Friday 22nd May 2015

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The Danger Of An Open Mind

February 1, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the most eccentric philosophers of the modern world, in a field that has more than its share of eccentrics, argued, to the consternation of Bertrand Russell, that it could not be proven that there was not a rhinoceros in the room. Russell thought his young associate in logic was a “fool.” Wittgenstein, however, wanted to keep an open mind. Perhaps a rhino was really there, although no one had seen it as yet. The value of an open mind is to see what is there and grasp, apprehend, or close the mind on its proper object. There is no point in keeping the mind open and never grasping or understanding anything. The mind…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Hitler And Physics

January 31, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Ball, Philip. Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics Under Hitler. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2014. Pp ix +303. Available on amazon.com. With access to reams of correspondence, other archival material, and public records, Philip Ball provides a valuable account of how German scientists related to the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler. Ball identifies three prominent physicists, Peter Debye, Max Planck, and Werner Heisenberg to illustrate a range of response. Ball begins with a discussion of the work and life of Peter Debye, whose major contribution is found in the field of chemical physics. Debye was a student of Arnold Sommerfeld, a mathematical physicist whose interests ranged from hydrodynamics to theory of electrical…Continue Reading

Complementarity As Hendiadys

January 30, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO Hendiadys is a figure of speech in which two words are used to intensify the meaning of one thing. It is an ingenious form of cognitive amplification. As a Greek word, hendiadys means “one through two” (hen-dia-dys). Short and sweet are two words that, when in tandem, give added strength and clarity to the notion of brevity. The words “spic” and “span,” though rarely used separately, when linked together emphasize more effectively the notion of clean. Sad and lonely, high and mighty, peace and quiet, rant and rave, safe and sound, rough and ready, fear and trembling, mirth and merriment, free and easy, fun and frolic, along with innumerable other examples, employ two words to give added…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary . . . Pontmain Apparition, France, January 1871

January 29, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY The Franco-Prussian War, which began in 1870, was the backdrop to this silent apparition of Our Lady at Pontmain in northwestern France. By January 1871, the country was in a very serious position militarily, with the Prussians controlling two-thirds of the country and Paris besieged. It seemed to be only a matter of time before Mayenne and Brittany, the northwestern part of the country, would also be taken. The next attack was expected at Laval, the capital of Mayenne, less than 30 miles from Pontmain, where the Blessed Virgin would appear. At the time, Pontmain was a small village, inhabited by simple and hardworking country folk, who, guided by their parish priest, Abbé Michel Guérin, sought…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Should Catholic Hospitals Use The Morning-After Pill For Rape Victims?”

January 28, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For a compact disc with more than 320 patient information pamphlets for all of the different types of abortifacients, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Even with all of the different contraceptives and abortifacients on the market today, women forget to use their birth control, think their birth control method might have failed, or were coerced into sex. Many of these women resort to “emergency contraception,” a term that covers several drugs or devices that are used after intercourse (instead of before) to avoid pregnancy. EC can take several forms. The most common are the morning-after pill (MAP); doubling…Continue Reading

Obama’s Tax On Stay-At-Home Moms

January 27, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY President Obama’s disrespect for motherhood has manifested itself in policies ranging from support for same-sex marriage to defense of a form of abortion that involves forcing a baby into a drug-induced premature delivery and then leaving that little one to die. When it comes to the most vulnerable and innocent human beings — those for whom great mothers have great hearts — Obama has a heart of stone. It is demonstrably true that he does not believe a child has a right to a mother or a need for a mother. If he did, he could not support same-sex marriages in which two men can adopt a child or even hire a surrogate to incubate a…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s Heroic Witness In Perilous Times

January 26, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By STEPHANIE BLOCK My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich by Dietrich von Hildebrand. Translated and edited by John Henry Crosby with John F. Crosby, Image Books (2014); $28.00; 335 pages. My Battle Against Hitler, a posthumously published memoir and collection of essays by “20th century Doctor of the Church” Dietrich von Hildebrand, is a timely cautionary for a world that is again on the cusp of momentous world events. It is sobering to read, for example, a provincial of the German Dominicans remark, in the spring after Hitler became chancellor, “We Catholics have to put ourselves in the front ranks of National Socialism and in this way give everything a Catholic…Continue Reading

“I Can’t Breathe”… The Plight Of The Preborn

January 25, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By REY FLORES (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from www.all.org, the website of American Life League. All rights reserved.) + + + This past year has seen race relations decline as a result of a well-orchestrated attempt by a corrupt government that wants to divide us at all costs. And the propaganda peddlers known as the news media are making it more obvious than ever that they get most of their talking points from the Obama administration. Have there been unfortunate isolated cases of abusive police officers — particularly targeting minorities — that should never have happened? Of course. But let us not allow the inflammatory rhetoric and constant video news feeds to stoke our emotions and allow ourselves…Continue Reading

“Flee Immorality,” Church Unity, & Right To Life March

January 24, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his January 18 blog [johnkippley.com] and is reprinted with permission.) + + + It’s a big week, as I write this. January 18, 2015 is the first Sunday of the Church Unity Octave. The second reading at Mass on this day is from 1 Cor. 6 starting with verse 13c. The past week, Pope Francis reaffirmed the teaching of Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical of Blessed Pope Paul VI…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Christianity’s Gift To The World

January 23, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Siedentop, Larry. Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2014. Pp. viii + 434. Does it still make sense to still talk about the West in what some call a “post-Christian world”? Larry Siedentop, emeritus fellow of Keble College, Oxford, asks, “Can the West still be defined in terms of shared beliefs?” Professor Siedentop answers his own question with a weak “yes.” His answer is qualified because those who live in nations once described as part of Christendom seem to have lost contact with their cultural heritage and certainly with their moral bearings. Yet it remains a fact that Western culture is founded on a set of shared beliefs that are…Continue Reading