Catholicism’s Future: Love and Mercy, with Scoldings

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"It is a fearsome thing, to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:31)Who are people more likely to call a "scold", Pope Francis or Pope Benedict?I don't know the answer to that question. Perhaps someone, somewhere has the energy to study papal speeches and -- possibly by comparing the number of times a pope said "Jesus Christ" to the number of times he said "capitalism" or "the poor" or "sin" or "the environment", or "mercy" -- deduce from those calculations a narrative in … [Read more...]

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NYTimes Bestsellers and 3 Pinpricks of Fascism

Madame Defarge is collecting her knitting. Image Public Domain

Okay, I'm not a Ted Cruz fan, (I'm not an anyone fan, at the moment), but that doesn't mean I am not curious as to the NY Times so-called "standards", here: The New York Times informed HarperCollins this week that it will not include Ted Cruz's new biography on its forthcoming bestsellers list, despite the fact that the book has sold more copies in its first week than all but two of the Times' bestselling titles, the On Media blog has learned.Cruz's A Time for Truth, published on June 30, … [Read more...]

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Old Altar Boys at Mass: A Bold Witness

Fałat, Old Man Praying/Public Domain

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 6:25 AM: In the palest light, I follow footprints left in the season’s first frost, just a few minutes behind the regulars. The church’s glaring overhead lights are softened by the flame-glow of a few dozen candles --real wax, seven-day candles that burn a constant supplication --and by the shimmer of one gloriously large and eye-catching Icon of the Crucifixion scene. I wait to stand my candle as a slope-shouldered older man first places his own and then remains a few mom … [Read more...]

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Wuerl: “Disagreement is not discrimination”

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This is from April, but I only saw it last night, and the sentiments bear noting, so...Cardinal Donald Wuerl, joined here by John Garvey, President of the Catholic University of America, makes an important and perfectly true distinction, here: Disagreement is not Discrimination:Recent laws enacted by the D.C. Council would have us believe otherwise. The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act purport to address “discrimination” by ins … [Read more...]

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2 Men Might Make a Lady, but Never a Woman

Eliza, Henry and Col. Pickering dance for the rain in Spain/Public Domain

Colonel Pickering and Henry Higgins might have made a lady out of Eliza Doolittle, but together they could not have made the woman. Guest post by Russell ShawDoes Henry Higgins hold the key to settling the same-sex marriage debate? Not quite. But in the wake of the Supreme Court decision declaring a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it’s well worth considering what Higgins has to tell us.In “My Fair Lady” Professor Higgins sings a song called “Why Can’t a Woman Be Like a Man?”. … [Read more...]

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Summer Reading List for 2015

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With the 4th of July behind us, we are now wholly and fully into summer, and looking for the best reads to take to the beach or, if you're like me, to the front porch. Over at National Review, they've collected some titles for us to peruse, and invited me to include a few ideas.This summer, I am picking up classics: The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey. A mystery novel unlike any I’ve ever read: an injured police detective lies in a hospital bed, from which he attempts to solve a 15th c … [Read more...]

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Bishop Murphy Eliminates Annulment Fees

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This is really good news. In a letter to the priests of his Rockville Centre diocese -- that would be Long Island, east of Brooklyn and Queens, (population 7.5 million, 1.7 million Catholics) -- Bishop William Murphy writes: My dear brother priests:It pleases me to write you on this Solemn Feast of the great Apostles, Saints Peter and Paul. You and I share their zeal for the Gospel, and are renewed each year in this great celebration. . . .The preparation for the Synod of the Family, in the … [Read more...]

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Happy 4th: A Nation Pulling Apart and Norman Rockwell

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TRUE STORY: This morning I awoke from a dream whereby the Supreme Court had been called into some sort of emergency session, and in order to get to their bench, they had to pass through some lobby I was standing in. One of them -- a rather short, jolly man (capable of using the phrase "argle-bargle", but not Scalia) -- got his robe caught on the buckle of my shoe, and after I released him, he thanked me and said, "a good day for thanks, in general."And I held him by the shoulders and said, … [Read more...]

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Of Otherness, Gay Marriage, Rights and Offices

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The headlines of the past two weeks have given me a lot to process, and this weekend is a good time to think on things. Since the Obergefell decision, there are fights breaking out all over the internet, between Gays and Straights and Christians and Other Christians, and even between Catholics and Other Catholics.The idea of the "Other" got me thinking about a piece I'd written a while back at First Things, one that -- to my surprise (but then I never know how groups of people are going to … [Read more...]

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