These writers cite a wide range of side effects, from weight gain and irritability to loss of libido and a diminished sense of wellbeing. This week they have been reminded – if they were ever informed – of a more serious reason: a large Danish study has found that hormonal contraception increases the risk of breast cancer by an overall 20 percent.read more
For men, women are the most desirable of all God’s creatures. Not only Adam had this experience, all his male descendants do too, and each has his own ranking of women on the “desirability-from-afar” scale. However, all men also learn (as do women about men) that, up close and real, many high rankings crumble because intrinsic to her desirability is a woman’s goodness. Nobody but the insanely lustful wants a physically beautiful woman who comes with major vices. Which, sadly, brings us to “the modern woman”.read more
Nurture the flame of hope this Advent season as we anticipate the coming of Christ Our Savior. ShutterstockThe liturgical season of Advent is a time of preparation for the great solemnity of Christmas. The name comes from the Latin word adventus, which means a coming or an approach. During Advent the theological virtue of hope is prominent. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit” (No. 1817). The birth of Jesus signals the fulfillment of the hopes of Israel for its Savior. The people of Israel had suffered captivity and persecution, but the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, reveals the tender mercy of God who gives light to “those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow” (Lk 1:79).
This Advent marks the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s great encyclical on hope, Spe Salvi (Nov. 30, 2007). It also follows a yearlong series of catechesis by Pope Francis during his general audiences. Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis see hope as particularly important in a world filled with doubt, destruction and despair.
This special In Focus gives readers the opportunity to journey through each week of Advent by meditating particularly on four different aspects of hope, accompanied by relevant Scripture passages and by the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.read more
The fresco of the Immaculate Conception by Giuseppe Vasconio (early 17th century) in the Basilica of St. Augustine in Rome.Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock.comThe Church’s teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception was defined only after centuries of tense theological debate.It was proclaimed to be dogma — doctrine pertaining to divinely revealed truth, which Catholics are obliged to believe — in 1854. Analyzing the historical roots of this feast aptly demonstrates the dynamic and pragmatic nature of our Church and the development of doctrine.
As with all Church teachings, one must investigate what Scripture says concerning this dogma. But the Bible does not speak of the Immaculate Conception in a direct way. Before the 1854 definition, many had pointed to Luke 1:28, “Hail, full of grace” (RSV), to say that Mary was always filled with grace and thus without sin.
Medieval theology was dominated by conflict regarding Mary’s Immaculate Conception. While the feast had spread in some areas of Western Europe, Rome neither celebrated nor officially recommended it. Since the Vatican did not sanction the feast, many bishops and theologians opposed the doctrine as an “innovation.”read more
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8,2017
God chose Mary the Immaculate Conception to be our “model of holiness” (Preface) in much the same way that DNA plays an integral role in our genetic code: from the inside, not from the outside. At Mary’s conception, a new way of being human happens, and we are “chosen, destined” to share it. Adam and Eve were tricked by the serpent’s “conception.” The yes of Mary at the Annunciation, the culmination of the Immaculate Conception, undoes the disobedience of Eden and makes paradise a possibility once again for us.read more
“By praying, we can constantly see one another in the right perspective, that of God our Father, Whose loving gaze rests on each of us, without preferences or distinctions,” Pope Francis said December 7, 2017, in audience the members of the Presidency of the World Lutheran Foundation.read more
Virtuous alternatives for entertainment can help restore grace
DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) – A billion-dollar publishing company supplying schools is being booted out of Catholic schools for pushing explicit materials to children.
Most parents of school-age children are aware of Scholastic, either through flyers for buying books or through the colorful Scholastic News handouts with lessons on various topics for grades one through six. Their website states that it is read by over six million students each week. Common themes for non-fiction topics are “The Realities of Climate Change” or Islamic issues.
While not all of the materials Scholastic promotes are objectionable, there are many instances where the company promotes LGBTQ themes, sexually explicit materials and coarse language. What is most concerning for parents is that seemingly innocuous books can have these morally objectionable content hidden within it. Scholastic has been caught white-washing the content or omitting mature themes in their descriptions of their books.read more
In the America article, Heaton addresses various issues related to Down syndrome and abortion. For example, she praises charities like “the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, whose mission is to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome and to eradicate the ill effects associated it.”read more
Catholics will also consecrate themselves to Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
MEXICO CITY – (ChurchMilitant.com) – Mexico is planning for a day of atonement in its capital two days before its patronal feast day for Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On December 10, Catholic laity will take part in a “great day of reparation” in Mexico City, imploring God’s forgiveness for sins committed in the country, particularly the sin of abortion. Organized by a number of lay groups, including Mater Filius and the Center for New Age Research (CISNE), the event will take place between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Blue Stadium.
The events planned include the Rosary, the Mass offered by Archbishop Emeritus of Guadalajara, Cdl. Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, and a eucharistic Procession from Insurgentes Avenue to the Parish of the Most Pure Heart of Mary.read more
The priest, Fr. Laurence Soper, taught for decades at St. Benedict’s, an independent school in Ealing, West London.
Allegedly, the physical discipline Soper used in punishing students verged on eroticism, the British judge ruled. The infractions for which the corporal punishments were doled out, according to the prosecuting attorney were often “fake reasons.”
Father Soper left his monastic post as abbot in 2000 and moved to Rome. In 2010, he was arrested in Great Britain but skipped bail and fled to Kosovo, a small impoverished nation in the Balkans, somewhat near to Albania and Macedonia. He lived in Kosovo for six years, having fled there with £182,000 (U.K.). He was brought back by police to face charges in 2016.read more
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