Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Today on Kresta - March 30, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 30

4:00 – Congressional Hearings Explore Anti-Muslim Bigotry and Radicalization of American Muslims
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said it wasn’t a response to Republican Rep. Peter King’s comments at a congressional hearing this month on post-Sept. 11 Islamic radicalization and terrorism — but it sure seemed like it. The Illinois Democrat’s hearing yesterday on anti-Muslim bigotry — the first congressional hearing of its kind — was an opportunity for Democrats to present Muslim-Americans in a different light: as a community that is facing growing discrimination and intolerance. Robert Spencer does the analysis.

4:20 – TBA

4:40 – God, the Tsunami and the Problem of Evil
Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti Earthquake, the Indonesia Tsunami, The Japan Tsunami. After all of these tragic events, the question is always raised; "Why does God allow natural disasters?” As we see in Deuteronomy, James and Numbers, God sometimes causes natural disasters as a judgment against sin. So is every natural disaster a punishment from God? Fr. Robert Barron has some answers to these questions and we look at God, Natural Disasters and the problem of evil.

5:00 – What We Can't Not Know: A Guide
In the revised and updated work on natural law, What We Can’t Not Know, J. Budziszewski questions the modern assumption that moral truths are unknowable. With clear and logical arguments he rehabilitates the natural law tradition and restores confidence in a moral code based upon human nature. He explains the rational foundation of what we all really know to be right and wrong and shows how that foundation has been kicked out from under western society. While natural law bridges the chasms that can be caused by religious and philosophical differences, Budziszewski believes that natural law theory has entered a new phase, in which theology will again have pride of place. He is with us.

5:40 - The Napa Institute
The Napa Institute exists to promote excellence in Catholic thought and apologetics. It also seeks to instill a new zeal for Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith in all its participants. To accomplish this, one of the Institute’s key tools is an annual conference designed to help attendees respond to the moral and spiritual challenges posed by America’s emerging “post-Christian” culture. We talk with Institute Chairman Tim Busch about the Institute, the Conference and Ave Maria Radio’s involvement.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Third church attacked as Pakistani extremists declare war over Florida Koran burning

An armed group of seven people attacked the Catholic Church of St. Thomas in the military district of Wah, about 45 km from Islamabad. The attack took place at 6.30 pm yesterday, while the security guard was absent. The extremists hurled stones, damaged the building and tried to set fire to it, but they did not shoot. Yesterday's was the third attack against a church in Pakistan less than a week. The escalation of violence is a result of the mad act - repeatedly condemned by Christians in Pakistan and India – of pastor Wayne Sapp, who last March 20, in Florida burned a copy of the Koran under the supervision of the evangelical preacher Terry Jones.

The caretaker of the church of St. Thomas confirmed that the attack occurred yesterday, at about 6.30 pm, taking advantage of the absence of the security guard. A group of six or seven armed men broke through a small door and started throwing stones at the windows, smashing the small lamps and tried to break the door. The caretaker called the priest and the police, he is currently still in shock and does not intend to make statements.

The extremists were armed, but did not open fire. Unable to break down the door, they tried to set it on fire. The parish priest, Fr Yousaf, rushed to the scene of the attack and tried to reassure the small Christian community. "It's a reaction - the priest told AsiaNews - to the desecration of the Koran in Florida, although the Catholic community has condemned the act. We pointed out clearly that we have no link with the Americans. At the time of the attack there were no guards, the police are present only on Sundays. "

Pastor Tariq Emmanuel, who lives near the church, added that the assailants did not open fire "because it is a high security area" and the military would have reacted immediately in the event of gunfire. "The forces of order – he adds - have asked to install closed circuit security cameras and private guards of the Christian faith", the only available. Christians now "no longer believe the promises of protection" of the police, especially after the murder of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti.

Msgr. Anthony Rufin, Bishop of Islamabad / Rawalpindi, strongly condemns the latest attack on the Christian community of Pakistan and once again distances the church from the burning of the Koran in the United States. "We have already explained – says the prelate - we are Pakistani Christians, not Americans. We have repeatedly reiterated that we should not be equated to the Americans. " He adds that the police "have started to investigate”, but in the past the parish "had not received threats of any kind. "

The bishop of Islamabad points the finger at what he calls the "most troubling" part of the story. "The church of St. Thomas – he points out - is located near a high security zone, which is the only ammunition dump located in Pakistan, and as a result reinforced area. In addition, there are 4 barriers at the entrances of the military district of Wah, which means the assailants did not come from outside. " The prelate calls to take urgent action and anticipates the intention to arrange a meeting with Christian leaders, from the Anglican Church and other Protestant denominations to examine the current situation "of minorities. The young Pakistani Christians, in fact, do not see any reason for hope in the future.

Hundreds protest archbishop’s stand against corporal punishment at school

Garbed in the trademark purple of St. Augustine High School, more than 500 students, parents and other supporters of the 7th Ward institution's use of corporal punishment marched this morning on an Archdiocese of New Orleans office to deliver a message to Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who has called on school officials to abandon the 60-year disciplinary practice.

They posted these demands on the locked door to the Walmsley Avenue office building: Retract statements linking St. Augustine students to violence; be transparent in investigating the punishment policy; and allow respective dialogue on the issue.

The archbishop "is trying to fix something that's not broken, and he's going about it in the wrong way," Jacob Washington, student body president at St. Augustine, said during Saturday's march.

"No parent was ever upset. No student was ever upset. No alum was ever upset," Disciplinarian Sterling Fleury said. "We just want to run our program the way it's been run for the past 60 years.'

Aymond has said corporal punishment institutionalizes violence, runs counter to both Catholic teaching and good educational practice, and violates local archdiocesan school policy. The Josephite trustees, who founded the school, imposed a temporary paddling ban last year, in circumvention of local school board wishes.

In a prepared statement, Aymond held his ground and prayed for a "peaceful resolution" to the dispute. He said another meeting on the matter is planned in the coming week.

"Today's march is another indication of the great passion of the St. Augustine High School community for their school. I share their passion for the school and its success; we disagree only on the issue of corporal punishment," Aymond said in part.

"I am totally committed to continued dialogue with members of the St. Aug community and the Josephites in order to resolve this issue in a spirit of Christian reconciliation," he said.

In a weekly video address to the Catholic community pasted this month to the archdiocese's website, Aymond unveiled an upcoming church initiative to counter the street violence and murder rate in New Orleans, then pivoted to the subject of St. Augustine.

Some viewers said they saw that as an implied linkage between St. Augustine alumni and street crime, and Aymond later apologized for any unintended suggestion that St. Augustine's discipline had anything to do with crime.

The Rev. John Raphael, the president of St. Augustine, has said the issue is not as much about the wooden paddle as about the rights of African-American parents to educate and discipline their children in their own traditions.

"It's not about the paddle, it's about the right to self-govern," Warren Johnson, a 1981 alumnus of St. Augustine, said Saturday.

St. Augustine has been identified by the Center for Effective Discipline as the lone outlier among Catholic schools still embracing corporal punishment.

The best picture of John Paul II according to personal photographer

Cartoon of the Day - Khadafi "No Fly"

Today on Kresta - March 29, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 29

4:00 – Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction
John Fea is here to offer an even-handed primer on whether America was founded to be a Christian nation, as many Christians assert, or a secular state, as others contend. He approaches the question from a historical perspective, helping us see past the emotional rhetoric of today to the recorded facts of our past. People on both sides of the issue will appreciate that this book occupies a middle ground, noting the good points and the less-nuanced arguments of both sides and leading us always back to the primary sources that our shared American history comprises.

4:30 – The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind
Alister McGrath, one of the most prominent theologians and public intellectuals of our day, explains how Christian thinking can and must have a positive role in shaping, nourishing and safeguarding the Christian vision of reality. With this in our grasp, we have the capacity for robust intellectual and cultural engagement, confidently entering the public sphere of ideas where atheism, postmodernism and science come into play. He explores how the great tradition of Christian theological reflection enriches faith. It deepens our appreciation of the gospel's ability to engage with the complexities of the natural world on the one hand and human experience on the other.

5:00 - TBA

5:20 – Authentic Health Care Reform in America
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) has sponsored House Bill 1179 to amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services. Christus Medicus has been advocating this legislation for the last 13 years. Congressman Fortenberry and Mike O’Dea of Christus Medicus join us.

5:40 - Pastoral Letter for Lent / Two New Auxiliary Bishops
We check in today with Archbishop Allen Vigneron of the Archdiocese of Detroit for our monthly discussion. The Archbishop has published a letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese in regards to Lent, focusing specifically on the gift of Divine Mercy and how Pope John Paul II has brought that in a new way to the Church. We also look at the big news for the Archdiocese - the naming of two auxiliary bishops.

Monday, March 28, 2011

US bishops: military intervention in Libya ‘appears to meet’ key just-war standard

Military intervention in Libya, in the judgment of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “appears to meet” the just-cause criterion of Catholic teaching on just war. The USCCB, however, cautioned that it has “refrained from making definitive judgments” in light of “many prudential decisions beyond our expertise.”

“In Catholic teaching the use of force must always be a last resort that serves a just cause,” Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote in a letter to National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church limits just cause to cases in which ‘the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations [is] lasting, grave and certain’ (#2309). The just cause articulated in UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to demand ‘a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians’ appears to meet this criterion in our judgment.”

Bishop Hubbard continued:
Since the protection of civilians is paramount, a key question is: Will the coalition actions stay focused on this limited goal and mission?

In recent years, the Holy See has emphasized the role of international bodies in authorizing humanitarian interventions into sovereign nations. This has been done and international oversight remains important. The United Nations Security Council needs to continue to monitor carefully the mission and the use of force in Libya.

The just war tradition teaches that the use of force must have "serious prospects for success" and "must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated" (Catechism, #2309). Important questions include: How is the use of force protecting the civilian population of Libya? Is the force employed proportionate to the goal of protecting civilians? Is it producing evils graver than the evil it hopes to address? What are the implications of the use of force for the future welfare of the Libyan people and the stability of the region?

In addition, the use of force must be proportionate and discriminant. The justice of a cause does not lessen the moral responsibility to comply with the norms of civilian immunity and proportionality. We recognize serious efforts are being made to avoid directly targeting civilians. In fact, the just cause underlying the use of force is to protect civilians. This moral responsibility leads to continuing questions: Is force being used in ways that protect civilian lives? Are civilian casualties being avoided? Is the destruction of lives and property proportionate to the good being achieved in terms of saving civilian lives?
“Based on longstanding Church teaching and experience, we have offered moral guidance and asked key moral questions,” Bishop Hubbard concluded. “As pastors and teachers, we have refrained from making definitive judgments because the situation on the ground remains complex and involves many prudential decisions beyond our expertise.”

Read the full statement here.

N.Y.'s Archbishop Timothy Dolan on "60 Minutes"

If you missed Archbishop Timothy Dolan's appearance last week on "60 Minutes" - enjoy. True champion of the faith and his ability to teach and hammer home is message while putting anyone he meets at ease is truly amazing.

Abby Johnson Exposes Planned Parenthood

The latest video from ExposePlannedParenthood.com featuring Abby Johnson

Cartoon of the Day - Libya action

Today on Kresta - March 28, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 28

4:00 – Journey with Jesus: Discovering the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius
The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola helped people reconnect with Jesus and with themselves in life-giving ways. It was powerful. Ignatius wanted to help everyone, no matter what age or stage of life, experience Jesus. Through prayers and Scripture readings that largely focus on the life of Christ, the Spiritual Exercises that have been so powerful and growth-inducing for so many can be a tool for transformation in you as well. Larry Warner takes us through how the Spiritual Exercises can be a journey with Jesus.

4:30 – The Bad Catholic's Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins: A Vital Look at Virtue and Vice, With Quizzes and Activities for Saintly Self-Improvement
The latest installment of the Bad Catholic’s Guides examines the greatest threats to the virtuous life—the seven deadly sins. Theological and historical insights, tongue-in-cheek vignettes of history's greatest saints and sinners, and cringe-inducing quizzes entice readers to tally their scores on the virtue and vice index and calibrate to what degree they have imperiled their immortal souls. Andy Warhol, Ayn Rand, and Mother Angelica are invoked as exemplars of the best and worst of human behavior, while a heady blend of serious theology and pointed satire bring the seven deadly sins into focus. John Zmirak is our guest.

5:00 – Finding Freedom From Substance Abuse
The Life Process Model© is a nationally accredited, 8-week residential drug treatment program that offers an alternative to 12-step drug rehab and alcoholism treatment programs. Unlike traditional alcohol and drug addiction recovery programs, you now have a choice for permanent recovery from drug or and alcohol abuse without a lifetime of AA/NA meetings and relapse! It’s offered at the St. Gregory Retreat Center in Des Moines, IA and Co-Founder and CEO Mike Vasquez is here to tell us about it and take you calls on substance abuse issues.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today on Kresta - March 24, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 24

4:00 – Verily, Verily: The KJV - 400 Years of Influence and Beauty
As historian Tony Lane once noted, without the King James Version of the Bible, it can be speculated that, there would be no Paradise Lost ... no Pilgrim's Progress ... no Negro spirituals ... no Gettysburg Address. And even though today there are more accurate and contemporary translations of the Bible, the KJV reigns supreme in the English-speaking world. It is printed and circulated more widely than any other version. But how did this remarkable work originate? What were the historical circumstances driving its completion? What sorts of errors (many of them outright hysterical) crept into the translation? Why does it still outsell every other English translation? In this 400th Anniversary year of the publication of the KJV, Jon Sweeney offers an informative, inspirational, and light-hearted look into how the world's most popular Bible was created and why it is still important.

4:30 – Small Faith--Great God
In the midst of life's challenges, so often our faith feels small and weak. One of the world's premier Bible teachers, N. T. Wright, is here to remind us that what matters is not so much our faith itself as Who our faith is in. Faith, says Wright, is like a window. The point is not for part of the wall to be made of glass. The point of a window is to allow us to see through it--and let light into the room! Faith allows us to see our situation and our own weakness in light of God who is powerful, holy and loving. Through it all he reminds us, it's not great faith we need: it is faith in a great God.

5:00 – Japan, Cross International and Caritas International
Following public declarations from the outgoing secretary general of Caritas that could cause serious damage to the “prestige” of the institution, the Holy See has confirmed that it is seeking a "new profile" for the international aid agency.In January, the Vatican's Secretariat of State decided it would not allow Lesley-Anne Knight to run for a second four-year term as secretary general of the Rome-based Caritas Internationalis. Her request for a certificate of approval from the Vatican for official candidacy was declined. The rare action was taken because “for today's new challenges we need someone else,” explained Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” on Feb. 22. A key issue at this point is to focus on the “Catholic identity” of the organization, he said. With us to discuss these developments is Jim Cavnar of Cross Catholic International Outreach.

5:20 – The World of Saint Paul
Joseph Callewaert's engaging work on St. Paul reads like a novel. With inviting, even dramatic, prose, it recounts the story of the great Apostle to the Nations. This is no dry tome or ponderous biography. Nor is its subject a "safe" historical figure, irrelevant to the issues of today: St. Paul remains controversial. Some scholars claim he "invented" Christianity. They believe his message radically departed from what Jesus taught. The Christian faith, so the claim runs, is the creation of Paul's religious experience, not the doctrine of Jesus. Callewaert rejects this theory, as do many other scholars. His interpretation rests on the Bible and the abiding tradition of the ages, rather than tendentious theories or ideologically-motivated revisions. For those who know little about St. Paul - which includes many Christians - it is a superb introduction. Joseph joins us.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

South Dakota: Model for Reducing Abortion

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:

For the past few years, the pro-abortion community has inexplicably said they support "abortion reduction" efforts (it is not clear why they would want to reduce the rates of a procedure they say is non-lethal). In any event, they should now be supporting what is going on in South Dakota (somehow, we believe they will side with Planned Parenthood, which is filing suit against the state).

Yesterday, the governor signed a law in South Dakota to require women who want an abortion to first learn what assistance is available to them in the event they decide to keep their babies; a waiting period of three days after the initial visit with an abortionist was also approved. In a New York Times article today, it notes that this is happening in a state "despite an abortion rate that is among the lowest in the nation." Which made me wonder: Which states have the highest, and the lowest, rates of abortion? Also, what accounts for the disparity? That is why I repaired to the data on these subjects collected by the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood.

The states with the five highest rates of abortion (1-5) are: New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware and Connecticut. Those with the five lowest rates (46-50) are: North Dakota, Nebraska, Kentucky, Utah and South Dakota. None of the five with the highest rates has a waiting period, and none offer written material on the procedure, including fetal development throughout pregnancy. All of those with the five lowest rates require a 24-hour waiting period (now 72 in South Dakota), and all offer written material, including information on fetal development through term. Moreover, Utah and South Dakota also offer information on the ability of the baby to experience pain when he or she is being killed.

If the high abortion states are to mimic success, they will have to abandon their policy of keeping women ignorant. If these liberal states are to be truly pro-choice, they will have to start allowing women to make real choices. Their resistance to informed consent must end.

How Political Correctness Makes Us Dumb

By Francis J. Beckwith
TheCatholicThing.com

The other day I was lecturing in my critical thinking class on the difference between arguments and explanations. An explanation is an account of something whose truth is not in dispute. So, for example, if you ask me why the Packers won the Super Bowl, I can give you several different answers. But the simplest one is this: they scored more points than the Steelers. We do not disagree as to whether the Packers were victorious. I am not trying to prove that. All I am doing is giving you a simple explanation as to why the Packers won.

On the other hand, if you asked me why I think belief in God is rational because you doubt God’s existence and may want to believe, I can give you several reasons. If did that, I would be offering you an argument (or a set of arguments) for the veracity of a belief that is in dispute between us.

In class, I took an example from the textbook (Peter Kreeft’s Socratic Logic, 3.1e) and asked my students whether the following is an argument or an explanation: “Men pitch baseballs faster than women because they have more upper body muscle strength.” The right answer is that it is an explanation, because a reason is offered – “men have more upper body muscle strength” – in order to explain a fact that is not in dispute, “men pitch baseballs faster than women.” Or so I thought.

My students, like virtually the whole lot of them at Baylor, are bright and eager to learn. But like most of their peers at other institutions, they have been formed by a wider culture, including the schools they attended and the media they consume, that has taught them that universal judgments about the nature of things is inherently unjust. There is, of course, some wisdom in this, but it is only wise insofar as it depends on universal judgments.

So, for example, it would be wrong to issue a negative judgment about someone simply because of his race without knowing anything further about the person. But, ironically, the reason why this particular judgment is wrong is precisely because we have made a universal judgment about all human beings: each of us possesses intrinsic dignity because of the nature we share.

Of course, if a human person commits an immoral act, we judge the actor as wrong. But we do so precisely because we respect his humanity and the power of moral choice that all human beings possess by nature. Though some human beings cannot exercise that power because of immaturity or illness, they are nevertheless moral subjects deserving of moral respect. They possess no less a human nature than do their mature and healthy peers.

Now back to baseball.

Well trained by their cultural teachers in spotting and reflexively condemning universal judgments, some of my students resisted the right answer because they thought it a mere prejudice. They seemed to think that to say that “men pitch baseballs faster than women” is to wallow in an ancient irrationality not worthy of our enlightened present. In that case, they would be wrong.

The ability of the human mind to make true universal judgments is a power that distinguishes human beings from other things like baboons, snails, and rocks. Thus, my students’ cultural teachers, though they mean well, have done my students no favors. For anyone who provides assistance in atrophying the mind’s proper function is an enemy of education, even if in his heart he thinks he’s a friend.

The right answer is right because there is a difference between a term’s comprehension and a term’s extension. So, for example, if I say America is a rich country, I am saying something that is comprehensively true about America as a whole, but not something that is extensively true of each and every American in the population.

The two most important terms in the class problem are “men” and “women.” If I were to say that all men throw a baseball faster than all women, I would be talking about the extension of the terms “men” and “women.” That is, I would be talking about each and every man and woman. In that case, my claim that “all men throw a baseball faster than all women” is clearly false, since there are individual women who throw a baseball faster than individual men. On the other hand, when I say that “men pitch baseballs faster than women because they have more upper body muscle strength” I am referring to what is comprehensively true of men and women. And in that case, it is uncontrovertibly true that men in general pitch baseballs faster than women in general.

The distinction between extension and comprehension is clear, easy to understand, and essential to the proper exercise of our mental powers. This is why political correctness makes us dumb.

Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy and Church-State Studies at Baylor University. His most recent book is Politics for Christians: Statecraft as Soulcraft. He blogs at returntorome.com.

Pope Benedict chooses two bishops for Detroit archdiocese

Pope Benedict XVI has named two Michigan priests as auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Msgr. Donald F. Hanchon, 63, pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish in Detroit and 52 year-old Fr. Michael Byrnes, pastor of the city's Our Lady of Victory Parish, were appointed as auxiliary bishops for the archdiocese on March 22.

“It's a great blessing for the archdiocese,” said Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, who introduced the bishops-elect at the local Sacred Heart Seminary.

“Certainly it's an honor for a priest to be selected for this level of responsibility,” he added. “More than an honor, it's about new capacity for sharing Christ with others.”

The appointments were announced in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S.

Bishop-elect Donald F. Hanchon, who was born in Wayne, Mich., said he is humbled by the appointment and looks forward to being “in the service of the people of the Archdiocese of Detroit.”

After attending St. John Provincial Seminary and the University of Notre Dame, Bishop-elect Hanchon was ordained a priest for the Detroit archdiocese in 1974 and named a monsignor in 2005.

Following his ordination, Bishop-elect Hanchon’s assignments included pastoral roles in multiple parishes in Michigan as well as being the episcopal vicar for the central region of the archdiocese from 2009 to the present.

“I promise obedience because I believe that the God who began this good work in me all those years ago will indeed bring it to fulfillment,” he said on March 22. “I thank Archbishop Vigneron for his trust in me, and his joyful encouragement to serve.”

Bishop-elect Michael Byrnes was born in Detroit in 1958. After attending the University of Michigan, and Sacred Heart Seminary, he earned a Ph.D. in biblical studies from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1996.

“I am honored that the Holy Father and Archbishop Vigneron have such confidence in me to make this appointment,” he said in reaction to the news on Tuesday. “I will do my best not to let them down.”

Assignments after his ordination to the priesthood included serving as the associate pastor of St. Joan of Arc and St. Clair Shores parishes, vice-rector and dean of formation at Sacred Heart Seminary, and pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish from 2004 to present.

“I love being a priest of Jesus Christ, and I have loved my work helping young men discern and prepare for the priesthood,” Bishop-elect Byrnes said.

“I place my trust in God's providence that these experiences, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will help me to do that.”

Bishops-elect Hanchon and Byrnes will join Auxiliary Bishop Francis Reiss and Archbishop Allen Vigneron as shepherds of 1.4 million Catholics in the Detroit archdiocese.

The two will be ordained as auxiliary bishops on May 5 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

Obama visits grave of assassinated Archbishop Romero in El Salvador

Missal boycott calls 'not helpful'

Recent criticism of the new English translation of the Roman Missal in Australia could be interpreted as "opening the doors to liturgical anarchy", a national liturgical commission official said.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Liturgy Commission executive secretary Fr Peter Williams made the comment in response to a press release issued after a recent meeting of the executive of the National Council of Priests of Australia (NCPA).

The NCPA said members at their convention last year alleged a lack of consultation, and called for a boycott of the translations.

They were concerned at the use of exclusive language in the Eucharistic Prayers and wanted "some tolerance of people who find this new translation unacceptable".

Fr Williams said, while "obviously priests and others are entitled to express their views, calls by some NCPA members for a boycott or a trial period of the new translation were not helpful".

"Such statements attempt to give a wink and a nod to priests to change what they don't like," he said.

"All this does is open the doors to liturgical anarchy."

Fr Williams and ACBC Liturgy chairman Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra and Goulburn strongly refuted claims by some NCPA convention members "of a lack of consultation amongst priests and faithful to the text presented".

"The claim there was a lack of consultation puzzles me," Archbishop Coleridge said.

"Successive drafts were sent to all English-speaking bishops who were free to consult anyone they chose.

Some bishops consulted widely, some less so. But this does not mean that there was no consultation."

Fr Williams said "every draft had been made available to members and consultants of the National Liturgical Council which includes a cross-section of clergy, religious and laity trained in liturgy".

Archbishop Coleridge and Fr Williams agreed the new Missal translation had received a wide range of responses.

The archbishop said his guess was a call for a boycott was "a minority view though neither I nor anyone else could be certain of this or the opposite view".

"It depends in large part upon whose voices you hear," he said.

"I can only say that in the many sessions I have done in Australia and elsewhere, most people are more or less okay once you explain clearly and openly what is happening and why.

"There is a small element of implacability, but for the implacable the texts tend to be a lightning-rod for a range of other issues.

"The source of their unhappiness lies elsewhere."

Fr Williams said in his consultations over the translation and its implementation he'd had a range of responses from the clergy.

"Some were quite enthusiastic and others had adopted a 'wait and see' attitude, and others sincerely expressed concerns for a range of reasons," he said.

Fr Williams said while he respected the desire of priests "to make the Gospel attractive and public prayer come alive, this desire does not automatically mean that someone has expertise in liturgy".

"Particular skills are required to meaningfully engage in this work and in criticism - competence in Latin and liturgical competence are obvious requirements," he said.

"Thus the reality is there was always going to be a limit to the scope of consultations.

"They could never have opened the consultation to every priest, every Mass-goer ... decisions leading to an outcome would never have been reached."

PRACTICING Catholics more likely than general public to back homosexual unions

Only 31% of Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly oppose granting legal recognition to homosexual unions, according to a new report by the Public Religion Research Institute. 64% favor some sort of legal recognition of homosexual unions, with 26% favoring same-sex marriage and 38% favoring homosexual civil unions.

In 2003, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated the Church’s opposition to any form of legal recognition of homosexual unions.

Overall, only 22% of Catholics oppose granting legal recognition to homosexual unions. 43% favor same-sex marriage, while 31% favor homosexual civil unions.

Latino Catholics are more likely to be faithful to Church teaching on this issue than are white Catholics. 30% of Latino Catholics oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions; only 19% of white Catholics do. In contrast, 58% of white evangelicals, 52% of black Protestants, and 33% of the general public oppose granting legal recognition to homosexual unions.

Despite the Catechism of the Catholic Church's clear teaching on the "grave depravity" of homosexual acts, Catholics are less likely than other Americans to believe that homosexual activity is sinful. 56% of Catholics-- compared to 46% of the general public-- believe that homosexual activity is not a sin.

Pakistani bishops condemn Qu’ran burning

The bishops of Pakistan have condemned the March 20 burning of the Qu’ran by a Florida Protestant pastor. Two Pakistani churches were attacked last year after Rev. Terry Jones said that he would burn the Qu’ran.

“I condemn this act of sheer madness that does not represent Christian values or the teachings of the Church,” said Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, president of the bishops’ conference. “We regret to note that someone who calls himself a pastor is ignorant of his religion and normal decency.”

“By the very message of their faith, Christians are obliged to respect other faiths and people,” he added. “Therefore the Christians of Pakistan, who are law abiding and themselves a marginalized community, condemn this incident in the strongest terms. We demand that the government of the United States of America deal with this provocative act in accordance with the law.”

“There Be Dragons” presented at the Vatican with Roland JoffĂ© and Ennio Morricone

Film Critic Steven Greydanus is currently in Spain representing Ave Maria Radio at the world premiere and press junket for "There Be Dragons." He will be reporting for "Kresta in the Afternoon" and other Ave Maria programs upon his return.



View the trailer here:

Hypocricy Much?

In 2007, then Sen. Joe Biden said launching an attack without congressional approval is an impeachable offense. This flashback comes on the heels of Obama launching an attack on Libya. Whatever you think of Bush's use of the military or Obama's use of the military - you can't deny that this is a double standard.

Cartoon of the Day - Whatever the Mission

Today on Kresta - March 23, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 23

4:00 – Relativism: A Historic, Philosophical, and Practical View
The day before he was elected Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger warned the world of a “Dictatorship of Relativism.” The choice of words was striking. Simply put, the Dictatorship of Relativism is now demanding that when religious faith comes into conflict with non-faith, faith must give way. We talk with Frank Beckwith about relativism from a historic, philosophical and practical view.

5:00 – The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church
The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church is a unique resource. It introduces you to the teachings of the first Christians in a way no other work can. It is specially designed to make it easy for you to find the information you want and need. Amazing features in this fact-packed book include: - More than 900 quotations from the writings of the early Church Fathers, as well as from rare and important documents dating back to the dawn of Christian history. - Mini-biographies of nearly 100 Fathers, as well as descriptions of dozens of key early councils and writings. - A concise history of the dramatic spread of Christianity after Jesus told his disciples to evangelize all nations. - A guide to nearly 30 ancient heresies, many of which have returned to haunt the modern world. - The Fathers' teaching on nearly 50 topics, including modern hot-button issues like abortion, homosexuality, and divorce. Author Jimmy Akin is with us.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today on Kresta - March 22, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 22

4:00 – The Power of the Sacraments
In her own inspiring style, Sr. Briege McKenna explores the marvelous ways God acts through the sacraments, and explains how nothing can substitute for the grace of receiving the grace of the sacraments. The book is entitled The Power of the Sacraments and Sr. Breige is here to discuss it.

4:20 – Kresta Comments – The US House Hearings on Muslim Radicalization in America and Rep. Keith Ellison’s Disingenuous Testimony
Last week Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) testified at a hearing on Islamic radicalism by weeping his way through a speech about whata-buncha-nasty-bigots Americans are. He chose as his case in point Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a Pakistani-born Muslim American who rushed to lower Manhattan on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to assist in rescue efforts, and died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Did his account check out with reality? We have the tape and the facts.

4:40 – Benedict’s Creative Minority
Sam Gregg

5:00 – Kresta Comments – The Prosperity Gospel

5:20 – The Kingdom and the Cross
We believe a lot of false narratives about the nature of God, things like "God helps those who help themselves"; "God blesses the righteous"; "God might not be out for your good, and you might be missing something." But James Bryan Smith points us to the truth of who God is, revealed by Jesus: A God who loves to help the helpless. A God who doesn't play favorites, whether righteous or unrighteous. A God who is, in his essence, self-sacrificing--even to death--to save a people he loves. We look at Christ's work on the cross and what it all means about who God is and how we're to live as his people.

5:40 – The Problem of Genesis
One of the most important principles of Catholic Biblical interpretation is that the reader of the Scriptural texts must be sensitive to the genre or literary type of the text with which he is dealing. Just as it would be counter-indicated to read Moby Dick as history or “The Waste Land” as social science, so it is silly to interpret, say, “The Song of Songs” as journalism or the Gospel of Matthew as a spy novel. By the same token, it is deeply problematic to read the opening chapters of Genesis as a scientific treatise. So why is it so common for people to struggle with the seemingly bad science that is on display in the opening chapters of the first book of the Bible? Fr. Robert Barron answers the question.

Answering a "Self-Loathing Catholic"

Clark DeLeon is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a Catholic. He has written a column entitled "A Philadelphia Catholic Confesses" in which he imagines himself in a "Self-Loathing Catholics Anonymous" meeting. I have created a faux conversation between Clark and myself to demonstrate how silly his claims are. His full column can be found here.

CLARK:
"I haven't attended a Self-Loathing Catholics Anonymous meeting in years. I'm here tonight because the news about the cover-up of sexual abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has me half-crazy. I feel a desperate urge to hate the church. That's what self-loathing Catholics are supposed to do, right?"

AL:
"I was raised Catholic during the 1950s and early 60s. While I went to public school I had regular catechism classes every Saturday morning taught by the nuns. I spent two yeas in Catholic highschool (Notre Dame, West Haven, CT) and have almost no memories which correspond to this guy's claim."

CLARK:
"Back in the day, to be a Catholic school student in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was, by modern standards, to be abused psychologically and physically. Every high school seemed to have at least one priest who was a former Golden Gloves champion and was willing to demonstrate his technique on a prideful student or three. That was part of the mystique, lore, and reality of being a Catholic school kid. And we celebrated it the way Marines celebrate surviving Parris Island.

"I think psychiatrists call it the Stockholm syndrome, in which hostages come to identify with and support their captors. They also have a name for the psychological condition manifesting itself in varying degrees among many of us in this room tonight: post-traumatic stress syndrome."

AL:
"When I left the Catholic Church, I don't remember feeling overwhelming guilt or betrayal. When I became an evangelical Protestant bible-only-type Christian at 23, I don't remember thinking that the Catholic Church was too harsh or strick (although I disagreed with many of its teachings). My experience in the early 70s was that the Catholic Church was filled with feel-good, nice, not especially effective, clergy. I've always been tolerant of these jokes and stories about harsh, eccentric nuns and thought they were harmless, almost ethnic type jokes, told by the ethnic group in question. Now, I'm finding them sickening.

"Who was raised Catholic during the 40-70s who thinks his portrayal is ANYWHERE near accurate. 'Psychologically and physically abused...Stockhold Syndrome...post traumatic syndrome'???? Come on. IF this was the institutional norm, we shouldn't love the Church anymore than we should love a restaurant that normally is turning out sick clients, or has a reputation for rudeness and abusive conduct. We should find someplace else to eat. People who have been regularly abused shouldn't get nostalgic about the abusers. Wives should leave their husbands. Parents should withdraw their students from abusive schools. Employees should quit. Citizens should rise up in rebellion. What kind of nut looks back wistfully on events which caused them post-traumatic stress syndrome.

"Is this man's picture of the Catholic church a generation ago even close to anybody else's experience?"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's Be Patient and Have Some Prudence

Mark Shea on the accusations against Fr. John Corapi:
Everybody is writing me about Fr. John Corapi being put on administrative leave. What do we do? How do we respond? Won't I join the Facebook page supporting him? Why is it our bishops are either sheep or wolves I am asked. Why would these "she devils" (yes I've seen people use the term) attack this godly champion of the Faith? How do we fight back against this satanic attack on this great man?

Ahem. I don't know Fr. Corapi at all. I also don't know his accusers. Nor do I know who has put him on administrative leave or why. I don't, in fact, know the first thing about anything other than that Fr. Corapi protests his innocence.

Naturally, I presume innocence until guilt is proven. But come on: If it were any other priest and these charges were brought we would be *screaming* at the bishop or superior in charge of the priest to pull the guy out of action until an investigation could be made and screaming hysterically at the preferential treatment of priests over victims if they didn't. So let's show some consistency here, okay? Amy Welborn noted way back during the Long Lent that even when priests had *gobs* of evidence against them (as Fr. Corapi does not at this point), their congregations would rally to them and say, "Oh, not *my* beloved priest! Other priests are bad, but *my* beloved priest is being treated meanly by the Church".
So we need to make up our minds. Are we going to demand rigorous investigations and accountability for clergy--except with Fr. Corapi because we happen to feel--on the basis of no actual knowledge of the man other than what we see on TV--that he is one of us? Or are we going to let the Church investigate, find out what's going on and so forth. I mean, it's all well and good to claim that some women we know absolutely nothing about are "she devils" because they are accusing a famous and b beloved priest. But here's the thing: that's *exactly*--exactly--what happened with accusers of the great and saintly and unquestionable Maciel.

Continue reading here.

Today on Kresta - March 21, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 21

4:00 – Libya, War, Operations and the Civilian / Military Divide
Energized by international strikes on Moammar Gadhafi's forces, rebels advanced in an attempt to reclaim an eastern city under siege by the Libyan leader's troops on Monday as the U.S. commander of the allied campaign warned that a stalemate could emerge from the bombardment. That could mean a longer conflict and an unclear end game as the U.S. and European countries try to calibrate how much their now three-day old air campaign — officially intended to protect civilians — should go toward actively helping the rebel cause. We look at the definitions of Operations, Wars, Military Action, and what we are facing in Libya. Our guest is Bruce Fleming of the US Naval Academy.

4:20 – The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It
In a world torn apart by religious extremism on the one side and a strident secularism on the other, no question is more urgent than how we live with our deepest differences—especially our religious and ideological differences. Os Guiness’s 2008 book, The Case for Civility, has taken on a new relevancy with so much talk of political civility in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings. Influential Christian writer and speaker Os Guinness makes a passionate plea to put an end to the polarization of American politics and culture that—rather than creating a public space for real debate—threatens to reverse the very principles our founders set into motion and that have long preserved liberty, diversity, and unity in this country.

5:00 – Waging War In Libya Make Peace? U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts
Coalition jets are patrolling the no-fly zone over Libya today after scattering and isolating Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi's forces with a weekend of punishing air attacks. President Obama stated the mission Friday as one of protection of Libyan citizens from attack from their own government. Susan Yoshihara, author of Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflict, joins us again to analyze the action in Libya in light of her book.

5:20 – The Original Meaning of Lent
Lent is a time of introspection. We read Exodus, and watch the Israelites grumbling, even after the amazing things God had done for them (Ex 17:3-7). In them, we recognize ourselves. For many of us, then, Lent is time for the spiritual equivalent of New Year’s resolutions. We set aside work on ourselves for forty days so we don’t end up wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years. We do things to burn off the excess fat that’s weighing us down, try to improve our spiritual diet, and do some meaningful spiritual exercises to strengthen the muscles we call “virtues.” But in the early days of the Church, Lent was not so much a time to focus inward. It was time for Catholics to focus outward. It is a time not just for personal growth, but for growth of the Church. We look at the original meaning of Lent with Marcellino D’Ambrosio.

5:40 – The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity
Arguing that many moms have gone overboard in their quest for perfection, Dr. Meg Meeker, pediatrician and mother of four, presents 10 "new habits" that will help moms maintain their passion, purpose, and sanity. Meeker addresses understanding your value as a mother, maintaining key friendships, valuing and practicing faith, saying no to competition, creating a healthier relationship with money, making time for solitude, giving and getting love in healthy ways, finding ways to live simply, letting go of fear, and embracing hope. Meg is with us.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fr. John Corapi Accused of Drug Use / Sexual Exploits With Adult Women

The full statement from Fr. Corapi's Website is below:

"On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. There seems to no longer be the need for a complaint to be deemed “credible” in order for Church authorities to pull the trigger on the Church’s procedure, which was in recent years crafted to respond to cases of the sexual abuse of minors. I am not accused of that, but it seems, once again, that they now don’t have to deem the complaint to be credible or not, and it is being applied broadly to respond to all complaints. I have been placed on "administrative leave" as the result of this.

"I’ll certainly cooperate with the process, but personally believe that it is seriously flawed, and is tantamount to treating the priest as guilty “just in case”, then through the process determining if he is innocent. The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable, and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known. I am not alone in this assessment, as multiple canon lawyers and civil and criminal attorneys have stated publicly that the procedure does grave damage to the accused from the outset, regardless of rhetoric denying this, and has little regard for any form of meaningful due process.

"All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned."

ND Bishops Instruct Faiithful With List of Organization to NOT Support

REPRINTNG A POST BY THOMAS PETERS AT AMERICAN PAPIST

God Bless bishops Zipfel and Aquila, who have taken their responsibility seriously to protect the faithful from being misled by groups that work against fundamental human goods such as life and marriage/family:

Catholics and Catholic organizations should not endorse organizations with “morally objectionable” missions, North Dakota’s bishops said.

Bishops Paul A. Zipfel of Bismarck and Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo in a March 10 statement called upon pastors, clergy and the lay faithful to be prudent and just in making their charitable decisions, particularly on issues related to human life and marriage.

Here is the list of organizations they singled-out (see the reasons why here):

American Association of University Women
Amnesty International
Crop Walk/Church World Service
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
UNICEF

I would add to this list catholyc organizations that explicitly dissent from the Church’s teaching on life, family and Church doctrine (feel free to make additions in the combox):

[UPDATE: I should make clear, I'm only listing organizations that claim to be/represent Catholic(s), not secular organizations (such as Planned Parenthood or the Human Rights campaign) that undermine life and marriage without claiming to be Catholic.]

Call to Action
Catholics for Choice
Catholics for Equality
Dignity
New Ways Ministry
SNAP
Voice of the Faithful
Women Priests for the Catholic Church

And here are catholic organizations we should have strong reservations about:

Catholic Coalition for Church Reform
Catholics United
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
Corpus
Faith In Public Life
Matthew 25
National Catholic Reporter
NETWORK
Pax Christi

This is the thing about the organizations I list – they already (with the possible exception of National Catholic Reporter) receive a vast majority of their funding from rich, anti-Catholic donors such as George Soros (more on this later, too).

So there’s simply no need for Catholics to give any support to the groups listed above, especially when there are so many good Catholic organizations that need our assistance.

Please help me spread the word to these groups – if you support evils such as abortion, contraception and the erosion of marriage and family – don’t expect the hard-earned resources of Catholics!

Friday, March 18, 2011

European court allows crucifix in public schools

Crucifixes in public school classrooms do not violate a student's freedom of conscience, a European high court ruled Friday in a verdict welcomed by the Vatican in its campaign to remind the continent of its Christian roots.

The case was brought by a Finnish-born woman living in Italy who objected to the crucifixes in her children's classrooms, arguing they violated the secular principles public schools are supposed to uphold. The debate divided Europe's traditional Catholic and Orthodox countries and their more secular neighbours that observe a strict separation between church and state.

Initially, the Strasbourg, France-based European Court of Human Rights sided with the mother. Italy appealed, supported by more than a dozen countries including the late Pope John Paul II's predominantly Catholic Poland, and won.

Friday's reversal has implications in 47 countries, opening the way for Europeans who want religious symbols in classrooms to petition their governments to allow them.

It was not immediately clear how the ruling would affect France, a traditionally Catholic country with a strictly secular state that does not allow crucifixes or other religious symbols in public schools, including the Muslim headscarf.

The court's Grand Chamber said Italy has done nothing wrong and it found no evidence the display of such a symbol on classroom walls "might have an influence on pupils."

"The popular sentiment in Europe has won today," said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

The Vatican, which had unsuccessfully sought include mention of Christianity's role in Europe in a European constitution, hailed what it called a "historic" decision.

It said the court recognized that crucifixes weren't a form of indoctrination but rather "an expression of the cultural and religious identity of traditionally Christian countries."

Spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the court also recognized that each country should be granted "a margin of judgment concerning the value of religious symbols in its own cultural history and national identity, including where the symbols are displayed."

The ruling overturned a decision the court had reached in November 2009 in which it said the crucifix could be disturbing to non-Christian or atheist pupils.

The case was brought by Soile Lautsi, a Finnish-born mother who said she was shocked by the sight of crucifixes above the blackboard in her children's public school in northern Italy.

Massimo Albertin, Lautsi's husband, said Friday the family was disappointed and "disillusioned" by the ruling, saying it showed that the court didn't respect the principles on which Italian society is built.

"Freedom of religion, freedom from discrimination, freedom of choice are fundamental principles and in this case they weren't respected," Albertin said by phone from Abano Terme near Padua, where the family lives.

A self-described atheist, Albertin said he didn't think the family had any further recourse, saying the ruling showed "the Vatican is too strong for individuals."

The court said "Ms. Lautsi had retained in full her right as a parent to enlighten and advise her children and to guide them on a path in line with her own philosophical convictions."

The children, who were 11 and 13 at the time the case began, are now 20 and 22 and in university. The father said while Lautsi's name was on the court documentation, it was very much a joint initiative.

New York University legal scholar Joseph Weiler, who argued the appeal, said during the hearing last year that the case for secularism taken to the extreme could endanger Britain's national anthem "God Save the Queen."

Crucifixes are on display in many public buildings in Italy, where the Vatican is located. In Poland they are displayed in public schools as well as the hall of parliament.

These countries were joined by Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria, which, like Poland, lived through religious persecution under communism.

"The message of the court is that in Christian tradition societies, Christianity has a special legitimacy that can justify a different treatment," said Gregor Puppink, director of the pro-Christian European Center for Law and Justice.

The ruling came as Vatican officials announced the Holy See is reaching out to atheists with a series of encounters and debates aimed at fostering intellectual dialogue and introducing nonbelievers to God. The first one begins next week in Paris.

Outrage of the Day

Show up drunk to work, serve a 5-month PAID suspension (vacation) while investigations occur, return to work. Thank God for his Union contract that does not allow the city to fire this BUS DRIVER!!!

The secret of Mother Teresa' success, according her postulator

Cartoon of the Day - Libyan no-fly zone

Today on Kresta - March 18, 2011

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

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – Libya and the Doctrine of Justifiable Rebellion
The revolutions in North Africa this year call to mind the old controversy about revolution, and whether citizens can rightly rebel against their long established government. Insofar as the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi has escalated all the way to civil war, Libya (as distinguished from Egypt and Tunisia) offers a sort of laboratory test on the issue of whether a citizen can rightly take up arms against a corrupt regime. Robert Struble Jr. is here to discuss it.

4:40 – The Global War Against Baby Girls
If you were asked to name the technologies whose proliferation inadvertently threatens the human race, what would you include? Landmines? Assault rifles? Nuclear warheads? Add this one to your list: the sonogram machine. The widespread use of sonogram technology—coupled with liberal abortion laws—has made it easier than ever for women to identify the sex of their child so that those without a Y chromosome can be killed before they’re even born. Joe Carter is here to look at “The Global War Against Baby Girls”

5:00 – O Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary Notre Dame Professor
During more than a half century at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Ralph McInerny’s legendary achievements include writing more than 50 non-fiction books in philosophy, medieval studies, and theology, as well as more than 90 novels, including the Father Dowling Murder Mystery series. Following his death last year, many of his friends and colleagues, including Cardinal Francis George, Michael Novak, Joseph Bottum, Gerard V. Bradley and many others compiled a volume of personal reflections on the man himself and what he meant to so many over his rich life of teaching, writing, and contributing to the life of the mind. Editor Christopher Kaczor joins us.

5:30 – Saturday’s Feast of St. Joseph the Husband
What we know about the life of Saint Joseph is contained in the gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke. He has become known as the "Just man". A village carpenter of Nazareth, he was chosen among all men to be the husband and protector of the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ. To his loving care was entrusted the childhood and youth of the Redeemer of the world. He reveals to us the perfect model of Christianity through his purity of heart, patience, and fortitude. Steve Ray is here to discuss tomorrow’s feast of St. Joseph the Husband.

Free Screening / Win a Trip to NYC!!!

Ave Maria Radio would like to invite you to a special listener-only screening of the film Soul Surfer. It is the touching and powerful true story of Bethany Hamilton, a competitive teen surfer who lost her left arm and nearly her life in a shark attack. After the attack she struggled with her Christian faith, but through the grace of God, her life became about pushing her own physical limits to touch the souls of others. The film stars Anna Sophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, and Carrie Underwood and is rated PG.

On Thursday, March 31 Ave Maria Radio will host a pre-release screening of the film exclusively for our listeners at the AMC 20 in Livonia. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. and the first 230 people through the doors will be admitted free.

In conjunction with The Maximus Group and Tri-Star Pictures, Ave Maria Radio is also conducting a drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for you and a guest to attend the premiere of Soul Surfer. The trip will be Wednesday, April 6 and Thursday, April 7 and will include round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to attend the premiere of the film. If you are unable to attend, the trip is transferable to a couple of your choice. The attendees must be confirmed on Saturday, April 2.

To enter the contest send an e-mail with your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to contests@avemariaradio.net. Entries with incomplete information will not be eligible. The drawing will take place on Kresta in the Afternoon Friday, April 1 between 5-6 p.m. Eastern Time. One entry per family.

Thanks for your support of Ave Maria Radio!!!

Watch the trailer at soulsurferthemovie.com

Ave Maria Radio App on IPhone and Android

NOW YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE AVE MARIA RADIO APP ON YOUR IPHONE AND ANDROID DEVICES – IT’S FREE – LISTEN TO AVE MARIA RADIO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD – TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! Hilarious.

Controversial Chicago priest to be moved from urban parish?

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago may soon remove a controversial priest from the urban parish where he has been pastor for 30 years.

Father Michael Pfleger met with Cardinal George this week, evidently to discuss a move out of St. Sabina parish. Father Pfleger, a fiery political activist, has drawn criticism for several public statements. In 2008 he was disciplined with a short leave of absence after he mocked Hillary Clinton, then a Democratic candidate who was opposed Father Pfleger’s own favorite contender, Barack Obama. Last year he was called on the carpet once again after delivering a sermon in which he said flatly that “there should be women priests.”

In spite of the priest’s checkered public career, Cardinal George personally presented Father Pfleger with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

US bishops reaffirm: New Ways Ministry not a Catholic organization

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reaffirmed that New Ways Ministry dissents from Catholic teaching on homosexuality and is not a Catholic organization.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Bishop Salvatore Cordileone said in a statement that:

In view of the recent booklet Marriage Equality: A Positive Catholic Approach, by Francis DeBernardo (published by New Ways Ministry), we, as the respective chairmen of the USCCB Committee on Doctrine and the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, wish to reaffirm Francis Cardinal George's statement of February 12, 2010 and assure Catholics that in no manner is the position proposed by New Ways Ministry in conformity with Catholic teaching and in no manner is this organization authorized to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church or to identify itself as a Catholic organization.
Seven years after New Ways Ministry’s 1977 founding, Cardinal James Hickey barred the organization from the Archdiocese of Washington because of its dissent from Catholic teaching. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith condemned the organization’s positions on homosexuality in 1999.

Read the full statement here.

Archbishop warns of ‘near-genocide’ of Iraqi Christians

Speaking in Ireland, a Chaldean Catholic bishop who ministers in northern Iraq offered an overview of the persecution of Christians there and lamented the “the human rights abuses and near-genocide conditions Iraqi Christians experience.”

“What Iraqis are left with is a weak constitution that tries to please two masters: on the one hand the premise of human rights supposedly for all its citizens, yet on the other hand, Islamic law for its majority of Muslims.” said Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil. “Islamists are not the only ones at fault. Secularists with an eye for profit are also responsible. Neighboring governments in the region feeding the insurgents with money and weapons to destabilize the government are also responsible.”

“The rest of world’s governments have turned their backs on us, as if the human rights abuses and near-genocide conditions Iraqi Christians experience, are temporary,” he added.

Outrageous Statement of the Day

On his MSNBC show, Ed Schultz says that Tea Party members who support Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder are "lining up with the Communist Party."

Filipino bishops concerned over proposed bill on responsible parenthood

Cartoon of the Day - March Madness

Today on Kresta - March 17, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 17

4:00 – Testimony
Kelly Nieto is a Former Miss Michigan and runner-up at the Miss America Pageant. Following a deep spiritual conversion in 2000, she put her talents back to work, but this time for her faith rather than fame. She is now CEO & Founder of Living Faith, which produces the powerful production “The Living Stations of the Cross.” She is here to share her testimony and share more about the production that is coming to the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit.

4:40 – German parents jailed for keeping children from permissive “sex education” programs
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys representing two German parents filed an emergency order last week with the European Court of Human Rights, calling for the mother’s immediate prison release. Heinrich and Irene Wiens chose to keep their four children from attending a mandatory play and four school days of “sexual education” that taught students an extremely permissive view of sexuality. For this they were fined and then sentenced to more than six weeks in prison for refusing to pay. The father already served his prison term. Both parents contend that the programs oppose their Christian beliefs and that forcing their children’s participation is unlawful. ADF has four similar cases before the ECHR, as Irene Wiens is the 10th Christian parent imprisoned. The attorney on this case, Roger Kiska, joins us.

5:00 – St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography
Ireland's patron saint has long been shrouded in legend: he drove the snakes out of Ireland; he triumphed over Druids and their supernatural powers; he used a shamrock to explain the Christian mystery of the Trinity. But his true story is more fascinating than the myths. We have no surviving image of Patrick, but we do have two remarkable letters that he wrote about himself and his beliefs -- letters that tell us more about the heart and soul of this man than we know about almost any of his contemporaries. Philip Freeman is here to tell the story of the historic Patrick and his world.

5:20 – The Iraq War: 8 Years Later
The United States' war against terrorism and subsequent war against Iraq has provoked much discussion and reflection among Catholics. Although sharply divided, most argued for or against the war on the basis of the Catholic just war tradition. A minority of pacifists have argued that the devastation caused by modern weapons of war have rendered any discussion of a "just war" illegitimate. On this 8th anniversary of President George W. Bush’s announcement of the commencement of military action in Iraq, we look back on the war from a Catholic perspective with Russell Shaw. A just war or crime against humanity?

5:40 – How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul
In your quest for love, don't lose yourself along the way. While navigating through the dating scene, every woman begins to wonder: How do I know when a guy really loves me? Am I being too picky? Do I even deserve love? Are any decent guys left? Single women often feel left alone to find answers to their deep questions about love and intimacy. Some hang out and hook up, hoping for love. Others are afraid even to hope. At some point, every woman needs reassurance that she and her standards are not the problem. Chastity speaker Jason Evert is here to share twenty-one strategies to help you raise the bar, instead of sitting at it, waiting around for Mr. Wonderful.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today on Kresta - March 16, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on March 16

4:00 – Kresta Comments – God and Natural Disasters
Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti Earthquake, the Indonesia Tsunami, The Japan Tsunami. After all of these tragic events, the question is always raised; "Why does God allow natural disasters?” As we see in Deuteronomy, James and Numbers, God sometimes causes natural disasters as a judgment against sin. So is every natural disaster a punishment from God? Al has some answers to these questions being asked right now.

4:20 – The Nuclear Threat in Japan
The first American researcher to investigate the Chernobyl reactor meltdown on site, along with Russian and Ukrainian scientists in the years after that disaster, says what’s happening in Japan has not reached the magnitude of Chernobyl yet. Dr. Alexander Sich says the closer comparison is Three Mile Island. But he says he IS concerned about reported levels of radiation leaking from crippled reactors. Dr. Sich joins us.

4:40 – Kresta Comments – The US House Hearings on Muslim Radicalization in America and Rep. Keith Ellison’s Disingenuous Testimony
Last week Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) testified at a hearing on Islamic radicalism by weeping his way through a speech about whata-buncha-nasty-bigots Americans are. He chose as his case in point Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a Pakistani-born Muslim American who rushed to lower Manhattan on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to assist in rescue efforts, and died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Did his account check out with reality? We have the tape and the facts.

5:00 – The Power of the Sacraments
In her own inspiring style, Sr. Briege McKenna explores the marvelous ways God acts through the sacraments, and explains how nothing can substitute for the grace of receiving the grace of the sacraments. The book is entitled The Power of the Sacraments and Sr. Breige is here to discuss it.

5:20 – The Problem of Genesis
One of the most important principles of Catholic Biblical interpretation is that the reader of the Scriptural texts must be sensitive to the genre or literary type of the text with which he is dealing. Just as it would be counter-indicated to read Moby Dick as history or “The Waste Land” as social science, so it is silly to interpret, say, “The Song of Songs” as journalism or the Gospel of Matthew as a spy novel. By the same token, it is deeply problematic to read the opening chapters of Genesis as a scientific treatise. So why is it so common for people to struggle with the seemingly bad science that is on display in the opening chapters of the first book of the Bible? Fr. Robert Barron answers the question.

5:40 – Benedict's Creative Minority
Sam Gregg

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Abuse Probe Needed Nationwide

Misconduct by government employees is the subject of this news release by Catholic League president Bill Donohue:

On March 13, the New York Times ran a lengthy front-page story, "At State-Run Homes, Abuse and Impunity," that shows how common it is for state employees servicing the developmentally disabled to abuse residents. Because they are protected by the Civil Service Employees Association, it is almost impossible to fire them. Though it is against the law not to report cases of abuse to the police, "fewer than 5 percent were referred to law enforcement." Moreover, "In 25 percent of the cases involving physical, sexual or psychological abuse, the state employees were transferred to other homes." In many serious cases, the same employee was moved more than once.

On March 12, the New York Daily News ran a story on "rubber room" teachers in New York City. Hundreds of teachers have been removed from the classroom for misconduct—it is almost impossible to fire them because they are protected by the teachers' unions—and currently there are 83 who have a criminal case pending against them. And as we know from previous stories, moving abusive teachers around from school district to school district is so common in the profession that it is called "passing the trash."

On March 2, the New York Post ran a story by Michael Goodwin detailing how approximately 500 teachers "have been convicted of criminal offenses, including assault, sex crimes, kidnapping, burglary, prostitution and lewdness." He adds that "many arbitrators are reluctant to fire teachers for almost any reason."

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has removed the two top officials in state-run homes, and has ordered a probe of the agencies.

I am writing to every governor asking for an investigation of all public-run agencies and schools. It is obviously not just a New York State problem, and it sure isn't just a problem in the Catholic Church.