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Father James Schall’s ‘Final Gladness’ (6413)

With a nod to Belloc, the respected theologian retires with a parting lecture that focuses on friendship.

12/13/2012 Comments (4)

Jesuit Father James Schall

– Georgetown University

WASHINGTON — Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall was filled to capacity. The images of morality, faith and patriotism, of art, science and the alma mater looked out at the crowded horseshoe balcony and down on the stage, with its podium and single chair.

In the first row in front of the stage, edged with roses, gladiolas and Canterbury bells, pink, purple and white, sat professors and priests, authors and political philosophers. They were almost the only representatives in the hall of the elderly and the middle-aged. The bulk of the rest of the 700 seats was taken up by undergraduates and youngsters still in their 20s.

The students had come to Gaston Hall on a Friday night to hear a...READ MORE

Filed under belloc, catholic faith, chesterton, georgetown university, natural law, society of jesus, theology, thomas aquinas

Conscience Victory in Final Illinois Pharmacist Ruling (1448)

Religious-liberty advocates hail the end of a seven-year legal battle against provision of abortion drugs as a major triumph for conscience rights.

12/13/2012 Comments (3)

WASHINGTON — Religious-liberty advocates are hailing the end of a seven-year legal battle over the required provision of abortion drugs in Illinois pharmacies as a major triumph for conscience rights.

“This decision is a great victory for religious freedom,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has represented the pharmacists in the case for several years.

“The government shouldn’t kick business owners out of the market just because it dislikes their religious beliefs,” he said in a statement.

“Over seven years of litigation, there was never a shred of proof that a religious objection at a pharmacy harmed anyone,” Rienzi explained. “These...READ MORE

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Ecclesia in America Congress Participants Leave Unified, Renewed (1027)

‘This conference, really seen through the lens of Our Lady of Guadalupe, has been a really beautiful experience,’ said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

12/13/2012 Comments (1)
Alan Holdren/CNA

Ecclesia in America participants meet Dec. 10 in the Vatican's Synod Hall.

– Alan Holdren/CNA

ROME — On the final day of the “Ecclesia in America” international conference, several participants agreed that it was a wonderful experience that helped them spiritually and intellectually.

“This conference, really seen through the lens of Our Lady of Guadalupe, has been a really beautiful experience,” said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore in a Dec. 12 interview.

The congress was held Dec. 9-12 in Rome and discussed regional challenges and the New Evangelization, while also marking the 15th anniversary of John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America.

Archbishop Lori found it particularly edifying to be with bishops, religious and laity, all of whom are devoted “to...READ MORE

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SDG Reviews 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' (19040)

Peter Jackson and company get the Hobbit trilogy off to a spectacular but bumpy start.

12/13/2012 Comments (50)
Movie poster via MovieWeb.com

– Movie poster via MovieWeb.com

There is an early moment in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey that captures the evocative poetry of Tolkien’s songs — something that The Lord of the Rings films, for all their achievements, never did. By the time the credits roll, that moment feels like it belonged in a very different film.

It is the Dwarves’ solemn, haunting lay about their long-forgotten gold — only three or so verses, but you can well believe that, as they sang, the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moved through Bilbo Baggins (well-cast Martin Freeman, credibly evoking a young Ian Holm) and woke something Tookish in him, as Tolkien describes in the first chapter of The Hobbit. (Perhaps...READ MORE

Filed under hobbit, ian mckellen, lord of the rings, movies, sdg reviews, tolkien

Chilean Bishop: Mayan Doomsday Believers Should Donate to Church Before 'World's End' (2252)

People who really believe the end is nigh can name the Church as the beneficiary of their wills, the bishop quips.

12/13/2012 Comments (2)

A Mayan calendar inscription found in Quiriguá, Guatemala.

– Wikipedia

SANTIAGO, Chile — Bishop Bernardo Bastres Florence of Punta Arenas, Chile has an interesting suggestion for those convinced that the world will end Dec. 21, as predicted by the Mayan calendar.



According to local newspaper La Prensa Austral, the bishop said that those who believe the Mayan prophecy should donate their worldly goods to the Church.

“If there are many who believe the world will end on Dec. 21, as the Church, we have no problem with them naming us as the beneficiaries of their possessions in their wills,” he quipped in a Dec. 9 interview.  


Doomsday predictions about the end of the world, as prophesied by the Mayans, have circulated in recent years and grown in...READ MORE

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Are The Hobbit and Les Mis Catholic, Is Marian Devotion Dangerous, A Simple Stable and Much More! (2338)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/13/2012 Comment

Are The Hobbit and Les Mis Catholic? Follow the link by Tom Hoopes of the Catholic Vote website to read more.

Are The Hobbit and Les Mis Catholic by Tom Hoopes of the Catholic Vote websiteBig Pulpit

Is Marian Devotion Dangerous? – Joe Heschmeyer, Shameless Popery

A Simple Stable - Amanda Castro, Ignitum Today

What Happens When Christians Put More Faith in Modernity than Faith? – Carl E. Olson, Catholic World Report

Is Our Image and Likeness to God Different? St. Thomas Thinks So – Matins Musings

Peter as the “Another Man” in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

Russian Greek-Catholic Ordination in Siberia – St. Elias Today

Another Requiem Vestment – Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement

Alfred Hitchcock and the Jesuit – Donald R. McClarey, The...READ MORE

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In First Tweet, Pope Blesses His Million-Plus Followers (1416)

The Holy Father’s account, @pontifex, already has more than 1.2 million followers, with accounts in eight languages.

12/12/2012 Comments (1)
Alan Holdren/CNA

Msgr. Paul Tighe with the tablet used to send the Pope's first tweet.

– Alan Holdren/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI made his debut on Twitter today, sending out a greeting and a blessing as his first tweet to his “followers.”

“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart,” read his first tweet, which was sent around noon Rome time from the Paul VI audience hall.

The Pope sent his tweet on a mobile tablet device at the end of his Dec. 12 general audience.

His account, @pontifex, already has more than 1.2 million followers, with accounts in eight languages. The English-language feed alone has more than 852,000 followers.

He responded today to three questions submitted...READ MORE

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Advent Is a Time to Reflect on God’s Saving Work, Pope Says (758)

At his weekly general audience, the Holy Father continued his teaching on the history of salvation.

12/12/2012 Comment
Matthew Rarey/CNA

– Matthew Rarey/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Christians should use the time of Advent to become more aware of how God continues to carry out his plan of salvation in the world, Pope Benedict XVI said Dec. 12.

“God has left his heaven and come down to earth for man, forged an alliance with him coming into the history of a people,” the Pope reflected Wednesday.

“He is the King who came down to this poor province that is the earth and gifted us with his visit, taking on human flesh and becoming man like us.”

In his general audience in Paul VI audience hall, Pope Benedict continued his teaching on the history of salvation, reminding the faithful that Advent presents the Church with an opportunity to reflect on God’s...READ MORE

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