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Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – December 26. 2013

Talking About “The Things That Matter Most” on December 26

COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2013

4:00 - #27 – What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster
Look around you and think for a minute: Is America too crowded? For years, we have been warned about the looming danger of overpopulation: people jostling for space on a planet that’s busting at the seams and running out of oil and food and land and everything else. It’s all bunk. The “population bomb” never exploded. Instead, statistics from around the world make clear that since the 1970s, we’ve been facing exactly the opposite problem: people are having too few babies. Jonathan Last is here to explain why the population implosion happened and how it is remaking culture, the economy, and politics both at home and around the world. Because if America wants to continue to lead the world, we need to have more babies.

4:40 – #26 - Things Continue to Go Downhill With the LCWR
In his first address to representatives of U.S. Catholic sisters since his appointment in April 2012, the archbishop tasked by the Vatican to oversee their leadership group reportedly had little to offer regarding the reason for Vatican concern or how the process goes forward. Leaving last Thursday’s closed-door meeting between Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), several sisters said they felt frustration at the lack of detail given by the prelate nearly 19 months into his mandate. Sartain met Thursday afternoon with some 825 LCWR members, who are representatives of orders of Catholic sisters around the country. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has named the prelate the group’s “apostolic delegate” and given him wide power to revise its statutes and programs. Ann Carey, author of “Sisters in Crisis,” joins us.

5:00 - #25 - The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity
How do we live with our deepest differences? In a world torn by religious conflict, the threats to human dignity are terrifyingly real. Some societies face harsh government repression and brutal sectarian violence, while others are divided by bitter conflicts over religion's place in public life. Is there any hope for living together peacefully? Os Guinness argues that the way forward for the world lies in promoting freedom of religion and belief for people of all faiths and none. He sets out a vision of a civil and cosmopolitan global public square, and how it can be established by championing the freedom of the soul—the inviolable freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In particular he calls for leadership that has the courage to act on behalf of the common good. Far from utopian, this constructive vision charts a course for the future of the world. Soul freedom is not only a shining ideal but a dire necessity and an eminently practical solution to the predicaments of our time. We can indeed maximize freedom and justice and learn to negotiate deep differences in public life. For a world desperate for hope at a critical juncture of human history, here is a way forward, for the good of all

5:40 – #24 - What Are Church Leaders From the Pope to Nuns on the Ground Saying About Possible International Intervention in Syria?
Pope Francis has renewed his call for peace in Syria, urging international leaders to “find a solution to a war that sows destruction and death.” The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said that “the conflict in Syria has all the ingredients to explode into a war of global dimensions.” The Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch emphasized in a joint statement that they are “opposed to any foreign armed intervention in Syria.” Also Pope Francis has called upon all the faithful worldwide to join in a day of prayer and fasting of September 7 for peace in the Middle East, and especially in Syria. We talk with Matthew Bunson about what the Universal Church is saying about military intervention in Syria.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – December 24, 2013

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on December 24

Christmas Eve Special

4:00 – A Dramatic Reading of Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales"
A Child's Christmas in Wales is a prose work by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Originally emerging from a piece written for radio, the poem was recorded by Thomas in 1952. The story is an anecdotal retelling of a Christmas from the view of a young child and is a romanticized version of Christmases past, portraying a nostalgic and simpler time. It is one of Thomas' most popular works. Deal Hudson and Al present their dramatic reading of the piece.

4:20 – Must Watch Christmas Films
Deal Hudson and Al discuss the most memorable, funniest, most touching and most edifying Christmas films of all time. Watch the Kresta Guest Archives after the show for the list!!

5:00 – Must Watch Christmas Films
Deal Hudson and Al discuss the most memorable, funniest, most touching and most edifying Christmas films of all time. Watch the Kresta Guest Archives after the show for the list!!

Merry Christmas from The Popcak Family to Your Family

“What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa Claus has grown larger and larger in my life until he fills almost the whole of it. It happened in this way. As a child I [Read More...]

Don’t Forget to Pack Your Prozac (Fa, la, la, la, la. La, la, la, la). Holiday Hints for Surviving the Homefront

Ah, Christmas. A solemn, joyful time of year for Christians, where silent and holy nights are de rigueur and Norman Rockwell springs eternal in the collective unconscious of the American mind.  And then it happens…. You try–contrary to what conventional wisdom says about the subject–to go home again. Now, let me state right up front [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – December 19, 2013

Talking About the Things That Matter Most on December 19

COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 40 INTERVIEWS OF 2013

#40  --  10 Honorable Mentions
Angela Franks             Contraception and Catholicism                                
Teresa Tomeo             Bucket List                                                     
Michael Coren            The Future of Catholicism                            
Sarah Reinhard           Catholic Apps                                                
Michael Novak           Writing from Left to Right                           
Gary Muchuta             Making Sense of Mary                                              
Mark Shea                  By What Authority?                                      
Conor Gallagher          If Aristotle had an IPod                                            
Elizabeth Scalia           Strange Gods                                                 
Mary Eberstadt          How the West Really Lost God        

4:00  - #39 – Pope Benedict XVI Resigns
It was a shock to the world – even the head of the Vatican Press Office. On Feb. 11 Pope Benedict XVI resigned the office of Pope. It triggered an amazing series of events that, of course, brought us to Pope Francis. That afternoon we compiled some of the great minds and analysts of Church affairs for a roundtable discussion: Matthew Bunson, Jimmy Akin, Ralph Martin and more.

5:00- The Charismatic Renewal, the Pope, and the Church 
When the newly elected Pope Francis appeared at the window before the cheering crowd in St Peter’s Square, and promptly bowed down asking the people to pray for him, most of the public at large was charmed, but puzzled. Pope Benedict too had asked the people to pray for him from the outset, but without the bowed head. To some spectators, however—including the members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and their counterparts in the Protestant and Orthodox worlds—the gesture came as something surprisingly familiar.  In the “charismatic” galaxy, prayer is offered and asked for in this way by people of all levels—specifically, prayer for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We talk to Dr. Mary Healy, head of the Doctrinal Commission of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services

5:40 – Innocence: A Novel

He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen. She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found. But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching. It’s the latest novel from the Catholic bestselling author Dean Koontz who blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever. He joins us.

Prayer Need: Man Sets Himself on Fire in St. Peter’s Square

This morning in St. Peter’s Square, a man doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire.
A Jesuit priest standing nearby attempted to smother the flames with a jacket, before police officers stepped in with fire extinguishers.  The two police officers were successful in extinguishing the flames, but they suffered smoke inhalation and burns to their hands and are now hospitalized for treatment.
The 51-year-old man was treated at a nearby hospital, then transported to a larger one.  He is reported to be suffering from serious burns to his upper body.
In his pocket was a note with his daughter’s contact information; but there has been no explanation for why he set himself afire.
This is not the first time an individual has self-immolated in St. Peter’s Square.  On January 13, 1998, an Italian writer by the name of Alfredo Ormando set himself on fire in the Square to protest the Catholic Church’s opposition to the homosexual lifestyle.  He was rushed to Sant’Eugenio hospital in critical condition, but died eleven days later.

Poverty Sucks! The Pope, Research, and Fatherhood The Pope –Guest Post by Dave McClow.

The following is a guest post by Pastoral Solutions Institute clinical pastoral counseling associate, Dave McClow, MDiv, LCSW, LMFT. The Pope It seems that Pope Francis’ favorite topic is the poor.  His new Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of Evangelism, is not even the latest evidence, because every other homily or statement includes the [Read More...]

Catholic League Supports Archbishop Nienstedt, Seeks Information

Following Archbishop Nienstedt's decision yesterday to step down from his post as Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis during an investigation into a scurrilous allegation of sexual impropriety, Bill Donohue at the Catholic League has published a statement praising the Archbishop, and asking for anyone with information about the case to contact him personally.

Here is the full statement.

December 18, 2013

ARCHBISHOP NIENSTEDT DESERVES JUSTICE

Bill Donohue comments on the decision by Saint Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John C. Nienstedt to temporarily step down:

Archbishop Nienstedt has been the subject of a non-stop crusade orchestrated by ex-Catholics, and Catholics in rebellion against the Church, simply because he stands for everything they are not: he is a loyal son of the Catholic Church.

Now—out of the blue—comes an unidentified male who claims he was touched on his buttocks in 2009 by the archbishop while posing for a group photo. Nienstedt denies the charge, adding that he has never inappropriately touched anyone. Moreover, he has not been told the identity of his accuser.

The Catholic League is asking those who were there to share with us any information they have. Specifically, we are interested in obtaining a tape recording, or set of photos, of any Confirmation ceremony in 2009 where Archbishop Nienstedt was present; presumably, the alleged victim was standing next to the archbishop. Also, we are asking anyone who knows anything about the accuser (someone knows who he is) to come forward.  Please email us at pr@catholicleague.org .

I know of no other leader, religious or secular, who would step down pending an investigation because some guy says he was touched on his behind four years ago in a group photo. It's time the bishops revised their "zero tolerance" policy. Too often, it means zero justice for the accused, thus undermining the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty.

When it comes to "zero tolerance" in the schools, every teachers union, as well as the New York Times, has counseled against it. With good reason: it does not allow for the nuances that color so many cases. The bishops ought to follow suit and junk this policy before it becomes the weapon of choice against them.



The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123
Phone: 212-371-3191
Fax: 212-371-3394

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – December 18, 2013

Talking about the "things that matter most" on December 18

4:00 – Reflections on the Christian Life: How Our Story is
God’s Story
In our hearts, we know that every event in our lives is providential and that each of us plays a critical role in the unfolding of the story God has written. We believe that God's will is anchored deep within our soul, and so too is the desire to know it and to live it. Acclaimed Catholic author Anthony Esolen claims that the story of your life has already been written and can be discovered by considering the life and person of Jesus. Only in God does the world possess meaning, and therefore, only in relation to God, are our lives genuine stories. He is here to discuss his proposition.

5:00 – Kresta Comments

5:20 – Having an Incredible Impact on the Poor This Christmas
In Kenya, the Sacred Mercy Schools are located in the thick of abject poverty, where children beg on the streets and where a generation of parents has been virtually wiped out by AIDS. This is work done “in the trenches” where hunger, illiteracy and despair must be battled by the Catholic Church for hope to prevail. But Cross Catholic International Outreach is there to welcome children off the streets and provide them with a quality education, daily nutritious lunches and a firm grounding in Catholic moral values. Jim Cavnar of is here to talk about their partnership with Ave Maria Radio to provide scholarships for Kenyan children. And other practical ways to serve the poor this Christmas season with their catalogue of need. You select an item on the catalog and that item gets shipped to a poor family in need overseas. Shoes, powdered milk, Catholic children’s books, vitamins, seeds and more. Things we take for granted that they are overjoyed to receive for Christmas.

5:00 – Kresta Comments

Pope Francis Promotes Public Breastfeeding

Back in April, I posted a beautiful picture of, then, Cardinal Bergoglio,  blessing nursing mothers at a mass for newborns.  Yesterday, Pope Francis made a statement of public support for nursing moms and the witness they provide to the Corporal Work of Mercy that is giving food to the hungry.  In response to a question [Read More...]
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