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NEW ADVENT: Home

The largest Catholic website in the world Besides hosting the Summa Theologica and the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, this site offers a Catholic FAQ, selected writings by the Fathers of the Church, and official Church documents, mostly papal, from approximately the last 250 years.



This is chilling: Watch “the Last Downer” hear how much money he “costs society”...  

Recently Iceland boasted that it had all-but "eliminated" Down syndrome in that country, not through scientific research, but through death. As actress Patricia Heaton writes, "They're just killing everyone who has it". Exactly. Remember the words of Granny Weatherwax: Sin starts by treating people as things. In this case...

2017-12-16 14:59:59
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Our Lady of the New Advent, dawn of the New Jerusalem, pray for us...  

In the Denver Archdiocese today, Dec. 16, is the feast of Our Lady of the New Advent. The icon was created 22 years ago by Jesuit Father William Hart McNichols for the archdiocese at the request of then-archbishop, now Cardinal J. Francis Stafford. Father McNichols, 64, is the son of former Colorado Gov. Stephen and Marjory McNichols...

2017-12-16 12:40:43
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Inside China's vast (and ominous) new experiment in social ranking...  

In 2015, when Lazarus Liu moved home to China after studying logistics in the United Kingdom for three years, he quickly noticed that something had changed: Everyone paid for everything with their phones. At McDonald's, the convenience store, even at mom-and-pop restaurants, his friends in Shanghai used mobile payments. Cash, Liu could see...

2017-12-16 12:40:34
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Watch: Benedictine College put out a great Christmas video this year...  

For its Christmas video (watch it above, or here), Benedictine College created an evocative presentation of the Christmas story starring familiar faces on campus. Joseph is played by Father Simon Baker OSB, the college's chaplain, and Mary is played by Sister Joan Kolbe Kjerstad MS, a sophomore pursuing a nursing degree. The college chose consecrated people to play the roles of Joseph and Mary to highlight the special commitment of the Blessed Virgin Mary and "her most chaste spouse...

2017-12-16 12:24:18
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What's the thinnest crescent Moon you can possibly see?  

When it comes to seeing a young lunar crescent, my personal best is a 21.5-hour-old Moon. That's a far cry from the record, but what a sight. The Moon was fine china, so fragile you might crack it with the slightest touch. Crater shadows took little bites out of the delicate lunar arc, adding to the exquisite view. This December and in the coming months...

2017-12-16 08:44:57
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How Advent music can prepare you for Christmas...  

Until very recently, Christmas lasted not just one or 12 days. Instead, it stretched over a 40-day period called Christmastide, ending at Candlemas, Feb. 2. To correspond with this, in France, there was something called "St. Martin's Lent." It began on Nov. 11, the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, and the purpose was so the penitential season of Advent could itself stretch to 40 days...

2017-12-16 08:04:31
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I yelled, then repented. Here's how my kids responded.....  

In our home we repent. Every night. We ask God to enlighten our conscience, we pause, and then there's a moment where someone can say, "I did such and such today to you, will you forgive me?" The answer is not, "its ok," but, "I forgive you." This daily act of humility doesn't always go well, but by and large it does...

2017-12-16 07:59:02
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When your acts of mercy are rejected by the recipient, they can become even more spiritually powerful...  

This article concerns working with the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill and addicts. If your experience of this kind of ministry is limited to the occasional conference talk on social justice in an air-conditioned building, bolstered by small group discussions followed by a tasty lunch, you won't appreciate it. If you have hands-on experience with the above-mentioned population...

2017-12-16 07:36:06
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Australian probe into child abuse attacks celibacy, seal of confession...  

An Australian inquiry into child abuse on Friday recommended that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional. Australia's Royal Commission into Institution Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its final 17-volume report and 189 recommendations following a wide-ranging investigation...

2017-12-16 05:44:39
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Sweet, beautiful, soul-saving joy: A homily for the Third Sunday of Advent...  

This Sunday is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, based on the Introit for the day: Gaudete in Domino semper, iterum dico, Gaudete (Phil 4:4) (Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice). Today, this theme is developed most fully in the 2nd reading, which is from 1 Thessalonians. It also begins with the salutation and imperative...

2017-12-16 05:22:08
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Listen to what Darth Vader sounded like on the Star Wars set (and be glad they found James Earl Jones)...  

The voice of Darth Vader, provided by James Earl Jones, is one of the most iconic aspects of the original Star Wars movies. But James Earl Jones wasn't the actor wearing that outfit—it was British actor David Prowse, who was cast in part because he was huge (reportedly 6'5" and a former body-building champion).

2017-12-16 04:44:53
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This is the season of prayer and witness...  

Advent is a wonderful time of year. It's that special season when families huddle together around the TV (or alone, on their various devices) to watch hundreds of greed-inspiring ads and listen to Xmas carols with rewritten lyrics that sell lottery tickets, and cars, and smartphones. That's Option A. Option B is this: We can make Advent 2017 something much deeper and much better...

2017-12-16 04:29:33
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Why keep the holy days hidden?  

You might well think the parish didn't want anyone to come to Mass for the Immaculate Conception. I was looking for the Mass times on the parish's website, because I was away from home and had to go to a parish not our own. I googled the nearest Catholic church. Its website's front page included a prominent table with the Mass times for Christmas and New Year's weekend...

2017-12-16 03:30:11
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In this ancient Iranian town, the roads are built on the rooftops...  

Nestled into the steep slope of a mountain, this remarkable thousand-year-old village in northern Iran has evolved an unusual approach to open space: its rooftops double as public lanes and gathering places.

2017-12-16 03:19:58
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Prompted perhaps by the Archbishop Sheen kerfuffle, Vatican updates rules for relics in the process of canonization...  

The instructions explicitly rule out selling the hair strands, hands, teeth and other body parts of saints that often fetch high prices in online auctions. They also prohibit the use of relics in sacrilegious rituals and warn that the church may have to obtain consent from surviving family members before unearthing the remains of candidates for sainthood...

2017-12-16 01:19:24
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How to do the Advent Novena, and do it well...  

Catholics who wish to celebrate Advent as a time to prepare spiritually for Christmas often find themselves at a loss about how to do it. After setting up an Advent wreath and singing a couple of stanzas from "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," what is one supposed to do? In order to help fill that void, during the past couple of years I've been making available to our readers the Advent novena that I grew up with as a child in Colombia...

2017-12-16 01:08:32
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These two new books will help you swim in our culture's troubled waters...  

We're navigating through a true rock and a hard place right now: moral relativism and the oversaturation of technology. In fact, they are related. Moral relativism leaves us without a compass to discern the proper use of technology. And technological oversaturation leads to a decreased ability to think clearly about what matters most and how to achieve it...

2017-12-16 01:06:19
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There's nothing less cool than a 'cool dad'...  

I know it's not cool. I know that a large majority of parenting experts posit that your child's self esteem is paramount. But may I suggest that "no" is the most important and powerful word a parent can say. May I suggest that trying to be the cool parent might give your child another friend when what they need is an uncool parent...

2017-12-15 12:16:37
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Ahead of tax vote and amid retirement rumors, Paul Ryan meets with Cardinal Dolan...  

As Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pushes for a massive tax overhaul and shoots down rumors that he is eyeing retirement after next year's midterm elections, America learned that he recently spent time in New York with an old friend: Cardinal Timothy Dolan. The speaker and his family attended morning Mass at Saint Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday and afterward...

2017-12-15 11:34:25
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A review of 'Star Wars: Episode VIII—The Last Jedi'...  

Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi is a strange beast: a swashbuckling action movie that is deeply skeptical of derring-do; a middle movie that works better as riff and commentary on the original source material than as a sequel to its immediate predecessor. The Star Wars films have always been two things, not always successfully...

2017-12-15 10:17:12
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10 odd facts about Handel's 'Messiah'...  

While Handel's Messiah is, for many, an annual Advent spectacle—certainly orchestras and choirs across the country and abroad are delivering right now—in the Classical Girl household, the 1741 oratorio gets pulled out during Triduum, that three-day sacred period commencing with Holy Thursday and culminating with Easter. Hearing that famed Hallelujah chorus early on Easter Sunday...

2017-12-15 06:16:59
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10 ways to stop gossip...  

Have you ever really stopped to consider how ugly gossip is? Working in school, family and parish life you experience time and again how colossally stupid, destructive and therefore sinful gossip can be. The reason gossip is stupid is because it almost invariably deals in half-truths. A person gets one side of the story and one portion of the truth...

2017-12-15 05:47:57
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Angered by Christmas carols, Hindu activists in India beat eight priests, torch car...  

Hindu activists have beaten eight priests and torched their vehicle outside a central Indian police station. The assault victims had been attempting to assist 30 seminarians and two priests arrested on Dec. 14 for allegedly trying to convert non-Christians. Trouble started when the group from St. Ephrem's Theological College in Satna town of Madhaya Pradesh state went to a local village to sing Christmas carols...

2017-12-15 03:12:28
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Bishops joust over contested choice as shepherd of Nigerian diocese...  

After a period of relative calm, an almost unprecedented crisis in the Nigerian diocese of Ahiara, which has been without a bishop for seven years as priests and laity refuse to accept the new leader appointed by Pope Benedict XVI and backed by Pope Francis, is heating up again as a Nigerian prelate has broken ranks and publicly endorsed the resistance...

2017-12-15 03:09:04
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When Bob Dylan found Jesus—and why it still matters...  

To understand the cultural moment that is preserved in the new boxed set of collected live performances and outtakes from Bob Dylan's gospel years, "Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series, Volume 13, 1979-1981," it is helpful to recall a comment by the folksinger Phil Ochs, who was close to Dylan early in his career. Ochs said in 1970...

2017-12-15 03:06:48
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Which is better, Applebee's or Cracker Barrel? A ranking of America's 10 most popular chain restaurants.....  

People love to pick on chain restaurants. Like used car salesmen, they're easy targets. The uniformity and ubiquity of many corporate mass feeders seem to go against a culture increasingly bent on personal customization. Indeed, it's been a rough past few years for casual chains, whose customer base has been dropping. But some of their presumed negatives are also part of their appeal...

2017-12-14 20:25:20
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The Pope's Amoris Laetitia guidelines have been upgraded...  

The latest clarification of the proper interpretation of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) raises new questions, with perhaps unexpected answers. In September 2016, the bishops of the Buenos Aires pastoral region released guidelines for the interpretation of Chapter VIII of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, which addresses the situation of those in a sacramental marriage but living in conjugal union with someone else...

2017-12-14 12:47:23
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30 cities around the world that no longer exist...  

An old Norwegian legend tells of a village that was left utterly depopulated by the Black Death, forgotten, and soon overgrown by moss and trees. Years later, a hunter missed a shot and his arrow hit the bell of what is now known as Hedal Stave Church, rediscovering this abandoned village.

2017-12-14 12:14:30
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A Catholic's guide to Star Wars...  

These words flash in blue across the screen, and the epic John Williams score echoes, almost instinctively, in the mind of any Star Wars fan. Come Dec. 15, these words will appear once more in theaters all around the world as the hugely anticipated next entry in the revered Star Wars series, The Last Jedi, is finally released. A grueling two-year wait since 2015's The Force Awakens has left Star Wars fans both casual and die-hard speculating about what shocking revelations The Last Jedi will b...

2017-12-14 12:11:19
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Within the Lord's prayer is this mysterious word...  

Pope Francis recently made news by indicating a preference for translating the phrase "lead us not into temptation" as "do not let us fall into temptation." He did not say that the English rendering should be changed, only that He was supportive of a recent similar change made to the French translation. I have written on that issue here...

2017-12-14 12:07:57
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Twelve Ways to Christmas...  

If Christmas is anything, it is a revolution of the heart against the tit-for-tat of this world, against the demands of this world for balancing the scales and righting every wrong with a hard justice. Ultimately, if this world is saved, it will be mercy not justice that saves it...

2017-12-14 11:44:09
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Peruvian prosecutor requests jail for founder of Sodalitium Christianae Vitae...  

Criminal prosecutors in Peru have requested that Luis Fernando Figari be incarcerated by a court order, while he is investigated for charges of psychological and sexual abuse. Figari is the founder of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, a religious community of men, and the Marian Community of Reconciliation, a community of women...

2017-12-14 10:33:42
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As an ex-gay cradle Catholic, I know the devastation that awaits those who follow Fr. James Martin...  

Father James Martin, SJ, has attracted a national following by calling for the Catholic church to apologize to the LGBT community. He claims to support the Church's traditional, biblical teachings on sexuality, but also hints broadly that on gay issues the official teachings haven't been "received." I'd like to offer Father Martin my own reflections...

2017-12-14 10:03:58
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Whether Francis is a 'reform pope' depends on whom you ask...  

"Reform" is one of those notoriously ambiguous words - in the same category with hope, change, progress, and improvement - which everyone professes to support, but which no one defines in quite the same way. Thus, the question of whether or not Francis is a "Reform Pope" will depend largely on what you mean by the term. Many observers are convinced that Francis is a quintessential reformer; Crux contributor Austen Ivereigh...

2017-12-14 06:23:35
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Top 10 Christmas gifts for men...  

very year I assemble a Top 10 Manly Gifts for Your Husband, Father, or Man in your Life. It's immensely popular and throughout the year I meet men all over the country who say to me: "Hey thanks for recommending X on your list, 'Top 10 Manly Christmas gifts'. My wife got it for me and I love it."

2017-12-14 05:09:05
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Fewer Americans believe biblical account of birth of Jesus depicts actual events, Pew survey finds...  

As long-simmering debates continue over how American society should commemorate the Christmas holiday, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most U.S. adults believe the religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less now than in the past - even as relatively few Americans are bothered by this trend. In addition, a declining majority says religious displays such as nativity scenes should be allowed on government property...

2017-12-14 03:50:31
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Concerning Jerusalem, Donald Trump, Arab Christian anger and, yes, American evangelicals...  

Trust me when I say that I understand why so many Christians in the ancient churches of the Middle East are frustrated with America, and American evangelicals in particular, when it comes to the complex and painful status of Jerusalem. As I have mentioned several times here at GetReligion, when I converted to Eastern Orthodoxy two decades ago my family became part of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese - which is closely tied to the ancient Orthodox flock based in Damascus...

2017-12-14 02:29:17
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Trump plan to move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem pleases U.S. evangelicals but angers Christians in Middle East...  

Some of the festive cheer was missing this weekend at a public Christmas tree lighting near the site where Christians believe an angel proclaimed Christ's birth to local shepherds.

2017-12-14 01:42:24
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St. Mary Magdalene is an apostle of hope for women...  

Some years ago, a beautiful 80-year-old ailing priest became my friend. He told me to stay in Christ's presence and seek only him, like Mary Magdalene, and he urged me to have confidence and comfort in telling what I've seen with him, sharing his perfect love with everyone. My friend has since gone to the Lord, and every day I think more and more about what he said...

2017-12-14 01:13:56
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7 Catholic books for your Christmas gift list...  

It's been a good year for publishing - at least in the sense of a lot of good books getting published - so here are some for the readers on your Christmas gift list, in addition, of course, to Lessons in Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II, by your scribe. The first is The Light of Christ by Thomas Joseph White...

2017-12-13 09:39:27
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Father Andrew Apostoli, co-founder of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, dead at 75...  

Franciscan Father Andrew Apostoli, EWTN host of Sunday Night Prime and a founder of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, died Wednesday at age 75, after a battle with cancer during the last several months. His death came the morning after the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe who is the patroness of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal...

2017-12-13 08:26:29
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Jupiter's Great Red Spot is 50 times deeper than the oceans of Earth...  

Jupiter's Great Red Spot is one of the solar system's great wonders, a centuries-old storm that is larger than the entire Earth. NASA's Juno spacecraft has been studying the Great Red Spot since July 2017, a part of its mission to learn how largest planet in the solar system formed. The spacecraft has shown us that the enormous storm is deeper than expected and that Jupiter's atmosphere is even more complex than anticipated...

2017-12-13 07:35:29
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How a group of Dominican friars became the Hillbilly Thomists...  

When a group of Dominican friars banded together over a common love for bluegrass and folk music, one of its founding members, Father Austin Litke, came up with a name that was impossible to top: "The Hillbilly Thomists." The phrase comes from Flannery O'Connor, a Southern writer with a lasting love for Thomas Aquinas. O'Connor would read the Dominican saint's Summa theologiae every night before bed...

2017-12-13 06:19:17
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Nothing breaks through melancholy like a baby...  

On Monday of this week, students met with me in the new classroom building (the Augur Building, for now, after Fort Augur) for a coffee hour. The College's Vice-Presidents, the Dean, and the Director of Student Life also attended, and all of us were interested to find out what's been on the students' minds—to address concerns...

2017-12-13 04:09:48
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Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore in Alabama...  

Democrat Doug Jones has pulled off a major upset in Alabama by defeating Republican Roy Moore in Tuesday's special election, Fox News has projected, becoming the first Democrat to win election to the Senate from the deeply conservative state in 25 years.

2017-12-13 04:01:50
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Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus AND with the Catholic Church?  

If there is one phrase which can get the Catholic social media arguments going, it is "a personal relationship with Jesus". One one side there are folks that argue it is a phrase stolen from Evangelical Protestants and is empty of meaning, because it is relativistic. They might also charge that it shuns the communal aspect of Christianity...

2017-12-13 02:50:02
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People who romanticize communism don't really know communism ...  

The young man in the suit crawled through the small window in the back of the cabin in a way that would send him face forward onto the dirt outside. He couldn't be seen talking to the likes of us. We held his legs as he crawled out so he wouldn't fall. It was the summer of 1978, July I think, in a campground outside Moscow...

2017-12-13 02:15:02
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Here are the winners of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest...  

Browse our editors' favorite submissions to the photo contest.

2017-12-13 02:12:36
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Firms reach $7.8 million settlement over allegations of selling fetal tissue...  

Two bioscience companies have reached a $7.785-million settlement with the Orange County district attorney's office over allegations that they illegally sold fetal tissue to companies around the world, prosecutors said Friday. According to the settlement signed Monday, DV Biologics LLC and sister company DaVinci Biosciences LLC...

2017-12-13 01:50:35
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Here are 79 songs for Advent—some nearly 1,700 years old...  

Here are the titles of Advent songs enjoyed by Christians throughout the ages. Some are nearly 1,700 years old. Nearly all can be found on YouTube. If you want to maximize this Advent so that Christ may be born anew in your heart, these songs offer an excellent means by which to do so. Adjuvabit eam, Advent är mörker och kyla...

2017-12-13 01:28:43
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New Seven Wonders in 360: Rio de Janeiro's 'Christ the Redeemer' statue...  

From the New York Times.

2017-12-12 10:49:59
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Evangelical megachurch pastor leads congregation in prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus...  

This is certainly surprising! During a recent Friday night service, a pastor at New Life Church, an evangelical Protestant megachurch in Colorado Springs, CO, reportedly led the congregation in something you wouldn't normally expect: the Sign of the Cross and a prayer of a consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Redditer /u/MarvelDCgoodwithme...

2017-12-12 09:35:53
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The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe...  

If you see a colorful procession in your city or town on Tuesday, it may have to do with a venerated "lady" whose presence is ubiquitous in many Latino communities across the U.S. The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is celebrated on December 12. For Mexicans and Mexican-Americans as well as other Latinos...

2017-12-12 04:06:36
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Little-known facts about 7 North American bishops...  

Growing up, the closest sibling companion of Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky Joseph Kurtz, 71, was his brother, George, who had Down syndrome. Archbishop Kurtz is the son of a Pennsylvania coal miner, and one of five children, but his three older sisters had married and moved out of the house while he was still young. Hence, "Georgie" was his friend and companion while growing up...

2017-12-11 12:26:36
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'Pastoral charity' is the key to the Pope's endorsement of the Buenos Aires bishops' document...  

It was recently made known that Pope Francis's September 5, 2016, letter praising the Guidelines for the Application of Chapter VIII of Amoris laetitia—issued by the Argentine bishops of the Buenos Aires Region—has now been published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Acta or AAS for short), the "Acts of the Apostolic See." Since 1909 the Acta have served as the official instrument for the publication of documents and decisions of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...

2017-12-11 07:26:38
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Papal envoy backtracks on Medjugorje comments...  

Pope Francis's envoy in Medjugorje has backtracked on his recent comments on official visits to the shrine, saying they were "a little exaggerated". Speaking to Aleteia last week, Archbishop Henryk Hoser said: "Today dioceses and other institutions can organize official pilgrimages. It is no longer a problem." He also said: "The devotion of Medjugorje is allowed...

2017-12-11 04:20:41
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Insanity is a lack of judgment, not a lack of brains...  

As a chaplain in a state mental hospital, I quickly learned two things. First, sometimes it was easy to mistake a psychiatrist for one of the patients. Second, and more importantly, the mentally ill can be highly intelligent. If one begins with an illogical premise, one may convincingly make a fallacy seem cogent. An unfortunate man in a locked ward who thinks he is Napoleon Bonaparte can almost convince a visitor that he is there because he lost the battle of Waterloo...

2017-12-11 04:05:17
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Why would a Saudi prince pay $450 million for a painting of Christ?  

The news that the buyer of Salvator Mundi, the most expensive painting ever sold, is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, known catchily as MBS, comes as something as a revelation. The painting is destined to hang in the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Most commentators have seen this as a part of the rivalry between the United Arab Emirates (which are allied to Saudi Arabia) and Qatar...

2017-12-11 02:06:48
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No, Pope Francis is not changing the Lord's Prayer...  

Commenting that a translation can be misleading is not the same thing as mandating a new one. People have grown up with the Lord's Prayer, and changing it is a big deal. The French bishops thought it was worth making a change, but it's up to local episcopal conferences what they want to do in this regard. The New York Times reports...

2017-12-11 01:03:40
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The fire next time: A homily for the Second Sunday of Advent...  

The second reading for Sunday Mass speaks to us of "the fire next time" and reminds us of the need to be ready for the coming of the Lord. In this homily I will focus on that reading, in which St. Peter reminds us of the passing that will come for us all one day. Because Advent is a time to prepare, through prayer and repentance...

2017-12-10 09:17:23
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Amid embassy furor, Vatican cautions against 'new cycle of violence'...  

Once again expressing its alarm over U.S. President Donald Trump's relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a decision that has provoked violent clashes across the Middle East, the Vatican on Sunday called for "wisdom and prudence" and affirmed "the essential need for respecting the status quo." Trump made the embassy announcement last Wednesday...

2017-12-10 06:50:03
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Pope's Sunday Angelus: 'Advent is the time to recognize the voids in our life'...  

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

2017-12-10 06:33:22
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Why I oppose changing the English translation of the Our Father...  

Recent remarks by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, cast doubt on the traditional English rendering of the Lord's Prayer. To be fair to the Pope, reports that he is calling for the Our Father to be changed are incorrect. He did not propose any change to the Greek text. What he did say, in a recent interview with an Italian Catholic television network...

2017-12-10 03:55:03
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Surrogacy is not truly pro-life...  

On Thursday, Arizona Republican congressman Trent Franks announced he would resign in the face of an ethics investigation, after having asked women on his staff to be gestational surrogates for him and his wife, who had been struggling with infertility. In his statement, he described the surrogacy approach they ultimately did take as "pro-life...

2017-12-10 01:09:35
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Masterpiece Cakeshop arguments suggest Kennedy again holds key SCOTUS vote...  

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to determine if the legal rights of married same-sex couples can be balanced with the constitutional protections of freedom of religion and speech guaranteed to people of faith who cannot accept same-sex "marriage" on moral and religious grounds. But whether the high court issues another landmark ruling...

2017-12-09 08:30:48
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Masterpiece Cakeshop waiting game: Are the bakers of all 'offensive' cakes created equal?  

It probably comes as no surprise that this week's "Crossroads" podcast (click here to tune that in) focused on key ingredients in the Masterpiece Cakeshop debates at the U.S. Supreme Court. This is one case in which it really helps to spend time reading the transcript (click here for the .pdf). I loved Julia Duin's description of these court arguments...

2017-12-09 07:14:34
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'Crown jewel' mosaic of National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception blessed in DC...  

With the blessing of its final mosaic, America's Basilica - The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. - is finally complete after nearly a century of construction and adornment. "This magnificent tribute in stone, glass, marble mosaic to Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of God and our Mother, invites all of us to recognize not only the special role of Mary in our life but the unique glory that is hers in her Immaculate Conception...

2017-12-09 05:52:26
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What it's like to sightsee over Antarctica in a chartered Qantas 747...  

Captain Greg Fitzgerald is no ordinary Qantas pilot. And this is no ordinary flight. The veteran 747 captain is one of only four Qantas pilots qualified to captain the airline's most unusual flight route - a 13-hour jaunt to Antarctica and back. Tour company Antarctica Flights charters a Qantas jumbo jet a few times a year to take tourists on a sightseeing tour of the world's coldest...

2017-12-08 21:44:45
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Will the Temple of Jerusalem ever be rebuilt?  

Jesus prophesied that the Jerusalem temple would be destroyed within a generation, and it was. Jewish rebels began a war against the Romans in A.D. 66, and four years later the temple lay in ruins. Will it ever be rebuilt? Many Jews and Christians think so, even claiming that this must happen in order for certain prophecies to be fulfilled...

2017-12-08 21:31:44
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How to respond when you meet suffering...  

In 2005 while undergoing chemotherapy, I was sitting in an uncomfortable recliner on the sixth floor of the medical facility. An IV dripped poison into my veins that would simultaneously cure me of the cancer in my body, and wreak havoc on it, sending waves of nausea, chills, malaise. The concoction did not discriminate between healthy and cancer cells...

2017-12-08 20:32:58
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Chicago parish going 'Ad Orientem' for Advent...  

St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Chicago, under the care of the Congregation of the Resurrection, is returning to the historical custom of the Church and facing East for the Advent and Christmas season. The pastor, Fr Anthony Bus C.R., posted this very nice explanation for the change on the parish's Facebook page, which we reproduce here with permission...

2017-12-08 19:38:35
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12 

Every story needs a magician...  

Every good fantasy story needs a magician. Dorothy encounters the Wizard of Oz. Frodo travels with Gandalf, Harry Potter has his Dumbledore and Arthur his Merlin. A magus is a wise man, a shaman or a master of the ancient lore. The word "magician" comes from the Persian "magus" the name of the venerable sect of occult, astrologically adept wizards who were Nebuchadnezzar's necromancers and Cyrus' stargazers...

2017-12-08 19:35:20
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18 

The reality of Christ is a lot to take in...  

As I watched Jackie Kennedy lead the funeral procession of her slain husband in 1963, I asked my mother why this beautiful young widow was wearing a veil over her face. My mother told me it was to hide the grim effects of grief from the cameras. At Mass, still very young, I noticed that some people would return to their pews after receiving Holy Communion...

2017-12-08 19:33:07
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14 

What will heal our brutalized public discourse? A return to magnanimity.....  

The advent of the Internet brought with it high hopes for the creation of a great "online community," where everyone would be given an equal voice, and where informed political, religious, and cultural discourse would take place in a spirit of patient civility, careful consideration, and shared learning. Here at last the democratic dream would be realized...

2017-12-08 19:10:05
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1 

The blame game and the Immaculate Conception...  

The Immaculate Conception reminds us of the original problem with original sin: blaming others. When things go wrong the first thing we do is blame others. God: "Adam, did you eat the fruit?" Adam: "Eve gave it to me." God: "Okay. Eve, did you eat the fruit?" Eve: "The devil made me do it." This is what I encounter time and again in dealing with people (including myself)...

2017-12-08 18:42:03
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11 

St. Francis Xavier's arm gets its own plane seat for tour of Canada...  

St Francis Xavier's severed right forearm and hand will embark on a month-long tour of Canada in the New Year. The relic, which is usually displayed in a side-chapel in the Gesù church in Rome, will travel to Ottawa on January 3 before touring 14 cities across the country. Speaking on CBC Radio, Angèle Regnier, the co-founder of Ottawa's Catholic Christian Outreach...

2017-12-08 17:51:53
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10 

Supreme Court hears oral argument in landmark Masterpiece Cakeshop case...  

Whether applying Colorado's public accommodations law to compel the petitioner to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.

2017-12-08 17:03:54
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9 

Listen: “Blessed Flesh of the Virgin Mary”...  

Editor's Note: Beata Viscera Marie Virginis ("Blessed Flesh of the Virgin Mary") is a piece intended for the Communion section of a Mass honoring the Blessed Mother of God. This setting is a monophonic (one-voice) "conductus," a musical form that gained in popularity during the lifetime of the medieval church composer Perotin...

2017-12-08 14:19:39
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9 

Jesus and the Canaanite woman...  

Last time, we saw that the Church to which Matthew writes has been grappling for decades with the question of the relationship of Jew and Gentile in the early Church, particularly in the Holy Land where Jewish ethnocentrism encouraged the idea that Jewish believers sit in first class while Gentile believers are second class and the proposition that "in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek" is regarded with hostility and skepticism...

2017-12-08 13:47:06
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16 

10 quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception...  

Today, in the Catholic Church, we celebrate one of the great solemnities associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary - the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This doctrine was declared dogmatic on December 8, 1854, by Blessed Pope Pius IX through an ex cathedra statement. For a full explanation of this dogma, I would encourage you to read my article...

2017-12-08 13:29:34
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14 

Why the Catholic Church resists key aspects of the women's movement...  

It does not take much thought to come up with the names of a half-dozen of political heroes whose sexual adventuring has been quietly ignored so that their marble memorials need not be torn down because of their exploitation of others and the hurt visited upon families who need fathers - no matter how bad they may be as husbands...

2017-12-08 12:36:23
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9 

Jesus and the Canaanite woman...  

Last time, we saw that the Church to which Matthew writes has been grappling for decades with the question of the relationship of Jew and Gentile in the early Church, particularly in the Holy Land where Jewish ethnocentrism encouraged the idea that Jewish believers sit in first class while Gentile believers are second class and the proposition that "in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek" is regarded with hostility and skepticism...

2017-12-08 12:23:20
`
13 

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: “The Word of God was her secret”...  

On Friday's Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis offered his own 'beauty secret' - with Mary as model - saying beauty does not come from age or appearance, but from living a virtuous life rooted in scripture. The Blessed Virgin Mary, though a simple and humble person, "lived a beautiful life," the Pope said Dec...

2017-12-08 12:20:02
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8 

Planned Parenthood under investigation by Justice Department over sale of fetal tissue...  

The Justice Department has launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices and the sale of fetal tissue. In a letter first obtained by Fox News, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd formally requested unredacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the same panel that led the congressional probe into the women's health organization...

2017-12-08 11:35:24
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11 

12 gift ideas for priests, nuns and religious...  

It's hard to buy something for a person who has everything. It is even more difficult to buy something for someone who takes a vow of poverty. What on earth do you buy for someone who has very few earthly possessions? Believe me, if you can think of a possible gift, it has already been thought of, and chances are the person you want to get a gift for has received that gift not once but many...

2017-12-08 11:34:22
`
14 

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: “The Word of God was her secret”...  

On Friday's Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis offered his own 'beauty secret' - with Mary as model - saying beauty does not come from age or appearance, but from living a virtuous life rooted in scripture. The Blessed Virgin Mary, though a simple and humble person, "lived a beautiful life," the Pope said Dec...

2017-12-08 10:22:30
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10 

Yes, we really do have that many sex predators...  

Can so many famous men be such creeps? Handsy guys who say creepy things to women, and sometimes to men? Molesters? Rapists? Serial rapists? Does American public life really promote so many predators to power and influence? Yes. More, undoubtedly, than we know or will ever know. A lot, lot more. Even King David King David was one of the good guys...

2017-12-08 10:13:43
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10 

10 Christmas stories every father should read to his children...  

When St. Nick drives his miniature sleigh full of toys drawn by eight tiny reindeer to the snowy housetop, and drops to the sooty hearth below, the paterfamilias is bidden to attend. It is the father who hears "the prancing and pawing of each little hoof," and springs from his bed to stand witness and impart his blessing on the mystical proceedings over his children's stockings...

2017-12-08 10:07:15
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9 

I agree—most Catholic theologians need more training in canon law (at least before they propound on it)...  

I applaud Massimo Faggioli's recognition that "canon law is clearly an important part of the Catholic tradition" and join him in urging that "the curricula of Catholic theologians should include more" canon law. His own Commonweal essay on what he thinks are the canonical implications of the appearance of Pope Francis' letter to the Argentine bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis illustrates several of the ways that non-canonists can stumble over canonical issues while setting those ...

2017-12-08 09:28:09
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17 

Why we should celebrate, not denigrate, the masks of masculinity...  

Though he's been called the greatest combat general of modern times, George S. Patton didn't feel like a natural born leader. In fact, as a boy he was rather sensitive, timid, and mild in disposition, and thought himself deficient in the military virtues. But becoming a courageous, inspiring, tough-as-nails commander was the great desire of his heart...

2017-12-08 09:13:54
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11 

At last, the “Vice-Wuerl” gets the call: Pope taps DC's Knestout for Richmond...  

After months of rumblings over his future, Bishop Barry Knestout can finally breathe easy - expected from very early in the year, the Pope's choice of the 55 year-old vicar-general of Washington as the 13th bishop of Richmond indeed came to pass at Roman Noon yesterday. In the post overseeing the massive 33,000 square mile bulk of Virginia stretching from the Atlantic's Eastern Shore to the Kentucky border - all of it home to some 250...

2017-12-08 08:16:17
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9 

Here's the latest update on Fr. Andrew Apostoli's declining health...  

Since October 2012 Father Andrew Apostoli was a regular welcome guest into our homes on Sunday evenings as he hosted the ever-popular EWTN show, Sunday Night Prime. He always shared such uplifting insights about the faith with us. And he always held us in his prayers. Right now it's time we hold him in our prayers. On Nov. 10...

2017-12-08 08:03:25
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16 

America for the Immaculata...  

When I was learning about Catholicism, as an Anglican in the process of converting, Mary was a sticking point. Yes, of course Jesus's mother was "full of grace," as the angel had said, and therefore worthy of admiration. But why did the Church teach that she was conceived without original sin and received bodily into heaven...

2017-12-08 07:42:30
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13 

5 brief Advent meditations...  

Late autumn and early winter are times of great seasonal change. The leaves turn brilliant colors, then fade and fall. Shadows lengthen as the days grow shorter and colder. Vacations and the warmth of summer are distant memories and we are reminded once again that the things of this world last but a moment and then pass away. Even so...

2017-12-08 07:27:23
`
14 

Jesus is not your trump card...  

On a friend's Facebook page, a commenter launched a long, repetitive, not very coherent rant declaring Purgatory "unbiblical." Along the way he said this: "Paul was a Jew who converted to Christianity, the letters written were to specific churches with specific prejudices. So having been Jewish he no doubt could not shake off all old tradition in his line of thinking...

2017-12-08 07:20:41
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19 

Ex-priest found guilty of murdering Texas woman after confession 57 years ago...  

A former priest was convicted Thursday of the 1960 slaying of a South Texas teacher and one-time beauty queen who was a member of the parish he served. Irene Garza (Delcia Lopez/AP) A Hidalgo County jury deliberated 6 1/2 hours before returning its verdict in the murder trial of 85-year-old John Bernard Feit, after hearing five days of testimony on Irene Garza's strangulation death 57 years ago...

2017-12-08 07:08:44
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9 

23-year-old Jade Banks explains to HuffPost readers why she's becoming a Discalced Carmelite...  

My first memory of meeting an actual nun (as opposed to watching The Flying Nun, played by Sally Field, on TV) was when I was nine years old. My mom and I were in the New York City Port Authority Bus Terminal and she bought me this awesome doll, which I named Janine. (Mind you, this is before "V" came out, otherwise the doll for sure would have been named Julie...

2017-12-08 06:25:18
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11 

Pope Francis says studying Latin can help young people avoid “superficiality, banality, inner emptiness” of our age...  

Pope Francis has praised the teaching of Latin as a means of helping young people reflect "on the inner and intimate essence of the human being". The Pope said the great Latin texts of the early Church could help steer young people away from the superficial obsession of the modern age. Francis urged teachers of Latin to "know how to speak to the hearts of the young...

2017-12-08 06:19:18
`
8 

The blame game and the Immaculate Conception...  

The Immaculate Conception reminds us of the original problem with original sin: blaming others. When things go wrong the first thing we do is blame others. God: "Adam, did you eat the fruit?" Adam: "Eve gave it to me." God: "Okay. Eve, did you eat the fruit?" Eve: "The devil made me do it." This is what I encounter time and again in dealing with people (including myself)...

2017-12-08 05:14:57
`
5 

Pope appoints Washington auxiliary as new Bishop of Richmond...  

On Tuesday the Vatican announced Pope Francis' appointment of Bishop Barry C. Knestout, until now one of three auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Washington, as the next bishop of the Diocese of Richmond. He fills the vacancy left by Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo, who died Aug. 17. In a statement made at the time of the announcement...

2017-12-08 05:11:16
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12 




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