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Build a Marriage that Taps Into God’s Love: The Popcaks on Christopher Close-Up

Toni Rossi interviewed Lisa and I on our new book, Just Married:  The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage.  You can read the whole thing here, but here is a snippet.  We hope you enjoy! “This is a generation that has a real fear about making marriage work, [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – November 12, 2013

Talking About the “Things that Matter Most” on Nov. 12, 2013

LIVE FROM THE USCCB FALL ASSEMBLY IN BALTIMORE, MD

4:00 – USCCB Conference Elects New Leaders – An Overview of the Week
The annual fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is meeting here in Baltimore this week hearing reports from the committees on The New Evangelization: Faith, Worship, Witness, the Committee on Catholic Education, , the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Catholic Relief Services and more. The outgoing President of the body, Cardinal Dolan gave and opening address that stirred some media outlets and a new President and Vice-President have been elected. We talk to Russell Shaw, journalist and former spokesman for the USCCB.

4:20 – Kresta Comments

4:40 – Papal Teaching Warns Against Excessive Government
As we continue to see the disturbing roll-out of Obamacare, Stephen Krasonis here to give us an overview of papal teaching on bloated government. He argues that faithful Catholics should be careful about falling into the trap that government action and new public policies are the ready solution to all social problems. The Church’s social reaching suggests otherwise and, contrary to the prevailing view, in the nature of things government is often not capable of handling them. Dr. Krason makes his case.

5:00 – An Overview of Challenges to Religious Liberty in America
Three chairmen of U.S. bishops’ committees expressed their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) as passed last week by the U.S. Senate. Not because they are for discrimination against gays in the workplace, but because of the many religious liberty problems it creates. They are asking for further language in the bill, but the Senate denied that. We talk with Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore who is head of the USCCB committee on religious liberty.

5:20 – Kresta Comments

5:40 – Vatican outlines plans for ‘urgent’ Synod discussion of family
Pope Francis has decided to devote the next Synod of Bishops to family pastoral issues, setting the stage for a far-ranging discussion that is likely to touch on questions concerning divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitation and annulments. The synod will take place in October of 2014. Last week the Vatican unveiled the preparatory document for the synod which created a lot of misreporting. The document included a series of questions sent to bishops’ conferences throughout the world aimed to solicit information about pastoral practices and public attitudes in different societies. Media outlets reported that the Pope is asking all Catholics to weigh in on whether they want gay “marriage,” the end of annulments, etc. Dr Greg Popcakis here to help us with this story and to answer the questions posed in the preparatory document.

A Perfect Storm: Dr. Scott Stanley Sees A Dark Future for Family Life

University of Denver family researcher, Dr. Scott Stanley, offers a particularly insightful perspective on the co-occurrence of three factors that don’t bode well for the future of the family, and society, as we know it. Although much evidence suggests that we are becoming a better world with increasing prosperity and health, I worry about some [Read More...]

More Proof that Liberal Sex Ed. Doesn’t Work

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the  percentage of American students using condoms hit its peak at around 60% a  decade ago, and has stalled since then, even declining among some demographics.  A recent study released by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada found that nearly 50% of sexually [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – November 11, 2013

Talking About the “Things that Matter Most” on Nov. 11, 2013
 
LIVE FROM THE USCCB FALL ASSEMBLY IN BALTIMORE, MD
 
4:00 – An Overview of Challenges to Religious Liberty in America
Three chairmen of U.S. bishops’ committees expressed their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) as passed last week by the U.S. Senate. Not because they are for discrimination against gays in the workplace, but because of the many religious liberty problems it creates. They are asking for further language in the bill, but the Senate denied that. We talk with Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore who is head of the USCCB committee on religious liberty.
 
4:20 – Kresta Comments
 
4:40 – Lessons for Catholics From Last Week’s Elections
The 2016 overtones were clear in this year’s two most high-profile elections. Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s resounding re-election victory in Democratic-leaning New Jersey sets the opening argument for a possible White House run while Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial victory gives fellow Democrats — if not his confidante Hillary Rodham Clinton, herself — a road map for success in the pivotal presidential swing-voting state. Christie became the first Republican to earn more than 50 percent of the New Jersey vote in a quarter-century. McAuliffe is the first member of the party occupying the White House to become Virginia governor since 1977. Catholic columnist Paul Kengor reads the tealeaves.
 
5:00 – Immigration and Our Nation’s Future
Immigration is a phenomenon America has experienced countless times over the centuries and with each wave of new arrivals to our shores comes a discussion of how we should react. Because what is decided about our immigration laws will have long-lasting material and spiritual consequences, the Bishops of the state of CO decided to write a pastoral letter to emphasize some of the moral principles that should be considered in the discussion. Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver is here with us.
 
5:20 – Kresta Comments
 
5:40 – Papal Teaching Warns Against Excessive Government
As we continue to see the disturbing roll-out of Obamacare, Stephen Krason is here to give us an overview of papal teaching on bloated government. He argues that faithful Catholics should be careful about falling into the trap that government action and new public policies are the ready solution to all social problems. The Church’s social reaching suggests otherwise and, contrary to the prevailing view, in the nature of things government is often not capable of handling them. Dr. Krason makes his case.

Typhoon Haiyan: at least 10,000 reported dead in Philippine province

Estimated death toll soars as path of destruction leaves many parts of Philippines inaccessible to government and aid officials
 
in Manila, and agencies
The Observer,

Typhoon Aftermath: A mother weeps beside her son's body
A mother weeps beside the body of her son at a chapel in the aftermath of Haiyan, in Tacloban, on the eastern island of LeytePhotograph:
 

At least 10,000 people are thought to have died in the central Philippine province of Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, lashed the area, swallowing coastal towns, a senior police official said early on Sunday morning.

About 70-80% of the buildings in the area in the path of Haiyan in Leyte province was destroyed, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria. “We had a meeting last night with the governor and the other officials. The governor said based on their estimate, 10,000 died,” he said.

Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in that city alone “could go up to 10,000″. Tacloban is the provincial capital of Leyte, with a population of more than 200,000. The Philippine Red Cross said in Tacloban bodies had been found “piled up around the roads” and in churches. Between 300 and 400 bodies had been recovered, Lim said.

On Samar island, which faces Tacloban, Leo Dacaynos of the provincial disaster office told Associated Press on Sunday 300 people were confirmed dead in Basey town and another 2,000 were missing.

He said the storm surge caused sea waters to rise 20 feet when the typhoon hit. There were still towns on Samar that had not been reached, he said, and appealed for food and water. Power was knocked out and there was no mobile signal, making communication possible only by radio.

Many corpses hung on tree branches, buildings and sidewalks, Associated Press reported.

Read the rest here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2013/nov/09/super-typhoon-haiyan-philippines-destruction-in-pictures#/?picture=422066277&index=1

The Future of Catholicism

 
By Michael Coren
Saturday, 09 November 2013
Epiphanies aren’t supposed to occur in Chicago hotel rooms. Desert roads, foxholes, emergency wards, yes, but not Chicago hotel rooms. But it was in the Windy City that a different wind blew three years ago, in the form of a telephone call from a senior editor at Random House. I was on a publicity tour for my book Why Catholics Are Right. “Some news about your book,” explained the vehemently non-Catholic publisher, “We’ve had to reprint immediately, it’s on the best-seller list, and could you write another book on the same subject?”
 
Of course I agreed, but the epiphany was the realization that if a book about the Church is approachable and not too pompous, legions of people will be eager to read it. 50,000 so far with the last book, and I can only hope and pray – I’ve four hungry kids! – that the new one does as well.
 
The Future of Catholicism was commissioned specifically to respond to the hysteria that greeted the election of Pope Francis. The moment the conclave ended, numerous journalists approached me for interviews – desperately so, since there are so few Catholics in media in Canada. The questions repeated themselves with a dulling predictability: will the new pope change Church teaching on same-sex marriage; will he ordain women; will he allow abortion and birth control? After the fourth or fifth such interview I responded with, “Yes, and he’s going to become a Muslim too!”
 
A bit of advice: Don’t use satire or sarcasm on a journalist.
 
The premise of the new book is simple: to explain to Catholics and non-Catholics alike where the Church may and perhaps should change, and where it cannot and will not do so. After an introductory essay outlining absolute truth, permanent things, the deposit of faith, and fundamental beliefs and teachings, I devote the first full chapter to same-sex marriage. The reason, of course, is that this is so frequently the subject that is used to attack the Church.

Conservative U.S. Catholics Feel Left Out of the Pope’s Embrace

Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times
Debating a New Pope, Faith and Doctrine: Some American Catholics in the church’s conservative wing say Pope Francis has left them feeling abandoned and deeply unsettled.
 
SMYRNA, Ga. — When Pope Francis was elected in March, Bridget Kurt received a small prayer card with his picture at her church and put it up on her refrigerator at home, next to pictures of her friends and her favorite saints. 
Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday.
                          
She is a regular attender of Mass, a longtime stalwart in her church’s anti-abortion movement and a believer that all the church’s doctrines are true and beautiful and should be obeyed. She loved the last two popes, and keeps a scrapbook with memorabilia from her road trip to Denver in 1993 to see Pope John Paul II at World Youth Day.
      
But Ms. Kurt recently took the Pope Francis prayer card down and threw it away.
“It seems he’s focusing on bringing back the left that’s fallen away, but what about the conservatives?” said Ms. Kurt, a hospice community educator. “Even when it was discouraging working in pro-life, you always felt like Mother Teresa was on your side and the popes were encouraging you. Now I feel kind of thrown under the bus.”
      
In the eight months since he became pope, Francis has won affection worldwide for his humble mien and common touch. His approval numbers are skyrocketing. Even atheists are applauding.
But not everyone is so enchanted. Some Catholics in the church’s conservative wing in the United States say Francis has left them feeling abandoned and deeply unsettled. On the Internet and in conversations among themselves, they despair that after 35 years in which the previous popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, drew clear boundaries between right and wrong, Francis is muddying Catholic doctrine to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

Read the rest here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/us/conservative-us-catholics-feel-left-out-of-the-popes-embrace.html?hp&_r=1&

What Dido did, Satan saw & O’Keeffe painted

How the humanities can come out on top in the education debate

November 2013
The New Criterion

 
 …. When a panelist promised a feminist reading of Wordsworth’s Lucy poems and another raised the common-sense question, “But do those poems really have feminist content?” the speaker could reply, “Your question assumes that the poems are fixed objects to which we must respond ‘properly,’ but as Derrida and Rorty have shown, that is a mystification, and it restricts us from doing the labor of social change.” Whatever change the speaker proceeded to envisage, the disciplinary adjustment was plain: The field had to stand on us, the professors, not on them, the poems, plays, novels.
 
It couldn’t work, of course……
 
A June 22 statement in The New York Times by Vernon Klinkenborg bore the title “The Decline and Fall of the English Major,” while Leon Wieseltier’s 2013 Commencement Address at Brandeis opened, “Has there ever been a moment in American life when the humanities were cherished less, and has there ever been a moment in American life when the humanities were needed more?”
 
The evidence they and others invoked was material, not ideological……
 
These statements and others on how the humanities foster critical thinking, cultivate Information Economy skills, help enact social change, resist utilitarianism in human affairs, etc., may be challenged in one aspect or another, but they are all reasonable and they pop up in education discussions all the time. Their commonplace status, however, shouldn’t obscure the fact that they share an extraordinary characteristic. It is a trait so simple and obvious, and so paradoxical, that one easily overlooks it, especially as these voices so earnestly endorse the humanities. The paradox is this: They affirm, extol, and sanctify the humanities, but they hardly ever mention any specific humanities content. The American Academy report terms the humanities “the keeper of the republic,” but the names Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Bernini, Leonardo, Gibbon, Austen, Beethoven, Monet, Twain, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Martha Graham never surface….
 

Critical schools rise and fall, academic trends shuffle at an accelerating pace, celebrities are made and forgotten, but Hegel’s master-slave sequence, Wordsworth’s “and, oh,/ The difference to me!” O’Keeffe’s blossoms, Parker’s riffs . . . they endure and they impress no matter how much the professors unmask, demystify, politicize, and otherwise play with them. We are far enough removed and in bad enough shape to judge the denial of the greatness and priority of High Art a terrible miscalculation.

Unless the professorate reasserts its subservient role and foregrounds actual genius, all the solemn committee reports and importunate op-eds in the world won’t slow the steady deterioration of the fields.

Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, Aeneas tells Dido the misfortunes of the Trojan city, 1815 


Read the full article here: http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/What-Dido-did–Satan-saw—O-Keeffe-painted—7728

Senior Leader in Legionaries of Christ Resigns

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 5:55 PM


Legionaries of Christ
Fr. Deomar De Guedes.
– Legionaries of Christ

One of the most senior leaders of the Legionaries of Christ has resigned from the order, saying he “did not have the necessary energy to confront the challenges” of his position.
Fr. Deomar De Guedes LC, second general counsellor of the order, submitted his resignation to Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, pontifical delegate of the Legionaries of Christ.

Cardinal De Paolis has been leading a reform of the Legion since revelations of grave abuse and corruption by its founder, Father Marcial Maciel, came to light.

In a statement, the order said Fr. De Guedes “had asked the pontifical delegate to be exclaustrated from the Legion, but Cardinal De Paolis granted him permission to resign “extra domum,” meaning Fr. De Guedes may reside outside of the religious community for one year.”

“The cardinal asked Fr. De Guedes to reevaluate his situation during that year in light of the new superiors who will be elected in the next General Chapter,” the statement added.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/senior-leader-in-legion-of-christ-resigns#ixzz2k70UmIGl

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