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Catholic Novel Tells the Tale of Two Orphans — and the Beauty of Redemption (1176)

Book Pick: We’ll Never Tell Them

07/23/2016 Comment

We’ll Never Tell Them

By Fiorella de Maria

Ignatius, 2015

252 pages, $16.95

To order: ignatius.com,

(800) 651-1531



In We’ll Never Tell Them, Fiorella de Maria draws readers into the the lives of Kristjana and Liljana, two Maltese orphans. At a crucial turning point in her life, Kristjana, a nurse living in modern-day London, leaves her life in England behind and seeks refuge working in a Catholic hospital in Jerusalem. The nuns assign Kristjana to care for Leo, a cancer patient who is dying alone in a strange country. Kristjana and Leo are both alone in a foreign country, and the nuns hope that their shared Maltese ethnicity will comfort Leo in his last days as well as help heal...READ MORE

Filed under book picks, catholic, ella hadacek, fiorella de maria, historical fiction, london, malta

How Do the Parties’ Platforms Help or Hurt the Family, in America and Beyond? (2362)

COMMENTARY: Examining Republicans, Democrats and the politics of the domestic church.

07/22/2016 Comments (20)
Shutterstock/Olga Ivanova

– Shutterstock/Olga Ivanova

Party platforms are strange beasts. They are no guarantee of how a party’s nominee for president might govern — especially not in an election year such as this one, when both major parties are so internally divided. And the specific planks of a party platform don’t necessarily play a big role in a typical voter’s selections.

Nonetheless, platforms are a reflection of the principles and priorities of a party’s base, and they can be a good indication of where the party stands and where it might be going. For this reason, they’re worthy of close scrutiny through the lens of the Church’s social teaching.

But instead of analyzing the policy prescriptions of the Democrats and Republicans on...READ MORE

Filed under catholic social teaching, democrats, jonathan liedl, republicans, u.s. politics

SDG Reviews ‘Star Trek Beyond’ (3414)

It’s still ‘Trek Lite,’ but the rebooted series’s third film avoids the darkness of the first two films and manages to evoke something of the franchise’s trademark optimism — along with its own gonzo action.

07/22/2016 Comments (30)

Early in Star Trek Beyond is a striking sequence that offers a vision of something Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland strained for but failed to deliver: It gives us a wondrous sci-fi conception of a community of tomorrow — a community unbound from the normal limitations of planetary gravitational conditions, with a roughly horizontal foundational plane and a perpendicular third dimension in which up and down are virtually parallel everywhere you go.

Tomorrowland tried to realize something like this, with its glass-bottom hover-trains and floating force-field swimming-pool arrays. As dazzling as the visuals were, though, it was transparently window dressing; Tomorrowland never felt like a real,...READ MORE

Filed under movies, science fiction, sdg reviews, star trek, steven d. greydanus

Iraqi Youth Bring Faith-Filled Witness to World Youth Day (916)

‘We are so happy and proud to be Christians,’ says Father Rayan Atto, who is in charge of coordinating the large group traveling to Krakow.

07/22/2016 Comment

The city of St. John Paul II is ready for World Youth Day.

– Instagram.com/wydkrakow2016

ROME — Among the swarms of pilgrims registered for World Youth Day in Poland next week is a large group of Iraqi youth, who aim to witness to the joy of their faith despite ongoing violent persecution.

“I want everyone to see a witness of faith, of suffering faith and the faith of our group,” Father Rayan Atto told CNA July 19.

He said they don’t need “anything special” from the other pilgrims they’ll meet in Krakow, but want to ensure others “that we love them, they are our best friends, and we want to work in this mission with them all over the world.”

“The only thing we need is (for them) to look at our faces: We are so happy and proud to be Christians in this area,” he added.

Father...READ MORE

Filed under faith, iraqi christians, middle eastern christians, persecuted christians, world youth day

St. Mary Magdalene: A Symbol of Hope and Mercy (2203)

COMMENTARY: Pope Francis has given Mary Magdalene a canonical rank equivalent to that of the apostles.

07/22/2016 Comments (7)
Public domain via Wikipedia

Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection from the dead, depicted by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov.

– Public domain via Wikipedia

The most important woman in human history was Mary, the Mother of God. No mere mortal has ever been so richly honored as she who bore God in her own flesh and truly named him her son.

Who was the second-most-important woman? It’s more debatable, but a strong case could be made for St. Mary Magdalene. This July 22, for the first time, Catholics will celebrate her feast.

By formally elevating her memorial to a feast, Pope Francis has given Mary Magdalene a canonical rank equivalent to that of the apostles. He has many times mentioned his wish that Catholics might reflect more deeply on the role of women in the Church. Now, with this change to the Roman calendar, he has taken a concrete step...READ MORE

Filed under discipleship, feast days, rachel lu, saints, st. mary magdalene

In Wake of Pennsylvania Charges, Abuse Spotlight Falls on Religious Orders (2783)

U.S.-based orders have undertaken widespread reforms, but criminal charges filed against three Franciscan friars for alleged supervisory failures of a known child molester indicate problems remain.

07/22/2016 Comments (3)
Todd Berkey/The Tribune-Democrat via AP, File

In this April 14 photo, lawyers lead Franciscans Franciscan Fathers Giles Schinelli (front) and Anthony Criscitelli to their hearing at the Blair County courthouse in Hollidaysburg, Pa. The men are charged with allowing a suspected sexual predator to teach at a Pennsylvania high school and hold other jobs where he molested more than 100 children.

– Todd Berkey/The Tribune-Democrat via AP, File

Since the sex-abuse crisis entered the national discussion in 2002, the bulk of the media attention has been on how individual Catholic dioceses have responded and the steps they have taken over the years to remove abusive clergy from ministry and protect minors and vulnerable people.

But this spring, a religious order put the spotlight on fresh concerns about Church handling of sexual abuse: Criminal charges were filed in Pennsylvania against three Franciscans friars, related to their roles in supervising a brother friar who was accused of molesting more than 100 children.

Though they have not garnered the same attention as dioceses until now, religious orders in the United States say...READ MORE

Filed under brain fraga, conference of major superiors of men, pennsylvania, praesidium, religious orders, sex abuse scandal, third order regular franciscans

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Warns: Western Politicians and Media Mislead World on Middle East (4068)

Speaking with the Register in Rome, Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan discusses the plight of his flock and the mistakes in policy and perspective that have compounded their difficulties.

07/21/2016 Comments (13)
CNA/Daniel Ibáñez

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan speaks at the "Prayer for Peace" event in the Parrocchia di Santa Maria ai Monti Church in Rome on April 17, 2015.

– CNA/Daniel Ibáñez

ROME — Imagine a five-star general, under assault, with no weapons of defense — except faith.

Think of an Old Testament prophet living today, describing the evil destroying his community — but few listen.

That general or prophet is the fierce and noble leader of the Syriac Catholic Church of Antioch, Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan, age 71, whose Church comprises some 200,000 souls worldwide.

Patriarch Youssef sat down with the Register in Rome to provide an update and overview of the situation facing Syriac Catholics in their main homelands of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. (The Catholic bishop of Antioch traditionally carries the title “patriarch” — one of five patriarchs of Antioch,...READ MORE

Filed under islam, middle east, patriarch ignatius youssef iii younan, syria, victor gaetan

Bishop Paprocki: Archbishop Chaput’s ‘Amoris’ Guidelines Are ‘Correct’ (1715)

The new rules on holy Communion and divorce and remarriage from Philadelphia’s shepherd are line with Pope Francis and Catholic teaching, the Illinois bishop said.

07/21/2016 Comments (10)

– Shutterstock

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Some news reports got it wrong: Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput’s guidelines on holy Communion and divorce and remarriage are “certainly correct” and in line with Pope Francis and Catholic teaching, an Illinois bishop has said.

“The Bible clearly teaches about the proper disposition to receive holy Communion in the First Letter to the Corinthians,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., said July 15.

St. Paul says in that letter that those who receive unworthily will be “guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord.”

Canon law reflects this biblical teaching, the bishop said in a column for the Illinois newspaper the State Journal Register.

Bishop...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, archbishop charles chaput, bishop thomas paprocki, catholic, church teaching on marriage, church teaching on sexuality, divorced and remarried, holy communion, pope francis

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