CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - February 8, 2012
Note from the Managing Editor:
We're not playing soft ball anymore.
The USCCB has come out swinging in response to the HHS ruling that will force Catholic institutions to pay for non-medical contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization for their employees.
A stream of smoke and misinformation coming out of the White House is one of the first things that needed to be confronted.
See the USCCB's "White House Misrepresents Its Own Contraceptive Mandate" and also "6 things everyone should know about the HHS mandate". See also Elizabeth Scalia here. And go here to keep up on developments.
Although the whole business is dangerous and disturbing and although one senses there's a long uphill battle ahead, still it does feel good to be in a real fight and not facing the same old incremental erosion of religious rights and freedoms we've been subjected to for so long. It is gratifying as well to know that there are bishops out there — many bishops it appears — who are willing to go the wall in defense of Christ's Church.
As for the update, I think you won't want to miss Theodore Dalyrmple's "The End of Charity." - J. Fraser Field
Quote of the Week:"If there were no God, there would be no Atheists." - G.K. Chesterton
• Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization - Catholic Culture
• Why is Vanderbilt turning hostile to religion on its campus? - Fox News
• Chastity, seen as a threat - Catholic Culture
• Conscience and Campus Orthodoxy - Library of Law and Liberty
• Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to DIY Education - The Daily Beast
• The State of Education - NRO
• Redeeming Higher Education - The Claremont Institute
• New York parents shut down Planned Parenthood sex ed for middle schoolers - LifeSiteNews
• Golden Missed Opportunity - City Journal
• Understanding and changing the way teens think - Family Edge
• How's My Teaching? - City Journal
• Members Only - Salvo
Man's search for meaning - Viktor Fankl - excerpt from Man's Search for Meaning
In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning.
The End of Charity - Theodore Dalrymple - New English Review
That judgments in the past were harsh or unfeeling is, alas, the case. But that is a reason for refining our judgment, not for refraining from exercising it at all.
It does not seem like 60 years ago that my late brother said to our half-asleep parents as we departed early for school: "There was a bug in my cereal, and by the way, the King is dead."
Charles Murray's new book Coming Apart demolishes the idea that the white working class remains the guardian of core American values like religious faith, hard work, and marriage.
Everywhere outside of Christianity, wrote Hans Urs von Balthasar, the child is automatically the first to be sacrificed. Only for Christians is the adult the imperfect child.
Indignation over sex-selection shows that abortion is not just a private matter.
Do We Need the Department of Education? - Charles Murray - Imprimis
The case for the Department of Education could rest on one or more of three legs: its constitutional appropriateness, the existence of serious problems in education that could be solved only at the federal level, and/or its track record since it came into being. Let us consider these in order.
The tyrant is always among the most important figures to understand.
Satan - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
Satan never looks like Satan.
Are the Gospels Myth? - Carl Olson - Catholic Answers Magazine
So, are the four Gospels "myth"? Can they be trusted as historical records?
Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization - Catholic Culture
Word and silence: learning to communicate is learning to listen and contemplate as well as speak. This is especially important for those engaged in the task of evangelization: both silence and word are essential elements.
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua Dies at 88 - NCRegister
The Philadelphia archbishop was instrumental in implementing the new Code of Canon Law, serving on the Pro-Life Activities Committee and in immigration services.
New Video: Dolan Sharply Criticizes HHS Decision - NCRegisterThe latest decision by the Obama Administration to require almost all employers to provide sterilization, contraceptives and some abortifacients in their health care plans is not going to get by without a fight. A big fight.
Flood the Zone - New York Times
You have to include religious institutions and you have to give them broad leeway. Religious faith is quirky, and doesn't always conform to contemporary norms. But faith motivates people to serve. Faith turns lives around.
Army gags chaplains - Vatican Insider
The U.S. Army prevented Catholic chaplains in the military services from reading a pastoral letter on the new HHS rules from the pulpit at masses on Sunday.
HHS mandate might awaken the sleeping Catholic conscience - Catholic Culture
To win this battle, we must be confident — confident not only that our cause is just and arguments are persuasive, but also that our allies are firmly committed, and there will be no retreat this time.
Resistance to HHS Mandate - Conscience Laws
A map of institutions resisting HHS "preventive services" mandate.
The Media's Abortion Blinders - New York Times
Even if some forms of partiality are inevitable, journalists betray their calling when they simply ignore self-evident truths about a story.
Planned Parenthood's Hostages - Wall Street Journal
The abortion provider uses a vast media and political network to maintain its subsidies from government and private charities.
Media discover Planned Parenthood is controversial - Get Religion
It's just so interesting to me that when millions of Catholics were read letters from their bishops about the HHS mandate targeting Catholic groups, it took days for a few stories to trickle out.
Following a barrage of criticism of the Obama administration from the Catholic Church, Planned Parenthood today launched a national TV ad campaign praising newly mandated contraception coverage in health insurance plans, including those offered by religiously affiliated institutions.
In a 28-21 vote, the Washington state senate approved a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage. The bill is expected to pass in the state house and be signed into law by Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Catholic.
Dangers seen in Catholic use of Enneagram - Catholic World Report
Writing for Catholic World Report, Anna Abbott reports that Church officials have real concerns about the use of the Enneagram in Catholic retreat centers and other institutions.
The Vatican's top anti-abuse prosecutor said Thursday that the number of reported paedophilia cases involving clerics was "declining" but had reached "alarming" levels in the rest of society.
In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He's taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.
Healing Haiti's Children - Knights of Columbus
Help the Knights of Columbus make a life-changing difference in the lives of Haiti's children.
The Effects of Divorce on Children - Marri Research
Each year, over a million American children suffer the divorce of their parents.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World - The Daily Beast
She has been outspoken and relentless in her warnings that Islam is incompatible with Western values. Now, in Newsweek, she argues that Christians in Muslim countries are far more persecuted than Muslims in the West ever were.
Last temptation of Castro - Get Religion
Fidel Castro will be received back into the communion of the Roman Catholic Church during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the island in March, the Italian press is reporting.
The Sistine Chapel - Vatican.va
A visual treat. You can now zoom and turn so as to view all parts of the Sistine Chapel.
Once upon a time, American universities encouraged students to create community around common interests and protected the right of student organizations to operate in a manner consistent with their beliefs.
Chastity, seen as a threat - Catholic Culture
Do you see what’s wrong with this lede from a news story in the Toronto Sun?
Conscience and Campus Orthodoxy - Library of Law and Liberty
The lawyer who successfully defended a Christian counselor's right not to treat a homosexual couple explains why it is a victory for religious liberty.
Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to DIY Education - The Daily Beast
They raise chickens. They grow vegetables. They knit. Now a new generation of urban parents is even teaching their own kids.
The State of Education - NRO
Can schools rekindle the American work ethic?
Redeeming Higher Education - The Claremont Institute
If the newest books on the situation of the university are correct, we tenured professors are like the aristocrats of the ancien régime in the 1780s, barely conscious of the privilege that structures our lives and oblivious to the storm gathering around us.
Planned Parenthood has been kicked out of a New York state school district after a group of parents complained about the group's promotion of oral sex as a form of "abstinence" and class demonstrations on how to put on a condom.
Golden Missed Opportunity - City Journal
School choice is on the move everywhere — except California.
Understanding and changing the way teens think - Family Edge
If you have ever wondered why teenagers seem so different today and why they find the transition to adult life so much harder, you might be interested in the views of Psychology Professor, Alison Gopnik.
How's My Teaching? - City Journal
More policymakers are adopting evaluation systems based on classroom performance.
Members Only - Salvo
Can an Atheist Join a Christian Campus Fellowship?