Messenger of the Truth: Film on Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko

PBS will air this stirring documentary on the Polish martyr and chaplain of the Polish Solidarity movement on Sunday, June 1 and Monday, June 2.

05/31/2014 Comments (5)

A couple of days ago, I watched Messenger of the Truth, the story of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a Polish priest who made headlines during the 1980s as the heroic chaplain of the Solidarity movement in Poland, and my mind is still occupied with the haunting images in this film. It will be playing on public television on Sunday, June 1 and Monday, June 2. Adults will re-live the historic events that unfolded in Poland in the decade leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and young Americans will get a remarkable lesson in how the courage and faith of one individual can help transform an entire nation. 

To check out if and when the documentary will be aired on your public...READ MORE

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Cardinal Dolan's Take on Pope Francis and "Trickle-Down Economics"

Cardinal Timothy Dolan explains Pope Francis' views about free markets to Wall Street .

05/23/2014 Comments (28)

Don't believe all the stuff you read about Pope Francis' attacks on free-market economics, says Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, in a May 22 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal

The church believes that prosperity and earthly blessings can be a good thing, gifts from God for our well-being and the common good. It is part of human nature to work and produce, and everyone has the natural right to economic initiative and to enjoy the fruits of their labors. But abundance is for the benefit of all people.

The spread of the free market has undoubtedly led to a tremendous increase in overall wealth and well-being around the world. Yet Pope Francis is certainly correct that "an important...READ MORE

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Resigning Ourselves to a Middle East without Christians

U.S. Christian leaders sign “Pledge of Solidarity & Call to Action” on behalf of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

05/20/2014 Comments (6)

, Pope Francis has insisted that  the Church 

will not be resigned to think about the Middle East without Christians.

So what is to be done, in practical terms, to reverse the departure of Christians from Egypt, Syria and Iraq?  That question raises the broader problem of how Catholics and Christians across the globe can effectively defend the rights of believers who want to stay in the region, but are forced to leave because their fundamental rights have been ignored or even undermined by their own governments.

Mindful that the pope's visit will draw fresh attention to this problem, U.S. Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant  leaders, legislators and church-affiliated organizations, like...READ MORE

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Harvard's President Has Learned Something about the Eucharist, So Should Catholics

The black mass re-enactment scheduled to take place at Harvard was canceled, marking Drew Faust's dawning appreciation for what the Real Presence means. But how many Catholics "get" the moral of this story?

05/13/2014 Comments (8)

Harvard president, Drew Faust, learned something over the past week: The Eucharist is integral to Catholic belief, and some of the faithful expressed their love and reverance for the Eucharist, as they responded forcefully and prayerfully to the news of a planned re-enactment of the Satanic mass, which mocks  the Eucharist.

Last week, Faust dismissed Catholic outrage about the black mass, which was scheduled for May 12 at a campus pub. Pressed to cancel the event, Faust limited her comments to an expression of support to the right of assembly for participants at the event.

This week, Faust responded differently, calling the black mass "abhorent" and 

a fundamental affront to the values...READ MORE

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Satanic Mass at Harvard Marks Double Standard for Catholic Beliefs

Father Roger Landry, a Harvard alumn and Fall River priest, writes Harvard's president to ask why its okay to mock Catholic beliefs.

05/08/2014 Comments (83)

In the past couple of days, Harvard University has heard from a slew of Catholics outraged about the planned reenactment of a Satanic mass on campus. The university issued a press release explaining that it wasn't endorsing the event, while the Boston Archdiocese has strongly opposed it, portraying it as an affront to Catholics and dangerous for anyone who participates in it:

This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.

[UPDATE: Catholics takes such matters very seriously. In fact, this week at the Vatican, Pope Francis is hosting a conference on...READ MORE

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

05/06/2014 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.

04/24/2014 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

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Pelosi Uses Holy Thursday Foot Washing Service to Raise Immigration Issue

04/18/2014 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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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..