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School-Choice Funding Stalls in U.S. Senate, but Wins Big in Indiana (3948)

The federal political dynamics are currently unfavorable for funding such programs, but progress continues at the state level.

04/02/2013 Comment

– Wikipedia

WASHINGTON — There was good news and bad news last month for advocates of school choice, which allows low-income families to choose private schools for their children and receive public funding.

The good news came in Indiana, whose state Supreme Court resoundingly upheld a 2011 voucher law that supported 9,300 students in private schools state wide, including 3,919 in Catholic parochial schools.

The bad news came in the U.S. Senate, where every Democrat and six Republicans voted down an amendment to a spending bill that would have earmarked $14.5 billion in federal money for poor parents to pay private-school tuition for their children.

On March 26, the Supreme Court of Indiana...READ MORE

Filed under school choice, school vouchers

Hobby Lobby Granted Full Court Hearing for Mandate Case (6442)

In recognition of the serious First Amendment questions in play, the case will be heard by a nine-judge federal panel.

04/02/2013 Comments (29)
Courtesy of the Becket Fund

– Courtesy of the Becket Fund

WASHINGTON — Christian-owned craft giant Hobby Lobby will be able to make its appeal against the federal contraception mandate before a full federal panel of nine judges, rather than the usual three.

“Full court review is reserved only for the most serious legal questions,” explained Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, in a March 29 press release. The Becket Fund is representing the owners of Hobby Lobby in court. 

Duncan said that the decision to grant a full nine-judge hearing speaks to the gravity of the issue.

“This case asks whether the First Amendment protects everyone’s right to religious freedom or whether it leaves out religious business...READ MORE

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10 Great Things About Catholicism, Extraordinary Form Catholic Hymns, Easter and History and More! (3986)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/02/2013 Comment

Ten Great Things About Catholicism. Follow the link by H. W. Crocker III of the Catholic Exchange website to read more.

Ten Great Things About Catholicism by H. W. Crocker III of the Catholic Exchange website - Big Pulpit

Extraordinary Form Catholic Hymns – Ben Yanke, Corpus Christi Watershed

Easter and History – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Good Friday at the London Oratory – Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement

Why I Love Incense – Matthew Olson, Ignitum Today

The Holy Shroud: The Essence of Religion Meets Science – Gian Maria Zaccone, La Stampa/Vatican Insider

What’s in A Word? Amen – Debi Vinnedge, Catholic Stand

The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen: A Resurrection Tale – Sean Fitzpatrick, Crisis Magazine

An Answer to a Question: What is Contemplation? – Anthony...READ MORE

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Easter at the Vatican, 2013 (4741)

May the risen Christ guide you on the path of justice, love and peace, Pope Francis tells the faithful in his first message ‘urbi et orbi.’

04/01/2013 Comments (2)
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

– Franco Origlia/Getty Images

VATICAN CITY — In the simple pastoral style of a parish priest, Pope Francis led the Vatican’s Easter celebrations, offering clear and accessible teachings in both word and action that principally instructed the faithful on how to draw near to the risen Christ.

He began the Easter Triduum by taking the unprecedented step of celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at a young offenders’ detention center just outside of Rome on Holy Thursday instead of the basilica of St. John Lateran, where it is usually held.

Pope Francis celebrated the Mass for 50 young men and women, as well as  staff, volunteers and officials, at the Casa del Marmo Institute. He stressed the importance of service...READ MORE

Filed under 'regina coeli', catholic church, easter, pope francis, urbi et orbi

Pope Francis Prays at St. Peter’s Tomb (3728)

Monday marked Pope Francis’ second visit to St. Peter’s tomb in the first month of his pontificate.

04/01/2013 Comments (6)
Vatican Radio/Facebook

Pope Francis prays at St. Peter’s tomb.

– Vatican Radio/Facebook

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis made a private visit to the tomb of St. Peter on the afternoon of Easter Monday to spend time in prayer before the remains of the first pope.

Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, accompanied the Pope to St. Peter’s tomb in the Necropolis, a series of burial sites beneath the basilica.

St. Peter headed the Church after Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, and he was martyred under the Roman Emperor Nero in the year 64 on Rome’s Vatican hill. He was crucified upside down at his own request because he said he was not worthy to die as Jesus did.

In 1965, archaeologists working on the Necropolis said they found the bones of St. Peter...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, prayer

Pope Francis’ Ideas of What Is at the Heart of the Church (13086)


04/01/2013 Comments (15)
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

– Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Italian television covered the personal struggle of a 20-something, non-practicing Catholic woman who was deeply moved by Pope Francis’ first two encounters with the world after his election: directly on the day of his election and via television the next day, when he presided at the cardinals’ Mass in the Sistine Chapel.

The young woman told the Italian state-run television station RAI that she felt moved to buy a Bible and was planning to read the Gospels over the weekend.

RAI caught up with her again on the following Monday, after Pope Francis’ Mass and homily at the tiny Church of St. Anna inside the Vatican walls. “What I saw in Pope Francis’ person is totally consistent with...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, papacy, pope francis, sacred heart of jesus

Shroud of Turin: Let's Include Facts, Please; Secret Side Chapel in St. Peter's and More! (3167)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/01/2013 Comments (1)

Shroud of Turin: Let’s Include the Basic Facts, Please. Follow the link by Terry Mattingly to read more.

Shroud of Turin: Let’s Include the Basic Facts, Please by Terry Mattingly - Big Pulpit

Secret Side Chapel Inside Saint Peter’s Basilica – Kathleen Pluth, The Chant Café

Fisking Msgr. Charles Pope on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ – Paul Zummo, The American Catholic

Paris: Notre Dame Gets New Bells for Her 850th Birthday – Fr. Z’s Blog

The “Truth” Problem – Colin Gormley, Ignitum Today

Orthodox Patriarch Foresees Reunion of Christian East and West – Catholic Culture/Catholic World News

A Better Connected World – Julie Rodrigues, Catholic Stand

One God: No More, No Less – Michael Baruzzini, The Catholic Thing

Evangelical Catholicism, Pope Francis and the 21st-Century Church –...READ MORE

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Tools for Knowing the Nature of Marriage and the Source of Human Thriving (12717)

A Register exclusive from Archbishop Charles Chaput.

04/01/2013 Comments (8)

In late March, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in two cases — Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor — with big implications for the future of marriage. Perry involves California’s Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment. Prop. 8 restored to California law the principle that marriage is the conjugal union of husband and wife. Windsor involves DOMA (the federal Defense of Marriage Act). DOMA defines marriage in the same way for the purposes of federal law. It also authorizes states to decline to recognize same-sex “marriages” entered into in other states.

Proposition 8 passed by a clear majority in a 2008 statewide popular vote. DOMA passed by large...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, marriage, natural law, proposition 8, sacraments

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