“No Men in Women’s Bathrooms”: The Message That Won in Houston

11/04/2015 Comments (13)

Yesterday, a controversial Houston, Tex. ordinance that secured protections for LGBT people was defeated by a starkly simple message:  "No men in women's bathrooms."

As I read the news, I wondered if there was a lesson here that deserved wider attention. 

The steady advance of sexual rights has prompted legal experts, Catholic bishops and moral theologians to construct natural-law arguments and issue dire warnings to the public.  We have been told that religious freedom, a child's right to be raised by his biological mother and father, and the legal rights of natural parents are endangered when legislatures and courts put the desires of individual adults ahead of the common good.

As the...READ MORE

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Ross Douthat to Theologians: 'Academic Rank-Pulling' Won't Defuse Fears of Heresy

11/03/2015 Comments (10)

Last week, Catholics were startled by an Oct. 26 letter to the editor from liberal Catholic theologians who attacked the only openly orthodox Catholic voice at the New York Times—Ross Douthat.

The focus of their ire was Douthat's Oct. 18 column, “The Plot to Change Catholicism,” which expressed alarm about the possibility that Pope Francis might approve pastoral changes that would effectively alter Church teaching on marriage.  

"Aside from the fact that Mr. Douthat has no professional qualifications for writing on the subject," the theologians stated in the letter posted on Daily Theology site, "accusing other members of the Catholic Church of heresy, sometimes subtly, sometimes openly,...READ MORE

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No, Cardinal Marx, the Indissolubility of Marriage Isn't a "Dream"

10/25/2015 Comments (42)

Cardinal Reinhard Marx at the German Bishops' Press Conference at the Pontifical Teutonic College on October 5, 2015. (Bohumil Petrik/CNA)

Like everyone else, I am still trying to make sense of the recent Synod on the Family and what it means for ordinary Catholics. But a comment from Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German Bishops' Conference, really struck a nerve.

The German bishops have mostly backed Cardinal Walter Kasper's proposal to allow divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics to receive Communion in certain situations. But Cardinal Marx apparently sought to balance that priority with a pat on the head for Catholics who remain in their first marriages:

The Church’s message is “one man and one woman will want to be together forever, they say yes and they mean yes, and the Church says be faithful to your...READ MORE

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Cardinal Wuerl: Pope Francis is Calling For a Church That is More in Contact With the Gospel

10/18/2015 Comments (28)

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. dismissed concerns that the Synod of Bishops is being manipulated with the goal of promoting changes in Church discipline that now bars civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics from receiving the Eucharist.  He also saw little need for anxiety that the discussions about altering pastoral practices could undermine Church teaching on marriage and related matters.

In an Oct. 18 interview with America magazine, Cardinal Wuerl expressed puzzlement at the anxiety expressed by some Church leaders, as well as the more specific allegations asserting that the 2014 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops may have been "rigged."  

"My read of the synod, apart from...READ MORE

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George Weigel: The Universal Call to Holiness is Universal

10/16/2015 Comments (6)

From Rome, George Weigel has been sifting through the interventions of the Synod Fathers, and is disturbed by a particular thread of the discussion.

Without precisely saying so, some Synod Fathers believe that “pastoral accompaniment” includes the “tacit blessing” of cohabitation and other  arrangements that fall short of the Church's vision of marriage and family life. This approach, writes Weigel, in an Oct. 15 post on First Things, calls into question the “universal call to holiness” and threatens to create a vast class of “Second Class Catholics.“

How else can we interpret “the claim by some members of Synod 2015 that the Church’s teaching on chastity, marriage, and the family is...READ MORE

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Oops! Watch MSNBC's Pro-Abortion Hit Job Backfire on Live TV

10/02/2015 Comments (50)

Photo from YouTube

What happens when a liberal news show executes a hit job on a pro-life target, only to watch their attempt fizzle? Watch this MSNBC interview to find out.

Here is the context for the MSNBC interview: 

Following a slew of undercover videos that appeared to show Planned Parenthood affiliates profiting from the sale of fetal body parts,  the organization and its powerful allies have retaliated with a full-bore assault on the Center for Medical Progress, the pro-life investigative group that produced the videos.

CMP has been attacked for improperly editing the video images to manipulate public opinion and foster support for defunding Planned Parenthood.

Carly Fiorina, the only woman among a...READ MORE

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Jesus Christ is the Sure Foundation of True Masculinity

10/01/2015 Comments (4)

The Christ Pantocrator of the Deesis mosaic (13th-century) in Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey)

It isn't often that you read an apostolic exhortation by a Catholic bishop and learn something new about James Bond, the iconic British spy with the code name 007 and (like so many other 21st century men) a penchant for gadgetry. But in his stirring, well-crafted letter, "Into the Breach: An Apostolic Exhortation to Catholic Men, My Spiritual Sons in the Diocese of Phoenix", Bishop Thomas Olmsted seeks to bring his flock back to earth, back to the sure foundation of healthy masculinity: Jesus Christ. This is a wake up call for men in his diocese, and he pokes holes in the counterfeit masculine identities that populate the culture and risk colonizing our imagination.

"James Bond's name,"...READ MORE

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Carly Fiorina is Making Life Tough for Pro-Abortion Feminists

09/29/2015 Comments (26)

Carly Fiorina speaks during debate on March 8, 2014. Photo by Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)].

For years, Cecile Richard, ruled the roost. Since the former labor organizer was named president of Planned Parenthood,  she has emerged as a key ally of President Obama and has been celebrated as one of the most influential women in the United States.

But “the times they are a changin’,” as they say.  A slew of undercover videos that appear to show Planned Parenthood affiliates trafficking in the sale of fetal body parts have badly damaged the moral credibility the nation's largest abortion provider. Today, Sept. 29, Richards is testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is investigating whether Planned Parenthood, which receives over $500 million...READ MORE

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About Joan Desmond

Joan Desmond
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Joan Frawley Desmond, is the Register’s senior editor. She is an award-winning journalist widely published in Catholic, ecumenical and secular media. A graduate of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family, she lives with her family in California..