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Regular Guy Has Extraordinary Baby

One of our favorite blogging buddies Paul over at Thoughts of a Regular Guy just had a baby. And he's posted the pics of the baby. And oddly enough he was also nominated for a pro-life blog award. Seems fitting, huh?

Michael Travis Mitchell, December 26th, 2008, 8 lbs., 14 oz., 21 inches long, and perfect! Extraordinary Wife and child are resting well.
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Another Two State Solution?

Karen Hall has some interesting perspective on the history of Israel.

I've been waiting for someone (anyone) to break it to the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration, or maybe the present or future madame secretaries of state, that Israel began as part of a two state solution.

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Emilie's Passing

Amy brings us the news...

Emilie Lemmons was a 40-year old mother of two young boys, and a long-time writer for the Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan paper for Minneapolis-St. Paul.

A year and a half ago, she was diagnosed with cancer, fought it, wrote about it, and died Christmas Eve.
Read Amy's account and Emilie's last post on her blog.

Is Heresy Better Than Schism?

Rod Dreher ponders the question "The question ultimately is this: Are there matters over which there can be no compromise, and in which a compromise would destroy the essence of the institution?"

Quick Movie Reviews

Barb from Church of the Masses has some not-so-kind movie reviews that are fun to read and learns that children are bad:

Happy Christmas everybody! I got back from Portugal on the 21st, and since have been making merry, praying and watching lots of "For Your Consideration" screeners. I must admit, I like the free screener part of being in the WGA very much.

There isn't time to do decent reviews of all the movies I've seen, and frankly many of them aren't worth a serious consideration, and even more frankly, a lot of what I would want to say about most of the films can be summed up in some version of "Yuck" and "Eeeeeeeeew." I am going to jot down whatever pops into my head about the movies and then give it a pass or a plaudit.
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Screamin' Howler Monkeys Throwing Poop

From Fr. Cranky

First it seems our friends from the progressive side of things are into every kind of experimentation with the liturgy, as long as it isn’t any kind of traditional experimentation. They are tolerant and encouraging of all, except for the traditions of the Church. Let them get a whiff of Latin or adherence to the rubrics and they go ape (a word I have chosen carefully). I sometimes call them the howler monkeys, screaming and scrambling around and flinging anything they can grip.

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What If You Get The Answering Machine?

From the Curt Jester

Egypt's Coptic pope has banned the faithful from confessing their sins to priests over the telephone because intelligence agents might be listening in, a newspaper reported on Friday.

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An Extraordinary Form

From NLM

The eastern Church uses three forms of the Divine Liturgy, or Eucharistic Sacrifice: the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, celebrated on most Sundays and feast days;

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A Splendid Ol' Conversion Story

From Standing On My Head

Rob, at Coming Home Network, has sent me a splendid old conversion story written by James Kent Stone, (sometime president of Kenyon and Hobart Colleges) and published in 1869.

It is written in a robust and eloquent style, and is full of a bracing kind of Catholic convert triumphalism one doesn't see much of in this somewhat spineless age.

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How To Visualize Abortion's Toll

From Acts of the Apostasy

Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, there have been more than 48 million abortions in our nation. It's a number we're all too familiar with, a number that increases by more than 3,000 every day.

The following two videos, recently created by a friend of mine, asks you to imagine that number of deaths occurring through different circumstances.

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Jesuit University OK's V. Monologues

I'm unsure which is sadder. The fact that a Jesuit university is approving of the V. Monologues on campus or that they still think it's cutting edge and cool to approve of it. The Cardinal Newman Society has the full sad story:

The student senate at Boston College voted to allocate $1,000 in college funds for increased 2009 campus productions of The Vagina Monologues. The Observer reports that a list of co-sponsors, including the theology department, was presented to the students in support of funding productions of the oft-criticized, vulgar play.
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Suzanne Has Baby Boy! With Pics!

OK. CMR's award for most diligent blogger goes to Suzanne Temple of Blessed Among Men who now has something like 84 children -all boys. Not only does she have a new baby boy but she blogged the next day with pictures.

With great joy, we welcomed...
Micah Benedict Joseph Temple on December 19th, 2008. 12:34 PM. 7.5 lbs. 21 in.
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Santa Seeks Bailout

The funniest thing you'll read today is Iowa Hawk's bailout plea:

Flanked by officials from the United Elf Toytinkerers union, SantaCorp CEO Kris Kringle today told the House Ways and Means Committee that without immediate government financial help, his firm would be forced to declare bankruptcy, lay off thousands of elves and reindeer, and potentially cancel its annual worldwide Christmas Eve toy delivery.

"These are grim economic times for everyone, but even more so for non-profit toy manufacturers in the Snow Belt," said Kringle. "Our accountants have indicated that we are on track to exhaust our reserves of cash and magical pixie fairydust by December 23. Oh deary me."
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Suing the Good Samaritan

So if someone's car is on fire and they're trapped inside, what do you do? Make popcorn and enjoy the show,of course, especially if you live in California:

In this season of Christmas, let us reflect on the parable of the Good Samaritan. After a traveler had been assaulted and then ignored by the rest of the community, a Samaritan rescued him and helped him recover. If the Samaritan moved to California, he’d better have a good lawyer, as the state Supreme Court ruled that the liability shield passed for those who conduct emergency rescues and inadvertently injure the victims only applies to medical personnel...
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Just What The Homeless Need - Abortions

The homeless and downtrodden don't need compassion. They obviously just need contraception and abortion.Dawn Eden takes on Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood is partnering with a Santa Barbara, Calif., shelter to "confidential reproductive health services" to homeless women, meaning contraception and—soon to come with its "full-service" satellite clinic—abortion. What's more, the abortion giant claims it is doing the women a service by prescribing contraceptives to them without giving them a physical exam...
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When Christians Act Like Christians

Go watch this video of Penn Jillette at the Anchoress and you will see the effect you can have, even on an avowed atheist, when you act like a Christian. This really made me think.

It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life.

From Newsbusters

On December 18, in an item that appeared on Page C1 of its December 19 print edition (the graphic at the right is a scaled-down version of what appears at the top of the online version), the New York Times's Wendell Jamieson provided us his perspective on what has became a Christmas staple, Frank Capra Jr.'s "It's a Wonderful Life." I would suggest that the piece reveals a lot more about the author and Old Media's mindset than it tells us about the film.

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Deacon Paul Weyrich?

Paul Weyrich was a Catholic. A permanent deacon too. Did you know that? I read a number of articles on his passing but I don't even remember reading he was a Catholic. Get Religion has a nice piece detailing Weyrich's faith and how the media missed the story:

The most important thing to remember about the late Paul M. Weyrich is that he was a moral and cultural conservative, first, and a Republican, way, way second. In fact, there were plenty of people who decided that he wasn’t — when push came to shove — a Republican loyalist at all.

You can see hints of this throughout the mainstream media coverage in the wake of his death at age 66, following years of painful decline that began with a shattering fall on black ice.

Let me start with a picky question that, so far, applies to most of the obituaries. It is interesting, to me, that most of the stories do not even mention the fact that Weyrich was an ordained, permanent Catholic deacon...
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Can Suicides Receive a Catholic Funeral?

Standard Time talks about a Catholic view of suicide:

...A few days later, the owner of a prominent car dealership in my area had committed suicide.

Over coffee and sad eyes ever since, many folks have been discussing the man. Many of them had bought at least one car from him and his family over the years, my dad and myself included.

There was a lot of sympathy for him and his family. Everyone recognized this as a tragedy. Maybe they'd even spend a little more time with a loved one who is in a difficult period, to provide a hopeful word. That is my hope anyway.

The real questions and fodder for long conversations, however, was that the man received a Catholic funeral. Older Catholics thought that was improper, based on their understanding of Church teaching from their youth. Younger Catholics didn't see anything wrong with a Catholic funeral, but didn't know Church teaching precisely on the matter.
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Sarah Palin Or Caroline Kennedy?

John Painter of Red State does a thorough job of contrasting Sarah Palin with Princess Caroline. He also admirably attempts to decipher the liberal gobbledeygook of MSNBC's new favorite conservative Kathleen Parker:

The debate over Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications for a seat in the U.S. Senate is getting louder, and the number of side arguments over the way JFK’s daughter and Alaska’s governor have been evaluated in their respective quests for higher public office are increasing. Sweet Caroline’s supporters say she deserves her shot at the Hillary Clinton chair. Sarah Barracuda’s troops point to the rank hypocrisy of those who give Ms. Kennedy a free pass after having savaged Gov. Palin.
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Is This the Reason for the Season?

From man With Black Hat

I get more sick of it every year. Maybe it's because they start on me a little earlier than before. Maybe it's because I bought a house this year, and I think Santa's treating me just fine as it is.

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CBS: Gay Marriage is Civil Rights Issue

The liberal media only sees one side of the gay marriage issue and Newsbusters has the video evidence:

At the top of Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith teased a segment on the controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s decision to have pastor Rick Warren deliver the invocation at the inauguration: "Barack Obama angers gay rights groups by choosing Rick Warren to give his inaugural invocation." Later Smith brought on Dr. Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas and David Corn of the liberal Mother Jones magazine to debate the issue, declaring: "President-elect Barack Obama has ignited a firestorm of controversy by selecting conservative Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. Warren is an outspoken critic of gay marriage and that has angered many of Obama's liberal supporters."
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Thumbs Up For Six Kids

Half a Dozen Productions has a cute story on the comments you get when you anywhere with lots of children:

Having a larger family tends to be pretty conspicuous. Most everyone notices a woman marching into a store or restaurant with 6 (sometimes 7) children in tow. Occasionally we get rude stares and even ruder comments, but very often we get noticed in more positive ways. The most common question I get is, "Are they all yours?" While I am tempted at times to give a more caustic reply, I always try to smile and answer with a simple affirmative.
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Papist is Offended - And Rightly So

Paying people to sterilize themselves is not the greatest way to ensure that poor people and addicts don't have children. Unfortunately, it's also one of the quickest ways to Hell I could think of. American Papist has the story:

This is so offensive to the dignity of the human person!

Instead of attempting to cure the cause of people's ills, some are attempting to nullify the inconvenience these people cause to the rest of society:

Folks at downtown's Ronstadt Transit Center on Tuesday afternoon had a way to make a quick $300.

The only stipulation was that the people be drug addicts or alcoholics who agree to long-term birth control.
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See How Al Franken Is Stealing an Election

These pictures of election fraud collected by John Lott would be hilarious if they didn't make you weep for our country:

Below is only a sample of some of the questionable calls made by the Minnesota Canvassing Board. These examples are culled from just first 99 cases, more from that group could have been included. There are a few calls in favor of Coleman that are also difficult to explain (possibly to make it harder to show bias), but at a rough glance what I have looked through so far seems to show a systematic bias by the board in favor of Franken. I am in the process of trying to go through these decisions more scientifically.
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Conspiracy Big Laugh of the Day

I'll give you three guesses who killed the Russian patriarch. Hint: He lives in Rome. Matt Swaim over at Apoloblogology gives this theory its due seriousness:

Got this little piece of awesomeness from David Hartline's blog. As someone who enthusiastically collects anti-Catholic propaganda, this has to be one of the awesomest accusations I have ever seen from Reformation.org (I'm printing the highlights below):

Russian Patriarch Alexy II—the Pope of the Russian Orthodox Church—died suddenly of poisoning on November 5, 2008...
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“They do not love Jesus…”

The Anchoress writes beautifully of a little Christian girl who has faced tragedy and saw beauty:

The child you are looking at is Namrata Nayak. Her face was disfigured when when Hindu extremists bombed her home last August, looking to kill Christians.

I am struck by her power and beauty, which is transmitted through her eyes. One does not see the scars for the steadiness and fullness of Namrata Nayak’s eyes.

Her eyes are fearless. She is unintimidated. She looks directly at you, with a collectedness and assurance that only comes from deep interior knowledge. Namrata Nayak knows who she is. At 10 years of age, she understands the world in ways many of us never will, no matter how long we tread the stony paths.
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Freakily Talented People. Watch This Video

Go watch this amazingly talented guy do an a cappella tribute to the great John Williams.

Change to Abortion Laws?

Deal Hudson at Inside Catholic details the changes in store to benefit the abortion industry under an Obama presidency:

Go to Change.gov, the Web site of President-elect Barack Obama, and you'll find a document titled "Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration." Signed by dozens of pro-abortion groups, including Catholics for Choice, this 55-page document provides an overview of the marching orders for the Obama administration in removing all present restrictions on abortions while dramatically increasing abortion funding.
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Pelagianism: I Hate It

Fr. Ray Blake from Saint Mary Magdalen discusses this modern and ancient heresy:

Pelagianism: I hate it, but it is very British. It is really a variant of Arianism which says God did not truly become Man, because Jesus was not truly God.

Pelagianism denies the action of Grace in the world, man is saved by his own goodness and efforts, rather than by God.
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Santa or No Santa: That Is Not The Question

The Nightfly has a very thoughtful post on the role of Santa in our children's lives. Please be sure to read the whole thing.

I am impressed with the restraint of the rest of the CMR commenters, who have not once brought up "Miracle on 34th Street" during the entire discussion of whether or not to tell kids there's really a Santa Claus. Forgive me, but I'm going to go ahead and bring it up right now to illustrate what I'm trying to say - only with a little twist. To me, the point isn't Fred's debate with Doris, but Santa's debate with little Susan, the schoolgirl iconoclast. For her St. Nick is "a nice old man with a beard, like my mama said," and she tells him that doesn't play with the other kids. They're just silly to her. One says that he's a tiger or an elephant and then asks what animal she is. "I'm a little girl," she sniffs.
Read the whole post >>>>

I Forbid My Wife To Read This Post

From Red Cardigan "Wifely Obedience".

As I promised Friday, I want to discuss a subject that came up elsewhere, on the topic of obedience to one's husband and how that connects to the ever-continuing discussion of whether Catholic women may wear slacks.

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Prison Removes Cross From Chapel

Stop The ACLU always does a great job detailing Western Civilization's swirl down the toilet of history. This story about a jail removing the cross from its chapel is the latest example:

Well, this was ALMOST one of those Christmas hating stories, but, better yet, it’s a plain old hating on Christianity story involving the Nanny state and Muslims, though, to be honest, it wasn’t Muslims who asked for the cross to be banned.
JAIL bosses have sparked fury by banning a cross from their new chapel in case it offends Muslims. Officials were ordered to remove the traditional symbol during renovations.
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Catholicism Without The Sin

LarryD over at Acts of the Apostasy does a great job talking about Me-ism vs. Catholicism:

From time to time I slog through Call-to-Apostasy's "Young Adult Catholics" blog to see what the Sour Patch Kids are up to. A post put up last week was titled "Catholicism Without The Sin?"
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Indiana AG Investigates Abortion Clinic

Indiana Attorney General has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood after an undercover UCLA student exposed practices of obstruction of justice. Lila Rose posed as a 13-year-old girl and videotaped her experiences at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Indiana, where a staff member advised her to lie about her sexual experiences and instructed her to go across state lines to get an abortion. Planned Parenthood fired the staffer but that may not be enough to avoid criminal charges:
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Fathers Can't Get no Respect

A new father realizes that everybody assumes that he is an inferior parent by virtue of being male. Welcome to the club:

I do notice that wherever I go, people will tell me I’m an inferior parent by virtue of being male. It’s a buried assumption, not a stated position, or they’d never say it. I think.

The old man who says for Liam (nobody can let a baby say nothing, even me), “I want mamma!” as I’m getting out the bottle. Thank God Liam isn’t so picky!
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Pope: The End Is Not Nigh

The closing days of 2008 may be marked by floods, terrorism and global financial collapse - but Pope Benedict XVI has assured believers that the end of the world is not nigh.
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Another Excommunication of A Priest

Amy has some sad news about another excommunicated priest. I don't mean sad that it happened necessarily but sad that it had to happen, if you know what I mean:

Following up last week’s excommunication of Fr. Ray Bourgeois for his participation in women’s ordination ceremonies, word comes down that Bishop Olmstead of Phoenix has excommunicated Lifeteen Founder Dale Fushek and another, Mark Dippre.

Fushek and Dippre, those who follow the story might recall, have established their own “praise and worship” center in Mesa.
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The Best Civil War/Zombie Movie Ever!

Well That just about says everything. An Orthometer movie review.

Cardinal Avery Dulles Dies at 90

Cardinal Avery Dulles, who grew up in a famous American family, converted to Catholicism while at Harvard, and went on to become one of the leading theologians of our time died today at 90 years old.
Amy Welborn has newsreel footage of his 1956 ordination in New York...Continue reading>>>

Vatican Issues New Bioethics Document

Townhall writes about a new document from the Vatican. I haven't gotten a chance to look it over.

The Vatican raised its opposition to embryonic stem cell research, the morning-after pill, in vitro fertilization and human cloning to a new level Friday in a major new document on bioethics.

But in the document, the Vatican also said it approved of some forms of gene therapy and encouraged stem cell research using adult cells.
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From Evanegelical to Catholic

Mommy Life has a great post on converting to Catholicism and how important the difference is between pro-life and anti-abortion.

I've gone through many journeys with you here - losing lots of weight, taking on the school system when they were falling short with my kids, dealing with the ups and downs and ins and outs of relationships with 12 kids (including adults), three Pro-Life marches, magazine articles and columns, financial collapse/foreclosure, going gray, the surprise rise of Obama - and my conversion to Catholicism.
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Braving the Storm

Not to get all apocalyptic but I think Fr. Dwight Longenecker nails it:

Advent is a time of prophecies--looking back and looking forward at the same time. What has the past given us and how does it point to the future?

Others have said it before, but I believe Benedict XVI chose his name because of the great St Benedict--not really because of any of his fifteen Benedictine predecessors. The time of St Benedict was a time of social decay, financial collapse, moral decline and eventual anarchy.
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Benedictus Qui Venit

Fr. Ray Blake has an interesting post about bringing Communion to the sick and teaching devotion:

When I take Holy Communion to the sick I always wear a stole under my coat or jacket, as a priest or deacon is supposed to. I hate those piddly little ribbons, I wear a normal stole.
A few weeks ago taking Viaticum to someone, two Anglican clergyman approached me, noticed the stole at my neck, smiled, made the sign of the cross and both knelt side by side on the kerb until I passed, one was saying "Benedictus qui venit in Nomini Domini".
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Beyond Unconscionable

Erin Manning is blogging over at Crunchy Con and she's got an important story on how a Catholic university has an insurance plan which covers abortions:

So students at a Catholic college are being forced to buy an insurance plan which pays for abortions. And the wording of the policy, that a student must show they have equal or better coverage in order to be permitted not to purchase the plan, makes me wonder whether a student whose insurance does not cover abortions would even be permitted to opt-out of the USF insurance plan.
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Cardinal Takes on Madonna

The Cardinal is concerned that Madonna on her most recent tour is inspiring lustful thoughts. Jammie Wearing Fool says he wouldn't worry about Madonna anymore:

Madonna is causing "crazy enthusiasm" and "impure thoughts" on her first concert visit to Chile, a prominent retired cardinal complained on Wednesday, as he paused in a tribute to a late dictator to denounce the pop star.
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Remembering Merton

Today is the 40th anniversary of the death of Thomas Merton. The Anchoress remembers him:

One of my favorite Merton quotes, and NPR’s media maven Dick Meyer uses it in his book Why We Hate Us is this one:
As long as I assume that the world is something I discover by turning on the radio . . . I am deceived from the start.
It may be time for me to put that back up in my header. Merton died 40 years ago today.
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The Art Of Saying Nothing

From The DailyDanet

For a while now, I’ve want to to call Obama on his utter inability to make a concrete statement on anything. If you parse his words carefully, you will find that, far more often than not, he is saying nothing at all while giving the right people some sort of comfort. Yesterday’s response to the situation at Republic Windows is classic

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Fr. Bourgeois has been Excommunicated

According to Father Z, the Maryknoll priest involved in a recent female ordination, has been excommunicated.

I am sure that all good WDTPRSers will stop and say a prayer for Fr. Bourgeois. We pray for his conversion. Fr. Bourgeois has been excommunicated:
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New Prefect Appointed for CDWDS (liturgy)!

American Papist has a roundup of stories concerning the appointment of the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:

The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, archbishop of Toledo, Spain, as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He succeeds Cardinal Francis Arinze, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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Newsweek Editor Scolds Religious Right

"History is on our side" is the message Newsweek editor John Meacham is saying to religious people who oppose gay marriage:

Jon Meacham’s ascension to the editor’s chair at Newsweek has marked a very noticeable trend toward turning it into Opinion Week (or OpEdWeek). Its cover stories are often not investigative news pieces, but long editorials. This week, religion reporter Lisa Miller uncorked "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage," and Meacham's Editor's Note dared the religious right to protest, like President Bush egging on the terrorists to "bring it on."
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Are Veils For Women Still Required?

Of course not, right? I didn't think so, but this post (At St. Louis Catholic) makes me wonder if I really know what I think I know. Even Patrick Madrid says "Hey he might have a point!"

On January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council issued an instruction to all of the world’s Bishops, ordering them to address, from the pulpit, at least once a year, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, as appropriate, the subject of women’s modesty.

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Call In 'Gay' To Work

Jammie Wearing Fool has the oddest story of the day. A gay rights group is telling all gays to "call in gay" at work to signal how much of an economic impact they have. One thing is that I wonder how many straight people are going to drag themselves into work no matter how sick they are because they don't want to kickstart the rumor mill be being out on "Call in Gay" day:

Some same-sex marriage supporters are urging people to "call in gay" Wednesday to show how much the country relies on gays and lesbians, but others question whether it's wise to encourage skipping work given the nation's economic distress.
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Karen over at Some Wear Clerics directed me towards this article called "Why the Immaculate Conception?" by Rev. Paul V. Mankowski, SJ. It's really quite an amazing read. Especially today:

Pure. Whole. Intact. Entire. Spotless. Stainless. Sinless. unsoiled. Unsullied. Unblemished. Uncorrupted. Immaculate!

I live in an age, and a country, wherein the largest singe cause of death of infants under one year of age is homicide. I live at a time when, according to those who claim to know these things, Ronald McDonald has surpassed Jesus Christ in popularity among children. I live at a time when the best known moral theologians have despaired of leading people to a more virtuous life, but are principally concerned to insulate the sinner from the consequences of his sin; logic has give way to latex as the preferred medium of instruction...
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Hemingway Defends Marriage

Mark Hemingway of The Corner cuts up Newsweek - in a Christian way, of course:

...Should I be surprised that Lisa Miller, Newsweek's religion reporter natch, can't even get through the first paragraph of her story without evincing an understanding of Christianity and its basic texts that is grossly oversimplified and distorted, filtered through an almost exclusively liberal political lens, not to mention catty and downright insulting?
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The Anti-Catholic LA Times

Newsbusters details the anti-Catholic bias of the Los Angeles Times and even has a helpful suggestion to the Times from a reader:

It could be Christmas approaching, or it could be the Catholic Church's success last month in its support of Proposition 8, the initiative to restore marriage in California. But it's curious to see what's been on the minds of the folks at the Los Angeles Times in the past few weeks...
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From Pearl Harbor to Calvary

From Against the Grain:

As Donald notes, today is "the day that will live in infamy" -- the anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

When I was young, I learned of the story of Captain Mitsuo Fuchida of the Imperial Japanese Navy, famous for leading the first wave of the attack on that fateful day of December 7, 1941. Wounded in the battle of Midway, he spent the rest of his life as staff officer, and was actually in Hiroshima only a day before the bombing (he was saved by a call from Headquarters asking him to return to Tokyo).

What is particularly fascinating about his life, however, is what happened after the war:

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Motherhood Changes You

Suzanne of Blessed Among Men talks about the changes motherhood changes you no matter what your "choice" is:

Motherhood changes you. Motherhood changes you forever in ways you might expect and also in ways you'd never know and could never have anticipated. When a new life is conceived within her, a woman becomes something new-- something she can't fully comprehend in the moment, but that unfolds over time like the petals of a rose in bloom. She becomes a mother. This a beautiful truth and the underlying reality behind a similar, but tragic truth: Abortion changes you.
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Balloons Scare Jen F.

Jen F. cracks me up. And even though CMR is not on her sidebar of Favorite Sites we're going to be the bigger people here and continue linking to her because we think she's funny and insightful even though she probably thinks we're a bunch of immature idiots:

My balloon phobia causes me problems on a weekly basis. Our grocery store has free balloons, and every single time we're there some well-meaning clerk offers them to my kids. (Fellow balloon phobes can imagine my horror at picturing three kids under the age of five, all with balloons, their hands all over them, pressing them too hard, the ear-shattering pop definitely coming but you just don't know when...
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Some Much Needed Perspective

Thanks to the Curt Jester for highlighting this post by Fr. Jay Toborowsky. Fr. nails it. I think I will print this out!

If a football coach tells parents their son needs to memorize plays to be on the team, the parents agree. If a priest tells parents their child needs to memorize prayers or facts about their faith to be a better Catholic, the parents argue

If a soccer coach tells parents they need to get their child to team practices three times a week, the parents change work schedules and arrange carpools. If a priest tells parents they need to get their child to a practice before a big liturgy, the parents complain.

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Bratz? Ratz!

I immensely dislike Bratz dolls. So does Matt Swaim over at Apoloblogology, I guess. My girls know enough not to even look at them. At one birthday party, my then eight year old received one as a party favor. Without a word she came home and threw it out. I thought about taking it out of the trash and giving it to the poor but I didn't want to negatively affect some other guy's children. So,needless to say, I was very pleased with this ruling by a judge.

In one of the most devastating blows to the pedophilia industry since people started paying attention to Thailand, a federal judge has ordered that the makers of "Bratz" dolls must cease production of their promiscuity-promoting dolls aimed at elementary school girls...
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Atheist Calls Nativity Scene "Hate Speech"

This is the most outrageous video of the day at Gateway Pundit:

Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation said on "Fox & Friends" on December 1 that the nativity scene represents "hate speech" and "a direct attack on good human values." Hate speech?... That doesn't even make sense...
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Backbone Replacement Surgery Needed

RobK over at Kyrie Eleison suspects we'll be needing our backbone increasingly over the next few years. I hope he's wrong. I suspect he's not:

We are looking at some tough times ahead, and I don’t mean the economy. Sure, many of us are facing difficult financial prospects. Joblessness, evictions, poverty, these are items that many of us are facing or may face in the coming months or even years. But that is not the real tough times that we face.

What is the toughest prospects for the future is the extension of the persecution that we are already beginning to see in America. We have seen an increase in the intolerance shown to those who profess their faith outside of their Church walls. This persecution has even encroached within the boundaries of the Church with secularists attempting to dictate Church doctrine. Recent articles in the LA Times (ref) serve as illustration, though incidences of this can be found going back some time and increasing to the present...
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Trust Us, We Were Lying!

The Best title of the day goes to American Catholic's summation of the position of the Pro-life but Pro-Obama crowd.

One of the arguments I’m starting to get very tired of is that when Senator Obama addressed Planned Parenthood and promised that the first thing he would do as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (thus cementing a more drastic pro-abortion regime than has ever existed in the US to day) he was obviously just scoring partisan political points, and that Catholics are not only ill advised to worry about FOCA passing and being signed but that if they do so they are actively behaving in bad faith by accusing Obama of supporting something he never really meant to do.

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The Samurai With The Cross

From The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Last week 188 Japanese martyrs were beatified at Nagasaki. Put to death between 1606 and 1639, they were led by Fr Peter Kibe Kasui who was converted by St Francis Xavier's group of Jesuit missionaries. Within 50 years, the Jesuits had converted 400,000 Japanese to Christianity.

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Don't Protect Christmas, Share It

Rebecca at Faith and Family Live is asking for a truce in the War on Christmas.

I noted yesterday that there must be a good buried somewhere in the fact that merchants more or less must observe Christmas—even if their celebrations are out of tune.

I also noted that even Christians don’t say anything good about Christmas anymore—all we do is denounce commercialism.
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Herod The Hero?

The Curt Jester writes a great piece on National Geographic's treatment of Herod.

An astute and generous ruler, a brilliant general, and one of the most imaginative and energetic builders of the ancient world, ...
Now who could the National Geographic be talking about? Why of course it is King Herod the Great!...
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Scapegoating Conservatives

Ramesh Ponnuru wrote a great piece at National Review today on how social moderates in the Republican Party are blaming social conservatives for the recent election drought.

In 2002 and 2004, Republicans ran hard on social issues and the courts — and scored victories at every level of politics. In 2006 and 2008, they left those issues off the table, and got walloped. It follows, naturally, that the social issues are to blame for the Republican defeats.

At least, that’s the conclusion that a chorus of commentators has reached. They are attempting to persuade Republicans to soften or downplay their party’s social conservatism and hide its social conservatives in order to resume winning elections. About this campaign to sideline the social Right, three things can be said with a fairly high degree of confidence: It is predictable; it will fail; and it is wrong...
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When Render Unto Caesar Means 'Shutup'

Catholics are told often to Render Unto Caesar. It's a way of shutting us up. We've been rendering so long we sometimes forget that our faith while personal should not be kept private:

I have previously mentioned Archbishop Chaput's book, Render Unto Caesar, which is a masterpiece of laying out the Catholic principles of engaging in the public square and participating in politics as a Catholic. He isn't afraid to tell it like it is. Since I share the same spirit of being straightforward, I would like to share a few quotes from the book...
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Raining Bodies? Red Weighs In

Erin Manning. in a aptly named post "Fools Rush In", weighs in on Mark Shea and the rumor heard 'round the blog.

I should not be getting in the middle of this. Plain and simple.

But here goes.

Mark Shea relates a story wherein a friend of a friend of a friend alleges that American interrogators have been pushing detainees out of cargo planes (which, according to the story, were being flown by a civilian contractor; also, the "intelligence agents" were non-military).

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Temple In Jerusalem; You Are There!

Patrick Madrid has an interesting post with computer generated images of how the Temple would have looked from ancient Jerusalem street level. Check it out here.

Mundy #4. Congrats!

Fellow blogger Deirdre Mundy over at Mommy Writes announced today that she's pregnant with Mundy #4. Congrats to the whole family. We're a little hurt that she told the grandparents before us but we'll suck it up and smile through the pain.

We've told the grandparents, so now we can tell the world:

Mundy Baby #4 will arrive at the beginning of July!...
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Good Catholics Use Condoms

The Curt Jester isn't buying what Catholics for Choice is selling. I don't know why because they have the word "Catholic" in their name so they must be good, right? Right?

Two new radio advertisements for condom use began to target Catholics in the U.S. Hispanic community here today, World AIDS Day, with the message that "good Catholics use condoms" to protect the people they love...
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Pope Warns About Technology Isolation

Thomas Peters over at American Papist says you shouldn't read too many blogs. You can read his and mine too. But he's quoting Pope Benedict XVI so he can't be too wrong, I guess:

I hope I'm not being ironic by spreading this news ... on my blog:

Students today are in danger of losing this balance [between solitude and communion], the Holy Father explained, due to the increased use of information technologies. “On the one hand, they run the risk of a growing reduction in their capacity for concentration and mental application on an individual level; on the other, that of isolating themselves individually in an increasingly virtual reality.”
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Message from John Mallon

John Mallon is trying to assemble an email list of Catholic Blogs in the English speaking world. He is currently working as Contributing Editor for Inside the Vatican magazine, doing media relations for Human Life International, and assisting at the Envoy Institute in a promotional capacity. He have two degrees in theology and frequently has items of interest to Catholic Bloggers worldwide. With 25 years of experience in the Catholic Press, he has found that major secular outlets are often closed to these messages. if you have or know of Blogs that would be interested in receiving press releases and other pertinent materials for your Blogs, he would very much appreciate getting a mailing list of these blogs for this purpose. This is not spam. Anyone not wishing to receive these materials will be removed from the list immediately upon request. Catholic Blogs are absolutely critical for spreading credible information on the Church. This mailing list could serve as a news agency supplying news and other information to Catholic Blogs.

It is absolutely maddening trying to harvest emails off of Blogs, where people won't post their emails. He is only interested in people who want to receive these messages, not bothering anyone.

Addresses may be sent to johnmallon@cox.net

For more on John Mallon please visit his website at: http://johnmallon.net

Equal Time for Atheists

Ace is encouraging militant atheists to speak out and speak freely of their hatred of religion.

I fully support, nay encourage this exercise of free speech:
An atheistic sign is included in the state Capitol's holiday display that includes a holiday tree and a Christian nativity scene.
The sign, a new addition this year, is sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The sign reads, "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."
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Is 'Planned' A Dirty Word for Catholics?

Darwin Catholic writes a great post on what "planned" pregnancy and prudence means to him as a Catholic.

Taking a quiet Saturday morning to catch up on reading the newspaper, I was perusing a WSJ article on the lost virtue of prudence in our modern American society when I came across this jarring note...<
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Frankly Myself, I Don't Give A Damn

From Sheila Liaugminas

If we are so ambivalent about end of life issues at this point, where are we headed?
A new Environics poll has found that Canadians are split on the question of palliative care versus euthanasia. When asked if they would choose palliative care over euthanasia at the end of their lives, 44% of Canadians polled said they would choose palliative care with an equal number choosing euthanasia.
Do people even know what they’re talking about? How many of us understand palliative care? The right-to-die movement has done their PR work. Which works better on younger, healthier people.

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