Pope Francis' Evangelii Gaudium Tackles Abortion and Religious Freedom

Pope Francis confounds the false narrative of a pope who asks us to choose between service to the poor and the defense of unborn human life.

11/26/2013 Comments (8)

Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, is being scrutinized for its teaching on abortion, and other  hot-button issues, by reporters and commentators who may wish to sustain the on-going narrative of a pontiff who asks us to choose between service to the poor and the defense of the unborn child.  The pope clearly rejects that false choice, and as he presents his plans for “a new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality,” he clearly wants the faithful to embrace both missions. 

The relevant passages on abortion and religious freedom in his 84-page apostolic exhortation are below.

On Abortion: the defense of unborn life is "closely linked to the...READ MORE

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Rick Santorum on the Colbert Report

The former U.S.senator hasn't ruled out another bid to win GOP presidential nomination.

11/24/2013 Comments (6)

Rick Santorum went on the Colbert Report to promote his film, The Christmas Candle--and maybe to signal that he just might throw his hat in the ring for the 2016 GOP presidential primaries.

The brief exchange also covered same-sex marriage. Colbert asked him if it was too late to stop the "marriage equality" juggernaut, and Santorum reframed the issue, arguing that it was time to re-claim the meaning of marriage. Check it out here.

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JFK's Last Rites Remembered

11/22/2013 Comments (1)

StoryCorps offers this brief account of President John Kennedy receiving his last rites after he was shot on  November 22, 1963. The scene at the hospital emergency room is recounted by Glenda Rike, the wife of Aubrey Rike, an ambulance driver who was there when the president was brought in.

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A New USCCB President, but Bishops Won't Budge on HHS Mandate

New statement expresses "resolve to resist" the mandate.

11/13/2013 Comments (8)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the outgoing president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, won't be spending so much time in the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the nation's largest religious body. Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, KY is now in the top spot. But one thing hasn't changed: the bishops are still fired up about the HHS mandate. 

On Nov. 13, as the bishops wound up their annual meeting in Baltimore this week, they released a "special  message" on the HHS mandate. The statement linked the bishops' continued resistance to the federal law to Pope Franicis' call for a deepened commitment to serve the needy and those damaged by sin and spiritual alienation.


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Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Kurtz on the "Francis Effect"

Female cardinals and a jump in parish collections are addressed on the CBS morning show.

11/13/2013 Comments (1)

Female cardinals and Vatican-ordered surveys of lay Catholics?

Cardinal Dolan of New York, the outgoing president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the newly elected USCCB president, marked the change of guard at the nation's largest religious body with a Nov. 13 appearance on "CBS This Morning."

Charlie Rose acknowledged Archbishop Kurtz's new role at the helm of the USCCB, but most of the conversation was about the "Francis Effect." Cardinal Dolan confirmed reports of an increase in mass attendence, confession and (maybe this was wishful thinking) collections ...

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Pope Francis Made Me Do It

Pope's remarks cited by Illinois lawmakers to justify vote for same-sex marriage.

11/07/2013 Comments (22)

Pope Francis’ comments about “gays” have been cited by some Illinois lawmakers to explain their decision to back the passage of same-sex marriage in the state.

The Chicago Tribune noted the intense struggle to secure passage of “marriage equality” in Illinois, and said that the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act was key. But so was Pope Francis — at least that is the argument floated by some lawmakers to explain a controversial vote that could have repercussions when they come up for re-election. According to the Tribune: 

Advocates soon received additional help from Pope Francis, who warned that the Catholic Church...READ MORE

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130 Catholic Scholars Denounce Common Core in Letter to U.S. Bishops

11/05/2013 Comments (5)

Gerard Bradley, an expert on constitutional law at the University of Notre Dame law school leads a group of about 130 scholars who have called on the U.S. bishops to reassess the Common Core curriculum standards, which are reportedly being implemented in about half  of the nation's  K-12 Catholic schools. 

Bradley's letter was issued in advance of the the U.S. bishps' annual meeting in Baltimore next week, and it offers a broad critique of the new federal standards on philosophical grounds, describing them as a sharp departure from the hoslistic framework of Catholic education, which seeks to form the whole person with deep respect for the nature and dignity of the human person and...READ MORE

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PBS Compares Catholic Identity on two Campuses: Georgetown v. Ave Maria

11/01/2013 Comments (44)

Here's an interesting, balanced presentation of two universities that both call themselves "Catholic"--one in the "Jesuit tradition. This recent PBS show contrasts Georgetown's accomodation of LGBT pride events with Ave Maria's efforts to transmit Catholic teaching, in part, by preparing its students to respond to challenges posed by same-sex marriage.  Check it out here.

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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.