Monday 27th April 2015

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Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Can We Use Our Consciences On Contraception?”

April 16, 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 an electronic copy of chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at + + + “Surveys in many countries consistently show that most Catholics believe that decisions of conscience about contraception rightfully belong with those who must bear and rear children. The legitimacy of teaching requires that it be embraced by the faithful. Your teaching has no such legitimacy. It is a marginalized minority view in our church, defended largely by a male celibate hierarchy” — “An Open Letter to Pope John Paul II on the Question of Contraception,” The New York Times, September 6,…Continue Reading

Protecting Freedom Of Religion

April 15, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University. (ZENIT made Fr. Flynn’s essay available; all rights reserved.) + + + Great Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission in March published a report about the laws protecting freedom of religion and belief. The commission interviewed almost 2,500 people and included people with a variety of beliefs, as well as humanists, secularists, and atheists. “A recurring theme among some employees was the pressure they felt they were under to keep their religion hidden at work and feeling discriminated against when it…Continue Reading

A Russian Orthodox Bishop Speaks Plainly To Ecumenists

April 14, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES LIKOUDIS In a previous article (see The Wanderer, February 26, 2015, p. 6A) attention was focused on the ecclesiological views of the Metropolitan Hilarion (Aleyev) of Volokolamsk, one of the most important Russian Orthodox bishops as chairman of the Department for External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate. In an important speech delivered at the Universities of Winchester and Cambridge in England (February 5 and 6, 2015), Hilarion made it clear that the Russian Orthodox Church rejected any claim by the patriarch of Constantinople to any supremacy over other Orthodox Churches — a claim he repudiated as a form of intolerable “papism” foreign to Eastern Orthodoxy. The patriarch was no “Pope of the East.” His speech, as noted previously,…Continue Reading

Endangered Words And Phrases

April 13, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK A reader called my attention to a column by Richard Lederer from his website Verbivore. In it, Lederer offered his readers a long list of words and phrases that most older Americans will recognize right away, but will leave younger readers scratching their heads. I won’t give you his entire list; it is too long. But if you do an Internet search with your key words “Lederer and Old Words and Phrases,” it will give you access to the web page. I recommend that you take a look; it is a fun read. But just to whet your appetite, I’ll give you a few examples. When was the last time you heard someone say, “You sound like…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The Era Of Shamelessness

April 12, 2015 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 cofounder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. Among his books is The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic [Transaction Publishers, 2012], and most recently two edited volumes: Child Abuse, Family Rights, and the Child Protective System [Scarecrow Press, 2013] and The Crisis of Religious Liberty [Rowman & Littlefield, 2014]. This column originally appeared in All rights reserved.) + + + We often hear that there…Continue Reading

Are Discrimination And Disagreement The Same Thing?

April 11, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO The zeal with which people are fighting discrimination these days has reached the point where mere disagreement is now regarded as a form of discrimination. A baker who does not agree with same-sex marriage and has therefore refused to do a cake for a same-sex wedding has been sued for discriminating against homosexuals. Pope Benedict XVI expressed the matter clearly and accurately in his 2006 book, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures. Benedict pointed out: “The concept of discrimination is constantly enlarged and this means the prohibition of discrimination can be transformed more and more into a limitation on the freedom of opinion and on religious belief.” Discrimination is a one-way street. One person discriminates against another.…Continue Reading

Will Republicans Protect The Lives Of 20-Week-Old Human Beings?

April 10, 2015 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.) + + + Three years ago, the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to prohibit doctors in the District of Columbia from killing unborn children who are 20 weeks old or older unless the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother. When the bill was brought to the floor on July 31, 2012 — under a motion to suspend the rules, which required it to get a two-thirds vote — some pro-abortion Democrats objected that it went so far as to protect the lives of 20-week-old-or-older babies who had been conceived through…Continue Reading

Diversity — Or Meritocracy?

April 9, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN A voracious and eclectic reader, President Nixon instructed me to send him every few weeks 10 articles he would not normally see that were on interesting or important issues. In 1971, I sent him an essay from The Atlantic, with reviews by Time and Newsweek, by Dr. Richard Herrnstein. My summary read: “Basically, [Herrnstein] demonstrates that heredity, rather than environment, determines intelligence — and that the more we proceed to provide everyone with a ‘good environment’ the more heredity will become the dominant factor…in their success and social standing.” In a 1994 obituary, The New York Times wrote that Herrnstein, though he “was often harassed . . . and his classes at Harvard were disrupted,” never…Continue Reading

Catholic School Teaching Contracts: Are They Adequate?

April 8, 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 [] and is reprinted with permission.) + + + The spring of the year is the time when teachers sign contracts for the school year starting next fall, and special attention is being drawn to contracts in Catholic schools. Because some teachers in the past have been fired for publicly advocating or practicing behaviors contrary to Catholic moral teaching and then sued, some dioceses have…Continue Reading

Obama’s Strategy For ISIL: Multisectarianism

April 7, 2015 Featured Today Comments Off

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate made his column available. All rights reserved.) + + + The Obama administration’s plan for thwarting the Islamic State, which it carefully calls ISIL, is to encourage multisectarianism in Iraq. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter explained the administration’s vision when he testified last month before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “What happened last year was an unwillingness of the Iraqi security forces to fight, using the equipment and training that the United States had given them,” Carter told the committee. “And the reason for that was a political failure on the part of their government to keep the promise that had been made…Continue Reading