Irreplaceable: Focus on the Family's Film Playing Just Tonight in Theaters Near You

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 1:28 PM Comments (4)

Focus on the Family has produced a film, Ireplaceable,  which links the elevation of sexual rights with declining rates of marriage, the implosion of the family and  a growing lack oof concern for the needs of children.

Irreplaceable is playing just today in about 700 theaters nationwide. Check Serena Sigillito's out review on The Public Discourse.

Irreplaceable follows the executive director of Focus on the Family New Zealand, Tim Sisarich, as he travels around the world searching for the answers to two vital questions: “What is family?” and “Does family still matter in today’s society?”

Along the way, Sisarich interviews a host of top scholars and writers from a wide range of...READ MORE

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John Paul II and the Clergy Abuse Crisis: Can Saints Make Mistakes?

Pope John Paul II "Ain't No Saint," says the New York Times' Maureen Dowd, and she's not alone.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 5:41 PM Comments (89)

– Wikipedia

This week, as millions of Catholics travel to Rome for the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, thie New York Times' columnist, Maureen Dowd, attacked the decision to proclaim the Church's first Polish pope a saint.

John Paul was a charmer, and a great man in many ways. But given that he presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up, he ain’t no saint. 

It is not the first time Dowd has pounded away at the credibilty of the Catholic Church or of a pope, and it won't be the last. But it is worth pausing to register her remarks because her anger is shared by many Catholics who believe John...READ MORE

Filed under #2popesaints, george weigel, pope john paul ii, sexual abuse, st. john paul ii

Pelosi Uses Holy Thursday Foot Washing Service to Raise Immigration Issue

Friday, April 18, 2014 11:50 AM Comments (44)

Pope Francis inspired Catholics across the world last year when he visited a juvenile detention center in Rome to celebrate Holy Thursday, and tenderly washed the feel of a young  Muslim woman. This year, he washed the feet of disabled people in a ceremony that recalls Jesus' humble service and challenging message to the apostles--the "Servant of the servants" takes the path of radical self-sacrifice that leads to the Cross.

Last night, at Rome's  Don Gnocchi facility, which provides services for the elderly and disabled, Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of the Lord's Supper, and his homily  recalled Jesus'  striking actions:

He did it this way out of love. You too should love each...READ MORE

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The Age of Bullies

We don't like bullies on the school playground, but we're giving them a license to intimidate others in the public square, the boardroom, and the university.

Monday, March 31, 2014 2:48 PM Comments (53)

Many of us bear the scars left by schoolyard bullies, and we applaud efforts to stop such destructive behavior before it harms more children.

But what about the adult bullies who have become a dark and disturbing feature of what now passes for public discourse in our polarized world? 

Last week, Mozilla's CEO , Brendan Eich,  was attacked for making a $1,000 donation in 2008 to California's Proposition 8, which effectively banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State. Some Mozilla employees have demanded that the CEO resign because his donation suggested he supported a discriminatory law and was not truly committed to a diverse workplace.  

Thus far, no one has stepped forward to...READ MORE

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Cardinal O'Malley on The Francis Factor

Thursday, March 20, 2014 5:06 PM Comments (24)

Pope Francis made his first appearance on the world stage shortly after his election, when he stood gravely on the balcony and stared out at the vast crowd of well wishers in St. Peter's Square. He said, "Good evening," and then stunned his audience when he said, "pray for me."

He turned down the papal apartments, and booked a permanent room in the Vatican residence where he could rub elbows with the staff and visitors from near and far.

He routinely offers spiritual counsel and prayers via the telephone, sends alms to the poor, and  goes around the Vatican turning off lights. 

Last year, during Holy Thursday, he visited prisoners in a local detention center, and washed the feel of a...READ MORE

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Arizona Governor Brewer Vetoes Religious Freedom Bill Widely Attacked as "Anti-Gay"

Media headlines described the bill, SB1062, as "allowing denial of service to gays," but a group of top legal scholars said it did no such thing.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 9:33 PM Comments (81)

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed a religious freedom bill that had been widely characterized in the media as "anti-gay."

Over the past week, the governor's office reportedly received thousands of calls related to the bill, which news paper headlines described as a license for businesses to discrimination against persons with same-sex attraction.

During a brief press conference, Brewer said that the bill "does not address a specific or pressing concern" and that she had other legislative priorities.

"I have not heard of one example in Arizona where business owners' religious liberty has been violated," Brewer said. "The bill is broadly worded, and could result in unintended and...READ MORE

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Downton Abbey Spotlights Abortion as Character Makes an Examination of Conscience

SPOILER ALERT: This post discusses the Feb. 9 episode of Season Four.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:50 PM Comments (18)

My husband and I have embarked on a new family tradition: we watch Downton Abbey every Sunday evening unless we have more important plans. 

Aside from the costumes and the setting, we love the way the show's creators use seemingly ordinary moments of domestic life to illuminate deeper truths about the healing power of virtues like charity and justice.

Recently, when the plot turned to a positive pregnancy test for Lady Edith, the unmarried daughter who has fallen in love with a married man who has disappeared during a trip to Germany, I wondered how the show would address her problem.

Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey is a Catholic, but the show has never served as a...READ MORE

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Legal Counsel for Pro-LIfe Groups Challenges Obama Comments on IRS Scandal

Thursday, February 06, 2014 4:47 PM Comments (21)

Just before the start of the Super Bowl, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly conducted a live 10-minute interview with President Obama.

Topics covered included allegations accusing the Internal Revenue Service of targeting and harassing conservative groups that had applied for tax-exempt status. When pressed on the IRS issue, Obama acknowledged soome “bone-headed decisions,” but dismissed O’Reilly’s question about whether the controversy signaled a broader problem of “corruption” at a powerful government agency.

O'REILLY:  You're saying no corruption?


O'REILLY:  None?


OBAMA:  There were some -- there were some bone-headed decisions...

O'REILLY:  Bone-headed decisions...


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About Joan Frawley Desmond

Joan Frawley 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 Menlo Park, Ca, in the San Francisco Archdiocese.