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Pope: The Meaning of Being Human Is Under Assault in Western Societies (4095)

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 (2173)

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 (3572)

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 (6692)

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) (2702)

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

Knights in Newtown Organize Nationwide Prayer Drive (1734)

Hail Marys are being offered for the victims and their families, for first responders and teachers and for the town to give it strength to support the afflicted.

12/21/2012 Comments (8)
Knights of Columbus Council 185

– Knights of Columbus Council 185

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The Knights of Columbus at St. Rose of Lima parish in Newtown, Conn., have organized a prayer drive for the benefit of those affected by the town’s recent tragedy.

“There’s a very important message: that the Rosary is a very powerful prayer, and one that can bring miracles. And we hope for that,” Council 185’s Grand Knight Tim Haas said in a Dec. 20 interview with EWTN News.

“This is a special way for us to remember the holy innocents who were lost. There were 12 little girls, eight boys, and they were taken from us without warning or cause, and we need to pray for their families.”

The council’s message promoting the prayer drive was released Dec. 19. Haas said that...READ MORE

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Bishops Urged to Imitate St. Thomas More in Mandate Fight (2155)

The courageous 16th-century English saint is an inspiring example for 21st-century American bishops facing contemporary threats to religious freedom, Archbishop Chaput says.

12/21/2012 Comments (10)

PHILADELPHIA — Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has held up the 16th century’s St. Thomas More as a model of courage for bishops in the face of the federal contraception mandate.

“America’s Catholic bishops cannot simply grumble and shrug and go along with the mandate now without implicating themselves in cowardice,” he wrote in a Dec. 19 column for The Witherspoon Institute.

“Their current resolve risks unraveling unless they reaffirm their opposition to the mandate forcefully and as a united body. The past can be a useful teacher. One of its lessons is this: The passage of time can invite confusion and doubt — and both work against courage.”

St. Thomas More, a leading...READ MORE

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Belmont Abbey and Wheaton Secure Key Victory in HHS Mandate Challenge (4698)

The D.C. Circuit Court reinstates the two religious colleges’ lawsuits and orders the Obama administration to report on its progress in amending the federal contraceptive mandate.

12/20/2012 Comments (9)
Public Domain

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals building.

– Public Domain

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court in Washington has reinstated the lawsuits for two religious colleges challenging a federal law that would compel them to cover contraception, abortifacients and sterilization in their employee health-insurance plans.

The appellate court’s Dec. 18 decision is a blow to the Obama administration, which has sought to dismiss a slew of lawsuits filed by religious institutions that object to the Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate. HHS lawyers have argued that the time is not “ripe” for courts to address these legal challenges and that the plaintiffs’ concerns will ultimately be resolved through proposed modifications of the controversial...READ MORE

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