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‘Idea laundering’ in academia — How nonsensical jargon like ‘intersectionality’ and ‘cisgender’ is imbued with an air of false authority…

You’ve almost certainly heard some of the following terms: cisgender, fat shaming, heteronormativity, intersectionality, patriarchy, rape culture and whiteness. The reason you’ve heard them is that politically engaged academicians have been developing concepts like these for more than 30 years, and all that time they’ve been percolating. Only recently have they begun to emerge in mainstream culture. These academicians accomplish this by passing off their ideas as knowledge; that is, as if these terms describe facts about the…

Spokane bishop responds to Catholic Charities racism video…

Bishop Thomas Daly. (Diocese of Spokane. ) In response to the controversy, in the Diocese of Spokane “the Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Collection will either be replaced by or taken in conjunction with the Black and Indian Missions Collection,” Bishop Daly said. SPOKANE, Wa. — Both the Bishop of Spokane and the leader of a Washington state Catholic Charities organization have spoken out about a controversial video in which the charity leader said that he, his organization, and the Catholic Church are racist, and that the Catholic Church is premised on the idea that Jesus Christ was white. “I am a racist. That’s the hard truth. I am a racist. How could I not be? As a white person living in America, where every institution is geared to advantage people who look like me, it’s seemingly...

An insight on hope from St. Augustine…

The word “hope” in modern English has lost much of the vigor assigned to what we call the theological virtue of Hope. In English hope often means merely a vague wish, as in, “I hope it doesn’t rain.” But the theological virtue of Hope (which I capitalize to distinguish it from worldly hope) is more vigorously defined as the confident expectation of God’s help in attaining eternal salvation. Notice therefore it is no mere wish, it is a confident expectation based on God’s promises and love for us. A reading from St. Augustine in the Breviary this week is rather well known and summons us to humility about our sins. But I want to briefly consider a subtlety in the text regarding hope. St. Augustine writes: Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should...

2009 Register interview: Ennio Morricone (1928-2020) reflects on his career and the Catholic faith…

Ennio Morricone receives an honorary degree at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera on Feb. 27, 2019, in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images) In a 2009 interview with Register correspondent Edward Pentin, the Italian composer reflects on his life of writing for the movies — and his faith. Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted in Italian and translated by Edward Pentin. It originally appeared Nov. 9, 2009, at the Register and is presented here on the occasion of Morricone’s death on July 6, 2020. Ennio Morricone is considered by many to be one of Hollywood’s finest film score composers. In a career spanning nearly 50 years, he has written around 450 unique, stirring and atmospheric soundtracks for some of the world’s most memorable films. They include the Clint Eastwood ...

St. Junípero Serra statue destroyed at California state capitol…

The statue of St. Junipero Serra outside the California State Capitol. (Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0).) St. Junípero Serra Statue Destroyed at California State Capitol In a July 5 statement, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento said that while “the group’s actions may have been meant to draw attention to the sorrowful, angry memories over California’s past,” their “act of vandalism does little to build the future.” SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On the evening of Independence Day, a crowd in Sacramento tore down a statue of St. Junipero Serra, set fire to it, and beat it with sledgehammers. The statue, on the grounds of California’s state capitol, was the third figure of the missionary saint to be torn down by crowds in California in recent weeks. Sacramento’s bishop responded by saying that Serra worked t...

The secret Soviet roots of Liberation Theology, which the future Benedict XVI called a “singular heresy” and “fundamental threat” to the Church…

History often repeats itself, and if you have lived two lives, as I have done, you have a good chance of seeing the reenactment with your own eyes. Liberation theology, of which not much has been heard for two decades, is back in the news. But what is not being mentioned is its origins. It was not invented by Latin American Catholics. It was developed by the KGB. The man who is now the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, secretly worked for the KGB under the code name “Mikhailov” and spent four decades promoting liberation theology, which we at the top of the Eastern European intelligence community nicknamed Christianized Marxism. Advertisement Liberation theology has been generally understood to be a marriage of Marxism and Christianity. What has not been understood is ...

New ‘ecclesial conference’ established for Amazon region…

ROSARIO, Argentina — Answering a call made by those who took part in the October 2019 meeting of bishops on the Amazon region held in Rome, on Monday leaders of the Catholic Church in Latin America announced the creation of the Amazonian Ecclesial Conference. The hope is that the new organism will help “delineate a Church with an Amazonian face, and to continue the task of finding new paths for the evangelizing mission,” says a statement signed by Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos of Trujillo and president of CELAM, the Latin American Episcopal Conference, and Cardinal Claudio Hummes, emeritus of São Paulo and president of REPAM, the church’s Amazonian network. the new body will be an “ecclesial conference” as opposed to an “episcopal conference,” denoting that the newly created body will be comp...

Italian financier at heart of Vatican scandal appeals to UK court…

ROME – According to a recent report in Corriere della Sera, Italy’s paper of record, an Italian financier now based in London named Raffele Mincione has filed two civil suits against the Vatican’s Secretariat of State before the UK’s High Court of Justice, both related to a now-infamous land deal in London’s Chelsea neighborhood he brokered in 2013. That $225 million deal, which the Secretariat of State originally financed in part out of proceeds from the annual “Peter’s Pence” collection, was to buy half of a former Harrod’s warehouse originally slated for conversion into luxury apartments. Five years later, after the Secretariat of State soured on its relationship with Mincione, it brought in another Italian financier named Gianluigi Torzi to help them buy the rest of the property outrig...

How Alexander Hamilton defended the rights of Catholics in a young America…

Alexander Hamilton—the founding father of the moment thanks to the hit musical based on his life—is generally not associated with the cause of religious freedom in the United States. Among Hamilton’s contemporaries, that honor is usually reserved for one of his great rivals, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. But it was Hamilton who vigorously defended the political rights of Catholics in New York in the face of efforts to require them to renounce their religious identity before they could be considered full citizens of the new republic. This came in the late 1780s, at a pivotal moment in the founding of the United States. The Catholic Church in New York had been outlawed for nearly 100 years, its members denied not only religious liberties but poli...

Stop yoking around — A homily for the 14th Sunday of the Year…

We in the West live in a place and at a time in which almost every burden of manual labor has been eliminated. Not only that, but creature comforts abound. Everything from air conditioning to hair conditioning, from fast food to high speed internet, from to indoor plumbing to outdoor grilling, from instant computer downloads to instant coffee machines. You don’t even have write letters anymore, just press send and a text or email is delivered nearly instantaneously. Yet despite all this it would seem that we still keenly experience life’s burdens, demonstrated by the widespread recourse to psychotherapy and psychotropic drugs. It is increasingly clear that serenity is “an inside job.” Merely improving the outside and amassing creature comforts is not enough. A large fluffy pillow may cushi...

Pope’s Sunday Angelus: ‘Jesus invites us to go to Him and to follow Him to find solace’…

Pope Francis described the three parts of today’s gospel, a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving of Jesus to the Father in his commentary before praying the noonday Angelus with the Covid-19-restricted crowd in St. Peter’s Square. The Holy Father noted that the prayer from the 11th chapter of Matthew’s gospel opens with blessing and thanksgiving, then goes on to reveal the mystery of the Kingdom of heaven, the relationship between Jesus and the Father, and offers to give comfort to the faithful. Following is the full commentary, provided by the Vatican. Dear brothers and sisters, good day! This Sunday’s Gospel reading (see Mt 11:25-30) is divided into three parts: first of all, Jesus raises a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving to the Father, because He revealed to the poor and to the ...

Flannery O’Connor didn’t care if you liked her work…

Flannery O’Connor once received a letter from a college professor asking her, on behalf of his students, to intervene in their interpretative conundrum over her now-canonic short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Most readers of O’Connor will know this story, so I will briefly sketch it: Essentially, the professor and students were convinced that the second half of the story, following the car crash, in which the family meets the Misfit and his gang, must be a dream conjured by Bailey, the driver of the car. O’Connor replies: The interpretation of your ninety students and three teachers is fantastic and about as far from my intentions as it could get to be. If it were a legitimate interpretation, the story would be little more than a trick and its interest would be simply for abnormal ps...