Gay Man Refused Last Rites?

02/20/2014 Comments (119)

Boy, does this story make my spidey sense tingle:  Gay patient says Catholic chaplain refused him last rites  The Washington Post reports,

A Catholic chaplain at MedStar Washington Hospital Center stopped delivering a 63-year-old heart attack patient Communion prayers and last rites after the man said he was gay, the patient said Wednesday, describing a dramatic bedside scene starting with him citing Pope Francis and ending with him swearing at the cleric.

The heart patient, Ronald Plishka recounts their conversation, in which he indicated that he had been raised Catholic, and did not come out as gay until he was in his 50's.  According to Plishka

I said: ‘Does that bother...READ MORE

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The Catechesis of the Snow Shovel

02/18/2014 Comments (31)

So.  Maybe now you all know what I'm talking about when I say "snow."  Now you all have wakened from your charmed sleep of winter weather innocence.  You've seen your world transformed, your priorities have suddenly shifted, and you've faced the fact that if you want to leave your house, you're going to have to do something -- yes, you personally -- about all that ridiculous white stuff that's come between you and the life you used to know.  Certain truths about yourself, and about life in general, become unavoidable.

This is why I think that all candidates for confirmation should spend at least one winter month in the Northeast, or at a similar latitude.  No kidding! Spend just a few...READ MORE

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What Planned Parenthood Needs

02/13/2014 Comments (106)

As if Valentine's Day weren't upsetting enough, Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, has launched a Twitter campaign to let the world know "What Women Need."  You're supposed to take a picture or video of yourself holding a placard with a heart, and fill in the heart to explain "What Women Need."  Here is a screenshot of the vine (super-short video) that Richards is circulating on social media:

Wow, who would've thunk it?  "What Women Need" happens to be the very thing that keeps Planned Parenthood in business. 

Oh, no, Simcha!  Abortion only accounts for 3% of Planned Parenthood's services! 

Yuh-huh.  That is an adorable game with numbers that any two bit accountant...READ MORE

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Death of a Giraffe

02/11/2014 Comments (49)

I tried hard to be annoyed at the people who protested when a zoo in Copenhagen announced plans to kill one of their giraffes.  The giraffe was healthy, but superfluous, and the zoo wanted to avoid inbreeding.  So they announced their plans: shoot the animal in the head, dissect it in a display open to the public, and feed its meat to their lions.

Inevitably, protesters signed petitions and massed outside the walls, rending their garments over the "cruel" decision to shoot the young giraffe and feed its body to the lions.  You have to laugh a little bit at these crowds of mourners (who can't all have been vegans).  What do they suppose happens in the wild?  Do the predators there...READ MORE

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Speaking of Empty Promises

02/06/2014 Comments (34)

In a frenzy of disgust over his dissolute father, Ivan Karamazov cries out, "Why is such a man alive?"  Poor Ivan wrestled and sweated over the problem of evil in the world.  It's hard not to get a little Ivan-ish when we read the headlines lately.  Sometimes it's not even human evil that makes us writhe in mental anguish.  Sometimes it's human stupidity. 

Take, for instance, this story from Illinois:  School officials are no fan of gun ban signs.  It explains that schools and other buildings statewide will begin displaying signs that designate an area where no guns are allowed.  The sign shows a silhouette of a gun inside the standard "prohibition sign" -- a red circle, with a diagonal...READ MORE

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Should You Get a Dog?  A Quiz

02/04/2014 Comments (24)

Since we are on our second dog, many people* seek my advice in dog-related matters.  The number one question that I get** is, "Should we get a dog?"***

My first impulse is always to say, "Yes, you should. But only a 14-month-old brindle English Mastiff with a New England accent and an unquenchable appetite for cookies, ham, and plastic dinosaur heads.  Okay? And by the strangest of coincidences, I KNOW WHERE YOU CAN FIND ONE.

Ha ha! I jest. Never would I part with our beloved pet, who has been with us lo these many years.  I mean, two months.  We've had him for two months, and he's profoundly scarred become an integral part of our family even in that short time.  I can't even imagine...READ MORE

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You Want Ethical Stem Cells?

01/30/2014 Comments (9)

We got ethical stem cells.  Or at least we might.  According to New Scientist,

In the plant kingdom ... drastic environmental stress can change an ordinary cell into an immature one from which a whole new plant can arise. For example, the presence of a specific hormone has been shown to transform a single adult carrot cell into a new plant. Some adult cells in reptiles and birds are also known to have the ability to do this.

Researchers in Japan wondered if the same thing would happen with mammals, so they tried it with mice.  These mice had been specially bred to carry a gene that glows in the presence of pluripotent cells -- the cells which can develop into all different types...READ MORE

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Are You Raising Your Kids?

01/28/2014 Comments (18)

It's Catholic Schools Week.  On Sunday, our pastor gave a nice homily reminding us that parents have the primary responsibility of raising their kids in the Faith -- and that this is true whether we send our kids to Catholic school or not, and whether we take advantage of the parish's religious education program or not.

At our house, we're in the middle of frenzy of catechetical activity that comes at the end of January, when I suddenly realize that it's almost time for someone's first confession and first Communion again; so when the words "religious education" come into my head at night, I can think, "Check!" and go back to sleep, rather than lying there in a guilty agony as I recall...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.