Tuesday 12th December 2017

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A Theological “Night Before Christmas”

December 12, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on A Theological “Night Before Christmas”

By SHAUN KENNEY (A poem, wistfully written by an anonymous soul. Kirchensteuer refers to a church tax in Germany.) + + + Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Church Not a bishop was stirring, though attendance was in the lurch; The collection plates were extended in Germany aplenty With one very small problem — the pews were still empty. Scowling with displeasure while snug in minor palaces. With visions of guitars, sandals, and wooden chalices; “A reform of the reform!” came the collective sigh, To save the Kirchensteuer and keep their piece of the pie. When out on the Internet there arose such a clatter, Where tradition was prized to a Church now in tatters. Not crazy,…Continue Reading

Pocahontas And The Deep State

December 11, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Pocahontas And The Deep State

By MIKE MANNO Until the last few weeks, more people probably knew of the teenaged Indian princess Pocahontas, whom American mythology credits with having saved the life of Captain John Smith in 1607, than knew of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But in a brash and unsuccessful attempt to keep the CFPB under control of the former Obama administration, that all changed overnight. And, for most people, confusion abounded. But it shouldn’t because it is fairly easy to figure out. As we all know, the federal government (as well as state and local governments) employs bureaus and agencies to carry out day-to-day activities of government. Most of these agencies are established by an act of Congress (or state legislature, etc.)…Continue Reading

Cascade Of News Events… Creates A Sensory Overload Around The Christmas Tree

December 10, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Cascade Of News Events… Creates A Sensory Overload Around The Christmas Tree

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — If news events were Christmas ornaments, many homes’ trees would be shivering with sensory overload this season instead of shimmering beautifully. Some of the baubles and trinkets among the pine needles would be lovely, others ugly. But there was such a profusion of them that limbs were near to breaking. The synergy of social media, the assortment of electronic choices, and the Internet feed off each other and speed along news developments. The cascade of events suggested that society had taken up residence at the foot of Niagara Falls. Each second, the Niagara Falls website says, 3,000 tons of water crash into the gorge. Does that sound like the volume of events sweeping us along…Continue Reading

Capital Punishment Revisited

December 9, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Capital Punishment Revisited

By CHRISTOPHER MANION Here’s a highly recommended book that sheds the patient, clear light of reason on the issue of capital punishment. Every U.S. bishop should read it. + + + Edward Feser and Joseph M. Bessette: By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, $24.95). Visit ignatius.com or call 1-800-651-1531. In recent years, position statements and lobbying efforts of the USCCB have ranged across a wide variety of prudential issues, from global warming and tax policy to immigration and the death penalty. There are many policy approaches to such issues that might conform to the precepts of legitimate Catholic social teaching, so Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic…Continue Reading

Naughty Retailers To Avoid This Christmas

December 8, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Naughty Retailers To Avoid This Christmas

By REY FLORES Once again, Americans are performing an annual ritual known as Christmas shopping. Most are racking up credit card bills, but supposedly it’ll all be worth getting deeper in debt when you see your loved ones’ faces light up as you give them the latest piece of Made in China plastic junk. Do we give each other gifts in honor of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ? Not likely. We give each other gifts because that’s just what we’re supposed to do; right? We are well-trained consumers. I’ll get off my soapbox for now regarding what I believe is for the most part a gross display of hypocrisy when we give each other gifts once a year,…Continue Reading

Is Flynn’s Defection A Death Blow?

December 8, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Is Flynn’s Defection A Death Blow?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Why did Gen. Mike Flynn lie to the FBI about his December 2016 conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak? Why did he not tell the FBI the truth? As national security adviser to the president-elect, Flynn had called the ambassador. Message: Tell President Putin not to overreact to President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Trump will be president in three weeks, and we are committed to a new relationship. Not only was this initiative defensible, it proved successful. Putin accepted the loss of his diplomats and country houses on Long Island and the Eastern Shore. Rather than expel U.S. diplomats in retaliation, he invited them and their families to the Kremlin’s New Year’s parties. “Great…Continue Reading

May One Do Evil That Good May Come Of It?

December 7, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on May One Do Evil That Good May Come Of It?

By ARTHUR HIPPLER (Editor’s Note: Dr. Hippler is chairman of the religion department and teaches religion in the Upper School at Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minn.) + + + The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that a “good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just” (n. 1753). In teaching this, the Catechism reaffirms the teaching of St. Paul, as St. Thomas explains: “Someone might steal to feed the poor; his intention is right, but he is lacking the requisite good will. So no evil can be excused because it is done with a good intention (Romans 3:8): ‘Those who [say we] say “Let…Continue Reading

Reclaiming Christmas

December 6, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Reclaiming Christmas

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON Two thousand years ago, Rome was the center of the civilized world — economically, commercially, socially, militarily. Its material greatness, however, was accompanied by moral depravity. Prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, same-sex unions, other lustful perversions, and suicide were accepted. Does not the permissiveness of that ancient culture appear familiar? As we in America — and indeed the West — strive for material greatness, are we not recreating a pagan moral climate? The Roman world changed, however. On a day now known as Christmas, the “Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” God came to Earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, the Second Person of God…Continue Reading

The Modern Tower Of Babel

December 5, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on The Modern Tower Of Babel

By SHAUN KENNEY The Tower of Babel has always been one of my favorite stories of the Holy Bible. A bunch of people literally build a skyscraper in the desert only for God to confuse their speech, thus rendering the project useless for the simple reason that no one can communicate. Of course, Google Translate isn’t perfect, but the degree of interaction we enjoy by means of the Internet has certainly edged us closer to the idea of a Babel. Perhaps this is where the interest in the story becomes the interest of the modern day. Babel was the birth of nations, and perhaps was even the birth of the ancient city of Babylon where the Ziggurat — a 300-foot-tall…Continue Reading

A Scouting We Will Go…Or Not

December 4, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on A Scouting We Will Go…Or Not

By MIKE MANNO “Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care. We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people. It is essential that all youth programs in our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith.” So said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kans., announcing his decision to terminate the archdiocese’s relationship with the Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) in a statement May 1. Fifteen months earlier, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson made a similar decision — not banning the scouts — but asking pastors which allow Girl Scout troops to meet on parish property to review concerns arising out of…Continue Reading