Daily News

Documenting the Middle East’s Christians (3449)

Meet a woman whose mission is to make films to tell the story of persecuted Christians. No matter what it takes.

10/19/2010 Comments (5)
Paolo Grana

INTREPID. Italian filmmaker Elisabetta Valgiusti.

– Paolo Grana

Elisabetta Valgiusti is a documentary producer and filmmaker as well as president of Salva i Monasteri (Save the Monasteries). Salva i Monasteri is an Italian association of academics, scholars, artists and media experts who want to safeguard Christian religious sites in areas of crisis. They do this through cultural and media projects.

Valgiusti has two documentaries about Pakistan and India which will be aired on EWTN this November and December. She spoke with Register correspondent Sabrina Arena Ferrisi.

Given your interest in the rights of Christians and preserving monasteries, did you grow up in a strongly Catholic family?

I was born in South America, in Caracas, from an Italian...READ MORE

Filed under christians in india, christians in pakistan, christians in the middle east, elisabetta valgiusti, islam

Porn-Free Vision (15922)

Recovering pornography addicts bring hope to others.

10/18/2010 Comments (14)
Reuters/Peter Morgan

– Reuters/Peter Morgan

OTTAWA, Ontario — After successfully battling an addiction to pornography, Matthew Fradd has dedicated himself to helping others.

“Porn is not just naughty — it’s evil,” said Fradd, a 27-year-old Australian living in Ottawa, Ontario. “It emasculates men, degrades women and destroys marriages.”

Fradd has begun his second year operating his anti-pornography website, ThePornEffect.com . He launched it on Aug. 14, 2009, on the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron of addicts, using $12,000 in seed money donated to him by a priest-friend.

Fradd’s is a lonely voice going against the culture on the issue, especially considering that nearly 25 million websites (12% of all websites) and 25%...READ MORE

Filed under pornography addiction

How to Ask the Wrong Question About God (4125)

This new book's approach to God is deceptively attractive... and extremely dangerous. A Register editorial.

10/16/2010 Comment

A version of this editorial appears in the Oct. 24 print edition.

America’s Four Gods: What We Say About God — And What That Says About Us  is an ambitious new book by Baylor University sociology professors Paul Froese and Christopher Bader.

Its premise is simple and its promise is ample, so it has unsurprisingly garnered increasing attention since its Oct. 7 release by Oxford University Press.

The authors suggest that we can understand America’s cultural and political diversity in terms of what we believe about God, and that the answers to two questions — “To what extent does God interact with the world?” and “To what extent does God judge the world?” — reveal far more about our...READ MORE

Filed under catholicism, catholicity, god, jesus christ, jesus of nazareth, united states, united states conference of catholic bishops

A Bright Spot in ObamaCare: Help for Crisis Pregnancies (3562)

Part of the big compromise: An HHS pregnancy assistance fund quietly activates thanks to controversial health-care legislation.

10/15/2010 Comments (3)
2009 CNS photo/courtesy Lacy Dodd

Lacy Dodd, a member of the board of directors of Room at the Inn, is pictured with her daughter in an undated photo. Room at the Inn is a Charlotte, N.C.-based pregnancy resource center with an outreach program for college students. Now, federal funds can be used to help institutions of higher education develop and provide access to programs for pregnant and parenting students.

– 2009 CNS photo/courtesy Lacy Dodd

WASHINGTON — A Heath and Human Services Department grant of $24 million for the support of pregnant and parenting teens and women is a “huge victory,” said Feminists for Life.

The department announced the grants Sept. 28 to 17 states and 13 American Indian tribes.

The money, part of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, can be used for three specific purposes: to help institutions of higher education develop and provide access to programs for pregnant and parenting students; to help high schools and community service centers offer similar support to pregnant and parenting teens, and to make more and better services available to pregnant...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, crisis pregnancy centers, healthcare, obama

Are Chinese Government’s Strong-Arm Tactics Starting to Backfire? (2757)

The Church still suffers. But read the tea leaves, and there are surprising signs of hope.

10/14/2010 Comments (1)
CNS photo/UCAN

Pilgrims pray at the Marian shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai, China, in 2008.

– CNS photo/UCAN

HONG KONG — The government of Hong Kong is attempting to prevent a Way of the Cross procession scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16.

Led by Cardinal Joseph Zen, former archbishop of Hong Kong, the event is set to call for religious freedom in China. It appears that the government of the semiautonomous region is fearful of offending Beijing on the matter, with the event set to take place a week after Chinese fury was stoked by the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobao. The government of the People’s Republic of China considers Liu a criminal.

China’s growing economic and political weight is well-documented. Earlier this year, the country overtook Japan to...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal joseph zen, china, hong kong, underground church

‘Game Changer’ for Stem-Cell Research? (3389)

10/13/2010 Comments (2)
CNS photo/Tim Boyles, courtesy Catholic Health Association

ANOTHER ADVANCE. Michael Gazzia, biological manufacturing analyst at Stemnion, holds a cryovial Sept. 23 inside the ‘clean room’ at the new facility in Clearwater, Fla. The Pittsburgh-based regenerative medicine company recently opened the Florida lab near a Catholic hospital where placentas are donated for use in adult stem-cell research.

– CNS photo/Tim Boyles, courtesy Catholic Health Association

BOSTON — A new research breakthrough at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute has revived the debate over public funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

The Christian Medical Association hailed the Harvard group’s progress towards turning ordinary skin cells into pluripotent stem cells useable in medical treatments, arguing, “It should stop federal funding of obsolete, embryo-destroying research.”

The CMA, which speaks for 16,000 doctors, is co-sponsoring a lawsuit to stop such funding that recently suffered an apparent legal setback. A federal judge’s temporary injunction blocked federal funding for new embryonic stem-cell research, but it was stayed on appeal.

Stem cells are the...READ MORE

Filed under adult stem cells, human embryonic stem cells

Global Maternal Deaths Drop by 33% (3317)

But Some Organizations Still Use Figures to Argue Need for Legal Abortion

10/12/2010 Comments (1)
REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Afghan mothers visit a health clinic in Eshkashem district of Badakhshan province, northeast of Kabul, in 2008.

– REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

NEW YORK — Is legalizing abortion a way to reduce the incidence of maternal deaths around the world?

For years, the World Health Organization, Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute have claimed between 68,000 and 78,000 women die annually as a result of the abortion procedure. They’ve based their figures on a rule of thumb that 13% of illegal and unsafe abortions end in death.

This year, two reports have revised the estimates of maternal deaths radically downward by a third. One of the reports was released just last month by WHO itself.

But so far, no pro-abortion groups have re-estimated abortion deaths to match.

That doesn’t surprise Donna Harrison, president of the American...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, guttmacher institute, maternal deaths, planned parenthood, united nations, vatican, world health organization

Colorado City Defends Anti-Catholic Art (5349)

Truck Driver Destroys Blasphemous Painting

10/11/2010 Comments (26)
REUTERS/Charles Platiau

– REUTERS/Charles Platiau

LOVELAND, Colo. — Kathleen Folden walked into the Loveland Museum/Gallery Oct. 6 with a crowbar hidden under her clothes. She walked up to a now-infamous anti-Catholic painting and used the crowbar to repeatedly strike the plastic casing that was supposed to protect the rare print titled “The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals.”

She yelled, “How can you desecrate my Lord?”

Folden, a 56-year-old truck driver from Kalispell, Mont., hit the protective cover so hard that at least one caller reported gunshots to a 911 operator. After breaking the plastic, Folden began hacking away at the painting.

“It was very dramatic and upsetting,” museum art curator Maureen Corey told the Register....READ MORE

Filed under blasphemous art, kathleen folden, loveland, colorado

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