Monday 6th July 2015

Recent Articles:

More On Forgiving Student Loans

July 6, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

In the May 7 edition of First Teachers, a reader named J.M. offered a suggestion for how the country can extricate itself from what many see as the next financial crisis awaiting us: the likelihood that college graduates will default on the massive student loans that they are carrying, leaving taxpayers with the bill. In an op-ed in The New York Times on Sunday, June 7 entitled “Why I Defaulted on my Student Loans,” the writer, Lee Siegel, explains why he did just that, encouraging others to do the same.
Writes Siegel, “As difficult as it has been, I’ve never looked back. The millions of young people today, who collectively owe over $1 trillion in loans, may want to consider my example.” Several Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton, are proposing a loan forgiveness program, paid for by the taxpayers, as an alternate way to deal with the problem.
J.M.’s suggestion was that the colleges and universities, rather than banks backed by the federal government and the taxpayers, should become the source of student loans. He pointed out that “every college and university has a portfolio in its endowment fund that includes stocks, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, etc.,” and that there is no reason why “student loans could not be held as an investment in the same way as any other loan is now held. Students would pay interest on the loans (revenue for the institution just like revenue from any of its other investments) and repay capital which can again be reinvested.” … Continue Reading

Signs Of The Times

July 5, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By REY FLORES

They say that when it rains, it pours. That couldn’t be truer for our nation.
Within 48 hours, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that the farce that is Obamacare should continue and that the federal government could force states to accept the abomination that is “gay marriage.”
For Christian America, it sure seems like the bottom of the ninth inning, down by a seemingly insurmountable five runs with two outs and no light at the end of the tunnel — but again, we all know how the story ends, so all hope is never lost.
To top it all off, I was laid off from my position as director of outreach at the American Life League this past week. I guess it’s a sign of the times when the White House gets lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate sin and immorality, and pro-life nonprofits like American Life League have seen such a decrease in donations that they have let several of us go this past year.
Yes, times seem pretty rough right now for me personally and as a nation, but as I’ve said a million times over, thank God that we have God! I have no idea how people who refuse to believe in God make it through the rough times in their lives. … Continue Reading

Pope Francis And The Shadow Magisterium

July 4, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

I continue to get letters from readers unhappy with what they see as Pope Francis’ left-wing biases. Some of these critics strike me as over-the-top, but not all. Some deserve to be taken seriously. My response to the charges of the latter group is to not jump the gun, to not assume that the Pope is going to make some major change in the Church’s teachings on issues such as same-sex marriage, when the Pope’s instruction is likely to be far more nuanced.
But I will concede this point: There are those on the left, both within and outside the Church, who are seizing the moment of Pope Francis’ popularity and what they see as his left-leaning outlook to coax the Church away from established doctrine. I don’t know how susceptible the Pope will be to this “charm offensive,” but it is important to recognize that it is going on.
There is another angle to consider, even if one is confident, as I am, that the Pope will not be sweet-talked into changing the Church’s teaching on matters of faith and morals. I have in mind the role of the “shadow Magisterium.” By that I mean those in the Church who will push during this time of enthusiasm for Pope Francis for the changes in doctrine that they want, whether or not Rome is calling for the changes. Such a strategy can work. … Continue Reading

Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 Conference… A Solemn Mass And Procession Conclude An Inspiring Experience

July 3, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES MONTI

Day Four of Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 (Thursday, June 4) in New York City brought to the podium five more distinguished speakers of the liturgical renewal movement and climaxed in a magnificent Solemn Mass and eucharistic procession through the streets of Manhattan that drew the four-day conference to a highly uplifting conclusion.
The exquisite liturgical order and precision of these rites were wrought by hours of preparation and planning on the part of Sacra Liturgia founder Dom Alcuin Reid, a consummate master of ceremonies as well as one of the world’s pre-eminent liturgical scholars.
But before turning to the events of Day Four, two more addresses from Day Three (June 3) deserve particular attention.
In a presentation on the liturgical formation of priests, Fr. Kurt Belsole, OSB, director of Liturgical Formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, related a moving anecdote regarding a ceremony that he had supervised at St. Peter’s Basilica for the Ordination of transitional deacons (deacons who are to be ordained priests).
He told of an elderly layman at the rite who afterward said of what he had witnessed, “The veil was lifted…and my faith was renewed, and the atmosphere was heavy with the supernatural.” … Continue Reading

Blindness And Blindness

July 2, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By ALICE von HILDEBRAND

There is a note of dignity and poignancy in a blind man, who early in his life, becomes aware that he is deprived of the unfathomable gift of sight, and that there is a world of beauty totally closed to him. Already as a small child, he must realize that he suffers from a deficiency and that his daily life will be a struggle, relying only on hearing and touching to face the problems of daily life.
I leave aside the case of those who lose their sight later in life, and who carry the heavy cross of no longer perceiving the beauty of the sun, of a star-studded sky, of spring, or contemplating a beloved face, but at least they can recall what they had previously perceived.
Once again, one can speak of a heavy cross. But it is inconceivable that a person deprived of the gift of sight would accuse those who “see” of hallucinating. They are aware that they are the victims of a grave deficiency. It is worth keeping this in mind for we shall see that there are cases — and not a few — of people accusing others of self-deceit and outright delusion when they refer to truths that the accusers do not perceive, and have good reasons for not perceiving.
A philosopher, any lover of wisdom, should be on the alert and keep in mind that there are such cases and distinguish between those who do not see because “there is nothing to be seen,” and cases when darkness is willfully preferred to light, and those who, conscious that their intellectual and spiritual eyesight is deficient, call for help. “Lord, that I may see.” … Continue Reading

No Matter The Rung On Economic Ladder . . . Temptations Abound This Side Of Heaven’s Gate

July 1, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Imagine a man is told that if he’ll just do a total fast for three minutes — no fluids or solids at all for 180 seconds — then he can eat and drink whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however much he wants for the rest of his natural life, and never become overweight or look like a glutton to anyone.
Who among us food-based beings could reject such an offer?
However, with a bit of revision, that’s the sort of bargain God has extended to everyone, but many people have trouble accepting it — or else turn it down.
If you’ll just repent of your follies and follow my ways for your lifetime of 20 or 40 or 70 or 90 years, God says, then I guarantee you not mere happiness but unending joy — forever and ever and ever.
Sometimes the pains and disappointments may seem heavy, but they’ll be over before you know — look how every century in history has elapsed — and then very literally you’ll have unlimited, lasting ecstasy. … Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . 1965: The Dawn Of Our Current Age

June 30, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By STEPHEN M. KRASON

(Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also cofounder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. Among his books is The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic [Transaction Publishers, 2012], and most recently two edited volumes: Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System [Scarecrow Press, 2013] and The Crisis of Religious Liberty [Rowman & Littlefield, 2014]. This column originally appeared in Crisismagazine.com. All rights reserved.)

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Different writers here and there have talked about 1965, 50 years ago, as a year of transition. It was a year in America when trends came into focus, culture was altered, and life changed — politically, socially, culturally, morally, and in the Catholic Church.
Perhaps historian James T. Patterson provided the most detailed elaboration on these developments and their implication for the country in his bluntly titled book from a song of the time, The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America.
First, the national policies put in place that year as LBJ launched his Great Society made the federal welfare/entitlement state a regular feature of American life and inaugurated what another historian, Steven F. Hayward, called the “third wave of the progressive administrative state.”
This was the year of Medicare and Medicaid, which made the federal government a health-care provider and re-shaper of the health-care system. What began then has culminated in Obamacare. … Continue Reading

Topic Teaching In Finland

June 29, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

My guess is that many readers of this column find their hackles going up whenever someone in the education establishment advocates a reform. I know mine do. We have lived through too many fads that have come and gone — from the open classroom to team teaching to schools without walls to open book tests — to not be on guard. It may surprise some readers to learn that there are many teachers who react the same. There was a wisecrack that made the rounds in the public high school where I taught for about 30 years whenever an “innovative teaching technique” was proposed: “Nothing works, so they keep trying something new.”
But, while it is wise to be on the lookout for change for the sake of change, not every new idea is a bad idea. See what you think of the idea coming out of Finland, as described on the website Education News on March 28, in a column by Polymnia Hadjipanayiotou, a widely published writer on educational issues. Hadjipanayiotou writes that “Finland is leaving behind traditional subject teaching in schools in favor of topic teaching.”
What is “topic teaching”? School subjects such as math, history, and science won’t be taught distinctly and as separate courses of study. Instead, the line between subjects will become fluid as students are exposed to several subjects at once, in what Finnish educators call “phenomenon teaching.” Before examining in some detail what is being proposed in Finland, it should be noted that Finland consistently ranks among the top performers in academic achievement, with results similar to those in China and Singapore. The country is not frivolous when it comes to educational policy. … Continue Reading

Laudato Si: Sic Et Non

June 28, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

 


By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

 

Remember the scene in A Man for All Seasons, where Paul Scofield, playing St. Thomas More, diligently scours through the oath issued by King Henry VIII demanding Image result for pope's encyclicalrecognition of his marriage to Anne Boleyn, looking for “some way that we can take this oath” without violating his conscience? I felt that way when I started reading Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change. Thomas More found that he could not in good conscience accept what Henry VIII was demanding. I don’t have that problem with Laudato Si (literally “Be praised” or “Praise to you”). I found the passages I was looking for. I can live with the encyclical.
“Live with it?” Does that mean that I wish Pope Francis had not written this encyclical? Yes. Secular leftists dedicated to government control of the economy and transnational political organizations will seize upon the encyclical, whatever Francis’ intentions, to advance their agenda. That is how the world works. You have seen the headlines by now: “Pope Francis Condemns Climate Change-deniers.” “Pope Francis Says That Global Warming is a Reality.” “Pope Blames Global Warming on Free Market Capitalism.” … Continue Reading

Is Third World America Inevitable?

June 27, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN

Thousands of U.S. troops safeguard the border of South Korea. U.S. warships patrol the South China Sea to stand witness to the territorial claims of Asian allies against China.
U.S. troops move in and out of the Baltic States to signal our willingness to defend the frontiers of these tiny NATO allies.
Yet nothing that happens on these borders imperils America so much as what is happening on our own bleeding border with Mexico.
Over three decades, that border has been a causeway into the USA for millions of illegal immigrants who are changing the face of America — to the delight of those who think the country we grew up in was ugly.
All sides of this quarrel have been using the figure of 11 million people here illegally. In her new bestseller, Adios, America!, Ann Coulter makes a compelling case that the real figure is close to 30 million.
If that is true, and if the next president embraces amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, that will mean the end to America as the Western nation we have been, and the beginning of America’s life as what Ann calls, unapologetically, a “Third World hellhole.” … Continue Reading

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Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

No, America Is Not a Great Nation

Here’s the truth: I am not happy with this country, and you shouldn’t be, either. I am disappointed in it. It disgraces itself. It turns from God. It kills its young. It attacks the family. Am I supposed to pretend otherwise…Continue Reading

Listen to the Pope, Iowa Catholic Leaders Tell GOP

Catholic leaders call on GOP hopefuls to heed pope’s teachings on climate, economics By THOMAS BEAUMONT and RACHEL ZOLL, Associated Press ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Roman Catholic leaders in the early voting state of Iowa implored candidates for president Thursday…Continue Reading

Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare subsidies

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld ObamaCare subsidies nationwide, in the second major court victory for President Obama on his signature health care law. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that subsidies are valid even in states that did…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family’s working document sets the stage for spirited discussion

Vatican City, Jun 24, 2015 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- That the discussion at October’s Synod on the Family is going to be a lively one is indicated by the fact that the most controversial paragraphs of the final report…Continue Reading

Abortion Drone Will Fly Dangerous Abortion Pills to Poland to Violate Its Pro-Life Laws

drone

The pro-abortion organization that formerly ran the abortion boat that distributed the dangerous abortion pill in international waters outside pro-life nations that protect unborn children has come up with a new marketing scheme to push abortion in pro-life nations: drones.…Continue Reading

St. Louis’ Catholic Archbishop Carlson discusses same-sex marriage, clergy sex abuse, racism, more

At their annual spring meeting held in St. Louis last week, U.S Catholic bishops discussed several issues currently facing the Catholic Church, including: the clergy sex abuse scandal, what the Church sees as challenges to marriage, and the pope’s upcoming…Continue Reading

Nienstedt resigns; New Jersey bishop named interim head of Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Archbishop John Nienstedt has resigned in the wake of criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for its “role in failing to protect children and contribution to the unspeakable harm” experienced by victims in priest sex-abuse cases. Nienstedt says…Continue Reading

Priests needed: As Church growth explodes worldwide, parishes can’t keep up

Washington D.C., Jun 12, 2015 / 05:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The global Catholic population is growing – so quickly, in fact, that priest and parish numbers cannot keep up, says a new study on trends in the worldwide Church. And…Continue Reading

Cardinal Kasper hints at new ‘Vatican II’ strategy to gain approval of Communion proposal

June 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In the face of increasing opposition to his plan to approve giving Holy Communion to people who are in adulterous remarriages, Cardinal Walter Kasper is hinting at a new “Vatican II” strategy for accomplishing his…Continue Reading

No Law Can Be Based on Injustice

In 2010, the United States Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was designed by President Obama and Congressional leaders to expand access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage in the United States. After the law…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Divorced and remarried Catholics need support for conversion, not changes on communion

Catholics who have divorced and remarried need help for the “difficult climb” of conversion and spiritual growth, not a change in Church practice on the reception of Holy Communion, a prominent cardinal said. Cardinal Ennio Antonelli summarized the advice of…Continue Reading

Obama: Without Catholic Nun We Would Not Have Gotten Obamacare Done

(CNSNews.com) – While addressing the Catholic Health Association Conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday, President Barack Obama said that the Affordable Care Act—AKA Obamacare—would not have been enacted had it not been for Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the Catholic…Continue Reading

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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

Today . . .

Pope Francis en route to Ecuador

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is en route to Ecuador, the first stage of a three-country tour in Latin America that will also see him in Bolivia and Paraguay – three “sister nations” as the Holy Father described them in the video message broadcast in the three countries simultaneously ahead of the visit. The Holy Father’s flight departed Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport (Fiumicino) shortly after 9:30 AM Rome Time on Sunday morning, and is scheduled…Continue Reading

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI receives honorary doctorates

(Vatican Radio) Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI received Doctorates honoris causa on Saturday from the Pontifical John Paul II University of Krakow and the Krakow Academy of Music. The motivation for the honors issued by the University’s Academic Senate specifies five contributions Pope Benedict has made to knowledge and culture: his great respect for the musical tradition of the Church and remarkable sensitivity to the music of faith; the life-long and constant demonstration of a special concern for…Continue Reading

Univ. of San Francisco Celebrates SCOTUS Marriage Ruling, Despite Catholic Mission

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July 2, 2015, at 11:22 AM  |  By Justin Petrisek  | While the U.S. bishops responded to last week’s marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court by upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church, one Jesuit university chose to publicly celebrate the decision in direct conflict with its Catholic identity and mission. Over the weekend, the University of San Francisco (USF), a Jesuit Catholic university, used its Twitter and Facebook accounts to celebrate the San Francisco…Continue Reading

‘No Global’ author at Vatican event on climate and poverty reduction

(Vatican Radio) A Catholic climate scientist and a secular Jewish feminist formed an “unlikely alliance” in the Vatican press office on Wednesday to present a two day conference entitled ‘People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course’. The conference, which will take place at the Pontifical Augustinianum University in Rome, includes some 200 political, religious and civil society leaders from all continents who’ll be discussing Pope Francis’ new encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ in light of…Continue Reading

Quo Vadis, America?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “Natural law — God’s law — will always trump common law,” said Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a Christian leader in her own right, “God will have the final word in this matter.” But, for now, Justice Anthony Kennedy has the final word. Same-sex marriage is…Continue Reading

So Now Is It “Hate Speech” To Deplore The Obergefell Decision?

By PHIL LAWLER (Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews reprinted this article from CatholicCulture.org with permission. All rights reserved.) + + + The ink was barely dry on last week’s Supreme Court ruling when Fr. James Martin, SJ, began scolding Catholics who were, from his decorous perspective, too strident in denouncing the decision. “No issue brings out so…Continue Reading

The Popes, Marian Devotion, And The New Evangelization

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 3 This is the third article in a series which looks at Marian devotion, and the New Evangelization, in the light of the teaching of recent Popes. It is noteworthy, that even before St. John Paul II became Pope in 1978, he had adopted the Latin phrase “Totus Tuus” as…Continue Reading

Although Their Adversaries Seem Strong . . . Law-School Interns Are Reminded That Even Old USSR Collapsed

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Almost ready to start applying their new knowledge to battle moral challenges around the globe, law-school students at a dinner here were reminded that the Soviet Union once was regarded as an invincible adversary, but it finally collapsed in relatively short order. The Christian law students from 11 countries, interns…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The ‘Gay’ Case Against Abortion”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For electronic copies of previous articles on homosexual “marriage,” the special rights agenda, and the role of homosexuality in the Church crisis, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Feminists and political liberals have argued…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Legalizing Abortion And Redefining Marriage: The Anti-God Crisis

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The past week’s 5-4 Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision to redefine marriage as no longer between one man and one woman is merely the latest step in a journey away from God marked on its path through our history also in 1973 by Roe v. Wade. These two legal interferences are rooted…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… Why Be A Christian? Why Not Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 9 There are many religions in the world today, all claiming to be true. Many were founded by individuals who claimed to be “prophets” of God — or of the gods, depending. In this context, why be a Christian at all? Why not be a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Hindu, an animist,…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Holiness

By DON FIER Part 2 The second of four distinguishing marks or properties of the one true Church, as we saw last week, is that she is “unfailingly holy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 823). Despite being composed of sinners, “the Church is holy because she was founded by Jesus Christ, who is all-holy, and because she teaches, according…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

  Editor’s Note: D.M. has e-mailed to us the following thoughtful comments: “In a recent reply regarding the bishops and our borders, you noted that our immigration system is ‘badly broken.’ To me that was a bit like hearing the proverbial fingernails on a blackboard. It seems to me that those who seek to dominate all of us use the refrain,…Continue Reading

Chosen By God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Amos 7:12-15 Eph. 1:3-14 Mark 6:7-13 In the first reading, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (the place of the original Temple of the Lord), chastises the Prophet Amos for preaching against the goings on in the House of God. The priest tells the prophet to go and make…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Josemaria Escriva

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 With the outbreak of civil war in Spain and the attack on the Catholic Church, many priests and religious were martyred. The existing government changed the constitution to legalize persecution of the Church by closing Catholic schools, ceasing reparation payments, and suppressing religious discussion. Among other things, this helped lead to the secularization of society…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Josemaria Escriva

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 God, in His loving Providence and perfect timing, gives the Church holy men and women to guide the Mystical Body of Christ. During the chaos of the Protestant revolt, he provided St. Ignatius and St. Teresa of Avila. At the beginning of the 20th century, as the lay faithful were being called to participate in…Continue Reading