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Oy With the Popesplaining Already

Amy Welborn begs you to cease the popesplaining.

Guess what. You don’t have to defend every word the Pope says. Even if you consider yourself an enthusiastic and faithful Catholic of any stripe you are not obligated to defend every utterance in every papal interview or even every papal homily or declaration. Popes – all popes – can say things that are wrong, incorrect, ill-informed, narrow, short-sighted and more reflective of their personal biases, interests and limitations than the broader, deeper tradition of Catholicism. Which is why, traditionally, popes didn’t do a lot of public talking.
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Paul VI and the Nuns Raped in the Congo. What the Pope Never Said

Edward Pentin reports:

First Francis and then Fr. Lombardi have restated for the umpteenth time that pope Montini permitted those nuns to take birth control pills. But that’s false. Here is how that urban legend was born. And what the true status of the question is
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4 Lessons We Can All Learn from Justice Scalia's Legacy

Alliance Defending Freedom:

The passing of an extraordinary man, and the deafening commotions of our increasingly pugnacious politics and morally unhinged culture put me in mind, these days, of some lines from Rudyard Kipling’s Recessional: The tumult and the shouting dies; The Captains and the Kings depart: Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, An humble and a contrite heart. Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget – lest we forget! Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was surely among “the Captains and the Kings” of our age: a man whose deep personal faith guided and informed his profound and decades-long service to the nation as the High Court’s most outspoken and passionate voice for religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.
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To the Teacher's Aide in My Son's Special Education Classroom: I See What You Are Doing

Nice piece by Love in a Different Language:

As the parent of a child with special needs, I cannot help but be an overemotional ball of overprotectiveness most of the time. I have decided that this is not a downfall, it’s my job. I must be my child’s voice, until he finds his own. I must be my child’s eyes, until he can tell me what goes on around him each day. I must be wise and very discerning of the people I allow to surround my child, because he cannot tell me for himself how they treat him. I must be my child’s advocate on every front, because that is the sacred calling that the Lord has hand-picked for me. It is because of this sacred calling, that I watch and I protect. And I want to send this message to the teacher’s aide in my son’s Special Education Classroom: I See What You Are Doing.
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Scandal of the Day: Christian Heidi Cruz Says Christian Things

David French reports:

The scandal du jour, from the ignorant, anti-Christian sectors of the Left, comes courtesy of a brief excerpt of a radio interview with Heidi Cruz, Ted Cruz’s wife:
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I Really Hope This Catholic College President Didn't Say This

President: "This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies. But you can't. You just have to drown the bunnies ... put a Glock to their heads." Uh-oh.

A small Catholic college in Maryland is in turmoil after a report that its president wanted to weed out struggling students quickly to improve the school's standing. Now some teachers have been sent packing. Ed Egan was a professor at Mount Saint Mary's University in Maryland.
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‘Rhode Island’s Most Notorious Abortionist’ to Speak at Providence College

Ugh.

Providence College, a Catholic Dominican institution in Rhode Island, is scheduled to host a political panel discussion Thursday night featuring a former Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island medical director who is “Rhode Island’s most notorious abortionist” according to a local pro-life leader.
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When God's Love Hurts

Cassandra Poppe writes:

Crosses. Suffering. The human race has been plagued with hardship ever since that fateful day in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve desired more than the goodness God had already given them. And from that point on, most viewed suffering as a punishment from God – until that first Good Friday when Our Lord transformed punishment into a blessing. It seems natural for us to try to alleviate hardships when they come. A painkiller, a massage, an adjustment to the thermostat. How many little things do we do each day, each hour, to tweak the comfort level around ourselves? As these first 2 paragraphs were written, I have already adjusted my posture, scratched an itch and taken a sip of my drink. All actions taken almost without thinking and all done to increase my comfort.
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Valentine Campaigns

Sherry has some Valentine's Day thoughts for the presidential contenders:

Hillary Clinton: Bring me the hearts of everyone who did not vote for me. Bernie Sanders: Free Hearts for Everyone! Marco Rubio: Everyone loves the tin man. Right?
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NASA Bans Jesus

Todd Starnes reports:

The name of Jesus is not welcome in the Johnson Space Center newsletter, according to a complaint filed on behalf of a group of Christians who work for NASA. The JSC Praise & Worship Club was directed by NASA attorneys to refrain from using the name ‘Jesus’ in club announcements that appeared in a Space Center newsletter.
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Photographer Captures Smiling Newborn Babies

Just cute. Adorable even.

These gorgeous photos are by Sandi Ford, who specialises in capturing newborns smiling. "I have learned to recognise the little signs that a baby is about to let out a smile and I sit there ready with the camera to catch it!" she says. "I once read that there are two types of people in this world – those that see a newborn smile as wind, and those that don't. I see it as a rare treat that I am lucky enough to capture."
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As Heard in a 4th Grade Classroom

These are fun.

These were submitted to me by a fourth grade teacher friend of mine. Don’t worry. There’s more where these came from. So proud of having hung our school American flag, one of my students points it out to me: Girl: Look at the American flag! I hung it… Doesn’t it look good? Me: Wow!! You did a beautiful job. Looks great! Girl: Thanks… I know. I do good things, and I look good doing ’em.
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11 Catholic Converts Share Their Stories

Great piece.

Why would an atheist, abortion worker or drug addict decide to become Catholic? Stories of those who have converted to Catholicism inspire us and renew our own passion for the faith. The men and women whose stories we feature today come from diverse backgrounds. Whether a criminal, an atheist, or an ardent anti-Catholic, each has a testimony of the path they left behind when God revealed to them the truths of the Catholic faith. The stories that we share today are all of people who have chosen to live out their commitment to their new found faith with passion through the power of the Holy Spirit. All of them are now authors, speakers, and leaders who encourage others to grow in faith and devotion. We hope that you will enjoy listening to these powerful examples of God’s love and saving power. Remember, no one is so far from God that he or she cannot find their way back to Him.
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Fasting, Giving, Praying: 21+ Ideas for What Kids & Teens Can Do for Lent

Peanut Butter and Grace:

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer are at the heart of the forty days of Lent. Here are some strategies for helping your kids get involved in these traditional penitential practices. Most of these ideas are appropriate for kids ages six and up. (The best way to introduce younger kids to Lenten practices is for them to see adults and older kids in the family practicing them; use their natural curiosity and desire to be “grown up” as a springboard for talking about what you’re doing, and why.)
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Big Families Don't Know They're Big

Great piece.

Big families are like big dogs. We don’t have a clue we’re big. It’s perfectly normal in our world to cook for a crowd every day. We whip our big vans in and out of parking lots like they are sports cars. We don’t bat an eye at the line of shoes by the back door or the pile of coats weighing down the coatrack. And it doesn’t even faze us that we take up an entire pew (or more) at church. In fact, we don’t think we have a lot of kids because we always know someone with more kids than we have. Besides, for most of us, the children came to us one or two at a time, and we simply adjusted to the addition as they’ve shown up. We didn’t suddenly have 5 or 8 or 14 children drop in our laps one day. They sort of trickled in…right under our noses.
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I Thought Casual Sex Would be Empowering

But it was the opposite. Verily Mag reports:

­­­When I was 17, a friend and I promised to lose our virginity within the year. We saw sex glamorized on TV and in music and heard popular peers talking about it as an amazing experience. The idea of the 21st century woman making her own sexual narrative sounded enticing. I wanted to be in control. The real clincher seems so cliche in retrospect: the women who had no-strings-attached sex enjoyed enviable celebrity among men. My friend and I didn’t want to be left out. I approached my sexual initiation with confidence. I believed Sex in the City’s premise that uninhibited sexual expression was healthy and integral to female happiness—that women who avoided sexual opportunities somehow lacked the courage. A coward, I was not. And so I lost my virginity to a stranger.
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The March for Life 2016 Changed Everything

New Wave Feminists reports:

On January 22, 2016, for the first time in the history of the March for Life, a chanting blockade of counter-protesters from pro-abortion group Stop Patriarchy met the first wave of pro-life marchers, and those marchers were holding signs reading: “I AM A PROLIFE FEMINIST.” However it happened, whether it was fate or luck, the very first people the Stop Patriarchy counter-protesters saw were not old men, not blue-haired ladies with Bibles, not priests or nuns, not frat boys or politicians or church leaders. They were young women, carrying signs declaring themselves feminists. It was a moment I will never forget as long as I live.
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