A Rising Tide of Grief: The Hidden Abortion Pain of Grandparents

02/26/2016 Comments (2)

Donna Gardner is the Respect Life ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Palm Beach.  Donna and fellow Rachel’s Vineyard leaders from around the world participated in an internet based seminar from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign on the Shockwaves of Abortion. The Shockwaves of Abortion is an ongoing year-long initiative with a focus each month on the varied population groups impacted by the Shockwaves of Abortion; mothers and fathers, grandparents, siblings, family and friends, as well as the abortion clinic workers and abortionists themselves.

After the seminar Donna shared the information with her Diocese speaker’s bureau so they could help spread this broader vision of the...READ MORE

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Best films of 2015: More lists!

My circle of Christian cinephiles converged on the year’s best films more closely in 2015 than usual.

02/26/2016 Comments (8)

My final semester of seminary has been one of the toughest of the last four years, so I’ve been neglecting whatever I could neglect…but now, with the Oscars hard on us, the deadline is here for my annual round-up of the year-end best films of some of my friends and peers (see previous years).


  • This year I think there’s more overlap amongst our lists than ever before. 4 of the 5 top-named films are on my personal top 5 — and my other top-5 film is in an 8-way tie for 7th place.
  • In particular I don’t think I’ve ever agreed so extensively with Kenneth Morefield (who notes at 1More Film Blog that his list this year is more populist than usual). 5 of his top 10 are in my top...READ MORE

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"Make Them a Cupcake": Kasich and Religious Liberty

02/26/2016 Comments (25)

Governor John Kasich is no friend of religious liberty. In fact, he recently mocked Christian business owners who refused to take part in same sex weddings.

Kasich, who once boasted that he attended a same-sex ceremony, flippantly said, "if you’re a cupcake maker and someone wants a cupcake, make them a cupcake. Let’s not have a big lawsuit or argument over all this stuff. Move on.”

Kasich's dismissive view of religious liberty fails to take into account that it's not the Christian business owners who are initiating legal proceedings. And also, using the glib phrase "make them a cupcake" is an attempt to belittle the very real religious objections some business owners have. Kasich's quote...READ MORE

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Affirm Doctrine, Find Exceptions, Appeal to Conscience

Is this the pontificate's modus operandi for introducing controversial pastoral innovations?

02/26/2016 Comments (44)

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago speaking to reporters during last October's Synod on the Family. The archbishop appeared to place the importance of conscience above the Church’s teaching. Photo: EP

The controversy over the exceptional case of administering contraceptives to religious sisters at grave risk of rape in the Congo civil war of the 1960s points to a pattern in this pontificate of introducing new or exceptional pastoral approaches that give primacy to conscience, while at the same time purporting to affirm Church doctrine.

It’s an approach that could be used to promote new pastoral practices in the Holy Father’s eagerly anticipated post-synodal apostolic exhortation, expected before Easter.

On the plane back from Mexico last week, Pope Francis underscored that abortion is “a crime, an absolute evil” but went on to explain that the “lesser evil” — avoiding pregnancy — “is...READ MORE

Filed under conscience, humanae vitae, pope francis, synod on the family

Pope Francis Recalls 'Deus Caritas Est' 10 Years On - Full Text

02/26/2016 Comment

– http://www.fmrarte.it/

Here below is the full text of Pope Francis' address today to participants of an international congress hosted by the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" on the theme: "'Love will never end' (1 Cor 13,8). Prospects 10 years on from the encyclical Deus Caritas Est.” 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I welcome you on the occasion of the International Conference on the theme: “Love will never end (1 Cor 13:8): Prospects ten years on from the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est”, organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and I thank Monsignor Dal Toso for the words of greetings addressed to me on behalf of all of you.

The first Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI concerns a theme that allows us to retrace the...READ MORE

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My Wish List for New Catholics, and a Few Thoughts About RCIA

02/26/2016 Comments (11)

Benozzo Gozzoli (1420-1497), “Baptism of St. Augustine”

I am a "double-jump" convert to the Catholic Faith. I was raised Nothing-in-Particular (with a cloudy pagan regard for "the spiritual" and a deep disdain of "organized religion"). Then, at the age of 20, I had a sort of classic "born again" experience after an encounter with the living God revealed in Jesus Christ. Looking around me, I found that the people who had introduced me to Jesus were the non-denominational Evangelicals and charismatics on my dorm floor at the University of Washington. Therefore, putting two and two together, I concluded that this was the Christian community God had given me and that it was my task to learn from them, love them, and receive the love of God through...READ MORE

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The Seven Deadly Sins Really Are Deadly

02/25/2016 Comments (3)

Jacques de l'Ange, “An Old Woman Weighing Gold: Avarice” (1642)

Somebody observed about the current front runner presidential choices, “It seems to be a choice between six deadly sins on the one hand and half a dozen on the other…”

Certainly the current election cycle is disappointing for anyone who is looking for the candidate of personal virtue.  Usually the investigators dig deep to find the hidden scandal and the skeleton in the closet. These days the investigators dig deep to find some evidence not of vice, but of virtue.

The frightening thing about candidates who are not personally virtuous is that all vice ends in violence. Consider the seven deadly sins and how they are deadly.

 In one way or another, if the vice is continued it ends in...READ MORE

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The Devil Hates Faith and Reason Alike

02/25/2016 Comments (1)

Raphael (1483-1520), “The School of Athens”

Could we have a do-over? When looking at the list of candidates running for president, I wish we could stop everything and start over. Why? Because the people of our nation are too easily led like sheep and we listen more to “experts,” spectacles, and impossible promises than reasonable arguments.

What I see in America is the loss of reason and it has become the devil’s playground.

C. S. Lewis frames the situation this way in The Screwtape Letters:

But what with the weekly press and other such weapons we have largely altered that….He doesn’t think of doctrine as primarily ‘true’ or ‘false’, but as ‘academic’ or ‘practical’, ‘outworn’ or ‘contemporary’ or ‘ruthless.’ Jargon, not...READ MORE

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