Jimmy Stewart and Psalm 91

12/17/2009 Comments (2)

When it comes to a Christmastime movie, a perennial favorite of most everyone is It’s a Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart made no secret it was his favorite film and favorite role as George Bailey.

The poignant slice of Americana is on the Vatican’s film list and No. 5 on the Register’s 100 best films list.

No matter how many times we watch it, the story remains fresh and remarkably uplifting. And with strong spiritual implications whose foundations were laid before filming began.

Before Stewart became George Bailey, his guardian angel surely watched over him during harrowing combat missions in World War II. When Stewart, a Presbyterian, was leaving for Air Force duty as a B-24 bomber...READ MORE

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Cardinal: Senate Already Embraced Nelson Amendment

12/17/2009 Comment

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has an interesting take on the controversy over language restricting federal funding of abortion in health-care reform legislation.
The Senate rejected the Nelson amendment, which would have banned federal funding of abortions except in cases of rape and incest and where the mother’s life was in danger. Many in the Senate said the language goes too far.
But, in this Dec. 14 letter to members of the Senate, Cardinal DiNardo, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, points out that the Senate actually approved the same concept of the Nelson amendment in other bills, and did so just recently.
Here is the full text of the...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, bishops, conscience, healthcare, senate

Christmas in a Lean Year

12/17/2009 Comment

It’s been a rough year, economically and in other ways. People have lost homes and jobs, and economic uncertainty is eating away at a lot of Americans right now.

So, as we enter the final week before Christmas, we’d like to conduct a little unscientific survey. Let us hear from you on your thoughts and experiences regarding Christmas in a lean year: Are you celebrating Advent and Christmas any differently this year? Why? What sorts of things are you doing differently? What has changed for you over the past year? Do you work for a company that has not been able to hand out end-of-year bonuses or throw a Christmas party? Have you agreed with family and friends to not exchange gifts, for...READ MORE

Filed under advent, christmas, economic downturn

Pope's 'Cosmic Vision of Peace'

World Day of Peace Message Pleads for the Environment

12/16/2009 Comment

In his World Day of Peace Message for 2010, Pope Benedict XVI highlights the “urgent need” to protect the environment in order to cultivate peace, Cardinal Renato Martino said yesterday.

Releasing the message, with the theme “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation,” the outgoing president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said the Pope has presented a “cosmic vision of peace.”

The cardinal stressed the message “recalls the Church’s commitment to defending the Earth” and enumerates a series of “perspectives for the shared progress of humankind.” This series includes “a non-reductive vision of the nature of human beings,” a call to collective...READ MORE

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Lawler: Catholics Must Oppose This Bill

12/16/2009 Comment

Phil Lawler, writing at CatholicCulture.org, argues that the health-care reform legislation in its current form must be opposed by Catholics.

In the commentary, Lawler points out that even if federal funding of abortion is banned — something that appears unlikely — the bill also provides for federal funding of contraceptives, sterilization, in vitro fertilization treatments and “sex-reassignment surgeries.”

“He who pays the piper calls the tune, and if the federal government pays for health-care treatment, the White House ultimately will set the standards to determine which procedures warrant support,” Lawler writes. “We already know where President Obama stands on embryonic stem-cell...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, healthcare

Pope Consoles Berlusconi After Attack

12/15/2009 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram through the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, condemning Sunday night’s physical attack on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

According to L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy Father expressed his “paternal closeness” to Berlusconi, said he deplored the personal attack, and wished him “a speedy recovery.”

Massimo Tartaglia, a 42-year-old with a history of psychological problems, threw a metal souvenir into Berlusconi’s face after the Italian prime minister had addressed a rally outside Milan’s cathedral. The prime minister is currently still in hospital, suffering from a broken nose, cuts to his face and two...READ MORE

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Newman Beatification Key to Pope’s U.K. Trip in ’10

12/14/2009 Comment

Preparations are continuing for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain in 2010, although an official announcement is not expected until well into the new year.

Last week, U.K. government officials were at the Vatican to discuss the Pope’s travel plans while their Vatican counterparts have been in Britain also making preparations.

A senior source at the Vatican told the Register that a four-day visit looks likely in mid-September next year, with the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman being the “linchpin” of the trip.

The Holy Father is expected to make at least two keynote addresses in England: one to politicians and diplomats, which may take place in Westminster Hall, the...READ MORE

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Congress Restores D.C. Abortion Funding

12/14/2009 Comment

The $1.1 trillion spending bill the Senate passed yesterday includes major increases in funding for abortions.

The bill, which was sent to President Obama’s desk, reverses the Dornan Amendment, a 13-year-old ban on direct funding of abortions in the District of Columbia.

The bill, passed on a 57-35 mostly party-line vote, also appropriates $648.5 million for international family-planning funding, an increase of $103 million from Fiscal Year 2009, without the constraints of the Mexico City Policy to prevent these dollars from being provided to organizations that promote and perform abortions, LifeNews.com reported here.

The bill also increases funding for the United Nations Population...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, senate

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