Friday 19th December 2014

Recent Articles:

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

Racist Cops — Or Liberal Slander?

December 12, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN

We have found the new normal in America.
If you are truly outraged by some action of police, prosecutors, grand juries, or courts, you can shut down the heart of a great city.
Thursday night, December 4, thousands of “protesters” disrupted the annual Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, conducted a “lie-in” in Grand Central, blocked Times Square, and shut down the West Side Highway that scores of thousands of New Yorkers use to get home.
That the rights of hundreds of thousands of visitors and New Yorkers were trampled upon by these self-righteous protesters did not prevent their being gushed over by TV commentators. … Continue Reading

The Synod And The Meaning Of The Marriage Act

December 11, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY

(Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his blog [johnkippley.com] of November 10 and is reprinted with permission.
(Please see the ad for NFP International elsewhere in this issue.)

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The recent Vatican conference on the Complementarity of Man and Woman (November 17-19) got high marks from reviewers. Pope Francis invited speakers from a wide spectrum of religious traditions, including Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Jains, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, Muslims, and Sikhs from around the world to discuss marriage consisting of male husband and female wife. It was good to see such a widespread agreement on traditional marriage, but from the reports I read, it seems that the speakers avoided those subjects on which they would differ. … Continue Reading

Is Jonathan Gruber Stupid?

December 10, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

Do I really think it is worth discussing the possibility that Jonathan Gruber is “stupid”? No, of course not. I have no doubt that his IQ is off the charts and that he can maneuver his way around complicated economic theories with the best of them. “Lacking the political savvy” would be the more accurate term to describe him. He failed to understand how the video clips of him calling the American people “stupid” would come back to haunt him.
You can almost feel sorry for the guy. His comments were made at conferences where he was using shorthand references to make his point to a group he was convinced did not require a detailed analysis of what he meant. He was trying to come across as clever, and a political insider. If he were given a chance to reword what he said, he would come up with something to the effect that most Americans are “uninformed” about public policy involving the economic concepts he was discussing, including large numbers of highly intelligent Americans who do not follow politics closely because of the demands of their careers. … 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

Chaput: It Isn’t Possible To Be Pro-life And Simultaneously Forget The Cries Of The Poor

Interview with the Archbishop of Philadelphia who is preparing to receive the Pope for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015: defending the unborn child is a vital part of the social doctrine of the Church. We need to…Continue Reading

Homosexual Activist Organization in New York Receives Catholic Grant

Washington, DC—The Lepanto Institute issued a report exposing the activities of an organization which received a $35,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  According to the report, the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) launched its…Continue Reading

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'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

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

Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!

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(Vatican Radio) There was a festive atmosphere at the weekly General Audience on Wednesday, as Pope Francis celebrated his 78th birthday. As he made his way through the crowds, Pope Francis stopped by a group of seminarians from the Legion of Christ, who offered him a birthday cake, complete with lighted candles. The Holy Father also took the opportunity to…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Recalls His 1st Communion, Says to Remember Catechists

Rome, December 15, 2014 (Zenit.org) Staff Reporter On a visit to a Roman parish Sunday evening, the Pope had lively discussions with various groups from the congregation, including children preparing to receive their First Communion. He told them about his own First Communion 70 years ago. On his arrival at the parish of Saint Joseph all’Aurelio, in the western sector…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Rigidity Is A sign Of A Weak Heart

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(Vatican Radio) The day’s Gospel reading, which relates how the chief priests asked Jesus by what authority He did His works, was the focus of the Pope’s homily on Monday. It is a demand, the Pope explained, that demonstrates the “hypocritical heart” of those people – people who were not interested in the truth, who sought only their own interests,…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

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Abortifacient Brief: Depo-Provera”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 2 of The Facts of Life, “Abortifacients,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Depo-Provera is an injectable contraceptive drug that sometimes has an abortifacient effect. It also possesses…Continue Reading

An Advent Reflection . . . The Very Visible Sin Of Gluttony

By REY FLORES Ever since I can remember, I have always had a problem with the fluctuation of my weight. As a child, my nickname was “Gordo,” which means fat in Spanish. I wasn’t bothered when my own family called me that, but it did bother me when the other school kids would make fun…Continue Reading

Gosnell Filmmakers Reopen Crowdfunding Campaign

By LISA BOURNE (LifeSiteNews) — The producers of the forthcoming Kermit Gosnell “House of Horrors” movie are reopening their crowdfunding campaign after Indiegogo changed its rules to allow campaigns without a deadline. Magdalena Segieda, Phelim McAleer, and Ann McElhinney surpassed their previous crowdfunding goal of $2.1 million earlier this year, and the Indiegogo fundraising site…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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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

Pope’s Message For World Day of Peace . . . “No Longer Slaves, But Brothers”

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the text of Pope Francis’ message for the 48th World Day of Peace, which is celebrated on January 1, 2015. For a text with footnotes, go to www.zenit.org. + + + At the beginning of this New Year, which we welcome as God’s gracious gift to all humanity, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . True Joy Awards Intense Preparation For Christmas

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK With the arrival of these days of late Advent, we have already journeyed through the Solemnity of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception and Gaudete, or joy, Sunday. We have taken the opportunity to deepen our love and devotion for our heavenly Mother in celebrating the singular prevenient grace of God that equipped her unique preparation for…Continue Reading

Debunking The Sola Scriptura Myth… Summing Up

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 According to Sacred Scripture itself, the Bible is not, and was never meant to be, the only source of divine Revelation and sole rule of faith. Jesus neither wrote anything Himself nor commanded anybody to write. On the contrary, He commanded the apostles to preach, viva voce. He commanded the apostles to preach…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