CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - January 8, 2013

NEW RESOURCES    EDITORIALS OF INTEREST    EDUCATION MATTERS

Note from the Managing Editor:

Jeffrey Tucker's day job has him working as an economist.  But after hours he expresses his passion for good music in Catholic liturgy through his work as managing editor of the Church Music Association of America's Musica Sacra and as a principal contributor to The Chant Café blog.

My wife is a devoted follower of The Chant Café and directed me to Tucker's reflections this past Monday where he is effusive in praise regarding the Solemnity of Epiphany Mass held on Sunday at St. Peter's in Rome. 

A Church official at the Mass had this to say: "This morning's Cappella Papale for the Epiphany with the Consecration of 4 Archbishops was probably the most splendid papal liturgy Rome has seen in 50 years."

And so it seems.  Both the music (listen to excerpts here) and the homily were sublime.  I am featuring the Holy Father's homily in the update this week.

And while I have you, allow me to take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed New Year. - J. Fraser Field

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Quote of the Week:

"The saints rejoiced at injuries and persecutions, because in forgiving them they had something to present to God when they prayed to Him." - Saint Teresa of Avila



New Resources:

Sharing the Greatness of John the Baptist - Mary Francis, P.C.C. - from Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting
The Epiphany of the Lord: 2013 - Pope Benedict XVI - Liberia Editrice Vaticana
The Key That Fits the Lock, Part Eleven - Anthony Esolen - The Catholic Thing
On the Legalization of Drugs - Theodore Dalrymple - City Journal
Alfred Hitchcock's Surprise Ending - Father Mark Henninger, S.J. - Wall Street Journal
'The Hobbit' and Virtue - Joseph Pearce - National Catholic Register
Men Don’t Mother - Jenet Erickson - Public Discourse
Bob Bork: The Lingering Presence - Hadley Arkes - The Catholic Thing
Assisted suicide's dangerous illusion of control - Dr. Will Johnston - Calgary Herald
Taboos and tattoos - Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk - Making Sense Out of Bioethics
Epiphany 2013 - mp3 - Father John Horgan - CERC

Editorials of Interest:

Agenda for a year of faith: looking ahead at Pope Benedict's 2013 - CNS
The Moral Animal - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - New York Times
Rediscovering Paul VI - First Things
Top 2012 stories on religion - Get Religion
Can I Trust Opus Dei? - Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction
'God particle' scientist says Richard Dawkins is an embarrassment - Protect the Pope
The decline of the Church in Britain - Patheos
Catholics and Depression - CWN
Suffering Fools Gladly - New York Times
Born That Way? - On the Square
Addiction as spiritual imbalance - Catholic Herald
Ex-atheist rips into architects of the Sexual Revolution: "we were wrong, wrong, wrong" - CWR
Why Is God Still Absent from Downton Abbey? - Christianity Today
Tracking the Times on Contraception - NRO
Prince Charles questions bill ending ban on Catholics in royal family - CWN
Pregnancy Centers Gain Influence in Anti-Abortion Arena - New York Times
The government's hunt for a Vatican envoy to pass muster - NCR
CHA President on the Fiscal Cliff, the HHS Mandate and Taxpayer Funding of Abortion - NCRegister
Death by government - Daily Mail
My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren't crazy - CNN
Blessed mission in a bottle for Sierra Nevada - SFGate
Rebuttals to arguments for same-sex marriage - OSV

Education Matters:

Teacher: Notes from an Old Professor - The Imaginative Conservative
Evangelizing an anti-intellectual culture - Beauty in Education
Retaining Catholic teachers - Washington Post
The 50 Smartest People of Faith - TBS
Four different family types: What kind of family are you? - IMFC
Notre Dame Punts - NRO
Grammar Lesson of the Day: The Passive Voice, Used Badly - Anthony Esolen - First Thoughts
The Passive Voice, Abused - Anthony Esolen - First Thoughts
Why Are College Textbooks So Absurdly Expensive? - The Atlantic
Never Pay Sticker Price for a Textbook Again - Slate


NEW RESOURCES:

Sharing the Greatness of John the Baptist - Mary Francis, P.C.C. - from Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting

These are very deep and searching questions.

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The Epiphany of the Lord: 2013 - Pope Benedict XVI - Liberia Editrice Vaticana

The courage to stand firm in the truth is unavoidably demanded of those whom the Lord sends like sheep among wolves.

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The Key That Fits the Lock, Part Eleven - Anthony Esolen - The Catholic Thing

Said the Lord to Abraham: "And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you." (Gen. 17:11)

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On the Legalization of Drugs
- Theodore Dalrymple - City Journal

Discussing drug legalization with libertarians, as I did recently, can be a frustrating experience.

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Alfred Hitchcock's Surprise Ending - Father Mark Henninger, S.J. - Wall Street Journal

A biographer said that the director, at the end of his life, shunned religion. Not true. I was there.

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'The Hobbit' and Virtue - Joseph Pearce - National Catholic Register

At its deepest level of meaning, The Hobbit is a pilgrimage of grace in which its protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, becomes grown-up in the most important sense.

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Men Don't Mother
- Jenet Erickson - Public Discourse

There's been a strange turn of opinions about fatherhood — at least in recent public debates.

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Bob Bork: The Lingering Presence
- Hadley Arkes - The Catholic Thing

As the old year is passing — and as if it were not depressing enough, for some of us, to find ourselves in the new year at the threshold of Obama II — some of us are still feeling the loss of our dear friend Robert Bork, who died just before Christmas.

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Assisted suicide's dangerous illusion of control
- Dr. Will Johnston - Calgary Herald

The daughters are beside themselves.

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Taboos and tattoos
- Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk - Making Sense Out of Bioethics

On TV these days, we're seeing more and more programs about "body art" and tattoo design.

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Epiphany 2013 - mp3 - Father John Horgan - CERC

The history and meaning of the story of the Magi.

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EDITORIALS OF INTEREST:
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Agenda for a year of faith: looking ahead at Pope Benedict's 2013 - CNS

Some items that the Pope is likely to try to get done during the coming year.

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The Moral Animal - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - New York Times

At first glance, religion is in decline. Looked at another way, though, the figures tell a different story.

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Rediscovering Paul VI - First Things

Pope Paul VI has been called a weak and indecisive pope, but no one who lacked true courage could have issued the powerful statements he did, or done so under the circumstances he faced.

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Top 2012 stories on religion - Get Religion

In 2012, the religion news was mostly bad — for believers. But there are other stories worth watching.

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Can I Trust Opus Dei? - Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

I am contemplating a vocation to Opus Dei. For years, I have been hearing a call. I am afraid , however, when I read negative info on websites. I feel torn apart. Can you guide me, provide some insight?

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'God particle' scientist says Richard Dawkins is an embarrassment - Protect the Pope

Apparently Peter Higgs, particle physicist and postulator of the Higgs Boson, has branded Richard Dawkins 'an embarrassment' for his fanatical attacks on religion.

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The decline of the Church in Britain - Patheos

It's happening everywhere, but Britain makes it clear that the Church is sinking because of external attacks, but even worse because of the weak faith of Christians.

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Catholics and Depression - CWR

A new book co-authored by a psychiatrist and a priest offers faithful wisdom and learned guidance in dealing with depression and anxiety.

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Suffering Fools Gladly - New York Times

Recently I was reading a magazine profile of a brilliant statistician. The article mentioned, in passing, that this guy doesn't suffer fools gladly.

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Born That Way? - On the Square

The causes of homosexuality are infamously difficult to pin down.

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Addiction as spiritual imbalance - Catholic Herald

A former addict says: "Some speak of addiction as a disease. But it is mostly spiritual: dis-ease, an imbalance in the soul."

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Ex-atheist rips into architects of the Sexual Revolution: "we were wrong, wrong, wrong" - CWR

A. N. Wilson has been there, seen that, believed this, and rejected that.

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Why Is God Still Absent from Downton Abbey? - Christianity Today

Let's start with the basics.

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Tracking the Times on Contraception - NRO

Last Thursday's New York Times featured an op-ed by Juleanna Glover encouraging pro-life Republicans to support increased federal funding for contraception programs.

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Prince Charles questions bill ending ban on Catholics in royal family - CWN

Britain’s Prince Charles has urged the country’s government to reconsider plans to amend the rules governing the royal succession, saying that he fears “unintended consequences” of the proposed legislation.

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Pregnancy Centers Gain Influence in Anti-Abortion Arena - New York Times

In a remarkable illustration of changing attitudes on the abortion issue, the New York Times carried a story on pregnancy-help centers that quoted primarily from pro-life workers, omitting most of the usual complaints from abortion advocates. . . .

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The government's hunt for a Vatican envoy to pass muster - NCR

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter finds that the names of two prominent Catholic professors are being circulated as potential nominees for the vacant post of the US ambassador to the Holy See.

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CHA President on the Fiscal Cliff, the HHS Mandate and Taxpayer Funding of Abortion - NCRegister

Sister Carol Keehan discusses how Catholic hospitals are coping with the challenges generated by recent health-care-related legislation.

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Death by government - Daily Mail

A study finds that under Britain's government-run healthcare system, in nearly half of all cases when conscious patients were refused life-saving care, "there was no record that the decision had been discussed with them."

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My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren't crazy - CNN

About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.

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Blessed mission in a bottle for Sierra Nevada - SFGate

At this time of year, it's worth thinking of the Trappists.

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Rebuttals to arguments for same-sex marriage - OSV

Examining the most common arguments for redefining marital unions ...and understanding why they are flawed.

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EDUCATION MATTERS:

Teacher: Notes from an Old Professor - The Imaginative Conservative

John Willson, professor emeritus of history at Hillsdale College, reflects at the Imaginative Conservative on "the chief cruelty of our profession: assigning our students to paradise, purgatory, or the inferno with the stroke of a pen."

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Evangelizing an anti-intellectual culture - Beauty in Education

The recent Census revealed that in England and Wales the number of professed Christians in 2011 fell to 33.2 million, or 59% of the overall population, from 37.3 million (72%) in 2001.

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Retaining Catholic teachers - Washington Post

An Ohio program helps to retain underpaid Catholic school teachers by promoting their tasks as a vocation rather than just a job.

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The 50 Smartest People of Faith - TBS

One way to combat the erroneous assumption that faith conflicts with reason is by giving greater visibility to living, breathing believers who are also highly intelligent. That is what we are endeavoring to do with this list of "The 50 Smartest People of Faith."

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Four different family types: What kind of family are you? - IMFC

A new report offers helpful insight into different family cultures.

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Notre Dame Punts - NRO

It misses a golden opportunity to send a message that matters.

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The Passive Voice, Used Badly - Anthony Esolen - First Thoughts

The Passive Voice is used badly when the writer tucks the real item of interest into a prepositional phrase, obscuring the agent of the verb and deflecting the emphasis.

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The Passive Voice, Abused- Anthony Esolen - First Thoughts

The Passive Voice is abused when the agent of the verb is not general and is indeed of consequence, but the writer wishes to obfuscate.

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Why Are College Textbooks So Absurdly Expensive? - The Atlantic

There is no competition, no free market, where students are required to buy only certain books for their classes at artificially inflated prices.

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Never Pay Sticker Price for a Textbook Again - Slate

The open educational resources movement that's terrifying publishers.

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