition...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 04:14:13



Battle of wills: Tiny order of French nuns takes on the Vatican...  

The Vatican has an unusual dilemma on its hands after nearly all the nuns in a tiny French religious order threatened to renounce their vows rather than accept the Holy See's decision to remove their superior. The sisters argue that the Vatican commissioners sent to replace their superior general, who is also the niece of the order's founder...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 03:37:26



A reality check on expectations for February child abuse summit...  

Under any circumstances, the announcement in September that Pope Francis plans to convene a summit Feb. 21-24 for all the presidents of bishops' conferences around the world, along with the Vatican's senior leadership, to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandals in the Church would have been big news. After the Vatican invoked that summit in November in instructing the U...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 03:18:49



41 and us: Decency is not dead...  

It was June 1, 2006. I will never forget that date." That was the day Angela Jozwicki had an abortion. She had grown up with "a lot of screaming" around her and was using drugs by the time she was 14. In 2006, she was 22 and found herself pregnant. "I knew in my heart that a baby would stop me from having drugs, but I wasn't ready...

what do you think?

2018-12-10 03:13:44



I wanna be ready to put on a long white robe – A homily for the Second Sunday of Advent...  

The New Testament opens in the desert near the banks of the River Jordan, with John the Baptist, of whom Jesus says, He is the Elijah who was to come (Mt 11:14). In John the Baptist is the fulfillment of the Elijah figure, who was to come to prepare the hearts of the people for the great coming of the Messiah. All of this leads us to this Sunday's Gospel...

what do you think?

2018-12-09 11:28:10



Religious Freedom 2, ObamaCare 0...  

An unnecessary fight came to an end in November, after a federal appeals court gave EWTN Global Catholic Network, which I lead, a final victory in our seven-year fight against the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate. Left unchallenged, the mandate would have required us to use our employee health care plan to provide services such as the week-after pill in violation of our religious beliefs...

what do you think?

2018-12-09 06:28:12



Pope's Sunday Angelus: Advent is a time to “take into account the demands of conversion”...  

Advent is a time of waiting and expectation, Pope Francis said Sunday, but this season also requires a "journey of conversion." "To prepare the way for the Lord who comes, it is necessary to take into account the demands of conversion," Pope Francis said in his Angelus address Dec. 9.

what do you think?

2018-12-09 01:58:43



Back in theaters, 'Schindler's List' turns 25...  

From the armbands to the ghettos, from forced labor to extermination camps and beyond, Schindler's List covers the successive historical stages of the Final Solution more comprehensively than any other popular film had at the time, or has since. That, in part, is its great achievement — and, for many of its critics, its enduring stigma...

what do you think?

2018-12-08 12:51:37



The dogma of the Immaculate Conception is biblical...  

Take a moment and imagine the quiet life of one young Jewish woman who from all outward appearances seems to be rather ordinary. She is a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, and she is probably in her early teen years. She lives in a small, insignificant village called Nazareth. Her name is Mary. Suddenly, in the midst of her simple...

what do you think?

2018-12-08 12:43:49



The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary...  

This Saturday, December 8th, is the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It celebrates an important point of Catholic teaching, and it is a holy day of obligation. Here are 8 things you need to know about the teaching and the way we celebrate it.

what do you think?

2018-12-08 11:02:49



The abuse crisis: Sacrificing ourselves for the Church?  

In the second of his interviews with Thomas V. Mirus on the abuse crisis, Fr. Roger Landry explains how we can all contribute to a solution, even those who are not guilty. Perhaps especially those of us who are not guilty: The guilty, after all, are far less likely to contribute to the solution. This is not the end of the lesson but the beginning...

what do you think?

2018-12-08 08:56:56



The Uncool Dad and a dead salamander named Godzilla...  

This is my latest "Uncool Dad" video. I hope you enjoy. It's about what I learned about parenting the day I brought a dead lizard to school.

what do you think?

2018-12-08 08:53:49



Our true home is in Heaven...  

A bishop condescendingly asked John Henry Newman, "Who are the laity?" To which the great saint, and, one hopes, future Doctor of the Church, replied that the Church would look foolish without them. The same might be said of those who are consecrated in the Religious life. The difference is that most of the Church consists in laypeople...

what do you think?

2018-12-08 06:35:40



The Pope's warning about homosexuals in the clergy is a ray of light...  

In the Pope's statement that those with deep-seated homosexual tendencies should not be accepted into the clergy or the consecrated life, I see a ray of light — not full noonday sun or even dawn, but a single ray of light. We should affirm what is true even if we know that a great deal of work will be needed for the Pope's well-stated view to become a policy that is understood and followed...

what do you think?

2018-12-08 01:48:51



Woman accused of tossing acid at priest as he heard her confession...  

A deranged woman threw sulfuric acid on a Catholic priest as the holy man took her confession in Nicaragua, church officials said. The Rev. Mario Guevara, 59, was in "delicate" condition after suffering burns on several parts of his body during the savage attack in a cathedral in Managua, Monsignor Carlos Aviles told local press Wednesday...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 13:56:44



Pope approves new legislation governing Vatican City...  

Pope Francis Thursday published new laws governing the administration of Vatican City State, including the formation of a new oversight body for verifying departmental compliance with regulations and procedures within the governorate. The laws were issued Dec. 6 in a motu proprio approved by the pope Nov. 25. It will go into effect...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 12:23:23



The closing of so many churches reflects a shocking loss of faith...  

As I walk or drive through my Capitol Hill neighborhood here in Washington, D.C., I pass by more than twenty churches that have been closed in the past decade. Many of them are grand and prominent buildings. Most of the them have been converted to condominiums, likely due to historic preservation norms that seek to retain the exterior appearance of historic buildings...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 12:07:55



Dec. 7 is the Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church...  

Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397; born probably 340, at Trier, Arles, or Lyons; died 4 April, 397. He was one of the most illustrious Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and fitly chosen, together with St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Athanasius, to uphold the venerable Chair of the Prince of the Apostles in the tribune of St...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 10:37:51



5 things you didn't know about Pearl Harbor...  

More than three-quarters of a century have passed since the "day that will live in infamy." Just before eight o'clock in the morning on December 7, 1941, a Japanese force made up of 350-plus planes, supported by submarines, cruisers, destroyers, and battleships, attacked Pearl Harbor, a U.S. naval station on Oahu, Hawaii...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 10:35:42



NYTimes on Princess Gloria: “The 'It' '80s party girl is now a defender of the Catholic faith”...  

Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis breezed through her 500-room German palace, keys in hand and a bracelet of rubies and a Virgin Mary charm on her wrist. She stopped to admire the ornate chapel where her great-grandmother-in-law Crown Princess Helene had died in bed and where her friend Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus, once said Mass...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 08:37:59



Saying “they'll have to kill me first,” 85-year-old Florida woman refuses to remove Our Lady of Guadalupe image from mobile home...  

Millie Francis almost died once. She's willing to do it again. This time, she says, it would be for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Property managers at the retirement community trailer park where Francis lives in west-central Florida have reportedly demanded that she remove a piece of plywood from her mobile home, on which she has painted an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 06:34:35



Nativity scene at Vatican's St. Peter's Square sculpted out of 700 tons of sand...  

The Vatican unveiled its novel Nativity scene for Christmas in St. Peter's Square Friday afternoon -- sculpted completely out of sand for the first time. The traditional scene depicting Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus surrounded by angels, shepherds, animals and the Three Wise Men was made with over 700 tons of sand and is about 82 square feet...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 06:15:25



Did God punish Jesus on the Cross?  

Penal substitution is a theory of the atonement that says God literally punished Jesus on the Cross. This theory is problematic because one cannot justly punish an innocent person, and Jesus was innocent. Therefore, for God to literally punish him would be unjust. In a previous post, I discussed how this view relates to other theories of the atonement...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 05:49:09



American priest is accused of molesting boys in the Philippines...  

An elderly American priest has been arrested by United States Homeland Security agents on charges that he sexually assaulted at least seven Filipino altar boys in the rural central Philippines, where he has ministered for decades. The suspect, Rev. Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, 77, was arrested Wednesday in the town of Naval, an impoverished community in Biliran Province...

what do you think?

2018-12-07 03:20:59



Philip Wilson, former Archbishop of Adelaide, has conviction for covering up child sex abuse overturned...  

The former Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, who was found guilty in May of concealing the abuse of altar boys in the 1970s by pedophile priest James Fletcher, has successfully appealed his conviction. A court in New South Wales on Thursday ruled in favor of Wilson, saying there was reasonable doubt the clergyman had ever committed the crime...

what do you think?

2018-12-06 12:30:47



What happened when this woman met her Nazi torturer, 40 years after World War II...  

This is the story of a young woman, a gifted pianist, who, after the Nazi invasion of France, began to work for the Resistance. Her subsequent arrest and torture at the hands of the Gestapo left her disabled and in acute pain for the rest of her life. Needless to say, she was unable to fulfill her heart's desire to become a concert pianist...

what do you think?

2018-12-06 12:18:44



New film documents porn's harmful effects...  

The film series Brain, Heart, World has just been released. It consists of three episodes each about 30 minutes long. Each episode explores a different realm in which pornography causes harm: the individual, human relationships, and society as a whole. There are some depressing facts to be learned from Brain, Heart, World. For a start...

what do you think?

2018-12-06 11:49:40



Do you want to have a good Christmas? Then listen carefully to this Advent message: “You need a Savior!”...  

One of the goals of Advent (in many ways a penitential season) is to meditate on our need for a savior. In daily Mass and in the Liturgy of the Hours, we read lengthy passages from Isaiah and the other prophets, who speak boldly and bluntly about the people's sin. Some of the passages are even a bit humorous. Here are a few.....

what do you think?

2018-12-06 09:46:50



Why are young people no longer interested in sex?  

Of all things to measure, sex provides a source of endlessly fascinating data points. Who is having it, how much, and in what kinds of relationships? Previous generations lacked the technology (or perhaps the interest) to track such data, but we children of late modernity seem to have no qualms seeking answers to the most intimate questions...

what do you think?

2018-12-06 07:59:32



A straight path in the wilderness of our soul — 2nd Sunday of Advent...  

As we start the second week of Advent, the Church turns her attention from the second coming of Christ to his first coming, and in particular to the figure of John the Baptist, the forerunner or herald of Jesus Christ. Usually the Church reads heavily from the prophet Isaiah during the Advent season, and indeed, Isaiah 40 would have made a good First Reading for this Sunday because it is quoted in the Gospel...

what do you think?

2018-12-06 05:49:05



Francis to make historic visit to Abu Dhabi in February — first trip by a pope to the Arabian peninsula...  

Pope Francis will be breaking new ground when he becomes the first pontiff to set foot in the Arab Peninsula and visits the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates Feb. 3-5. The papal visit, primarily to attend an "International Interfaith Meeting" that will be taking place on the theme "Human Fraternity," comes after invitations from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan...

what do you think?

2018-12-06 01:05:19



Fra John Critien is the last true Knight of Malta on the island of Malta...  

At 21:00 one Sunday evening this past October, I telephoned Fra John Critien and he was none too pleased. A gentleman does not, he told me, cold call a knight at such an unreasonable hour. The conversation ended there. Click. But when I promptly sent him a follow-up email to explain that I had come to Malta to learn how to behave in a manner befitting of the storied knights of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 19:23:18



Ask Jesus to enter your heart and surprise you. Say to Him, “Show me the Father”.....  

Quite a number of years ago, my wife and I were friendly with a woman who worked in business with her husband and was (at the time) a mother of two small children. She was smart, was a "mover and a shaker" and had a quick and sarcastic wit. Both she and her husband were very devoted to their Catholic faith and were involved in various parish activities...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 13:39:16



Vincent Van Gogh: “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream”...  

A virtual visit to the world of Vincent Van Gogh

what do you think?

2018-12-05 13:30:34



Avoiding another Roman fiasco In February...  

By peremptorily ordering the American bishops not to vote on local remedies for today's Catholic crisis of abusive clergy and malfeasant bishops, the Vatican dramatically raised the stakes for the February 2019 meeting that Pope Francis has called to discuss the crisis in a global perspective. How the Americans' taking decisive action last month would have impeded Roman deliberations in February—the strange explanation offered by the Vatican for its edict—will remain an open question...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 12:27:28



When the Church is silent, we end up supporting sexual immorality...  

Adultery is a gospel matter. How so? Because God made man in His image—male and female. Because the union of a husband and a wife is a picture of Christ and the Church. Because this is so, our sexual lives bear witness, either truthfully or falsely, about the character of God and His relationship to His Church. Faithful marriage says one thing...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 09:57:46



Was Pontius Pilate's personal ring discovered at Herodium? And what might “Pilato” indicate? ...  

On November 29, 2018, news broke out of Jerusalem that a ring had been discovered at Herod the Great's eponymous mountain fortress of Herodium, just 3 miles southeast of Bethlehem. Two facts about the simple copper-alloy piece of jewelry were reason for worldwide headlines. First, the ring was discovered at Herodium ... in 1969...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 07:45:48



Earliest depiction of Jesus Christ in Israel discovered. Here's what it shows.....  

Emma Maayan-Fanar was looking for shade from the desert sun when she saw the face of Jesus. The art historian from the University of Haifa in Israel had been studying crucifixes and other motifs on the stone lintels of the ancient churches and houses of the ruined city of Shivta in the Negev Desert. Although it was February, days in the desert can still get hot — and so Maayan-Fanar found some shade under one of the few pieces of roof still intact at the site...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 05:52:28



Robert Dole and George H.W. Bush...  

As Rod Dreher writes, "Here's a good test as to whether or not you're an ideologue. If you fail to be moved by this scene at the US Capitol today, chances are that you have allowed your politics to replace your humanity."

what do you think?

2018-12-05 05:06:21



Pope's Wednesday Audience: “Lord, teach me to pray”...  

This morning's General Audience was held at 9:30 in Paul VI Hall, where the Holy Father Francis met with groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world. Beginning a new series of catecheses on the "Our Father," in his address in Italian the Pope focused his meditation on the theme: "Teach us to pray...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 04:38:26



What you need to know about CRISPR technology...  

Imagine you are a caveman communicating with complex grunts. Your neighbor shows you a copy of the Oxford Shorter dictionary together with an English grammar book and signs that the combined information is going to change everything ... that humans will now be able to cooperate flexibly in large groups; knowledge will be able to accumulate; sciences develop; cultures perpetuate themselves; and the libraries...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 03:52:42



China reneges on its deals. The Vatican is learning that the hard way.....  

As China's economic and military power has expanded over the past decade, Beijing has shown a proclivity to renege on agreements and to make access to its markets conditional on acceding to its shifting demands. Countries, companies, and international organizations have found it difficult to push back. The Vatican, as both a state and the spiritual head of a major international institution...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 03:48:39



The devil behind population decline...  

While groups gather at grocery stores to hold chicken funerals and airlift carnivorous lobsters to Maine (you know I'm not kidding, right?) population growth for humans—aka the ones with souls — has taken a nosedive. A study on trends in every country from 1950 to 2017 was released in The Lancet medical journal, showing the world average of 4...

what do you think?

2018-12-05 01:05:17



How George H.W. Bush surprised me at my diaconal ordination in St. Peter's Basilica...  

George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30, was kind enough to come to my ordination as a deacon. To be sure, during the actual ordination Mass he had a meeting with St. John Paul II, so he came after it was over to congratulate us. He had no reason to know anything about us in particular. But it was a generous gesture typical of a kind gentleman...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 21:08:45



On 41's passing, recalling “Bush's bishop”...  

Given the tide of mourning over Friday's death at 94 of George H.W. Bush, when it comes to this beat, one piece of the 41st President's legacy bears particular note, all the more as its impact extends into the present. At its core, next year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of full relations between the Holy See and the US...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 17:17:01



Compression of character: The two-hour test...  

"Did you hear that Stan Lee died?" "Stanley who?" I wasn't present for that exchange, but I have it on good authority that it happened. The uninformed respondent was my wife, Nancy, who clearly isn't tapped into the Marvel Comics Universe the way the rest of the country (the world?) has. Which is why she rarely joins me and our kids in taking in the latest installments of the MCU canon at the theaters...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 16:55:25



Shakespeare was a Catholic sympathizer who left 'coded political messages' in his work...  

His plays and sonnets have enriched the English language beyond measure and left us a literary legacy still performed, read and studied around the world to this day. But it is now being claimed there was an unknown side to William Shakespeare - that of political commentator and champion of England's oppressed Catholic minority...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 12:56:08



'A man of faith and humility': Catholics remember President George H.W. Bush...  

George H.W. Bush, who died late Friday, served as a fighter pilot in World War II, head of the CIA, vice president under Ronald Reagan, and as the 41st president of the United States. But he maintained throughout his last years that his most important role was that of a father of six. "I can honestly say that the three most rewarding titles bestowed upon me are the three that I've got left: a husband...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 10:31:21



Creation, too, “longs” for the healing that Christ will bring...  

In the first reading for Tuesday of the first week of Advent is expressed the implicit longing of all creation for healing. Isaiah tells us of the healing that will one day come to creation when prey lie down in peace with their predators: The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 09:21:34



Baruch: Jeremiah's scribe, against hopelessness and idolatry...  

The Old Testament Book of Baruch is very brief, just six chapters, but it is still divided into three sections, each one fascinating in its own right. The book was nominally composed by Jeremiah's scribe, Baruch, who had to write all of Jeremiah's visions and prophecies in a scroll, and then write it out again after it was disregarded and burned by the King...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 08:35:48



Is it as good to pray the breviary from electronic devices as it is from traditional books?  

It is hard to overestimate the convenience of praying the Liturgy of the Hours from an online breviary. Not only are they convenient but they also help to lessen the complexities that often go with setting up the traditional book. For example, Do the psalms come from the day or the Common? Do we use the Common of Pastors or that of the Doctors of the Church...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 07:18:34



The mainstream faith of Bush 41: At what point did 'personal' become 'political'?  

If you want a summary of what mainstream news professionals think is important — especially the elite scribes who cover politics — all you need to do is read the obituaries published after the death of a president. What really matters? What subjects are secondary? It's all there. With that in mind, I urge readers to work their way through the stunningly faith-free New York Times obituary covering the life and times of former President George H...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 07:13:10



Once again, Pope Francis fails to make headlines (with “conservative” words on sex)...  

As a rule, controversial statements by the Pope of Rome tend to make news. As a rule, controversial statements by the current occupant of the throne of St. Peter make news. Do I really need to note that, as a rule, controversial statements by Pope Francis about sexuality almost always inspire headlines in major news sources? With that in mind...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 07:06:32



Heresy, hell and demon possession...  

An article came up today at Catholic League about the death of God is Dead theologian Thomas Altizer. After the predictable sarcasm about "Death of God theologian is Dead" Donohue recounted Altizer's professed personal experience of Satan. It's a sober reminder that heresy is a mortal sin. If with full knowledge and consent we dissent and rebel against the revealed teachings of Sacred Scripture and the church we may be opening the door to Satan and orienting our souls towards hell...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 04:51:46



Names of priests redacted from clergy sex abuse report won't be released, high court rules...  

The identity of Catholic priests whose names were redacted from a scathing report on clergy sex abuse will remain protected by that redaction, Pennsylvania's highest court on Monday ruled. In its ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that redaction was the only viable due process remedy that could be extended to the petitioners - the priests - to protect their constitutional rights to reputation...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 04:16:51



Advent Is the remedy to our spiritual crisis...  

"Insincerity was an evil which sprang up within the Church from the first," wrote Blessed John Henry Newman in 1839. "Ananias and Simon were not open opposers of the Apostles, but false brethren." Any of us, he said, can affect a certain kind of religiosity without sincerity; any of us can be tempted to put on the trappings of faith without the interior disposition...

what do you think?

2018-12-04 03:47:27



“Advent is a time of hope”: Pope lights candle for children in Syria...  

Pope Francis Sunday lit a candle, a symbol of hope, to pray for the children affected by violence and war in Syria and across the Middle East. "Advent is a time of hope. At this moment I would like to make the hope for peace of the children of Syria, beloved Syria, mine," the pope prayed on Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 13:51:23



Archbishop Viganò addresses dispute with brother over family inheritance...  

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has sought to clarify a court ruling in October which ordered him to pay nearly €2 million (approximately $2.2 million) of inheritance plus legal fees to his brother, a priest living in Chicago. In a Dec. 3 statement issued through his lawyers (see text below), Archbishop Viganò said he had "already willingly paid" the amount to his brother...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 13:25:08



This is an Advent message from the angel to you: “Do not be afraid”...  

One of the themes of Advent is watching and waiting. A kind of patient, alert spirit is cultivated. The spirit of hope. We are to sit on the edge of our seats, waiting for the show to begin. We're at the bus stop, looking down the road any sign of the bus we feel is already late. We're sitting in stillness and in contemplation waiting to hear the word of the Lord...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 07:50:36



Normal body temperature is surprisingly lower than 98.6°F...  

Normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, right? Not so. There is no baseline for humans, and even if there was, it would be closer to 97.7 °F. Temperature also varies across the day, peaking in late afternoon and bottoming out in early morning. It is slightly higher for women than for men as well. For two decades research has debunked the benchmark...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 07:47:22



6 tips for spiritually protecting your home or room...  

A friend of mine approached me about what to do regarding strange noises in his summer dorm room. He was hesitant (and probably a bit skeptical, as a recent convert) to attribute this oddity to demons. He was not able to have a priest bless the space. His room was in a house he didn't own and he would only live there temporarily...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 07:41:52



Meet a real-life “instant family”...  

We waited six and a half years to have children, and within seven months we became a family of four." That has been the real-life experience of Malka Groden and her husband, Mendel; they gained an "instant family" like the one depicted in the new movie by that name. The Grodens' children came to them last year, but only after a lot of struggle...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 06:46:32



How McLaren learned to treat its Formula One pit crew like athletes...  

In March 2011, a sports scientist named Stafford Murray attended a Formula One preseason ritual in Barcelona. For the 12 Formula One teams, these so-called testing events are an opportunity to unveil new cars, try out new technology, and adapt to new racing regulations before the start of the world championship. For McLaren, one of the world's premier F1 teams...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 06:19:18



166 relics, the lives of the saints, and now our 3rd-class relics...  

Last night, my wife and I had the privilege to attend a ministry of evangelization known as Sacred Relics: Treasures of the Church at Saint Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa, Arizona. Currently, this exposition is making its way through parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix. If you reside in the Diocese of Phoenix and would like to view these relics...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 06:12:36



Advent life hacks to help your family grow in holiness...  

It turns out, for most of my life I've had Advent all wrong. Caught up in the whirring consumer machine, I often couldn't wait to kick start the celebration of Christmas. I'd barely make it to the end of the Thanksgiving meal and I was breaking out the decorations, singing the songs and scrounging at the stores. December 1st signaled the beginning of that most magical time of the year known as Christmas...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 05:33:45



12 herbs and spices mentioned in the Bible...  

The Bible reflects an intimate knowledge of herbs and spices, which perfumed the Jerusalem Temple (2 Chronicles 2:4), sweetened the home (Song of Songs 7:13) and seasoned meals during the Exodus (Numbers 11:5-6). Repeated references to herbs and spices indicate that the people of the Bible knew how these plants tasted, smelled and looked...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 05:17:17



National Geographic's 100 best pictures of the year...  

Sarah Leen has a job most people in the world would envy. She looks at photographs for a living. And not just any photographs — National Geographic photographs. As our Director of Photography, Leen estimates she has looked at as many images "as there are stars in the sky," so it's hard to narrow down her favorites. But she does that every year — here are her favorite 100 of the over two million submitted to us this year...

what do you think?

2018-12-03 05:03:13



Pope's Sunday Angelus: “During Advent we reawaken the expectation of Christ's glorious return”...  

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave December 2, 2018, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

what do you think?

2018-12-02 13:57:02



After years of pressure, Starbucks says it's finally going to block customers from using their wi-fi to watch porn...  

After years of pressure, Starbucks says it has found a way to prevent customers from watching porn in its stores. Next year, the coffee giant plans to introduce a new tool meant to prevent customers from viewing pornography or other explicit content in stores. While watching pornography is banned at Starbucks locations, the chain does not have content blockers on its Wi-Fi service...

what do you think?

2018-12-02 10:46:46



A recipe for readiness — A Homily for the First Sunday of Advent...  

As we begin the Advent Season, we are immediately drawn into its principal theme of preparation and readiness for the coming of the Lord. His first coming has already been fulfilled at Bethlehem, and while we should prepare spiritually for the coming Christmas Feast, these first weeks of Advent bid us to focus even more on His second coming in glory...

what do you think?

2018-12-02 06:44:30



How to do everything you can to get your kids to Heaven...  

I worked in campus ministry for 15 years and during that time, there was no lack of desperate parents calling to ask us to help them with a kid who had stopped going to church. I have also done a lot of speaking/training of Catholics through the years. It isn't rare to get a line of folks who have questions. But, whenever I talk on evangelization...

what do you think?

2018-12-02 05:57:54



Why should a Protestant convert and join the Catholic Church?  

I get it. I really do. I am a convert and those times when I came into the Church were also troubling. They have been for a while. As a matter of fact, there has been controversy swirling in and around the Church since the moment Our Lord's feet disappeared into the heavens at his Ascension. First, remember that the Church was founded for sinners...

what do you think?

2018-12-02 04:18:37



St. Edmund Campion and the advent of Advent...  

It's the First Sunday of Advent - it's finally here! But, in truth, it actually started late on Saturday. That's because, liturgically, Sunday always begins late on Saturday. It's a ritual reckoning of the Sabbath - sunset to sunset - that we inherited from Judaism, and it's why we celebrate Sunday Mass as early as Saturday afternoon...

what do you think?

2018-12-02 03:13:24



Some bishops really do have power to transform bread into stones...  

What would you do if you wanted to transform a starkly supernatural religion centered on mystical sacraments and the consecration of suffering into a pallid, worldly, irrelevant NGO? Let's not ask why you'd want to do that. I assume you have your reasons. There's a long list of things I could suggest, of course. Some obvious ones include...

what do you think?

2018-12-01 21:23:03



At this time of year I make no apologies for being a bit of a Scrooge...  

Please don't turn up at the rectory with a bright smile asking your priest to give you the name of a "poor family" who needs some gifts at Christmas. My reply is, "Why don't you be in touch with that poor family you have befriended and have been helping all year long?" In his book 'Toxic Charity' Robert Lupton tells the story of being with an African American inner city family on Christmas Eve when a big SUV pulled up and a well dressed lady with two squeaky clean kids climbed ou...

what do you think?

2018-12-01 10:31:18



Here, in the U.S. at least, the smaller Church has already arrived...  

Yesterday morning over coffee I sat down and read a news analysis piece published on our site, and a report from the National Catholic Register. Both left me with a roiling stomach and an aching head. I fired off a message to a coworker thanking him for his excellent reporting and also confessing that I would very much like to commit murder after reading it...

what do you think?

2018-12-01 08:28:35



There's a chilling darkness behind Celine Dion's brand that's highly disturbing...  

If you're thinking the recent post about Celine Dion's new brand is an over-exaggeration, it might be a good idea to think again. As stated in the previous article, Celine Dion's recently launched children's clothing line is considered "gender-neutral." Children wear skulls and black crosses, and have the term "new world order" written on some of the clothing...

what do you think?

2018-12-01 08:22:48



Bishop Robert Barron is the bishop of Catholic social media (WSJ paywall)...  

He might not look it, but Bishop Robert Barron is a social-media superstar. Sporting thick-framed glasses and a folksy Midwestern demeanor, the Catholic auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles resembles the comedian Drew Carey, only trimmer. But the aw-shucks routine isn't fooling anyone. Beneath it lies a penetrating intellect and clear talent for using popular culture to draw people into—or back to—Catholicism...

what do you think?

2018-12-01 07:48:30



“Better to leave than to live a double life”: Pope Francis warns against homosexuality in priesthood and religious life...  

In a book-length interview to be published next week, Pope Francis addressed gifts and challenges for clerical and religious vocations, among them the challenge of homosexuality in the clergy. "The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case...

what do you think?

2018-12-01 05:04:10



Stuck in a spiritual rut? Here's a way out.....  

Rarely is the spiritual life a continuous road of upward progression. And though we will never "make it" on this side of eternity, it can be quite frustrating to find ourselves in the same old rut, facing the same fears, doubts, questions we had thought previously conquered. I recently found myself once again in such a rut. Facing the same doubts...

what do you think?

2018-12-01 02:10:36



The mysterious Holy Veil of Manoppello seems to have properties not fully understood...  

The Shroud of Turin is known throughout the world. There are, however, other burial cloths said to be from the time of Christ and directly related to the Passion and death of Our Lord. Other than the Shroud of Turin, however, only one of these purported relics has an image upon it and that is the Holy Veil of Manoppello. In a remote Italian village of Manoppello there is a cloth which until recently was largely unknown to the majority of Christians...

what do you think?

2018-12-01 02:01:45



Bankruptcy comes for the archbishop...  

As if Wednesday's descent on Houston Chancery by the civil authorities wasn't enough on its own, only later did it emerge that, at the very same time, things were likewise brewing across the other side of Texas. While the 12-hour search of the headquarters of the US' sixth-largest diocese - which, it's since become known...

what do you think?

2018-11-30 16:20:25



The bomb and the pill: Snuffing out life in the name of security...  

Of the many technologies that have changed the course of culture, contraception may be the most pernicious. In his landmark encyclical "Humanae Vitae," St. Paul VI foresaw that the rise of artificial birth control methods would also lead to more marital infidelity, the lowering of moral standards and the objectification of persons...

what do you think?

2018-11-30 13:50:27



Fortitude! A call to stay engaged in resolving the abuse scandal.....  

Many today rightly speak of the need for courage in the midst of the current sexual abuse scandal and its coverup. It does indeed take courage to speak out and engage in the awkward task of insisting on accountability and reform from our bishops and the Pope, whom we have been taught to revere and respect. There are potential dangers...

what do you think?

2018-11-30 07:37:37



EWTN wins lawsuit over HHS contraception mandate...  

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued an order Thursday vacating a 2014 district-court decision against the Eternal Word Television Network in its lawsuit against the so-called contraceptive mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. The order follows a settlement between the network and the Department of Justice reached Oct...

what do you think?

2018-11-30 05:46:58






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