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Pope Benedict’s Midnight Mass Homily (4999)

The Holy Father began his homily by stressing the beauty of Luke’s Gospel on the birth of Jesus that ‘touches our hearts: a beauty that is the splendor of truth.’

12/24/2012 Comments (7)

– Wikicommons

VATICAN CITY — Just as there was no room for Mary and Joseph at the inn, so in today’s frenetic societies people increasingly think they have no room for Christ, leading to social exclusion, discord and violence, Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of pilgrims at Christmas midnight Mass in Rome.

In his homily in St. Peter’s Basilica, he also warned of the consequences to society of rejecting God and religion, prayed for peace in the Middle East and called on Christians and Muslims to build up their countries side by side, in God’s peace.

The Pope began his homily by stressing the beauty of Luke’s Gospel on the birth of Jesus that “touches our hearts: a beauty that is the splendor of...READ MORE

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Christmas: A Cure for Cynicism and Irony (2209)

COMMENTARY

12/24/2012 Comments (5)

In a sermon broadcast on the BBC on Dec. 25, 1950, Msgr. Ronald Knox observed that “we make a holiday of Christmas only if we have the strength of mind to creep up the nursery stairs again and pretend that we never came down them.”

In my case, the stairs in question led, not to a nursery, but to the children’s bedroom I shared with my brother at 1 Regester Ave. in the Baltimore suburb of Rodgers Forge. And down the stairs we slid, Christmas morning, to discover what had arrived (or, as we later learned, what had been assembled, often with the aid of my Grandfather Weigel) the night before.

The day that followed was one of unmitigated happiness; and from the distance of more than half...READ MORE

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Waiting for Christmas in the Holy Land (1302)

Christians living in Bethlehem face many challenges, but some say they wouldn’t want to celebrate the birth of Jesus anywhere else.

12/24/2012 Comments (2)
ACN www.acnuk.org

Bethlehem Church of the Nativity grotto

– ACN www.acnuk.org

BETHLEHEM — Rhema Halabi, a Christian Arab resident of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, planned to attend her evangelical church’s Christmas play on the weekend before Dec. 25 and to participate in a communal dinner following the congregation’s Sunday prayer service.

But speaking just days before one of the holiest days in the liturgical season, Halabi, the mother of five grown children, couldn’t say where she will be spending Christmas Day itself.

That’s because part of her family lives in the West Bank, under Palestinian control, while other members live in Jerusalem, which Israel rules. Her holiday plans depend on whether Israel grants her and Bethlehem-based kin visitor...READ MORE

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Pope: The Meaning of Being Human Is Under Assault in Western Societies (3988)

In his annual year-end address to Vatican officials, the Holy Father warns against a false understanding of freedom and a manipulation of human nature.

12/24/2012 Comments (10)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has said Western societies are threatening the family to its foundations through a false understanding of freedom and a manipulation of human nature, thereby calling into question the very meaning of what it means to be truly human.

In a lengthy discourse to Roman Curia officials Dec. 21, during a traditional address in which the Holy Father exchanges Christmas greetings and reflects on the passing year, the Holy Father said that, although the family “is still strong and vibrant today,” there is “no denying the crisis that threatens it to its foundations — especially in the Western world.”

The Pope said the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization in...READ MORE

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‘Holiday Tree’ Dispute Wins Governor Annual Scrooge Award (2137)

Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island is singled out for insisting the tree in the state house rotunda is a ‘holiday tree,’ not a Christmas tree.

12/24/2012 Comments (11)

Gov. Lincoln D. Chaffee of Rhode Island.

WASHINGTON — A law firm has given Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee its 2012 “Ebenezer Award” for his insistence that the 17.5-foot fir tree in the local state house rotunda is a “holiday tree,” not a Christmas tree.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a non-partisan, interfaith group of attorneys, said the award is given to “the public figure responsible for the most ridiculous affront to Christmas and Hanukkah.”

It takes its name from Ebenezer Scrooge, the churlish character from Charles Dickens’ famous 19th-century work “A Christmas Carol.”

The dubious honor continues a controversy over a year old.

Last year protesters showed up at the governor’s tree lighting ceremony in...READ MORE

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Cardinal George's Challenging Advent (3498)

Chicago's archbishop encourages Catholics to pray on behalf of those, like him, who may be too weak to pray well. He also previews a new pastoral letter, which asks the faithful to return to the Rosary and other discarded Catholic customs.

12/23/2012 Comments (6)

Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, recently announced the completion of his cancer treatment.

Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond forwarded a few questions to the cardinal, who is still recovering his strength and has limited his official duties.

His written responses reflect on his distinctive 2012 Advent season and encourage Catholics to pray on behalf of those, like him, who may be too weak to pray well.

He previews a new pastoral letter, which asks the faithful to return to the Rosary and other discarded Catholic customs. These traditional practices, he says, can help bridge divisions in the fractured body of Christ.

 

What is the state of your health right...READ MORE

Filed under advent wreath, cardinal george, catholic life, christmas

The Catholic Carnival of Christmas (6638)

Ban reindeer, if you like. Abolish Santa Claus and Christmas trees. Keep your family wrapped in the starkest of Advent penances. Exterminate the festival of it all, the nonsense of the season, if you must ...

12/21/2012 Comments (20)
Wikicommons

– Wikicommons

Ban reindeer, if you like. Abolish Santa Claus and Christmas trees. Keep your family wrapped in the starkest of Advent penances. Eradicate eggnog and candy, tinsel and presents, snowflakes and stockings. Exterminate the festival of it all, the nonsense of the season, if you must.

Lord knows, you have cause. Christmas has become, in the United States, the holiday — which is to say, the holy day — that dare not speak its name. We still have all the extraneous stuff that grew up around Christmas: the gift-giving and those awful Hallmark cards and the mistletoe and the holly. The Muzaked carols, for that matter. But the words of those carols seem to have become a problem for American...READ MORE

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Remembering Judge Bork (1927-2012) (2650)

COMMENTARY: An Ave Maria colleague recalls Robert Bork's impact in the classroom.

12/21/2012 Comments (6)

– Alex Wong/Getty Images

One of the great joys in my life was getting to know Judge Robert Bork and call him a friend. When I was organizing Ave Maria School of Law, he was the first faculty member announced as part of our law school. The significance of that appointment cannot be overstated. He gave us instant credibility as a serious institution, one committed to serious legal study, and his appointment enabled us to attract outstanding law students who wanted exposure to him.

He made it clear to me that he did not want to teach a regular law course, not even "Anti-Trust," which he had so profoundly shaped. Rather, he wanted to do something different.

Out of our conversations developed a special course...READ MORE

Filed under catholic converts, catholic faith, judge robert bork, u.s. constitution, u.s. supreme court

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