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First Teachers — Education Debit Cards

November 14, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on First Teachers — Education Debit Cards

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The biggest obstacle to school voucher programs is the argument that they violate the First Amendment’s “no establishment of religion” clause. Central to the argument is the proposition that vouchers take “public dollars” — raised by taxing people from many different religious backgrounds or with no religious affiliation — and funnel them directly to schools run by a church or some other religious organization. The key, then, for those who seek some form of financial relief for parents who want to remove their children from local public schools and enroll them in a parochial school is breaking this direct link between tax dollars and the parochial school in question. Arizona may have found a way to…Continue Reading

GOP Race-Baiting?

November 13, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on GOP Race-Baiting?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I admit that nostalgia may be clouding my mind, but it still seems to me that the television talk shows of old — William F. Buckley’s Firing Line and David Susskind’s program, for example — offered viewers a far more serious discussion of the issues than do the shows of today, which tend to feature representatives of the Democratic and the Republican Parties doing nothing more than exchanging talking points to push their respective agendas. Fox News commentator Bob Beckel admitted to participating in morning conference calls between Democratic Party leaders and Democrats likely to be on the talk shows that day to get their talking points. It seems safe to assume that the Republicans do…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… How Obamacare Offends Human Dignity

November 12, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… How Obamacare Offends Human Dignity

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason 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. He is the author of several books including The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic [Transaction Publishers: 2012], and most recently published an edited volume entitled Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System [Scarecrow Press: 2013]. This column originally appeared in and the Krason column will appear monthly in The Wanderer.) +    +    + The Catholic Church’s social teaching is erected on the belief in the basic dignity of the…Continue Reading

Pope Names Bishop Matano To Head Rochester Diocese

November 11, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on Pope Names Bishop Matano To Head Rochester Diocese

By PAUL LIKOUDIS WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pope Francis has named Bishop Salvatore Matano, bishop of Burlington, Vt., as bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y. Bishop Matano succeeds Bishop Matthew Clark, who retired in September 2012. Matano’s installation date is set for January 3, 2014. The appointment was announced November 6, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States. That same day, at a press conference in Rochester, his first time in the city, Bishop Matano said his first priority is to encourage fallen-away Catholics to return to Mass. Since 2000, Mass attendance has dropped by more than 30 percent; in some parishes by more than 40 percent. According to Rocco Palmo, the “Church insider” who blogs…Continue Reading

Vatican Strongly Reaffirms . . . No Communion For Divorced And Remarried Catholics

November 10, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on Vatican Strongly Reaffirms . . . No Communion For Divorced And Remarried Catholics

By JOHN-HENRY WESTEN VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — In a lengthy essay published October 22 on the Vatican newspaper’s web site in five languages, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has strongly reaffirmed Catholic Church teaching forbidding divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving Holy Communion. Comments from Pope Francis on his return trip from Rio’s World Youth Day regarding divorced and remarried Catholics had led to speculation that a change in the Church’s longstanding teaching on the matter was coming. That perception was strengthened with the announcement of an upcoming synod on families for next October. But when one diocese in Germany did what many considered jumping the gun and proposed guidelines for…Continue Reading

A Film Review . . . An Amazing Journey Through Mary’s Life

November 9, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on A Film Review . . . An Amazing Journey Through Mary’s Life

By REY FLORES The story of Our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven, Queen of the Universe is always welcome among Catholics. We all have a love affair with Our Heavenly Mother and if some don’t, well, perhaps there’s something wrong with them. In Ignatius Press’ new film Mary of Nazareth, we are once again transported back to the Holy Land, back when the Word became Flesh. The movie opens with a suspenseful scene where children are being stolen from their families to be sold into slavery; meanwhile, Mary’s parents, St. Anne and St. Joachim, successfully shield their child from capture. Mary’s escape sets the tone for the amazing journey she and we are about to enter in…Continue Reading

The Tea Party’s Coming Vindication

November 8, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on The Tea Party’s Coming Vindication

By JEFFREY T. KUHNER The debt deal simply hastens the day of reckoning. The conventional wisdom is wrong. The mainstream media — and their parrots in the Republican establishment — are claiming that President Obama decisively won the government shutdown battle. In fact, the narrative being peddled is that the GOP brand has been badly damaged, paving the way for a possible Democratic Party takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2014 elections. This is puerile nonsense. Tea Party Republicans, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, may have lost the battle, but they are poised for a major victory in the larger Obamacare war. Liberal pundits and Republican moderates, such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona, are blaming one…Continue Reading

Contracepting Reality

November 7, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on Contracepting Reality

By DONALD DeMARCO The site is a Chicago abortion clinic. A young woman approaches the door of the clinic pulling a cart of boxes containing contraceptives. Aware of the presence of pro-life people, she raises her voice and exclaims, “I’m here to help women by providing them with birth control, women need this, couples need this, it will help reduce the number of abortions. I’m here to help!” The situation does not permit dialogue. The woman is not open to the possibility that she might be more of a hindrance than a help. Her faith is in contraception, not conversation. Yet she, herself, despite her personal convictions, is in need of help. Helping the helpers can be a formidable task…Continue Reading

“The Russians Are Coming”

November 6, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on “The Russians Are Coming”

By ROBERT MOYNIHAN (Editor’s Note: Robert Moynihan is founder and editor-in-chief of Inside the Vatican magazine. This story first appeared in The Moynihan Report []. It is reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.) +    +    + ROME — Will Russia’s President Putin soon meet Pope Francis? When it was the heart of the Soviet Union, Russia embraced a Communist ideology that denied the existence of God and the eternity of the human soul, calling such beliefs socially harmful mystifications. Today, in 2013, Russia is quite dramatically preaching traditional Christian faith and values — to the consternation of many secular thinkers in the once-Christian West. This can be seen clearly in many recent declarations by Russian religious and political leaders. These…Continue Reading

Sometimes Disappointed . . . Conservatives Keep Looking For Political Heroes

November 5, 2013 Featured Today Comments Off on Sometimes Disappointed . . . Conservatives Keep Looking For Political Heroes

By DEXTER DUGGAN Prominent Washington, D.C., national political observer Charles Krauthammer, MD, left medicine to become a columnist because he placed more importance on delivering commentary, he told national talk host Dennis Prager. Krauthammer added on the October 29 radio program that if he were to advise a person with a “good heart” about whether to choose being a commentator or senator, he’d say a senator because that job has a more direct effect. Hoping to have such a direct effect has been the motivation, too, for various pro-lifers and kindred Catholics and evangelicals entering the political world in recent decades, even if they’d previously avoided that field of endeavor. Seeing liberal media, judges, and bureaucrats assertively imposing their personal…Continue Reading