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Hitler's Pope and 9 Other Anti-Catholic Myths Disproven By History

Non-Catholics found discovered something surprising about the history of the Catholic Church:

Roman Catholics have gotten a bad reputation: they're responsible for the Dark Ages, the Crusades, and the Inquisition. They're anti-science, anti-Semites, and anti-freedom. Each of these accusations is an oversimplification that perverts history. According to a new, groundbreaking book by sociologist and historian Rodney Stark, the truth is far more friendly to the Catholic Church, and those who say otherwise are overlooking important developments in the study of history. In Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History, Stark rebuts 10 historical myths that reflect badly on the Catholic church. Little do many of us know, Catholics actually pioneered capitalism, laid the foundations for science, abolished slavery, and denounced witch hunts. That doesn't sound so dark to me. Stark is not a Catholic, and neither am I, but these truths are very important for everyone to know.
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Media Want To Make Sure You Never Hear About ‘The Little Sisters Of The Poor’

The lengths they go to is hilarious.

Last week I was at a religious liberty confab attended by some of the Little Sisters of the Poor. One of my favorite vignettes from the conference was watching a decorated Sikh Army captain, who recently won his religious liberty battle to wear a turban while he serves in non-combat scenarios, chat it up with the cheerful gaggle of Little Sisters, who are in a major religious liberty battle against President Obama over whether the government can force them to violate their religious beliefs or face crippling fines. Both are represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
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5-10 Muslim Refugees Request Baptism in Austria Every Week

The work of the Holy Spirit:

The number of Muslim migrants in Austria who want to convert to Christianity has increased massively in recent months; however, most of these migrants, who are refugees from conflict-torn countries like Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan, are in danger of violence from radical Muslims who consider the converts as apostates. According to Kurier, only 33 percent of the people converting into the Catholic faith in 2015 were Muslims. However, that percentage has increased to over 83 percent this year. The Archdiocese in Vienna is already handling about five to ten adult baptism requests per week.
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The Sisters Who Treat the Untreatable

Wonderful piece from the NY Times:

At the beginning of the 20th century, sick Americans typically died at home. By the middle of it, they mostly died in hospitals. And yet this great transformation in the geography of death was, at first, of little interest to medical providers: In the 1960s, some doctors routinely chose not to inform terminal patients of their fate. Studies found hospitals stashing dying people at the ends of halls and largely ignoring them. Medicine, it was said, was about healing people. It had nothing to offer the already dying.
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Sisters of Life hold up dignity of single moms in 25-year-old ministry

Their beautiful ministry is an inspiration for all of us:

On a drizzly gray morning in early May, the bright kitchen at Visitation Mission on Manhattan’s East Side was filled with the sound of laughter and the inviting aromas of fresh-cut vegetables and baking cookies as postulants and novices of the Sisters of Life prepared food for themselves and their anticipated guests. Visitation is the nerve center for the Sisters of Life’s material, emotional and spiritual outreach to pregnant women in crisis. The sisters help more than 900 women at the former convent each year, said Sister Magdalene, the congregation’s local superior.
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Ethicist says embryo breakthrough is a ‘step towards an inhuman future’

But I thought science meant doing whatever you can because...science.

Researchers have discovered a way to keep human embryos alive in laboratories for longer, paving the way for experimentation on embryos beyond the current legal limit. Previously, embryos grown in laboratories have not lived past nine days – the stage at which an embryo needs to an implant in order to survive. But scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered a way to keep embryos alive beyond that point. The embryos were allowed to die at 13 days, because the current law does not permit them to live beyond 14 days.
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Vocations to the priesthood: bad numbers? Those numbers didn’t just happen by themselves.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf writes:

I’ve written many times about the situation of vocations to the priesthood. We all know that there are certain parishes in dioceses which produce more priests. We all know that there are certain dioceses which produce more priests. We all know that there are certain religious groups which produce more priests. They have factors in common.
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A Good Motto for 2016: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here

Sherry in despair.

The people have spoken and we will have as President this fall, someone who thinks Planned Parenthood does some very good things...or we will have Hillary Clinton. We will have someone who has no humility. We will have someone who has no scruples about lying, about destroying others, and about lying about destroying others. We will have someone who thinks the law is for other people.
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Why You're Right to be Very Very Worried About the Future of This Country

Dennis Prager, normally an optimistic sort, lathers on the doom and the gloom disturbingly heavy. And he's right. The Stream:

A Dark Time in America There are many reasons why — other than the first years of the Civil War — there has never been a darker time in American history. Here are a few.
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Bishop Barron on Shakespeare and the Fading of the Catholic World

"I wonder whether everyone can agree that Shakespeare was indeed mourning the loss of something that came apart in the sixteenth century—something beautiful and something worth putting back together."

Last week the world marked the 400th anniversary of the death of the greatest writer in the English language and one of the three or four most significant artists the human race has produced. William Shakespeare simply contains so much. In the manner of Dante, Homer, Michelangelo, James Joyce, and Aquinas, he seems to encompass the whole: every texture of feeling, every nuance of thought, the tragedy of sin, the most exquisite longings of the soul, the most confounding confusions, heaven, hell, and everything in between.
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