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Reconnecting With Mary . . . The Holy Souls

November 1, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY November is the month traditionally associated with the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and the feast day associated with them, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, “All Souls’ Day,” falls on November 2, just after All Saints’ Day, which commemorates all those in Heaven, whether well known or unknown. On November 2, we are particularly encouraged to pray for our departed relatives and friends who are waiting patiently to enter Heaven, but we can also pray for them all through November, and indeed at any other time of the year. Perhaps the first thing worth noting about this day is the word “souls.” This is a reminder that we do all have a soul, which is…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Does Contraception Lead To Abortion?”

October 31, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

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 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at + + + We have seen that contraception fails frequently and so often leads to abortion. There are many other intimate connections between contraception and abortion. The primary mission of the research arm of the vast “family planning” industry is to develop more and more effective abortifacients. Every year, fewer women use true contraceptives and more are using abortifacient chemicals. There are several reasons why abortifacients are preferable to contraceptives from a “family planning” point of view. To begin with, abortifacients…Continue Reading

Pass-Fail Grading: For The Professors’ Benefit?

October 30, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK S.M. writes to offer some observations about the proposal to introduce a “pass-fail” grading system for freshmen at Princeton University. The possibility of doing that was discussed in the October 9 edition of First Teachers. He sees the idea as a “form of grade inflation that is solely intended to accomplish a simpler life for the professors, not to help more students achieve academic excellence. Our schools use carefully crafted measures of inputs, but absolutely no measures of outputs. The faculty alone decides what courses are offered, what is taught, what books are used (the highest kickback plays a major role), the hours classes are scheduled, and who ultimately is anointed to join the club. Costs…Continue Reading

Contemporary Culture Encapsulated In A Single Sentence

October 29, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO It is remarkable how much a single sentence can reveal about the temper of a culture, even when its author is trying to be withholding. Jacalyn Duffin, a historian and practicing hematologist, is the author of History of Medicine (University of Toronto Press, 2000). It is a 243-page tome that was produced thanks to financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program. In other words, it has the backing of significant segments of Canadian culture. From a strictly historical perspective, the book falls short of its stated aim. Doctors Meyer Friedman and Gerald W. Friedland collaborated to produce an excellent…Continue Reading

Synod Document Of October 13, 2014

October 28, 2014 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 blog [] of October 17 and is reprinted with permission.) + + + My fear about the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops was that it would “get it wrong,” that is, issue a statement that would have some statements that would be open to all sorts of speculation and misinterpretation. That fear was realized with paragraph 50 of its interim report issued on Monday, October 13. “1. Homosexuals have…Continue Reading

Elite Judges Think The Highest Judge Never Will End Their Misrule

October 27, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN Today people worry about globe-trotting terrorists, the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus, and the way contagions can cross borders when the government insists borders must be open for everyone’s alleged benefit. Meanwhile, unaccountable U.S. judges continue their contagion of immorality, as if God’s judgment never will come, maybe in little germs, flames in the sky, or just blind eyes opened. On October 17 a federal judge rubbed his magic ring and imposed “same-sex marriage” on Arizona, too, despite not only state law but also a constitutional amendment here approved by popular vote in 2008 that affirmed the traditional universal, historic male-female definition. That a judge decides part of a state’s constitution is unconstitutional because it gets…Continue Reading

Chilling Free Speech

October 26, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word “truthiness.” The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare. It is part of the Obama administration’s persistent efforts to monitor communication and…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… The Rosary Is As Powerful As Ever Today

October 25, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY October is the month of the rosary and the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. This feast was instituted following the victory of Catholic forces, the Holy League, against an invasion fleet of the Ottoman Empire, near Lepanto in the eastern Mediterranean, on October 7, 1571. The Pope, Pius V, had called for the faithful to pray the rosary for victory, and the Holy League did indeed triumph thus preventing the invasion. At the moment of victory, Pius V, who was many hundreds of miles away in a meeting, at the Vatican, got up, went over to a window, and by means of a special revelation, exclaimed: “The Christian fleet…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Does Contraception Lead To Abortion?”

October 24, 2014 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 an electronic copy of chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at + + + “No matter how thin you slice it, ladies and gentlemen, family planning is a euphemism. We don’t intend or desire to prevent conception for conception’s sake; we want to prevent conception because of what follows conception. Family planning is the prevention of births, and as birth is the end of a sequence which begins with the sexual urge, then family planning is anti-conception, anti-nidation, and the termination of the conceptus if implanted. This is the societal role of abortion in…Continue Reading

The Purpose Of Education

October 23, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK It struck me many times during the 30 years I spent teaching history at a public high school in the suburbs of New York City that my understanding of the purpose of an education was starkly different from that of the education establishment. The establishment stressed the importance of teaching students “how to think for themselves,” “values clarification,” respect for “diversity of opinion,” and the dangers of “ethnocentrism,” the importance of challenging “conventional views” to help students “make their own free choices” regarding religion, morality, and politics. My problem was that I favored ethnocentrism and conventional views, if by that one meant the best of Western civilization. My preferred definition of the purpose of an education…Continue Reading