Italian Senate Passes Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill

02/25/2016 Comments (10)

The Italian Senate this evening passed a bill allowing same-sex civil unions, but the legislation does not include a planned measure to allow adoptions by same-sex couples.

The bill passed a vote of confidence motion with 173 in favor, 71 against and none abstaining.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has long promised to pass a civil unions bill, described Thursday's vote as "historic".

But the bill’s sponsor, Senator Monica Cirinnà of the leftist PD party, said the watered-down version of the bill was a hollow victory. She said it was “a very important measure” but legislators now must take “a second step" as "we're halfway up the ladder", ANSA reported.

The bill now goes to Italy’s...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal gerhard muller, cardinal pietro parolin, civil unions, italy, same-sex unions

Please Just Sell Me a Shirt

02/25/2016 Comments (36)

If you blinked, you might have missed the latest tempest in a teapot: Land's End, the venerable clothing company that supplies preppy sweaters to East Coast old money and sturdy uniforms to private school kids, made the ill-advised decision to feature an interview with feminist icon Gloria Steinem in their latest catalogue. The interview was to be the first in a series, presumably spearheaded by the company's relatively new female CEO. The series would be an “ode to individuals who have made a difference in both their respective industries and the world at large." Land's End said, "We honor them and thank them for paving the way for the many who follow.” Land's End also offered the option...READ MORE

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Mary is the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of Mercy

02/25/2016 Comments (3)

Enguerrand Quarton (1410-1466), “The Virgin of Mercy”

Of course you should be thinking – a lot – about God’s mercy during this Year of Mercy. But, there’s something or rather, someone, you might want to consider as well.


In his book, Divine Mercy: The Heart of the Gospel, Dr. Mark Miravalle, theology professor at Franciscan University at Steubenville, quotes Mother Teresa as saying, “Of course [Mary] is Co-Redemptrix, of course. She gave Jesus his body and the body of Jesus is what saved us."


Jesus is Divine Mercy, or Mercy Incarnate. He deserves all honor and glory. In his mercy, he allowed himself to be ridiculed, falsely accused, brutally tortured, and crucified so that you and I might have salvation.

But, who gave him...READ MORE

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Trumping Up a Dispute With Pope Francis

02/25/2016 Comments (11)

Pope Francis aboard the papal flight from Mexico to Rome, Italy on February 17, 2016. (Alan Holdren/CNA)

When I returned home from work a few days ago, I received a number of emails, notes and other messages expressing confusion, perplexity and even anger in relation to a statement Pope Francis had reportedly just made about Donald Trump and immigration.  This statement has gotten a remarkable amount of media attention and has generally been characterized with headlines such as “Pope Francis says Donald Trump is ‘not Christian’.”  I’ve seen numerous expressions of outrage on the political right from people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and glee on the political left from networks like MSNBC regarding what Pope Francis supposedly said about Trump.

But has the media fairly characterized...READ MORE

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Head of Polish Bishops Reflects on Family Synod

In new EWTN Germany interview, Archbishop Stanisław Gadecki discusses meeting’s strengths and weaknesses, dismisses talk of a German-Polish “war”, and recalls that the greatest expression of the Church’s mercy is the Sacrament of Penance.

02/24/2016 Comments (3)

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Posnan, Poland.

– YouTube

KÖLN / POSNAN — As many eagerly await Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the Synod on the Family after a long and tempestuous process, EWTN Germany’s Robert Rauhut sat down recently with Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the synod, a “big change” in the return of St. John Paul II’s teaching at the most recent meeting, and the relationship between truth and mercy. The archbishop also speaks of synod fathers’ “astonishment” at the few mentions of the word sin in the synod’s final document, the hype surrounding holy Communion for remarried divorcees, and why bishops must “rectify” exaggerated...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic exhortation, conscience, divorce remarriage, john paul ii, pope francis, synod on the family

King Arthur in the Lives of the Saints

A surprising portrait of Arthur emerges from the lives of saints

02/23/2016 Comments (3)

St Catwg in stained Glass, from St Martin's parish church, Caerphilly. (WikiMedia Commons)

The literature of King Arthur is like a vast planet pulling history, lore, legend, fiction, poetry, folktale, art, and even faith into its orbit. The The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, a catalog of all things Arthur, is roughly the size of a phonebook, and until you’ve dug past the first layer—Malory, Tennyson, Chretien de Troyes, Prince Valiant, Hollywood—you don’t begin to grasp just how huge this ever-evolving, loosely connected body of work really is. Within it, in a small forgotten corner, is the place where Arthur meets the Catholic saints.

If a genuine historical figure is at the core of the Arthur legend, that man was likely a warlord or chieftain living in Britain around 500 AD. The...READ MORE

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“Risen” and the Reality of the Resurrection

02/23/2016 Comments (21)
(Spoiler Alert)
When I saw the coming attractions for the new film Risen—which deals with a Roman tribune searching for the body of Jesus after reports of the resurrection—I thought that it would leave the audience in suspense, intrigued but unsure whether these reports were justified or not. I was surprised and delighted to discover that the movie is, in fact, robustly Christian and substantially faithful to the Biblical account of what transpired after the death of Jesus. 
My favorite scene shows tribune Clavius (played by the always convincing Joseph Fiennes) bursting into the Upper Room, intent upon arresting Jesus' most intimate followers. As he takes in the people in the room,...READ MORE

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Freedom of Education is Coming Under Attack Worldwide

02/23/2016 Comments (4)

Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky, “Mental Calculation, in Public School of S.A. Rachinsky” (1895)

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience — it is difficult to open a newspaper these days without seeing some freedom or other under attack.

Soon to be added to this list of household names of besieged liberties is another: Freedom of Education, thanks in part to the recently published Index of Freedom of Education 2015/16.

Ranking 136 countries, comprising 94% of the world’s population, according to the degree of educative freedom in primary education, the Index concentrates its analysis on ‘non-governmental schools’, which are “usually run by civil society” specifying that their definition also covers “other denominations such as ‘private school’, ‘charter school’,...READ MORE

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