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Bishops Urged to Imitate St. Thomas More in Mandate Fight (2315)

The courageous 16th-century English saint is an inspiring example for 21st-century American bishops facing contemporary threats to religious freedom, Archbishop Chaput says.

12/21/2012 Comments (10)

PHILADELPHIA — Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has held up the 16th century’s St. Thomas More as a model of courage for bishops in the face of the federal contraception mandate.

“America’s Catholic bishops cannot simply grumble and shrug and go along with the mandate now without implicating themselves in cowardice,” he wrote in a Dec. 19 column for The Witherspoon Institute.

“Their current resolve risks unraveling unless they reaffirm their opposition to the mandate forcefully and as a united body. The past can be a useful teacher. One of its lessons is this: The passage of time can invite confusion and doubt — and both work against courage.”

St. Thomas More, a leading...READ MORE

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Belmont Abbey and Wheaton Secure Key Victory in HHS Mandate Challenge (5035)

The D.C. Circuit Court reinstates the two religious colleges’ lawsuits and orders the Obama administration to report on its progress in amending the federal contraceptive mandate.

12/20/2012 Comments (9)
Public Domain

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals building.

– Public Domain

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court in Washington has reinstated the lawsuits for two religious colleges challenging a federal law that would compel them to cover contraception, abortifacients and sterilization in their employee health-insurance plans.

The appellate court’s Dec. 18 decision is a blow to the Obama administration, which has sought to dismiss a slew of lawsuits filed by religious institutions that object to the Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate. HHS lawyers have argued that the time is not “ripe” for courts to address these legal challenges and that the plaintiffs’ concerns will ultimately be resolved through proposed modifications of the controversial...READ MORE

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How to Get Closer to God (2467)

Book Pick: Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God

12/20/2012 Comment

Editor's Note: Dan Burke's book Navigating the Spiritual Life will be discussed Friday, Dec. 21, on Register Radio, which airs on Fridays at 2pm Eastern, with encores at 7pm Eastern on Saturdays and 11am Eastern on Sundays.


Navigating the Interior Life:

Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God

By Dan Burke and Father John Bartunek

Emmaus Road Publishing, 2012

161 pages; $14

To order: ewtnreligiouscatalogue.com


What did Sts. Paul, Margaret Mary and Faustina Kowalska all have in common?   

In addition to having profound personal encounters with Jesus Christ, they all had spiritual directors. It might seem that messages from Jesus would be enough, but as Dan...READ MORE

Filed under spiritual direction, spiritual life

'Humanae Vitae' Author Pope Paul VI Moves Toward Sainthood (3789)

Pope Benedict XVI said his predecessor had 'heroic virtue' on Dec. 20.

12/20/2012 Comments (9)

– Wikipedia/Vatican.va

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI authorized an investigation on Dec. 20 that could result in proclaiming Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) a saint.

The Holy Father formally allowed the move as the Congregation for the Causes of Saints wrote a decree stating that Paul VI had “heroic virtue,” the first step necessary in the canonization process.

The Pope met with congregation prefect Cardinal Angelo Amato Dec. 20 to let him begin the review of the Humanae Vitae author.

During their meeting, Benedict also authorized the congregation to continue several other canonization processes, which are usually long and complex.

They include Italian Blessed Antonio Primaldo and Colombia native Blessed...READ MORE

Filed under congregation for the causes of saints, humanae vitae, papacy, pope benedict xvi, pope john xxiii, pope paul vi, second vatican council

Filipino Church Vows Continued Opposition to ‘Reproductive Health’ Bill (3187)

Despite determined resistance from Catholic leaders, Philippine lawmakers passed legislation Dec. 17 promoting contraception for poor people.

12/20/2012 Comments (9)

Philippine President Benigno Aquino

– Alan Porritt-Pool /Getty Images

MANILA, Philippines — Despite a strongly worded, last-minute plea from the nation’s Catholic bishops and a large laity-led demonstration outside the halls of congress, Philippine lawmakers in both houses this week passed the hotly contested Reproductive Health Bill that promotes contraceptives for poor people and opens the way for the legal use of abortifacient drugs.

Viewed by opponents as a population-control measure promoted by international agencies such as the United Nations Population Fund, the "RH Bill," as it is commonly known, also provides for contraceptive-based sex education.

The legislation would require government-sanctioned sex education for adults, middle-schoolers and...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, catholic faith, catholic morality, contraceptive mentality, culture of life vs culture of death, philippines, reproductive-health bill, u.n. population fund

In Rare Op-Ed Article, Pope Asks Christians to Reassess Christmas Priorities (2382)

The Dec. 20 Financial Times article reflects on how Christians can live out their faith with a view to the eternal.

12/20/2012 Comments (1)

Pope Benedict XVI signs his second encyclical, Spe Salvi, in November 2007.

– L'Osservatore Romano-Vatican Pool/Getty Images

ROME — The Dec. 20 edition of the Financial Times featured a rare article by Pope Benedict XVI in which he advises Christians to use Christmas as a time to “reassess priorities” and reflect on how to live out their faith with eternity in mind.

“While Christmas is undoubtedly a time of great joy, it is also an occasion for deep reflection, even an examination of conscience,” he says in the article.

“At the end of a year that has meant economic hardship for many, what can we learn from the humility, the poverty, the simplicity of the crib scene?” he asks readers.

Seeing an article in a newspaper by the Pope is a very unusual occurrence.

This particular story made it to print after...READ MORE

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U.S. Bishops Call for Nuclear Negotiations With Iran (1547)

Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of USCCB’s justice and peace committee, voices ‘deep concern’ over the current ‘dangerous situation.’

12/20/2012 Comments (10)
Michelle Bauman/CNA

Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa.

– Michelle Bauman/CNA

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops’ leader on international peace issues said that dialogue is the path to a peaceful resolution of nuclear concerns between the United States and Iran.

“Bold steps must be considered to counter this unfortunate and continually rising tide of aggressive posturing between our own nation and Iran,” said Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa.

In a Dec. 18 letter to Thomas Donilon, national security advisor to the Obama administration, he explained that a “peaceful resolution will require direct, sustained negotiations over a considerable period of time.”

The bishop, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of...READ MORE

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Catholic Aid Sent to Frightened Congolese Refugees (1053)

Aid to the Church in Need has granted emergency assistance to refugees fleeing ‘unimaginably violent conflicts’ in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

12/20/2012 Comment
Aid to the Church in Need

Refugee child at Kanyaruchinya displacement camp in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.

– Aid to the Church in Need

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo — The international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need has granted more than $65,000 in emergency aid to help refugees fleeing violent conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The charity said the situation in the country’s east has been “explosive” for weeks, and many people are fleeing the “unimaginably violent conflicts” between many different political forces and military leaders. Control of the region’s natural resources is a major source of the clashes.

Aid workers have warned that armed groups are setting up new front lines in and around Goma, the capital of the North Kivu province in the country’s east.

The news...READ MORE

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