CERC WEEKLY UPDATE - October 9, 2013
Note from the Managing Editor:
As John Allen Jr. explains:
Every week you can read news items about the slaughter of our brothers and sisters in foreign lands, but after a while it's hard not to be just a little numb to what seems little more than depressing statistics.
In his new book, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution, John Allen puts a human face on all of this, with compelling stories and representative examples of the kinds of suffering Christians around the world endure.
Allen then clears up five common myths about the war on Christians, examines the observable fall-out of the global war on Christians, and finally considers practical steps that both individuals and communities can take to express solidarity with its victims.
Here's how John Allen Jr. describes what prompted him to write the book and why it's important:
Read the Introduction to Allen's The Global War on Christians below.
Quote of the Week:"If the investments in the banks fall slightly … [it is ] a tragedy … what can be done? But if people die of hunger, if they have nothing to eat, if they have poor health, it does not matter! This is our crisis today!" - Pope Francis
• Have the courage to marry, start a family, pope tells youths in Assisi - CNS
• New Resources to Help Catholic Families Find Faithful Colleges - Catholic Education Daily
• Teenage Dating for Girls — Part I - Everyday Catholic
• A story in aftercare - Acton
• Grammar Lesson of the Day: Foreign Plurals - Word of the Day
• Marketing on a Shoestring - Ideas in Catholic Education
• Bible College Credited as Major Reason for Angola Prison Transformation - New York Times
• FOCUS Grows to 11 New Campuses - Focus
• See why our movement is changing the world - CCO
• The bizarre, misguided campaign to get rid of single-sex classrooms - AEI
The Mother of the Lord of the Sabbath - Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. - from Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting
Our Lady did not have that downward pull that we have, but she still had choices, and she could have wrong ones or right ones.
Introduction - John L. Allen Jr. - from The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution
This book is about the most dramatic religion story of the early twenty-first century, yet one that most people in the West have little idea is even happening: the global war on Christians.
Six months on and it is now all-Francis, all-the-time — a blockbuster interview here, a summit of cardinal consultors there, and a star turn tomorrow when the Holy Father visits Assisi and the tomb of Saint Francis himself.
A sense of humor and a sense of perspective are both helpful when pondering the recent interviews given by Pope Francis.
The appearance of an art house film on the philosopher Hannah Arendt has sparked renewed interest in an old controversy.
I found myself worrying about money the other day.
Sandra Bullock shines in Alfonso Cuarón's mesmerizing action thriller in space, a rare Hollywood spectacle with a touch of spiritual awareness.
Is Drug Addiction Really Like 'Any Other Chronic Illness'? - Theodore Dalrymple - Pajamas Media
Sometimes a single phrase is enough to expose a tissue of lies, and such a phrase was used in a recent editorial in The Lancet titled "The lethal burden of drug overdose."
The Holy Rosary - Father George Rutler - From the Pastor
October 7 is the Feast of the Holy Rosary.
The Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - Father Robert Spitzer, S.J. - from Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life
In last month’s article we looked at how the Holy Spirit gives us peace in times of suffering or when we might be experiencing some form of persecution for our faith.
In societies that trumpet individual rights, see everything as fleeting and see no value in sticking to something that's difficult, deciding to get married today takes courage, Pope Francis told young people in Assisi.
In his homily at daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that a Christian is a person who has a heart that knows how to pray and knows how to forgive.
On an October 4 pilgrimage to Assisi, celebrating the feast of his namesake, Pope Francis challenged the faithful to strip away all worldly attitudes.
The pope describes the moment of illumination he experienced after his election in March.
Pope's visit to Assisi in pictures - Catholic Herald
A pictorial record of Pope Francis's historic visit to Assisi on Friday.
Catholics Continue to Have Lowest Divorce Rates - NCRegister
Recent studies on marriage show that while their rates of divorce are significant, U.S. Catholics are less likely to divorce than people of other religious affiliations.
It was a daunting challenge for a startup think tank: how to make a good first impression in a town where think tanks are as common as Starbucks.
Although Pope Francis has earned a reputation for taking on tough questions and shaking up the status quo, so far he's been relatively quiet on at least one issue that's arguably done greater harm to the image and morale of the church over the last decade than any other: the child sexual abuse scandals.
A pope for the middle? -New York Times
Pope Francis is trying to draw both wings of the Church together; but in modern culture such religious efforts have often led to unexpected consequences.
The man who conducted the La Repubblica interview now admits he didn't record it and the pope didn't review the text before publication.
Hey, LA Times, there’s more to HHS fight than Hobby Lobby - Get Religion
I have to admit that I almost choked on my diet cherry cola when I read the double-decker headline on this Los Angeles Times news feature.
Middle East Reality Check - Catholic Difference
The humanitarian and strategic disaster of Syria should focus Catholic minds on the hard fact that there is no easy or quick path to peace in the Middle East.
Pope John Paul II’s Canonization Wasn’t Too Fast - George Weigel - Time
Those who have complained about a short-circuited process are mostly people who never wanted to see John Paul II canonized at all.
For the 61st time, this Sunday brought one of the great meetings of church and state as a majority of the Supreme Court again led the congregation at Washington's St Matthew's Cathedral for the capital's annual Red Mass.
Sex and the Public Order - Catholic World Report
The age of liberation from sexual roles and standards has also been an age of ever greater inequality.
Sebastian Gomes - Witness - Salt & Light
Sebastian grew up in Perth, Ontario and moved to Collegeville, Minnesota after high school where he played varsity soccer and earned a BA and MA in Theology and History from St. John's University.
The “Jesus’s Wife” Hoax: One Year Later - Patheos
There was a lot of hoopla — before the tests had even been run on the papyrus fragment. Then silence. Says it all.
In Conversation: Antonin Scalia - New York Magazine
In a recent interview with New York magazine, the faithful Catholic jurist admits — to the surprise of the interviewer — that he believes the devil is real.
Irish hospital "won't perform abortions" - Irish Times
In what seems a reversal, the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Ireland says it will not conform to a new national abortion law.
He and his supporters have a right to their atheism, but not to intellectual dishonesty about it.
The Communist Party and the future of religion in China - The Immanent Frame
This short essay sketches out the different views that may be identified within the Chinese Communist Party.
Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results - Wall Street Journal
I had a teacher once who called his students "idiots" when they screwed up.
New Resources to Help Catholic Families Find Faithful Colleges - Catholic Education Daily
The Cardinal Newman Society today published the newest editions of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College and My Future, My Faith magazine, including updated information and new online resources.
Teenage Dating for Girls — Part I - Everyday Catholic
Before I get started and offer some teenaged dating rules for girls, I want to say a couple things.
A story in aftercare - Acton
Enslaved children can be freed and restored only if effective aftercare is waiting. Your partnership allows stories like Serey's to be written.
Grammar Lesson of the Day: Foreign Plurals - Word of the Day
There are four groups of nouns from Latin and Greek that we’ve borrowed into English directly, using both singular and plural forms.
Marketing on a Shoestring - Ideas in Catholic Education
The best way to market your Catholic school doesn't cost us anything.
Warden Burl Cain calls the college "the game changer," and he added "It changed the culture of the prison."
FOCUS Grows to 11 New Campuses - Focus
Our overall expansion will include 8 additional campuses, totaling 11 new campus teams for the 2013-14 year.
The opportunity to help young people fill the spiritual void in their lives has never been greater.
The “Teach Kids, Not Stereotypes” initiative thinks separating students by gender is equivalent to racial segregation.