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CDC: Abortion Rates Go Down

Wesley Smith writes:

The CDC has issued a report noting a steep decline in the number of abortions. From the report: For 2011, a total of 730,322 abortions were reported to CDC. Of these abortions, 98.3% were from 46 reporting areas that submitted data every year during 2002–2011, thus providing the information necessary for evaluating trends.
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Media is Indifferent to Euthanasia Victimized Families

Wesley Smith reports because nobody else will:

Imagine you are at work, going about your day. The phone rings. You pick up and it is a mortuary informing you they have your mother's body. "What do you mean you have my mother's body!" you exclaim in utter shock. "She was just euthanized today," the voice on the other end mildly answers. "What should we do with the body?" That is exactly what happened in 2012 to Belgian chemist Tom Mortier, who spoke (via Skype) yesterday at the very well attended East Coast Conference Against Assisted Suicide
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How Narnia and Middle Earth helped an atheist professor find her faith

Love this.

I have been reading Dr Holly Ordway’s Not God’s Type: an Atheist Academic Lays Down her Arms (Ignatius Press, or Gracewing in the UK). It is always uplifting to read books like this, not in a triumphalist way but because it is a reminder that underneath all the glaring human weaknesses in the Church as an institution, which we all know so well, there are still people out there who are searching for answers to fundamental questions and then finding them in the Church. Ordway, a professor of English and director of the MA in cultural apologetics at Houston Baptist University in the US, provides a very telling description of the atheist mindset (as opposed to those who drift along in agnostic indifference). There is a kind of fierce pride in telling yourself that you are “the product of blind chance”. The author saw herself, with all her rational self-sufficiency, as “standing on my lonely precipice, able to recognise my identity as a meaningless speck in an uncaring universe”. She notes her sense of superiority to people of faith, her cynicism about the myths they believed in; she even sensed her heart hardening, in her determination to quell any doubts in her dogmatic insistence on atheism.
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Scott Hahn Recommends Graduate Programs in Theology

The Cardinal Newman Society reports:

If anyone knows faithful theology, it would be Dr. Scott Hahn. So we asked him about faithful graduate programs in Catholic theology. Hahn, a prolific writer, television host and the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, recently spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society about his recommendations and advice for students considering an advanced degree in theology.
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Seattle’s Lib Mayor Pardons A Tofurky…

Tofurky. Why? Because it’s Seattle.
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Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?

Crisis Magazine:

Pure myth! That is today’s typical view of a literal Adam and Eve. Yet, contrary to current skepticism, a real Adam and Eve remain credible—both in terms of Catholic doctrine and sound natural science. By calling the Genesis story a “myth,” people avoid saying it is mere “fantasy,” that is, with no foundation in reality at all. While rejecting a literal first pair of human parents for all mankind, they hope to retain some “deeper” truth about an original “sinful human condition,” a “mythic” meaning. They think that the latest findings in paleoanthropology and genetics render a literal pair of first true human parents to be “scientifically impossible.”
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G'town Student Says He Deserved to be Mugged Because "Privilege"

Blame the victim.

A Georgetown University (GU) student says he was mugged at gunpoint but in a recent editorial he says he “can hardly blame” his assailants.
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Bill Murray Misses the Latin Mass

Who knew?

If you didn’t already love Bill Murray, here’s something sure to make you repent: check out this excerpt from a Guardian piece on him and his new film: His parents were Irish Catholics; one of his sisters is a nun. This conspicuous religion adds to his broad church appeal (there’s a citation from the Christian Science Monitor on his golfing memoirs). You don’t need to ask if his faith is important to him. He talks about how 19th-century candidates risk not getting canonised because the church is keen to push ahead with the likes of John Paul II and Mother Teresa. “I think they’re just trying to get current and hot,” he smiles.
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Those Pathetic Millenial Moms

Calah Alexander writes:

A delightful comment on my post about sewing on buttons spawned a rather, uh, interesting facebook debate the other night. It began with an observation about this seeming trend for younger, millennial moms to act as though the domestic arts are an unattainable fantasy, yet at the same time unworthy of our brain power. Instead of attempting to learn them, we do things like blog about hiding in the bathroom and checking facebook while our kids destroy the house around us.
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16 Magistrates Retire After North Carolina Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

Higher than reported.

The number of North Carolina magistrates who have resigned or retired early because of their opposition to performing same-sex marriages is higher than previously reported.Last month, a federal judge cleared the way for same-sex marriages in North Carolina, prompting the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to direct magistrates. They are required by law to perform the wedding ceremonies, if asked.AOC reports between that ruling on Oct. 10 and the end of the month, 16 magistrates left their jobs, but the state wouldn't release why they left.
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Episcopalian Priest Compares ISIS Beheadings to Vandalism of Abortion Clinics

She seems to like Planned Parenthood better than most Christians.

In a recent essay, Rev. Susan Russell compares Muslims who “behead journalists” with Christians “who blow up women’s health clinics.” In doing so, she disingenuously attempts to make readers believe that Islam and Christianity are equally susceptible to violent extremism. “Yes,” Russell writes, “there are Muslims who advocate murder for ‘infidels,’ behead journalists and discriminate against minorities.” But, she continues, there are also “Christians who blow up women’s health clinics, burn crosses on lawns and lynch their African-American neighbors—using their religion as an excuse for their violent extremism.”
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How Revolutionary Were Ancient Christians Views on Sex

Still are, if you ask me. Eric Metaxas writes:

For the first seventy or so years of Christianity's existence, the Greco-Roman world paid it relatively little attention. There were persecutions here and there (like the one that claimed the lives of Peter and Paul). But, for the most part, it wasn’t until the second century that their pagan neighbors began to focus their attention on just how different Christians were. As Michael J. Kruger of Reformed Theological Seminary wrote at The Gospel Coalition, one major difference was that “Christians would not pay homage to the other ‘gods’ ” of the Roman world. Since paying homage to these “gods” was a civic as well as a religious duty, this refusal caused Christians to be viewed with suspicion. Incredibly, some pagans even accused Christians of atheism! As Kruger notes, there was another area in which Christians stood out like the proverbial sore thumb: and that was sex. As Kruger writes, “While it was not unusual for Roman citizens to have multiple sexual partners, homosexual encounters, and engagement with temple prostitutes, Christians stood out precisely because they refused to engage in these practices.”
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The Meanest Thing Jesus Ever Said

Msgr. Charles Pope writes:

The Gospel from today’s Mass (Wed. of the 33rd Week – Luke 19:11-27) is known as the “Parable of the Ten Gold Coins.” It is similar to Matthew’s “Parable of the Talents” from Sunday, but with certain significant differences and an ending so shocking that, when I read it at daily Mass some years ago, a young child said audibly to her mother, “Wow, that’s mean!” I’d like to take a look at it and ponder its shocking ending.
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Public School Refuses Girl to Create Christian Club

Lawsuit follows. Good. We've got to make these public schools as afraid of Christians as they are of atheists.

A New York high school has rejected a student's request to have a Christian club on campus, prompting possible legal action by a Texas-based organization. Wantagh High School of the Wantagh Union Free School District recently denied official recognition for Elizabeth Loverde's proposed club "Dare to Believe." In response to the rejection, Loverde and her family contacted the Plano, Texas-based Liberty Institute, which sent a letter Monday to the principal, as well as to other school district officials.
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Ostrich University

The venerable Oxford University does not want to debate the societal effects of abortion. Fr. Blake has the sad story.

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Passionate Perseverance: The Mission of Every Day

Must read of the day. Please say a little prayer for this family.

I am just going to write here and not edit or over-think things. This space has always been where I shared my heart for the last seven years. I have never met a coma I haven't abused in some horrific grammatical way, I make up words and sometimes I even curse. It's me and it's real and one day when we meat in person, you will have the same experience, maybe without the cursing. We are now at the end of the second month of Miss Courtney's "hospice" care. I don't know what I expected but I will admit that I am surprised that my daughter is still with us. I have watched her struggle many a day to breathe through her seizures only to be floored watching her chuckle and laugh the very next day. This girl of mine has a very strong will to live and boy does it shine through.
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Because Gay Marriage is Exactly Like Suicide...

Wesley Smith takes apart the latest pro-death argument:

Assisted suicide advocates continually try to link that agenda with other causes they deem to have greater public appeal. For example, doctor-prescribed/administered death has been called the “ultimate civil right,” in an obvious attempt to co-opt our high regard for the Civil Rights Movement. But many civil rights organizations such as LULAC and the disability rights community oppose the death agenda. Assisted suicide and euthanasia have been linked to abortion, in the belief that more people support that agenda than oppose it. But pro-choice people oppose assisted suicide as do pro-life people–for example the American Medical Association that is decidedly in favor of the right to an abortion.
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Pope Francis denounces “false compassion” behind abortion and euthanasia

The Pope welcomed the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors to the Vatican to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Continue reading>>>

First Do No Harm. A Catholic Physician Tells All

Tod Worner writes:

I am a Catholic and a physician. As a convert to the Catholic Faith, many have asked me to explain my faith and offer reasons for perceived shortcomings in the Catholic creed. “Why do you believe…?” “How can you justify…?” Rather than becoming defensive, I have found myself eager to answer such questions. After all, at one point, these questions were my own. I came to Catholicism, in part, because it is a beautiful repository of wondrous faith and scintillating reason. Curiously, however, no one has ever asked me as a practicing physician to explain my faith in medicine. An obvious question for a field that inaugurates its practitioners with an oath to “First, do no harm.” And yet, this question is taken for granted because medicine is a science. As such, it is considered honest, true and self-correcting.
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UNICEF Denies Catholic Bishops’ Claim that Vaccine Is Laced With Birth-Control Hormone

This is calling out for an objective investigation.

While the Catholic Bishops of Kenya, along with the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, assert that a tetanus vaccine sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is laced with a hormone that causes miscarriages and infertility, UNICEF denies that the vaccine is tainted and the WHO says the “allegations are not backed by the evidence.” Both the WHO and UNICEF say the vaccines “are safe,” and UNICEF states the “Catholic bishops are wrong” and are “putting children at risk.” Kenya’s Ministry of Health also asserts the vaccine is safe. The bishops, who help oversee 58 Catholic hospitals, 83 health centers, 311 dispensaries, and 18 medical training schools in Kenya – a country where the Church has been providing medical care for more than 100 years – say their independent tests of the vaccine show the hormone is present, and that the vaccination campaign is a “disguised population control program.”
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If My Child Marries Yours...

This is great.

If my child marries yours... I just want you to know that I'm praying for you. When I'm awake at night - feeding babies, burping babies, giving tylenol to a feverish toddler, covering up chilly toes, tucking green monkeys under little arms - I think of you. Because chances are, you're awake too, doing the same sorts of things. Taking care of tiny children that I already love because they will someday hold the hearts that are beating against my chest tonight.
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Pope Francis to Install Showers for the Homeless at St. Peter's

Wow.

A 20th century composer once wrote a symphonic work called "The Fountains of Rome." Apparently, there’s going to be a new “fountain” in the Eternal City. Under the direction of Pope Francis, showers for the homeless will be installed in St. Peter’s Square. Work will begin Monday.
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18 Signs You Might Have a Lot of Children

Funny 'cause it's true:

1) You take your two youngest children on dates – and it still feels like a date 2) You’ve mastered the art of maintaining a conversation while being interrupted every few seconds 3) You have a very high tolerance for chaos
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Marquette Prof: “Gay Rights” Can’t Be Discussed As Disagreement Would Offend Gays

John McAdams reports the latest absurdity from the Jesuit university:

A student we know was in a philosophy class (“Theory of Ethics”), and the instructor (one Cheryl Abbate) was attempting to apply a philosophical text to modern political controversies. So far so good. She listed some issues on the board, and came to “gay rights.” She then airily said that “everybody agrees on this, and there is no need to discuss it.”
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The Silencing of Sex Change Regret

The Federalist reports:

Everyone has regrets. Some of us have big regrets. Most everyone has some place to go to get help dealing with them. Except for, say, a guy who had sex-change surgery and now would like to have his penis back. (The one God gave him.) Our culture seems pretty much “to each his own” when it comes to elective bodily mutilation and the regret thereof. And there’s a lot of regret out there. According to a British poll, a whopping 65 percent of those who’ve had various cosmetic surgeries regret it. People who regret their tattoos, plastic surgery, or more extreme body modifications (here’s a sad Buzzfeed pictorial on the effects of ear gauges) can read up on the Internet and find an open array of remedies. Plastic surgeons make money both puttin’ it in and takin’ it out.
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Minneapolis Schools To Stop Suspending Black Students For Violations That Would Get White Kids Suspended…

Yet another reason to avoid public schools:

Minneapolis Public Schools are implementing a new policy aimed at eliminating the gap between the races when it comes to suspensions. Nothing will change for white students, they will still be suspended at the discretion of each school’s principal. But for minority students, specifically black, Hispanic and Native American students, the Minneapolis Schools Superintendent’s office will personally review each case. This new policy is part of an agreement with U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights announced last week after an investigation into why minority students made up such a high percentage suspended students in the past.
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School Forbids Students from Praying

This is crazy.

Christian students at a Colorado public high school were told they could no longer meet to pray, sing religious songs or discuss religious topics during free time – because such activity violated the U.S. Constitution, a lawsuit filed in federal court alleges. Chase Windebank is a senior at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs. Three years ago he started meeting together informally with his classmates for prayer and religious fellowship. The young people would meet in an unoccupied choir room to sing songs like “Amazing Grace” and discuss the issues of the day from a religious perspective.
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Cardinal Burke Replaced

Disturbing news:

The Holy See Press Office announced on November 8 that Pope Francis has named Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, as the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. Archbishop Mamberti replaces Cardinal Raymond Burke, who has served as prefect since 2008. No prelate has served in the position for longer than six years since Cardinal Dino Staffa, who was prefect from 1967 to 1977.
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What a Man Found When He Sought Revenge for the Holocaust

An amazing story:

He survived the savagery of the Holocaust, made it to America with barely a penny and became a world-famous tailor in Brooklyn, dressing celebrities and presidents. In his new memoir, “Measure of a Man,” Martin Greenfield tells the story of his extraordinary life. In this excerpt, he explains how the concentration camps nearly stripped him of his humanity at age 16 — and the day he got it back. While at Buchenwald, the SS assigned me to work in the munitions factory. But early one morning after roll call, a soldier placed me on a 12-prisoner team to perform repairs outside the camp in nearby Weimar.
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Poll: There Are More Christians in this Country Than You Think

On the one hand it's perfectly understandable that Christians feel like they're a minority.

Americans have some serious misconceptions about the number of believers there are in the country. According to a Global Survey from Ipsos MORI, Americans think 56 percent of the country is Christian, when it is actually closer to 78 percent, and 15 percent of the country is Muslim, when it’s really just 1 percent.
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Heroic Patience: Ten Virtues of Mary

A great read filled with wisdom:

I originally offered to write on heroic patience as a joke. While I couldn’t think of anyone who was bragging about their ample supply of patience, it seemed there should be some other woman, made of stronger stuff, who could withstand the slings and arrows of daily life better than I, and who should be called upon to share her wisdom. But, because my sarcasm was not made clear enough, here I am, the blackest pot, with the largest timber in my eye, writing about patience, and not just any patience, but patience in heroic proportions. Thank goodness I can yield the floor to one more suitable; the Blessed Mother.
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Christian Couple Killed by Mob

Genocide.

A Christian couple accused of desecrating a Koran have been killed by a mob of Muslim vigilantes in Pakistan. The husband and wife, known only as Shama and Shehzad, were beaten to death. Their bodies were then burned in the brick kiln where they worked. Policemen in Kot Radha Kishan, southwest of Lahore, were unable to save the couple, and are instead trying to arrest the ringleaders of the angry crowd.
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Catholic Bishop Joins Pro-Life Protesters

This is good to see.

Edward Scharfenberger, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, joined a small group of men praying in front of the Planned Parenthood offices on Friday afternoon. “Wow, we’re really surrounded by a lot of religious symbols,” said Scharfenberger when he arrived, pointing out statues of Mary and Jesus located on the second story of a building, once planned to house a Christian adoption agency, across Warren Street. Next door to Planned Parenthood, the Open Arms Pregnancy Center has offered alternative pregnancy counseling since 2007.
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High School Football Player Penalized After Bending Down To Pray After His First Touchdown…

No praying allowed.

When Fort Myers High school football player Sam Turner reached the end zone Friday night with the first touchdown of his high school career, he took a few seconds to bow down and thank the Lord, but that simple act ended up having a major consequence. Turner, 16, who briefly bent down on one knee, placed his finger in the air and prayed to the Lord, was dealt a 15-yard penalty, with an official dubbing the prayerful act unsportsmanlike conduct, according to the News-Press.
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Notre Dame’s ‘Gay in Christ’ Conference Aims for Fidelity, But Speakers Embrace ‘Gay Identity’

I'm a little late on this but it's worth a look-see.

A conference today at the University of Notre Dame will address “a pastoral strategy for parishes to be able to receive the gifts of self-identified gay Catholics,” while remaining faithful to Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality—but some speakers’ perspectives on “gay identity” may fall short of true orthodoxy. “Gay in Christ: Dimensions of Fidelity” is co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL) and the Gender Relations Center. ICL director Dr. John Cavadini poses the following question on the University’s website: “Can Church teaching support an ‘exchange of gifts,’ enabling a parish community to receive the gifts that such people bring to us, and, in turn, to make the gifts of ecclesial belonging more securely and fruitfully available to these Catholics?”
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