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SDG Reviews 'The Lego Movie' (11327)

The makers of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs do wonders with brightly colored plastic construction blocks.

02/07/2014 Comments (27)
Warner Bros.

– Warner Bros.

Here is something I didn’t see coming: The freshest, most unique animated family film from any Hollywood studio in well over a year is … based on a line of brightly colored plastic construction blocks and assorted accessories. I’m not kidding!

In fact, I’m tempted to say that, prior to The Lego Movie — from writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs fame — the last Hollywood-distributed animated film to attain comparable levels of goofy invention, freewheeling creative weirdness and sheer visual novelty was, um, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. But 2011 saw DreamWorks’ surreal Puss in Boots, as well as Gore Verbinski’s Rango, which isn’t my thing,...READ MORE

Filed under animation, family films, movies, sdg reviews

A Monument to ‘The Monuments Men’ (2864)

The new film bands unlikely heroes together during World War II to save priceless art.

02/07/2014 Comments (2)
Provided infographic

– Provided infographic

Through its commissioning of the finest artists, the Catholic Church has historically been the foremost patron of the arts. Sacred art has long been the cultural standard for what is beautiful.

But what happens when the art of a culture is destroyed? That is the question at the heart of the new World War II film The Monuments Men.

While the movie is set during the close of World War II, it's not a typical war movie, and it's not about typical soldiers. It’s reminiscent of many ensemble films about the war. (Think The Bridge Over the River Kwai, The Dirty Dozen or The Guns of Navarone.)

In content, the film most resembles Burt Lancaster and Paul Scofield’s 1964 The Train, about the...READ MORE

Filed under movie reviews, religious art, culture, world war ii

Adult Stem-Cell Advancements Evoke Hope, Caution (3892)

Researchers have discovered a new advancement that has more potential for regenerative medicine than embryonic stem cells, but more studies are needed to prevent accidental human cloning.

02/07/2014 Comments (2)
CDC/Susan McClure

– CDC/Susan McClure

WASHINGTON — Remarkable advancements in stem-cell biology are enabling scientists to reprogram mature cells into a variety of different tissues — but experts say these methods should be used carefully to avoid ethical questions and inadvertent cloning.

While the new technology is an “exciting and surprising development,” said Brendan Foht, assistant editor of The New Atlantis bioethics journal, “some important scientific and ethical questions need to be addressed” before the technique is applied to human cell therapy.

“The scientists found that the cells made through this technique seemed to have even more developmental potential than embryonic stem cells,” he said, explaining the...READ MORE

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Summer Olympic Hopeful Assists Winter Olympians (5096)

Gymnast Matt Hicks is volunteering for the U.S.A. squad in Sochi.

02/07/2014 Comments (3)
Courtesy of Matt Hicks

Matt Hicks in Sochi.

– Courtesy of Matt Hicks

Veteran gymnast Matt Hicks is finally going to the Olympics — the Winter Olympics. While it’s not quite the realization of his childhood dream, it does come close. The 30-year-old Louisiana native is helping to ensure that America’s athletes are taken care of while competing in Sochi, Russia.

Hicks still hopes to make the 2016 gymnastics squad, but for now, he is offering logistical help to his countrymen who are currently competing in hockey, skiing, bobsledding and other winter sports. Hicks sees his service as a means of helping athletes reach their God-given potential, which in turn, helps him reach his own. 

Hicks, who is fluent in Russian, spoke with Register correspondent Trent...READ MORE

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The Legion of Christ Elects New Leader (5327)

Looking to move past the scandal involving its late founder, the congregation’s leaders have also issued a long-awaited apology to abuse victims and made extensive revisions to its constitutions.

02/06/2014 Comments (6)
AP photo/Andrew Medichini

Priests of the Legion of Christ attend a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis Jan. 8 at the Legion's athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. The Mass marked the opening of the congregation’s general chapter.

– AP photo/Andrew Medichini

ROME — The Legion of Christ has elected a new general director, issued multiple apologies and published conclusions of investigations into the congregation founded by the disgraced Mexican priest Father Marcial Maciel.

The congregation, whose leaders are currently meeting in an extraordinary general chapter in Rome, has elected 61-year-old Mexican priest Father Eduardo Robles Gil as its new general director.

The election took place during the meeting on Jan. 20 and was subsequently confirmed Feb. 6 by Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. 

Father Robles Gil, who has spent much of his...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, father marcial maciel, jesus christ, legion of christ, pope benedict xvi, pope john paul ii, religious congregations, sexual abuse scandal in the church

Buffalo Catholics Pioneer ‘Mass Mobs’ to Help Save City Parishes (2692)

The Buffalo Mass Mob is trying to raise awareness about the city’s beautiful churches in an effort to save them from closing.

02/06/2014 Comments (4)
buffalomassmob.wordpress.com

More than 300 Catholics gathered for the 'Mass mob' at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Buffalo, where around 50 worshippers usually gather on Sundays.

– buffalomassmob.wordpress.com

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo, N.Y.-area Catholics have created a new twist on the “flash mob” social-media phenomenon: a “Mass mob” inspiring hundreds to attend a Mass at older parishes to spread “awareness and appreciation” of the communities.

The Buffalo Mass Mob helps participants “support and experience some of Buffalo’s wonderful churches in need of a boost,” the project said on its website. The churches are selected through an online vote, and the event is then publicized through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Buffalo resident Christopher Byrd, 46, has organized two Mass mobs: a November event at St. Adalbert Basilica and a Jan. 12 event at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

...READ MORE

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Women’s-Rights Advocate Among ‘Top 10’ of Vatican Magazine (1891)

Reggie Littlejohn, known for her work opposing forced abortion and gendercide in China, has been named one of Inside the Vatican’s ‘Top 10 People of 2013.’

02/06/2014 Comments (2)
Courtesy of Reggie Littlejohn

Reggie Littlejohn meets Pope Francis during the 2013 MaterCare International Conference in Rome.

– Courtesy of Reggie Littlejohn

VATICAN CITY — Reggie Littlejohn, known for her work opposing forced abortion and gendercide in China, has been named as one of Inside the Vatican’s “Top 10 People of 2013” for her heroic efforts in helping women.

“This honor came as a complete shock to me. I did not even know that I was being considered for this,” Littlejohn told CNA in a Feb. 5 interview, adding, “It’s a bit overwhelming to have my photo on the front cover with two popes, surrounded by the other ‘Top 10’ people from all over the world, all of whom seem far more heroic than I!”

Littlejohn is the founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition aimed at exposing forced abortion,...READ MORE

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A Clever Ruse Foils U.N. Ideologues (5827)

C-FAM's president, Austin Ruse, discusses his organization’s new U.N. status and denounces the U.N. committee report that has attacked the Vatican’s handling of clergy-abuse cases.

02/06/2014 Comments (14)
EWTN News

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute

– EWTN News

Austin Ruse is the president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), which recently won “special consultative status” from the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO).

C-FAM has participated in every major U.N. social-policy negotiation since it was founded in 1997. From the beginning, its mission has been to “monitor and affect the social-policy debate at the United Nations and other major international institutions,” dedicated towards “re-establishing a proper understanding of international law, protecting national sovereignty and the dignity of the human person.”

This week, news that the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child had strongly...READ MORE

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