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A Spiritual Reflection on Religious Liberty and the Rights of Conscience (4676)

Text of Mother Agnes Mary Donovan’s remarks at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, April 19, in Washington, D.C.

04/20/2012 Comments (5)

– CatholicPrayerBreakfast.com

Your Excellencies, dear friends. We face a summons to action in response to a global and national reality which we are reluctant to perceive: Christians as the object of open persecution. It is a persecution reaching close to home for us all. The following was an opening paragraph in a legal brief submitted on behalf of our friends, a religious community of Sisters south of the Mason-Dixon Line, challenging the constitutionality of the HHS [Health and Human Services] mandate:

“In their 151-year history, this congregation has, with the help of God, survived a Civil War on their doorstep, deadly epidemics, devastating floods, economic depression and tumultuous social upheaval. Today,...READ MORE

Filed under catholic church, catholic faith, national catholic prayer breakfast, religious freedom, sisters of life, women religious

SDG Reviews 'Chimpanzee' (7038)

Amazing documentary footage highlighting the winsome and wild sides of chimp society is undermined by pedestrian narration.

04/20/2012 Comments (12)

Little Oscar is the star of Chimpanzee.

– DisneyNature

Disneynature’s Chimpanzee has the makings of a great nature documentary. It takes us places other films haven’t and shows us sights we haven’t seen on any screen. Visually, it’s a triumph of intrepid nature-documentary filmmaking, with an extraordinary and heartwarming twist in the lives of a chimpanzee community. Yet, like other recent nature flicks, including Arctic Tale and African Cats, it’s wrapped in increasingly tiresome, condescending, kiddie-movie packaging. It’s like discovering a rare dish prepared by eminent chefs, drizzled with waxy treacle and stuffed in a Happy Meal box.

The chefs are Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, superstars of the nature-documentary world; their...READ MORE

Filed under disney, family films, movies, nature documentaries, sdg reviews

Behold! The Lego Rosary, A Unique Black Chasuble, St. Thomas Aquinas on Keeping Pets, and much more! (4742)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/20/2012 Comments (1)

Behold! The Lego Rosary. Click on the link by Thomas L. McDonald to read and a full view of the Rosary.

Behold! The Lego Rosary - Thomas L. McDonald, Patheos/God and the Machine

A Unique Black Chasuble - Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement

Saint Thomas and the Keeping of Pets - Fr. Bonaventure Chapman OP, Dominicana

Friday's Catholic Punditry on the Reformation of U.S. Women Religious (LCWR) - ThePulp.it

The Scandal of Catholic Teachers' Pay - Rupert J. Ederer, New Oxford Review

Lessons in the Chinook - Ryan Kraeger, Ignitum Today

On Academic Humility by Thomas à Kempis - Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

Why Journalists Love “Mad Men” and Not Religion News - Terry Mattingly, Get Religion

How Much Should Stay-at-Home Moms like Ann Romney be Paid? - Kathleen Gilbert,...READ MORE

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Taking, Making and Faking Life (3210)

Jennifer Lahl discusses the ethical and societal implications of a world without limits on biotechnologies.

04/20/2012 Comments (2)

Jennifer Lahl

In 2000, Jennifer Lahl founded the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network to help “change the bioethical landscape and promote wholly and truly human progress.” While the organization is actively working with educators, medical professionals and policymakers in the field of bioethics, they have recently turned to the medium of film to help spread their message to a larger audience.

In 2010, Lahl, an evangelical Christian, wrote and produced the documentary film Eggsploitation, which focuses on the commercialization of infertility and the many health risks faced by women who choose to sell their eggs. Her new film, Anonymous Father’s Dayhighlights the many unforeseen consequences...READ MORE

Filed under anonymous sperm donors, egg donation, in vitro fertilization, sperm donation

Holy See Mandates Reform of U.S. Women Religious’ Conference (15328)

04/19/2012 Comments (97)

In a dramatic move, the Holy See has mandated the reform of the largest leadership body for women religious in the United States.

The mandate was issued with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI at the conclusion of a doctrinal investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which was conducted under the auspices of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

The LCWR is an association of more than 1,500 leaders of U.S. congregations of women religious. Together they represent more than 80% of the 57,000 women religious in America.

In 2008, the Holy See initiated two simultaneous investigations of the state of women’s religious life in the U.S....READ MORE

Filed under apostolic visitation of women's religious communities, archbishop j. peter sartain, cardinal william levada, catholic healthcare association, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, leadership conference of women religious, pope benedictu xvi, sister carol keehan

Vatican II and the New Evangelization (2826)

April 22 issue column on the importance of culture and dialogue.

04/19/2012 Comment

– Shutterstock

The Second Vatican Council’s central purpose was evangelization. All of its reforms, whether about liturgy, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, or education, were all ordered toward one goal: to make the Gospel more accessible to the modern world. Vatican II issued a bold call to re-evangelize the modern world, a call that has been taken up faithfully by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. But have we taken it up?

The last 500 years have seen a steady decline in Catholic culture and the public influence of the Church. Vatican II responded to the reality that for the first time in human history we have a secular culture: a way of life that seeks to exclude God. The Council’s...READ MORE

Filed under john paul ii, new evangelization, vatican ii

Blessed James Oldo of Lodi, Are Unicorns Biblical?, Catholic Church: Champion of Science, and more! (2325)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

04/19/2012 Comment

To Rise With Christ, the Feast of Blessed James Oldo of Lodi. Click on the link by Omar F. A. Gutierrez to read more of this wonderful child of God.

To Rise With Christ, the Feast of Blessed James Oldo of Lodi - Omar F. A. Gutierrez, Regnum Novum

Are Unicorns in the Bible and Why Did Medievals Own Unicorn Horns? - Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

Catholic Church: Champion of Scientific Advance - Tom Crowe, Catholic Vote

The 'Fiveness' of Mary: Is It Genuine? - David Clayton, New Liturgical Movement

Catholic Punditry on the Reformation of U.S. Women Religious (LCWR) - ThePulp.it

The 15 Promises of the Rosary as Given by Our Lady - Saint Peter's List

N.F.P.: Not Just Natural Birth Control - DarwinCatholic, The American Catholic

The New Chivalry - Matt Sciba, Truth & Charity

A “Judeo-Christian Sharia” . . . Really? -...READ MORE

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CUA, a Bellwether of American Catholicism, Celebrates 125th Anniversary (3674)

04/19/2012 Comment

WASHINGTON — Once a flashpoint of theological dissent in the tumultuous years after the Second Vatican Council, The Catholic University of America now stirs controversy by opening single-sex dorms and defending the free exercise of Catholic institutions.

Long the bellwether of Catholicism in the United States, during periods of institutional consolidation and of fragmentation, CUA is enjoying record undergraduate enrollment and a renewed sense of clarity regarding its unique role among Church-affiliated universities.

In the fall of 1992, total undergraduate enrollment was 2,561; this year it is 3,633. Meanwhile, work on eight significant building projects have transformed the campus...READ MORE

Filed under catholic colleges and universities, ex corde ecclesiae, john garvey, pope john paul ii, the catholic university of america

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