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Obama Lied to Notre Dame, Cardinal Dolan, and Probably the Pope

Ashley McGuire writes at CNN:

It was the 2013 Politifact "Lie of the Year," our president's now infamous line: "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." Now all Americans are realizing what Catholics have known from the beginning: President Barack Obama is a master of deception. Lest people forget, passage of the Affordable Care Act happened in part because Obama struck a deal with a single Catholic holdout: Bart Stupak, D-Michigan. Stupak agreed to vote for the bill in exchange for an executive order protecting conscience rights and preserving the Hyde Amendment's ban on the use of federal funds for abortion. Stupak had insisted on an amendment. Instead, he took the President's word.
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NY Times Says Obama's Faith "Less Visible"

How about non-existent? The Obamas skipped Christmas services this year.

President Obama celebrated a low-key Christmas in Hawaii this year. He sang carols, opened presents with his family, and visited a nearby military base to wish the troops “Mele Kalikimaka” — the Hawaiian phrase meaning “Merry Christmas.” But the one thing the president and his family did not do — something they have rarely done since he entered the White House — was attend Christmas church services.
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Jesuits Introduce Psychologists into Confessionals?

The Eponymous Flower reports:

Mind Bending Psycho-Confessionals: Jesuits Introduce Lay Psychologists to Confessionals in Linz
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Bob Newhart and the Narrowing of Freedom


Humor “makes us free.” That was Bob Newhart’s observation during a commencement address at my alma mater, the Catholic University of America in 1997. “As long as the tyrant cannot control the minds of free men, they remain free,” the comedian continued. “Humor abounded behind the Iron Curtain and in POW camps. Humor is also our way of dealing with the inexplicable. We had an earthquake a couple of years ago in Los Angeles, and it wasn’t more than three or four days later that I heard the first earthquake joke. Someone said, ‘The traffic is stopped, but the freeways are moving.’”
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Texas Man Wants Pregnant Wife Taken off Life Support

Prayers for the entire family. What a tough time.

Erick Munoz and his wife Marlise, both paramedics, had spoken of a 'do not resuscitate' plan before a tragic incident in late November left Marlise brain-dead. Now her distraught husband is unable to carry out her wishes because of a Texas law that dictates she must be kept alive until the fetus is viable.
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Novena for Christ-Mass: O Emmanuel

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Spain Moves to Restrict Abortion

Good news from Europe. Heh. I never get to say that anymore.

For anti-abortion activists, it has been an historic day for Spain. They are delighted that the government wants to change the law back to what it was in 1985, making it much harder for women to terminate unwanted pregnancies. New legislation proposed by the ruling conservative People’s Party would see abortions allowed only for victims of rape or where there is a risk to the mother-to-be’s physical or psychological health.
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A New Ultramontanism

The uncertainty of the last nine months seems to have affected younger clergy most of all, I mean those who studied for the priesthood under the later papacy of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Some might say much that Benedict built has already been dismantled. The careful beautifully crafted liturgies we saw in in Peter's that spoke eloquently of 'the hermeneutic of reform in continuity' have disappeared. Even that phrase has gone, so much of the language Pope Francis uses seems to be a dog whistle to the sixties and seventies, to the point where contemporaries of the Pope both clerical and lay are given more comfort than the young.

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Church Could Learn Something From Phil

Coarse or no, he says it like it is.

Wake up Catholic Church, there is a lesson you could learn here.

Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson isn’t a man to waste words, he says it like is and stands by his faith and he uses Sacred Scripture to back up what he professes as his faith. How many Catholic clergy and religious do the same?

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Fr. Volpi's accusations "totally unfounded" say Franciscan Sisters

IMPORTANT: Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate fight back
Call Fr. Volpi's accusations "totally unfounded"
Volpi's comments "offend our entire Institute, and consequently, we refute them completely"

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Priests for Life Vows Not to Comply

Despite a judge's ruling against them.

In a case that has implications for Catholic schools, colleges and other religious nonprofits seeking exemption from the Obama administration’s mandatory insurance coverage for sterilization, contraception and abortifacients, a federal judge has denied religious freedom to the overtly Catholic group Priests for Life. Priests for Life is vowing not to comply with the HHS mandate, even after a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed its lawsuit seeking exemption and protection of its religious freedom
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Make the Church Beautiful

Sherry writes a wonderful piece:

This time of year, people understand that beauty helps us to celebrate. They buy new dresses, they trim the house, they hang up festive lights and look for ways to dazzle the eyes. We understand when we get a dozen roses, beauty brings with it, a joy. If we are created in God's image, then we share in His Divine beauty, for we know via creation, our God loves beauty. If every one of us is part of the Body of Christ, then we share something of His Divine luminous nature. If this is so, then to the extent possible, we must radiate that loveliness, that light to others. How? is the question.
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School Removes Christ from Silent Night

Todd Starnes reports:

A New York school district is in hot water with moms and dads after educators removed all religious references in “Silent Night,” a religious Christmas carol about the birth of Christ. “It’s kind of insulting,” parent Robert Dowd told television station WCBS. His child attends Ralph J. Osgood Intermediate School in Kings Park, Long Island. Many parents and concert goers were stunned last week when boys and girls sang the familiar Christmas carol – sans the references to Jesus. The words “Holy Infant,” “Round yon virgin” and “Christ the Savior” were taken out. Instead, the phrase “sleep in heavenly peace” was used. School Superintendent Susan Agruso told the Kings Park Patch that the words were removed to prevent non-Christians from being offended.
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Barbara Walters: I Regret Not Having More Children

I think when we look back on life we very rarely wish we spent less time sharing love and more time working.Continue reading>>>

Even Vanity Fair Notices the Lethality of Contraceptives

These women are allowable casualties for our culture's pursuit of the perennial orgasm.

When 24-year-old Erika Langhart—talented, beautiful, bound for law school—died on Thanksgiving Day 2011, she became one of thousands of suspected victims of the birth-control device NuvaRing. Elite army athlete Megan Henry, who survived rampant blood clots in her 20s, is another. With major suits against NuvaRing’s manufacturer, Merck, headed for trial, Marie Brenner asks why, despite evidence of serious risk, a potentially lethal contraceptive remains on the market.
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Hey, Why Don't Catholic Talk About Jesus When Discussing Abortion?

A theologian responds:

As I flew from New Orleans to Pittsburgh this week, I was reflecting on my past airline travel experiences and recalled a particular incident that seems perfectly suited to this time of Advent longing for the coming of Jesus. Here are some of the fragments of my wandering thoughts. Faith and Reason at 35,000 Feet Years ago I had a gentleman from Brooklyn, who was sitting next to me during a flight, ask me what I do for a living. Usually when I tell people I’m a Catholic theologian, or that I teach religion in a Catholic institution, one of two things happen. Either they will get an awkward look on their face, ask me some superficial question about my job, say something vaguely relevant about religion or Catholicism and then withdraw into their magazine never to speak again or they will unload their entire life story. But in this case, my Brooklyn neighbor skipped over the awkward niceties and asked me point-blank why, as a Catholic theologian, I believed that abortion was wrong.
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I Found the "I" in Team

Jamie, the very worst missionary, writes.

Everybody's heard that saying, right? “There is no 'i' in team” Well, it's true. It's literally spelled t-e-a-m. ….Soooo... there's no 'i'. Obviously. But the heart of that expression is that a team must work together and the success of the team isn't dependent on the work of any one individual. When a team wins or loses it counts for or against every team member, no matter how well they played. There's no “i” in team. Nobody knows that better than I do. It just so happens, I am the worst soccer player ever to strap on cleats and shin guards (to pick daisies and make shadow puppets on a field in the middle of a game).
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Bioethicist Pushes Death Panels

He wants more.

I think the bioethics left has a bit of an identity crisis going on. On one hand, they decry those who warn against death panels. On the other, they often turn around and say we need death panels. Alexander Pope, a law professor and believer in medical futility, has a post on bioethics.net describing where we already have and don’t (yet) suffer from death panels. I basically agree with his analysis (although Hawaii has not legalized assisted suicide and the state of Montana law is a muddle).
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Where are the "Save the Christians" Signs?

The slaughter escalates. The silence continues:

In the coming days we’ll hear many times the story of the birth of Christ with its inspirational meaning for the faithful and the world. Here’s a story not so uplifting, but horrific: Jihadists in Syria slit the throat of a Christian and told his fiance, “Jesus didn’t come to save him.” That report from the Washington-based Christian Post is a reminder in this Christmas season that Christians are persecuted in more than 60 countries, according to Open Doors, an organization formed to aid oppressed Christians around the globe.
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Pro-Life Teacher Fired for Kicking Planned Parenthood Out of Class

Do you know how hard it is to get fired as a public school teacher? Well, it seems one easy way is to be pro-life.

Planned Parenthood is after the career and livelihood of a distinguished, highly-qualified, good high school teacher, Bill Diss, who had the audacity to tell Planned Parenthood that they were not allowed in his classroom.After a second hearing last night, that pro-life teacher, Bill Diss, has been fired. The school board for the Portland Public School District voted to terminate Diss’ contract after Planned Parenthood’s lobbying effort.
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Of Jane Fonda and Pope Francis

Bret Stephens writes at the Wall Street Journal:

In the same week that Pope Francis was named Time's Person of the Year, word arrived of the charitable contributions made by the Jane Fonda Foundation. Grand total for the years 2007 to 2011: zero dollars. The last time Ms. Fonda's Foundation made a charitable gift, reports the Smoking Gun website, was in 2006, to the tune of $1,000. The Foundation itself has $800,000 in assets. Ms. Fonda's representatives insist she's made larger gifts, particularly through her family foundation, which in 2011 made about $350,000 in contributions from $7.2 million in net assets. But even that's not quite 5%, the legal minimum required to remain a private foundation.
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North Dakota to Let Man in Same-Sex Marriage Wed Woman, Too

Wait, what? Oh I see now. North Dakota doesn't recognize same-sex marriage. So if a guy who's married to a dude in another state comes to North Dakota, he can marry a girl.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a legal opinion last week confirming that the state does not recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, allowing a man married to another man to come to North Dakota and marry a woman without divorcing his husband.
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Why Ritalin Rules

Mary Eberstadt writes:

Almost 14 years ago, the inaugural issue of Policy Review under newly appointed editor Tod Lindberg ran an essay of mine called “Why Ritalin Rules.” It observed that American children were taking psychotropic drugs at (then-) record rates; that some doctors and other experts believed methylphenidate (the generic name for Ritalin) was being over-prescribed; that the disorder for which it and related stimulants were given — Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — included a uniquely protean symptoms checklist; and that the line between science and advocacy was hard to find in the bustling pediatric zone of the psychotropic universe.
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Ridiculous Charges Against 2 Pro-Lifers Tossed Out of Court

Good news.

Today in St. Louis Circuit Court, Associate Circuit Judge Michael Noble dismissed charges against pro-life activists, Brian Westbrook, executive director of Coalition for Life St. Louis, and Rita Sparrow, veteran sidewalk counselor, after testimony and arguments this morning. The cases had been brought by the City of St. Louis, which stretched ordinances beyond their intended scope in order to charge Mr. Westbrook and Ms. Sparrow for simple, peaceful demonstration outside the local Planned Parenthood.
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God Told Me to Hold a Sign

An amazing story at Word on Fire. Must read of the day:

“Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give.” My phone told me it was three degrees when I woke up at 7 A.M. This was the gospel reading at Mass, which seemed fitting as I prayed my holy hour afterward. Once I was done, I set to making the sign I had thought of just a few days before – a large white foam-board rectangle that read, “Free Blessings.” My friend Deacon Brian and I clumsily affixed a wooden handle to it with a combination of glue, nails, and duct tape, and then shoved it in the back of my truck.
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Kidney Grown from Adult Stem Cells

What?! No human beings were killed in the creation of this kidney? Bah!

Scientists in Australia have grown the world's first kidney from stem cells – a tiny organ which could eventually help to reduce the wait for transplants. The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, followed years of research and involved the transformation of human skin cells into an organoid – a functioning "mini-kidney" with a width of only a few millimetres.
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What's Really at Stake in the Communion for Divorced and Remarried Catholics

Ed Peters writes:

I suspect we’ll see more of this in coming months: certain Catholics, including some prelates, calling for the admission of divorced and remarried Catholics to holy Communion, which calls will be lionized by the secular press, of course, and only occasionally countered by other Catholics, such counters being dismissed by the secular press. Pope Francis’ governing style seems unlikely to put the kibosh on pro-reception agitation or, for that matter, to discourage its occasional rebuttal. So we’ll just have to deal with it. To me, though, the whole thing is rather simple: either holy Communion is Who the Church says it is or it isn’t; either typical divorce and remarriage by Catholics constitutes objective grave sin (nb: no one is reading souls here, rather, one is noting public conduct) or it doesn’t; and, either those manifestly remaining in objective grave sin are prohibited from reception of holy Communion, or they aren’t.
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Teen who killed four people in drunk-driving accident gets probation due to … “affluenza”

I almost can't believe this is true. Sadly, it is.

I saw something about “affluenza” on Twitter yesterday and ignored it, assuming it was a portmanteau coined by Salon or Slate for an article about income inequality that the left had collectively decided was clever. Today I googled it and realized why people are talking about it. Friendly advice: If you’re planning on drinking tonight, go ahead and start before you watch the clips. Trust me.
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Tony Rossi Reviews Dean Koontz' Latest

I can't wait to read it.

Reviewing Dean Koontz’s Novel “Innocence.” A few weeks ago, Pope Francis made news for spontaneously embracing a severely disfigured man named Vinicio Riva during a public audience at the Vatican. According to CNN, Riva, “has long been accustomed to the unkindness of strangers. He suffers from a non-infectious genetic disease, neurofibromatosis type 1. It has left him completely covered from head to toe with growths, swellings and itchy sores.”
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Tolkien and the Long Defeat

Wonderful piece.

The night is silent and the forest dark; the kind of darkness only found away from the world of street lamps and meals that stretch into the late hours. The trees have been stripped bare, and the space between them is starkly empty; emptiness made more devastating by the hint of past glory. jrr-tolkien-colourInto this scene steps a regal figure, one of authority and accustomed to praise. With only a glance, we can see her connection to this place. For she too seems only a remnant of past majesty and life. We wait to see if she will be joined by another, for certainly royalty and elegance of this kind should be attended to, even in such a diminished state.
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Judge Orders Removal of San Diego Cross

Separation of state and sanity.

A judge on Thursday ordered that a war memorial cross atop a San Diego mountain be removed from federal property in 90 days but said the ruling would be put on hold if it is appealed. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns wrote that "it's time for finality" in the case, 22 years after another judge ordered the 43-foot cross atop Mount Soledad to be taken down. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2011 that the cross violated the constitutional separation of church and state. After the Supreme Court declined review, the case went back to Burns to consider possible alternatives.
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Their Father Kept them Alive and Well


“Their father kept them alive and well,” said Patty Bianchi, CEO of Pershing General Hospital, where the six were taken. “Everybody is in good shape. There was no frostbite. They are stable. They suffered a little exposure and dehydration, but that is all.”
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ESPN Does 180 on Allowing Catholic Commercial to Mention Christ

The public had an effect on this. Good news.

Following public outcry on Thursday, ESPN tells TheBlaze it has reconsidered its position and will run a Christmas ad from the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation, which the network initially said failed to meet “commercial advocacy standards.” ESPN Does 180 on Catholic Groups Christmas Ad First Deeming Mentions of Jesus and God Problematic As TheBlaze’s Billy Hallowell reported on Thursday, a spokesman with the Catholic organization said ESPN rejected their Christmas-themed commercial due to its mention of the “birth of Jesus” and “God’s healing message.”
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Must See Vid of the Day: Thomas Aquinas Students' Choral Flash Mob

Joy to the world!

Thomas Aquinas College In Santa Paula, Calif., reports that more than 100 students visited Pacific View Mall in Ventura recently to enact a choral "flash mob."
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Please Pray for Me...I am Losing My Insurance

Jim Hoft needs your prayers.

In August 2013 I became very sick with what I thought was a cold. After a few days I lost vision in my left eye and I checked into the hospital. I soon found out that what I thought was a summer cold was actually Strep bacteria poisoning my blood stream. The bacteria blinded my left eye, ate a hole through my heart, caused five strokes on both sides of my brain and forced the removal of my prosthetic left knee.
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Shocking New Report on Planned Parenthood

Adoptions down, abortions up. And taxpayer money up to $1.5 million per day.

Today Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) released its 2012-2013 annual report. In response, the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List has released a fact sheet on the information, revealing that while Planned Parenthood’s abortion rate declined by 2 percent, abortions still accounted for 93.8 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services. Prenatal care services dropped 32 percent in one year, and 52 percent since 2009. Adoption referrals are also down 4.5 percent in one year. For every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 149 abortions.
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NY Times Journo Can't Believe Pope Francis Named Person of Year

She's in shock.

Pitiful: Here’s what a NY Times journo focused on after Pope Francis’ Person of the Year win
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Former Anglican Priest and Army Chaplain Ordained Catholic

A Priest Life has the story:

Father Jerry Sherbourne, an active-duty U.S. Army Chaplain, and former Anglican priest, was ordained a Catholic priest Sunday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Through the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of hands, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., ordained him during a 10:00 a.m. Mass. Father Sherbourne becomes a Catholic priest, incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a special Church jurisdiction established by Pope Benedict XVI for those of the Anglican heritage entering full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining distinctive elements of their theological, spiritual, and liturgical patrimony.
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Let Catholic Hospitals Be Catholic

The ACLU suit is not frivolous. It's a serious attempt to erase religious liberty.

At first glance, the recently filed ACLU lawsuit against the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) looks more like a publicity stunt than a legitimate lawsuit. The suit was filed in a federal district court in Michigan and arises out of the alleged negligent management of a miscarriage suffered by the plaintiff when she was 18 weeks pregnant. The complaint alleges that the plaintiff came to the emergency room of Mercy Health Partners (MHP), a Catholic hospital and the only hospital within 30 miles of her home, on three occasions after her water broke and she experienced bleeding and painful contractions. It is claimed that instead of being admitted to the hospital, the plaintiff was sent home from the hospital despite the fact that her treating physician suspected she had chorioamnionitis, a serious bacterial infection. It is also alleged that she was not informed that it was unlikely her baby would survive and that abortion was an appropriate treatment option. All of this sounds like it could be the basis for a traditional malpractice action against the treating physician and the hospital. But the hospital and the physician aren’t named as parties in this action. Instead the only defendants are the USCCB, and current and former officials of Catholic Health Ministries (CHM), a public juridic person organized under Canon law that sponsors Trinity Health, the owner of MHP. Thus instead of a conventional malpractice action, this lawsuit is a broadside attack on religious liberty.
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Have The Arians Won?

Fr. Ray Blake writes:

I am sure it is not by accident that we have two Saints who fought to defend the divinity of Christ in the first week of Advent. St Nicholas's legend tells us he tore the beards of Arians at the Council of Nicea and Ambrose confronted an Arian Emperor and an Arian court. Arianism says that the Son is less than the Father, he was not born before time began, that hence the Nicean Creed proclaims
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Pope Francis' Life Was Saved by Nun


In a new book, I Fioretti di Papa Francesco, (The Little Flowers of Pope Francis), Andrea Tornielli, a veteran Vatican journalist, the pontiff speaks of his gratitude to the nuns who worked in the hospital where he was ill as a young man. “I am alive thanks to one of them,” Pope Francis said. “When I had lung problems in the hospital, the doctor gave me penicillin and antibiotics in small doses. “The nun who was on the ward tripled that because she had an intuition, she knew what to do, because she was with the ill all day long,” the pope said. “The doctor, who was very good, spent his time in a laboratory, but the nun was living on the front line and talking with those on the front line every day.”
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Barbara Walters Doesn't Like Presidents Swearing in on the Bible

Don't worry Barbara, they don't mean it anyway.

As a host of the daytime talk show "The View," Barbara Walters questioned why politicians, including the presidents, swear on a Bible while taking office when there is separation of church and state.
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An Obamacare Advent Calendar

An Advent calendar you didn't see coming. Some fun. Continue reading>>>

Why Does God Let Us Suffer?

New Advent has the video:

Jesus didn't suffer so we wouldn't have to. Jesus suffered so we'd know how to. So even when you're in the darkest moments of life, when you just want to cry out to God, do you know where He is? He's on the Cross right next to you, saying...
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Two Nuns Honored for Hiding Jewish Families in WWII

Wonderful story from CWR:

Reaching out to the marginalized was and is one of the great charisms of the Bridgettine Order, as evidenced by an event at Rome’s Casa di Santa Brigida on November 14, 2013, when the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Institute gave two medals to the present abbess general of the order, Mother Tekla Famiglietti, in memory of Blessed Mother M. Elisabeth Hesselblad and Servant of God Mother M. Ricarda Beauchamp Hambrough. The medals were in recognition of what the two sisters did for two Jewish families during World War II. Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Dr. Piero Piperno, representing the families, were also in attendance.
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Sound of Music Scores Huge Ratings!!!

Everything I've read from the media was nasty about it but the ratings were huge. That's good news.

NBC executives are toasting this morning with tea (a drink with jam and bread): “The Sound of Music Live” gave the network its biggest non-sports Thursday since the finale of “ER” in 2009. The holiday special, starring Carrie Underwood, earned a 4.6 rating/13 share the key 18-49 demographic, and 18.5 million viewers overall. That gave NBC its highest Thursday total viewership since the “Frasier” finale in 2004.
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Father Freaks at Christian School Quiz Which Says Gravity Designed by God

Wait until he hears that he was created by God too.

A debate has ensued online after a Florida man expressed his outrage over his daughter’s recent science quiz, which asserted that gravity ‘was designed by our God.’ The man, who uploaded a photo of the quiz to Reddit, declined to provide the name of the school for privacy reasons, but contended that the photo was indeed real. He said that his daughter attends a private Christian school because he and his wife believe that the public schools in their area are substandard. He stated that he does not mind the she is being taught about God, but became angry when he saw the content of her recent science quiz. “My daughter (3rd Grade) has been at this school since kindergarten and things have been going well. Most doctrinal issues were handled delicately without fundamentalism and allowed parents the option to discuss differences of opinion with their children,” he wrote. “This week she brings this monstrosity home. I am livid!”
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Father Nicholas, the Real Santa Claus

David L. writes:

When I was very young, some of my classmates would leave their shoes outside the bedroom door on the night of the fifth of December, so that Saint Nicholas would leave them treats. We never did that at our house, but I did ask Mom how it was that Saint Nicholas got to be called Santa Claus. By this time I had already determined a connection between the two.
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Man Survives Three Days At Bottom of Ocean, Credits Prayer and the Bible

This would definitely be a made for television movie...if you took out all that icky prayer stuff:

A Nigerian man who miraculously survived after spending three days at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean is crediting God for sustaining his life. In May of this year, 12 men aboard the Jacson 4 found themselves in the fight of their life when their tugboard capsized off the African coast. One man, Harrison Odjegba Okene, who was the cook for the team, was in the bathroom when the incident occurred. It was very early—approximately 4:30 a.m.
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Chris Christie Opposes Doctor Prescribed Suicide

This legislation should be stopped. I'm glad he's voice his opposition to it. I hope he pushes this hard:

At a press conference held Tuesday, Governor Chris Christie said that he opposes legislation in New Jersey that would legalize doctor-prescribed suicide. The “New Jersey Death With Dignity Act’’ is sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli. The assisting-suicide advocacy group, Compassion & Choices, formerly the Hemlock Society, has been at work in New Jersey on this dangerous legislation. The bill pending in New Jersey has essentially the same language that governs both Oregon and Washington. The language, developed initially for Oregon, purports to “safeguard” the practice and restrict it to the terminally ill and the competent.
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Vandals Trash Church, Deface Picture of Pope


Police are searching for answers after a Brighton church was vandalized by three teenagers. Police say sometime between 3 p.m. on November 23 and 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 25, the teens damaged three doors and broke into Our Lady Of Presentation Church on Washington Street. Residue from two fire extinguishers was found all over the church floors. A portrait of Pope John XXIII was found on the second floor, cut up and defaced with phrases such as “Devil’s Star,” “(Expletive) God” and “Scooby Doo.”
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The Four Best Beards in the History of Christendom

Melissa Keating writes a great and funny piece.

The rest of the world is buzzing about no-shave November right now. However, as Catholics, we belong to a long history of beards so magnificent they could never hope to be confined to single month. The face furniture of our early Fathers alone is resplendent enough to make Gandalf weep with envy (looking at you, First Council of Nicea). I'm not saying that God gives the best beards to Catholics. I just want to point out the long standing correlation between Christianity and luxurious lip locks. In fact, if you pay attention to hagiography, you can't help but come to the conclusion that the Church Triumphant strongly resembles an NHL team during playoffs.
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Former Baywatch Beauty Says Hollywood Thinks Religious People Are Crazy

Big Hollywood reports:

Former Baywatch beauty Brooke Burns doesn't hide her faith, but the actress admits that causes friction on the set. Burns told Fox News she grew up in a Christian family and kept her faith when she started getting work in Hollywood. She quickly learned being open about her spirituality made her persona non grata at times.
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Planned Parenthood Official: Birth Control Doesn't Reduce Unintended Pregnancies

Duh! So is Planned Parenthood ready to say the Church was right? Yeah, probably not.

The Plan B birth control pill is supposed to be a panacea for lowering the number of abortions and unplanned pregnancies — so much so that the Obamacare health care law forces religious companies and organizations to pay for such birth control in their employee health insurance plans. But a Planned Parenthood official is admitting that the Plan B drug Sandra Fluke worked so hard to force Americans to pay for is not getting the results the abortion business promised. NPR interviewed one of the top officials at the nation’s biggest abortion corporation: “While there’s a lot of data to show it can prevent pregnancy in individual women, we’ve all been disappointed that on the population level, it just hasn’t had the effect we hoped,” said Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The unintended pregnancy rate hasn’t changed at all.”
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Church Removes Pews to Make Room for Social Gatherings

I bet you wouldn't be able to find the tabernacle there if you had all day.

The Catholic Church on the campus of Jesuit-run University of San Francisco is redecorating by removing pews to make room at the back of the church, near a statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, for “social gatherings.” The University of San Francisco celebrates its weekly 8 pm Sunday student Mass at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, which is located on the school’s campus.
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Pope Francis: 2015 will be devoted to consecrated life

They could always use our prayers.

Pope Francis announced that the year 2015 will be specially dedicated to consecrated life, as he met on November 29 with leaders of the Union of Superiors General. The Pope surprised the religious leaders by meeting with them for a 3-hour discussion, rather than settling for the usual papal audience. He did not speak from a prepared text, but answered questions in a lengthy session that the Vatican described as “colloquial and fraternal.”
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College Offers Applicants Seven Gender Choices

That'll make bathroom symbols a little confusing, won't it?

Recently, Ron’s wife was filling out an application for Bellevue College when she noticed something interesting. Instead of the standard “Male” and “Female” boxes that one checks on applications, there was the question: What is your ‘gender identity’? And seven different options: Feminine, Masculine, Androgynous, Gender Neutral, Transgender, Other and Prefer Not To Answer. Under that is the question: “What is your sexual orientation?” Where you can then check Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Straight/Heterosexual, Other or Prefer not to answer.
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Hey Rhode Island Has a Christmas Tree Again, Not a Holiday Shrub

Christmas makes a comeback.

”Christmas” is returning to Rhode Island’s capitol building. Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee put out a statement Monday announcing that the tree at the State House will be called a “Christmas tree,” ending a two-year long controversy.
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Jesus Christ, Modernist

Mark Judge writes:

Liberals have it exactly backwards. Conservatives engaged in the culture war are not against modernity. We’re against pre-modernity. We’re against returning to a culture that values only science but not spirit, that worships the false god of government, and that thinks that other people can be used for sexual pleasure without love or consequence. Human beings have already been there. And we don’t want to go back.
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Study: Prayer Helps People

Hey, science says so.

Praying helps people stay in control of their emotions and behaviour, according to a new study. People turn to prayer 'as a coping response to the high demands in life' and are rewarded with increased strength and ability to resist temptation, researchers said. Previous findings have shown that when people try hard to control their emotions and thoughts, the risk of aggressive outbursts and binge drinking or eating rises.
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Only Gays Can Get Angry?

Austin Ruse writes about the scandal of a Catholic priest speaking at a Catholic school.

It’s a Catholic priest speaking at a Catholic school. It’s touchy,” said Tym Moss of the Bronx LGBTQ Center. Linger over that. A Catholic priest speaking at a Catholic school is touchy? You’d think that priests speak at Catholic schools every day and it would be completely unremarkable. But you don’t live in gay world. Well, actually you do. You just don’t know it yet.
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Man Suffers Concussion, Becomes Musical Genius

Just a crazy story.

If getting hit on the head means that I’d get to be a kickass musician for the rest of my life, I think I would seriously consider it. It sounds impossible, but something of the sort happened to 41-year-old Derek Amato. He really didn’t have a choice about it, though. Derek had no idea his life was about to change forever when he dove into the shallow end of a pool to catch a football at a party. He hit his head and had a concussion, resulting in Acquired Savant Syndrome – a rare condition where people display profound abilities (called savant skills) after suffering head trauma, abilities that they didn’t have at birth. In Derek’s case, the acquired ability is music.
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The Most Offensive, Obscene Reading Assignment Ever Given By A Professor?!

Anti-Christian idiocy.

A professor at a public university in California recently had his literature class read and discuss a book called “The Baby Jesus Butt Plug: A Fairy Tale,” TheBlaze.com reports. “Professor Jordan Smith at California State University, Long Beach confirmed to TheBlaze in an email that he assigned the 104-page book to his Comic Spirit class after a student suggested they read it,” Oliver Darcy of TheBlaze.com reported Wednesday. Smith, who added students in his class voted to read the book, defended the assignment as having academic value.
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Thanksgiving Recipes from Kids from the Francscan Sisters

These are hilarious.

Our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity prayer for blessings on your family and friends this Thanksgiving comes with turkey recipes from the children at St. Francis of Assisi School, Greenwood, MS. Have a light-hearted feast and give thanks with us for God’s abundant blessings!
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Abp. Chaput on The Gift of Thanksgiving and the Advent Season

Archbishop Chaput is always worth reading. His reflections here on being thankful and repenting are wonderful:

Thanksgiving is a good time to step back from the pressures of work, reflect on the course of our lives and remember that gratitude is the beginning of joy. It’s also an opportunity to remember whom we’re thanking, and why we’re thanking him. The holiday has vividly Christian roots, and it makes little sense without its religious origins. Americans certainly don’t need to be Christian to enter into the spirit of the day, but Thanksgiving reminds us of a fundamentally higher reality: our dependence on a loving Creator. In a world so often marked by suffering and want, God has blessed us with abundance – both as a nation and as individuals. No one “owes” us this abundance. Other people around the world work just as hard as we do, or harder, and receive far less from life. As Scripture says: To whom much is given, from them much will be required (Lk 12:48). Thus we Americans have the privilege to turn our hearts to God in gratitude, but we also have God’s invitation to share our abundance with those who have less than we do.
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PB&J Sandwiches Are Racist, Says Public School Official (Fixed link)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich is Racist, Says Portland School Official Continue reading>>>

Obama Administration Snubs Catholic Church With Vatican Embassy Downgrade

Shocking, right?

The Obama administration has offended the Catholic Church before by putting in place ambassadors who support abortion and flout the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church. Now, President Barack Obama is taking this further and launching what could be the first step in pushing the United Nations to remove the Holy See’s official status at the UN. The Obama administration has decided that the free-standing American embassy to the Holy See will soon be closed, and the offices for the Ambassador to the Vatican will be moved inside of the U.S. Italian Embassy. The State Department claims the decision is a result of security reviews that followed the attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi last year. Their review claims the current U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is no longer safe.
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Pro-Life Display Vandalized at Public University


A pro-life student group at Central Michigan University (CMU) had a their pro-life display torn down and stolen last Wednesday, Campus Reform has learned. The CMU Students for Life (SFL) chapter, arranged a display which featured infant clothing hanging on a clothesline. One out of every four pieces of clothing featuring a red X to symbolize that a quarter of pregnancies end in abortion.
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Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers gives birth for third time in office, makes history


With the birth of daughter Brynn Catherine on Sunday, Washington’s Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers became the first-ever member of Congress to give birth three times while in office.
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NY Times Raves Over Meryl Streep Reading Audiobook of Vicious Attack on the Traditional Bible Reading of Mary

The New York Times gave another warm, huggy article to gay author Colm Toibin’s vicious anti-Christian “Testament of Mary” in the Sunday Book Review. They’ve praised it as a book, they’ve praised it as a play. On Sunday, they praised it as an audio book, with the bizarre claim of a Christ-denying Mary voiced by ...Meryl Streep.
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Study: Christians Don't Care about the Environment

Which actually means that Christians don't worship Gaia or believe that man is a stain on the Earth that needs to be eradicated:

A recent Michigan State University-led study suggests the so-called “greening of Christianity” over the last two decades has failed to prompt average Christians to care about or try and help the environment. The study also contends Christians care less about the environment than atheists and people of other beliefs. “There is very little evidence to support the idea that rank-and-file Christians are as green as non-Christians or nonreligious individuals, approximately two decades into the supposed greening of Christianity trend,” the study states. “In fact, these results are consistent with the finding of earlier studies that Christian identity, beliefs, and behaviors are negatively related to environmental concern.”
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Supreme Court Orders Obama Admin to Respond to Homeschooling Family’s Appeal

This is good news. The more attention this gets, the better.

The United States Supreme Court has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Justice to respond to a petition to appeal from a Christian homeschooling family that is fighting deportation to their homeland of Germany. As previously reported, Ewe and Hannelore Romeike have been battling the matter in the courts for several years while continuing to raise their six children in rural Tennessee. The Romeike family fled to the United States in 2008 after German authorities demanded that they stop homeschooling in violation of national law. Homeschooling was made illegal in the country in 1938 under the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler, and the law has never been repealed, but rather strengthened. In 2007, the German Supreme Court ruled that the country’s mandate that children be sent to public school is necessary to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”
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San Fran Pol Disses the Batkid

Holy cow. What a jerk. And San Fran voted for this clown.

This story actually took place a couple of days ago, but since I missed it at the time I figured it was worth a quick look in case any of you had also. I’m sure you remember the story of Miles Scott, the five year old leukemia survivor who got to be Batkid for a day, as San Francisco transformed itself into Gotham while Miles saved everyone from various nefarious villains. Pretty much the entire country was swept up in the story, and even a die-hard old cynic like yours truly couldn’t avoid a bit of tearing up (no doubt from the high pollen count that day). It was a darned near perfect story. So how could anyone have a problem with it? Enter San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar. As the rest of the city came out in droves to cheer Miles on to victory for the good guys, Mar was busy taking to his Twitter account.
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JFK and Catholicism

What lessons did JFK teach about Catholicism?

On September 12, 1960, John F. Kennedy delivered an historic speech to a group of Protestant clergy in Houston -- the Greater Houston Ministerial Association -- an address that continues, to this day, to be the subject of much discussion among Catholics.
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Bishop Zubik 1, HHS Mandate 0

Judge rules for religious freedom.

In yet another pro-life victory against the HHS mandate that forces churches and religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions for their employees, a federal judge has ruled that the Catholic Church in Pittsburgh doesn’t have to comply. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh made such a stink when he testified in court recently that he received national attention. He said would rather pay fines, no matter how much they might be that be forced to follow the directives of the abortion mandate.
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Catholic University of America Student Swaps Zucchetti with Pope

Great story:

The Catholic University of America (CUA) features a story on its website this week about junior theology major Ajani Gibson's recent encounter with Pope Francis. Gibson is studying at the CUA Campus in Rome.
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Air Force Academy Admits It Removed “So Help Me God” From Oaths…

It seems to me the military needs God more, not less.

God has no place in the Obama-led military.
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Must-Watch Video: Immersed in a warm bath, newborn twins cuddle each other as if they're still in the womb

You've got to see this.

This is a demonstration of the Thalasso Bain Bébé, invented by a neonatal nurse in Paris.
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This is Heavy. But We Are Also Strong

Laura writes at Mothering Spirit:

Last night before dinner I stole a few minutes while the quiche was cooking to cut up melon for tomorrow’s breakfast. The evening news hummed along on the radio, and the boys played peacefully on the porch. I savored the clean slice of chef’s knife into cantaloupe. For one of those rare moments, everything around me rested calm and content.
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Bill Donohue: The Left "Grossly" Misinterpreting Pope Francis' Comments

You mean the media isn't trustworthy?

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, criticized both the religious and secular left on the Glenn Beck Program Tuesday for “grossly” misinterpreting some of the statements made by Pope Francis in order to “get us in line with their (agenda).”
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Good News. DOJ 'Abandons' Suit Against Louisiana School Voucher Program

A win for Bobby Jindal. A win for Catholics. A win for kids.

The Obama administration's Justice Department has dropped a lawsuit aiming to stop a school voucher program in the state of Louisiana. A ruling Friday by a United States district court judge revealed that the federal government has "abandoned" its pursuit of an injunction against the Louisiana Scholarship Program, a state-funded voucher program designed to give students in failing public schools the opportunity to attend better performing public or private schools.
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Some Exchanges Cover Abortion, Not Hearing Aids

Hey, you don't need hearing aids to have sex with someone you're not particularly fond of:

Multiple individual plans available on the D.C. health insurance exchange specifically cover elective abortion but not hearing aids, routine foot-care, and routine eye-care. One such plan, Healthy Blue PPO $1500 (you can check it out on the DC Healthlink website here), has a summary on the D.C. exchange’s website titled “Excluded Services & Other Covered Services.” It says enrollees can receive coverage for abortions performed for a non-medical reasons, but not for a number of other services that could seem medically necessary. The plan also excludes coverage for some other procedures, including cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery, and infertility treatment.
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My Mother's Tears

Aggie Catholics has this excellent piece:

A while back, my mom sent me this article on abortion and the cost of abortion to our nation. I told her the following quote struck me: "Abortion was not a cause, but a reflection of our decadence and deviancy. One does not begin to kill babies until other dominos have fallen. And once they have fallen, it becomes difficult to set them aright because to do so would require an admission of something so horrible that those responsible for this fetal holocaust would have to acknowledge their sin and repent of it. Such a thing is not a character trait of this most pampered generation." My mother and father raised all of us to be very pro-life. They modeled it by showing how everyone needs to be loved.
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Sherry's Coming of Age and Coming Clean

She's hilarious. I can't count the number of times I've brushed my teeth with Superman toothpaste.

Recently, I watched Fr. Barron's series on Catholicism. It's quite good. At one point, he takes us to tour the room where Saint Katharine Drexel worked and lived. He shows relics, examples of her extreme poverty including stubbed pencils. She gave away everything and wasted nothing. I need more spiritual growth to reach her level.
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Dem Senator: "We All Knew" Obama was Lying

She admits it. Now.

On Sunday, appearing on ABC’s This Week with fill-in host Martha Raddatz, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) admitted that Democrats knew full well that Americans would be booted from their health insurance plans as an effect of Obamacare implementation.
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Religious Superior Allegedly Kidnapped Confreres to Ensure Re-election

Wow. This guy really wanted to win.

Italian police arrested the superior general of the Camillian Fathers and Brothers on suspicion of kidnapping after he allegedly tried to prevent two Camillian Fathers opposed to his election from attending the order’s general chapter. Fr. Renato Salvatore, who was re-elected at chapter meeting in May, and five other men were arrested by Italy’s finance police Nov. 6.
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50 Ways to Talk To God

Meg Hunter-Kilmer writes a great piece:

I know there are people out there–lots of them–who show up Sunday morning and call it good for the week. I know there are people who check Catholic on forms but don’t have any kind of a relationship with Christ. I guess I just figured there was a solid core of believers who were in love with Christ–or at least trying to be. But I’m reading Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples and it’s breaking my heart. Almost half of Catholics, she says, don’t believe God is a personal God. They don’t even believe it’s possible to have a relationship with him. Most of us don’t pray beyond what’s required and when we do it’s not about love so much as a sense of duty. We might be committed to the Church, but we’re not really committed to Christ.
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Marilynne Robinson on Flannery O'Connor's Journal

I've gone through phases with Flannery O'Connor. Sometimes I love her and other times I find her too dark. But I found this interesting:

This slender, charming book must be approached with a special tact. To read it feels a little like an intrusion on inwardness itself. The volume contains, alongside a lightly corrected transcription, a facsimile of the Sterling notebook in which Flannery O’Connor, just 20 years old, began a journal addressed to God. Written in her neat hand, it is reproduced complete with the empty final pages (her concluding words are “there is nothing left to say of me”) and not omitting a bit of musical notation floating on the inside of the back cover. The prayers, attempts at prayer and meditations on faith and art contained in it were written in 1946 and 1947, while O’Connor was a student in Iowa. The brilliance that would make her fictions literary classics is fully apparent in them.
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Legendary Comedy Writer Converts to Catholicism

Says, "I began to identify with Our Lady."

"I am a fan, but not a mad fan,” I assure Tom Leopold when we meet for coffee on a foggy day in west London. Leopold is a renowned comedy writer who wrote sketches for Bob Hope and worked on Seinfeld, Cheers and Will and Grace, to name but a few items on his long list of credits. At Easter 2009, he converted to Catholicism, and he describes his journey to the Church in his one-man show “A Comedy Writer Finds God”. Currently he is in London for a six-week stint as a writer on The Kumars, a comedy series about an Indian family in Britain.
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Hotel Profiting from "Room Service Abortions," Offer Discounts


The pro-life organization has released a second investigative video, highlighting what Live Action President Lila Rose has coined "room-service abortions" -- and the hotels that profit off such sinister arrangements.
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STOP THE PRESSES: Bad news for liberals who have hijacked Pope Francis!

Fr. Z reports:

Here is something that really caught my eye. If this is the real thing, if… this is the real thing… this is huge. It is plausible, but I want to take it with just a grain of salt. This smells pretty Italian. If this is not denied by Fr. Lombardi tomorrow, this is HUGE, with a capital H and capital UGE.
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Abp. Chaput: The Feminine Genius

A conference worth looking at.

Over the past two years, we've spent a lot of time dealing with challenges in the life of our local Church. We've made good progress, thanks to the hard work of a great many people. But fixing problems isn't an end in itself. That's just a beginning. The point of our work is to clear away obstacles to the joy of knowing Jesus Christ and to a life rooted in the Gospel. We had a taste of that joy last weekend, November 9, with the wonderful success of the Magnificat Day gathering – a combination of beautiful worship, common prayer and great presentations. Events like Magnificat Day feed the soul and renew the hope at the heart of Catholic life.
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Who Kidnapped the Nuns on the Bus?

Showcasing the hypocrisy of the Nuns on the Bus, Catholic Vote alleges a felony kidnapping of poor Sister Simone Campbell:

Please, quick. Somebody call the police. It appears that someone has kidnapped not only the nun-celebrity Sister Simone Campbell, but her entire bus, all the nuns on her bus, and most devastating of all, her resolute determination to cruise around with her Nuns on the Bus and rid the country of uninsured Americans. She had to have been kidnapped, right?
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Why Abp. Chaput Should Never Have Spoken to the Nat'l Catholic Reporter

American Catholic reports:

Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Philadelphia Archdiocese has been unfairly depicted as a critic of Pope Francis. This stems from an interview he had with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. (John Allen is a good reporter but PopeWatch wonders about the judgment of any member of the hierarchy who has an interview with any representative of NCR.) The interview may be read here. PopeWatch fails to see how any fair minded reading of this interview could be taken as criticism of the Pope. The bitter comments of the deranged readers of NCR are, as always, a true hoot.
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Whittaker Chambers is to Blame for the Tea Party

Jonah Goldberg counters:

A friend sent me a link to Cass Sunstein’s absolutely ridiculous column last week, but I didn’t have a chance to get to it. And now The Weekly Standard and Walter Russell Mead have beaten me to the punch. But while they both do a good job, I don’t think either go nearly far enough. In his column, Sunstein runs through the basic facts of the Hiss-Chambers case, which I don’t need — I hope — to rehash here. But at the end of a column titled, “How the Alger Hiss Case Explains the Tea Party” he writes:
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Jewish Mag Honors Francis, Slams Benedict XVI

As much as I love to see the love which greets Pope Francis, this attack on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is completely unfair.

American magazine Forward has included Pope Francis in its list of top 50 Jewish figures, in the “PLUS” category, highlighting his contribution to the Catholic Church’s relations with the Jews. But part of the reason he was included was to launch a strong attack on Benedict XVI
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Best Piece in the Catholic Blogosphere Today

To be fair I haven't read the whole Catholic blogosphere today so I don't know that it's the best. But I can say Kate Wicker's latest piece is amazing. True. Funny. A bit heartbreaking. And completely relatable. Please read it.

This morning my sweet 2-year-old boy delicately cupped my chin in his dimpled hands, widened his bright, brown eyes, and said to me, “Do laundry. Make dinner.” I have to admit I was expecting him to profess his unfettered love to me, not give me a to-do list. I laughed at this unexpected moment but if I’m completely honest, my heart felt an ounce heavier, too.
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Vid: Atheists, Secularists Interrupt Prayer Outside Supreme Court

They can't stand prayer. Any prayer.

Atheists not only want to ban prayer inside government, but also block prayer outside the government - or so they expressed via their actions on the steps the Supreme Court during the Town of Greece v. Galloway case. The Christian Defense Coalition (CDC) and Faith and Action sponsored a prayer vigil at the Supreme Court for "religion freedom" in reaction to the case and in support Christian prayer. During the vigil, self-professed atheists, humanists and secularists repeatedly interrupted Biblical readings and prayers.
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Attitude About Adoption Key to Abortion Battle

We must promote adoption.

ABORTION will end when the attitude towards adoption changes, guest speak-er Dr Joanna Howe said at the Cherish Life Queensland fundraising dinner on November 8. Dr Howe, 30, is a law lecturer at the Uni-versity of Adelaide, and a former NSW Rhod-es Scholar.
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Sarah Palin: 'Angry Atheists' Wage War Against Christmas

She was right about death panels. She's right about this.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says America's celebration of Christmas is being hijacked by "angry atheists"bent on eroding the nation's cherished religious freedoms.
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Bishops Create Position to Aid Post-Abortion Healing

Helping women.

The U.S. bishops have voted to add a bishops’ conference staff member to work with the post-abortion healing ministry Project Rachel at a national level, citing growing demand for help. “Over the past several years, diocesan interest in and expansion of post-abortion healing ministries have dramatically increased,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life activities committee, said at the assembly Nov. 12.
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Rebecca Goes to a Strange Parish, Wonderful Things Ensue

Rebecca Frech writes of a very special encounter:

The older kids and I went to a different parish for Mass last night. The events of the day had run longer than expected, and by the time we realized it we were too late for the 5pm Mass. A quick Google search led us to the ugly parish that we had studiously avoided when we moved here two and a half years ago. We were so turned off by its modern architecture that we never even gave it a chance. In doing so, we missed something truly special. When we walked into the narthex last night, we were immediately greeted by an energetically friendly man who pumped our hands and loudly welcomed us. He hugged me and loudly exclaimed "I'm so happy to see all of you!" He then turned to the people coming in after us and greeted them in the same overly affectionate manner. While it was obvious that he had some degree of mental retardation, it was equally apparent that he was a regular fixture at the door and that no one minded his being there....quite the opposite, in fact, everyone who walked through the door seemed as delighted to seem him as he was to see them.
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Vatican to Start Cricket Team

Lawn darts to follow?

Some 500 years after England’s King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican is vowing to defeat the Church of England — not in the pews, but on the cricket pitch. The Vatican has launched its own cricket club — a move aimed at forging ties with teams of other faiths. Rome’s Capannelle Cricket Club is hosting training matches that will lead to the creation of the Vatican team, the St. Peter’s Cricket Club.
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Guard Who Pepper Sprayed Pro-Lifers Guilty of Assault

You're only allowed to assault the unborn at abortion clinics, not the grownups too.

A guard who works at the last remaining abortion facility in Mississippi was found guilty of four counts of simple assault this past week for pepper-spraying several Christians who were praying and singing hymns on the public sidewalk.
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How to Be Reverent at Church according to Those Under the Age of 3

Hilarious list from Sherry.

10) Even if you are a baby, you know it is important to sing at mass. But knowing when to sing can be difficult because the adults are sometimes shy about singing. A simple solution is to sing perpetually. The grown ups will join in if the timing is right. 9) Likewise, because adults are very distractable, the best way to make them long to focus on the liturgy is to squirm and grab the noses of any human within range and then go stiff and and alternatively drape sideways and boneless. Constant motion will make them long to give the homily their full attention. 8) Now we small ones cannot always fast through the mass. But our eating does remind everyone else, that as adults, they are supposed to sublimate their appetites.
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"In God We Trust" Too Religious to Hang in School

Do they not accept money because that says "In God We Trust" as well.

A North Carolina school refused to hang posters depicting an American Flag and the national motto “In God We Trust” because their legal counsel feared the signs would be seen as promoting religion. The American Legion offered the free posters to the Watauga County School District, but found the 130 framed images unwanted.
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Novus Horror Missae: The Downside of VIP Masses

The Eponymous Flower reports:

(Rome) Horror Mass.: If the real thing is not understood and therefore "boring", it will have to be helped by special individual and creative design. The actress, dancer and former porn actress Carmen Russo (54) was on the 19th of October at the parish church of San Lorenzo in Formello, Rome, to baptize their daughter Maria. The Baptism was celebrated by Don Santino Spartà, the "pastor" of the VIP scene. The baptism was for show, including a dance performance by Carmen Russo with her husband at the altar. Don Santino was dressed with his clerics, and only a white floor length surplice through which street pants showed and a floor length stole. No chasuble.
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A Love Story Like None Other


One day last month, September 2013, HelpfulGrammy and I lost a grandchild. Our daughter, Maria, miscarried at 6½ weeks. As sad as that was, there came to be an element of joy in what happened, a joy that can only come from the strength of true faith. Let me explain.
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Polish "Artist" gets naked and rubs against Crucifix

I don't think "art" means what he thinks it means:

I was horrified by a recent “art” article to be delivered to my email. I debated even mentioning it, but have decided I HAVE to, so that we can all PRAY to God for mercy, forgiveness and repentance on behalf of the truly sick and demonic people who are doing these terrible things. While this story will no doubt sicken you, please pray for this “artist” and those like him. He is truly in the clutches of the demonic. Polish priest, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk has filed a complaint against the “Ministry of Culture” (in Poland) after discovering an “art exhibit” where “artist” Jacek Markiewicz gets naked and rubs his body against a crucifix and licks the body of Christ.
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Teacher Calls Parent "Neo-Nazi" for Questioning Assignment

Hilarious...in a kind of our culture is degrading before our eyes kind of way.

A Pennsylvania father objected when his daughter’s middle-school history teacher assigned a project about a New York Times article blaming Republicans for the government shutdown. His complaint apparently made him the target of an orchestrated response by faculty at Camp Hill Middle School, and an English teacher named Cydnee Cohen left a voicemail message for one of the parent’s Facebook friends: “We’re having some problems with a parent in our school district and on his page you are one of his friends…but I would like to know, some of it seems like he is a neo-nazi…call me…” Bonus absurdity: The allegedly “neo-Nazi” parent, Josh Barry, is Jewish.
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And That’s Why I’ve Got More Children Than You Think I Should

Kasey writes:

Wait a sec, let’s start out with a little honesty here. I actually have more children than I thought I should have, too, so I’m not casting stones. I’m just throwing back the curtain to expose a few myths that have polluted my childbearing years with guilt and regret. I began my journey into motherhood 16 years ago this month. But wait, that’s not true either. My first child was born 16 years ago and was delivered one day after his due date which means my journey really began 16 years and 9 months ago. Goodness, where does the time go? Anyway, my point is I’ve spent more than a decade and a half being drilled on all the reasons why I should stop having children. Or to be more accurate, I’ve been schooled on all the logic of why I should have stopped several children ago. It’s good to be enlightened, you know, on the many means of prevention available in this modern-day. Because any woman worth her salt simply refuses to have more children than is seemly. Or than can fit nicely into the comfortable lifestyle of choice. And any man with a shred of decency will offer himself up to be surgically altered for the sake of ending the madness.
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Training Your Children to be Urban Legend Detectors

Draper John Warren writes:

Of all the cultures and all the philosophies and all the religions which have been known in the world of men, none have placed truth on as high a pedestal as the Catholic Faith. Truth is literally our God. Truth is one of the Divine attributes, and each of God’s attributes is identical with His Essence. Thus, we rightly say “God IS Love” and “God IS Truth,” and “God IS Good.” We worship Truth. We adore Truth. Our fidelity to the truth is a sacred duty.
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Forever Singing

Absolutely wonderful piece from Sherry.

A weekly task in this household involves a trip to the dry cleaner. Because this chore falls to me and has for over a decade, I've come to know the people who work at the store if not on a first time basis, enough to be able to joke around. One woman however, began sharing with me the story of her life. She asked me to pray when her brother died. Later, again as her father passed on and she wasn't able to attend, given that there was a whole ocean and islands between her and her family, she begged me to pray. We know each has a lively faith though we've never talked specifics. She always gives me a big smile. I'm always a bit sad when my friend isn't there. It is a touch of lightness in the midst of doing the dutiful and mundane. She knows my name. I regret, I've yet to really wrap my brain around hers, though I've asked and sought to remember.
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Vatican spokesman says no plans for women cardinals -- but not impossible, either

Liberal hearts aflutter:

The Holy See yesterday dismissed as “nonsense” weekend Irish media reports that Pope Francis might nominate two Irish women as cardinals. Responding to reports in Irish and Irish-American media that Pope Francis might name both TCD ecumenics Prof Linda Hogan and former president Mary McAleese as cardinals at a future conclave, senior Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said:
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Principals of Top Catholic High Schools Fear Common Core Will Harm Their Schools

The Catholic Education Daily reports:

Principals of America’s leading Catholic high schools are concerned about the impact that adopting the national “Common Core” standards could have on their schools’ Catholic identity, according to a survey of Catholic High School Honor Roll winners conducted by The Cardinal Newman Society. The principals opposeCatholic schools rushing to adopt the Common Core standards, which are not yet completed and have been criticized by a growing number of education experts and parent organizations.
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7 Facts About Assisted Suicide

Margaret Dore, an attorney and president of Choice is an Illusion, writes:

1. Assisted Suicide Assisted suicide means that someone provides the means and/or information for another person to commit suicide. When a physician is involved, the practice is physician-assisted suicide.[1] 2. The Oregon and Washington Laws In Oregon, physician-assisted suicide was legalized in 1997 via a ballot measure.[2] In Washington State, a similar law was passed via another ballot measure in 2008 and went into effect in 2009.[3] 3. Throwing Away Your Life The Oregon and Washington laws apply to state residents predicted to have less than six months to live.[5] Such persons are not necessarily dying. Doctors can be wrong.
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The Truth about Galileo

I wonder how many people believe that Galileo was tortured or even executed by the Catholic Church? I'd bet a lot. Here's the truth:

Galileo Galilei has been disinterred, times without number, by the opponents of papal infallibility, and made to pronounce judgment against all such pretended claims. He has been portrayed as a martyr championing the cause of science against the Vatican obscurantists, as one tortured by the Inquisition, cast out of the Church's pale, and refused Christian burial. For these and other mythical reasons we Catholics are expected to feel nervously uneasy when the name of Galileo is mentioned — much as though a skeleton was in danger of being dragged from the cupboard to cast a shadow upon our good name.
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RNS: CS Lewis Was an Occultist Who Hung Out with Chesterton.

Oh my. Can I get a fact check here?

Religion News Service dropped a brick (several in fact) in its article entitled “Fifty years later, C.S. Lewis’ legacy shines in US, not his homeland”, making mistakes of fact that fans of Lewis would spot in an instant.
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17-Year-Old Pressured by Clinic to Have a Late-Term Abortion, Refuses

National Right to Life News reports:

I recently read an account from a 17-year-old who was 24 weeks pregnant and was pressured by abortion clinic workers to abort her baby. The testimony appeared in the book Bitter Fruit: Women’s Experiences with Unplanned Pregnancy, Abortion, and Adoption. I did not find this book to be biased towards the pro-life position. The author seems to take, as far as is possible, a neutral stand. Nowhere in the book does she condemn abortion or claim that adoption or parenting are better options.
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Tennis Star Robbed of Rosary Blessed by Pope

Hey, with Pope Francis I half expect him to play in a doubles match with the dude.

Argentine tennis player Juan Martin Del Potro has revealed that he was robbed at a Paris railway station with thieves making off with a cherished rosary blessed by Pope Francis. Del Potro was checking in at Gare de Nord in the French capital when he stopped to sign an autograph. As he placed his bag on the floor, the thieves made off with his possessions which also included his passport and cash. "I was doing the check-in to ride on the train and then I was asked for an autograph. I turned around to sign it and within 20 seconds (my bag) had been stolen," Del Potro said through his press service. His rosary "which I take everywhere" was blessed by Pope Francis when Del Potro played at the Rome Masters earlier this year.
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Students Respond to Halloween Vandalization of their Catholic School

Must read of the day:

Dozens of windows and doors at St. Bernadette Catholic Church and School in Rockford IL, were shot out on Halloween night. The destruction was extensive as very large windows in the school were destroyed along with a stained glass window in the Church and large glass doors were shattered. Halloween night is often used by hoodlums as an excuse to desecrate Christian places of worship and education. But this time the students of this school are the ones who are giving our community a real education in Christian forgiveness.
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Halloween Has Deep Roots in Catholicism

I didn't know any of this. Not that that's a big deal because there's lots I don't know. But this is pretty interesting stuff from Word on Fire.

On this All Hallows Eve's Eve (that's right), we're putting our Fun-Size Snickers down long enough to learn something pretty profound about Halloween — that it has deep roots in Catholicism. We fired some questions at the walking encyclopedia that is Father Steve Grunow, and this is what he fired back: Everything you ever wanted to know about Catholicism and Halloween, and more. I always figured that Halloween had pagan roots, but you are telling me they are Catholic. Huh? How so?
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New Non-Discrimination Laws Would Discriminate Against Christians

Ryan Anderson writes:

The Senate is expected to move forward soon on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA (S. 815). Since ENDA is terrible public policy, conservatives and libertarians are right to raise principled objections. Part of the genius of the American system of government is our commitment to protecting the liberty and First Amendment freedoms of all citizens while respecting their equality before the law. But ENDA would create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity, backed up by coercive enforcement.
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Padre Pio's Ghost Story

Happy Catholic has it:

Speaking of ghosts, since Halloween is almost upon us ...
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Fr. Barron: Atheists Just Don't Get God

Brilliant as always:

The most signal contribution of David Bentley Hart's The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, and Bliss is to clarify that serious theists and atheists, though they debate frequently concerning the reality of God, are hardly ever using the word "God" in the same way. This fundamental equivocation contributes massively to the pointlessness and meanness of most of these discussions. It is not so much that Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins disagree with Thomas Aquinas on the existence of God; it is that neither Hitchens nor Dawkins has any real grasp of what Aquinas even means when he speaks of God.
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Hipster Comedian: I Was a Pro-Abortion Atheist Until My Children Were Born

Guy's got a mouth on him but pretty amazing pov change:

I see a lot of women without kids, in their 40s, who are miserable and I see a lot of women after they have children saying, “what the f*** was I doing? Why was I doing fashion PR? I was doing seating plans for a fashion show telling what people sit in what chair. Now I’m shaping human life.”… I see the housewife as a far superior vocation to mine, and to most….
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Priest in China Has Mas Blocked

Terry Jeffrey writes:

“I had to say Mass in my room,” says Father Ray Leonard, recalling the years he served in the Tibetan region of the People’s Republic of China. In that country, where the Communist government has created a state-sanctioned facsimile of the Catholic Church and driven faithful Catholics underground, Father Leonard saw firsthand how totalitarians approach religion.
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Woman Deals with Kids at Restaurant, Receives Note from Stranger. Blown Away.

Random act of kindness.

Being in the midst of a divorce with two younger children — both with behavioral challenges — having had to move several times and experiencing other difficulties, it’s safe to say this North Carolina mother is a bit worn out. Yet she still manages to take her 4- and 6-year-old out to a restaurant each Friday. Last week, the unidentified mother wrote to WTVD-TV about a touching event that happened when her family was at a Pizza Hut in Durham.
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WaPo: Christians Scarier than Halloween

And of course, it was written by a theology professor. Who else?

Want to really scare someone this Halloween? Dress up like a Christian and go trick or treating at the offices of The Washington Post. After all, the Post’s “On Faith” blog contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a professor of theology and fellow at the far-left Center for American Progress, warned readers that much of Christian orthodoxy was more frightening than witches, ghosts and goblins. “If you do want to be frightened this week, here are some Christian theological themes that actually are scary,” she wrote in “Five Christian theologies scarier than Halloween.” It’s an interesting read – tackling topics from gays to evolution and leaving the reader to wonder if her divinity degree came free with the purchase of a new age whale songs CD.
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9 Reasons Not to Marry A Pro-Choicer

Interesting. I've always said that I couldn't. Just couldn't marry someone who's pro-abortion rights. While I'm sure there's anecdotal evidence that it can be done, it's probably not a good idea.

In a recent blog post, Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., detailed nine reasons why he believes pro-life Christians should refrain from marrying pro-choicers. In particular, the preacher said that those who support abortion rights “do not value children the same way” as those who oppose them. Considering how flammable the abortion issue is, his strongly-worded list is sure to ruffle some feathers. Pastor Mark Driscoll Pens Controversial Warning to Young Followers: 9 Reasons to Not Marry Someone Whos Pro Choice Photo Credit: AP The short article begins with Driscoll sharing his own personal faith journey. In high school, he recalls being intensely “pro-abortion.”
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Fairfield Runs "The Pelvis and the Pulpit" Seminar. Seriously.


At a recent panel discussion for students entitled “The Pelvis and the Pulpit”—which included faculty from the Jesuit-run Fairfield University faculty—claimed to answer the question, “Is the Church wrong about sex?” Unfortunately, their answer seemed to be yes, according to reports from The Fairfield Mirror.
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Sen. Paul Warns About The Return of Eugenics

It actually never left.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Monday warned a crowd at a religious college in Virginia that advances in biology could lead to a society that weeds out people deemed to have undesirable traits. Campaigning at Liberty University in Lynchburg, with Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, Paul said those who are considered less intelligent or overweight, for example, could be eliminated from the gene pool, according to an Associated Press report. “In your lifetime, much of your potential — or lack thereof — can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek,” the senator said. “Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?”
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Catholic Diocese of Saginaw bishop, parishioners to pray outside abortion clinic


As part of a nationwide campaign, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is planning a prayer session outside of a Saginaw Township abortion clinic. Saginaw Bishop Joseph Cistone is slated to take part in the prayer session at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, outside of the Women's Health Center, off Bay on Cabaret Trail.
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The Colonialism of Sexual Radicalism

America targets smaller, weaker countries to advance a radical agenda.

Speaking before the United Nations earlier this month—bragging about American leadership in a global movement to normalize homosexuality, same-sex marriage, artificial reproductive technology, and cross-dressing—John Kerry revealed the deep pockets and loaded guns that the world’s only superpower can count on to bring such ideas to nations that have religious or cultural objections:
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The Apocalyptic Nature of Environmentalism Fills Vacuum for Non-Believers

Crisis Magazine reports:

Every few years a Christian preacher predicts imminent Armageddon, gains some followers and is thrust into the national headlines. Most recently, Harold Camping, the iterant Oakland preacher, announced the world would end on May 22, 2011. Camping prophesized this will be accompanied by massive earthquakes, chaos, death and destruction, just as described in the Book of Revelation. A new heaven and new earth will appear, with the righteous joining God and non-believers perishing. USA Today wrote incredulously, “some people really panicked.” Camping’s ideas were not particularly popular in Catholic and other Christian circles (Mathew 24:36 states that no one can know the precise time Jesus will return, except for God) but they were ridiculed in the media as being representative as mainstream Christian thinking.
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There is a Satanic Conspiracy About Having Children

Taylor Marshall asks if you see babies as gifts.

There is a Satanic conspiracy about having children. We have seven beautiful children and we are “pitied” by people all the time. We were out to dinner last week and an older later came over and told my wife Joy (surrounded by seven children) and told her how bad she felt for her. What? It’s a good thing my wife’s a saint and didn’t clobber the lady. Let’s get back to the Bible. ““Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
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Air Force Considers Dropping Phrase “So Help Me God”

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Jesuit U President Vows Not to be "Shackled" by the "Pall of Orthodoxy"

Yeah, LMU's president seriously said that.

Just weeks after attempting to remove abortion coverage from the university’s health insurance plan, Loyola Marymount University president David Burcham vowed during his recent presidential convocation address that the “pall of orthodoxy” would not “shackle” the Los Angeles-based Jesuit university.
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Is There a Schism in Our Future?

Fr. Ray Blake wonders about how the papacy of Pope Francis will effect the future of the Church:

From the outside the Catholic Church used to look like fortress: one faith, one baptism, one Lord; and in the West one liturgy in one language. Today there is perhaps a more diverse view from the outside, still perhaps there is a sense that the Church is monolithic and yet those outside perhaps have friends who were once Catholic and now distance themselves from the Church, its worship and its doctrines. From inside the Church there actually seems to be little that holds us together, Marie Meaney has an article in the Herald asking, Is Schism Inevitable in Germany? in which she speaks of the archdiocese of Freiburg's document proposing communion for the divorced and remarried. In the Holy See's ill fated negotiations with the SSPX the "S" word was very carefully avoided, the same could be said about those German speaking groups Marie mentions. Heresy, the Church can cope with but schism is another altogether graver matter. Ordaining bishops not only without the mandate of the Holy See, has historically sometimes been necessary, even Pope Benedict seems to have been understanding of their position but it was in direct opposition to the expressed will of the Supreme Pontiff and therefore the most significant act of disunity, nevertheless in the 'spirit of Vatican II' it was not described as 'schismatic' but 'tending towards schism'.
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