Monday 22nd September 2014

Recent Articles:

Do Fewer Teachers = Better Teachers?

September 22, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

People have been seeking ways to improve the quality of teachers in this country for as long as most of us can remember. S.M. has forwarded to First Teachers a column by Amanda Ripley from the June 17 issue of the Arizona Daily Star that contends that Finland has come up with an effective answer to the problem. Ripley is the author of The Smartest Kids in the World — and How They Got That Way.
Ripley calls our attention to “something that hasn’t made many headlines but has the potential to finally revolutionize education. . . . In a handful of statehouses and universities across the country, a few farsighted Americans are finally pursuing what the world’s smartest countries have found to be the most efficient education reform ever tried. They are making it harder to become a teacher.”
Ripley points to reforms being made in Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Rhode Island to “raise the bar” for admission to the their states’ schools of education. In Rhode Island, a state “which once had one of the nation’s lowest entry-bars for teachers,” its education colleges will be required by 2016 “to admit classes of students with a mean SAT, ACT or GRE score in the top one-half of the national distribution.” By 2020, “the average score must be in the top one-third of the national range, which would put Rhode Island in line with education superpowers like Finland and Singapore.” … Continue Reading

The Deposit of Faith And The Development of Doctrine

September 21, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


There are certain words or terms in the Church’s vocabulary for explaining her beliefs and practices which I have always found especially enlightening, and perhaps more than any others, those which I have given as the title of this article: “The Deposit of Faith and the Development of Doctrine.”
Together they wonderfully encapsulate the whole process by which the Christian Revelation was given to the world and over the centuries came to be formulated and explained in the way it has by its authorized guardian, the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church.
Although in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s there was a lot of talk about an “ongoing revelation” (God was continually revealing new truths), this idea has not been accepted by the Church.
As every well-instructed Catholic knows, divine Revelation ended with the death of the last apostle, St. John, and this, in its implicit form, is what “the deposit of faith” means. I especially like it because it has such a satisfyingly solid, definite sound. It is the totality of natural and supernatural truths and facts about the nature, history, and destiny of humankind and our relationship with God which was given by our Lord into the care of the apostles along with a promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit to help them and their successors expound it. … Continue Reading

Obamacare’s Hidden Agenda

September 20, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


We are all taught early in our education that it is unacceptable to act as if we can read the minds of those who disagree with us on an issue. The formal term for it is “imputing motives.” We are told that we should deal with what our opponents actually say, not charge them without proof of dishonest intentions or “ulterior motives”; that we should not attack their character with an “ad hominem” argument, but the quality of their evidence, since even lowlifes can have the facts on their side at times.
Fair enough. But there are instances when circumstantial evidence of a hidden agenda can be too overwhelming to ignore. I submit that just such a situation exists when dealing with “pro-choice” groups and proponents of Obamacare who insist that they have no intention of pushing for taxpayer-funded abortion. Sorry: I find it hard to believe them. I submit that they are biding their time, waiting for the right moment to push for the goal of government subsidized abortion on demand.
That is why there is little reason for pro-life Americans to be pleased by the latest proposal by the Obama administration to exempt employers with religious objections from providing coverage for contraceptives and abortifacients in their company-provided health care insurance. It is a “compromise” that opens the door for government-financed abortion on demand. … Continue Reading

Memo To Bishops . . . Heaven Has Gates, And Only Those Who Follow The Rules Get In

September 19, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


PHOENIX — Trust is one of the most necessary qualities in relationships. Without honest language, there’s no basis for reliable understanding.
If a penitent tells a priest he’s a financial customer when he means a bank robber, or a disciplinarian when he means child beater, or a window evaluator when he means Peeping Tom, the priest has been misled.
If the very words upon which a debate occurs are intentionally misleading or deceptive, trust is broken and the exchange of thought impaired. That’s an important reason that so many Catholics feel alienated from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over an issue it champions.
“Illegal immigration” and “illegal aliens” are simple, factual words to describe a certain reality. Border crossers intending to stay awhile arrive without authorization or permission to enter.
Aware that using the simply descriptive words would undermine its case from the start, the USCCB prefers imprecise terms like “migrants” or “undocumented” — people who might not be unauthorized at all. Just misplaced their documents.
Bishops who consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ for the people of the Church do not speak plainly to their own flocks. This lack of lucidity isn’t the trait of good shepherds. … Continue Reading

Liberty And Dignity Under Assault . . . “In Ways That Are Chilling And Unimaginable As Never Before”

September 18, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


PHOENIX – Nationally active speakers at a “legislative seminar” here examined the damage to the legal system and individual conscience, welfare, and morality if American courts impose a fiat favoring the “same-sex marriage” novelty.
About 300 people gathered at Phoenix Catholic diocesan headquarters for the September 6 program, “Catholics in the Public Square,” dealing with their legitimate political responsibilities in American society.
The half-day program began with an 8 a.m. Mass at nearby St. Mary’s Basilica, where Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted urged listeners to have faith that God will bring a greater good from the undoubted evils of the present time.
“When persecuted, we endure. . . . When slandered, we respond gently. Now, that’s not easy,” Olmsted said, adding, “. . . We’re the world’s rubbish. We are God’s treasure.”
Nationally known marriage defender Maggie Gallagher, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based American Principles Project (APP), told the gathering in a diocesan meeting hall, “As I see it, the courts are stepping in to shut down this debate” about marriage. … Continue Reading

Our Loving Witness . . . Spread Love Of Christ’s Word And His Sacraments To All

September 17, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


Sirach 36:1-8, 15-17

Matt. 9:35-38

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen.
At the conclusion of a day of meeting with university students to deepen our knowledge of the Catholic faith and its practice, it is most fitting to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the intention of the spread of the faith to all peoples. The truth, the beauty and the goodness of our Catholic faith draws us to an always deeper knowledge of Our Lord Who speaks to us and acts on our behalf in His Mystical Body the Church.
Christ, seated in glory at the right hand of the Father, speaks to us and acts on our behalf in the fullest way possible on earth through the Eucharistic Sacrifice which we now offer. But, as we grow in knowledge and love of Our Lord Who truly dwells with us, we also accept ever greater responsibility as co-workers … Continue Reading

A Tale Of Two Churches

September 16, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


Once upon a time there was a church founded on God’s entering into human history in order to give humanity a path to eternal life and happiness with Him. The Savior that God sent, His only-begotten Son, did not write a book but founded a community, a church, upon the witness and ministry of twelve apostles. He sent this church the gift of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of love between Father and Son, the Spirit of the truth that God had revealed about Himself and humanity by breaking into the history of human sinfulness.
This church, a hierarchical communion, continued through history, living among different peoples and cultures, filled with sinners, but always guided in the essentials of her life and teaching by the Holy Spirit. She called herself “Catholic” because her purpose was to preach a universal faith and a universal morality, encompassing all peoples and cultures. This claim often invited conflict with the ruling classes of many countries. About 1,800 years into her often stormy history, this church found herself as a very small group in a new country in Eastern North America that promised to respect all religions because the State would not be confessional; it would not try to play the role of a religion.
This church knew that it was far from socially acceptable in this new country. One of the reasons the country was established was to protest the king of England’s permitting the public celebration of the Catholic Mass on the soil of the British Empire in the newly conquered Catholic territories of Canada. He had betrayed his coronation oath to combat Catholicism, defined as “America’s greatest enemy,” and protect Protestantism, bringing the pure religion of the colonists into danger and giving them the moral right to revolt and reject his rule. … Continue Reading

Sarah Palin Says … Politicians Need To Have Courage To Impeach Obama

September 16, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


PHOENIX — Sarah Palin called for the kind of politicians who’ll impeach Barack Obama as she neared the conclusion of her remarks at a joint appearance here with Dinesh D’Souza, speaking in a campaign-like atmosphere before more than 2,000 people at the Grand Canyon University arena.
Palin, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee, and D’Souza, the conservative intellectual, author and filmmaker, made aggressive appeals to take up the battle against leftists during their talks at the Christian university on September 4.
Ticking off a list of troubles that the United States is told it can’t cope with, Palin included the inability to secure the border, balance the budget, and stop Obama’s prying Internal Revenue Service.
“The reason that they’re doing it is to wear you out, America,” Palin said. “. . . Don’t fall for that.”
After her talk, Palin took questions from emcee and conservative commentator Katie Pavlich.
Palin said Obama needs to be rebuked. … Continue Reading

Notre Dame And The Obamacare Mandate

September 15, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


First Teachers has found Sycamore Trust ( to be a trustworthy source on what is happening at the University of Notre Dame. (The trust is an association of Notre Dame graduates dedicated to preserving the Catholic identity of the university.) We are sad to relay to our readers the latest information from Sycamore Trust’s newsletter about how the school is dealing with the requirement in Obamacare that employers provide coverage for contraceptives, including abortifacients, in their health insurance programs. Fasten your seatbelt.
According to Sycamore Trust, “Notre Dame is complying with the contraceptive mandate in renewing its student health insurance program for 2014-15. Aetna, the insurer, will now provide students with free abortifacients and contraceptives. Moreover, the university will itself enroll all otherwise uninsured graduate and foreign students in the plan.”
First Teachers has not yet been able to locate a statement from the university on this matter. But in Sycamore Trust’s view, what is happening is clear: Notre Dame is now doing what it had previously stated — in a court challenge to the Obamacare mandate — “would be scandalous.” … Continue Reading

Has Hillary Ever Been Right?

September 14, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


Sen. Rand Paul raises an interesting question:
When has Hillary Clinton ever been right on foreign policy?
The valkyrie of the Democratic Party says she urged President Obama to do more to aid Syrian rebels years ago. And last summer, she supported air strikes on Bashar Assad’s regime.
Had we followed her advice and crippled Assad’s army, ISIS might be in Damascus today, butchering Christians and Alawites and aiding the Islamic State in Iraq in overrunning Baghdad.
But if the folly of attacking Assad’s army and weakening its resistance to ISIS terrorists is apparent to everyone this summer, why were Clinton, Obama, and Secretary of State Kerry oblivious to this reality just a year ago?
Consider the rest of Hillary’s record. Her most crucial decision as senator came in 2002 when she voted to invade Iraq. She now concedes it was the greatest mistake of her Senate career.
She voted against the surge in 2006, but confided to Defense Secretary Bob Gates that she did so to maintain her political viability for 2008. … Continue Reading

Spinning the Synod

Here are five misleading claims and skewed statements about the upcoming Synod of Bishops Carl E. Olson Here’s a word that hasn’t been used much in recent discussions about the approaching Battle of the Cardin—er, the Synod of Bishops, taking…Continue Reading

Archbishop Coakley: Though City Leaders Do Not Take Seriously Threat of Inviting Evil Into Community, I Do

Washington, D.C., September 18, 2014 ( Here is an article from the Sooner Catholic, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, regarding the black mass scheduled at the city’s civic center for this Sunday. Archbishop Paul Coakley has used…Continue Reading

Report: Bishop Cupich of Spokane to succeed Cardinal George in Chicago

The AP broke the story, and local media is now confirming, that Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane will succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago is expected to make the official announcement tomorrow morning at…Continue Reading

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial…Continue Reading

Catholic Education Honor Roll Announced

Today, The Cardinal Newman Society released the list of schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States. Honor Roll schools receiving…Continue Reading

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II


In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading


The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Founder: Catholic Studies programs help colleges fulfill call to faithfulness

St. Paul, Minn., Sep 8, 2014 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- University-level Catholic Studies programs are an essential response to the increasingly fragmented college experience, said the man who founded the first such program 20 years ago. “At the heart of…Continue Reading

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'From our friends at The Foundry'

Today . . .

Pope To Albania’s Faith Leaders: Religion Is Source Of Peace


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with leaders of the different religious communities in Albania on Sunday afternoon, insisting once again that no-one can use the name of God to commit violence. Speaking at the Catholic University of Tirana, the Pope said “Authentic religion is a source of peace and not of violence….To kill in the name of God is a…Continue Reading

Pope: No To The Use Of Religion As A Pretext For Violence


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said on Sunday that no one must consider themselves to be the “armour” of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression. “May no one” he said “use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman, above all, the right to life and the…Continue Reading

The Forever War

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The strategy that President Obama laid out September 10 to “degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL,” is incoherent, inconsistent, and, ultimately, non-credible. A year ago, Obama and John Kerry were straining at the leash to launch air strikes on Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use…Continue Reading

Marriage Is Not A Metaphor

By DONALD DeMARCO I passed through the metal detector at the Las Vegas Airport easily and uneventfully. While waiting for my wife, who was the inconvenient recipient of a more thorough random check, I turned to the attendant and told her that I was surprised to pass through the metal detector so quietly since I…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… Our Lady Of La Salette

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 1 This is the first of two articles on the apparition of our Lady at La Salette in September 1846, which has a lot to teach us in our own day. At that time, the small nearby town of Corps, in the Grenoble region in southeastern France, was a poor…Continue Reading

The Saint Who Was Never Born

By DONALD DeMARCO St. Raymond Nonnatus came into the world in the early 13th century (1200 or 1204 according to scholars) in Portello, Catalonia (Spain). His appended name, in Latin, means “not born.” He was taken from the womb of his mother by caesarean section after her death. Shakespeare used this notion of not being…Continue Reading

Bluster And Bluff In The Baltic

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “I say to the people of Estonia and the people of the Baltics, today we are bound by our treaty alliance. . . . Article 5 is crystal clear: An attack on one is an attack on all. So if . . . you ever ask again, ‘who’ll come to help,’…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Love Has No Limits In Faith And In Life

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We have done a very good job of catechizing our Catholics that Sunday Mass is obligatory. Now we need to educate them that Sunday Mass is not the only thing necessary. For many years I would nod in agreement when people would say, “Well, at least if we can get our kids to Mass they’ll…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? The Faith Of The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 5 It is a very comfortable position for the defenders of sola Scriptura to wish to interpret it according to their own criteria. In so doing, they pick and choose verses here and there to justify their views. God’s first commandment to mankind, “Be fruitful and multiply,” seems to be the “dogma” against celibacy.…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am currently reading Paul Likoudis’ excellent but shocking book Amchurch Comes Out, regarding incidents of immoral conduct among our clergy, the cover-up, and the accompanying damage that has been wrought within the Church. I recall being alarmed while involved with religious education in our then parish in the late 1980s and attending diocesan seminars for teachers and hearing…Continue Reading

Our Attitude Should Be The Same As Christ’s

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 18:25-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Matt. 21:28-32   In the Gospel reading today our Lord asks the question of which son did the will of his father: the one who said he would not go into the field but eventually did or the one who said he would go…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

By CAROLE BRESLIN After returning from a visit to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and giving a retreat to her Missionaries of Charity there, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, told a class of lay faithful, “Americans are living in a dream world.” He spoke of the thousands of people dying on the streets of Calcutta where Mother had begun her work…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading