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I Don't Like the Rosary. 6 Reasons I Pray it Anyway

This is great.

A few months ago I went to confession at a conference where I was speaking and made the mistake of wearing my nametag into the confessional. Now, I’m not terribly concerned that Father would connect my name with my sins–it’s not like there’s anything he could do about it if he did. But my nametag identified me as a speaker at the conference, which evidently gave him the idea that I was serious about holiness because he gave me a rosary for my penance. You read that right. A whole rosary.
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Brittany Maynard Planned to Die on Nov. 1. Now, Her Plans Have Changed.

Keep the prayers coming.

Brittany Maynard, the Oregon woman who made news earlier this month with her plans to die on Nov. 1, has released a new video announcing a change in plans. Maynard, who has terminal brain cancer, still intends to choose when she dies, “I still feel good enough and I still have enough joy and I still laugh and smile with my family and friends enough that it doesn’t seem like the right time right now,” although “it will come, because I feel myself getting sicker. It’s happening each week.”
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City Reverses Itself, Won't Force Chapel to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

Good news. Hey, we'll take what we can get.

In Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the Hitching Post, a for-profit wedding chapel across the street from the county clerk's office now seems in the clear to refuse to perform same-sex marriages. Earlier this month, the ministers filed suit against the city which had threatened to enforce its non-discrimination ordinance against the chapel. (See prior posting.) However now, as reported Friday by Boise State Public Radio, the city attorney says that the chapel is exempt, even though it is a for-profit entity. Last month it reorganized as a limited liability company and provided in its operating agreement: "The Hitching Post is a religious corporation owned solely by ordained ministers of the Christian religion who operate this entity as an extension of their sincerely held religious beliefs and in accordance with their vows taken as Christian ministers."
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Conversion Story: From Atheist to Catholic

I love conversion stories:

The upbringing I underwent in New South Wales, Australia —partly in Sydney, but mainly in the village of Mulgoa— was one of complete, although predominantly quiet and civil, atheism. Both my parents (who are now dead) spent their childhood as Presbyterians, but shed religious belief soon after attaining adulthood. My father was the philosopher and political polemicist David Stove. During his undergraduate years, he fell under the spell of the militantly atheistic guru John Anderson of the University of Sydney's philosophy department. Except that "fell under" seems a much too gentle phrase to describe what my father and thousands like him experienced at Anderson's none-too-scrupulous — and, where females were concerned, lecherous — hands.
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Answers I Wish I Had

This is just painful and beautiful. This is why blogs were made.

One night in September, right at the tail end of summer, I was exhausted. I had woken up before the sun, before my roommate, and before the birds - by 8pm, I was curled up in bed, ready to watch a chick flick, eat fancy sea-salted dark chocolate and end up crying. Sometimes that carefully buried bottle of tears just needs to be broken before the world can start looking better, you know?
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Shiny, Empty Uteruses

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway writes:

In the opening pages of her book Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, Katha Pollitt tells readers that her mother had an abortion in 1960. Her mother’s FBI file, which Katha read after her death, said she was in the care of a physician for “gynecological problems.” Pollitt says her father never knew about the abortion and neither did she, which made her angry “the way one can be angry at one’s mother for having a life outside her child’s ken.” (Yes, she manages to equate abortion with “having a life.”)
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Ross Douthat: Why I Am a Catholic

I'm still working through it but it's definitely worth sharing and reading:

Of all the columns I imagined writing when I started out at this job, it’s safe to say that Sunday’s piece, in which I suggested that conservative Catholics should “resist” their pope if he seems intent on leading the church off a doctrinal precipice, was not one of them. So it’s worth saying something briefly about my own personal religious perspective on the church to which I belong.
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Loyola Chicago Club Approves Pagan Student Club on Campus

Everything is permitted.

Loyola University Chicago (LUC) has recognized a student group on campus which was recently described as the Loyola Student Pagan Alliance, but is now approved under the name Indigenous Faith Tradition Alliance, according to College Fix. The group offers itself to students interested in “New Age” religions, despite the Catholic Church’s prohibition against associated practices.
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Pregnancy centers, not politics – the future of the pro-life movement

EWTN News:

Amid the chilling dark chaos of a woman’s unwanted and unexpected pregnancy, a group of pro-life Catholics try to be a light to both the mother and the unborn child. Their mission is in an unassuming plot in a modest town well outside the sprawling Washington, D.C. suburbs. Not much car traffic passes through town other than tourists on their way to see the mountain leaves turn every October.
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The Hideous Glee the Media Takes in a Palin Being Assaulted

The CNN video is sick. Just sick. Good for Matt Lewis for pointing this out.

Matt Lewis shames the press for laughing at Bristol Palin’s physical assault Apparently, the usual sober and fraught political commentary that often accompanies episodes of physical violence directed toward women disappears when the subject of that violence is a Palin. The political press had a hearty chuckle at the expense of the Palins when it first broke that the former first family of Alaska was involved in an alcohol-fueled brawl. The “thrilla in Wasilla,” some called it. One might, however, have expected the laughter to die down after local police released audio of Bristol Palin who described through hysterical tears how she had been assaulted, dragged through the grass, and robbed of her affects. It did not.
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20 Images that Prove St. John Paul II was the Coolest Saint Ever

A hipster even. The Catholic Gentleman thinks so.

Pope St. John Paul II was an extraordinary man. He traveled to more countries than any other pope. He helped bring communism to its knees. He was shot and lived to tell about it. He suffered a debilitating disease heroically. He inspired millions around the globe to pursue Jesus Christ and strive for holiness. And much, much more. Yet, there is one more more achievement than can be added to his long list of incredible accomplishments: He was cool. How many saints do you know who wore converse and hipster glasses? Even Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati can’t claim that.
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Feminist video of little girls highly offensive

This is child abuse.

[Warning: graphic language] This should be hard to watch for decent people- especially decent Catholic and all Christian parents. This is a video promotion to sell liberal/LBGT/feminist/gaylove/equality t-shirts using little girls dropping the f-bomb and other vile language.
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Peter Kreeft: To Save Your Soul, You Must Opt Out of the “Culture of Death”

Joy is possible.

“I should just always ask what God wants me to do and then do it. That’s all, isn’t it?” wondered a 6-year-old Peter Kreeft. A longtime Boston College philosophy professor, he cites this gift from God as his first “important conscious discovery.” Kreeft joined the BC faculty in 1965 and has written over 70 books, all building upon this first realization. The circumstances of this pivotal moment are somewhat surprising, according to Kreeft. It was a Sunday after church with his parents, who raised him as a Dutch Calvinist. He eventually entered Calvin College in 1955.
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Unrealistic Stock Photos Of Parenting With Hilarious, More Relatable Captions

Some of these are laugh out loud funny. Continue reading>>>

Raleigh Seminarian with terminal brain cancer responds to Brittany Maynard

Must read of the day:

Philip Johnson, a 30-year-old Catholic seminarian from the Diocese of Raleigh who has terminal brain cancer, has written an article responding to Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old woman who has publicly stated her plan to commit suicide due to the fact that she has a terminal brain cancer. Johnson is vocal about his disagreement that suicide would preserve one’s dignity in the face of a debilitating illness.
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So You Want Abortion Laws More Like Europe?

Penn Democrats haven't done their homework.

The Penn Democrats wrote an op-ed in defense of “reproductive rights” for the Daily Pennsylvanian, arguing that women have the right to employer-paid abortion drugs and that abortion-clinic safety rules are “unnecessary.” Fair enough. But these defenders of bodily integrity make a curious case for their contention that America’s abortion laws are “decades behind many other countries”:
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The New Yorker Profiles Women Against Abortion

The SBA List if profiled:

One afternoon in May, Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, took the Senate floor to ask for a vote on a provocatively named bill: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after twenty weeks of gestation. “There are only seven countries in the world that allow elective abortions at this stage,” he said. “At twenty weeks, people have been born and survived.” Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, offered a sharp rebuttal. The law would “drive more women to rogue doctors,” she said, and added a charge that is frequently aimed at Republicans these days: “It’s a war on women.” This was a spirited debate, though not a suspenseful one. Graham knew that Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, would not allow a vote on his bill. But he wanted to be seen trying to do something about abortion in America.
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Marriage Issue is For All The Marbles

John Zmirak states that what is at stake is the Papacy itself and the claim of the Catholic Church.

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Cybil Shepherd Dsicusses Rediscovering her Christian Faith

Nice to hear.

Cybill Shepherd was born into a Christian family and was even a staple in her church choir by age 8, but the actress recently revealed that she eventually stopped praying and lost touch with her faith — until recently. Cybill Shepherd visits ‘Extra’ at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 16, 2014 in Universal City, California. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images) The entertainer, known for starring roles in shows like “Cybill” and “The L Word,” said during a recent panel discussion about her new, faith-based film, “Do You Believe,” that she’s feeling spiritually renewed. Shepherd described losing touch with her Christian roots before later rediscovering them through prayer and a reconnection with her childhood faith, according to the Christian Post. “I was born a Christian, sang in the choir then I lost touch with my savior Jesus Christ. I stopped talking to Him and praying,” she said. “Then I just started talking to Jesus and I started to feel really good and I got the offer to do this film.”
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Is Halloween an Evil Holiday?

Good answer.

Nope! The word itself means “All Hallows’ Eve” (“hallow” is an old-fashioned word for holy) because it’s the night before the feast of All Saints. There’s a lot of research that’s been done on the origin of this holiday but I’ll save you the long version and just tell you: it was always our holiday.
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A Bishop Who is Unapologetically Catholic

I got your ecumenism right here!!

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The Vindication of Christian Sexual Ethics

I do wonder if there is a recognizable "Christian Sexual Ethic" anymore in that some denominations have strayed so wildly but I think David French's point is well made.

Over at The Weekly Standard, Heather Mac Donald has penned an outstanding cover story chronicling the ongoing collapse of sexual-revolution values on college campuses. It turns out that sexual “liberation” has not led to sexual fulfillment, but instead to a landscape littered with broken hearts, long-lasting psychic pain, and a consequent desperate effort to create and enforce a bizarre “neo-Victorian” sexual ethic grounded not in any real morality, but instead in an effort to use institutional power to shift the emotional, psychological, and legal consequences of sexual regret and ambiguity to men and — as much as possible — men alone.
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'People stare at my baby and say I should have aborted him but he's a miracle'

It's almost like these parents believe life is sacred or something.

Lacey Buchanan and her husband Chris were thrilled when they were told they were expecting a son. But they had no idea of the heartbreaking struggle that lay ahead
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Why do so many liberals despise Christianity?

Damon Linker writes:

Liberals increasingly want to enforce a comprehensive, uniformly secular vision of the human good. And they see alternative visions of the good as increasingly intolerable.
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Pope Benedict’s private secretary speaks on Synod, divorce, same-sex relations

Interesting:

Pope Benedict’s private secretary has given a surprise interview on some of the hot-button issues at the Vatican’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family, advancing views aligned with those expressed by Pope Benedict during his time as cardinal and pope. In the interview published in the print edition of Chi magazine last week, Archbishop Georg Gänswein said, "The Church has always declared, based on the Scriptures and tradition, that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” The acts, he said, “are contrary to natural law, because they prevent the gift of life, the purpose of the sexual act.”
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Father Check from Courage Responds to Synod Report

This is important. Good job Register.

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Another College Joins the Trend: University of Mary Institutes Single-Sex Dorm Policy

Good news:

The University of Mary (Mary) in Bismarck, N.D., recently completed the transformation of student housing on campus and, starting this semester, now only offers single-sex residence halls. Single-sex housing serves as a “visible sign” that students “associate with Catholic identity,” explained Dr. Timothy Seaworth, vice president for student development, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Mary is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity. The Cardinal Newman Society released the 2015 edition of the Guide this week along with an innovative new “Recruit Me” program that lets students sign up so the recommended Catholic colleges can compete for them.
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84 Year Old Nun Makes Ironman History. Again.

Nice.

Next week, some of the toughest athletes in the world will compete in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Among them will be an 84-year old Catholic nun from Spokane who is about to make Ironman history - again. Sister Madonna Buder's story is part of Ironman lore. She says a message from God got her to take up running at age 49. 35 years and hundreds of races later, she's still going strong and has opened up several Ironman age groups for women. She says she keeps herself busy on the grueling Ironman course by keeping up a constant dialogue with God. "When they say 'you've got God on your side,' I say, so do you! You just have to refer to him," Sister Buder says.
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Cardinal Burke: Synod's mid-term report "lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium"

CWR:

The Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura says that a statement from Pope Francis "is long overdue"
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The Deadliest Words in the World: "It's a Girl"

Eric Metaxas writes:

Long-time listeners to BreakPoint will know that my colleagues and I consider the sanctity of life a global issue. Not only is abortion an injustice no matter where it takes place, but the social disasters wrought by killing millions of babies in the womb are hard to imagine. Nowhere is this truer than in China, where the government’s infamous one-child policy has snuffed out a generation of girls and left a gender imbalance probably without precedent in human history. Chillingly, on this year’s 34th anniversary of the policy’s enactment, 34 million Chinese boys face the fact that they’ll never find wives, because those women were simply never born.
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Cardinal Burke: Relatio Demonstrates Manipulation of Synod Reporting

Pastoral.

The reaction to the Relatio post disceptationem at the Extraordinary Synod on the family continues to be felt. In the Vatican press office today, John Thavis described these as the “aftershocks” to the “pastoral earthquake” of the release of the relatio yesterday. One of the more conservative members of the College of Cardinals called for the publication of all interventions in its aftermath. Cardinal Raymond Burke also accused the General Secretariat of the Synod of manipulating the document for its own favored outcome in an interview with Catholic World Report:
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I know I made the right call, says mum who reversed abortion pill

21st century technology helps to save a life.

A young American mum has spoken of her despair after she was convinced to take the controversial RU-486 abortion pill at a Planned Parenthood clinic – and immediately regretted it. “I was crying and I was alone,” recalled Chaveste, a 20-year-old college student who lives in the Sacramento area. Salvation came from that most unlikely of sources – a smartphone. “Thank God for smartphones,” she told Catholic San Francisco. Sitting in her car outside Planned Parenthood, “I googled ‘RU-486’ and found a website for RU-486 reversals. She thought it was fake but called anyway and even though the website was for an organisation in San Diego, the woman at the end of the phone found a doctor nearby to help her.
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Who's Your Favorite Christian Character on Television?

I can't think of any offhand:

Who is your favorite Christian character on television? That’s a tough one given the limited options, like the kind of choices you’d get in a socialist cafeteria. For years, the best we had going for us was The Simpsons’ Ned Flanders. And that’s not saying much … except that Christians can have neatly trimmed mustaches. Generally speaking, the rules of thumb for representing Christians in medialand go something like this:
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Why Have More Kids?

The answer is simple:

Recently, on an older post about exhaustion, I received this comment: “I don’t want to offend anyone but why do people keep having more kids if they are already exhausted with 1 or 2 they do have?” There are so many answers I could give, but for me, it all boils down to this: Anything of value is exhausting.
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Woman Writes Open Letter to Baby She's About to Abort

This is just heartbreaking. Awful.

A heartbreaking open letter posted to Reddit last night comes from a woman who claims she is pregnant and plans to abort her unborn child next week. In the note titled, “I am getting an abortion next Friday. An Open Letter to the Little Life I Won’t Get to Meet,” the writer — Reddit user scaredthrowingaway — spoke directly to the child, saying she simply isn’t ready to be a parent.
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Yes, Plan B Can Kill Embryos

Dr. Donna Harrison writes:

Some researchers and others have claimed categorically that Plan B — a high dose of Levonorgestrel — has no effect on human embryos. Media outlets in recent days have echoed these claims. The research studies, however, don’t support that conclusion.
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Why I'm NOT Going to Take My Own Life

A testimony of love and life.

By now, most of you have heard the story of Brittany Maynard, a glioblastoma patient, who is going to commit suicide. She has joined "Compassion & Choices" formerly known as the Hemlock Society, who advocates for legalized euthanasia. In fact, this group has made a video with sad and ominous music and a lot of words about "death with dignity", "compassion", "choice", "suffering", "enough is enough". Like Kara Tippetts, My heart goes out to Brittany and her family. I want Brittany to know that she is loved, not just by her family and friend, but also by me. I will keep Brittany and Kara in my prayers and good thoughts, just as I do Cheryl Broyles.
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Company Rejects, Maligns Applicant for Her Christian Beliefs and Education

Wow. This one just gets worse and worse. And then a little worse.

A graduate from Trinity Western University says that a hiring manager for Canada's North for Amaruk Wilderness Corp. informed her that her application for an internship at the company was rejected because of her Christian beliefs and education at a Christian university. In her complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, Bethany Paquette provided a series of discriminatory emails from executives at Amaruk.One of the emails was from hiring manager Olaf Amundsen, who told Paquette that she did not meet the minimum requirements to be a guide. He then callously added: “Additionally, considering you were involved with Trinity Western University, I should mention that, unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want.
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An Open Letter to Parents Expecting a “Crippled Kid”

A must read. Truly.

Last weekend after wheelchair basketball practice, Ella and I were discussing her teammates and why they were in chairs. I explained to her that most of the kids had spina bifida, and what that meant. She asked why she’d never met anyone with SB before she was in a wheelchair herself. I explained that most parents of children with spina bifida, and other debilitating birth defects, choose to terminate their pregnancies rather than have children who are disabled. She was upset by the thought that anyone would think her life, or those of her friends, was somehow deficient, so she wrote a letter to parents who are expecting a “crippled kid.”
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Couple Welcomes Terminal 'Bucket List' Baby, Then Says Goodbye

Every life is sacred. Thanks for GMA for posting it.

The Pennsylvania couple that carried out a heartbreaking bucket list for an unborn baby with a terminal condition announced the birth of the boy today, and his death a few hours later. "Today at 6:15 a.m., after meeting his entire family and being baptized into the Catholic faith, baby Shane died peacefully in his Mother's arms," Jenna and Dan Haley of Philadelphia wrote in a Facebook message. "We are so grateful for the time that we were blessed to hold and hug our son." Touching Reason This Couple Completed a Bucket List for Their Unborn Child Shane was diagnosed with anencephaly, a brain defect in which a baby is born without parts of its brain and skull and isn't expected to survive. Almost all babies die shortly after birth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Pray for Brittany, Her Death Is Scheduled for November 1st

Sr. Theresa writes:

When I first read about Brittany Maynard on People.com I gasped. Brittany’s smile is beautiful and her life circumstance so tragic. At 29-years old Brittany has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given months to live. She has moved to Oregon where assisted suicide is legal so she can end her life as she says “on her own terms.” The article about her story has already been shared almost 100,000 times.
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Catholics Review "Thou Shall Not Steal" in Economics

I, for one, do not understand the affinity so many Catholics have for leftism:

The social teaching of the Catholic Church is a sizeable cloak of many colors. Its lineage is ancient and sacred, arising as it does from Biblical instruction and most emphatically from Jesus’ own words and example. These scriptural passages have been elucidated over many centuries by Church fathers and doctors and, since the late nineteenth century, by encyclicals or other formal papal statements. Inasmuch as the Church has been functioning (as Thomas Babington Macaulay famously put it) since cameleopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheater, the body of putatively authoritative social teaching is, as one might imagine, not merely copious but complex. One must say putatively because not everything passing under the label of “Catholic social teaching” (or “doctrine”: the terms are commonly interchanged) is necessarily binding on the devout conscience.
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Old Liberals, Young Liberals and the Breakdown of the Family

Catholic World Report:

A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds significant differences between younger and older liberals, differences that are not encouraging either to orthodox religious believers or to the older liberals. The Next Generation Left (NGL) are at one with older liberals on the social issues, notably abortion and homosexual marriage, and it is primarily those issues which hold the Democratic constituencies together. But the NGL is notably less liberal on economic issues. Only nine per cent of older liberals think America’s economic system is fair, while 36 per cent of the NGL does. Over 8o per cent of older liberals think the government should help the needy, as opposed to only 39 per cent of the NGL, 32 per cent of whom think the poor lack initiative and rely on handouts. As R. R. Reno of First Things says, the Pew study seems to show that the NGL “…marry free market individualism with an affirmation of lifestyle freedom unhindered by and sometimes antagonistic to religion, morality, and social solidarity.”
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Ross Douthat on Mercy and Marriage

Sometimes what seems like mercy is unmerciful.

In this particular case, the case of a contemplated change to church teaching on remarriage and divorce, that injustice might fall on those children (or spouses) who currently feel protected, secured, and supported by the line the church draws on marriage and the ideal it upholds, and who might be more easily betrayed or abandoned in a world where the church’s attitude toward divorce seems to be rapidly converging with the wider culture’s laissez faire. Or, in a more complex way, the injustice might fall on those Catholics, like Mensch, whose personal situation conflicts with church teaching in a way that feels like a cross, but one that seems to them worth carrying; or on those Catholics who stand to benefit in various ways, practical and spiritual, from going through an annulment process that, in a world where the remarried could take communion with having their prior marriage declared null, might atrophy and disappear.
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Saved by the Bell’ star: I would have become a father at 15, but my baby was aborted

A moving interview.

Former teen heartthrob Mario Lopez, who skyrocketed to fame in the late '80s and 1990s playing A.C. Slater in Saved by the Bell, has revealed he is a post-abortive father. In his newly published memoirs Just Between Us, Lopez comes clean about his hypersexual behavior, which began in childhood and cost him a child and a marriage. Sex became his “drug of choice” early in his life, he wrote.
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13 Warnings About the Devil from Pope Francis

Church Pop has the story:

So the greatest trick of the Devil is convincing people he doesn’t exist? Pope Francis is not impressed. Starting with his very first homily as the bishop of Rome, Pope Francis has regularly reminded believers that the Devil is real, that we must be on guard, and that our only hope against him is in Jesus Christ. Here are are 13 of Pope Francis’ most direct quotes on the matter.
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Why Do Catholics Have So Many Kids?

It ain't patriarchal oppression that's for sure.

"Wow, you've sure got your hands full." No matter how many times I hear this and no matter how well intentioned the speaker, it always rubs me the wrong way. One time in the grocery store I did actually lift my hands from the cart, bearing two blonde heads, and hold them up in the air whilst the baby dangled from the Ergo across my midsection and loudly announced "NOT RIGHT NOW I DON'T!" which sent the kindly fifty-something woman sharing the bread aisle with me scooting backward, nervously, laughing out of confusion and fear. But yes, I suppose my hands are full. I just feel like I'm in some kind of bizarre, narrative-driven ABC family drama when complete strangers announce it to me over and over again. Can you imagine yelling to a man walking his dog down the street "wow, you must pick up crap all day long!" or maybe suggesting to a person in a wheelchair "Man, I bet your arms are always tired!" Not that I'm comparing my children to dog poop or a mobility impairment, but come on people, let's try to be a little more creative.
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The New Newman Guide is Out!

With a great new "Recruit Me" program. Check it out.

An innovative new “Recruit Me” program gives high school students the opportunity to get recruited by the 27 faithful Catholic colleges, universities and higher education programs recommended in the 2015 edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, which was released today by The Cardinal Newman Society. Families can view The Newman Guide and its companion magazine, My Future, My Faith, online for free or purchase print copies at TheNewmanGuide.com.
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October 7: Feast of Our Lady of Victory

The struggle continues:

For those who know little history, today’s battle with ISIS in the Middle East may seem new and unprecedented. It is not. In a.d. 622, Mohammed set out from Medina to conquer the whole Christian world for Allah by force of arms. Within a hundred years, his successors had occupied and pillaged every Christian capital of the Middle East, from Antioch through North Africa (home of Saint Augustine) and Spain. All that remained outside Allah’s reign was the northern arc from Southern France to Constantinople.
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Catholic Bishop: Fight ‘Satanist-Driven Islamic Organizations’

CNS News reports:

“Christians must do everything within their powers to protect their lives from being snuffed off by Satanist-driven Islamic organizations,” Bishop Joseph Bagobiri, the Roman Catholic head of Nigeria’s Kafanchan Diocese, said Sunday, according to Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper. Bishop Bagobiri also noted, according to the Vanguard, that Christians have a "grave duty" to use “moderate and proportionate force” to defend their families against Islamic groups such as Boko Haram, which is responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians since 2009
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California Catholic Conference Files Federal Complaint Against State's Abortion Mandate

Fighting back. Something tells me that this won't be successful but perhaps this is merely the opening salvo.

California's Catholic leadership has filed a federal civil rights complaint over a state requirement that health insurance cover abortions. The California Catholic Conference, which represents the state's bishops and archbishops, sent a letter Tuesday to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It contends that California's Department of Managed Health Care discriminated against those morally opposed to abortion and requests an investigation. The complaint is under review, said Rachel Seeger, spokeswoman for the federal agency's Office for Civil Rights.
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Fr. Barron on Aquinas' Argument for God Through Motion

I was just going over these with my oldest daughter and found this new article by Fr. Barron interesting.

One of the unintended but happy consequences of the emergence of the new atheism is a renewed interest in the classical arguments for God’s existence. Eager to defend the faith that is so vigorously attacked today, Catholic apologists and evangelists have been recovering these rational demonstrations of the truth of God; and the atheists, just as eager to defend their position, have entered into the fray. In the process, these ancient arguments, long thought by many to be obsolete, have found a new relevance and have been brought to greater clarity through the give and take of both critics and advocates. Thomas Aquinas famously laid out five arguments for the existence of God, but he characterized one of them as “the first and more manifest way.” This is the proof from motion, which can be presented simply and schematically as follows. Things move. Since nothing moves itself, everything that is moved must be moved by another. If that which causes the motion is itself being moved, then it must be moved by another. This process cannot go on to infinity. Therefore, there must exist a first unmoved mover, which all people call God
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Young Catholics Want Truth on Marriage

The waiting is the hardest part.

It always bothered Grace Raun when she heard her college classmates saying “nobody waits anymore” for marriage, because she knew it wasn’t true. As a practicing Catholic who had been dating the same person for five years, Grace knew all about waiting. But she said following the rules of the Church regarding premarital sex never felt oppressive. “I waited. I never felt like I didn’t ‘discover myself’ in college just because I was chaste,” she told CNA. “In fact, I felt like I knew myself better, because I wasn’t just looking for simple pleasures, but I was seeking a purpose to my life and the deeper meaning of who I was.”
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The Iraqi Christian who told ISIS: ‘If you want to kill me for my faith I am prepared to die here now’

Strength.

When Christian villagers from the Iraqi town of Caramles fled advancing IS forces, 80-year-old Victoria was among a dozen or so unable to leave. The widow, a Chaldean Catholic, knew nothing about the sudden evacuation that had suddenly emptied this ancient village she had known for so long. Next morning she went to church – St Addai’s – as she did every day. She found the place locked; the streets deserted. She knew IS had come.
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She Crawled Up the Stairs to Kiss Her Children Goodnight

Read this amazing story.

I didn’t know her. But, I knew her story. Her name was Lori. She was the friend of my friend, Sallie. Last year, Sallie shared Lori’s story with some of us from church. She was asking that we pray for her situation. She was battling inflammatory breast cancer, and she had been told that she would not live much longer. She had a husband and two small children under the age of seven.
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Video: ACLU Member Says Christians Just As Extreme As ISIS

Bonkers.

How does the left-wing ACLU weigh in on ISIS? Fox News’ Jesse Watters wanted to find out so he went to an ACLU conference in Princeton, N.J. and found out on Sept. 29’s O’Reilly Factor. Watters began by questioning members about the “war on terror.” After several members told Watters they couldn’t support it, he wanted to know how America should treat ISIS instead. “These ISIS members that are beheading Americans, what would you do with them?” One woman responded simply, “Nothing.” An ACLU representative also declared that the group “had no position on the conflict.” Watters declared incredulously, “You are fighting the war on Christmas harder than you are fighting the war on terror!”
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The Family that Prays Together Makes Saints

Kathryn Lopez writes:

“The house of Nazareth is a school of prayer where one learns to listen, meditate on and penetrate the profound meaning of the manifestation of the Son of God, following the example of Mary, Joseph and Jesus,” Pope Benedict XVI told an audience gathered on the Feast of the Holy Family, just days after Christmas, in 2011. Getting to know Christ through the context of a family — knowing God as a loving Father and accepting the intercessory help and model of Mary and her courageous “yes” and Joseph and his quiet trust and leadership — can be challenging at a time when what exactly family is is a matter of some confusion and contention in the public square and foreign to the lived experiences of many (a point Mary Eberstadt explores in her How the West Really Lost God).
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