Monday 22nd December 2014

Recent Articles:

Charlie’s Gift

December 22, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By FR. MICHAEL P. ORSI

Charlie was no stranger to life’s difficulties. Yet, somehow he remained unscathed. I first met him at Our Lady Star of the Sea, in Cape May, N.J. Charlie was the maintenance man but really so much more.
He told me he started off as a barber in Ireland. He was able to do almost anything with his hands. But, his greatest assets were his cheerful disposition and his wisdom. The former being the product of the latter. Charlie reflected on life. He could see beyond the immediate to the big picture.
Charlie’s’ ready smile and warmth were so disarming. He quickly gained my confidence. I often wondered what made him so buoyant. I knew he enjoyed a drop of the creature on occasion, but, this could never account for the joy and peace he exuded.
A few weeks before Christmas, Charlie began the annual task of decorating the church. He never seemed happier. His whistling of Christmas tunes, especially Christmas in Killarney, which was followed by a muffled chuckle, reminded me of one of Santa’s elves at work. … Continue Reading

California Catholic Media School . . . Successfully Settles Into Expanded New Location

December 21, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

 

By DEXTER DUGGAN

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Making its first visit to the new location of John Paul the Great Catholic University, The Wanderer stepped into the campus eucharistic adoration chapel, with a few students praying amid seating for about two dozen people. Is this where daily Mass is offered?
Not at all, replied Derry Connolly, Ph.D., president of the school since its inception as an idea in 2003, as he showed off the campus on December 12. It occupies a total of 40,000 square feet in four buildings along this Southern California city’s Grand Avenue downtown. … Continue Reading

Is Government Faithful To The Constitution?

December 20, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO

When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government’s left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, the past week presented a textbook example of public disputes masking hidden deceptions. Here is what happened.
That week was dominated by two huge news stories. One was the revelation by the Senate Intelligence Committee of torture committed by CIA agents and contractors on 119 detainees in the post-9/11 era — 26 of whom were tortured for months by mistake. In that revelation of anguish and error were the conclusions by CIA agents themselves that their torture had not produced helpful information.
President Barack Obama acknowledged that the CIA had tortured, yet he directed the Department of Justice not to prosecute those who tortured and those who authorized it. … Continue Reading

Grace Happens

December 19, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By GEORGE A. KENDALL

I’m not sure if this quite qualifies as a Christmas article. At least its connection with Christmas is a bit tangential. It is about grace, and the experiences we have once in a while (in my case, once in a great while) of the surprising appearance of grace in the midst of one’s humdrum existence.
The Christmas carol, Silent Night, refers to the birth of Christ as “the dawn of redeeming grace,” and, indeed, every time grace comes into one’s life, sometimes seeming to positively burst in, Christ is born into the world and into our lives. We stumble along through life, through what an anonymous medieval mystic called “the cloud of unknowing,” trying to respond to grace and usually having no real idea how well or how badly we are doing, no “feedback,” just having to trust (Eric Voegelin once said that “uncertainty is the very essence of Christianity”). … Continue Reading

Jonathan Gruber: Honest Liberal

December 18, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

Jonathan Gruber, the arrogant, profiteering liar of the year

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN

Brought before a House inquisition, MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber burbled a recantation of his beliefs about how that triumph of liberalism had been achieved.
Yet, something needs to be said in defense of Gruber.
For while he groveled and confessed to the sin of arrogance, what this Ivy League con artist boasted about rings true.
Here, Gruber explained, is how we got Obamacare passed:
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. OK?. . .
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever . . . that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass. Look, I wish . . . we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not. . . . … Continue Reading

Sick Right-Wing Twitter About Ferguson?

December 17, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

I agree with those who tell us that we should strive to understand “how the other guy” sees things and not assume the worst about his motives. It is not only “nice” to do this. It is also effective. It gives us a leg up in the debate over the issues of the day. It is no great victory when we tear apart a caricature of the position of those who disagree with us; it leaves us wide open for the counterattack.
It was for that reason that I went out of my way to try to understand the arguments of those who insist that the Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson behaved in an egregious manner when he shot Michael Brown, even though everything I read, especially after the grand jury decision released its findings, convinced me that Wilson did what any police officer would have done in similar circumstances. … Continue Reading

A Modest Proposal On College Athletics

December 16, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

When Jonathan Swift used the term “a modest proposal” in reference to Great Britain’s approach to poverty in Ireland, he was using the term sarcastically. I am not. I am about to offer a sincere proposal for how our colleges can clean up the scandals revolving around the academic standing of their athletes. The recent reports of how basketball and football players at the University of North Carolina were permitted to take courses with inconsequential academic requirements are just the latest indication that something must be done about college athletics.
This is not a new problem, of course. I can remember hearing stories when I was in high school from people who seemed to have the “inside scoop” about some very famous college athletes — you would know the names — who were said to seldom attend class and were paid very well by alumni boosters for their efforts. I can recall a story — I think it was in Sports Illustrated — around the same time about Jim Taylor, the outstanding Green Bay Packer running back. The article reported he was “virtually untouched by the academic experience at LSU.” … Continue Reading

A Beautiful New Bike For Christmas?. . . GOP Should Be Ashamed Of The Gift And Throw It Away

December 15, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Little Dominic was so impatient for his Christmas present that his parents celebrated the holiday just after the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
For months he begged, pleaded, and said his nightly prayers so loudly for a bicycle that a few times the police were called by a neighbor over Dominic disturbing the peace.
Lo and behold, the morning of November 5, 2014, the biggest, shiniest, fastest bicycle ever seen was there beneath the apple tree (it being too early in the season to find a Christmas tree to buy).
Dominic dashed into the living room and saw the sight. His face fell and he crumpled into a trembling heap.
“Oh, I might fall and skin my knee when I ride it! Or lose control and ride into a ditch,” Dominic wailed. “Or catch my pant leg in the roller chain. Or get hit by a car! … Continue Reading

Oh Silent Night?. . . Not When These Property Rights Activists Raise A Shout For Freedom

December 14, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The guest at the inn noted that people came out on a Friday night in the Christmas season.
Some had traveled a distance. They were suffering under an oppressor, and they honored a sacred document.
They had come to observe a birth, not of a Child but of an organization.
The oppressor wasn’t Roman soldiers but the overreaching U.S. government. The document was the tattered U.S. Constitution.
The inn was a hotel in this Phoenix suburb, and the resemblance to the Christmas story was only coincidental. … Continue Reading

Egg Freezing And The Indentured Woman

December 13, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By ARINA GROSSU

(Editor’s Note: Recently The Washington Post published a story on an emerging trend, egg freezing parties at trendy New York bars. What these women who attend egg freezing parties may not have considered is the various ethical, scientific, and moral questions surrounding egg freezing.
(The Family Research Council director of the Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, has written the following piece on the ethical dilemma of egg freezing.
(Grossu was previously president of Notre Dame Right to Life and received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s degree from Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.
(In its November 6 issue, The Wanderer carried an earlier commentary on this subject by Fr. John Flynn, LC. … Continue Reading

CACG: Faux Catholic Front Group Still An Outsider?

At Catholic World Report Anne Hendershott revisits the notorious democrat front group, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and gives us an idea of their set of 2016 tricks. Promising yet again to “move beyond partisan and ideological divisions,”…Continue Reading

The Catholic Weakness

A large proportion of traditional, Mass-going Catholics don’t believe basic Church doctrine. Why not? By Maggie Gallagher   Last week I wrote about one piece of data that jumped out from the Austin Institute’s fascinating new study, Relationships in America:…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke . . . “The Church depends on sound Catholic family life, and it depends on sound Catholic families.”

An Interview with Cardinal Burke  On Vatican II Q. Your Eminence, you grew up before the Second Vatican Council. How do you remember those times? A. I grew up in a very beautiful time in the Church, in which we…Continue Reading

Did Pope Francis really say all dogs go to heaven? UPDATED

That nice man, Pope Francis, says you get to see your pets again in Heaven. But Pope Benedict is a mean old Grinch who wants to remove the animals from your Nativity scene Christmas decorations. Oh, really? Please don’t believe…Continue Reading

Catholic Church in Australia links celibacy to child abuse

By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney, and Nick Squires in Rome 8:04PM GMT 12 Dec 2014 Priests’ vows of celibacy may have led to paedophilia, the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has said, in what is believed to be the first such…Continue Reading

Pope Calls For More ‘Integration’ Of Divorced Catholics, Gays

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church must consider various ways to integrate the divorced and civilly remarried in the life of the church — not merely allowing them…Continue Reading

‘I’m not worried’ about resistance, Pope Francis says in new interview

Vatican City, Dec 7, 2014 / 11:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an interview with the Argentine daily “La Nacion” published Sunday, Pope Francis spoke on a variety of topics, giving specific attention to the ongoing reform of the Roman Curia,…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Severs Ties with Agency over Gay Adoption Ruling

The Catholic Church in Northern Ireland is pulling the plug on a long-standing relationship with the Family Care Society, a Catholic adoption agency, after a judge ruled that all adoption services must be willing to place children with same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Reaction to Chicago archbishop’s remarks on pro-abort pols receiving Communion

n a radical departure from the position of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Blase Cupich – said to have been handpicked by Pope Francis for Chicago – has presented giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians as a positive move. Asked Sunday…Continue Reading

Pope Francis dodges reporter’s question on treatment of homosexuality in Synod’s controversial mid-term report

Since the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, reporters around the world have been wondering where Pope Francis stands on the controversial language about homosexuality in the mid-term Synod report.  The opportunity to ask the pope…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cupich Says Yes to Communion for Pro-Abortion Politicians

In October of last year veteran Italian journalist Sandro Magister wrote of the new path that many believed the Church was embarking upon. Magister observed: “In Italy, but not only there, it was the cardinal and Jesuit Carlo Maria Martini…Continue Reading

Francis calls for a change mentality in the Church, easier homilies and flexible times

Francis addresses participants of the International Pastoral Congress on the World’s Big Cities: “Go out and facilitate”, don’t be afraid of multicultural contexts or of proclaiming Jesus DOMENICO AGASSO JR ROME Francis was honest from the start: “I don’t want…Continue Reading

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Today . . .

Pope: At Christmas Jesus Knocks At The Doors Of Your Heart

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday invited the faithful to listen carefully when God knocks at their door. “Too often – he said – Jesus passes by in our lives, he sends an angel and we are so caught up in our thoughts and concerns we do not even notice”. Speaking to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for…Continue Reading

Pope Francis receives John XXIII Community

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received nearly 8 thousand members and associates of the Pope St. John XXIII Community on Saturday. Now recognized as an Association of Lay Faithful, the  Pope John XXIII Community was founded by Fr. Oreste Benzi of the clergy of the Diocese of Rimini in 1968, on the basis of his decade of experience with young people…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: The Church Is Not An Entrepreneur But A Mother

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis said on Friday that there is much sterility within the Church and the people of God, a sterility that comes from power and egoism.  The Church, he stressed, is a mother and not an entrepreneur. His remarks came during his homily at morning Mass celebrated at the Santa Marta residence. The Pope’s reflections on the themes…Continue Reading

General Audience: Jesus Chose To Come To The World As Part Of A family

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Vatican City, 17 December 2014 (VIS) – The family is the “great gift that the Lord has given to the world ever since the beginning, when he entrusted to Adam and Eve the mission of multiplying and filling the earth; the gift that Jesus confirmed and sealed in His Gospel”, said the Holy Father during this Wednesday’s general audience, in…Continue Reading

To The Infant Martyrs

By MARK AMOROSE (Matt. 2:16-18) Pour out your smiling souls into the sky: Your tongues will learn to speak as spirits fly. Seek not maternal milk from earthly clay: Your sustenance will be the Milky Way. + + + Latin original from Complete Poetry of Richard Crashaw, ed. Geo. Walton Williams. (New York: Doubleday, 1970),…Continue Reading

Anna’s Wish

By DEREK BECHER Anna lay still on her hospital bed, which was tilted slightly upward, while she slept. Her parents sat beside her, with their hands clenched together, sharing a prayer as they watched their only child laboring with each breath. She had only just turned nine, but the brave little girl had fought the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Piacenza To Confessors.. Remember The Priceless Ministry Of Confession At Christmas

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is a letter to confessors from Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, major penitentiary, released Gaudete Sunday, December 14. In the letter, the cardinal emphasized that “the time of Advent, and especially the days of the beautiful novena of Christmas, are characterized by a particularly attentive waiting, not only by men for God…but…Continue Reading

Archbishop Of Karachi . . . Says “The Taliban Will Stop At Nothing Now”

By JOHN PONTIFEX LONDON (ACN News) — Innocent people in Pakistan — young and old alike — are now at increased risk of terrorist attack, according to the leader of the country’s Catholics, who has called on the government to step up security in the wake of the Peshawar school massacre. Archbishop Joseph Coutts of…Continue Reading

Ten Complacent Maxims

By DONALD DeMARCO Mark Strand, Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. poet laureate, passed away recently (November 29, 2014). He was a staunch atheist, declaring that he had never met God and had never been to Heaven. He said: “Although there are a lot of people claiming that God is telling them what to do,…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Let Christmas Joy Overflow The Hearts Of Believers

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Let your prayer for these final days of Advent and for the Solemnity of Our Lord’s holy birth be that our joy might be so great at receiving Him at Christmas that it will be as though we are receiving Him for the first time. His grace is sufficient so as to grant us the…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity… Didn’t Jesus Have Brothers And Sisters?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His Mother called Mary? And are not His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all His sisters with us?” (Matt. 13:54-57; also Mark 6:2-3). “And His Mother and…Continue Reading

The Canon Of Scripture

By DON FIER Part 2 We ended last week’s installment by showing that the apostles and early Christians accepted the 46-book Septuagint as the authentic Old Testament right from the Church’s beginning. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches, these 46 divinely inspired books constitute “an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture” (CCC, n. 121) and “bear witness to…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Questions And Answers About Christmas Q. Do we know the exact year in which Jesus was born? A. No, we do not. In the sixth century, a monk named Dionysius Exiguus drew up a calendar that fixed the birth of Christ in the Roman year 753, but scholars today agree that Dionysius miscalculated by a few years. So it is…Continue Reading

The Law Of The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Feast Of The Holy Family (YR B) Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 Col. 3:12-21 Luke 2: 22-40 Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. In a particular way this refers to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. However, it also refers to all families that are striving to live according to the ways of holiness and truth.…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Urban V

By CAROLE BRESLIN The year 1309 marked the beginning of the Avignon papacy, under Pope Clement V, who was French. The Popes of Avignon built a papal palace, increasing it in size over the next 70 years. The first crack in the control of the papacy by the French began when Pope Urban V left Avignon to reside in Rome…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Sabbas

By CAROLE BRESLIN Silence. Quiet. The search for peace, serenity, and calm has led many in today’s world to take up Yoga, Eastern mysticism, or life in remote areas to escape the noise of our modern world. This is not a modern quest. The quest for quiet has been with man for millennia. Although St. Anthony the Great (died 356)…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading