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The Catholic Carnival of Christmas (6911)

Ban reindeer, if you like. Abolish Santa Claus and Christmas trees. Keep your family wrapped in the starkest of Advent penances. Exterminate the festival of it all, the nonsense of the season, if you must ...

12/21/2012 Comments (20)

– Wikicommons

Ban reindeer, if you like. Abolish Santa Claus and Christmas trees. Keep your family wrapped in the starkest of Advent penances. Eradicate eggnog and candy, tinsel and presents, snowflakes and stockings. Exterminate the festival of it all, the nonsense of the season, if you must.

Lord knows, you have cause. Christmas has become, in the United States, the holiday — which is to say, the holy day — that dare not speak its name. We still have all the extraneous stuff that grew up around Christmas: the gift-giving and those awful Hallmark cards and the mistletoe and the holly. The Muzaked carols, for that matter. But the words of those carols seem to have become a problem for American...READ MORE

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Remembering Judge Bork (1927-2012) (2962)

COMMENTARY: An Ave Maria colleague recalls Robert Bork's impact in the classroom.

12/21/2012 Comments (6)

– Alex Wong/Getty Images

One of the great joys in my life was getting to know Judge Robert Bork and call him a friend. When I was organizing Ave Maria School of Law, he was the first faculty member announced as part of our law school. The significance of that appointment cannot be overstated. He gave us instant credibility as a serious institution, one committed to serious legal study, and his appointment enabled us to attract outstanding law students who wanted exposure to him.

He made it clear to me that he did not want to teach a regular law course, not even "Anti-Trust," which he had so profoundly shaped. Rather, he wanted to do something different.

Out of our conversations developed a special course...READ MORE

Filed under catholic converts, catholic faith, judge robert bork, u.s. constitution, u.s. supreme court

Knights in Newtown Organize Nationwide Prayer Drive (1835)

Hail Marys are being offered for the victims and their families, for first responders and teachers and for the town to give it strength to support the afflicted.

12/21/2012 Comments (8)
Knights of Columbus Council 185

– Knights of Columbus Council 185

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The Knights of Columbus at St. Rose of Lima parish in Newtown, Conn., have organized a prayer drive for the benefit of those affected by the town’s recent tragedy.

“There’s a very important message: that the Rosary is a very powerful prayer, and one that can bring miracles. And we hope for that,” Council 185’s Grand Knight Tim Haas said in a Dec. 20 interview with EWTN News.

“This is a special way for us to remember the holy innocents who were lost. There were 12 little girls, eight boys, and they were taken from us without warning or cause, and we need to pray for their families.”

The council’s message promoting the prayer drive was released Dec. 19. Haas said that...READ MORE

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Bishops Urged to Imitate St. Thomas More in Mandate Fight (2325)

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 (5090)

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 (2499)

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 (3834)

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 (3286)

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

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