NYTimes Bestsellers and 3 Pinpricks of Fascism

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

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”

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

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

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

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

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

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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Why Proselytizing Doesn’t Work, in One Photo

Once before I wrote that Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Cardinal Dolan were right, when they said that proselytizing was folly, and that "you're going to hell if you don't straighten up and fly right", was not the best way to greet people.That made a lot of people mad. So mad, that I lost a few regular readers over it because they were convinced I was spouting heresy.But here, in one photo -- a grab from a you tube video, but believe me, it's going to quickly become an iconic photo -- … [Read more...]

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The Anchoress: Rude and Hateful Since 1958

Are there people in the world who are just perpetually aggrieved? Who wake up in the morning, and start chanting, "that's rude and hurtful!", like a morning's hymn?That's rude and hurtful Like the first eyebrows insensitively raised at my choice...If my email is any indicator, I think there probably are. I imagine these folks go to the coffee shop and when they are greeted with "Good morning," respond, "it's not a good morning for me! I have to go to the dentist and I have traumatic … [Read more...]

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Gay Outreach and the Stumble into Pastoral Love

In this recent post, I wrote that in welcoming homosexual-headed families into our parish, we would have to teach not only the full catechism but also, "the even-greater catechism of transcendent love."Reader Glenda S. wrote asking me what that meant, exactly. I meant that the catechism gives us the rules and the teachings; the willingness to dare loving all that does not conform to the text, though, can instruct us on how to really live the teachings, beyond simply "following the rules". … [Read more...]

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8 Things Catholics can “Do” to “Fix” Things

I really appreciated this piece by Father Robert Barron, which looks at past challenges of the church, in light of the Obergefell decision legalizing gay marriage.His piece, along with many other headlines and blogposts I'll link to below, got me thinking, and -- as Father Barron would say -- "here's the thing...":My email is full of people wringing their hands and fretting -- really fretting -- "how do we fix this? What to do, what to do, what to do?"What do people mean, when they … [Read more...]

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Fr. Robert Barron on Gay Marriage: “We’re still standing…”

I know many are feeling rather knocked about by recent events, most particularly by the Supreme Court's unsurprising decision in favor of gay marriage. Here is Father Robert Barron's take:Just last week, I had the privilege of spending four hours in the Sistine Chapel with my Word on Fire team. Toward the end of our filming, the director of the Vatican Museums, who had accompanied us throughout the process, asked whether I wanted to see the “Room of Tears.” This is the little antechamber, jus … [Read more...]

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Gay Marriage and What We’ve Been Saying

This past week I got to spend some time with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, the Catholic sister who takes in girls who have been brainwashed, made to kill, been held captive, raped and left to raise the resulting children on their own. She teaches them skills, and helps them to become self-sufficient. As I watched a short documentary about Sister Rosemary and heard these girls talking about what they have been through, I couldn't help but to think how, in comfortable America, we're busy carrying on … [Read more...]

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