NPR’s really good piece on the LCWR Story

Every time I think I've had it with NPR, they surprise me -- they pull me back from the ledge with something really good. This time, it's a three-way interview on the LCWR story with Journalist John Allen, Christendom College's Donna Bethell and Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK. All three are considerably more thoughtful and balanced on the issue than some print-media reports and Catholic analysts would suggest.Give it a listen or read the text. It's good stuff. … [Read more...]

Benedict at 85: a Cloister Unto Himself

benedict springflowers

Today is the 85 birthday of our dear Pope Benedict XVI, and he speaks very plainly to the day:“I find myself on the last stretch of my journey in life, and I don’t know what is awaiting me.”“I know, however, that the light of God exists, that he is risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness and that God’s goodness is stronger than any evil in this world, and this helps me go forward with certainty."In a few days we'll celebrate the 7th anniversary of his pontificate. I canno … [Read more...]

The Battle of the Blessings: Just a Warm Up

Flowers Before His Majesty via Crescat2

Deacon Greg Kandra is an old-school newsman; his decades at CBS News has honed his ability to sniff out a story -- particularly a human-interest story sure to tug at the heart strings or impart a universal lesson -- that someone else (like me) would pass over with a sigh (if the story is sweet) or an eyeroll (if it is sour).The deacon hates confrontations; if he had his druthers, he'd live on a straight path between Disney World and Rome -- between innocence and glory -- and never mind the … [Read more...]

In Cuba, being too pretty can land you in jail – UPDATE

Laura is in her 30s, stunningly beautiful, and not yet married (although she would like to be). To reward her hard work, she once won tickets from her employer to go to a night club with live music. Such clubs are frequented by tourists to Cuba, but the entrance fees are out of the reach of most Cubans, even those like Laura with good jobs. When leaving the club, Laura’s beauty caught the attention of the police, who accused her of having gone to that club to work as a prostitute for f … [Read more...]

Ecce Homo, Christ’s Church and Homosexuality – UPDATE

Jesus Mocked by Phillipe de Champaigne

My column at First Things this week did not start out addressing the coming, unstoppable and necessary confrontation between the church and the homosexual community, but then I read about Cardinal Christoph Schönborn's decision to support a gay member of a parish council over the priest who wished to unseat him, and Edward Peter's sensible response. With Ross Douthat's excellent, must-read book, Bad Religion; How We Became a Nation of Heretics swirling in my head, the column simply bent to a … [Read more...]

A GREAT Communion Gift!

friendship with jesus

It's almost time for all the little girls in white and the little boys in blue (or white) to make their First Holy Communion, and every year I get folks writing me asking, "what is a good gift?" The kids usually get rosaries and prayerbooks in their "Communion Kits" so, what else is good?This. This is goodAmy Welborn Dubruiel and Ann Kissane Engelhart collaborated on this charming, delightfully illustrated chronicle of a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI (who has often discusses his … [Read more...]

Obamacare, “and then what”? – UPDATED

hawthorne OP

We had a busy weekend, and I barely was able to keep up with the headlines, but I did read a little about the Obamacare arguments before the SCOTUS. I also heard about former Vice-President Dick Cheney's heart transplant, and some of the less-than charitable, often outright hateful remarks emanating from the left. The most interesting of those, I think, are the ones instantly re-embracing the "constitution-shredding" and "war criminal" narratives of 2001-2008 without the merest acknowledgment … [Read more...]

Viva Cristo Rey!

Miguel Pro

This film, based on a true story, looks terrific!I admit that, like many Americans, my understanding of the Cristero War is pretty sketchy. I know about the martyrdom of the Jesuit priest Miguel Pro (how many great martyrs have been Jesuits!) and I had heard of Bl. Jose Sanches del Rio, and I know that these Catholic sisters were founded by a brave and determined Mexican woman, and that they still sing "Viva Cristo Rey!" But honestly, that's about all I know.Over at Hot Air, Ed … [Read more...]

“Thank Yourself, Catholic Charities Runs It”

The lie that the church "hates" women and wants to keep them down is an an old one and a lazy one and a convenient one, and -- unsurprisingly, it's the lie the media and folks with an agenda will run with. Reality, of course, is quite different and can't be explained in a slogan or with a bumper sticker:The hundred-or-so inhabitants were all ecstatic over the new [Catholic Relief Services supplied] well . . . but the happiest, the leader told me, through the translator, were the little … [Read more...]

Unreal Hotel in Too-Real World

hotel-620x320

Anthony Esolen has an absolute must-read over at Crisis Magazine.Many are the strange things going on in the Unreal Hotel.In Room 101, a man and woman are lying together, and in more ways than one.In Room 102, it is a man and a man.In Room 103, a fellow named George, who has grown weary of his life, is meeting surreptitiously with his physician, Dr. Felix, to determine what will be the best medicine for him to take to bring his days to an appropriate end.In Room 104, two … [Read more...]


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