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Pope: 'The Virginity of Mary and the Divinity of Jesus Reciprocally Guarantee One Another' (3579)

Mary's Yes to God's will allowed her to 'welcome Jesus and his divine life within,' the Holy Father said Dec. 18.

12/19/2011 Comments (2)

– Shutterstock

VATICAN CITY (EWTN News/CNA)—Pope Benedict XVI said Dec. 18 that the virginity of Mary guarantees Jesus’ divinity because it proves the Incarnation is solely the work of God.

“The human being that begins to live in her womb takes the flesh from Mary, but his existence is derived entirely from God,” said the Pope in his final Sunday Angelus address before Christmas.

“The fact that Mary conceived while remaining a virgin is, therefore, essential to the understanding of Jesus and our faith, because it witnesses that it was God’s initiative, and, above all, it reveals who is conceived.” 

So while Jesus is “fully human” and “made of earth,” he “comes from above, from heaven” and is truly...READ MORE

Filed under annunciation, christmas, god's will, incarnation, mary, mary's virginity

GOP Candidates Confirm Pro-Life Positions (2816)

As Iowa Caucus nears, presidential hopefuls reiterate their support for human life.

12/19/2011 Comments (10)

– Shutterstock

WASHINGTON (EWTN News)—As the race for the Republican presidential nomination continues, several candidates confirmed their opposition to abortion and criticized the current administration for failing to defend the unborn. 

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum addressed a crowd of more than 1,000 people at the Dec. 14 premiere of The Gift of Life documentary.

The group affirmed their pro-life views at the Des Moines forum hosted by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee just weeks before the Iowa Caucus kicks off the presidential nomination process.

During her remarks, Bachmann criticized the...READ MORE

Filed under gop, presidential race, pro-life

Nina Shea on Religious Freedom (6073)

'There's a difference between threats to religious freedom abroad and at home: Let's address both,' says member of U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom.

12/19/2011 Comments (2)
Hudson Institute

Nina Shea

– Hudson Institute

Threats to religious liberty are hitting close to home as a number of states and the federal government impose ideological mandates that restrict the free exercise of religion.

That said, the problems “faced by Christians, and others, in the U.S. pale beside what happens elsewhere,”javascript:nullo() as documented by Paul Marshall and Nina Shea in their new book Silenced: How Apostasy & Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide.

In an interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez, Nina Shea offers a striking comparison between the state of religious freedom at home and abroad: “We don’t face death squads, torture or labor camps, as millions do elsewhere, so we should be careful in our rhetoric....READ MORE

Filed under blasphemy codes, commission on religious freedom, islam, nina shea, paul marshall, religious freedom

The Angels of Advent (4504)

What angels can teach us about faith. Dec. 18 issue column.

12/18/2011 Comments (11)

– Wikipedia

I was on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and was just about to celebrate Mass with a few friends in the little chapel overlooking the Sea of Galilee, when two middle-aged English women came hurrying up to join me. “This is Edith,” said one with a heavy Liverpool accent. “She can see angels.”

After Mass they took me out to lunch and told me a whole collection of delightful angel stories. Edith had seen a healing angel in the hospital. She’d seen the guardian angels of children. She dialogued with her guardian angel regularly and often looked out her kitchen window to see representatives of the heavenly host going about their business.

A rationalist skeptic would have written off Edith as...READ MORE

Filed under advent, angels, christmas

Making Mary: The Gifts of Christmas (1820)

User's Guide to Sunday, Dec. 18.

12/18/2011 Comments (1)

The Annunciation

– Wikipedia

Sunday, Dec. 18, is the Fourth Sunday in Advent.


On Dec. 18, Pope Benedict XVI will make a pastoral visit to Rebibbia Prison in Rome. At 10am, in the prison’s central church, the Pope will meet with the detainees and answer their questions. At 11:30am, before returning to the Vatican for the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father will bless a tree planted in memory of his visit.

On Dec. 22, the Pope will deliver his Christmas wishes to the Roman Curia, a “Vatican Christmas party” event that the Pope has distinguished with insightful cultural commentary.


2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16; Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

Our Take

In today’s Gospel, which is also the Gospel used...READ MORE

Filed under annunciation, christmas, mary's yes, receiving christ

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent! (1084)

Prepare your heart for Christmas with our Advent guides. Our last one was featured in our Dec. 18 issue.

12/18/2011 Comment

– Shutterstock

Prepare your heart for Christmas with our Advent Guides:

How to Be a Catholic
Print and pass on “How and Why to Go to Mass,” “How and Why to Go to Confession” (Nov. 20) and “How and Why to Pray” (Dec. 4). Plus, our “Guide to Catholic Living” (Dec. 18). As featured in our Advent print issues of the Register.

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Awaiting the Incarnation (2278)

Dec. 18 issue editorial on Christmas.

12/17/2011 Comment

– Wikipedia

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

— John 1:14

As he led the Church in preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI reflected during his Dec. 4 Advent Angelus address on the radical witness of John the Baptist.

“The style of John the Baptist was meant to call all Christians to choose a sober lifestyle, especially in preparation for the feast of Christmas,” said the Pope.

As the immediate forerunner of the Incarnation, John offered “a fiery invitation to a new way of thinking and acting” and “to the announcement of God’s justice,” said the Holy Father....READ MORE

Filed under christ, christianity, faith, incarnation

2 (Pro-Life) Christmas Classics (2177)

A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life Carry a Message for All Seasons

12/17/2011 Comments (3)
Register illustration

– Register illustration

“Culture of life” is a term Blessed John Paul II made prominent in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae. The Pope wanted to highlight the civilizational struggle afoot between the “culture of life” and the “culture of death,” the latter understood as a quality-of-life ethic that eventually kills those deemed to have a “poor quality” of life. In contrast to a sanctity-of-life ethic, which regards every human life as sacred, a quality-of-life ethic decides that some lives (usually other people’s) just are not worth living.

Although John Paul showcased the “culture of life” 16 years ago, another writer was talking about it 160 years ago, and a film director was depicting it 65 years...READ MORE

Filed under a christmas carol, christmas movies, it's a wonderful life, pro-life

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