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SDG Reviews 'Oz the Great and Powerful' (8794)

The big-budget prequel to The Wizard of Oz is a visual delight … but the magic stops there.

03/15/2013 Comments (10)

In the current flurry of big-budget fairy-tale epic films, Oz the Great and Powerful is something of an outlier. Alice in Wonderland, Red Riding Hood and Snow White and the Huntsman were all darkly subversive films with distinctly grown-up sensibilities. Oz the Great and Powerful, is brightly colorful, sincere and meant for children. That doesn’t make it good, exactly, but at least it’s basically the right kind of movie, which is saying something these days, alas.

In contrast to the lurid, Gothic palette of Burton’s Alice and the "Hollywood Medieval Grunge" of Red Riding Hood and Snow White, not to mention gritty spectacles from Robin Hood to John Carter, Oz is a rare recent Hollywood epic...READ MORE

Filed under family films, movies, star wars, wizard of oz

On Castel Stroll, Paparazzi Snap Papa Ratzi; Fasting With Repentance and Much More! (4439)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/15/2013 Comment

On Castel Stroll, Paparazzi Snap Papa Ratzi. Follow the link by Rocco Palmo of the Whispers in the Loggia blog to read more.

On Castel Stroll, Paparazzi Snap Papa Ratzi by Rocco Palmo, Whispers in the Loggia blog - Big Pulpit

Fasting With Repentance – Phillip Rolfes, The Master Beadsman

God Can’t Save Me From the Lion’s Den – Emm. Joseph, Catholic Stand

Where There is No Cross, There is No Christian – Monkrock

Cartoon: Pope Tart – Jason Bach, Truth & Charity

O Nata Lux – Jeffrey A. Tucker, The Chant Café

Newman on Veneration of Sacred Images – David Clayton, New Liturgical Movement

I Was Pro-Choice and Then I Had an Abortion – Abby Johnson, LifeSiteNews

Cardinal Alencherry: “Pope Gave Sufficient Hints on Resignation” – TNIE

Absent Cardinals are Not Late – Dr. Edward Peters, In the Light of the...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Cardinals: ‘I Hope God Forgives You’ (9337)

Cardinal Dolan recounts how the new Holy Father joked with cardinals over dinner.

03/14/2013 Comments (7)
Alan Holdren/CNA

Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaks March 13 at the North American College in Rome.

– Alan Holdren/CNA

ROME — The newly elected Pope Francis joked with cardinals over dinner, telling them he hopes God forgives them for having chosen him.

“When the secretary of state toasted to him, he toasted back to us and said, ‘I hope God forgives you,’” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York recalled at the Pontifical North American College.

“He has already won our hearts, and we had a very fraternal meal at the Domus Santa Marta, where we have been staying,” said the cardinal during a 11pm March 13 press conference.

“Pope Francis also told us … ‘I’m going to sleep well, and something tells me you will, too.’ And we will, knowing that the Church is in good hands,” said the New York cardinal, who...READ MORE

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A Pope From the Heartland of the Global Church (4096)

Francis’ election provides a leader who possesses firsthand experience with the evangelical challenges of contemporary Catholicism.

03/14/2013 Comments (7)

– Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — With the election of Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the first Latin-American Vicar of Christ in the history of the Catholic Church, the College of Cardinals confirmed an inescapable truth: The pilgrim Church has traveled far beyond its base in the Eternal City.

Pope Francis himself alluded to this significant reality in his first public words as Pope, spoken March 13 from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

“Dear brothers and sisters, good evening,” Francis began. “You know that the duty of the conclave was to give Rome a bishop. It seems that my brother cardinals picked him from almost the ends of the earth. But here we are!”

Latin America represents...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism around the world, global church, pope francis, universal church

Without Christ Crucified, Church a ‘Pitiful’ Organization, Pope Says (4814)

In his first homily as pope, the Holy Father invites the faithful to take courage and walk with the cross of the Lord.

03/14/2013 Comments (10)

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in the Sistine Chapel on March 14, 2013.


VATICAN CITY — The day after he was elected, Pope Francis emphasized that every believer — including bishops, cardinals and popes — must proclaim Jesus crucified to be true Christians.

“We can build so many things, but if we don’t confess Jesus Christ, then something is wrong. We will become a pitiful NGO [non-governmental organization], but not the Church, spouse of Christ,” Pope Francis said in his March 14 homily.

“He who doesn’t pray to God prays to the devil,” the Pope added in an apparent quote.

Pope Francis made his remarks at the Mass to close the conclave on Thursday evening in the Sistine Chapel, with all of the cardinal electors present.

He asserted that the common...READ MORE

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Descendant of Founding American Files 50th Mandate Lawsuit (3311)

The Thomas More Law Center is handling the legal case with Beckwith Electric.

03/14/2013 Comment
Official White House photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama announces the contraceptive mandate at the White House on Jan. 12, 2012.

– Official White House photo by Pete Souza

WASHINGTON — A Baptist small business owner whose ancestors fought religious persecution as founding Americans has filed the 50th lawsuit challenging the federal contraception mandate.

The Thomas More Law Center, which is handling the case, said that Thomas Beckwith’s ancestors endured “the hardships of a storm-tossed ocean voyage,” coming to America “in 1626 to escape religious persecution from England.”

“One hundred and fifty years later, one of his ancestors, as a member of the Connecticut militia, fought against the tyrannical British king in the Revolutionary War,” the organization said.

Now, it said, Beckwith and his family-owned electric company are filing a legal challenge...READ MORE

Filed under affordable care act, contraception, obama, religious freedom

Knights of Columbus Voices Gratitude for Pope Francis (2942)

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and the 1.8 million members of the Catholic fraternal organization extend best wishes and prayers to our newly elected pope.

03/14/2013 Comments (3)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Prayers and best wishes are being sent from the Knights of Columbus to Pope Francis on his election.

“The election of Pope Francis — the first pope from the American hemisphere — highlights the fact that America is the continent of baptized Christians and a place of central importance to the faith today,” the fraternal organization, with over 1 million members worldwide, stated.

“Pope Francis is well known also for his emphasis on charity — the first principle of the Knights of Columbus.”

The Knights plan to work together with Pope Francis throughout his pontificate to further the mission of the Church.

“Both in our efforts for evangelization and in our...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, knights of columbus, pope francis

Busy Schedule Ahead for Pope Francis (4704)

Today the Holy Father is expected to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore privately and will celebrate Mass with cardinals in the Sistine Chapel.

03/14/2013 Comments (9)

Mauricio Artieda/CNA

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has announced Pope Francis’ schedule for the coming days, which will begin with Mass today in the Sistine Chapel together with the cardinals at 5pm.

It is expected that Pope Francis will pay a private visit to Santa Maria Maggiore today as well, asking for the Blessed Virgin’s protection and intercession during his pontificate.

On March 15 at 11am, he will officially welcome and address the cardinals, both those who elected him and those who are over 80.

On Saturday, March 16, Pope Francis will hold an audience for journalists and media representatives in the Paul VI hall. He will give an Angelus address on Sunday.

Pope Francis’ inauguration as Bishop...READ MORE

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