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Deacon Describes Last Hours… Convicted Killer In Prolonged Execution Was Baptized

September 14, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Although most news attention focused on the nearly two hours it took for a convicted Arizona double murderer to die during the execution by lethal injection in July, he had been baptized a Catholic not long before, according to a deacon who helped Joseph Wood prepare for death. Ed Sheffer, a deacon with the Diocese of Tucson who has ministered to death-row inmates at the state prison in Florence, Ariz., for ten years, wrote an account that appeared in the August 21 issue of the Phoenix diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Sun. “We spent a little over an hour together that morning” of the July 23 execution, Sheffer wrote. “We spoke about the two-plus year journey…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… A “Better Life Index” That Ignores What Makes For A Better Life

September 13, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He 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 co-founder 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 All rights reserved.) + + + The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… The Weeping Madonna Of Syracuse

September 12, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY This little-known event involves a small plaster figure of our Lady showing her Immaculate Heart, which wept tears on numerous occasions in the city of Syracuse (Siracusa), Italy, for four days from August 29 to September 1, 1953, attracting thousands of pilgrims. Although not an apparition as such, this seems to have been an important development in the history of Marian prodigies and it was quickly recognized by the Church as authentic. Syracuse is in Sicily, the large island at the foot of Italy, and in one of its poorest parts lived a young couple, Angelo and Antonina Jannuso. They were given a small plaster plaque of our Lady as a wedding present, and fixed it…Continue Reading

One Size Doesn’t Fit All… Common Core Opponent Wins Surprise Statewide Victory

September 11, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Last winter a woman with a low public profile was turning up at local conservative meetings around here, hoping to stir some interest in her identity and her candidacy. Was the task hopeless, like trying to sell snow shovels in Phoenix? Her message? I’m Diane Douglas, I’m against Common Core, and I’m asking for your vote to be Arizona’s next superintendent of public instruction. Her snowstorm came in on August 26 when the mild-seeming Republican candidate buried the GOP incumbent under a blizzard of ballots in Arizona’s primary election. It wasn’t even close. Douglas beat State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, 57.99 percent to 41.27 percent. There also was less than one percent of…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “Origins Of Pro-Abortion Slogans In The Birth Control Review”

September 10, 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 900 of the best quotes from The Birth Control Review, which is organized by topic, e-mail him at + + + Most of us have heard all of the tired old pro-abortion slogans many times. When we hear people start to chant them again, we usually roll our eyes and think, “I’d sure give a lot to hear something original!” It turns out that these pro-abortion slogans are even more unoriginal and unimaginative than we thought. Reformed abortionist Bernard Nathanson recounts how he spent his time plotting the future course of the pro-abortion movement…Continue Reading

Birth Statistics Show Collapse Of The Family

September 9, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate provided this column; all rights reserved.) + + + If you count a generation as spanning 20 years, then approximately 36 percent of the American generation born from 1993 through 2012 — which has begun turning 21 this year and will continue turning 21 through 2033 — was born to unmarried mothers. That does not count the 40.6 percent of babies born in 2013 who were also born to unmarried mothers. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 40 percent of the babies born in each of the last six years — 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011,…Continue Reading

To Spank Or Not To Spank

September 8, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK My guess is that there will be a difference of opinion among readers of this column about an article by Christine Sisto on the July 24 edition of National Review Online. Sisto’s topic was whether parents should have the right to spank their children. Notice I did not say “beat.” We are talking about a smack on the hand or the backside — and only by a parent. I’m confident that there would be little support in the country for a proposal to go back to the days when parents and teachers would routinely paddle or use a belt on children as a form of discipline. But what about that smack on the hand or the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Parolin . . . Church “Urgently Needs” The Teaching Of Pope Pius X

September 6, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By HILARY WHITE ROME (LifeSiteNews) — The teaching of the Pope many consider the 20th century’s greatest defender of Catholic orthodoxy and opponent of materialist secularism is “urgently needed in today’s Church,” the second highest ranking official at the Vatican said in mid-August. Speaking in the late Pope’s birthplace, the northeastern Italian town of Riese, Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said that the teaching of Pope St. Pius X — with his insistence on the “sanctity of life,” as “an indispensable condition for the credibility of the sacred ministry” — is of “utmost urgency for the Church today.” During the pontificate of St. Pius X “could be glimpsed the start of the phenomenon of secularization of society,…Continue Reading

To Defeat The Islamic State

September 5, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The decisions that determined the fate of the great nations and empires that failed to survive the 20th century are well known. For the Kaiser’s Germany, it was the “blank cheque” to Austria after Sarajevo. For Great Britain, the 1939 war guarantee to Poland. For the Third Reich, it was the June 1941 invasion of Russia. For the Empire of the Sun, the decision to attack Pearl Harbor. And for the Soviet Empire, it was the invasion of Afghanistan. As for the United States, historians may one day concur with the late Gen. Bill Odom. For the lone superpower to survive that century, the decision to invade and occupy Iraq was the most disastrous blunder in…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… A Rock And Roll Film For The Whole Family

September 4, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By REY FLORES Every once in a while, there is a film that you may watch and for some reason or another, the story, its images, and soundtrack stick with you for days afterward. The Identical is one of those movies. If you’re a fan of movies with good tunes like the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line or rock and roll movies like the Ritchie Valens story in La Bamba, you’re in for a treat. Loosely based on the life of rock and roll legend Elvis Presley, this movie borrows some of the Presley’s life for its plot, but adds some unusual and unexpected twists and turns that deal with the topics of poverty, miscarriage, adoption, and faith in…Continue Reading