Thursday 23rd February 2017

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The Gospel: A Pedagogical Compass

February 22, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on The Gospel: A Pedagogical Compass

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By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

It is sometimes difficult for older Catholics to explain to family members and fellow parishioners why we recall the Catholic schools of our youths with such fondness. Younger Catholics have seen movies caricaturing the teaching sisters and brothers of the past as cruel and intolerant curmudgeons, and wonder why anyone would want to place their children under their care. We no longer have films such as Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary’s to provide some balance.
A recent (December 19) column in the Jesuits’ America magazine might not be as persuasive as the old Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman depictions of the Catholic clergy and religious, but it deserves a read, especially by younger, more liberal Catholics who are convinced that the decline of the pre-Vatican II Catholic schools is no great loss.
The author of the column is Fr. John J. Conley, SJ, the chairman of the philosophy and theology department at Loyola University in Baltimore. Fr. Conley writes of his memories of Sr. Thaddeus, the nun who was his fourth-grade teacher at a Catholic school in suburban Philadelphia in the early 1960s. … Continue Reading

Media Bias Maybe Not So Surprising . . . But Where Did Anti-Trump Street Mobs Come From?

February 21, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Media Bias Maybe Not So Surprising . . . But Where Did Anti-Trump Street Mobs Come From?

By DEXTER DUGGAN

“Shock and awe” was war architect George W. Bush’s style of military assault against the Iraq dictatorship in 2003. His big blueprint ultimately failed, despite early overwhelming force. Manhattan billionaire developer Donald Trump opposed that war.
“Shock and awe” might also describe the fury and flailing fists against Republican Trump’s new steely high-rise presidency by leftists and their dominant media allies who also could be overplaying their scarred hands.
Anti-Trump rioters had their rehearsals in 2016. Now the curtain has gone up on the main performance.
Remember mobs that popped up last year against Trump’s presidential candidacy, trying to suppress his rallies from Chicago to California. This included rioting in the Windy City, getting rough in New Mexico and tough in Arizona, and beating and bloodying Trumpsters both north and south in the Golden State.
You may have spent your entire life without trying to burn up or break apart a police cruiser, but California’s unrestrained Trump haters, often some Latinos who didn’t seem fond of the United States, battered the law-enforcement cars.
Then the violent demonstrations quickly ceased, as if a spigot was turned, as if plot leaders figured out the violence wasn’t helping their cause. … Continue Reading

“The Opposition Party” Press

February 20, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on “The Opposition Party” Press

By REY FLORES

“#FakeNews! #FakeNews! Read all about it! Get your #FakeNews here!”
Like the old-time newspaper boys shouting on the streets, the above should be the crying call for “news” outlets like ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, the Associated Press, and the rest of them really.
News and journalism as a whole and as we have known them have ceased to exist. It is no longer possible to believe anything anyone in this industry says. How could we? Just about everything that has been published for the last decade or so has been more opinion and propaganda than real and actual news.
I for one am thrilled to see President Trump and his staffers taking no guff from these journalistic impostors.
Just last week Stephen Bannon, one of Trump’s chief strategists and a former Breitbart editor — upon leaving a meeting with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, accompanied by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus — exited into a hall full of reporters, looked at them, and said: “The opposition party, all lined up.”
The crybaby #FakeNews reporters immediately started tweeting about how Bannon had insulted them. Too bad they weren’t all lined up and on their way to prison for impersonating real journalists. … Continue Reading

The Slandering Of Cardinal Burke

February 19, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on The Slandering Of Cardinal Burke

By ROBERT ROYAL

(Editor’s Note: This column first appeared on the website The Catholic Thing [www.thecatholicthing.org]. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.)

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One of the more colorful figures along the route of this year’s March for Life was a passionate eccentric of some sort — probably a fundamentalist or pentecostal — who was carrying a large anti-Catholic sign and shouting through a bullhorn. I only caught a bit of it — the usual stuff about the Pope being the anti-Christ and Catholics “worshipping Mary as a goddess.” Poor man. But give him this much: Beneath the craziness, he really believes that the forms of Christian leadership and the contents of faith matter. I heard him say to another marcher: “This is serious stuff, man!”
Indeed.
On Friday [February 10], in Washington, we got something not very serious from The Washington Post: a silly smear of Cardinal Raymond Burke under the heading “How Pope Francis Can Cleanse the Far-Right Rot from the Catholic Church.” It was written by a journalist, Emma-Kate Symons, with about as much sense of fact and context in the Church as the guy with the bullhorn. Here’s the opening sentence: “Pope Francis needs to take tougher action against the United States’ most influential Catholic in Rome, Cardinal Raymond ‘Breitbart’ Burke.”
Breitbart once interviewed Burke — on Islam no less — you see. So now Breitbart is his middle name. … Continue Reading

A Faith Not In The Church

February 18, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on A Faith Not In The Church

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

I make no claim to any “inside information” about Pope Francis’ endgame in regard to the Church’s teachings on issues such as abortion, Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, homosexuality, and the role of women in the liturgy. But it is clear that the Pope has said things that are leading to a dialogue about these matters among the folks in the pews. At the very least, we can assume the Pope knew that would happen.
The question for Catholics serious about their faith and the traditional teachings of the Church is how willingly we should engage in discussions that may be open to significant changes in Church doctrine. We don’t want to be disrespectful of fellow Catholics who have seized upon Pope Francis’ words to call for a significant rethinking of long-established beliefs.
But neither do we want to cooperate in creating an atmosphere that promotes a mood of indifferentism indistinguishable from the moral relativism advocated by secular leftists who harbor contempt for the Church and its role in history. … Continue Reading

Is The Left Playing With Fire Again?

February 17, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Is The Left Playing With Fire Again?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN

To those who lived through that era that tore us apart in the 1960s and 1970s, it is starting to look like “déjà-vu all over again.”
And as Adlai Stevenson, Bobby Kennedy, and Hubert Humphrey did then, Democrats today like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are pandering to the hell-raisers, hoping to ride their energy to victory.
Democrats would do well to recall what happened the last time they rode the tiger of social revolution.
As the riots began in Harlem in 1964 and Watts in 1965, liberals rushed to render moral sanction and to identify with the rioters.
“In the great struggle to advance civil and human rights,” said Adlai at Colby College, “even a jail sentence is no longer a dishonor but a proud achievement. . . . Perhaps we are destined to see in this law-loving land people running for office . . . on their prison records.”
“There is no point in telling Negroes to obey the law,” said Bobby; to the Negro, “the law is the enemy.” Hubert assured us that if he had to live in a slum, “I could lead a mighty good revolt myself.” … Continue Reading

Intellectual Honesty And Political Indifference

February 16, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Intellectual Honesty And Political Indifference

By JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO

Over the weekend of February 11, Trump administration officials offered harsh criticisms of the judicial interference with the enforcement of the president’s immigration order. The January 27 order suspended the immigration privileges of all refugees from Syria indefinitely and all immigrants from seven designated countries for 90 days.
After a federal district judge in Seattle enjoined the federal government from enforcing the executive order and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that injunction, President Donald Trump’s folks pounced.
They argued that we have an imperial judiciary that thinks it has the final say on public policy — one that will freely second-guess the president in areas that are exclusively his under the Constitution.
Here is the back story. … Continue Reading

“Free” College

February 15, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on “Free” College

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

Betsy DeVos received a great deal of praise from pundits on the right for her quick and calm response to Bernie Sanders during her confirmation hearing to be secretary of education. Sanders asked her if she would be willing to join with those who are working to make “public universities and colleges tuition-free.” DeVos responded, “Senator, that is an interesting idea to discuss, but nothing is actually free. Someone will have to pay for it.” She meant, of course, the taxpayers.
Sanders replied, “Indeed, someone will have to pay for it, but that brings up another discussion.” He did not get the opportunity to engage in that discussion at that moment, but it is a topic that Sanders would love to explore.
He has his talking points down pat, having based much of his presidential campaign upon them. His argument is that the “rich” should be willing to pay the taxes required for a free education at public colleges; and that a fair tax policy can be constructed to provide this service. … Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Abortion Survivor Rejects Being Silenced And Speaks Up For Her Birth Mother

February 14, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on A Book Review . . . Abortion Survivor Rejects Being Silenced And Speaks Up For Her Birth Mother

By DEXTER DUGGAN

You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir, by Melissa Ohden, Plough Publishing House, www.plough.com, Walden, N.Y., ISBN 978-0-87486-788-6, 179 pages hardback, $19.99, 2017.

Raised in rural Iowa, 19-year-old Melissa Cross goes off to college in neighboring South Dakota in 1996, firmly in favor of women’s rights and admiring First Lady Hillary Clinton’s “unapologetic feminism.”
Finances were tight at her family, so after earning money baby-sitting, she’d starting busing tables at a restaurant at age 13. Television news told about women being raped and otherwise victimized. Melissa was appalled by domestic violence and aspired to “change the world from the top down” by working in politics or the law in Washington, D.C. But first she needed her degree.
The intense early days at the University of South Dakota had secrets shared between total strangers who soon became intimate friends. But adoptee Melissa had one secret in her life that didn’t fit into new students’ “conversations about every kind of abuse, abandonment, and human heartache.” … Continue Reading

Kellyanne Conway And Alternative Facts

February 13, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Kellyanne Conway And Alternative Facts

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

Bill Clinton: “It depends on what the meaning of is, is.” John Kerry: “I was for the war in Iraq before I was against it.” We have heard the lines many times. No doubt, Clinton and Kerry would love to be able to turn back the clock and erase them from the history books. No one wants to be remembered as someone who fudged the truth for personal political gain.
But have you noticed? Clinton and Kerry don’t make an effort to clean up the record by explaining what they meant. Why not? My guess is that they grasp the wisdom of the maxim about trying to unring the bell, understanding how mealy-mouthed they will sound if they try to defend themselves.
Kellyanne Conway’s remarks about “alternative facts” are another example. I suspect that she would not use this term again if she had it to do over again, considering how mercilessly she has been mocked by the mainstream media and the late-night comedians. Like Clinton and Kerry, Conway seems content to let the matter pass; to have concluded that she can’t unring this bell either.
But that might not be the case. This record should be set straight because it is not just Democrat Party hatchet men who are ridiculing Conway. Consider a recent editorial by Fr. Matthew Malone, SJ, in the Jesuits’ America magazine. … Continue Reading

Trump to Drop Transgender Bathroom Mandate

Obama’s controversial mandate attempted to force schools to let boys into girls’ locker rooms WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – President Donald Trump is expected to revoke Obama’s transgender bathroom mandate insisting that students be allowed in opposite-sex bathrooms and locker rooms. The…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke is ‘de facto’ suspended, claims Knights of Malta condom promoter

February 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Knights of Malta official at the center of controversy over the Order’s Catholic identity and sovereignty says its patron, Cardinal Raymond Burke, has been “de facto” suspended. Albrecht von Boeselager, a German aristocrat, was…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen says ‘naïve’ Pope and bad advisors are betraying underground Church in China

February 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Joseph Zen says the Vatican is betraying Catholics living their faith out clandestinely in China. In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, he says he has been urged to speak out by Catholics who lack…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen on dubia: ‘Very respectful request by those bishops and Cardinals to have a clear statement’

February 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen in an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo expressed his support for the four Cardinals’ dubia that asks for clarification on the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia’s chapter 8. “I suppose it is a…Continue Reading

These Catholic parishes openly celebrate LGBT. Why aren’t bishops stopping it?

January 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As controversy continues to rage over Pope Francis’ doctrines on communion for the divorced and remarried, an even more controversial practice proliferating in the shadows for decades is becoming increasingly open and explicit: same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Michael J. Novak, Jr. [1933 – 2017]

Theologian, public intellectual, and close friend of the Acton Institute, Michael J. Novak Jr., passed away last night on February 17, 2017. Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico reflects on the passing of his friend and mentor Michael Novak,…Continue Reading

Twitter erupts with dubious reaction to Cardinal Cupich’s post on marriage document’s ‘absolute clarity’

February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich tweeted Tuesday that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia document was in full fidelity with the Catholic Church and absolutely clear in the expression of its teaching on marriage, but users of the…Continue Reading

More essential than ever for Catholic hospitals to maintain distinct identity: Cardinal Burke

Catholic health-care institutions are needed today more than ever, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a conference on Catholic hospitals in Ohio last week. “Our country suffers the scourge of an attack on the dignity of human life,” the cardinal said. He…Continue Reading

Council of Cardinals pledges allegiance to Pope Francis

ROME, February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – In an odd note without explanation placed on the Vatican’s daily press briefing today, the Council of Cardinals, a group of 10 Cardinals which Pope Francis has delegated to work with him on reform,…Continue Reading

Conference Looks Beyond ‘Crisis’ of Catholic Colleges, Debunks ‘Land O’ Lakes Statement’

The day after an historic and widely-covered March for Life, presidents from four Newman Guide colleges and Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick Reilly presented on the future of Catholic higher education at the “CRISIS: Catholic Higher Education and the Next…Continue Reading

Top Restaurants Will Sell Cookies to Raise Money for Planned Parenthood Abortion Business

A handful of Chicago restaurants are baking cookies and selling them through Feb. 24, with the proceeds benefitting the abortion group Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Eater reported.

Roman Catholic Church of Philippines Criticizes Duterte’s Bloody Drug War

The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs in a sermon read out during Sunday’s services, marking its strongest opposition yet to a flagship policy that has led to the deaths of more…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 bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

San Diego’s Catholic bishop urges citizens to be ‘disruptors’ and ‘rebuilders’ in Trump era

Even before the White House announced stricter immigration policies Tuesday, there were signs of opposition. Addressing people “of all faiths and no faith,” San Diego’s Roman Catholic bishop on Saturday urged Americans to be “disruptors” and “rebuilders.” Donald Trump, Bishop Robert McElroy noted, had campaigned for the presidency as “the disruptor.” “Well now,” McElroy told almost 700 community organizers and social justice advocates meeting in Modesto on the weekend that “we must all

Washington D.C. Becomes 6th Place in the U.S. to Legalize Assisted Suicide

A Washington, D.C. law allowing doctors to prescribe their patients lethal drugs to commit suicide went into effect Saturday after U.S. Congress failed to block the measure, the Washington Times reports. The district is the sixth area in the U.S. to legalize the deadly procedure, following Oregon, Washington state, Vermont, California and Colorado. The D.C. council passed the law at the end of 2016, despite wide-spread opposition from African Americans, people with disabilities, medical professionals,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke urges massive U.S. crowd to defend faith amid Church confusion

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LENEXA, Kansas, February 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The façade of Cardinal Raymond Burke as a boogeyman of tradition projected by his critics and the media was nowhere to be found last Friday when he gave his usual clear witness to the Catholic faith before an overflow crowd in the Kansas City area. Cardinal Burke delivered a stirring, clear message on defending the Catholic faith amid the current confusion in the Church that was embraced with…Continue Reading

Again More Questions than Answers . . . MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD MEETINGS OF POPULAR MOVEMENTS IN MODESTO

Dear Brothers and Sisters, First of all, I would like to congratulate you for your effort in replicating on a national level the work being developed in the World Meetings of Popular Movements. By way of this letter, I want to encourage and strengthen each one of you, your organizations, and all who strive with you for “Land, Work and Housing,” the three T’s in Spanish: Tierra, Trabajo y Techo. I congratulate you for all…Continue Reading

U.S. House votes to overturn Obama regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The  U.S. House of Representatives voted 230 to 188 today to overturn former President Obama’s “eleventh hour” HHS rule forcing states to give Title X money to organizations that commit abortions. Title X money comes from the government to fund “family planning services,” but technically not abortion. Before he left office, Obama pushed through an HHS regulation that essentially forces states to give Planned Parenthood Title X

Culture Of Life 101… The History Of Future Dreams

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 the complete series on artificial reproduction, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “In the year 6565, ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need your wife, you’ll pick your son,…Continue Reading

Ex-Planned Parenthood Worker . . . Recalls Webcam Abortion Opposition, Sees Hope For Pro-Life Cause

By PEGGY MOEN ST. PAUL — Sue Thayer told her February 15 audience here that “an immediate stopper” in a debate with a pro-abort is this quotation from President Reagan: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” Thayer was addressing the Legislative Dinner of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, held here at the…Continue Reading

Reopening The Question Of Women Priests… A Theological Travesty And A Spiritual Tragedy

By JEFFREY MIRUS (Editor’s Note: Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. This commentary first appeared on CatholicCulture.org, and LifeSiteNews featured it on February 13. All rights reserved.) + + + La…Continue Reading

Even As “Assisted Suicide” Looms . . . Ethics Expert Tells How Roe V. Wade Might Be Reversed

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — “If you want to see what a Roe v. Wade reversal looks like, read Washington v. Glucksberg,” a national expert on medical ethics and the law told a Catholic physicians’ meeting here while he also warned against an accelerating effort to legalize “assisted suicide” in the states. With speculation rising…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… Silence As An Expression Of The Sacred

By JAME MONTI In a recent interview concerning his new book, The Power of Silence, His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah observed, “Before God’s majesty, we lose our words” (Catholic World Report, October 3, 2016). Silence is man’s humble reply to the glory and transcendence of His Creator, a reply that even the high and mighty…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Joy And Dismay . . . Greet Cardinal Tong’s Article On China-Holy See Dialogue

By FR. BERNARDO CERVELLERA (Editor’s Note: In the article below, Fr. Bernardo Cervellera evaluates the optimism of Hong Kong’s John Cardinal Tong over a change in the method of appointing China’s bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal — in words only. (Fr. Cervellera notes that underground…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Signs Of Growth At “The Margins” Of The Church

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Why does a young man of 18 years old put on a suit and tie on Sunday morning, leaving his parents and sisters behind, to drive to a more distant parish? To attend the Traditional Latin Mass. I’d noticed him for a few weeks along with our growing Sunday Traditional Mass congregation and met him…Continue Reading

The Meaning Of Original Sin

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 25 Haven’t you met Catholic people who question the gravity of Adam’s sin? They do believe that all humans stem from a single couple, yes, but they find it hard to accept that stealing an apple is such a big deal. Surely God could not be that much offended by that! Such people argue…Continue Reading

The Liturgical Celebration Of The Eucharist

By DON FIER As narrated in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper on the night before He died. Jesus and His apostles had just traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the great Jewish feast of Passover in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent reply about the failure of Jesuit colleges and universities to uphold Catholic morality, the Cardinal Newman Society has reported that most members of Congress who graduated from Catholic institutions have pro-abortion voting records. Of the 56 Jesuit college alumni who hold seats in the new Congress, said Matt Archbold of the Cardinal Newman…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church different saints have had special devotions. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard had a great devotion to the Real Presence, and Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco had a deep devotion to the Most Precious Blood. (The Catholic Church recognized this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN (Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.) + + + Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St.…Continue Reading