CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - January 30, 2013
Note from the Managing Editor:
It's been an issue for me ever since I became a Catholic in the late 80s.
The greatest social and culture-shaping force in the history of the world is Christianity. Nothing else comes even close.
The person who has had the greatest effect on other people and on the societies and cultures in which they live is Jesus Christ. No one else in history comes close.
Yet in 19 years of formal schooling I never heard Christ or Christianity discussed seriously in a public educational setting.
If leaving black Americans out of the textbooks is rightly seen as anti-black — as racism — then isn't the suppression or omission of Christianity and its influence just as truly anti-religious prejudice?
The fact is that Christianity has played and continues to play a central role in our culture and history. To neglect to report the Christian influence is simply to fail to carry out the major duty of any educational institution, the duty to tell the truth.
Surely among the greatest tragedies of education today is the fact that the average student leaving our schools has no conception of the positive role Christ and Christianity have played in shaping our world.
Those students would never imagine that the Church's contribution is as extensive and as overwhelmingly positive as it is. A superficial litany tells us that the first high schools and universities, the first hospitals and orphanages were started by the Church.
In our day the Church ranks as the largest charitable organization on the planet bringing relief and comfort to those in need. The Catholic Church is also the single largest health care provider in the world with more than 117,000 health care facilities, 26 per cent of the world's total.
As Cardinal Donald Wuerl pointed out in a Washington Post editorial last week, "Modern-day music, art, architecture, economics, philosophy and our legal system all have their roots in the Catholic Church. Concepts such as natural rights and social equality, not to mention the idea that government and religion are separate spheres, were developed in Catholic thought."
In fact, as Mike Aquilina points out in his latest book Yours Is the Church: How Catholicism Shapes the World: "Everything about our modern world we think is good is there because of the Church."
"Yours is the Church that built up the best in modern culture," writes Aquilina. Aquilina's very readable book is devoted to making the case — so that you will be able to make the case — that the Catholic Church has been a great blessing to our world.
I don't know a non-Catholic who knows this story. In fact, I only know a handful of Catholics who know their own story.
We need to know our own story if we are to present that story effectively to others.
Mike Aquilina's book is a great place to start.
I hope to have an excerpt from Mike's book for you next week. - J. Fraser Field
Quote of the Week:"Many is the man who has a drawing towards the Catholic Church, and resists it, on the plea that he has not sufficient proof of her claims. Now he cannot have proof all at once, he cannot be converted all at once, I grant; but he can inquire; he can determine to resolve the doubt, before he puts it aside, though it cost labour and time to do so. The intimate feeling of his heart should be: 'What must I do, that I may be saved?' His best consolation is the promise: 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.'" - Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
• Presentation of Papal Message for World Day of the Sick - VIS
• National Catholic Schools Week 2013 - NCEA
• Archdiocese to Close 24 Catholic Schools - Wall Street Journal
• The Pope, Public School, and Parents - Bedlam or Parnassus
• Parent power makes itself felt in California school system - Family Edge
• Grammar Lesson of the Day: The Big Modal, would - First Thoughts
• The FAQs: School Choice - Acton Blog
• Grammar Lesson of the Day: But - First Thoughts
• Hope for parents with autistic children - Family Edge
• Christendom College to Host Ex corde Ecclesiae Presidents Roundtable - Campus Notes
• Learning to confront atheism - RNS
Living in hope - Regis Martin - from The Last Things: Death Judgement Heaven Hell
Hope is an enormously important, if widely neglected and misunderstood, virtue.
Imagine someone appealing to Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, to justify the activities of gangs in Los Angeles.
In an age when role models are hard to find, Stan ‘The Man’ Musial offers inspiration to us all.
Everyone today complains about the culture.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes - Sean Fitzpatrick - Crisis Magazine
The greatest mystery of the Sherlock Holmes stories is, without doubt, Sherlock Holmes himself.
Here's a rundown of some 2012 incidents in Muslim nations that have received insufficient media attention.
A creature of his environment - Rex Murphy - National Post
That so many on university campuses feel their ideas are so perfect that they may now go on crusade to shut or shout down the ideas and opinions of others, is a more than worrisome sign.
Hell has gotten a bad name. I am sorry to hear it.
Military outlaws - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
The Geneva Convention's classification of military chaplains as noncombatants has traditionally been interpreted in the United States to mean that chaplains normally do not carry weapons.
2013: The third Sunday of Ordinary Time - mp3 - Father John Horgan - CERC
St. Luke's unique and remarkable influence.
This morning, in the John Paul II Hall of the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the Holy Father's message for the 21st World Day of the Sick.
Go against the grain - Vatican Radio
The Holy Father urges believers to profess Christ and resist the temptation to conform to secular "icons" put in His place.
The Vatican launched a new "Pope App" on the eve of the release of the pope's World Communications Day message, which will be dedicated to social networks as important spaces for evangelization.
A Nation Rises - March for Life - Blackstone films (youtube)
Are we prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage that the violence visited on our children is somehow the price of our freedom
Huddled under winter coats and hats and scarves, hundreds of thousands of pro-life activists gathered on the Mall in Washington D.C. this morning to send a clear message to politicians in the Capitol, and the whole country: 40 years is too long, abortion must end!
The Paradox of Persons Forty Years After Roe - Public Discourse
Abortion is the great civil rights issue of our time because it raises — uniquely and compellingly — every society’s foundational question about law and justice.
Fresh thoughts on being pro life - Patheos
How do we respect "feelings, feelings, feelings," but also encourage real thinking, thinking, thinking in order to re-teach the value and dignity of the human person?
Media coverage of Roe at 40 - Get Religion
One could write several volumes under this headline, but we'll just look at a few items to come out in recent days.
A pro-choice surge - NRO
The biggest political problems for pro-lifers: they are in coalition with economic conservatives who don't yet have a popular program, and they have not yet formed a coalition with blacks and Hispanics.
Europe's "baby hatches" - CNS
Do official places to leave unwanted babies encourage abandonment or provide a pro-life alternative?
The Cardinal and the Truth - New York Times
A New York Times editorial has suggested that Cardinal Roger Mahony could be vulnerable to lawsuits because of his efforts to cover up sexual abuse by priests in the Los Angeles archdiocese.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone understands his mission and shows us all how to articulate the changeless truths which must be defended in this urgent hour.
An Unrecognizable America - Public Discourse
If the HHS mandate is enforced, our government may provoke a schism in the American Catholic Church and will reduce faithful Catholics to second-class citizenship.
Writing on the mission of Catholic media, Kansas City-Saint Joseph Bishop Robert Finn expressed his disappointment with the National Catholic Reporter’s failure to live up to its name.
Organizers estimate that over 50,000 people walked, sang, chanted and prayed in the 9th annual Walk for Life West Coast Saturday.
Judge will hold Obama administration to its pledge to modify HHS mandate - Catholic Culture
A US district court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the HHS mandate filed by the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic University of America, Catholic Charities of DC, and two other local Catholic organizations.
Calm, dispassionate and devastatingly effective, Anthony Ozimic of SPUC argued against the promotion of same-sex marriage in schools on ITV's "This Morning."
How Do We Respond to 'So What?' - On the Square
Flannery O' Connor told a friend, "I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say," and it is the same for me.
Clerical Fashions - First Thoughts
An easy target, I admit, but also irresistible: a clerical fashion show in which English clerics of various denominations walk the catwalk wearing chasubles, capes, clergy shirts, and clergy skirts (short).
Next year, march in NYC - New York Post
In the four decades since Roe, New York City may have lost the equivalent of a whole new borough. That’s a staggering loss of human potential.
The Man Never Disappointed - The American Spectator
So confirmed America’s number two Cardinal at Stan Musial’s funeral.
Gender on Trial - Catholic Exchange
Defenders of traditional marriage may not believe it, but the Supreme Court’s apparent intention to decide two important same-sex marriage cases by midyear may be a stroke of good fortune for their side.
At Stanford, Clinical Training for Defense of Religious Liberty - New York Times
Backed by two conservative groups, Stanford Law School has opened the nation's only clinic devoted to religious liberty, an indication both of where the church-state debate has moved and of the growth in hands-on legal education.
The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2013 is "Catholic Schools Raise the Standards."
Archdiocese to Close 24 Catholic Schools - Wall Street Journal
Like their secular counterparts, NYC Catholic schools suffer from a lack of enrollments. Two dozen are slated for elimination.
The Pope, Public School, and Parents - Bedlam or Parnassus
Miracles still happen, even in a Latin class, even in a public school.
Under a 2010 California law known as the "parent trigger" parents can petition for change. They can fire teachers, oust administrators or turn the school over to private management.
Grammar Lesson of the Day: The Big Modal, would - First Thoughts
I've waited to discuss the most important of our modal auxiliaries, the word that is the past tense of will, and also therefore the marker for our conditional tenses: would.
The FAQs: School Choice - Acton Blog
In honor of the third annual National School Choice Week, here are some facts you should know about school choice in America.
Grammar Lesson of the Day: But - First Thoughts
"Never begin a sentence with but."
Hope for parents with autistic children - Family Edge
A new study of children suffering from autism offers hope.
Christendom College will welcome Catholic college and university presidents to its Front Royal, Va., campus as it hosts the Ex corde Ecclesiae Presidents’ Roundtable.
Regis College in Toronto is offering a course to students to help them better meet aggressive modern atheism.