On The Main Blog

Creative Minority Reader
CMR Links For Today —
TwitterCounter for

Chicago Archdiocese Offers 24 Hour Forgiveness Festival

To Catholics, others.

For 24 hours, the doors of Chicago area Catholic Churches will be open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike seeking forgiveness and prayer as part of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Festival of Forgiveness. Beginning at noon Friday to noon Saturday, two dozen Catholic churches, campus ministries and shrines will offer opportunities for Catholics to participate in the sacrament of confession and reconciliation and for other visitors to receive prayers of healing. That includes Holy Name Cathedral, where Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich will offer the sacrament and prayers. Other parishes will offer special opportunities to do likewise, the archdiocese said. The archdiocese’s first-of-its-kind 24-hour forgiveness festival is in response to the call of Pope Francis, who has described the Catholic Church as a field hospital comprised of the wounded and a place that, by God’s grace, is an instrument of healing and forgiving mercy.
Continue reading>>>

Christian florist: Why I can’t agree to provide service to gay weddings

Hot Air has the story:

She’s soft-spoken, has 23 grandkids, professes love for the gay customer who tried to hire her for his wedding and helped him find another florist when she politely declined (it was Washington’s AG, not the customer, who filed the discrimination complaint against her), and stands to lose her business and possibly her home if the state keeps coming after her for this. There may be more sympathetic spokesmen for religious freedom out there but offhand I can’t imagine one. The polling on whether businesses should be required by law to cater to gay weddings is mixed, but I wonder how long that’ll last if the Stutzman case breaks big nationally.
Continue reading>>>

Never Alone on the Lenten Journey

Sherry writes:

It takes a lot of courage to enter into Lent, and then to be mindful that one has done so. I suspect it is a reason that many Catholics give up things like chocolate or Diet Coke; things that had become ubiquitous but required parts of our everyday life. Lent is designed to make our relationship with God the ubiquitous but required part of our lives. Even on day one, I hear friends say, “I really miss chocolate.” and I understand; but what we’re supposed to get from this journey, is to the point of recognizing, we should miss God even more than we miss our daily indulgences. The stereotypical self-induced guilt that often gets slapped on a Catholic’s head like a scarlet “C” is a misunderstanding of what we’re supposed to discover by engaging in self reflection and conscious examination. Every time we begin to look at our relationship with God, we can see how it could be, could have been and should be deeper. We all know our own temptations and rationales for our own moments when we allow ourselves this one exception. “God will understand.” And He does, but do we understand what we are asking when we ask for that one exception, that one sin we cling to so fiercely?
Continue reading>>>

ISIS Abducts 56 "Crusaders"

Horror. But don't you get on your high Christian horse. Because...Jim Crow.

ISIS militants abducted 90 Assyrians -- from a group with a long history that's now predominantly Christian -- from two villages in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group reported Tuesday. The militants abducted the Assyrians from Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermz, near the town of Tal Tamer in Al Hasakah province, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The group said that "reliable sources" overheard ISIS militants talking on wireless devices about having detained "56 crusaders" in Tal Shamiram alone.
Continue reading>>>

Fr. Bradley: Notre Dame is Damaging the Church

The Implications of Extending Marriage Benefits to Same-Sex Couples:

Many Catholic institutions use marriage to define some of the benefits they make available to their employees. Now that civil marriage is legally available to same-sex couples in most states, and perhaps soon in all, these Catholic institutions all face the question: may we, or indeed should we, extend marriage benefits to same-sex couples who contract such a civil marriage? The University of Notre Dame and many other Catholic institutions have given their answer, loud and clear: we may, we should, and we are doing so right now. It is a morally indefensible answer. And the bad consequences of persisting in it will surely be far-reaching and very damaging. The whole Church, and everyone concerned for the future of our country and the children who are or will be growing up in it, has an important interest in the answer that Catholic institutions are giving.
Continue reading>>>

Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert

The Cardinal Newman Society reports:

Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Kleponis, a licensed clinical therapist and one of the foremost Catholic experts on the subject of pornography, recently shared his insights from a new book, discussed his pornography recovery program, and argued for the necessity of similar services to help students on college campuses. A second article will follow detailing his comments on the state of campuses and how pornography affects college students.
Continue reading>>>

Video: Archbishop of San Francisco defends morality codes for Catholic-school teachers

Ed Morrissey writes:

Why do parents send their children to Catholic schools for their education? Certainly part of that decision comes from the better performance that such schools have over their public-school counterparts. For most Catholics, though, the choice of church-run education is to provide substantial catechesis integrated into their primary education. The Catholic Church contracts with its instructors not just to provide Catholic instruction but to abide by Catholic teachings. When Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone communicated those expectations to teachers in the the Archdiocese of San Francisco with a new morality code in teachers’ handbooks, California lawmakers demanded that Cordileone remove the “divisive” language:
Continue reading>>>

Florida School Backs Down on "God Bless America" Ban

The Daily Caller reports:

A Florida high school that made headlines earlier this month for banning students from saying “God Bless America” during the morning announcements has backed down, First Coast News reports. The Nassau County School Board reportedly voted to approve saying “God Bless America” during morning announcements after talking with lawyers. Earlier reports indicated that though the school did not believe there was a constitutional violation, school officials would not allow students to deviate from the script for morning announcements.
Continue reading>>>

How to Live Lent as a Busy Mom

Call Her Happy:

We moms who want to nurture our relationship with God—but also lead busy lives with children—often find ourselves caught between a rock and hard place. Prayer practices seem to require 1) undivided chunks of time; 2) quiet; 3) a peaceful environment. I don’t know about you, but those three almost NEVER occur at our house, at least not at the same time! So I’ve learned that realistic expectations for prayer are essential as a parent. Lent is no exception. Over the years I’ve tried to live by these 3 simple ideas, and each year I find that they lead me in surprising ways to a deeper Lent.
Continue reading>>>

A Lenten Prayer

From the Sycamore Trust:

O God of Mercy and Compassion, Each year You call Your people to a season of repentance, conversion and renewal. Be present with us as we respond to Your call. May Your Holy Church guide us along the path that leads to righteousness, to holiness, to salvation, and to love. Our Holy Father, Francis, Universal Shepherd of the Church, has invited us to a unique fast this year, a fast from indifference. In humble obedience to the Vicar of Christ, may we truly embrace this fast.
Continue reading>>>

The State Dept is Saying They Think You're Too Dumb

Marie Harf: My comment about ISIS needing jobs was ‘too nuanced’ for you boors.

This is precisely how any organization would hope their spokesperson might respond when entangled in a controversy of their own making: Doubling down and petulantly insisting that your many critics are idiots. On Monday, Harf was the subject of criticism after she claimed that the only real way to neutralize the danger posed by a messianic death cult that threatens to erode the foundations of Westphalian sovereignty is to provide them all with good paying jobs. Allahpundit pondered whether Harf was articulating administration policy that is aimed at absolving the White House of fault when they inevitably fail to address the ISIS threat comprehensively:
Continue reading>>>

What Men Look for in a Spouse

A little humor and honesty.

What does a man want in a woman? It’s been an unanswered question for centuries mostly because men aren’t stupid enough to try to answer it. But I am. Recently, Catherine Frank wrote about the traits a woman seeks in a man. It’s a good list that made a lot of readers think (and comment!). I do believe God has someone out there in mind for everyone, but unfortunately God doesn’t give us an exact roadmap to find “The One.” We all need help sometimes, so here’s some thoughts on very important things a man wants in a woman.
Continue reading>>>

"We Hide the Word 'Catholic' from Prospective Students"

Catholic identity.

Instead of acting to reclaim and strengthen Catholic identity, however, many Jesuit universities are actively downplaying their religious affiliations in an effort to court secularized students. The fear seems to be that an institution with a strong Catholic identity might be a deal breaker for these students. As Jones points out in her article, Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri has removed “Jesuit” from the university tagline, while Denver’s Regis University actually hides its Catholic affiliation. “We hide the word ‘Catholic’ from prospective students,” said Traci McBee, who helps oversee fundraising efforts at Regis University. “We focus on the Jesuit piece rather than the Catholic piece. We’re able to transform a little quicker because we are not waiting for the archbishop to give us permission. We don’t have to ask the Pope when we want to make changes.”
Continue reading>>>

Hozier's Ridiculously Anti-Catholic "Take Me to Church"

Tom Hoopes takes him to school with this post:

“Take Me to Church” is the song by Hozier that debuted in September 2013 but is getting attention now, notably at the Grammys, where he sang it with Annie Lennox. The problem is Hozier — Andrew Hozier-Byrne is his name in his small Irish town’s phonebook — sings a song that would have labeled him as a detestable bigot if he was singing about anything but the Catholic Church. He sings: “Take me to church / I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies / I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife.” But of course he would never sing: “Make me a Jew / I’ll worship like a dog at your temple of lies.” Because people who hate Jews say exactly that kind of thing and civilized people have learned that these are evil things to say. And Hozier definitely would never sing this: “Take me to church for a gay wedding / I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies.”
Continue reading>>>

Archbishop Cordileone: A True Shepherd of Catholic Schools

The Cardinal Newman Society reports:

Despite severe criticism, Archbishop Cordileone is taking a stand and helping Catholic schools fulfill their true mission, argued Bob Laird, vice president for program development at The Cardinal Newman Society, in his San Francisco Chronicle op-ed. As part of an updated Catholic school faculty handbook, Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco recently released a “Statement of the High Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Regarding the Teachings and Practice of the Catholic Church.” The statement provides clear guidance for the moral conduct of archdiocesan teachers, explaining why they cannot publicly support causes or issues that are contrary to the teachings of the Church. Revised teacher contracts that clarify and further affirm the schools’ Catholic identity and mission were also developed.
Continue reading>>>

To the Only Person Who Didn’t Leave the Walmart Bathroom When My Son Needed Help

Wow. A kind deed goes a long way.

When your child with special needs is little and cute, people can be sympathetic. But when he’s bigger and still getting sick over and over, well, you try not to bother people. You just smile and pretend everything’s fine. Inside, I often felt alone. My younger son is diagnosed with Down syndrome and autism. He also had a lot of digestive problems. I made sure he went to the toilet every two hours. Most days we were lucky. One day, our luck ran out. My nonverbal teenage son and I were standing in a long check-out line at Walmart when he had an attack of explosive diarrhea. He was 14 at the time.
Continue reading>>>

The Best Wedding Present

Great piece from Laura Wright:

Just a few short weeks ago I stood beside one of my best friends from childhood while she took her vows at a Catholic church in Virginia. It was a biting cold January day with wind that whipped across our faces and gave us that “I’m uncomfortable but I’m doing this because I love you” kind of grin that you sometimes see in posed pictures. As we pulled up to the gorgeous church all I could think was, “Finally friend, your day is here.” You see, for so many people in my generation, the millennial generation, saying “I do” at the altar can seem like a monumental feat. Many decide to live together before marriage, often unknowingly stalling the process to marriage. Others have commitment issues because of problems in their past, like their parents’ divorce.
Continue reading>>>

How to Have a Happy Marriage...Even When You're Busy with Kids

Betsy Kerekes writes:

Marital satisfaction tends to take a dip once that first baby comes home from the hospital (or out of the bathtub, birthing centre, etc.). This shouldn't be surprising to anyone. Let's face it - kids, particularly newborns, are difficult. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying, or a grandparent. But you can maintain a happy marriage despite the strains and difficulties on your new life as parents. Here are ten tips for a happier marriage — with children. 1. Remember that love is a decision, not a feeling. It’s impossible to keep warm fuzzy feelings for your spouse constantly, especially when you have children taking up so much of your time and energy. Just remember that your relationship with your spouse comes first. Period. If you want the best for your children (and who doesn't), the success of your marriage is paramount. A Google search will render you a dozen different studies all saying the same things about the negative effects of a broken marriage on children. If you want your kids to be happy, keep your spouse happy. Be happy together. 2. Don't let Robin rule the roost. If your devotion to your children has gotten to the point where they walk all over you (be honest, do things tend in that direction?), there is bound to be tension in your home.
Continue reading>>>

Southern Poverty Law Center Puts Ben Carson On “Extremist” Watch List…

Laughably absurd:

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson rapidly ascended as a far-right political star after publicly scolding President Obama, whom he sat a few feet away from, at a National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013. Carson’s reproach of Obama for his health care and tax policies went viral, unleashing a flood of adulation from right-wing media and hate groups. Carson’s own story as an “up by the bootstraps” black man reared in poverty translated into an inspiring, magnetic narrative that captured media attention. Soon he was appearing as the keynoter at a rash of right-wing
and hate group gatherings, linking gays with pedophiles, comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany and endorsing biblical economic practices for 21st century America. Continue reading>>>

How Not to Preach

Advice to priests from a priest:

The Vatican has recently become a fount of advice on how to preach. Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” gives tips on the Sunday sermon, and the Congregation for Divine Worship’s new Directory on Preaching analyzes the nature of the liturgical homily. As a veteran of 60 years in the pews and 30 years in the pulpit, I would like to offer my own advice on how not to preach. 1. It’s all about you. Keep the sermon strictly autobiographical. Your congregation is dying to know all about your last vacation. There’s no need to discuss that pesky reading about Abraham and Isaac and the knife.
Continue reading>>>

Popular Posts