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Hitler's Pope and 9 Other Anti-Catholic Myths Disproven By History

Non-Catholics found discovered something surprising about the history of the Catholic Church:

Roman Catholics have gotten a bad reputation: they're responsible for the Dark Ages, the Crusades, and the Inquisition. They're anti-science, anti-Semites, and anti-freedom. Each of these accusations is an oversimplification that perverts history. According to a new, groundbreaking book by sociologist and historian Rodney Stark, the truth is far more friendly to the Catholic Church, and those who say otherwise are overlooking important developments in the study of history. In Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History, Stark rebuts 10 historical myths that reflect badly on the Catholic church. Little do many of us know, Catholics actually pioneered capitalism, laid the foundations for science, abolished slavery, and denounced witch hunts. That doesn't sound so dark to me. Stark is not a Catholic, and neither am I, but these truths are very important for everyone to know.
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Media Want To Make Sure You Never Hear About ‘The Little Sisters Of The Poor’

The lengths they go to is hilarious.

Last week I was at a religious liberty confab attended by some of the Little Sisters of the Poor. One of my favorite vignettes from the conference was watching a decorated Sikh Army captain, who recently won his religious liberty battle to wear a turban while he serves in non-combat scenarios, chat it up with the cheerful gaggle of Little Sisters, who are in a major religious liberty battle against President Obama over whether the government can force them to violate their religious beliefs or face crippling fines. Both are represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
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5-10 Muslim Refugees Request Baptism in Austria Every Week

The work of the Holy Spirit:

The number of Muslim migrants in Austria who want to convert to Christianity has increased massively in recent months; however, most of these migrants, who are refugees from conflict-torn countries like Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan, are in danger of violence from radical Muslims who consider the converts as apostates. According to Kurier, only 33 percent of the people converting into the Catholic faith in 2015 were Muslims. However, that percentage has increased to over 83 percent this year. The Archdiocese in Vienna is already handling about five to ten adult baptism requests per week.
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The Sisters Who Treat the Untreatable

Wonderful piece from the NY Times:

At the beginning of the 20th century, sick Americans typically died at home. By the middle of it, they mostly died in hospitals. And yet this great transformation in the geography of death was, at first, of little interest to medical providers: In the 1960s, some doctors routinely chose not to inform terminal patients of their fate. Studies found hospitals stashing dying people at the ends of halls and largely ignoring them. Medicine, it was said, was about healing people. It had nothing to offer the already dying.
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Sisters of Life hold up dignity of single moms in 25-year-old ministry

Their beautiful ministry is an inspiration for all of us:

On a drizzly gray morning in early May, the bright kitchen at Visitation Mission on Manhattan’s East Side was filled with the sound of laughter and the inviting aromas of fresh-cut vegetables and baking cookies as postulants and novices of the Sisters of Life prepared food for themselves and their anticipated guests. Visitation is the nerve center for the Sisters of Life’s material, emotional and spiritual outreach to pregnant women in crisis. The sisters help more than 900 women at the former convent each year, said Sister Magdalene, the congregation’s local superior.
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Ethicist says embryo breakthrough is a ‘step towards an inhuman future’

But I thought science meant doing whatever you can because...science.

Researchers have discovered a way to keep human embryos alive in laboratories for longer, paving the way for experimentation on embryos beyond the current legal limit. Previously, embryos grown in laboratories have not lived past nine days – the stage at which an embryo needs to an implant in order to survive. But scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered a way to keep embryos alive beyond that point. The embryos were allowed to die at 13 days, because the current law does not permit them to live beyond 14 days.
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Vocations to the priesthood: bad numbers? Those numbers didn’t just happen by themselves.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf writes:

I’ve written many times about the situation of vocations to the priesthood. We all know that there are certain parishes in dioceses which produce more priests. We all know that there are certain dioceses which produce more priests. We all know that there are certain religious groups which produce more priests. They have factors in common.
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A Good Motto for 2016: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

Sherry in despair.

The people have spoken and we will have as President this fall, someone who thinks Planned Parenthood does some very good things...or we will have Hillary Clinton. We will have someone who has no humility. We will have someone who has no scruples about lying, about destroying others, and about lying about destroying others. We will have someone who thinks the law is for other people.
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Why You're Right to be Very Very Worried About the Future of This Country

Dennis Prager, normally an optimistic sort, lathers on the doom and the gloom disturbingly heavy. And he's right. The Stream:

A Dark Time in America There are many reasons why — other than the first years of the Civil War — there has never been a darker time in American history. Here are a few.
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Bishop Barron on Shakespeare and the Fading of the Catholic World

"I wonder whether everyone can agree that Shakespeare was indeed mourning the loss of something that came apart in the sixteenth century—something beautiful and something worth putting back together."

Last week the world marked the 400th anniversary of the death of the greatest writer in the English language and one of the three or four most significant artists the human race has produced. William Shakespeare simply contains so much. In the manner of Dante, Homer, Michelangelo, James Joyce, and Aquinas, he seems to encompass the whole: every texture of feeling, every nuance of thought, the tragedy of sin, the most exquisite longings of the soul, the most confounding confusions, heaven, hell, and everything in between.
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Europe Rejects Surrogacy (Again)

Chelsea writes:

More good news from Europe: last month the Council of Europe’s Social Affairs and Health Committee voted against the draft report on surrogacy that proposed regulation of the practice rather than a full ban. This comes just three months after the European Parliament approved a resolution condemning all forms of surrogacy as “reproductive exploitation and use of the human body for financial or other gain”.
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Multiple reports confirm Planned Parenthood videos were not manipulated

Hey, if you're not going to take "Thou Shall Not Kill" seriously, you're probably not going to be concerned with "Thou shall not bear false witness."

Planned Parenthood has been called out on social media for its deception and spin when it comes to… well, pretty much everything. But in this case, Planned Parenthood Action Fund claimed that the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover videos featuring Planned Parenthood’s own employees were “faked criminal videos.”
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There is So Much My Head Might Explode

A plea for actual diversity from Sherry:

Curt Schilling got fired for sharing a Facebook post and adding his own two cents. That is ESPN's right, they are in the perception business. Target has made a decision to declare all bathrooms unisex. That is their right as a business. Some will boycott ESPN and Target, others will cheer. I don't know how we will survive the ever shifting sands of language and perception in these days. We have protests and counter protests for everything, and never is there any peace. However the question becomes, what is the cut off point? Can one discuss an idea not popular or discuss a moral stance not popular without being tarred, feathered and burned off the internet? When, where and how can the public allow for diversity of thought? Can one hold a moral position not popular, even dare to utter it or live by it, and hold a job in this century?
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Study Shows Competition from School Choice Improves Education

PJ Media:

Via Watchdog.org: A new study from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice shows that competition is the key to improving American education. “Pursuing Innovation” looks at “how effective open enrollment, charters, and educational choice programs are at improving student outcomes.” There were four key findings in this report. The first is that education by ZIP code may soon be a thing of the past, as non-residential forms of school choice (open enrollment, charter schools, homeschooling, and private educational choice programs) grow rapidly. The second is that competition from private school choice and charter schools do the most to improve schools, because they allow public school dollars to follow the student. Public schools then have more incentive to better serve families or attract new students. The other two conclusions have to do with the future of education and choice. Once is that educational improvements cannot grow by leaps and bounds until school choice does the same.
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Rome’s Fabled Trevi Fountain to Be Dyed Red in Honor of Christian Martyrs

A sad reminder:

On April 29, the Trevi Fountain, one of the most popular and emblematic tourist spots in Rome, will be dyed red in recognition of all Christians who even today give their life for the faith. The event is being organized by Aid to the Church in Need and seeks to “call attention to the drama of anti-Christian persecution.”
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Love Doesn’t Die: A Mother Remembers Her Daughter with Down Syndrome

Wow.

Jean recalled, “My husband and I were told to place [the baby] in a state institution and tell everyone she died at birth. Days went by and social workers visited me trying to make my husband and I follow the doctor’s orders. The final straw was when they said, ‘Bringing her home would be an injustice to your neighbors, as she will lower the property value on your street.’ My husband and I shed tears and we shared our feelings that this baby was given to us by God, we could not throw her out!"
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There is No Post in my Trauma

Confessions of a Sleep Deprived Momma writes:

When you have a child who is medically fragile and have gone through stuff that no mother should ever have to see; you are often told that your panic attacks are due to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from doctors, therapists, family members, and friends. Recently I started seeing a therapist and once again I was told that I have PTSD. As I sat there listening to him tell me what he thought I was going through; I stopped him and told him something that rocked my on world “there is no post in my trauma.” This is truer then I like to admit. Yes there horrors from the past with Mighty Z that wake me up in the middle of the night in cold sweats feeling shaky as my heart pounds in my chest, yes there are noises and smells that bring me back to a traumatic time where I almost lost her. However, what is harder to deal with is not really the past trauma but the current any moment trauma that has yet to happen, but surely will happen any given moment. It is hard to stay in the present and to not give into the trauma that is lurking around the next corner waiting to pop out at you any moment.
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Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Believe in the Same God?

Dennis Prager writes:

Most Americans say they believe in God. And around the world, religious Jews, Christians, and Muslims all say they believe in God, as do many people who do not identify with any formal religion. But this statement is actually meaningless. To cite but one example, the God in whose name Muslims cut innocent people’s throats and rape women cannot be the same God as the God of those who believe that God hates such actions.
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Understanding the Little Sister's Response to the Court

The great Helen Alvare writes:

The Supreme Court asked the government and the religious institutions involved in the recent HHS Mandate litigation (I’ll collectively address the institutions as the Little Sisters) to address whether: “contraceptive coverage may be obtained by [the Little Sisters’] employees through [the Little Sisters’] insurance companies, but in a way that does not require any involvement of petitioners beyond their own decision to provide health insurance without contraceptive coverage to their employees” Yesterday, the Little Sisters filed a Supplemental Brief saying “sure there is”!
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Wendy Davis Hypes Abortion at Notre Dame on Feast of the Annunciation

Disgrace:

Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation on Monday, when the Virgin Mary said “yes” to God and Christ was conceived in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit. But at the University of Notre Dame, a number of students spent Monday night on campus listening to former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis describe the benefits for women of choosing abortion or using contraception.
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