Archbishop Paglia: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Published By End of March

Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, one of Pope Francis closest advisers, believed to be the document's principal drafter.

01/27/2016 Comments (19)


The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has confirmed that Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation devoted to the family will be published by the end of March.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia reportedly disclosed the news today at a conference with priests in Portugal, according to Il Sismografo, a semi-official Vatican news aggregator supervised by the Secretariat of State.

The Italian archbishop said the much-anticipated document, which summarizes the Pope’s conclusions of the two synods dedicated to the family, will be “a hymn to love, a love that wants to take care of the welfare of the young, to be close to wounded families to give them strength, a love that wants...READ MORE

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Love in the Time of Zika

01/27/2016 Comments (37)

When Pope Francis' environmental encyclical Laudato Si came out, some Catholics rolled their eyes. ISIS is beheading Christians, and Planned Parenthood is beheading unborn babies! If we're supposed to be pro-life, why aren't we wringing our hands about these problems?  Catholics should worry about real issues that affect actual people. The spotted owl and the rain forest can go pound sand.

Enter the Zika virus. It's a nasty, mosquito-borne disease that is spreading through South America and Latin America, and is the likely cause of thousands of serious birth defects. Mosquitoes thrive in warm, wet environments without enough cold to cause die-offs. If the world is getting warmer and...READ MORE

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Bent Coins, Body Candles, and Incubation: Ancient Devotions to the Saints

Can we recapture some of the wonder involved in our devotions to the saints?

01/26/2016 Comments (3)

Icon of Mary as the Theotokos. The hand in silver at the bottom is a votive offering related to a miracle of St. John Damascene. (Wikimedia Commons)

A story is told in the Life of St. Gotthard of a priest in the 12th century named Folcward who met a poor women with a dying child. He urged the woman to make a vow to St. Gotthard for the boy’s recovery, and seal it with the promise of a candle the length of the boy for use at the saint’s shrine. She had no money for this, so Folcward measured the child with a strand of flax which he would use as the wick for the promised candle. The boy was healed before Folcward left the house with the flax.

In the Miracles of Thecla, we learn of Alypios, who slept in Thecla’s church one night to cure an illness. The saint visited him during is vigil and he was cured, “as is her custom.”

After St. John...READ MORE

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National Review Thumps Trump as Candidates Stump in Iowa

01/26/2016 Comments (41)

As Iowa Republicans prepare for their party's first presidential caucus on Feb. 1, National Review has officially thrown down the gauntlet and repudiated Donald Trump as a nominee conservatives can support. Here's one salient passage from the magazine's leading editorial in its latest issue—"Against Trump."

If Trump were to become the president, the Republican nominee, or even a failed candidate with strong conservative support, what would that say about conservatives? The movement that ground down the Soviet Union and took the shine, at least temporarily, off socialism would have fallen in behind a huckster. The movement concerned with such “permanent things” as constitutional...READ MORE

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Top 10 Proofs U.S. in a Handbasket to…You Know Where

01/26/2016 Comments (16)

10) After a series of videos showed Planned Parenthood attempting to sell baby body parts there have been no indictments of any Planned Parenthood employees but a grand jury indicted the two pro-lifers who ran the sting operation. One of the charges is for attempting to purchase human organs. No charges were filed against Planned Parenthood for attempting to sell said organs.

9) Last night, the show "Lucifer" premiered about Satan moving to Lose Angeles and solving crimes. Seriously. I know what you're thinking. Hey, at least it didn't get good ratings.

8) It got good ratings. No seriously, according to Variety this morning, "At 9 p.m., “Lucifer” opened with a hot 2.4/7 in 18-49 and 7.2...READ MORE

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Full Text of Pope Francis' 2016 Message for Lent

01/26/2016 Comments (2)
Edward Pentin/

Representatives from the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" present the Pope's 2016 Message for Lent, Jan. 26, 2016

– Edward Pentin/

Here below is the Holy Father's 2016 Message for Lent and the Vatican's summary of this morning's presentation. 


“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).

"The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee"

1. Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelized

In the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I asked that “the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 17). By calling for an attentive listening to the word of God and encouraging the initiative “24 Hours for the Lord”, I sought to stress the...READ MORE

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Hobbit or Hermit? Why Not Be Both?

01/26/2016 Comments (8)

(Credit: Jeff Hitchcock, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve given up on the pile of new books on my table screaming for attention, and in these winter nights turned to my old favorite: The Lord of the  Rings.
As I’m going on the heroic hobbit quest with Frodo and Sam, I am feeling a double yearning that I suspect is pretty much universal, and that is to be both a hobbit and a hermit.
Give me the hobbit’s life of adventure. I want to shrug on my backpack, pick up my stick and set off on the open road. I want to sleep rough with nothing but the freedom of the quest. Give me dragons to fight and giants to joust with. I’ll set off with a gang of rogues dwarves or a waiting king. It doesn’t much matter. I’ll take the ring to Mordor even...READ MORE

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The Oklahoma Farm Boy Who Grew Up to Be a Martyr for Christ

01/26/2016 Comments (5)

Maria Scaperlanda has written a wonderful book that is destined to be a sourcebook for one of the 20th Century’s most profound Christian martyrs.

 The Shepherd Who Did Not Run tells the story of Father Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma farm boy who grew up to be a martyr for Christ in the on-going economic wars that are raging around the globe to this day. He died on July 28, 1981, at the hands of what were probably right-wing government assassins in an isolated mission village in Atitlan, Guatemala.

Before his martyrdom, Fr Rother wrote a letter to his bishop explaining why he wanted to stay with his flock in Guatemala, despite the risks. In that letter, he made the famous remark, “A shepherd...READ MORE

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