Cardinal Dolan on the Today Show: Pope Francis Reminds Us We Can't Judge Souls, Only Actions

Pope Francis' remarks about gay priests get additional context from the New York cardinal.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:32 AM Comments (35)

Here is Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York on the Today show. He was one of many Church leaders beseiged by a media frenzy following Pope Francis's remarks on "gay" priests that were taken out of context. Several bishops I spoke with on Tuesday had conducted back-to-back media interviews on the issue, and one told me:"It's unfortunate that some newspapers will have a photo of the millions of young people at the final mass on the beach in Rio, but they all have front-page stories on the news about "gay priests." Yet,  it seems likely that the pope has managed to stir things up in a way that could prove fruitful. At least some curious people will be reading what he actually said, including...READ MORE

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Time to Switch Off TV Antiheroes Like Breaking Bad's Walter White?

White, Tony Soprano and Don Draper make us feel morally superior -- while getting our entertainment from watching characters make bad choices over and over again.

Monday, July 29, 2013 11:35 AM Comments (10)

A couple of years ago, friends gave my husband and me an unexpected Christmas present -- the first season of Mad Men, the Emmy-award winning television series about postwar  Madison Avenue advertising executives. Mad Men's protagonist, Don Draper,  attains success in this flashy, often sleezy world that has a knack for making consumers lust for products they don't need. Don is unfaithful to his wife, who is unaware of a dark secret that shadows his professional success. The first season, and the many others that have followed, charts the fits and starts of his moral descent. The first season makes this point clear when the credits roll out, showing the figure of  a man falling into the...READ MORE

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Media Watch: The Royal "Fetus" Has Arrived: It's a Baby!

Friday, July 26, 2013 11:54 AM Comments (4)

The New York Times' jarring habit of employing the term, "fetus," to describe all pre-born children testifies to its ideological commitment to abortion-rights without restriction. Yet the Times, along with other news organizations, has reported on the "royal baby" throughout Kate's pregnancy.

Now, following the long-awaited arrival of George Alexanber Louis, Owen Strachan, a professor of theology and history at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky, writes in The Atlantic  about  the media's practice of using the word "fetus"---except when it involves the royal baby---to withhold the rights that accompany full personhood from pre-born children. Strachan takes note of the profusion of...READ MORE

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New Polling Confirms Public Support for Abortion Restrictions

Thursday, July 25, 2013 12:20 PM Comments (1)

Two new polls show Americans back efforts to end abortion on-demand after 20 weeks. 

The results of a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released today found an 

underlying unease with abortion, more say it should be legal without limitation only up to 20 weeks (as in some recent state laws), as opposed to about 24 weeks, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Roe v. Wade case; the division is 56-27 percent (an additional 8 percent volunteer that it should never be legal).

Supporters of legal abortion divide fairly closely on the 20- vs. 24-week issue, with 49 percent supporting the former and 42 percent favoring the latter. On the other hand, not surprisingly,...READ MORE

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Time for a Zero Tolerance Dress Code at Mass?

A Christian campaign has its own slogan, "Modest Is Hottest."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 9:55 PM Comments (55)

Here in California, people rarely dress up. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly wore a hoodie for the Facebook IPO (though he put on a nice suit for his wedding last year).

So when people glide into Mass wearing their gym clothes, flipflops and tank tops, most pastors judiciously ignore the spectacle and hope their parishioners will too.

Still, whenever our family attends the 5:30 p.m. Sunday Mass, I have wondered whether the profusion of mini skirts and tube tops might add  up to a 'near occasion of sin," for some appreciative men in the congregation.. And that possibility, I think, is what bothered  my old pastor back in Bethesda, Maryland. He was not shy about discussing inapprorpriate Mass...READ MORE

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Ender's Game Boycott—Will 'Tolerance' Prevail After SCOTUS Marriage Decision?

The Chick-fil-A boycott debacle should prompt boycott supporter to re-think their game plan.

Monday, July 22, 2013 12:22 PM Comments (18)

The film adaptation of Ender's Game -- a great young adult sci-fi novel/series, and one of my oldest son's favorite books -- is the target of a high-profile boycott initiated by Geeks Out. The gay-rights group has no problem with the book, but with its author, Orson Scott Card, who has spoken out in the past about homosexual behavior and is a past board member of the National Organization for Marriage, the nation's leading political group resisting changes in the nation's marraiage laws. 

The film will be released in November, but the boycott campaign, Skip Ender's Game, is already in full gear. Organizers have urged the book's fans to stay home.

Do not buy a ticket at the theater,...READ MORE

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Do Texas-style Abortion Restrictions Keep Women Down?

The data documenting the social and economic progress of Irish women suggests otherwise.

Sunday, July 21, 2013 5:35 PM Comments (12)

Abortion-rights advocates have argued that abortion restrictions keep women down,  undermining gender equality and access to first-class healthcare benefits.  

"Governor Perry and anti-choice politicians in the Texas Legislature have worked overtime to advance a cruel assault on women's health, dignity, and constitutional rights, saidJulie Rickelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America,  has vowed that Texas GOP lawmakers who approved the bill will pay a high cost, and that women will not forgive them for what they did.

"You will be able to win a tactical advantage," she said in a statement after Gov. Perry...READ MORE

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Weigel on Lumen Fidei

The "autonomous Self," writes Weigel, passes through a "wilderness of mirrors."

Friday, July 12, 2013 12:49 PM Comments (3)

Once again, George Weigel offers a brilliant analysis of Pope Francis' first encyclical and its gentle but stirring diagnosis of modern secular ideology:

Here's what Lumen Fidei says about the self-referential mindset that keep secular humanists on a path to nowhere. 

The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: In a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love.  ... Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of...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.