Did James Foley Die a Muslim Convert or a Catholic Martyr?

02/23/2015 Comments (17)

– YouTube

When James Foley was publicly beheaded by militants from the Islamic State, the grisly video of the American reporter's execution led some Catholics to praise him as a martyr for the faith. 

But, later, other released hostages, who knew Foley, testified that the American had converted to Islam, and that his conversion appeared to be genuine.

Was Foley a Catholic martyr or a Muslim convert? asks The New York Times. And if he did formally embrace the religion of his captors, was that the free expression of his conscience, the result of violent coercion, or simply a tactic to secure a reprieve from the daily beatings he endured at the hands of ISIS?

Foley's mother, a practicing Catholic who...READ MORE

Filed under

Lawmakers to San Fran Archbishop: Drop Morality Clauses for Teachers

02/19/2015 Comments (73)
Lauren Cater/CNA

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.

– Lauren Cater/CNA

A group of California lawmakers asked Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco to remove "morality clauses" from a proposed contract for teachers in high schools under his jurisdiction, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The new language in the contracts direct teachers in four archdiocesan high schools to avoid public statements or actions that oppose Church teaching on contraception, pre-marital sex or homosexual relationships. My story on the proposed change in contract language is here.

In their letter to the archbishop, the California lawmakers argued that the morality clauses "conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we...READ MORE

Filed under

Psychiatrist: How Fifty Shades of Grey Changes Your Mind and Body

02/18/2015 Comments (8)

The blockbuster success of the film, Fifty Shades of Grey, brings this cautionary guidance from Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Irvine medical school.

Couples who may be insoired by the film and books to spice thinge up should check out two  recent studies Kheriaty cites in a post on The Public Discourse.The studies link women who  have read the Fifty Shades books with an increase in behaviors associated with abusive relationships. The 2014 study is here, and the  2013 study is here.

Here is his explaination for why we should be wary of mixing romance with violence -- even in the entertainment we consume.

"Human beings have neural networks related to...READ MORE

Filed under

Iraqi Christian Children, Others, Sold by ISIS as Sex Slaves, Reports UN Watchdog

In the wake of Islamic State’s brutal treatment of a Jordanian pilot, President Obama attacked ISIS at the National Prayer Breakfast

02/05/2015 Comments (9)

Residents of Kobane, Syria, flee across the Turkish border in fear of attacking Islamic State forces.

– fpolat69/Shutterstock.com

“Children of minorities have been captured in many places ... sold in the market place with tags, price tags on them, they have been sold as slaves,” Renate Winter, an expert on the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, told reporters yesterday

Winter’s comments were timed with the release of the U.N. watchdog’s report on a range of human rights issues in Iraq that have surfaced over almost two decades. 

The report was issued as the world reacted in horror to the Islamic State’s brutal treatment of a captured Jordanian pilot, who was burned alive in a cage.

Strikingly, this U.N. report detailing attacks on children has not received anywhere near the same level of global attention....READ MORE

Filed under

Bringing Up Purgatory at a Funeral?

01/30/2015 Comments (438)

Dante depicted as looking at purgatory, in a 16th-century painting.

– Wikipedia

Is it in bad taste, even insensitive, to speak of purgatory at a funeral?

Many seem to think so. In my experience, most homilists at funeral Masses report that our loved one is already in heaven, and we should hold onto that thought as we grieve our loss.

So I was startled this month when the homilist at a recent funeral Mass for an old friend asked the congregation to pray for him in purgatory.  The priest added, as if anticipating the shock of some mourners: “It seems to me, any Christian who does not accept purgatory, diminishes God’s love for man, and at the same time devalues the beauty of the human person."

His intriguing words grabbed my attention.

The priest, Dominican Father...READ MORE

Filed under

Brigid Loves Her Sister, Amy, and Asks Others to Welcome Children With Down Syndrome

01/23/2015 Comments (2)
Yesterday's March for LIfe in Washington and tomorrow's Walk for LIfe in San Francisco remind us that every life has equal dignity, and that unborn children with genetic disorders should be welcomed with love and acceptance.
I have known Patty Ann and Jim White and their four children since the mid-1990s, and have never failed to be inspired by their legacy of love, mutual respect and witness to life. The Whites' youngest daughter, Amy, has Down syndrome, and Amy's older sister, Brigid, has been her cloest friend and supporter.
Brigid is heading off the college next fall, and last week she gave an address at her school assembly that celebrated Amy's special gifts. Brigid urged her fellow...READ MORE

Filed under

Should Peggy Noonan’s New York Catholic Church Be Closed?

Rebutting claims in Noonan's Wall Street Journal column, the New York Archdiocese goes on the offensive.

01/05/2015 Comments (55)

Peggy Noonan


Church closures are a sad, increasingly predictable fact of life in some U.S. dioceses, and that is not news to Peggy Noonan, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and a parishioner at the Church of St. Thomas More on Manhattan's tony Upper East Side.

But Noonan ruffled feathers in the local chancery when she argued in a Dec. 26 column that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York had no good reason for floating a proposal to shutter the church she attends. With its standing-room only liturgies, successful school, array of programs, legacy of fostering vocations, community outreach and solid finances, she argued, the Church of St. Thomas More should be celebrated, not closed.

So why might her...READ MORE

Filed under

For Persecuted Christians in the Middle East, a Vermont Priest Makes a Difference

01/01/2015 Comments (6)

Father Kiely appearing on EWTN's "The World Over" with Raymond Arroyo

Amid the cascade of crises across the world in 2014, it was all too easy to forget the desperate plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. So as we ponder our New Year's resolutions for 2015, let's commit to offer prayers and material support for our sisters and brothers who have fled their homes and taken up residence in monasteries and schools, homes and camps in Kurdistan, and in Turkey, LebanonJordan, and Egypt.

If that suggestion seems like a tall order, then look to Father Benedict Kiely, a priest in the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, who recently eestablished a website -- Nasarean.org -- to raise funds and awareness about the needs of Christians in Iraq and Syria. As I...READ MORE

Filed under persecuted christians, isis, isil, islamic state,, pope francis

Page 9 of 22 pages ‹ First  < 7 8 9 10 11 >  Last ›

About Joan Desmond

Joan Desmond
  • Get the RSS feed
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..