Trouble at Mount St. Mary's University

02/13/2016 Comments (12)

After weeks of a burgeoning national controversy, the faculty at Mount Saint Mary's University voted overwhelmingly (87-3) to ask President Simon Newman to resign.

Mount St. Mary's University has enjoyed an excellent reputation for its Catholic identity in recent years, earning a spot in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, a publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. But that spot seems to be in jeopardy in light of recent reports and allegations concerning the new president of the university, Simon Newman, urging faculty to usher weaker students out of the school as quickly as possible in an effort to improve the retention rate at the school. According to the Washington...READ MORE

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Should You Pray for an Atheist? Richard Dawkins’ Stroke Stirs Debate

02/13/2016 Comments (15)

This headline at TheBlaze caught my attention this morning:

Famed Atheist Richard Dawkins Suffers Stroke — and Now a Debate Over Praying for Him Is Lighting up Twitter

At first I rolled my eyes. Does it really matter whether or not he’s an atheist? If somebody wants to pray for him, it’s not skin off his back.

Then, I got a bit perturbed. Why in the world is this even an issue?

But it is an issue and it’s an issue because people can be quite passionate about their beliefs – whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or whatever. Yes, even atheist.

They have a right to that passion, and we have to respect that. Yet, we shouldn’t stifle ours because of theirs, if you get my...READ MORE

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The Doritos Commercial and the Revival of Voluntarism

02/13/2016 Comments (10)
I'm sure by now you've heard about the absurd reaction of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) to the lighthearted Super Bowl commercial produced to advertise Doritos. In the thirty-second clip, a pregnant mother, undergoing an ultra-sound, is annoyed by her husband who is absent-mindedly munching Doritos while their baby's image is displayed on the screen. But as the father moves the corn chip, the baby in the womb moves with it; and when the mother throws the bag across the room, the child reacts so keenly and purposively that he decides this is the moment to be born.
Cute, funny, harmless, right? Oh not according to NARAL, who complained (and one is compelled here to...READ MORE

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School District Considers Giving Condoms to 6th Graders

02/13/2016 Comments (5)

San Francisco schools may soon start distributing condoms to students in middle schools – or to those who want them anyway.  A final vote by the school board is scheduled to take place in the next two weeks.

Imagine your 11-year-old son or daughter walking into the school nurse’s office and walking out with condoms!  Perhaps the school district expects parents to be reassured by the fact that students would also have a one-on-one information session with the nurse.

The proposed new policy was introduced by Superintendent Richard Carranza to the Board of Education, as “part of an overall effort by the district to further prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy among minors,”...READ MORE

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Faith, Blizzards, and a Roadside Mass

02/13/2016 Comment

(Photo: Facebook)

A few weeks ago, hundreds of people were stranded on the Pennsylvania Turnpike as more than two feet of snow buried the Mid-Atlantic region. Eighty-six miles of road were shut down, and more than 500 cars, buses, etc. were stranded for about a day.

In and amongst the coverage of this storm was a story that led even mainstream media storylines: Catholic college students from returning from the 2016 March for Life tag-teamed to hold a roadside Mass on a snow altar.

This story of faith under duress wasn't just noticed by Catholic and politically conservative outlets. ABC, CNN, and USA TODAY covered it, as did many state-based outlets in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, and The New York...READ MORE

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“Hers is a Heroic Testimony of Maternal Love”

02/11/2016 Comments (4)

Our Lady of Lourdes (Photo Credit: Zavatter, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

When Carrie Gress wrote last week about her dear friend who is at the end of her life and facing the horrific suffering of saying goodbye to her young children, I turned to prayer, asking the intercession of my own dear friend who faced the same battle.

Carrie and I were colleagues when she worked for Zenit, and God has obviously designed our lives to intersect in many respects. We both got pregnant for the first time during our stage as coworkers. (Given that the wife of another member of the team was also expecting her first child, it made for exciting times at the virtual office.) Imagine our delighted surprise, though, when it turned out that Carrie and I gave birth on the same day!...READ MORE

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Kirill-Francis Meeting in Danger of Being Over-Hyped

Russian President Vladimir Putin understood to be meeting’s key protagonist.

02/11/2016 Comments (5)

Pope Francis’ momentous meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow tomorrow has “serious ecumenical import and potential” but it should be neither “hyperbolized nor underestimated”, the head of the Department of External Church Relations for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has said.

In a commentary written on the eve of the historic meeting, Bishop Borys Gudziak said he was pleased the meeting is taking place, adding that it is a “welcome sight” when “estranged brothers take a new first step towards each other.”

But he stressed that the meeting should not be over hyped nor played down but seen in context. That context, he pointed out, is a Russian Orthodox Church that has lost its civic...READ MORE

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Full Text: Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill

02/11/2016 Comments (2)


Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor 13:13).

1. By God the Father’s will, from which all gifts come, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit Consolator, we, Pope Francis and Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, have met today in Havana. We give thanks to God, glorified in the Trinity, for this meeting, the first in history. 

It is with joy that we have met like brothers in the Christian faith who encounter one another “to speak face to face” (2Jn12), from heart to heart, to...READ MORE

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