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Abraham Exemplifies Christian Journey, Pope Says (2008)

The Old Testament patriarch is the ‘first great role model’ of faith, the Holy Father instructs, and exemplifies the Christian longing for the ‘true homeland’ of heaven.

01/23/2013 Comments (2)
Catholic News Agency

– Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY — In his weekly general audience, Pope Benedict pointed to the legacy of Abraham as an example of the Christian’s longing for the “true homeland” of heaven and as the “first great role model” of having faith in God.

“Abraham, the believer, teaches us faith and, like a stranger on earth, points out our true homeland. Faith makes us pilgrims on earth, situated in the world and in history, but on the path toward our heavenly homeland,” the Pope said Jan. 23 at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

“Believing in God thus makes us heralds of values that often do not coincide with fashion or the opinion of the moment. The Christian should not be afraid to go ‘against the grain’ to live...READ MORE

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Civil-Rights Groups Criticize Vietnam for Severe Treatment of Political Dissidents (3571)

Fourteen Catholic writers and political-reform activists were sentenced to prison terms of three to 13 years.

01/23/2013 Comment

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam

– Wikipedia

The Jan. 13 jailing of Catholic writers and political-reform activists in Vietnam has once again spotlighted the attitude of the country’s communist rulers toward political dissent and religious freedom.

The situation in the country gained further attention Jan. 22, when Pope Benedict XVI received Nguyen Phu Trong, the secretary general of Vietnam’s Communist Party, at a Vatican audience.

After a high-security trial on Jan. 9 in Vinh, in central Vietnam, where the group of 14 faced charges, including violating Article 79 of Vietnam’s constitution — a vague stipulation banning “subversion of the administration” — the detainees were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to 13...READ MORE

Filed under civil rights violations, communism, vietnamese catholics

SDG’s Top Films of 2012 (14430)

A masterpiece on the importance of fatherhood, by filmmakers honored by the Vatican, is among the year’s best films.

01/23/2013 Comments (33)

TOP 3. 'Barbara,' 'The Kid With a Bike' and 'Argo,' from top to bottom.

A few weeks before New Year’s, my impression was that 2012 hadn’t been a great year for movies. But, then, I had seen and reviewed fewer films than in previous years, due to my beginning diaconal studies.

Following a late sprint of catching up with some movies I’d missed, I went from wondering how to fill the slots in my “top films” lists to debating what to exclude (and that’s not including the daunting list of notable films I still haven’t seen).

I’ve known since seeing it last April that my favorite film of the year would almost certainly be the latest film from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the Belgian brothers recently honored with the Robert Bresson Prize, given each year by the...READ MORE

Filed under movies, top film lists

Robert George: Catholic Oppression Coming Over Marriage (10662)

The Princeton professor predicts that persecution will be directed against those who oppose a redefinition of marriage.

01/23/2013 Comments (33)

Robert George

WASHINGTON — A Princeton law professor has predicted increasing persecution of Catholic teaching on sexuality, amid accusations by a New York scholar that such teaching creates a culture of rape.

In a Jan. 17 email to Catholic News Agency, Robert George of Princeton University warned of rising oppression against those who oppose a redefinition of marriage.

Such persecution includes an increase in “the use of ‘anti-discrimination’ laws to violate the freedom of religious institutions and religious individuals to honor their beliefs about marriage and sexual morality,” he said.

George’s comments came amid claims by one scholar that Catholic teaching on human sexuality contributed to...READ MORE

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After 40 Years of Abortion, Bishops Voice Sorrow, Hope (1451)

Abortion remains 'the defining human-rights issue of our age,’ Cardinal Wuerl asserts.

01/23/2013 Comment
West Coast Walk for Life

Pro-life supporters participating in the 2012 West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco.

– West Coast Walk for Life

WASHINGTON — Church leaders across the U.S. expressed both grief and renewed determination on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion throughout America.

“Forty years after Roe v. Wade, the scourge of abortion is still a part of our land,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, “but the faith, love and witness of our young people is a reminder to all of us that, in the end, truth, goodness, life and love will win out.”

“Abortion continues to be the defining human-rights issue of our age,” the cardinal said in a Jan. 22 blog post.

He called for “serious reflection, prayer and action” on the millions of lives that have been lost in the name of...READ MORE

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Justice Scalia Wears Martyr's Cap at Obama Inauguration, The Mystery of Suffering and More! (4588)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

01/23/2013 Comment

Justice Scalia Wears Martyr’s Cap to Inauguration. Follow the link by Matthew Schmitz of First Things to read more.

Justice Scalia Wears Martyr’s Cap to Inauguration by Matthew Schmitz of First ThingsBig Pulpit

The Cross, the Church, and the Mystery of Suffering – Joe Heschmeyer, Shameless Popery

A Beautiful Symmetry – Pavel Chichikov, StAR

A Vatican Spokesman’s Misguided Statement on Gun Control – Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture/On the News

Welsh Starlight – Meredith Wise, Dappled Things

Some Bishops Want Your Guns – Nicholas G. Hahn III, Crisis Magazine

Ordo Militia Templi – Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement

The Life of St. Barbara Hits the Big Screen – Jean M. Heimann, Catholic Fire

Fr. Schall at Eighty-Five – The Catholic Thing

Encounter with Bhatti – David Mills, First...READ MORE

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Women Recount Pain, Suffering Following Abortions (2368)

According to Olivia Gans Turner, director of American Victims of Abortion, ‘women need better options than the death of their baby.’

01/22/2013 Comments (3)
Addie Mena/CNA

Kellie Stauffer speaks at a press conference in Washington.

– Addie Mena/CNA

WASHINGTON — Forty years after abortion was legalized throughout America, women who have been victims of the procedure are speaking out about the trauma and suffering it has caused in their lives.

“Women need better options than the death of their baby,” said Olivia Gans Turner, who became the director of American Victims of Abortion after experiencing the deep emotional pain that accompanied an abortion.

Turner was one of five women who spoke about the physical and emotional suffering that comes from abortion at a Jan. 22 press conference at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington.

The conference was co-sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith, R- N.J., Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., and...READ MORE

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Vietnamese Communist Leader Meets Pope for First Time (2136)

Nguyên Phú Trong’s visit was part of a wider European tour he is conducting with another nine members of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

01/22/2013 Comment

Nguyên Phú Trong, secretary general of Vietnam's Communist Party.

– Wikicommons

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict received in audience today the secretary general of Vietnam‘s Communist Party, discussing issues of interest to the Vatican and Vietnam.

The Pope spoke with Nguyên Phú Trong on Jan. 22, who then met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states.

The Church leaders addressed with Trong their hopes of strengthening the existing fruitful cooperation between the two states.

Trong’s audience with the Pope was unusual in that he is a political leader and not a head of state with whom Pope Benedict would usually meet.

His visit with Pope Benedict is part of a wider European...READ MORE

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