Friday 2nd December 2016

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Christmas: A Profound Event

December 2, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Christmas: A Profound Event


Christmas is rapidly approaching. It is a time when we experience the joy and peace of God’s presence. The crèches in our homes, the decorations and tableaux in the churches, the sermons and joyous music help us recall the most memorable day in human history — when God became man.
We are very familiar with the story of our Lord’s birth, especially as related in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke: the census, Mary and Joseph’s trip to Bethlehem, the rejection at the inn, finding room in the stable, the angelic hosts, the guiding star, the shepherds and wise men, and most of all the babe lying in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Yet, the images, as beautiful as they are, are almost too familiar so that we do not fully appreciate the meanings they present.
Christmas marks a turning point in human existence, a new era for the human race. Some 2,000 years ago, the Second Person of God came to Earth and assumed the nature of man. His birth changed our relationship with our Creator. God was no longer an unseen, eternal, infinite, omniscient spirit that our reason could not comprehend. God as a Divinity is a mystery. … Continue Reading

An “America First” Trump Trade Policy

December 1, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on An “America First” Trump Trade Policy

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Donald Trump’s election triumph is among the more astonishing in history.
Yet if he wishes to become the father of a new “America First” majority party, he must make good on his solemn promise:
To end the trade deficits that have bled our country of scores of thousands of factories, and to create millions of manufacturing jobs in the USA.
Fail here, and those slim majorities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin disappear.
The president-elect takes credit for jawboning William Clay Ford to keep his Lincoln plant in Louisville. He is now jawboning Carrier air conditioning to stay in Indiana and not move to Mexico.
Good for him. But these are baby steps toward ending the $800 billion trade deficits in goods America runs annually, or bringing back factories and creating millions of new manufacturing jobs in the USA.
The NAFTA Republicans tell us the plants and jobs are never coming back, that we live in a globalized world, that production will now be done where it can be done cheapest — in Mexico, China, Asia. … Continue Reading

Readers Respond On Censorship

November 30, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Readers Respond On Censorship

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In the October 27 edition of this column I invited our readers to respond to what I called an apparent case of “cognitive dissonance” on our side of the culture wars: the manner in which most conservative Catholics, at one and the same time, express their disagreement with college leftists who shout down opposing points of view in the name of political correctness, while also protesting performances of The Vagina Monologues and campus appearances by pro-abortion speakers.
I asked in the column in question, “Can’t it be said that the champions of modern political correctness are calling for universities to maintain standards of decency? That they are taking a stand against moral relativism in defense of what they perceive as truth? Their standards of decency and truth may not be ours, but they are standards.”
My point, at the risk of oversimplifying, is that conservatives and traditionalists seem to be opposed to censorship by secular leftists, but applaud it when applied to defend traditional values. How does this line get drawn? Several readers have responded to the invitation to help us see this issue in the proper light.
The first correspondent was G.Y., a physician from Kansas. He writes, “The solution to your dilemma is really quite simple. We need but look at the origins of the ‘standards of decency’ promulgated by each side on this issue. Even Satan has his own standards, so that having some sort of standards is no defense of their validity. Those who espouse what is known as ‘political correctness’ have cobbled together their own ‘standards of decency’ according to their own ‘lights’ and those of other men and women who think like them. … Continue Reading

A Besieged Trump Presidency Ahead

November 29, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on A Besieged Trump Presidency Ahead


After a week managing the transition, Vice President-elect Mike Pence took his family out to the Broadway musical Hamilton.
As Pence entered the theater, a wave of boos swept over the audience. And at the play’s end, the Aaron Burr character, speaking for the cast and the producers, read a statement directed at Pence:
“We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values.”
In March, the casting call that went out for actors for roles in this musical celebration of “American values” read:
“Seeking NON-WHITE men and women.”
The arrogance, the assumed posture of moral superiority, the conceit of our cultural elite, on exhibit on that stage Friday night, November 18, is what Americans regurgitated when they voted for Donald Trump.
Yet the conduct of the Hamilton cast puts us on notice. The left neither accepts its defeat nor the legitimacy of Trump’s triumph. … Continue Reading

But USCCB Still Drags Its Heels… Trump’s Winning “Immigration” Issue Acknowledges Americans’ Burden

November 28, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on But USCCB Still Drags Its Heels… Trump’s Winning “Immigration” Issue Acknowledges Americans’ Burden

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A Mom and Dad raised their son and daughter at home in Southern California, where both children were born. After the daughter grew up and married, Mom looked forward longingly to having a grandchild she could help with.
But Southern California was too expensive for the newlyweds. After a couple of years of living in apartments, they moved to the snowy Midwest, where the groom had family ties.
The new couple both worked and continued to live in apartments until they had enough money to put down on their own house, which cost far less in their Midwestern state than it would have back in California. Meanwhile, their baby boy arrived.
Grandma back on the West Coast was thrilled, but she also was three hours distant by jet travel. No dropping by every day or two to giggle with the baby. At best, she could fly back only a couple of times a year to visit for a week or so, but otherwise had to be in contact by phone or emailed photos. Grandma’s own son continued to live in his native Southern California.
This grandma and her husband still are paying off the mortgage on their own California home, which they had to refinance more than once. They don’t have footloose financial freedom.
Life involves limitations and making choices and dealing with consequences. … Continue Reading

The Feminized Church

November 27, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on The Feminized Church


Terry Mattingly writes a blog site called On Religion ( His column on October 18 is worth your time. It is titled, “Why So Many Men Think Church Is for Women.” Mattingly is not a Catholic, but he explores a phenomenon many Roman Catholics have noted in recent decades, but hesitate to discuss in public for fear of insulting the many good women active in the Church.
What phenomenon? Well, I know there are admirable exceptions that many readers of this column may point to, but isn’t it true that you don’t find many young men who play sports, work on cars, and hunt and fish, active in our parishes any longer? That is my experience, at any rate, where altar servers tend to be girls, as are members of parish youth groups. I can’t read the minds of the young men who shy away from Catholic parish life, but I think it safe to say that they now see it as…well, soft, too overtly pious, not a “guy-thing.” The priest sex scandals have increased this perception.
It was not always this way. When I was a teenager in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s (I would wager it was the same for Catholic boys in most urban areas of the country), the “cool guys” in town were altar boys, members of CYO athletic teams, and the Boy Scout troop affiliated with the parish — as well as regulars at a parish gym called the Lyceum, where weightlifting and boxing were the order of the day. Those days are over. It is this phenomenon that Mattingly explores. … Continue Reading

An Advent Reflection . . . Marriage And Parenthood Are The Toughest Vocations

November 26, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on An Advent Reflection . . . Marriage And Parenthood Are The Toughest Vocations


A few months ago, I had a brief conversation with a 28-year-old man about his plans and what he looked forward to in life. He said he was still trying to figure things out, but added that while marriage might one day be a possibility, children were absolutely out of the question.
He reminded me of myself when I was his age. I too had said many times that I had no intention of bringing children into such a terrible world with so much conflict and suffering.
At that time, I was still writing original songs, playing in my rock & roll band, and truly believing that we were going to “make it” and become famous rock stars. Today I still believe that many of the songs I composed are better than most of the junk I’ve heard on the Top 40 radio for the last 20 years, but I digress.
Anyway, at 33 years old, I finally did get married, and not long after my wife delivered our first child. I never became that rock star I had wanted to be ever since I was six years old, but God had given me a whole new set of responsibilities to adhere to.
When my wife and I first met, I couldn’t stand being apart from her. I was in love and every time I saw her I’d fall in love all over again with her. She was smart, beautiful, and still is, and she wanted to have babies as much as I did. … Continue Reading

With Good Signs Before Thanksgiving . . . What Gifts May Trump Be Wrapping To Put Under Christmas Tree?

November 25, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on With Good Signs Before Thanksgiving . . . What Gifts May Trump Be Wrapping To Put Under Christmas Tree?


Not even in the White House yet, Donald Trump provided a potentially significant sign of what may be hoped for in his presidency by attending church with Mike Pence and staff members in Bedminster, N.J., on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
The president-elect had retired from Manhattan to a New Jersey estate for the weekend to continue working on his transition. With not much of a reputation of being a churchgoer, Trump probably wouldn’t have surprised anyone if he had spent all of Sunday on political work and job interviews.
Moreover, he had had to apologize during the campaign for old behavior that definitely wasn’t like being a choirboy. Still, millions of traditionally religious voters turned to him in hopes he could save them from Democrats’ secular aggressions. And maybe Trump is working on saving his own soul, too.
The November 20 morning service at historic Lamington Presbyterian Church reportedly was accompanied by applause and praise from congregation members, with one of them being quoted by the New York Post, “I just told him that I hope he understands the country supports him and not to be distracted by the noise.” … Continue Reading

A Trump Doctrine: “America First”

November 24, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on A Trump Doctrine: “America First”

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However Donald Trump came upon the foreign policy views he espoused, they were as crucial to his election as his views on trade and the border.
Yet those views are hemlock to the GOP foreign policy elite and the liberal Democratic interventionists of the Acela Corridor.
Trump promised an “America First” foreign policy rooted in the national interest, not in nostalgia. The neocons insist that every Cold War and post-Cold War commitment be maintained, in perpetuity.
On 60 Minutes, November 13, Trump said: “You know, we’ve been fighting this war for 15 years….We’ve spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, $6 trillion — we could have rebuilt our country twice. And you look at our roads and our bridges and our tunnels . . . and our airports are . . . obsolete.”
Yet the War Party has not had enough of war, not nearly.
They want to confront Vladimir Putin, somewhere, anywhere. They want to send U.S. troops to the eastern Baltic. They want to send weapons to Kiev to fight Russia in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea.
They want to establish a no-fly zone and shoot down Syrian and Russian planes that violate it, acts of war Congress never authorized. … Continue Reading

Changing “Their” To A Single Pronoun

November 23, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Changing “Their” To A Single Pronoun

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It is always difficult to determine if the time has come to adapt to grammatical errors and the incorrect use of words that have crept into everyday speech. But there are times when it is the wise thing to do. For example, I would argue that it makes no sense any longer to be rigid about the correct use of the term “begging the question.” We use words to communicate. If clinging to proper and traditional word usage leads to confusion, why do it? Highly respected reporters and television commentators now use “begs the question” in the incorrect way — all the time.
They use the term to mean a statement that cries out for a follow-up question. An example would be if a reporter wrote, “The candidate for mayor has proposed building new prisons for the city. This begs the question if he also has a policy on crime prevention.” That well may be a valid follow-up question, but, if we are going to be grammatically correct, that is not what the expression “begs the question” means.
What it means is that the speaker is drawing a conclusion based on a premise that lacks proof, such as “John Smith is trustworthy because he is an elected official,” invalidly assuming without offering any evidence that all elected officials are trustworthy. But I can’t remember the last time I saw the term used that way. I now hesitate to use it the proper way for fear that I will confuse people. … Continue Reading

Catholic church prepares to fight ‘grave evil’ of mass deportations

American leadership in the Catholic church laid low during the presidential election but San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy is now making clear that if President-elect Donald Trump makes good on campaign promises of mass deportations of unauthorized immigrants, the church is prepared to take…Continue Reading

Fake Catholic Groups and the “Catholic Spring” Emails

Beginning in 2007, orthodox Catholic writers including myself wrote dozens of articles in an attempt to expose the funding and duplicitousness of two fake Catholic groups: the OSF funded Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United. (For…Continue Reading

Rubio on Castro Condolences: Obama’s Response ‘Pathetic’; My Catholic Faith Does Not Bind Me to Pope’s Foreign Policy Stances

( – Asked Sunday about Pope Francis’ expression of sorrow on the death of Fidel Castro, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that as a Catholic he believes in the Pope’s theological authority but his faith does not bind him when…Continue Reading

Head of Vatican Court: Cdl. Burke Could Be Stripped of Red Hat

The Dean of the Roman Rota, the Vatican’s top canonical court overseeing marriage, is issuing an ominous warning to Cdl. Raymond Burke that he may be stripped of his cardinalate for allegedly causing “grave scandal.” Speaking Tuesday at a lecture at the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell defends four cardinals for asking ‘significant’ questions

Cardinal George Pell has come to the support of the four cardinals who have submitted dubia about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Following an address to an audience in London, the Australian cardinal was asked whether he agreed with the…Continue Reading

Third bishop backs four Cardinals: I was ‘overwhelmed’ with similar questions

POLAND, November 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A third bishop has now publicly risen in defense of the four Cardinals who have been vilified by influential prelates after going public with their request that Pope Francis clarify whether or not his…Continue Reading

Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90

Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing…Continue Reading

The Pope Isn’t Talking, But His Cardinal Friends Are. And Accusing

ROME, November 23, 2016 – Not one word has come from the mouth of Pope Francis after four cardinals publicly asked him to resolve five major “doubts” raised by the most controversial passages of “Amoris Laetitia”: > “Seeking Clarity.” The…Continue Reading

Trump calls for national healing on Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON — After a long and bruising political campaign, President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday called in a video for the nation to “speak with one voice and one heart.” “It is my prayer, that on this Thanksgiving, we begin to heal our…Continue Reading

Critics need ‘conversion’ to accept Amoris Laetitia: Cardinal Cupich

“It’s going to take conversion, on the part of all of us, and examine ourselves to say, ‘What is it that the Church is teaching here that maybe I need to change, rather than saying that the Holy Father has…Continue Reading

Bishop Athanasius Schneider Issues Statement Supporting the Four Cardinals


The following is a statement from His Excellency Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana. It is reproduced here in its entirety: “We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2…Continue Reading

Trump picks Nikki Haley and Betsy DeVos as first women for cabinet

US President-elect Donald Trump has appointed the first two women to his incoming administration. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was nominated as US envoy to the UN and Betsy DeVos as education secretary. Both are former critics of Mr Trump,…Continue Reading

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This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

German Theologian and Book Author Strongly Comes to the Defense of the Four Cardinals


Maike Hickson “This Is an Insult Toward Many Catholics!” is the trenchant title of an article written in defense of the Four Cardinals and published today on the Austrian Catholic news website, The author of this text is Dr. Markus Brüning, a German theologian, lawyer, book author, and father of a family. Several of his books have dealt with the question as to how one is to grow in holiness; one book deals with…Continue Reading

San Diego bishop to priests: Embrace ‘LGBT families’, give Communion to ‘remarried’

SAN DIEGO, California, November 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy is calling on his city’s priests to embrace “LGBT families,” and to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion in certain cases. Following a much-hyped diocesan synod on the family last month, Bishop McElroy encouraged priests to publish a diocesan notice in their bulletins saying the Church will “assist those who are divorced and remarried and cannot receive an annulment to…Continue Reading

ACLU wants to force Catholic health care system to sterilize women

WASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter Monday to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that asks the agency to reject an administrative complaint that the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed on behalf of a woman who insisted that a Catholic health care system sterilize her. ADF explains in the letter that federal law protects Ascension Health, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system and the world’s largest Catholic health system,…Continue Reading

Poll: Majority Think Donald Trump Will Do A Good Job As President

Despite the mainstream media and liberal elites being apoplectic over President-elect Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, warning that he could destroy everything from America to the planet, a majority of voters seem to have confidence that he will do a good job as president. Fifty-three percent of Americans think Trump will do a very good or fairly good job as commander in chief and 40 percent have “a lot of confidence” in his ability…Continue Reading

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on vocations, elections, apostolic exhortations

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., 72, was born in Concordia, Kansas, in 1944.  He attended Catholic schools in the area before joining the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, St. Augustine Province, in 1965. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1970.  He served as a teacher and pastor an in a variety of roles in his community.  He was ordained Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1988, and appointed Archbishop of Denver in…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . How Law Is Actually Made

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Vermeule, Adrian. Law’s Abnegation: From Law’s Empire to the Administrative State. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2016. 254 pp. “Law’s Empire” of the subtitle is a reference to Ronald Dworkin’s influential 1986 treatise, Law’s Empire. Adrian Vermeule, a professor of law, acknowledges Dworkin to be one of the great legal scholars of…Continue Reading

A Film Review… “Believe”: Give Faith A Chance

By REY FLORES Christmastime is always a time for movie studios to try and cash in on holiday-themed films, hoping to catch some of that Christmas spirit from the public. Often times, Hollywood presents the usual junk with a secular Christmas twist that has nothing to do with the real purpose or meaning of Christmas.…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Church Teachings On Euthanasia”

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 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at + + + Conclusion “They are dictating how medicine should be practiced. You know the [Supreme] Court is…Continue Reading

Stealing Hosts For Anti-Catholic Art? . . . Not Illegal, Spanish Judge Says

MADRID (CNA/EWTN News) — Critics of a Spanish judge say he wrongly dismissed charges against an artist who stole consecrated Hosts for an exhibit that disrespected the Catholic faith. The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers announced it would file an appeal and be prepared “to go to the highest court necessary in the face of…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… Ad Orientem: A Liturgical Disposition And A Way Of Life

By JAMES MONTI As a season of awaiting and preparation for the coming of the Lord — both the commemoration of His First Coming in the Incarnation and in anticipation of His Second Coming in glory at the end of time — Advent is a liturgical season that particularly brings to the fore the concept…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Fr. George Rutler is on the money again in his post-election bulletin column at St. Michael’s Church in New York City: “Considering how many crucial matters were at stake during the recent election, including the right to life and religious freedom, and the preponderant bias in the media and opinion polls, it did not seem melodramatic to hope…Continue Reading

He Is God, Let Him In!

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10 James 5:7-10 Matt. 11:2-11 In the Gospel reading today, Jesus asks the crowds who made the journey to hear St. John the Baptist what they went out into the desert to see. He gives them a few options: a reed swayed by the wind, someone dressed…Continue Reading

The Feast Of Christ The King… Pope Francis Says The Heart Of Christ Is Always Open

(Editor’s Note: Below is the text of the homily Pope Francis delivered November 20 for the closure of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the Feast of Christ the King. (The Holy Father said that “even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us.” (The Holy…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… God’s Rule Exorcises Evil

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Evil spirits usually make loud screeching and howling sounds as they depart from the exorcised body, politic or otherwise. They make it is painful as possible for anyone who refuses to cooperate with their malign agenda. To say it plainly, our nation has not only flirted with evil but for many years has advocated and…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Good And Bad Angels

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Although there are millions and millions of good angels, we know only three of them by name, Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael: Michael (Hebrew for “Who is like God?” — Daniel 10:13; 12:1; Jude 9; Rev. 12:7), Gabriel (“Strength of God” — Daniel 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26), and Raphael (“Healing of God” — Tobias…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Fourier

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic Church, there are many examples throughout history of religious orders that have been reformed or have been in need of reform. After many years the members of religious orders tend to relax rules until they do not live much differently than the laity. It seems that discipline and fervor are closely related — without…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Alexandria

By CAROLE BRESLIN The list of saints is long, and includes both men and women from all walks of life and from all disciplines. For some saints, there is a plenitude of documents and accounts of their lives from which we can draw much information. For most of the saints from the early centuries of the Church, however, there is…Continue Reading