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January 22, 2020

Note from the Assistant Managing Editor:

This week, we begin with a beautiful meditation from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on "The Conversion of Saint Paul," in which "one existence died and another new one was born with the Risen Christ. ... For us, too, Christianity is not a new philosophy or a new morality.  We are only Christians if we encounter Christ."

Then we reprint an excerpt from Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday, "a simple guide to help reorient all of us toward our true home, allowing us to think purposefully about how to make our homes on earth better equipped to get all those living in them to the Father's house."

I think there is something for everyone in "On Saints Basil and Gregory Nazianzen and the need for real friendships."  I particularly enjoyed a quote from (surprisingly) Friedrich Nietzsche: "It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship, that makes unhappy marriages."

Finally, Msgr.  Charles Pope gives an excellent defense for why "U.S. Bishops Must Clear Up This Communion Confusion."  "The wider charge that the Church singles out individuals or groups in denying Holy Communion is likely to persist unless bishops, individually and collectively, teach in a comprehensive manner of the need for the worthy reception of Holy Communion."

If you haven't been to Confession in a while, why not join me this week? - Meaghen Gonzalez


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"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." - George Orwell

New Resources

The Conversion of Saint Paul - Pope Benedict XVI - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

This turning point in Paul's life, this transformation of his whole being was not the fruit of a psychological process, of a maturation or intellectual and moral development.

Introduction - Kim Baile, Carrie Gress, Noelle Mering, and Megan Schrieber - Theology of Home: Finding the Eternal in the Everyday

Home. It is an elegant word, at once both simple and far-reaching.

Sanctity No Elder than a Boy - Anthony Esolen - Magnificat

Many a lover of man's best friend has hoped to find a shaggy welcome in heaven, as if the old fellow would wag his tail to say, "It's you! I'm glad you made it. I wasn't sure."

On Saints Basil and Gregory Nazianzen and the need for real friendships - Reverend Peter M. J. Stravinskas - Catholic World Report

St. Gregory tells us plainly: "We seemed to be two bodies with a single spirit." Centuries before, Aristotle defined friendship as "a single soul dwelling in two bodies."

U.S. Bishops Must Clear Up This Communion Confusion - Msgr Charles Pope - National Catholic Register

If one in a state of mortal sin — no matter what the sin — has not sacramentally confessed and been absolved, he must not receive Holy Communion. There are no exceptions.

The Unbegun Life - Dale Ahlquist - Catholic World Report

A long time ago, even before the Dark Ages — we're talking about the 1970's, the Stoned Age — when I was in Junior High, I stood up in an English class and gave a speech against abortion.

The Isenheim Altarpiece - Father George W. Rutler - From the Pastor

I knew an elderly Scotswoman who read the Bible each night by the light of a candle.

Editorials of Interest:

Canon Don Elvir Tabakovic a conversion - LifeSiteNews
A Call To Arms - First Things
Belgium's Death Doctors - First Things
France Fractured - First Things

Editorials of Interest

Canon Don Elvir Tabakovic a conversion - LifeSiteNews

Canon Don Elvir Tabakovic was a world-renowned photographer who travelled the world all before the age of 25. Then, he gave it up to follow Christ. Watch to learn his powerful story!

Vatican: Pope Francis not in favor of optional priestly celibacy - CWR

The statement by Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni was issued Jan. 13 and was said to be in response to questions from journalists "regarding a recent editorial initiative."

A Call To Arms - First Things

As soon as it was announced that Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah had published a book defending priestly celibacy, they were accused of attacking Pope Francis.

Ignatius Press to keep Benedict XVI listed as coauthor of new celibacy book - CWR

Amid still-unfolding controversy surrounding a new book on priestly celibacy, the book's US publisher says it plans to continue identifying pope emeritus Benedict XVI as coauthor of the text. The former pope's private secretary requested Tuesday that Benedict not be listed as a coauthor.

'No misunderstanding': Cardinal Sarah meets with pope emeritus - CNA

Cardinal Robert Sarah has met with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to discuss the controversy following around their recently-published book "From the Depths of Our Hearts," and insisted that there is no ill-feeling between the two.

The two Popes: Baloney, Brilliantly Acted - First Things

As history, the Netflix film The Two Popes is baloney on steroids.

10 years after Vatican takeover, Legion in new abuse crisis - AP

The papal envoy who ran the Legion starting in 2010 learned about the case nearly a decade ago and refused to punish or even investigate the priest or the superiors who covered up his crimes, many of whom are still in power and ministry today.

Cardinal Pell Transferred to New Maximum-Security Prison - NC Register

Cardinal Pell had been in the Melbourne prison, located within the downtown area of the city, since his sentencing in December of 2018 on five counts of sexual abuse.

Belgium's Death Doctors - First Things

Wonder of wonders: Belgium is prosecuting three doctors for illegal euthanasia.

France Fractured - First Things

Living between Britain and France, I am often surprised by how little each country looks to the other.

The West and Iran: Catholic Wisdom in Uncertain Times - NC Register

The just-war tradition has much wisdom to offer in this moment of heightened tension between the United States and Iran.

What Soleimani's Death Means for Middle-Eastern Christians - Crisis Magazine

The deaths of Soleimani and al-Muhandis struck at the heart of two forces that have threatened Iraq's Christians. But their demise does not mean Christians are safe.

Radical feminist group takes credit for string of church attacks in Germany - Catholic Herald

A group calling themselves the "Feminist Autonomous Cell" has taken credit for an ongoing series of attacks on pro-life advocates in Germany, including the vandalism of two churches and the burning of a pro-life journalist's car.

The Case of Trump v. Rainbow Mafia - Crisis Magazine

Mark Joseph Stern, the resident LGBT scold at Slate magazine, is having a hissy fit over pronouns. Stern complains that a "transgender" pedophile in federal custody was not allowed to be called by his preferred pronouns.

The Court Case That Could Finally Take Down Antiquated Anti-Catholic Laws - The Atlantic

Thirty-seven states still have Blaine Amendments on the books. The Supreme Court now has a chance to get rid of them for good.

The Pediatric Endocrine Society's Statement on Puberty Blockers Isn't Just Deceptive. It's Dangerous. - Public Discourse

The Pediatric Endocrine Society recently issued a statement claiming that the effects of puberty-blocking medications on normal puberty are reversible. Has the FDA determined that there is scientific evidence to validate this claim? Have there been any rigorous long-term studies addressing this question? Is social transition truly harmless? Is it ethical to continue this experiment on children? The answer to all of those questions is no.

Michelle Williams Doesn't Speak for Me - Crisis Magazine

Our unique power as women is our ability to nurture, not destroy, life. We can grow babies and careers and families and hopes and dreams all at the same time. Anyone who tells us that we can't — or that we shouldn't — is no friend of women.

See Michelle Williams, See Pain - The Stream

Abortion not only changes a woman, it changes a culture. And whatever your position on its legality, it has an impact not just on whether an unborn child gets a chance at life, but on whether we are going to be decent to one another.

The troubling terminations you've never heard of - Mercatornet

Not all abortions end an unwanted pregnancy, and that makes a difference to the women.

Why I am no longer a Catholic feminist - The Essential Mother

How does reducing the Gospel and highlighting feminism ever advance the healing of humanity?

Four ways to keep your relationship afloat in tough times - Patheos

How can a couple stick together even when the going gets tough?

Saint John Henry Cardinal Newman and
St. Justin Martyr, pray for us

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