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Pope's Agonizing Dilemma, Should We Stop Pursuing Excellence to Avoid Moral Danger, and More! (2946)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/19/2016 Comment

Click on The Pope’s Agonizing Dilemma: Reforming the Curia, The Communion Question, Creation of New “Super-Dicastery”, a New Congregation, Addressing Powerful Secretariat of State, Naming New Cardinals, and More. . . by Fr. Mark Drew of The Catholic Herald link to follow and read.

The Pope’s Agonizing Dilemma: Reforming the Curia, The Communion Question, Creation of New “Super-Dicastery”, a New Congregation, Addressing Powerful Secretariat of State, Naming New Cardinals, and More. . . by Fr. Mark Drew of The Catholic Herald - Big Pulpit

Should We Stop Pursuing Excellence to Avoid Moral Danger? – Peter Kwasniewski Ph.D., New Liturgical Movement

Keeping Resolutions by Struggling All Year Round – Claire Navarro, Ignitum Today

Solzhenitsyn and Distributism – Joseph Pearce, The Distributist Review

Ad Orientem: The Cardinal Virtues of Worship; Fr. Z Fisks! by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of Fr. Z’s Blog - Big Pulpit

“Rural Women: The Feminine Genius in the Countryside” – Bob...READ MORE

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Religious-Freedom Advocates Voice Joy as Saeed Abedini Freed From Iranian Prison (1482)

Christian pastor, a U.S. citizen who had been held since 2012, was released over the weekend.

01/18/2016 Comments (1)
American Center for Law and Justice

Abedini family

– American Center for Law and Justice

WASHINGTON — Religious-freedom advocates voiced gratitude and joy at the release of Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen who had been held in an Iranian prison since 2012.

Abedini was among the three American citizens freed as part of the U.S.-Iran prisoner exchange over the weekend. 

“This is a major victory. We are incredibly grateful to the more than 1.1 million people who have joined us in fighting across the globe for Pastor Saeed’s freedom,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), in a Jan. 16 statement.

The ACLJ had for years been advocating for Pastor Abedini’s freedom from Iran by organizing prayer vigils, collecting...READ MORE

Filed under iran, religious freedom, saeed abedini

Alabama’s National Champion for Marriage (4325)

Justice Roy Moore holds the line against marriage redefinition, but many constitutional scholars believe he’s standing on shaky legal ground.

01/18/2016 Comments (25)

Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court

– judicial.alabama.gov

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June in Obergefell v. Hodges that declared a constitutional right to same-sex “marriage” is not automatically binding on his state.

Moore issued an administrative order on Jan. 6 declaring that Alabama probate judges should not issue civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the state supreme court decides how the Obergefell decision impacts state laws that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

For now, Moore says, the Sanctity of Marriage Act, the 2006 amendment to the Alabama Constitution that prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex...READ MORE

Filed under alabama, brian fraga, obergefell v. hodges, roy moore, same-sex 'marriage', u.s. supreme court

Pope Francis at Rome Synagogue: Jews and Christians Are United in Their God (3505)

“Christians, to understand themselves, cannot fail to refer to their Jewish roots, and the Church, while professing salvation through faith in Christ, recognizes the irrevocability of the Old Covenant and the constant and faithful love of God for Israel,” he said Jan. 17.

01/18/2016 Comments (21)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis visits Rome’s major synagogue on Jan. 17.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

ROME — Speaking Sunday at the major synagogue of Rome, Pope Francis called on Jews and Christians to counter the conflict, war, violence and injustice that open deep wounds in humanity.

These call us “to strengthen our commitment for peace and justice,” he said Jan. 17. “The violence of man toward man is in contradiction with every religion worthy of this name, and in particular with the great monotheistic religions.”

“The past must serve as a lesson for us in the present and into the future,” he said, recalling the tragedy of the Shoah (Holocaust).

Pope Francis began his speech thanking those who had greeted him and stating: “During my first visit to this synagogue as Bishop of Rome, I...READ MORE

Filed under faith, jewish-catholic relations, nostra aetate, pope francis

The Number of Christian Martyrs Has Tripled in Two Years (4236)

According to Open Doors, “the pace and scale of persecution of Christians is unprecedented and growing fast.”

01/18/2016 Comments (1)
Aaron Groote via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Cross of the Martyrs

– Aaron Groote via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

WASHINGTON — In 2013, there were some 2,100 Christians killed for faith-related reasons across the globe. But within two years, by 2015, that number rose to at least 7,100, according to a recent report from an advocacy group.

“The persecution of Christians is getting worse, in every region in which we work, and it’s getting worse fast,” Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, said in the group’s 2016 report. “Many countries have dropped down the list, not because persecution there is decreasing, but simply because others are getting worse faster. And it wasn’t good three years ago.”

“We can and must be strenuous in protecting Christians and all others facing persecution for their...READ MORE

Filed under christian persecution, eritrea, iraq, martyrs, north korea, open doors, open doors usa, world watch list

Conflict in the Middle East: Will the Work of Three Popes Inspire World Leadership? (6680)

NEWS ANALYSIS: Pope Francis is following the lead of his immediate predecessors, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, in his peacemaking efforts for the war-torn region.

01/18/2016 Comments (9)
Association for Charity and Culture, Beirut, Lebanon

Pope John Paul II meets with Lebanese Aytollah Muhammad Mahdi Chamseddine at the Vatican. Preserving Lebanon's independence was a high priority for the saint, who developed relationships with peace-loving Islamic clerics across the region.

– Association for Charity and Culture, Beirut, Lebanon

In scanning the confusing array of conflict today in the Middle East and North Africa, one thing is certain: President George W. Bush should have listened to St. John Paul II, who beseeched his administration, and other Western leaders, not to invade Iraq in 2003.

The Holy See feared three things would happen: An invasion would destabilize the region; it would put 2,000-year-old Christian communities at grave, existential risk; and it would provoke Islamic extremism.

As then-Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano asked in 2003: “We want to say to America: Is it worth it to you? Won’t you have, afterward, decades of hostility in the Islamic world?”

And so, it has come to pass.


Filed under middle east, pope benedict xvi, pope francis, st. john paul ii, victor gaetan

Picture of the Year, Discernment Through Experience, Spiritual New Year Resolutions, and Much More! (2389)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/18/2016 Comment

Click on Picture of the Year by Gregory DiPippo of New Liturgical Movement link to follow and read.

Picture of the Year by Gregory DiPippo of New Liturgical Movement - Big Pulpit

The Traditional Latin Mass: Evangelize or Else Close and Die; A Fisking by Fr. Z – Fr. Z’s Blog

Discernment Through Experience – Peter Lyons, Catholic Stand

What a Pastoral Church Looks Like – James Kalb, Crisis Magazine

Pope Francis Said: Did the Young Christ Apologize for Being “Lost” in Jerusalem? by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of Fr. Z’s Blog - Big Pulpit

Has Christianity Become a Coward’s Religion? – Bruce Frohnen, Crisis Magazine

Five (5) Spiritual New Year’s Resolutions – Liesl Bee, Ignitum Today

After France’s Year of Terror, Is This Just the Beginning? – Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith, The Catholic Herald


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Confession at the Heart of Holy Father’s New Book (3317)


01/17/2016 Comments (6)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis embraces a mother and child at the general audience in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall on Jan. 13.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

While papal books, including interview books, have become rather routine since 1994’s Crossing the Threshold of Hope, the latest entry in the genre, Pope Francis’ The Name of God Is Mercy, is singular.

It’s not a survey of the state of the Gospel in the contemporary world, nor is it an examination of various pressing issues within the Church. Rather, it’s a brief book about one important thing — revitalizing the sacrament of confession.

Pope Francis’ pastoral approach heavily borrows from the venerable principle well known to teachers, namely that learning comes from repetition. Anyone who read the August 2013 interview granted by the Holy Father to Jesuit magazines, or follows his daily...READ MORE

Filed under confession, mercy, mercy of god, pope francis, repentance, sacrament of penance, year of mercy

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