CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - June 6, 2012
Note from the Managing Editor:
Mass of Christian burial was celebrated in Toronto on Monday for Professor Thomas Langan. Tom was a treasured and deeply admired friend.
A graduate of St. Louis University and the Institut Catholique de Paris, Tom was professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's College. He was the author of many books.
I first met Tom in the early 1990s when he was traveling across Canada generating interest in the Catholic Civil Rights League which he had helped establish.
I remember sitting on a carpet in a living room in West Vancouver because there weren't enough chairs to accommodate us all, and being completely captivated by the man in front of me. Tom's charm and cultured grace were matched by an intellectual clarity and breadth of knowledge unprecedented in my experience. He spoke about the growing threat to religious freedom in general and to the Catholic Church in particular and how our support for the CCRL would be very important in enabling the organization to provide commentary and carefully thought out responses to those threats. I was sold on the League and on Tom Langan from that first meeting.
Tom fulfilled my ideal of a professor — the one I never had — and I think I might even have idealized him as a person, if he hadn't embraced me as a friend and taken me into his confidence almost from the first. Along with all his other gifts he had a practical turn of mind, which I completely lack. I always valued his counsel. Tom had an easy way about him. He entertained one with stories while reflecting deeply from a richly nuanced and fully orthodox Catholic understanding.
One story, which I'd have to put in the "being in the right place at the wrong time" category, was how in October 1978, at the invitation of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, Tom flew to Kracow, Poland with a few other academics to discuss philosophy with the Cardinal. It was only on arrival that they discovered that the Cardinal had suddenly been called to Rome for the consistory after the sudden death of Pope John Paul I where he would be elected Pope.
Aside from starting the Catholic Civil Rights League, Tom played an important, if obscure, role in the founding of CERC.
My wife and I were traveling back from a conference at Whistler, B.C. with Tom and his wife Janine, in the mid 90s when I first mentioned my idea for CERC.
Tom immediately wanted to know all about it and after my outline voiced his unreserved and enthusiastic support for the idea along with no small amount of practical advice on how I should proceed. It was principally Tom's endorsement that this was a needed and important project and his confidence that I could do it that persuaded my wife to support me in what was to become CERC. Soon after, Tom went on to find a major donor, who helped CERC survive through the lean early years.
Tom and his wife Janine's regular advice to me over the years has been, "Don't give up. Don't ever give up!" God rest your beautiful soul, Tom Langan. - J. Fraser Field
Quote of the Week:"Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of their birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition tells us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our father." - G.K. Chesterton
• A Gift to Philadelphia and the Whole Nation - Whispers
• For the government, what counts as Catholic? - Washington Post
• Parental choice is the best reform to education - DC Examiner
• Carrying On: A Tale of Two Wrestlers - Character Action Media
• Hope for College Students in Boston - NCRegister
• Planting the Modesty Seed in our Children - The practicing Catholic
• College doubles healthcare fee - Fox
• Merit Badges for the Job Market - Wall Street Journal
• Satan's Commencement Speech at St. Sincerus University - Catholic Phoenix
• Better Schools, Fewer Dollars - City Journal
Our duty to trust Him - Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman - Parochial and Plain Sermons
Our duty as Christians lies in making ventures for eternal life without the absolute certainty of success.
Introduction - Kurt & Janet von Schuschnigg - from When Hitler Took Austria: A Memoir of Heroic Faith by the Chancellor's Son
"When Hitler Took Austria is a crackling good story.... I love stories of chases over the snowy mountains as dissidents heave strained frosty breaths trying to stay just ahead of the Gestapo they know is getting closer. And it is even better when it is a story of a hero for faith and human honor such as the son of the Austrian chancellor. If you want to understand how our present world came to be, don't miss this book." Michael Novak
The Three Temptations of the Church - Howard Kainz - Crisis Magazine
In Volume I of Jesus of Nazareth, authored by Pope Benedict XVI before he became pontiff, the three temptations of Christ in the desert before entering public life are considered.
I would encourage anyone who is thinking of abandoning their Catholic faith to consider the following five questions.
The government isn't content to oppose bullying. It wants to change Catholic teachings.
Catholics are being told to substitute state belief for their religious belief.
The biggest threat to marriage today is fear of its dissolution.
Everyone knows that conscience works in two different modes: cautionary and accusatory.
Compassion - Donald DeMarco - from The Many Faces of Virtue
Every virtue has its bogus pretenders. But there is no counterfeit that is more successful in obscuring the genuine article, especially in the present era, than false compassion.
Like Paul in Caesarea - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
Having spent more than a few years dealing with mental patients, I thought I was pretty well informed about the etiology of psychosis.
A Gift to Philadelphia and the Whole Nation - Whispers
Fresh off the wire from Milan (via 222), Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. released the following statement on Pope Benedict's selection of Philadelphia this morning to host the Eighth World Meeting of Families in 2015.
Cardinal Bertone breaks his silence on 'Vatileaks' scandal - Catholic Culture
In his first public statement on the leaks of confidential Vatican documents, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone told an Italian television interviewer that Pope Benedict XVI is not overly worried by the scandal.
A federal appeals court decision May 31 to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act is a matter of “grave injustice,” said Bishop Salvatore Cordileone.
While the networks largely ignored 43 Catholic institutions suing the Obama administration over the ObamaCare contraception mandate, since news broke on May 25 of the Pope's butler leaking classified Vatican documents, those same networks saw fit to provide 13 stories in 5 days.
What's Going on With the LCWR? - National Catholic Register
In the 1950s, the Vatican established the Conference of Major Superiors of Women in the United States to provide a forum for women religious to develop educational, spiritual and apostolic resources and discuss their common interests.
As Vatican Manages Crisis, Book Details Infighting - New York Times
New book suggests that the recent leaks of Vatican documents seems to stem from rivalries within the Curia and efforts to protect the Holy Father.
A British Christian mental health worker who was fired for “gross professional misconduct” after discussing with colleagues the mental health problems faced by women who have had abortions, launched a human rights lawsuit against her former employer at England's High Court on May 28.
Day of Jesus' Crucifixion Believed Determined - Discovery
It's been debated for years, but researchers say they now have a definitive date of the crucifixion.
The role of Archbishop of Canterbury is, by common consent, a poisoned chalice.
Bill banning 'sex-selective abortions' fails in the House - Washington Post
Although nations such as Canada, France, Germany, and the UK have no trouble banning them, sex-selection abortions survived a congressional vote yesterday.
Cardinal Dolan Authorized Paying Abusers? - National Catholic Register
Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times has (yet another) deceptively crafted hit piece on the Catholic Church.
Frail and aged, a giant apologizes - Mercatornet
A leading figure in the study of homosexuality recently recanted his belief that some gays can change. There was no need to apologize, says a Dutch psychologist.
Lady Gaga Gets the Indonesian Boot - Catholic World Report
Asians are sending a message to America. Are we listening?
Vatican issues warning on book by prominent American nun - Catholic Culture
The Vatican has issued a warning that a book by a prominent American nun puts forward positions that are "in direct contradiction with Catholic teaching in the field of sexual morality."
Obama Losing Religious Vote - NewsMax
The president has been ignoring and is losing religious voters, and a new effort at outreach may come too late.
The Christian queen - The Telegraph
In an era of feeble bishops, Elizabeth the Christian Queen has helped keep the faith alive.
Preaching what they practise -The Economist
Opponents of gay marriage find it mysteriously hard to secure a platform.
Liberty's Beating Heart - National Review
It's worldwide and against baby girls, even in the Land of the Free.
The Sebelius and Dowd Heresy - Real Clear Religion
Last week, two prominent Catholic women - Kathleen Sebelius in an address to the graduates of Georgetown University's public policy school, and Maureen Dowd in a column published in the New York Times - delivered strong statements about the Church's role in civil society.
A former president of the American Psychological Association (APA), who also introduced the motion to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness in 1975, says that the APA has been taken over by "ultraliberals" beholden to the "gay rights movement," who refuse to allow an open debate on reparative therapy for homosexuality.
Canadian Crackdown - National Review
A considered and empathetic opposition to same-sex marriage has nothing to do with phobia or hatred, but that doesn't stop Christians, conservatives, and anybody else who doesn't take the fashionable line from being condemned as Neanderthals and bigots.
Catholic schools at a crossroads - Chicago Tribune
As St. Scholastica shuts, archdiocese pins hopes on new successes such as Cristo Rey.
For the government, what counts as Catholic? - Washington Post
The government has been eager to regulate the behavior of churches in ways more to its liking. It does this by defining religion down, so that only the most rigid and separatist groups are exempt.
Parental choice is the best reform to education - DC Examiner
NY's Cardinal Dolan puts it about Catholic elementary schools, "we do it twice as good at half the price."
Carrying On: A Tale of Two Wrestlers - Character Action Media
An inspiring story of two high school wrestlers overcoming physical disabilities and emotional challenges to accomplish their goals through perseverance, discipline, and friendship.
Hope for College Students in Boston - NCRegister
Cardinal O'Malley's Experiment Has 1 Religious Order Serving 10 Area Campuses.
Planting the Modesty Seed in our Children - The practicing Catholic
Chastity is a delicate flower that needs to be protected from early childhood.
Curtis Johnson got the shock of his life yesterday when he opened a letter from Clearwater Christian College and discovered that his student health insurance fee was going to more than double - thanks to President Obama's healthcare reform law.
Merit Badges for the Job Market -Wall Street Journal
Borrowing from the Boy Scouts, colleges and companies are experimenting with alternatives to diplomas.
Satan's Commencement Speech at St. Sincerus University - Catholic Phoenix
Thank you. (loud applause) Thank you all very much. Thank you, Fr. Despereaux. Please, folks (continued applause), please be seated. A little restraint every now & then. . . (laughter).
Better Schools, Fewer Dollars - City Journal
We can improve education without busting the budget.