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Abortion: Ireland Stands Firm (3408)

Irish pro-life activists tell us why they’re optimistic that Thursday’s European court ruling won’t let abortion in the back door.

12/22/2010 Comments (9)
REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Judges of the European Court of Human Rights enter the plenary room of the court in Strasbourg, June 30.

– REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

STRASBOURG, France — A European court’s ruling regarding abortion laws in Ireland is not binding on the country, pro-life groups in Ireland say.

Yes, last Thursday’s ruling of the European Court of Human Rights is an attack on Ireland’s national sovereignty, they assert.

The court ruled Dec. 16 in the case of three Irish women — known as A, B and C — who sued the Irish state, where abortion is illegal except in instances where the mother’s life is at grave risk. The three, who traveled separately to the United Kingdom to have abortions, argued that a section of the Irish constitution which “acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the...READ MORE

Filed under abc v. ireland, abortion, european court of human rights, ireland

So You Say You Want a Soul Mate … (5238)

Chastity educator Jason Evert offers his advice on finding the right one.

12/21/2010 Comment

Jason Evert, one of the nation’s best known and most successful Catholic chastity education speakers, is releasing a new book, How to Find Your Soul Mate Without Losing Your Soul.

The book, five years in the making, is a compilation of advice he has offered to young women to help them navigate their single years. It is the first book Evert has co-authored with his wife, Crystalina.

In 13 years of chastity speaking, more than a million teens have heard Evert present and defend the Church’s teachings on sexuality, marriage and family-life issues. The experience has been life-changing for many, including Khymanie Usher, a 19-year-old college student at the University of Belize.

Six years...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, abstinence, abstinence education, catholic, catholic answers, catholic church, catholic colleges, catholic faith, catholic identity, catholic university

Vocations Under the Christmas Tree? (6509)

2 children’s books help plant the seeds that find fruition in the priesthood and religious life.

12/20/2010 Comments (3)

Where do our priests and nuns come from? From our heavenly Father, who blesses us with them and calls us to them, of course.

But religious vocations need support — just as any more secular vocation does. Vocations need to be introduced into the lives of children. Most children are introduced to the possibility of later being firefighters and astronauts — or absolutely stunning at everything she does, that’s Barbie — at an early age. But what about women religious and priests?

Into that breach steps Elizabeth Ficocelli, a New York City-born mother and author (of books like The Imitation of Christ for Children) living in Ohio and convert to Catholicism. This year she has penned the...READ MORE

Filed under books, catholic, catholic church, catholic faith, catholic identity, catholicity, religious life, religious order, religious symbols, vocations

The Nativity Around the World (5501)

Marian Library’s crèche display showcases world traditions.

12/18/2010 Comments (3)
University of Dayton's Marian Library

POLISH CHRISTMAS. This Nativity scene depicts costumes from various regions; the intricate embroidery is characteristic of the Krakow area.

– University of Dayton's Marian Library

Ever see a Nativity scene that includes African Masai herdsman in feathered headdresses? A Czech scene with hundreds of villagers? Moose, giraffes and polar bears around the manger? A crèche from the American Northwest with Mary as an Inuit holding a bundled up Baby Jesus?

You can see all of these and more at the University of Dayton’s Marian Library main Christmas exhibit. More than 200 Nativities are on display though Jan. 31, 2011, in this year’s show called “At the Manger: World Nativity Traditions.”

The Dayton, Ohio, Marian Library’s vast Crèches International collection contains over 3,600 sets and particularly seeks out those Nativities that demonstrate the link between culture...READ MORE

Filed under christmas, marian library, nativity, nativity displays, university of dayton, world traditions

The Catholics Next Door — and Via New Media (3463)

Greg and Jennifer Willits broke away from the corporate world to devote their lives to Catholic new media. They talk about what the Church needs to do to invest in the future.

12/17/2010 Comments (7)
Courtesy of the Willitses

– Courtesy of the Willitses

Greg and Jennifer Willits are pioneers in Catholic new media.

The Willitses were among the first Catholics to begin podcasting. They’ve produced their own video series for YouTube, and they now host a daily radio show, The Catholics Next Door, which airs from 10am-1pm EST Monday through Friday on Sirius/XM’s Catholic Channel (Sirius 159/XM 117).

What were the two of you doing prior to all of your forays into Catholic New Media?

Jennifer: I was a stay-at-home mom.

Greg: I was working as a Web and software developer in the IT industry.

What was your faith background growing up?

Jennifer: I was born in New York and raised in the Atlanta area. I was a non-denominational Christian....READ MORE

Filed under catholic radio, greg and jennifer willits, new media, the catholics next door

'Religious Freedom, the Path to Peace' (3873)

Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, Jan. 1, 2011

12/16/2010 Comment

1. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW YEAR I offer good wishes to each and all for serenity and prosperity, but especially for peace. Sadly, the year now ending has again been marked by persecution, discrimination, terrible acts of violence and religious intolerance.

My thoughts turn in a special way to the beloved country of Iraq, which continues to be a theater of violence and strife as it makes its way towards a future of stability and reconciliation. I think of the recent sufferings of the Christian community, and in particular the reprehensible attack on the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baghdad, where on Oct. 31 two priests and over 50 faithful were killed as they...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, catholic church, catholic faith, catholic history, catholic identity, catholicism, catholicity, encyclical, papal documents, peace

Shadowing an Exorcist (11453)

A movie starring Anthony Hopkins explores exorcism. The man who wrote the book behind the film talks about what chasing the devil really entails.

12/16/2010 Comments (15)

The cover of The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio.


Matt Baglio’s curiosity was piqued.

An exorcism course at a Vatican-affiliated university in Rome? It was an unusual topic. As an American journalist living in the Eternal City, he thought it might make for an interesting article; as a non-practicing Catholic at the time, he approached it with some skepticism.

Taught by exorcists and experts in theology, satanic cults, criminology and psychology, the course he took challenged many of his assumptions. But what really intrigued him was the openness and honesty of a fellow student, Father Gary Thomas, a priest from the Diocese of San Jose, Calif., whose bishop, Patrick McGrath, had asked him to undergo training as an exorcist.

As the two...READ MORE

Filed under anthony hopkins, exorcism, matt baglio, the rite

Euthanasia on the Silver Screen (3810)

India’s Bollywood softens up mercy killing — with song and dance.

12/15/2010 Comments (1)
REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Euthanasia campaigner Dr. Philip Nitschke's 'suicide kit' is seen during a 2009 Reuters interview. Bollywood, as the prolific Indian movie industry is known, has produced a big-budget romance with the not-so-typical theme of euthanasia.

– REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

MUMBAI, India — The topic of assisted suicide is an old one for Hollywood, with Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby being one of the latest examples.

But not for Bollywood — as the prolific Indian movie industry is dubbed. That has changed with the release of Guzaarish, a big-budget romance that combines the song-and-dance elements typical of Bollywood with the not-so-typical theme of “mercy killing.”

The film sparked controversy even before its release last month, as novelist Dayanand Raajan claimed the plot was lifted from his unpublished novel.

As well, Delhi lawyer Aditya Dewan sought a court order forcing producer Ronnie Screwvalla to add a disclaimer to the film acknowledging...READ MORE

Filed under assisted suicide, bollywood, euthanasia, guzaarish, indian cinema

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