CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - June 26, 2013

NEW RESOURCES    EDITORIALS OF INTEREST    EDUCATION MATTERS

Note from the Managing Editor:

Compared to "the passion of Spinoza, the wit of Voltaire, the world-shattering profundity of Nietzsche" the new atheists seem awfully anaemic.  But much more importantly, the new atheist creed of individualism and relativism has no chance of turning back the new barbarians that are now among us.  As Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has it "Atheism has failed. Only religion can defeat the new barbarians."

While there may be more, there are at least "Ten Greek Words Every Catholic Should Know."

And if you don't understand what Pope Francis is talking about when he talks about poverty, you don't understand Pope Francis.  See "Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty."

And then there's this:

"Before the sexual revolution, the societal norm was to treat sex as a serious matter, requiring prudent moral boundaries that channel this powerful drive in ways that benefit, rather than hurt, the individual, family, and society.  More recently, popular culture has made sex seem like a casual thing.  But in truth, as growing evidence makes clear, sex is an act that is full of consequences.  That is a good reason to save it for marriage, and a good reason for character educators to support that goal."

That excerpt is from Thomas Lickona's article "Educating for Character in the Sexual Domain" which was published this year in the Peabody Journal of Education.  Tom granted me permission to include a version of that published article which is based on the original manuscript he submitted to Peabody.

This issue is so important — and so thoughtfully and carefully addressed here — that I'm really pleased to add Tom's article to our resource library.  The negative consequences of adolescent sexual activity are well-documented.  So are the benefits of sexual abstinence.  Importantly, there are programs and specfic things that educators can do to help young men and women practice sexual restraint.

Then Ryan T. Anderson tells us the "5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court's Marriage Cases" which they are hearing this week.

And Barbara Nicolosi contributes a devastating critique of parish catechesis programs, but with some very sound practical recommendations in "Repenting of the Failure of Parish-Based Catechesis." - J. Fraser Field

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Quote of the Week:

"Tell me, when you give alms do you look into the eyes of the man or woman to whom you give alms? . . . And when you give alms, do you touch the hand of the one to whom you give alms, or do you toss the coin?" - Pope Francis



New Resources:

It is better for you to enter into life - Macarius of Egypt - Fifty Spiritual Homilies
Atheism has failed. Only religion can defeat the new barbarians - Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - The Spectator
Ten Greek Words Every Catholic Should Know - Stephen Beale - Catholic Exchange
Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty - Samuel Gregg - Crisis
Educating for Character in the Sexual Domain - Thomas Lickona - CERC
5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court’s Marriage Cases - Ryan T. Anderson - The Foundry
Repenting of the Failure of Parish-Based Catechesis - Barbara Nicolosi - Patheos
Shakespeare’s The Tempest - Mitchell Kalpakgian - Crisis
I wish to disappear - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
2013: 12th Sunday OT - mp3 - Father John Horgan - CERC

Editorials of Interest:

Pope warns against latter-day Pharisees, hypocrites - Vatican Radio
Pope: it's wrong to think our enemies must go to hell - EWTN
Pope's eight cardinal advisors say the Curia is not the only thing they'll be reforming - Vatican Insider
10 secrets of the Vatican exposed - TIME
A recipe for overinterpreting the pope - NCR
Natural Lawyer - New York Times Magazine
Anemic Response - EWTN
A More Secular Europe, Divided by the Cross - New York Times
'No Religion, Please. We're European.' - Acton Power Blog
A Bronx Priest Who Makes Honey and Beer ... and Clothes for Cameron Diaz - Catholic Vote
In Defense of the Church's Challenging Language on Homosexuality - On the Square
Pastors Are Not Interchangeable Parts - On the Square
Flooding Damages Lourdes, French Holy Site - New York Times
NY abortion expansion fails amid Catholic opposition - CNA
Requiem for a dream - Pew Forum
How Songs Like Macklemore's "Same Love" Change the Marriage Debate - On the Square
The evolution of the swim suit - YouTube
Exodus International dissolves, apologizes to gay community - Catholic Culture
Close friend seeks to allay fears over Benedict XVI’s health - Catholic Herald
LA archbishop says immigration tests America's identity - CNA
Egyptian Christians thank military for defending public order - Fides
Scalia: 'Moral issues such as gay marriage…have no business being decided by the court' - LifeSiteNews

Education Matters:

Common Core Education Standards Generate Catholic Concerns - NCRegister
Two Moms vs. Common Core - NRO
Want to Graduate College? Better Luck at a Catholic School - Aleteia
In Praise of Catholic Studies - First Thoughts
Federal court rules in favor of free speech in Michigan - Spero
Why We Have Mediocrity in our Public Schools - First Thoughts
Many Studies Link Religious Education to Tolerance - First Thoughts
Classical schools put Plato over iPad - CNN
Obama Wants to Eliminate Catholic Education? - NCRegister
Homeschooling Growing Seven Times Faster than Public School Enrollment - Breitbart


NEW RESOURCES:

It is better for you to enter into life - Macarius of Egypt - Fifty Spiritual Homilies

When he sees your earnestness in seeking him, then he appears and manifests himself to you.

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Atheism has failed. Only religion can defeat the new barbarians - Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks - The Spectator

The West is suffering for its loss of faith. Unless we rediscover religion, our civilization is in peril.

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Ten Greek Words Every Catholic Should Know
- Stephen Beale - Catholic Exchange

It's hard to imagine Christianity without Greek. It's the language of the New Testament and our earliest creeds and doctrines.

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Pope Francis on the True Meaning of Poverty
- Samuel Gregg - Crisis

"How I long for a poor Church for the poor!"

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Educating for Character in the Sexual Domain - Thomas Lickona - CERC

Before the sexual revolution, the societal norm was to treat sex as a serious matter, requiring prudent moral boundaries that channel this powerful drive in ways that benefit, rather than hurt, the individual, family, and society.  More recently, popular culture has made sex seem like a casual thing.  But in truth, as growing evidence makes clear, sex is an act that is full of consequences.  That is a good reason to save it for marriage, and a good reason for character educators to support that goal.

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5 Things You Need to Know About the Supreme Court’s Marriage Cases
- Ryan T. Anderson - The Foundry

Next week the Supreme Court will decide two cases dealing with the definition of marriage.

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Repenting of the Failure of Parish-Based Catechesis
- Barbara Nicolosi - Patheos

It's long past time for the Catholic Church in the United States to acknowledge and address the fact that in many, possibly most, dioceses, parish-based catechesis has been an abject failure.

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Shakespeare’s The Tempest - Mitchell Kalpakgian - Crisis

Prospero's white magic is art, the art of parenting, ruling, teaching, and creating — the art of releasing potential, eliciting the best and highest in human nature.

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I wish to disappear - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor

This is true of all Christians.

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2013: 12th Sunday OT - mp3 - Father John Horgan - CERC

Who do you say that I am?

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EDITORIALS OF INTEREST:
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Pope warns against latter-day Pharisees, hypocrites - Vatican Radio

In a homily commenting on a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees, Pope Francis said that there are always people within the Church who live by rules rather than by love.

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Pope: it's wrong to think our enemies must go to hell - EWTN

"You cannot pray with enemies in your heart."

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Pope's eight cardinal advisors say the Curia is not the only thing they'll be reforming - Vatican Insider

The cardinals Francis nominated as advisors in April are also looking into some unresolved issues in the Church.

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10 secrets of the Vatican exposed - TIME

Exorcisms, pickpockets, and the pope's mail.

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A recipe for overinterpreting the pope - NCR

Here's a recipe for overinterpretation: Start with intense public fascination with a new pope and add a basic lack of substantive movement on matters of policy and personnel.

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Natural Lawyer - New York Times Magazine

A profile of Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton, pro-life fighter in hostile environments.

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Anemic Response - EWTN

An American member of Congress says the Obama Administration is doing nothing to help persecuted Christians worldwide.

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A More Secular Europe, Divided by the Cross - New York Times

Stanislav Zvolensky, the Roman Catholic archbishop of the Slovak capital here, was thrilled when he was invited to Brussels three years ago to discuss the fight against poverty with the insistently secular bureaucracy of the European Union.

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'No Religion, Please. We're European.' - Acton Power Blog

Signs of the times: A Slovak court bans a coin commemorating the nation's Christian heritage.

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A Bronx Priest Who Makes Honey and Beer ... and Clothes for Cameron Diaz - Catholic Vote

This past weekend, I was channel-surfing and stopped on Fox News when a video clip of Pope Francis caught my eye.

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In Defense of the Church's Challenging Language on Homosexuality - On the Square

When considering the pastoral language the Church should use in speaking about homosexuality, the guiding principle must be what then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote about the subject in 1986, writing as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral."

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Pastors Are Not Interchangeable Parts - On the Square

It's hard to imagine anything farther removed from the New Evangelization than our current priest assignment policies.

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Flooding Damages Lourdes, French Holy Site - New York Times

The waters of the Christian holy site of Lourdes, reputed for their powers of healing, have been cruel this week.

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NY abortion expansion fails amid Catholic opposition - CNA

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed bill to dramatically expand legal abortion in the state died in the state senate following months of Catholic and pro-life opposition.

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Requiem for a dream - Pew Forum

The so-called Arab Spring was met with hope for increased freedom and tolerance. Sad to say, that's not what's happening.

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How Songs Like Macklemore's "Same Love" Change the Marriage Debate - On the Square

As I write, YouTube reports almost 50 million views of the music video for "Same Love" by the hip hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

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The evolution of the swim suit - YouTube

The history of the swim suit explains so much.

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Exodus International dissolves, apologizes to gay community - Catholic Culture

Exodus International, an Evangelical group that counseled men and women attempting to overcome homosexual impulses, has announced that it is closing.

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Close friend seeks to allay fears over Benedict XVI’s health - Catholic Herald

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI is alert and happy, a friend and former student reports. "His memory is fresh and his eyes are very bright and joyous."

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LA archbishop says immigration tests America's identity - CNA

"Our national debate about immigration is a great struggle for the American spirit and the American soul," Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles said in an address to the Catholic Media Conference in Denver.

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Egyptian Christians thank military for defending public order - Fides

The Coptic Orthodox Church has issued a statement of thanks to the Egyptian military for the "great role carried out by our armed forces" in preserving order in the country.

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Scalia: 'Moral issues such as gay marriage…have no business being decided by the court' - LifeSiteNews

As the Supreme Court prepares to rule this week on the legality of federal and state bans on same-sex "marriage," Justice Antonin Scalia has said there is no "right to homosexual conduct" granted by the United States Constitution.

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EDUCATION MATTERS:

Common Core Education Standards Generate Catholic Concerns - NCRegister

The idea of a single, national standard for K-12 curricula has its proponents, but should there be any among Catholics?

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Two Moms vs. Common Core - NRO

How an eight-year-old's homework assignment led to a political upheaval.

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Want to Graduate College? Better Luck at a Catholic School - Aleteia

A new study shows that Catholic schools have higher graduation rates on average than any other type of school, public or private.

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In Praise of Catholic Studies - First Thoughts

Seven hundred classmates and I recently graduated from a Catholic college — the oldest Catholic college in New England and the only liberal arts, strictly undergraduate, and Jesuit institution in the country.

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Federal court rules in favor of free speech in Michigan - Spero

A Michigan judge rules in favor of a student tossed from class for opposing his teacher's homosexual advocacy.

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Why We Have Mediocrity in our Public Schools - First Thoughts

Until we create a system in which our best and brightest teachers can thrive, we’ll have mediocrity. But mediocrity will do for now. Mediocrity can babysit.

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Many Studies Link Religious Education to Tolerance - First Thoughts

Matthew, that 2008 Campbell study is only one in a long line of empirical studies looking at how religious education (and also secular private education) affect tolerance for the rights of others, as well as other democratic values and practices such as voter participation and volunteer work.

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Classical schools put Plato over iPad - CNN

In Maryland, a group of students ponder which depiction of the Nativity shows true beauty: A 14th-century Giotto, a 16th-century Barocci or a 20th-century William Congdon. The students are in seventh grade.

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Obama Wants to Eliminate Catholic Education? - NCRegister

You may have seen the headlines: "U.S. President Undermines Catholic Schools After Vatican Prefect Praised Them." Or "Obama Offends Catholics in U.K.: Says Religious Schools Divisive."

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Homeschooling Growing Seven Times Faster than Public School Enrollment - Breitbart

As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling.

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