Worry, and Other Unappealing Temptations

06/05/2014 Comments (21)

Last night, and the night before, I spent many hours worrying instead of sleeping. I was utterly at the mercy of my worries, pinned to my fears like a beetle on a card. I won't bore you with the details, but my worries included everything you would expect: money, health, education, family life, things I will never be able to control, things I can control, but wasn't; big things, little things, ridiculous things, petty things, tragic things, and the shade of green I had finally chosen for the living room -- or had I?

Anything and everything was up for a good worrying. I finally got to sleep maybe 45 minutes before the alarm went off in the morning.  Getting up seemed so unfair.

As I drove...READ MORE

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Pentecost Prayers at the Vatican: Not ‘Just’ a Religious Meeting

06/05/2014 Comments (3)
Vatican Radio/CTV

Pope Francis plants an olive tree as a symbol of peace during his pilgrimage last month to the Holy Land.

– Vatican Radio/CTV

After he said Mass in Bethlehem on May 25, Pope Francis announced that Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had accepted his invitation to come to the Vatican to meet together with him. The date set for the meeting is June 8 — Pentecost.

The purpose of the meeting is strictly prayer, not mediation, and that has been made clear by both Pope Francis upon announcing his invitation and by the Vatican Press Office in subsequent statements.

Since the news of the meeting broke, I’ve read reports and commentaries that label it “just” a prayer meeting, and that concerns me. It’s much more than a prayer meeting — it’s a concrete step in the right direction.

“All...READ MORE

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The Blob of Tissue Jumped

06/04/2014 Comments (18)

Planned Parenthood's Clergy Advocacy Board put out a public letter saying abortion is ok because the Bible doesn't say anything about it. I guess they missed the part about "thou shall not kill" and "be fruitful and multiply."

Man, just how bad do you have to do in theology school to end up on the Planned Parenthood Clergy Advisory Board?

The decision to have an abortion is personal. Though your reasons may be complicated and private, you’re not alone. As religious leaders from a number of religious traditions, we’re here to support you in your decision. Many people wrongly assume that all religious leaders disapprove of abortion. The truth is that abortion is not even mentioned in the...READ MORE

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How can I become a film critic?

06/03/2014 Comments (7)

Well, I’m back for the summer!

Another year of diaconal studies is complete, and my reviewing austerity is over until the fall. Two years down, two to go!

Over the summer, I’ll be publishing every week here at NCRegister.com and at Decent Films. I’ll also be appearing weekly on “Reel Faith” (when and where to catch “Reel Faith”).

Along with my return to regular reviewing, I’ll also be bringing back a long-absent feature at Decent Films: Decent Films Mail columns. This week I ran the first Mailbag column in a couple of years, with reader mail on Frozen, God’s Not Dead, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and more. Check it out; there’s more to come.

One letter I got from a reader I thought...READ MORE

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An Army that Intends to Win

06/03/2014 Comments (20)

Last weekend, our oldest child was confirmed. I've never seen a full-blown confirmation ceremony before, because my husband and I were both confirmed by priests (with permission from the bishop) in small, private ceremonies. The sacrament was the same, but this mood this time was very different: the bishop was there, with his gleaming mitre and gilded crosier and concelebrants; the Knights of Columbus filled the aisles of the church, the altar boys were out in full force, and there were nearly thirty candidates for confirmation, all young, lovely, and, as least as I could tell from my seat, solemn and sincere. There was nary a Desiree or Destinee among the saints' names chosen. There was an...READ MORE

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The Hierarchy of Truth vs. the Horse You Rode in On

06/02/2014 Comments (15)

So the other day, comedienne Sarah Silverman made a fool of herself by declaring unborn babies to be "just goo" to fellow medical expert, Bill Maher who says nobody should get vaccinated.  It was a particularly epic display of the sort of science denialism that you don't much hear about in the media. I would like to see a freshman in high school biology try to escape an F by answering a quiz on fetal development with "It's just goo". This is what happens when a culture supposedly devoted to reason gets its science and philosophy from a comedian.

The expected uproar and denunciation of this kind of anti-intellectual idiocy from the pro-life brigade was swift and entirely just--for a while. ...READ MORE

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Breaking Promises Nashville Priest Gives Heretical Interview (Again!)

06/01/2014 Comments (126)

In an interview, Fr. Joseph Breen of Nashville directly contradicts Church teaching and breaks his promises to multiple Bishops.

In 2010, Fr. Joseph Breen posted a video to the internet in which he contradicted Church teaching on a number of topics. The video, after being highlighted on my Creative Minority Report blog, garnered national attention and the attention of his Bishop.

In 1993, Fr. Breen had made a promise to former Bishop of Nashville not to contradict Church teaching after publicly contradicting Church teaching.

In 2010, after the video became known, Bishop Choby offered Fr. Breen a chance to retract his statement and apologize or face removal as pastor. Fr. Breen agreed.
...READ MORE

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Messenger of the Truth: Film on Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko

PBS will air this stirring documentary on the Polish martyr and chaplain of the Polish Solidarity movement on Sunday, June 1 and Monday, June 2.

05/31/2014 Comments (5)

A couple of days ago, I watched Messenger of the Truth, the story of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a Polish priest who made headlines during the 1980s as the heroic chaplain of the Solidarity movement in Poland, and my mind is still occupied with the haunting images in this film. It will be playing on public television on Sunday, June 1 and Monday, June 2. Adults will re-live the historic events that unfolded in Poland in the decade leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and young Americans will get a remarkable lesson in how the courage and faith of one individual can help transform an entire nation. 

To check out if and when the documentary will be aired on your public...READ MORE

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