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St. Joseph, the Ultimate Action Hero (3323)

Honoring the masculine holiness of the Church’s universal patron on his feast day.

03/19/2014 Comments (3)
Wikimedia Commons

St. Joseph the Carpenter, by Georges de La Tour.

– Wikimedia Commons

According to the latest box-office numbers, 13 of the top 20 grossing films of all time are what the industry calls “action movies.” Audiences obviously love them and have endorsed these films with billions of dollars’ worth of box-office receipts.

Usually these films are anchored by an actor who plays it straight as the strong silent type. These films are also populated by men armed with a slew of catch phrases, and their actions speak much louder than words. As I was reading the litany of popcorn movies that fit this bill, my mind wandered to an action hero of another sort: St. Joseph.

In honor of his March 19 feast day, I think he deserves to make some kind of top-10 list when it comes...READ MORE

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New, Critical Conversation Brewing on Birth-Control Usage in the U.S. (16239)

From scientific studies to star athlete Megan Henry in the pages of Vanity Fair, the harmful consequences of contraception usage are increasingly being discussed in the public square.

03/19/2014 Comments (28)

Megan Henry

– Facebook/MeganHenryAthlete

WASHINGTON — Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut, which said laws making contraception illegal were unconstitutional, the use of birth control among Americans has become an epidemic: More than 90% of the adult population uses some form of birth control, a figure that includes most self-described Catholics. In fact, a recent Pew Research survey reveals that 56% of U.S. Catholics believe the Church should change teaching to accept the use of birth control.

For decades, supporters of birth-control use have used data like this to argue that the Church should alter its position on contraception. However, new research reveals a dark side to using birth...READ MORE

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Pope Praises Virtue of St. Joseph on Solemnity (2902)

The Holy Father reminded fathers to guide their children like the patron saint of the Church did with Jesus: ‘Be for them as St. Joseph: guardians of their growth in age, wisdom and grace.’ He also prayed for all educators and families.

03/19/2014 Comment

– Twitter.com/ncregister

VATICAN CITY — Marking the Solemnity of St. Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary, Pope Francis called the saint a role model for all fathers and educators during his March 19 general audience at the Vatican.

“Let us look at Joseph as the model for educators, for he guards and accompanies Jesus in his journey of growth ‘in wisdom, age and grace,’” the Pope said.

Examining these three modes of Jesus’ growth in life, Pope Francis began with his growth in age: “Joseph, together with Mary, took care of Jesus, first of all, from this point of view, that is, ‘brought him up’” — with all the worries of providing for necessities.

“Don’t forget that the faithful caring for the life of the Child led...READ MORE

Filed under st. joseph, pope francis

Cardinal Encourages Lenten Prayers for Venezuela (2083)

Student protesters' clashes with national guard have resulted in the deaths of 29 people.

03/19/2014 Comments (2)
CNA/andresAzp via Flickr

Protesters run from riot police on Feb. 15 in Altamira, Caracas, Venezuela.

– CNA/andresAzp via Flickr

CARACAS, Venezuela — Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, Venezuela, called on the faithful to intensify their prayers during Lent for God to rid Venezuela of violence, as the death toll from recent protests continues to rise.

“I want to ask you to pray a lot for Venezuela this Lent, that Venezuelans can resolve our problems peacefully, with everyone seeking the common good,” Cardinal Urosa said in his Lenten message.

“Regardless of the political sympathies of each person, Catholics need to banish hatred, bitterness and revenge from our hearts.”

Student protests began across the nation's cities early in February but escalated when three people were killed. The National Guard has been...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, governments protests, human rights, venezuela

Worldwide Christian Persecution a Growing Trend, Report Shows (4659)

Aid to the Church in Need's comprehensive report shows that global persecution of Christians has increased over the last 10 to 15 years.

03/19/2014 Comments (4)

NEW YORK — In a recently released summary report called “Persecuted and Forgotten?” Aid to the Church in Need has revealed a worldwide growth in discrimination against Christians in scope and frequency.

The persecution of Christians “has increased over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Ed Clancy, director of evangelization and outreach at Aid to the Church in Need, in an interview with CNA last month, adding that “persecution has many faces, unfortunately, and many places.”

Since there is no single threat to Christians across the world, he said, but myriad forms of oppression, “it might become more incumbent on the Catholic Church, and Christians in general, to be aware of the many dangers...READ MORE

Filed under aid to the church in need, catholic faith, christian persecution, christianity, jesus christ, perseverence under trial

Ukrainian Catholics Experiencing ‘Total Persecution’ in Crimea (5004)

Priests in Crimea have been accused of being 'Vatican agents' and of serving in the 'SS Army' by supporters of unity with Russia.

03/19/2014 Comments (2)
UGCC Information Department

Father Mykola Kvych, naval chaplain in Sevastopol, blesses Easter baskets in 2013.

– UGCC Information Department

KIEV, Ukraine — As the Russian president signed a bill to annex Crimea Tuesday, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the peninsula has been experiencing what a Church official calls “total persecution.”

“At this moment all Ukrainian Greek Catholic life in Crimea is paralyzed,” Father Volodymyr Zhdan, chancellor of the Stryi eparchy in western Ukraine, told CNA March 18.  

From 2006 to 2010, Father Zhdan served as chancellor of the Odessa-Krym Exarchate, which encompassed both the mainland port city of Odessa and the Crimean Peninsula.

Since late February, the peninsula has seen the emergence of pro-Russian troops, who have taken control of its airports, parliament and telecommunication...READ MORE

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Become Holy This Lent by Being Yourself, Why Is Seafood Allowed on Fridays in Lent and Much More! (4818)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/19/2014 Comment

Follow the Become Holy This Lent by Being Yourself link by Kevin M. Tierney of Catholic Lane to read more.

The Pitfalls of Censoring Catholic Bloggers by Fr. Tim Finigan of Hermeneutic of Continuity - BigPulpit.com

Become Holy This Lent by Being Yourself – Kevin M. Tierney, Catholic Lane

My Desire for Marriage – Matthew Heinrich, Ignitum Today

Why Is Seafood Allowed on Fridays in Lent? St. Thomas Aquinas Has the Answer – Dr. Taylor Marshall

Gathering Storm Over Divorce Worse than Over Contraception by Dr. Ed Peters - BigPulpit.com

Lent with St. Mary Magdalene – Haley Stewart, Catholic Exchange

Conspiracies & Catholicism: Demons – Foxfier, Catholic Stand

The Rights of Children: Biology Matters – Melissa Moschella, Aleteia

Guinness & Heineken are Now Political Statements – God & Caesar


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Benedict XVI Sent Pope Francis Commentary on Early Interview (4305)

Prior to publication of last fall’s interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Pope Emeritus submitted a detailed review at the request of his papal successor.

03/18/2014 Comments (3)
L'Ossevatore Romano/ANSA

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis meet at the Mater Ecclesia Monastery on May 2, 2013.

– L'Ossevatore Romano/ANSA

ROME — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sent a four-page commentary to Pope Francis on the September 2013 interview he granted to Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica, according to Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household.

The Italian news agency Korazym reports that in an interview with the German television station ZDF, Archbishop Gänswein — who is also Benedict XVI’s secretary — said the retired pope wrote the commentary at the request of Pope Francis.

“When Father Spadaro [the director of La Civilta Cattolica] delivered the first copy of this interview, [Pope] Francis gave it to me and asked that I take it to Benedict,” said Archbishop Gänswein, speaking to ZDF on...READ MORE

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