Don Jon's Glimpse of "Pornified Love": When "Sex Is No Longer Sexy"

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a church-going Catholic who routinely confesses his porn addiction, but can't stop it.

Friday, September 27, 2013 11:46 AM Comments (9)

Don Jon, a new film that explores pornography's thrall in 21st Century America, is not for "sensitive" viewers, warns Mary Rose Somarriba  in an article in Verily that weaves scenes from the film with the latest information on  the Social Costs of Porngraphy.

For Gordon-Levitt’s first written and directed feature film, Don Jon (which sensitive viewers should know is filled with porn clips) raises a good question: Does our culture have an unhealthy relationship with porn? Has it diminished our view of women, relationships, and sex in general?

Don Jon is a bold contribution to a recent trend in entertainment, giving audiences a real—and grim—snapshot of 21st-century...READ MORE

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Cardinal Dolan: The Pope Is Shaking Things Up

Traditional Catholics need not fear the pope's approach, said Dolan, the Holy Father is not changing the essentials.

Friday, September 20, 2013 12:55 PM Comments (14)

This morning, in the wake of the furor over Pope Francis' remarks in an interview with America magazine, Cardinal Dolan went on the morning talk shows and confirmed that the Holy Father was calling for a new approach to evangelization that would shake up the church.

On the Today Show here, Cardinal Dolan said,

I'm listening to him. He's asking for a fresh strategy. 

On CBS here Cardinal Dolan said that the Pope is bringing the Church back to the essentials, but not altering the fundamentals of the faith, Asked about the anxiety of "traditional" Catholics who fear the Holy Father is sowing confusion or discouraging people in the trenches on issues like abortion or marriage, the...READ MORE

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U.S. Government Asks Supreme Court to Hear Hobby Lobby Appeal to HHS Mandate

If the high court grants the government's petition, a decision will be filed by June 2014

Thursday, September 19, 2013 6:00 PM Comments (4)

Today, the U.S. Government petitioned the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the Hobby Lobby case.  With split decisions in Circuit Courts for several HHS legal challenges mounted by for profit businesses, the White House needs to obtain a definitive answer.  Will for-profit employers be required to provide co-pay free services, including abortion-inducing drugs, that violate their religious or moral beliefs?. 

The Becket Fund, which represents the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain, will likely be headed for another landmark case before the high court. Becket argued the Hosanna Tabor case, earning an unanimous 2012 decision in favor of religious freedom. The...READ MORE

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Catholics in the Military, Same-Sex 'Marriage' and 'Danger of Scandal'

In a Sept. 17 letter, Archbishop Broglio of the Archdiocese for Military Services urges his flock to uphold Catholic teaching on human sexuality and marriage.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 7:25 PM Comments (37)

 In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn part of the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as a union of one man and one woman, the Obama administration has moved swiftly to provide spousal benefits to service members in same-sex unions.  Military chaplains have been able to preside at the weddings of same-sex couples since 2011.

 On Feb. `17, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for Military Services released guidelines for all  military chaplains, lay people in Catholic ministry and Catholics in command positions. Here are key passages form the archbishop's letter, which began by cautioning military chaplains and the faithful to be mindful of the...READ MORE

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Eyewitness Account of Three Syrian Christians Killed by Extremists

Syria now a "land of martyrs."

Friday, September 13, 2013 6:31 PM Comments (26)

Fides reported on an eyewitness account of three Christians killed following the incursion of jihadist fighters in the ancient Syrian Christian village of Maalula where Aramaic is sitll spoken.

The  survivor of the attack on a Christian home offered a horrific picture of the unfolding events in the village.

According to what the woman told Fides, the armed groups enter many homes of civilians on September 7, destroying and terrorizing people, damaging all the sacred images. In one house there were three Greek Catholic men Mikhael Taalab, his cousin Antoun Taalab, Sarkis el Zakhm, Mikhael’s grandson, and the woman A. , their relative, who says what happened. The Islamists warned...READ MORE

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George Weigel: Time to Reset U.S. Policy on Syria

Defending an international norm with a limited strike? "Absent serious ends, there can be no serious consideration of means," Weigel argues.

Friday, September 13, 2013 3:25 PM Comments (9)

In Naitonal Review today, George Weigel takes up the question of whether the proposed U.S. strike on Syria is justified according to just war criteria.

The problem with our public debate, he suggests, is that is has focused almost entirely on the "means" (military action v. diplomacy) while it has mostly ignored the "ends" (regime change v. punishment, etc) of U.S. policy on Syria. The reason for this skewed approach, he writes, is that the Obama administration has offered a sharply limited goal for its proposed military intervention in Syria--punish Assad and deter future use of chemical weapons. . For the moment, that plan is on hold while the Obama administration studies Putin's...READ MORE

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Cardinal Dolan's Update on the HHS Mandate

The January 2014 deadline for compliance with the federal contraception mandate is just months away, so what will the U.S. bishops do? The New York cardinal offers a few hints.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 3:34 PM Comments (35)

Today, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York headlined a Sept. 11 press conference at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that was designed to showcase the Catholic Church's stance on Syria. An audio recording of the press conference is here.

On the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the USCCB president outlined Pope Francis' case against military intervention, and advocated stepped up dialogue and diplomacy as the best way to address Assad's reported use of chemical weapons, and to secure a political settlement to Syria's civil war. 

But the cardinal was also asked to explain what the bishops will do about the Health and Human Services contraception...READ MORE

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Throwing Syrian Christians "to the lions"?

Syrian rebels from an extremist group move into the ancient Christian town of Maaloula, deepening fears that this embattled Christian minority will be extinguished, and that U.S. military intervention will embolden Islamist fighters.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:37 PM Comments (6)

Syrian fighters from a radical Islamist group fighting the Assad government have moved into the Christian town of Maaloula, reinforcing the "worst fears" of Syrian Christians, who have already beeen fleeing their nation in droves. Today The New York Times reported that the rebel incursion in a Christan town where Aramaic is still spoken may also

complicate President Obama’s task as he struggles to convince Americans that a military strike against Mr. Assad will not strengthen Islamic extremists."

The Times reporter spoke with Mother Pelagia Sayaf, who leads the community at Mar Taqla, a monastery in Maaloula. Mother Pelagia confirmed 

 that the 53 nuns and orphans staying...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 Menlo Park, Ca, in the San Francisco Archdiocese.