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St. Thérèse statue beheaded, church robbed and vandalized at Catholic parish in Utah…

Please pray for our churches! Vandals desecrated St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church in Midvale, Utah on Mon., Sept. 14, and Tues., Sept. 15. This is one of many statue and/or church desecrations throughout the United States this year. The parish posted the first announcement on Facebook. The post includes photos of the beheaded St. Therese statue, which sat in front of the main church. Here’s the post below: Sometime last night our statue of St. Therese of the Child Jesus outside of the Main Church was broken and vandalized…. Posted by St. Therese of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, Midvale on Monday, September 14, 2020 Click here if you cannot see the post above. The first post reads, “Sometime last night our statue of St. Therese of the Child Jesus outside of the Main Ch...

Jesuit Father Paul Mankowski was a man for strengthening others…

When the choirs of angels led Father Paul Mankowski, SJ, into the Father’s House on September 3, I hope the seraphic choirmaster chose music appropriate to the occasion.  Had I been asked, I would have suggested the Latin antiphon Ecce sacerdos magnus as arranged by Anton Bruckner. The all-stops-pulled moments in Bruckner’s composition, deploying organ, brass, and full choir, would have been a perfect match for Paul Mankowski’s rock-solid Catholic faith, his heroic ministry, and his robust literary and oratorical style; the a capella sections, softly sung, mirror the gentleness with which he healed souls. Above all, I would have suggested Bruckner’s motet because Father Mankowski truly was what the antiphon celebrates: “a great priest who in his days pleased  God.” We were friend...

Catholics respond after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87…

Ginsburg’s death could tip the balance of the court to a 6-3 conservative majority, if President Donald Trump nominates a new justice to fill the vacancy left by Ginsburg before the November election. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the court for more than 27 years, died of pancreatic cancer Sept. 18. She was 87. President Bill Clinton appointed Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993. Ginsburg had previously been an appeals court judge. Ginsburg, who was Jewish, was noted for her friendship with Antonin Scalia, a Catholic and fellow Supreme Court Justice, who died in 2016. Scalia’s son Christopher tweeted some recollections of his father’s friendship with Ginsburg after her death was announced. I’m very sad to hear about the passing of my parents’ good f...

Did St. Joseph of Cupertino actually fly? Most certainly…..

Readers of a certain age might remember the silly TV show The Flying Nun…religious brothers and sisters who take flight are nothing new. When we lived in Wiltshire in England we learned the delightful story from the Middle Ages about Eilmer  a Benedictine monk of Malmesbury Abbey  who, in the eleventh century, jumped off the tower of the abbey church with some home made wings. Like Icarus he plummeted. The story is related by a monastic historian, William of Malmesbury: He was a man learned for those times, of ripe old age, and in his early youth had hazarded a deed of remarkable boldness. He had by some means, I scarcely know what, fastened wings to his hands and feet so that, mistaking fable for truth, he might fly like Daedalus, and, collecting the breeze upon the summit of a ...

This NYMag article, published two months ago, considers the possible implications of an election-season Ruth Bader Ginsburg death…

She’s been through a lot. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images Despite the prayers for her well-being that millions of progressives offer each week, and her own remarkable courage and stamina, health scares involving Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continue to arise, as the Washington Post reports: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced Friday that she is being treated for a recurrence of cancer, this time on her liver, but says she remains able to do her work on the Supreme Court. “I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam,” Ginsburg said in a written statement issued by the Supreme Court. “I remain fully able to do that.” Ginsburg, 87, the court’s oldest member, has battled cancer four times and has had other health concerns. She wa...

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87…

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the enigmatic, longtime Supreme Court justice who attained near cult-like status among progressive circles, died Friday at the age of 87 from complications surrounding metastatic pancreatic cancer. The late Supreme Court justice, who spent more than two decades on the bench in the highest court of the land, is survived by her two children, Jane Carol and James Steven Ginsburg. “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. said in a Friday evening statement. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute champion of justice.” Ginsburg, who was appointed ...

Why Marxism is the opium of the intellectuals…

“Why does opium make us sleep? Because of its soporific power.” So ran Molière’s send-up of self-important Parisian physicians. Sohrab Ahmari’s “The Trouble with Christian Leftism” invites a similar question-and-answer. By taxing progressive Christians with having succumbed to the opium of the intellectuals—Marxism in its various forms—Ahmari invites us to ask what is its hidden power. Why are we so prone to be always looking for the next social-scientific solution to our problems? Because we pine for a knowledge that will take away the burden of living by practical reason. Aristotle sized up prudence with his customary brevity: “the reason must be true and the desire must be correct, if indeed the deliberate choice is to be an excellent one.” That is an imposing task. For our practical re...

New Italian Missal introduces new formula of consecration…

COMMENTARY: Italian is not an international language, but it has great influence in the Church — so it’s especially unfortunate that two different consecratory formulas can now be used when celebrating Mass there. With the approval of the new Italian translation of the Roman Missal third edition (2002), consider the following: A Catholic anywhere in North America — from Alaska to Zacatecas — will hear the same consecratory formula for the chalice at Mass, whether attending Mass in English, French, Spanish or the original Latin. The same would be true if he went to Mass in Spanish in Argentina or in French in Zaire. But that same Catholic on pilgrimage in Rome, attending an early morning Mass at one of the many altars in St. Peter’s, will hear a different consecratory formula depending on w...

Italian bishops’ conference newspaper defends Netflix’s ‘Cuties’…

The review does not contain criticism of elements that have been lambasted across in the United States and Latin America, including long scenes of provocative dances and nudity. According to L’Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, those who have criticized the controversial French movie Cuties, released by Netflix last week “have not seen it or have really limited themselves to the poster. Otherwise they have not understood it or have looked at it with the wrong eyes.” A review of the film, entitled “The boycott: Cuties is a hard, but educational movie,” and written by the newspaper’s TV critic Andrea Fagioli, claims that the film “does not revolve around a ‘scandalous sexualization of adolescents’ n...

Lessons about democracy in ‘Justice League — Rule of War’…

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” It feels like he penned that phrase yesterday. Self-governance is something achievable when the people hold a common truth and trust of each other. The greatest dictators accumulated power during a crisis. At first there’s a promise of protection. Rulers tell the people how they will safeguard against outside (or sometimes inside) threats. Little by little freedoms are given up in the name of safety. Justice League Rule of War (Issues 48-50) shows how easy it is for protectors to transform into tyrants. Understand the Will of the People Traveling in space, the Justice League discover a ship containing young alien...

Jared Staudt’s new book offers theological foundations for rebuilding Catholic culture…

St. Augustine argued that we are bound together as a people by a shared view of what is lovable. While it is bad enough that Americans appear to be bound together by love of creature comforts, COVID-19 has brought about an even lower common denominator: today we are bound together, not by love of easy living, but by fear of bodily death. All too many of us are willing to sacrifice liberties, friendships, and our social lives so long as we can prolong the Grim Reaper’s unwelcomed visit. Even many churchgoers reveal the dominance of this fear in their soul, and put more trust in secularists’ hand-picked experts than the prudent guidelines published by the Thomistic Institute. When fear of death dominates, one looks to the greatest earthly power, and thus our governors have been emboldened to...

Catholics need to start again in many ways, in how we live and participate in civil society. And Cardinal Tobin isn’t helping…..

Cardinal Tobin is greeted by Italian Cardinal Bertone at the Vatican, November 19, 2016. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters) A plea for something better from people of faith. Newark’s Cardinal Tobin has said that it is more problematic to vote for Donald Trump than for Joe Biden. With all due respect, I don’t know that he should be making that call in either direction. The bishops’ role is to inform consciences. He seems to think we are beyond “single issue” voting. Unfortunately, I think he buys into some cultural lies in his implication. By single issue, we, of course, know he means abortion. But here’s the thing: Abortion has never been a single issue. The riots in the streets? They are about a lot more than racism. I’d never do it, but I’ve lately had the urge to run through the streets screa...