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Dancing With Two Left Feet (3288)

COMMENTARY: In today’s highly secularized world, it is hard for many people to see anything but the ‘other side.’

03/22/2013 Comments (1)
Wikipedia/David Shankbone

Fran Lebowitz

– Wikipedia/David Shankbone

It is a well-known cliché that if a person is a poor dancer, he admits to having two left feet.

The notion is amusing and invites us to imagine such an inept terpsichorean dancing continuingly leftwards and right out the door and into the parking lot.

Ironically, what was once regarded as a handicap has now been elevated to an ideal.

Moving unilaterally in one direction has become socially fashionable in certain circles where people have an inordinate as well misguided desire to showcase their “liberalism.”

The story is told of three rabbis who boasted about their attitudes toward religion. The first stated that he installed ash trays in his synagogue so that people could enjoy a...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, catholic faith, moral relativism

Psychiatry’s New Normal: ‘Transgendered’ Persons (15946)

The American Psychiatric Association drops ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ from its official classification of mental illnesses, as the drive for acceptance of sex-reassignment surgery advances.

03/22/2013 Comments (37)
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Chaz Bono, daughter of '60s pop singers Sonny and Cher, was granted a new name and gender change by a California court in 2010.

– Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

BOSTON — The term “gender identity disorder” has been eliminated from the new edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s official guide to classifying mental illnesses, known as the DSM-5.

Whereas previously a man who “self-identified” as a woman (or vice versa) could have been classified as mentally ill, now the DSM-5 uses the term “gender dysphoria,” which means it is only a mental illness if you’re troubled by this self-identification. Elated activists in the “LGBT” community had lobbied the APA for the change for years.

And this month in Massachusetts, students, parents and teachers are reacting with concern to a recent policy document from state Commissioner of Education...READ MORE

Filed under american psychiatric association, catholic moral teaching, moral relativism, natural law, same-sex attraction

Syrian War Especially Hard on Christians, Priest Notes (3050)

In the ten years since the invasion of Iraq, the country’s Christian population has plummeted.

03/22/2013 Comments (2)
Aid To the Church in Need

Syrian refugees in February 2013 take shelter in El Kaa village, Baalbek-Hermel state, Lebanon, close to the Syrian border

– Aid To the Church in Need

DAMASCUS, Syria — The Syrian civil war, which has now begun its third year, has “totally destroyed” a quarter of the country with local Christians particularly hard hit by the fighting, says a missionary priest.

“Christians are suffering so much. ‘Please don’t forget us’ is a very clear message,” Father Andrzej Halemba, a Polish diocesan priest who is Aid to the Church in Need’s projects coordinator for the Middle East, told EWTN News.

The Syrian conflict marked its second anniversary last week. On March 15, 2011, demonstrations sprang up nationwide, protesting the rule of Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president and leader the country’s Ba’ath Party.

In April of that year, the Syrian...READ MORE

Filed under faith, islam

‘Reproductive Health’ Law Delayed in Philippines (3436)

The country’s Supreme Court issues a temporary stay against the law, which provides government funds for widespread dissemination of contraceptives.

03/22/2013 Comments (3)

MANILA, Philippines — Pro-family forces in the Philippines won a temporary victory when the nation’s Supreme Court issued a stay “status quo ante” on the much-contested reproductive-health law that was due to go into effect at the end of this month.

Passed by the Philippines Legislature and signed by President Benigno Aquino shortly before Christmas last year, the law provides government funds for widespread dissemination of contraceptives, which are classified as normal health care, including those that may cause early abortions. The law also mandates sex education in public grade schools and targets poor people for family-planning education.

The nation’s highest court issued the...READ MORE

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Spiritual Poverty Threatens World Peace, Pope States (3324)

Pope Francis emphasized that building real brotherhood requires the contributions of faith.

03/22/2013 Comment

Pope Francis meets with the diplomatic corps in Regia Hall on March 22.


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis invited the diplomats accredited to the Holy See to join him in fighting both material and spiritual poverty, which contribute to the lack of peace in the world.

“Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges: These, as it were, are the reference points for a journey that I want to invite each of the countries here represented to take up,” Pope Francis said.

The Pope met this morning in the Regina Hall of the Apostolic Palace with representatives from the more than 180 countries, sovereign orders and international organizations that have formal relations with the Vatican.

After a message of welcome and thanks from...READ MORE

Filed under faith, pope francis, vatican

Priest Kidnapped in Argentina Clears Pope of Accusations (3993)

Father Francisco Jalics was detained by officials who thought he was a Russian spy.

03/22/2013 Comments (1)
File Photo/CNA

Fr. Francis Jalics

– File Photo/CNA

Clarifying previous comments, a priest who was kidnapped during Argentina’s dictatorship in the 1970s is emphasizing that Pope Francis was not responsible for his detainment.

In a statement published on the official website of the Jesuit order in Germany, Father Francisco Jalics said that while he once believed his 1976 kidnapping was due to a denunciation by then-Father Bergoglio, he realized some 20 years ago that this belief was incorrect.

Following the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to the papacy on March 13, several media reports attempted to connect the new Pontiff to the Argentine dictatorship of Rafael Videla. At the time of the dictatorship, Father Bergoglio had been...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, pope francis

U.S. Help for Jailed Iran Pastor ‘Woefully’ Inept, Congressmen Charge (2566)

Six members of Congress urged the State Department to use the full resources of the U.S. government to free the Christian pastor.

03/22/2013 Comments (4)
American Center for Law and Justice.

Imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedin with his family.

– American Center for Law and Justice.

WASHINGTON — Six members of Congress say the U.S. State Department is not doing enough to help Pastor Saeed Abedini, an imprisoned U.S. citizen being held in an Iranian prison because of his Christian beliefs.
“To date, the State Department’s posture on this case has been woefully inadequate, especially given that the life of an American citizen hangs in the balance,” their March 20 letter said.
“Both the European Union and the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Iran have advocated publicly for Pastor Saeed — the same cannot be said of this administration.”
Those who signed the letter to Secretary of State John Kerry included Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., co-chair of the...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, congress, religious freedom

Bishops Say HHS Mandate Still Threatens Religious Liberty (2823)

USCCB legal analysis states that the Obama administration’s latest accommodation proposal is inadequate.

03/22/2013 Comments (11)

WASHINGTON — Despite proposals to modify the federal contraception and abortion mandate, the U.S. bishops said that the regulation is still unacceptable due to its narrow view of religion and resulting violations of religious liberty.

“The identity of the person or group having the religious-freedom objection should not matter; what should matter instead is whether the person or group faces government coercion to violate conscience,” said a document filed on behalf of the U.S. bishops.

“Religious freedom is for all who face this threat, not just some,” the March 20 statement declared. 

The document was written by Anthony Picarello and Michael Moses, general counsels for the U.S....READ MORE

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