Did the Justices Signal that Notre Dame and the LIttle Sisters Will Prevail in HHS Lawsuits?

03/09/2015 Comments (6)

Kahunapule Michael Johnson/ Flickr (CC BY NC SA 20)

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a ruling that vacated a circuit court decision against the University of Notre Dame, as it pursued its lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate. 

The news media and some opponents of the mandate presented the ruling as another blow to the White House, which was still smarting from the high court's split decision last June that sided with Hobby Lobby, the for-profit family company that claimed the mandate violated its religious freeom.

"Supreme Court Says Obama Admin Can’t Make Notre Dame Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mandate," read a headline from Life News.

"The justices asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to...READ MORE

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Vatican Held to Ransom Over Michelangelo Letter

03/09/2015 Comments (1)

Michelangelo Buonarroti

– Wikipedia

The Vatican has received a ransom demand for the return of two rare documents, one a handwritten letter of Michelangelo, that have been missing from St. Peter’s basilica since 1997.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed Sunday that Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of St. Peter’s basilica, had been contacted recently by a person who offered to retrieve the documents for “a certain price”.

Italian newspaper Il Messaggero said the person, described as a former Vatican employee, had asked for €100,000 for the precious objects. Father Lombardi said the cardinal “naturally refused” to pay the ransom “because these are stolen documents”.

The missing artifacts include...READ MORE

Filed under michelangelo, pieta, st. peter's basilica, vatican

Holiness Therapy for the Not-So-Holy

03/09/2015 Comments (43)

When C.S. Lewis was approached by a publisher and invited to write a book about the problem of pain, he asked to be allowed to write it anonymously, since, he said, "if I were to say what I really thought about pain, I should be forced to make statements of such apparent fortitude that they would become ridiculous if anyone knew who made them." The publisher said no to anonymity, but gave Lewis the exhilarating option of writing a preface explaining that he did not live up to his own principles.

I am in pretty much the same boat here, writing brashly about something called "personal holiness" as if I were St. Francis. To be honest, I am not particularly holy. That is to say, I don't...READ MORE

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Register Radio: Net Neutrality and the Gains of Fasting

03/07/2015 Comments (5)

On Register Radio this week, co-host Dan Burke and guest Matthew Warner, the founder of Flocknote.com, who blogs at TheRadicalLife.org and co-authored the book The Church and New Media, discuss the controversy over President Barack Obama’s net neutrality proposal, which has been called Obamacare for the internet.

What’s net neutrality?

“To put it most basically, the idea that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally,” said Warner. “That when you go to access any kind of data anywhere on the internet that no middleman, or no provider of that service, would treat that content differently than anything else. ... So it is an effort to make sure all data is treated equally and...READ MORE

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Cook Your Way Through Lent

Recipes for soul and body, for these 40 days and beyond

03/07/2015 Comments (3)

Lent is a time for focusing even more on our spiritual journey, as we head toward Easter, traveling to our destination with our eyes fixed on, as my wife would say, a spiritual GPS system: God’s Precious Son.

As humans, we need two kinds of food — one to fuel the soul and one to feed the body.

To help with both, there’s A Lenten Cookbook for Catholics by Angelo Stagnaro, wherein he gives us recipes for both body and soul in a palatable way.

This is no ordinary cookbook. With Lenten ingredients and detailed recipes for the spiritual part of our journey, this is the only cookbook that has actually received an imprimatur. You read correctly — an imprimatur: from Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Bishop...READ MORE

Filed under food, joseph pronechen, lent 2015, lenten fast, recipes

A Tale of Two Witnesses at Notre Dame

03/06/2015 Comments (73)

The Church lost two prominent figures at the University of Notre Dame late last month. The first was Charles Rice, 83,

a beloved husband and father of 10, author, and a long-time law school professor who was loved and revered by his students, colleagues and ardent Catholics, though not as well-known beyond those groups. I was blessed to know him for more than 25 years, and even if our contact was not frequent, I kept in touch otherwise by reading his writings and keeping up with his comments in the Catholic media.

The other was Father Theodore Hesburgh, 97, who served as Notre Dame’s president from 1952 to 1987 and was known the world over, traveling in the circles of Popes and presidents...READ MORE

Filed under catholic colleges and universities, charles rice, ex corde ecclesiae, father john jenkins, land o'lakes statement, president barack obama, theodore hesburgh, tom nash, university of notre dame

There’s only one right order to read the ‘Narnia’ books

Why the chronological numbering used by the Chronicles’ publishers today is a travesty

03/06/2015 Comments (17)

A reader writes:

Thanks for your article on the Narnia movies. I’m wondering why they made the movies in a different order than the numbering of the books. Shouldn’t they have made The Magician’s Nephew before The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Horse and His Boy before Prince Caspian? Why are they doing The Silver Chair next? The movie order doesn’t make sense to me.

Okay, let’s clear up a few things.

Whatever the deficiencies of the Narnia movies to date, at least the filmmakers did one thing right: They followed the original publication order, which is how many or most editions numbered them until about 20 years ago. I still have an old boxed edition of the Chronicles that...READ MORE

Filed under children's books, chronicles of narnia, narnia

What the Register Gets Wrong on the Death Penalty

03/06/2015 Comments (99)

As a person who does not generally support the death penalty, you might think that I would be pleased with the joint editorial issued the National Catholic Reporter, America Magazine, Our Sunday Visitor, and this paper, the National Catholic Register.

I am not.

When it comes to abolishing the death penalty in the United States, the means matter. The above publications have made the choice that granting unconstitutional power to the Supreme Court to ban the death penalty is a legitimate means as long as the end is good. They collectively write:

We join our bishops in hoping the court will reach the conclusion that it is time for our nation to embody its commitment to the right to life by...READ MORE

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