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July 23, 2014

Note from the Managing Editor:

Several years ago a former parish priest here used to dedicate one homily a year to explaining the problem with contraception and why his parishioners shouldn't contracept.  It struck me as a very sound and ambitious once-a-year effort to correct a lot of fuzzy thinking and disordered behaviour.

According to a 2012 Gallup poll 82% of Catholics believe artificial contraception is morally acceptable.  Obviously bishops, priests, and the rest of us need to do a better of job of explaining why that's not the case.

To that end the best explanation that I've seen of what's wong with contraception is Janet Smith's brilliant and probably definitive "Contraception: Why Not?"  That her talk is just over twenty thousand words long is its only limitation.

Several weeks ago I ran across the pastoral letter "The Language of Love" on the sacrificial nature of love and on the destructive nature of contraception by Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska.  That letter addresses the question directly and effectively in just 2,500 words.  While it would be an exaggeration to say the good bishop's pastoral letter "went viral" it seems to have made quite a stir and was even picked up internationally.

As an aside it seems there's a lot of good coming out of Nebraska.  With a total population of less than two million in the entire state, St. Gregory the Great Seminary which serves the region has 52 seminarians enrolled for the Fall.

Bishop James Conley's "The Language of Love" is our feature article this week. - J. Fraser Field

 


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"Christianity is not a new philosophy or new morality. We are Christians only if we encounter Christ… Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we really become Christians."   - Pope Benedict XVI



Index


New Resources:

Ousting the Demons - Dom Augustin Guillerand - from The Prayer of the Presence of God
The Language of Love - Most Reverend James D. Conley, STL. - Diocese of Lincoln
NFP: The Myth of the "Contraceptive Mentality" - Father Ryan Erlenbush - New Theological Movement
A Meditation on the Pure Man - Anthony Esolen - The Catholic Thing
Moral clarity in Gaza - Charles Krauthammer - Washington Post
American Freedom and the Catholic Church - Cardinal Francis George - Catholic New World
The 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Father John Horgan - CERC
Homosexual Conflicts in Youth: Parental Responses - Richard Fitzgibbons - Institute for Marital Healing

Editorials of Interest:

Education Matters:

The Value of Virginity - The Guardian
What Do Philosophers Do? - The Atlantic

New Resources


Ousting the Demons - Dom Augustin Guillerand - from The Prayer of the Presence of God

Creatures — and the devil, who uses them — do not let themselves be ousted without a struggle.

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The Language of Love - Most Reverend James D. Conley, STL. - Diocese of Lincoln

"The Language of Love" is Bishop Conley's pastoral letter on the sacrificial nature of love and on the destructive nature of contraception.

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NFP: The Myth of the "Contraceptive Mentality" - Father Ryan Erlenbush - New Theological Movement

It should be clear that a couple who uses (or even misuses) natural family planning will never be in danger of a falling into a contraceptive mentality.

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A Meditation on the Pure Man - Anthony Esolen - The Catholic Thing

Where have all the angels gone?

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We were wrong, says former regulator of Dutch euthanasia - Theo Boer - Mercatornet

In 2001 The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia and, along with it, assisted suicide.

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False Extremes and the Christian Way Forward - John Zmirak - Aleteia

Most people get virtue wrong.  They think that it is simply the opposite of sin — when in fact the opposite of a sin is usually another kind of sin, just as the opposite of going too far west is going too far east.

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Moral clarity in Gaza - Charles Krauthammer - Washington Post

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity.

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American Freedom and the Catholic Church - Cardinal Francis George - Catholic New World

On June 20, Pope Francis spoke to a conference in Rome on international religious liberty and the global clash of values.

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The 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Father John Horgan - CERC

Father Horgan explains the parables in this week’s Gospel - Matthew 13: 23-43.

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Homosexual Conflicts in Youth: Parental Responses - Richard Fitzgibbons - Institute for Marital Healing

Catholic parents are often shocked and deeply troubled when they discover a son or daughter has been viewing homosexual pornography or when they are informed by an adolescent son or daughter that they are homosexual.

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Editorials of Interest


USCCB decries Obama’s LGBT executive order as 'unprecedented and extreme' - Catholic Culture

Referring to the "irrefutable rightness of your cause," President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning federal employment discrimination against transgendered persons and prohibiting "all companies that receive a contract from the federal government from discriminating against their LGBT employees."

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Obama's executive order and the danger of reliance on federal contracts - Catholic Culture

Just as American Catholic bishops were volunteering to help President Obama — by handling the thousands of children from Central America who are entering the US illegally — the White House has announced that the President doesn’t want help from the Catholic Church.

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Pope denounces 'racist, xenophobic' attitudes toward immigrants - CNA

In his message for the Mexico-Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development, Pope Francis called for a change in the way migrants are viewed, giving particular emphasis to unaccompanied children.

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Pope Francis readies encyclical on ecology for start of 2015 - Rome Reports

Pope Francis has reportedly spent months drafting his new encyclical on Creation, and respect for the environment.

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50 Ways Catholics are Working on Ending Hunger Today! - Patheos

Over the past year I have been working closely with Catholic organizations active all across the United States to try to encourage their work to end hunger.

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What was wrong with the Pope's latest interview? A lot. - Catholic Culture

The pope may speak to whomever he wishes, whenever he wants, but even though he's the the Supreme Pontiff, the Vatican's communications strategy cannot be built around the pope's whims.

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The Pope, Persecution, and Religious Freedom - CWR

The bluntness of Francis' speaking of actual persecution of Christians on the scale that it is occurring is most encouraging.

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Stratford Caldecott: Go With God -Catholic Exchange

On July 17th, Stratford Caldecott fell asleep in the Lord after a long battle with prostate cancer.

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ISIS to Christians in Mosul: convert, pay or die - CNN

Just days after the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria said they killed hundreds of Syrians, dozens of Iraqi Christian families are now fleeing the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul, hoping to avoid a similar fate.

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ISIS burns 1,800-year-old church in Mosul - Al arabiva

The Islamic terrorist group has destroyed an 1,800-year-old church in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city.

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A Muslim martyr for Christians - Vatican Insider

A professor in Mosul stood up to ISIS to object about the treatment of Christians in Iraq. Yesterday he was murdered.

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Which religious groups are most popular? - Washington Post

A Pew survey shows which faiths are most favored in America — and how political affiliations affect how people see religious bodies.

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Competing J.R.R. Tolkien Movies Race to Theaters - The Hollywood Reporter

"Tolkien & Lewis," which centers on the author's relationship with his University of Oxford colleague C.S. Lewis, joins Fox Searchlight's "Tolkien" and is aiming to court the faith-based audience with an Easter release.

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‘FOBs’ driving the train under Pope Francis - Boston Globe

Also: Christian fear in Gaza, controversy in Korea, and Allen Down Under.

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Conflict in Iraq gives nun mission of peace - OSV Newsweekly

For more than 35 years and through four wars, Mother Olga has devoted her life to service, advancement of dialogue.

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Saving normal in a world gone mad - Spiked

One psychiatrist’s rebellion against the pathologisation of everyday life.

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Vietnamese Sisters Find a Home in the United States - NCRegister

Four religious sisters recount their families’ departure from Vietnam.

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Education Matters


LeBron Returns to Cleveland: Every Young Athlete Should Read His Essay - Patheos

That mushroom cloud you see is the Internet detonating at the news that Lebron James is returning to Cleveland.

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How a Catholic school board hopes to accommodate gender disorder in a Catholic way - LifeSiteNews

After being hauled into arbitration by the Human Rights Commission in British Columbia, Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA) has developed a policy to deal with students experiencing gender disorder.

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The Economics of Sex - Youtube

This Research Animate pulls together some of the key sexual economics arguments made by social psychologists and economists.

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Catechesis, faith formation goes high-tech - OSV Newsweekly

Dioceses, new media groups are using videos to share Catechism, provide training in the digital era.

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The Value of Virginity - The Guardian

Sex shouldn't be a casual, speedy affair. It is for someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with.

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What Do Philosophers Do? - The Atlantic

Outside of academia, that is.

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What’s Happening To Gordon College Is Just The Beginning - The Federalist

There is far more government bullying ahead for every private school, charity, parachurch organization, and even churches.

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How Family Game Night Makes Kids Into Better Students - The Atlantic

Matching up cards and planning the next chess move can help develop a child's executive function — a set of skills that may be more important for success than IQ points.

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New Executive Order Discriminates on Basis of Religious Beliefs, U.S. Bishops Say - Catholic Education Daily

Two chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Monday lamenting the discrimination against those with religious beliefs found in President Obama’s executive order.

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Catholic Seminarians Boycott Graduation from Beijing Seminary - Catholic World Report

The seminarians discovered that the illegitimate – and excommunicated – rector of the seminary, was scheduled to offer the graduation Mass.

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