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Homeschooled Children Seized in Shocking, Armed Raid

This is not good.

At 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a “brutal and vicious act,” a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family’s children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.
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Archdiocese Rejects Obamacare Grant

They did the right thing but the words seem a little mealy-mouthed, if you ask me.

The Archdiocese of Mobile Alabama has decided to decline taking a grant to promote Obama Care. We thank Bishop Thomas J. Rodi and all who are involved in refusing to take money from an anti-life program like Obama Care.
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Slate: You're a Bad Person if You Don't Send Your Kid to Public School

I'm not going to reward Slate with a link here but HotAir takes them apart pretty good so go there.

Slate: Only bad people won’t sacrifice their children on altar of public education, or something
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Episcopal Malpractice?

Seriously? The Diocese of Pittsburgh couldn’t find a faithful Catholic to fill the (Communication Director) post?

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Nashville Dominicans Save the Day

A lesson in counterculture.

Recent growth in the Nashville order of Dominican sisters is a good sign for the future of Catholic education. While so many orders of nuns seem to be dwindling into nonexistence, 28 young women entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, the order that owns and administers Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., according to the Diocese of Nashville. Earlier in the summer, 11 Sisters professed perpetual vows.
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Beauty and Chant Bring New Life to a Benedictine Monastery

Wonderful:

American Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy, talk about their community's liturgical apostolate.
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Bp. Jenky: "Why is your bishop ranting and raving about hell fire and damnation?"

Wow.

Jesus taught that our temporal choices have eternal consequences. Jesus revealed there is not only an everlasting heaven but there is an everlasting hell. Today’s popular, liberal Christianity tends to beige all of that over. The God of our liberal therapeutic culture is usually presented as only a benign kind of higher force. This concept of God is almost like a tolerant psychiatrist
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MLK's Daughter: Life Begins in the Womb

Ironically, Planned Parenthood sponsored the event:

Bernice King, the daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said on Thursday that “life begins in a woman’s womb.” Women played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, King said, “and so it all begins – as does life – begins in a woman’s womb.”
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How to Convince a Girl to Get an Abortion

The "Hail Mary" approach. I'm not kidding. That's what this writer called it.

Men like this make me so steamed. An excerpt: How The “Hail Mary” Works You need to bring up the subject of abortion with every ounce of verbal finesse and situation-appropriate sensitivity. You should sound as sincere as possible and tell her that you want her to be the mother of your children one day, but that now is not the right time to start a family.
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Top 10 Myths About the Middle Ages

Some pretty interesting info here.

The Middle Ages spanned roughly from the 5th century to the 16th century – a total of 1,100 years. During the time following the Middle Ages (which is often referred to as the Enlightenment), the previous millennium was criticized and condemned – just as we now condemn the actions of some during the Victorian Period (sexual prudishness for example). Many of the writers of the newly invented Protestant movement harshly attacked the Middle Ages because of its Catholicity. Unfortunately many of the myths and misconceptions that sprung up at the time are still believed today. This list aims to set things straight.
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Msgr. Benson, New Religion, and LCWR

Reality becoming increasingly like fiction:

In a previous post, I provided an excerpt on prayer contained in Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson. The book, written in 1907, is set in England and concerns a dystopian future in the late twentieth century, and a mysterious antichrist figure named “Felsenburgh” who is somehow capable of unifying the world and installing a new order. This new order is supposedly based on rational ideals meant to elevate humanity. The book discusses the emergence of a sort of religious Humanism that replaces the creeds and worship of God (Creator) with a new creed and worship of Man (the Creation). The argument given is that through the ages, man actually created God to satisfy man’s innate desire for worship, and that thanks to the enlightenment of the new age, man can now realize that it is Himself who should be worshipped.
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An Awesome Letter From Mother to Daughter, Citing Miley Cyrus

Warning about the image accompanying the post. It's not crazy bad but just thought a warning was necessary.

Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you. Yes, this is what happens when you constantly hear everything you do is awesome. This is what happens when people fawn over your every Tweet and Instagram photo. This is what happens when no responsible adult has ever said the word “no,” made you change your clothes before leaving the house, or never spanked your butt for deliberate defiance.
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Thief Returns Bible After 42 Years, Never Got Around To Reading It

So he had a Bible in his home for decades and never read it? Wow, he sounds almost Catholic.

A 200-year-old bible that was stolen from an East Sussex church 42 years ago has been returned by the man who took it. Simon Scott, treasurer of Holy Trinity Church in Hastings, said a German man had taken the book in 1971. He had come to the town with his wife to take an English language course, but was not satisfied with the teaching. He then took the bible intending to read it and improve his English, but never got round to it.
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3 Shocking Quotes on Contraception from Protestant Reformers

Hint: They're a lot closer to Catholicism's views than modern day Protestantism:

Contraception is nothing new. Jason Evert shared with me that, “history records people using various methods of birth control four thousand years ago. Ancient people swallowed potions to cause temporary sterility; they used linens, wool, or animal skins as barrier methods; they fumigated the uterus with poison to keep it from bearing life. The Romans practiced contraception, but the early Christians stood out from the pagan culture because they refused to use it.”
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The Pain of Miscarriage

So often this suffering is done in silence.

Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle talks about the pain of losing a child through miscarriage and offers kind and sensitive ways to express sympathy to a mother who has lost a child.
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Movie on Man-Eating Anti-Fracking Squirrels Coming to Theater Near You

I think I'll miss this one. But I'd love to read a review.

Reportedly based on an idea by Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Night Watch) and possibly to be directed by Ethan Maniquis (Machete), Squirrels, if it actually secures enough funding to get made, will tell the terrifying story of Mother Nature looking for revenge on the people who done her wrong. According to Bleeding Cool, the synopsis goes like this…
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Nat'l Catholic Reporter Accepts Millions from Secular Foundation to Continue Undermining the Church

Hey, it's not like they weren't doing it anyway. They might as well get paid for it.

The Conrad Hilton Foundation has awarded a $2.3 million grant to the National Catholic Reporter to establish as “global sisters’ net,” providing “greater voice to countless Catholic sisters around the globe.” The grant to the National Catholic Reporter-- a newspaper with a long history of dissent from Catholic teaching—comes at a time when women religious in the United States are under Vatican scrutiny. Annette Lomont, the chairman of the board for the Reporter, said: “We’ve been standing with sisters from the beginning, and I consider the grant encouragement to go on telling their stories.”
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Priest Gives Kidney to Ailing Parishioner

Proof the Church will do anything to keep people alive just so they fill the collection basket.

Bruce McComb says he owes his life to his pastor, Father Jonathan Goertz of St. Timothy Parish in Tappahannock. His statement, voiced in strong admiration, is not far from the truth. Mr. McComb, 60, was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. He had been on dialysis for three and a half years and had retired at age 54 because of kidney disease. He previously had received a kidney from his wife, Mimi, in 2002 which was deemed to be a match, but his body later rejected it when he developed sepsis after what he called “a botched hernia surgery.”
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Are You Really Pro-Life?

Shelley writes:

Twelve years ago I was told that my daughter did not have a life worth living, and I was encouraged to let her go by the doctors and by people who not just said they were Pro Life but who were actively involved in the Pro Life movement. I was told that they would just take her off her life support machines and I could bathe her, and while I bathed her and dressed her and rocked her she would pass and all would be okay. I didn’t take that option. I chose to be Pro Life. I chose to keep the miracle that God gave me and not throw away God’s special gift to me.
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The Girl I Never Met, A Tale from a Post-Abortive Father

A heartbreaking story:

I have a dear long-time friend who once confided in me that he was a post-abortive dad. We had been talking about the loss of my Bernadette, and he started crying and told me about his own little girl. She is the child he has never known and the child he loves completely. I encouraged him to write about what it is to live in the silence of being a post-abortive father. This week he surprised me and sent me the following, then he surprised me further by allowing me to share it with you. He felt it needed to be said out loud and in public. He loves her and misses her and just wishes more than anything that he would have had the chance to be her dad.
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Notre Dame to Admit Undocumented Students

The Cardinal Newman Society reports:

The University of Notre Dame announced that they will admit undocumented immigrants as students, according to Inside Higher Ed. "In making the decision to admit academically qualified men and women who are undocumented," Don Bishop, associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment said in a press release from the university, "we will strengthen our incoming class and give deserving young people the chance for a Notre Dame education."
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Sherry Responds: If I Hated Men

Sherry responds to my post with one of her own.

If I hated Men

Three tips for Catholic college students who use social media

Good advice from Southern Fried Catholicism:

1) Be virtuous and follow the Golden Rule online. Don't do, write, post or tweet anything online that may cause confusion about the sincerity of your faith or anything that could be seen as immoral, degrading to others, or hateful.
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Fulwilers Went to Brewery, Came Home with One Eyed Cat

To be honest, it seems like that's the only way one would come home with a one-eyed cat. If you look at your life haven't most of the bad decisions started with, "I went to the brewery and then..." This is another great story from Jen.

Two weekends ago we took a tour of the Cedar Creek Brewery when we were visiting relatives in east Texas, and we walked out with a souvenir mug and a one-eyed cat. This is an extremely surprising turn of events for a family that already has too many mugs and said they didn’t want a pet. Joe in particular is not a cat person, and I think he’s still trying to process what happened. There he was, sipping a Pale Ale, admiring the gleaming boil kettle, when the kids suddenly started clamoring about how he needed to come over to the owner’s office to see the cute four-month-old kitty.
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Your Cell Phone or Your Bible?

Which one do you consult more often and make sure to take with you at all times?

Where Your Heart Is, There Your Treasure Will Be
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Pro-Lifer 1, Ann Arbor 0

Kudos to this former Marine for standing up for life against this bullying city council that sought to silence his free speech.

The city of Ann Arbor has agreed to pay a pro-life protester $7,000 after it ticketed him for displaying pro-life signs outside an abortion facility. As part of his protest outside the Planned Parenthood facility – which is located near the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University – Paul Dobrowolski posted signs inside his vehicle that said “Abortion Hurts Women.”
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Am I Dumb Because I Have 8 Kids?

It would appear so, at least according to a UK study.

The Guardian UK recently published the article “Should we care that smart women aren’t having kids?“ The piece was based on the work of Satoshi Kanazawa, a London School of Economics psychologist who conducted research on the link between intelligence and maternal urges and wrote the book The Intelligence Paradox based on his findings. He concluded that the higher a woman’s IQ, the less likely she is to have babies. According to Kanazawa’s research, maternal urges decrease 25% for every 15 IQ points above average intelligence. The decrease is due to a conscious choice made by the women to not have babies. He is critical of voluntary childlessness, as indicated in the chapter “Why intelligent people are the ultimate losers in life.” Predictably, the journalist who wrote the article, Ms. Sadhbh Walshe, isn’t enamored with Satoshi Kanazawa or his book, choosing to defend voluntary childlessness.
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71 Year Old Widower and Father of 8 is Ordained a Priest

Wow. Pretty incredible.

A 71-year-old widower in Mexico has been ordained a priest more than 50 years after initially entering the seminary and being forced to drop out due to poor health. Enrique Martinez Dominguez first joined the seminary at age 17, motivated by the Catholic formation he had received from his parents and his experience as an altar boy. However, he was forced to leave because of health problems, reported the Chihuahua newspaper, El Heraldo.
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An RCIA Horror Story

He was told confession isn't necessary. And when he asked questions, he was labeled a "problem."

Back in 2000, my wife and I were received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil by Cardinal Francis George. You’ll have to take my word that the (fuzzy) picture above is of my wife and Cardinal George. There are two types of converts to Catholicism: those who have never been baptized (“catechumens”) and those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition (“candidates”). My wife and I were both candidates because we were validly baptized in other Christian churches
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On Faith and Cafeteria Catholicism

David G. Bonagura, Jr., a theology professor writes:

For years the expression “cafeteria Catholicism” has been used to describe an approach to the faith in which individual Catholics pick and choose the teachings of the Church they wish to believe or reject. In this view, the Church’s teachings, like food in a cafeteria, have no particular importance: they are all available to satisfy the individual tastes of the consumer. The more savory teachings can be chosen. The more bitter ones left behind. And no one need apologize for preferences or choices made.
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Egypt: Church Forced to Cancel Mass for 1st Time in 1600 Years

Pray for the Christians in Egypt:

A church in Minya, Egypt cancelled Sunday mass for the first time in 1,600 years. Other churches were forced to cancel prayer services as well due to violence against the country's Christian population.
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Loyola Marymount Offers Masters in Yoga

Jesuits.

Loyola Marymount University recently announced it will begin offering a Master of Arts in Yoga. Although often viewed today as a form of exercise independent of its religious origins in Hinduism, yoga spirituality seems to be a heavy emphasis of the LMU graduate degree program.
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Matt Archbold's Final Footnote

Marcel is a great blogger and he asked a bunch of bloggers to write a "last lecture" of sorts. Here's mine:

Matt Archbold's Final Footnote For College Students Many of you probably know about a popular series of lectures on college campuses called “The Last Lecture Series”. Professors (and others) are asked to give a lecture to students as if it were the last presentation they are able to give during their life. Building on this idea - I asked a number of Catholic authors, bloggers, and speakers to answer the following question in 500 words or less:
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Report: Abortionist on Verge of Bankruptcy

There seems to be a complete lack of awareness she did anything wrong. Say a prayer for her.

Ann Kristin Neuhaus, the Kansas abortionist who approved late-term abortion referrals to George Tiller and was later stripped of her medical license, states she is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. The Huffington Post, which refers to Neuhaus as “the latest casualty in the Kansas abortion war,” paints a picture of a victimized abortionist in its report that she is living hand to mouth in a disheveled house in a desolate location in rural Kansas. Her health insurance, which reportedly covers medications for her son’s diabetes, costs her about $1,200 per month, according to the report.
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My Birth Father is a Rapist, But That Doesn't Define Me

Monica Kelsey writes:

As a firefighter and medic, I’ve pretty much seen it all. Seeing these emergencies and catastrophes in the field brings emotions also. But the biggest emotional roller coaster of my life came when I heard that I was conceived during a despicable act. I never thought I would hear the words “conceived in rape” when I reconnected with my birthmother a few years ago. Sitting in her living room and holding my husband’s hand, we heard the horrible details of a dark night back in 1972.
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The ADD Girl Goes to Confession

Funny 'cause it's true.

I went to Confession this week after a solid month of trying. It's hard for a girl with seven kids and ADD. A friend of mine doesn't believe me, so I wrote down the last week's Confession-related activities. This is why I never quite get there:
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A Day in the Life of a Sidewalk Counselor

Amazing and heartbreaking stuff from Badger Catholic.

I narrowly made it to Planned Parenthood in time for my 8:00 a.m. shift on the sidewalk today. My partner this morning was Julie*, one of our best and most prolific sidewalk counselors, and we agreed that she would counsel while I covered her in prayer. As Julie took her position--just a few feet from a used condom somebody has discarded on the sidewalk, I found a place to kneel and begin my Rosary. As the clock struck 8, a Planned Parenthood employee smiling brightly came to unlock the door and welcome the morning's clients. In unison, women emerged from their cars to line up and enter the abortion facility. They scurried in as quickly as they could, hoping to avoid any interaction with Julie and me. The empty look in their glazed-over eyes stood in sharp contrast with the cheery Planned Parenthood employee who welcomed them in. We could tell by their loose fitting sweatpants and wind pants that they were abortion clients. There were around eight or ten of them in all, depending on how many of them were there to be the "support person."
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Horror. Muslims Spot Cross on Taxicab's Dash, Kill Driver

Prayers.

Muslim Brotherhood Supporters Kill Taxi Driver After Spotting Christian Cross On His Dashboard…
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Gov. Christie to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

One of the major problems with this is what counts as "conversion" therapy.

Gov. Chris Christie plans to sign a bill Monday barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight, making New Jersey the second state to ban so-called conversion therapy, along with California.
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Duck Dynasty Stars Use their Fame to Speak on Abstinence, Abortion & Adoption

Love this family. Love the show.

Duck Dynasty, A&E’s hit reality show made rating history when their fourth season premiere was the most watched non-fiction series telecast in cable history. The show focuses on the lives of the Robertson’s who run a family operated business called Duck Commander which makes products for duck hunters. These bearded men have won a place in the hearts of American viewers with 11.8 million people showing their affection by tuning in for the premiere.
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Jewish Man Praises Nun Who Saved Him from Nazis

Such bravery and kindness.

A Jewish Italian who survived the Holocaust after he hid in a convent in Rome has paid tribute to a British “hot cross bun” nun who helped to shelter him from the Nazis. Piero Piperno was one of more than 4,200 Jews who in October 1943 were given sanctuary in the religious houses of the city on the secret orders of the Venerable Pope Pius XII. There, Mother Riccarda Beauchamp Hambrough, who had moved from London to Rome to join a newly revived order of Bridgettine nuns, fed and consoled him and his family and also dissuaded German soldiers from searching her convent for them.
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Fired Lesbian Teacher Won't Get Her Job Back

Glad to see the school didn't back down.

A lesbian teacher challenging her firing by a Roman Catholic school in Ohio will not get her job back as part of a settlement reached with the Diocese of Columbus. The attorneys for Carla Hale and the diocese on Thursday announced that as part of the agreement, she will receive "acknowledgement" for her years of service at Bishop Watterson High School. Both parties declined to give details of the settlement. Hale is a physical education teacher. She had argued she was fired after her mother's obituary included the name of Hale's partner and someone complained.
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College Mispells "College" on Diploma

Hilarious.

College’ misspelled on students’ diplomas at Georgia university Who knew a seven-letter word could cause such embarrassment. Graduates from Georgia Regents University’s Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences were in for a surprise upon receiving their diplomas this month. The statement of academic achievement featured a misspelled word, a mistake dripped in irony as the word “college” in Pamplin College contained three “l’s” instead of two.
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Marcus Grodi: Conversion Starts with a Breach in Our Wall

A convert himself, he should know. The host of my favorite show on television writes:

I’ve often described conversion as starting from a breach in the walls of our defenses. Normally our hearts and minds are ensconced in layers of barriers that form a wall of protection that prevents us from hearing and responding to the truth. By the working of grace, however, a breach can occur—an opportunity or moment of grace (as Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman would say)—through which truth can be seen or heard and then, again by grace, received, or freely rejected—for He never forces Himself upon us. Often, on the Journey Home program or in the conversion stories shared in the Coming Home Network newsletter, some of the many issues that lead to conversion are necessarily condensed, summarized, truncated, and even forgotten over time. Such is true with my own conversion.
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Bishop Tobin Switches from Democrat to Republican

Good for him. I can't believe it took until 2012. But good for him.

Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the diocese of Providence, R.I., said he recently changed his voter registration from Democrat to Republican, noting that the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the Democrats’ strong support for abortion and homosexual “marriage” was the last straw. “The a-ha moment for me was the 2012 Democratic National Convention – it was just awful,” said Tobin on Tuesday before a meeting of the Rhody Young Republicans in Providence. Tobin is 65 and has been a registered Democrat since 1969.
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Nice Story About Catholic Youth Discerning Vocations

The Catholic Sun reports:

A couple of young adults in the Diocese of Phoenix, having tried a more secular approach, are now discerning the call to religious life. Nicole Boujikian, 20, will join the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist as a postulant Aug. 28. God willing, Cesar Ramirez, 29, will soon begin discerning with the Institute of the Incarnate Word.
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Atheist: Hey, Atheists Are Really Annoying

Brendan O'Neill, an atheist, can't stand atheists:

When did atheists become so teeth-gratingly annoying? Surely non-believers in God weren't always the colossal pains in the collective backside that they are today? Surely there was a time when you could say to someone "I am an atheist" without them instantly assuming you were a smug, self-righteous loather of dumb hicks given to making pseudo-clever statements like, "Well, Leviticus also frowns upon having unkempt hair, did you know that?" Things are now so bad that I tend to keep my atheism to myself, and instead mumble something about being a very lapsed Catholic if I'm put on the spot, for fear that uttering the A-word will make people think I'm a Dawkins drone with a mammoth superiority complex and a hives-like allergy to nurses wearing crucifixes.
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Must Watch Vid: The Story of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe.

Check it out:

Greatness isn't just success at the things you accomplish and what you do, but it's success at who you are. One person who was truly a man of greatness and succeeded in making his life a gift for others was a priest named Father Maximilian Kolbe. He was a priest in Poland when the Nazis took over...
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Muslims Torch 22 Churches in Minya

With photos. The persecution of Christians rages on. The world is silent.

Report: Muslim Brotherhood Supporters Torch 22 Churches In Minya…
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Frustrated Mom Blasts Hollywood for Selling Sex to Children

NSFW image but the letter really nails it.

A publicist — who is also a mother — is fed up with Hollywood’s exploitation of sex. Rather than remain silent, she recently penned an epic blog post lampooning the entertainment industry and calling for Tinseltown and society, alike, to come to its moral senses. It all started last week as Rebeca Seitz of Naples, Florida, was enjoying some morning television. As commercials began to air, she could hardly believe her eyes. While she was watching “Good Morning America,” an advertisement for the ABC show “Betrayal” came on, featuring a male and female in the midst of a steamy sex scene. The commercial for the show was apparently graphic, exposing her 8-year-old son to extremely unpalatable content.
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Priest Denies Communion to Same-Sex Couple, Outrage Ensues

NOM blog reports:

Catholic Priest Denies Communion to Same-Sex Couple -- and the Media Reaction that Follows
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This is Funny. Karlen Family Approves Budget. Outrage Ensues

I love the part about the Children's party enraged about their minority status.

The Karlen Family approved and finalized its budget for Fiscal Year 2014 this week, setting the stage for a fifth straight year of sound economic policy for the Waterloo-based family. Grown-Up Party (GUP) Leader Steve said the string of five straight annual budgets is a dramatic improvement over the "I sure hope we're not spending more than we're making!"-based fiscal policy that marked the first several years of the Karlen Household. Notable in this year's budget is a dramatic increase in the grocery budget. "Peter is eating like a horse lately," said GUP Co-Leader Laura. "I mean, he had five pancakes for breakfast yesterday. Can you believe it?" Steve nodded in agreement, muttering something about how "Growing boy or not, that's ridiculous."
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Mom Needs Your Vote to Take Sick Child on a Cruise

You just have to click a button. Come on.

Caregiving Mom to 9YO With Cerebral Palsy Needs Your Vote to Win a Cruise for the Family, No Money – Just Your Vote...
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Mystery Priest in Rescue Comes Forward

Yay.

The mysterious Missouri priest who gave anointing to a woman in her wrecked car near Center, Mo. has been identified as Father Patrick Dowling, of the Diocese of Jefferson City. “I thank God and the amazingly competent rescue workers,” Fr. Dowling stated today in a comment on CNA's original article on the Aug. 4 incident. “I thank them for making me welcome in such a highly charged situation and allowing me to minister as a priest.”
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Funny Parenting Stories

Betsy says she wishes these stories weren't true. But they are.

While at work on his birthday, a coworker asked my husband how old he was. “Forty-seven,” my husband said glibly, choosing an age far enough from the truth so as to be an obvious lie. “Wow, you look good for your age,” the coworker replied. “You don’t look a day over 40!” “I was joking,” responded my husband drily. “I’m only 37.”
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Thomas Peters Recovery : Update: Surgery Scheduled

Thomas Peters Recovery : Update: Surgery Scheduled: Reminder: We are on Day 7 of our Novena Thomas' CT Scan from yesterday showed no signs of infection and he has been cleared for surger...

Achingly Beautiful Post On Carrying and Missing

Mothering Spirit writes:

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We’d planned it perfectly. A baby in early spring, before work got too busy and the summer too hot. The worst of the morning sickness would be passed in time for the holidays, and I could curl up on the couch for football season in the fall when exhaustion set in. We’d have a few months to get the boys adjusted to our addition before the oldest went off to kindergarten, and then I’d have just two at home again. Perfect. Of course, in hindsight I see the hubris of thinking we were in control, of micromanaging the most mysterious realities in our lives.
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Jane Lotter’s “Viral” Obituary: How are Christians to Respond?

Patrick Clark, a theology professor from The University of Scranton, writes:

In the past few days, both the New York Times and the Huffington Post have posted stories about the death and obituary of Jane Lotter, a freelance writer and editor from Seattle. The self-authored obituary has “gone viral” on social media sites, according to Huffington Post columnist Carolyn Gregoire, principally on account of the moving way in which she described the significance of her own life in the face of her impending death. I highly recommend reading this moving obituary, if for no other reason than it is a beautifully written tribute to a beautifully lived life. For Christians, however, it raises a few rather uncomfortable questions.
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The World is in Flames

Dan Burke writes:

In the Discalced Carmelite Propers today is the Feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) who was martyred during the Nazi persecution. At a time close to her death she penned an ominous reflection on the state of the world and of our need to abandon all to Christ.
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Being Gay and a Faithful Catholic

Joseph Prever writes:

I’ve never written a letter to Everyone In The World before. I’m writing to tell you that I’m gay. Before you proceed, please do take 39 seconds to watch and listen to this video, as it perfectly sums up my feelings about all this.
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Catholic College Drops Abortion Coverage After Pressure

Some good news.

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) has told The Cardinal Newman Society that it will drop its employee insurance coverage of abortion but retain its coverage of contraceptives, following protests from a faithful Catholic professor and just prior to publication of a Newman Society report revealing LMU’s benefits plan.
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The Parable of the Lost Sheep, Ala Melvin

Funny 'cause it's true:

Now Jesus did, on many occasions, eat with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other unsavory characters. So the Pharisees and scribes muttered to themselves, "Isn't it truly said, 'A leopard is known by his stripes, and a man by his actions'?"* And Jesus defended himself, saying, "Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep." And James said to him, "But we're fishermen! What would we do with sheep?" And Andrew said, likewise, "Can you imagine taking them out on the boat? They'd probably get tangled up in the nets!" "Yeah," said John. "And they'd probably get seasick! We'd be cleaning sheep spew out of the boats for weeks!"
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GAO Investigated Planned Parenthood

Who'd a thunk that people who kill babies for a living are willing to defraud the government:

In the wake of a $4.3 million settlement paid in Texas after allegations of fraud, Planned Parenthood will be investigated by the Government Accountability Office, as reported by Fox News:
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Kirsten Powers: Wendy Davis Says the Darnedest Things

Whether it's willful ignorance or lies doesn't really matter, does it?

The Democratic star du jour was asked this week to explain the difference between the late-term abortions she fought to keep legal in Texas and the illegal killings by Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. “I don’t know what happened in the Gosnell case,” she told the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack, who cornered her after her National Press Club speech on Monday
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Why Do Catholic Bibles Have Seven More Books than Christian Bibles?

Dr. Michael Barber of John Paul the Great University explains why Protestants exclude the Deuterocanonical books from their Bibles. Check out the video here. Continue reading>>>

Petition to Stop the Abortion Censorship

Live Action is calling on the media to tell the truth for once.

I call on the United States' major distributors of news and information to do their jobs.
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The New Star Wars Movie Poster? Or a Nightmare?

For those of you hate Jar Jar as much as I do.

And The Winner Of The Internet Is…
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Priest Comes Out of Nowhere to Aid Accident Victim

This story is everywhere now. Pretty cool stuff.

Rescue workers in northeast Missouri struggled to extricate a young woman involved in a serious car wreck - until a mysterious priest arrived and helped calm rescuers and the victim. Now, friends and family of the rescued woman want to know: Who was that mysterious clergy?
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You Must Let Us Marry on Your Property

Freedom and tolerance.

Suppose you decide to rent your wedding hall out to couples to hold their weddings but you also hold a religious belief that marriage is the union of a husband and wife. Can you act on your beliefs in the public square? In Iowa, Mennonite owners of a wedding venue (operating since 2002) face an investigation by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission after the owners declined to allow their business to be used for a same-sex marriage ceremony. (The Iowa Supreme Court mandated a redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples in 2009.)
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The Story of Ann de Gaulle and her Father

Donald McCarey has this wonderful story:

Charles de Gaulle could be a very frustrating man. Churchill, in reference to de Gaulle, said that the heaviest cross he had to bear during the war was the Cross of Lorraine, the symbol of the Free French forces. Arrogant, autocratic, often completely unreasonable, de Gaulle was all of these. However, there is no denying that he was also a great man. Rallying the Free French forces after the Nazi conquest of France, he boldly proclaimed, “France has lost a battle, France has not lost the war.” For more than a few Frenchmen and women, de Gaulle became the embodiment of France. It is also hard to dispute that De Gaulle is the greatest Frenchman since Clemenceau, “The Tiger”, who led France to victory in World War I. However, de Gaulle was something more than a great man, he was also at bottom a good man, as demonstrated by his youngest daughter Anne de Gaulle.
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Must Read: The Death of a Young Loved One as an Occasion of Grace

Mark Zia, a theologian at Benedictine College, writes of the death of his son.

If I were to ask a dozen people “what is the worst thing that could happen in life,” I have no doubt that “death of a loved one” would be a common response, and if I were to ask what could be even worse than the death of a loved one, no doubt an even more heart-wrenching response would be “the death of a loved one who was also a child.” Today marks the two-year anniversary of the death of my youngest son, who unexpectedly passed from this life to the next shortly after his birth. I am thankful to Almighty God for the gift of my youngest son, who lived and thrived for many months within our family while still in the womb. When there could just as well not been life, God gifted us with the life of our little boy whom we were able to hold in the hospital and who will always live in our hearts. In these past two years, I have often reflected on the difficult questions of life, including the meaning of death of the innocent, and yet as I continue to grieve, I also continue to see more than a ray of hope in an otherwise tragic situation. It is an unexpected journey for me, because as a professional theologian, I have always approached these issues from a pastoral and academic perspective, but never through lived experience. Citing the difference, Pope Pius XII said it best: “We get learning from books, but we get wisdom from suffering.”
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A Right to Life Divorce Over Marriage

Uh-oh.

Can’t we all just get along? Apparently not in Ohio, where LifeSiteNews reports that the National Right to Life Committee has cut the cord to Cleveland Right to Life because the latter has criticized pro-life Republican Sen. Rob Portman for supporting…same-sex marriage? In June, CRTL announced that they were expanding their mission to include the defense of marriage, arguing that the move was necessary in order to cultivate an enduring culture of life:
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Detroit Bankrupt. High Abortion Rate. Any Connection?

Mmm Yeah.

A recurring image in stories about Detroit’s bankruptcy is darkness, loss of light: 40 percent of the city’s streetlights do not work. It’s a terribly magnificent metaphor for the loss of life the city has seen. Over the past 60 years, the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent. Is it any wonder that as the individual minds that once illuminated the city left, Detroit’s light eventually dimmed?
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The LandfillHarmonic Orchestra

This is one of the most awesome and inspiring things I've ever seen. It took everything in me not to steal the vid from LarryD.

Have you seen this? It’s one of those videos that inspires you with the indomitable spirit of human creativity, while simultaneously filling you with poignancy and compassion, given the kids’ abject poverty. Even in an environment where ugliness and desolation reign, one can extract beauty and loveliness to dissipate even the heaviest of glooms.
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Wendy Davis is Staggeringly Dishonest

What? Who? Kermit Gosnell? What's that?

Wendy Davis told John McCormack that she didn't know what happened in the Gosnell case, using the ploy of Strategic Ignorance to avoid his next question (What do you think we should do to avoid future Gosnells?). She claimed she had no idea of what happened in Gosnell's clinic, despite launching a filiibuster against a law directly inspired by Gosnell, then added all she did know about Gosnell was that he operated a regulated ambulatory surgical center.
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Last Meal, Last Chance. Convicted Killer Chooses Christ

Love can reach us all. It is not something we deserve. It is a gift.

On September 21, 2011, Troy Davis died in Georgia. Davis, you may know, was convicted of murdering a police officer. But in the twenty years since the crime, seven of the nine key witnesses have recanted their testimony. The lack of clarity regarding the case sparked anti-death penalty backlash. Groups including Amnesty International and the NAACP petitioned the courts to grant Davis a new trial or evidentiary hearing. World leaders including Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Renate Wohlwend of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, and former President Jimmy Carter called for a review of the case.
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Taylor Marshall Asks if Smoking Marijuana is a Sin?

So are Cheech, Chong, and Seth Rogen going to Hell?

Does smoking marijuana count as a sin? I’m in beautiful Colorado and yes the natives are toking. As you know, marijuana is becoming legal in certain states. So once again, the ethics of marijuana are back on the table. If smoking marijuana is no longer illegal, is there any other moral reason why Christians should avoid it? Saint Paul told us to obey the arbitrary laws of our nation (speed limits in school zones) for the common good.
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Saint GK Chesterton?

David Mills at First Thoughts reports:

The bishop of Northampton will open the cause for the canonization of G. K. Chesterton, the head of the American Chesterton Society has announced, according to a tweet a friend forwarded. A story on this I have not been able to find on the web. But assuming it’s true:
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Top 10 Topics That SHOULD Be Blogged About But Aren't

Ha! Funny stuff.

A couple years ago, I posted the AoftheA Editorial Board’s Top Ten topics that will rock your Catholic blog. Reading the list, you’ll notice that they’ve been argued over and over across the Catholic blogosphere in one form or another – I don’t take credit for the popularity of the topics, mind you. They’re just the best topics you can blog about if you want to generate traffic and conversation – and if you’re really lucky, a link from Pewsitter, or BigPulpit, and maybe even a column of repudiation/agreement from someone on Patheos. But let’s be honest – those topics are getting stale. They’re racehorses that have run the circuit, and ought to be put out to pasture. They’re the same ol’ same ol’ – repetitive with no new insights to offer, complete with carbon copy comments. In my opinion, anyone blogging on those topics is guilty of not using their imagination, or succumbing to mediocrity in order to boost page views. Anybody can shoot fish in a barrel – the trick is to catch new fish.
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Wendy Davis Calls Late-Term Abortion "Sacred Ground."

Ick.

Wendy Davis hasn’t yet finished playing out her losing hand in Texas yet. The state Senator that unsuccessfully filibustered a bill banning late-term abortions that had the support of 62% of Texas voters says she might run for governor next year — in part to get a change from “very partisan” leadership:
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Your Help is Hurting

How and why Church foreign aid may make things worse.

How Church Foreign Aid Programs Make Things Worse
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Catholic High School Fires Teacher after Same-Sex Marriage, Outrage and Petitions Ensue

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Proposition 8, a California man was fired from teaching at a Catholic high school after a local newspaper in southern California, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, ran a story and published a video of his same-sex marriage to another man. Ken Bencomo had taught at St. Lucy’s Priory High School for more than 16 years. According to NY Daily News, Bencomo’s lawyer, Patrick McGarrigle, said that Bencomo was told by a school administrator that he was losing his job because his same-sex marriage was “in public and violated the Church’s teaching.”
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Wendy Davis, In Touch with Media, Out of Touch with Women

Texas legislator and radical abortion advocate Wendy Davis got so much love from the media recently you'd never know that a majority of women disagree with her.

Today, pro-abortion activist state senator Wendy Davis (D-TX) will speak at the National Press Club. Prior to the event, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), pointed to recent polling showing that a majority of women support the legislation Davis became famous opposing. SBA List suggested three questions for reporters to ask Davis during the Q&A:
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Pro-Lifers Save Baby

An amazing story.

Two anti-abortion campaigners saved the life of a baby that was due to be terminated at an abortion clinic in Brighton, UK this week. Abort67 volunteers Pauline Peachy and Kathryn Attwood were outside the Wistons abortion clinic when a young woman got out of a taxi and entered the clinic. A little while later, the woman emerged from the clinic, having not taken the pill, and came to hear what they had to say. "She took some leaflets, but when I showed her the little feet pin she started to cry. We talked together for a while. We asked her what help she needed to keep the baby, said that whatever it was, we could provide it - God has never let us down!," explains Peachy. She and Attwood then went with the woman to a nearby café where they could talk more about her options.
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Group Calls on Facebook to Remove Page That Says Mary Should Have Aborted Jesus

Hatred. Pure and simple.

A group of concerned Christians are calling on Facebook to remove a page that promotes the notion that the Virgin Mary of the Bible should have received an abortion. Titled “Virgin Mary Should’ve Aborted,” the administrator of the page claims to “explain what really happened in the biblical times, since the bible is full of lies.”
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Please Keep Praying for Thomas Peters and Family

They need them.

So many of you have been asking (we love the particular questions! Thank you for sending them!): Friday afternoon the speech therapist came back! She worked with Thomas testing his swallow with liquids and soft foods. Swallowing is definitely a big challenge for him right now. His throat muscles are weak, his throat is sore from the suctioning, and his trach infection is likely causing some additional swelling in his throat.
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Shock News. Barney Frank is an Atheist

Who saw this coming?

Yes, former Congressman Barney Frank is gay. Yes, Barney Frank is liberal. Yes, Barney Frank is a Democrat from generally-progressive Massachusetts. Yes, we all probably assumed he was an atheist. But until now, his official religious affiliation (PDF) had always been “Jewish.”
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The 10 Dumbest Things Said in Defense of Abortion

Cassy Fiano writes this great list:

The past few years haven’t been great for abortion. More and more people are calling themselves pro-life, including more young Americans than ever before. Pro-life laws are being passed in record numbers each year. While it would be foolish to say that pro-lifers are winning the war on abortion, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that we’re making progress — and that has the pro-aborts panicking.
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21 Ways Catholics Break Up With Each Other

This is truly funny and so clever:

Because sometimes you just need to stick a fork in it and go in peace to love and serve the Lord. 1. “I just think you would look really good in vestments.”
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