Varia — May 22, 2015

1. The President of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association speaks of his recent trip to the Middle East, and the state of Christians there: http://www.cnewa.org/blog.aspx?ID=2306&pagetypeID=35&sitecode=HQ. Please pray and support the efforts of CNEWA.

2. A call for unity and urgency to stop surrogate parenting: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/05/15037/.

3. The Solicitor General updates the Supreme Court on the status of the HHS mandate cases: http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/05/updating-the-court-on-the-birth-control-mandate/. An overview of the significance of the most recent DC Circuit ruling against the Archdiocese of Washington and Priests for Life: http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/418726/dc-circuit-catholic-archbishop-must-facilitate-provision-contraceptives-and

4. The level of dissent in San Francisco has gotten very bad, as witnessed by an obnoxious open letter that directly denies the bishop’s authority to teach Catholic doctrine: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joan-desmond/san-fran-teachers-shift-from-contracts-to-doctrine-church-teaching-doesnt-o.

5. Two sisters, given up for adoption at birth and not even aware that the other existed, discover each other by chance because they were in the same college class: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/it-feels-like-a-fairy-tale-separated-sisters-meet-in-writing-class/. Coincidence, no — providence.

6. Memorial Day. Remember and give thanks to God for their sacrifice: http://www.abmc.gov/multimedia?field_monument_war_tid=6&type%5B%5D=video.

Varia — May 22, 2015

Varia — May 21, 2015

1. The California Medical Association voluntarily assimilates to the Culture of Death by erasing yet another part of the Hippocratic Oath and going "neutral" on assisted suicide: http://www.sunherald.com/2015/05/20/6235897_calif-medical-association-drops.html?rh=1. Very bad news for us, if the New York Medical Society goes the same way.

2. A setback for the Archdiocese of Washington/Priests for Life challenge to the HHS mandate: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2015/05/dc-circuit-denies-en-banc-review-of.html. On to the Supreme Court.

3. George Weigel on the sad state of the Church in Germany: http://denvercatholic.org/opinion/the-catholic-churchs-german-crisis/#.VV3betJVikp. Where is the new Boniface?

4. Interesting and counter-intuitive advice for inactive Catholics who are considering coming back home: http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/05/advice-to-inactive-christians.

5. Perhaps the epitome of the true caliber of our State Legislature — a trivial bill that intends to outlaw a practice, but instead would authorize it because of sloppy drafting: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/235734/avella-bill-would-legalize-that-which-he-seeks-to-ban/.

6. If anyone says that chivalry is dead, point them to this gentleman: http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/05/19/high-school-quarterback-takes-friend-down-syndrome-prom.

Varia — May 21, 2015

Varia — May 20, 2015

1. The Holy Father continues to be the only prominent world leader who speaks about the persecution of Christians: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/05/20/pope_end_unacceptable_crime_of_persecution_of_christians/1145396.

2. The Senate approved a measure requiring the administration to take religious liberty into account when entering into trade agreements: http://www.worldmag.com/2015/05/senate_approves_religious_freedom_measure. Maybe they’ll pay attention to this, since it affects money.

3. Everything you need to know about Constitutional law, in two easy parts: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/05/15013/ and http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/05/15016/. Please note that this is Constitutional law as it should be, not the morass of nonsense that our courts and law schools have made of it.

4. Our useless junior Senator, who obviously has no understanding of federalism, or anything better to occupy her time, has decided to use federal purse strings to coerce states into approving adoptions to homosexual and transgender people: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/235708/gillibrand-bill-would-smooth-adoption-for-lgbt-couples-individuals/. No religious conscience exemption, of course.

5. Irish evangelicals are strongly defending marriage in their upcoming referendum, while some radical revisionist Catholic clergy and religious defy their bishops and come out in favor of redefining marriage: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/17/new-irish-christians-mobilise-to-vote-no-to-gay-marriage and http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=24962. Please pray for Ireland!

6. Another setback for Notre Dame University in their challenge to the HHS mandate: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2015/05/7th-circuit-denies-notre-dame.html.

7. A lawsuit forces Rhode Island to include health plans in their exchange that do not cover abortion and do not charge the abortion surcharge: http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/rhode-island-ends-obamacares-abortion-mandate-after-hiv-mans-lawsuit-63852/.

Varia — May 20, 2015

Varia — May 19, 2015

1. A serious and sobering look at the current deplorable conditions faced by Middle East Christians: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-plight-of-the-middle-easts-christians-1431700075?tesla=y.

2. I blogged on the persecution of Christians, and what we must do: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/?p=3541.

3. Ross Douthat is rightly skeptical about the President’s absurd claim that the Church spends too much time on social/sexual issues, and not enough on the poor: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/opinion/sunday/ross-douthat-do-churches-fail-the-poor.html.

4. Please contact your Assembly rep and tell them to pass the Parental Choice in Education Act, which will help poor parents and support our Catholic schools: http://www.investined.org/. The bill is facing stiff opposition from the all-powerful teachers unions: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/235599/advocates-blast-proposed-education-investment-tax-credit/.

5. Wesley Smith gives an overview of how assisted suicide is corroding the medical profession: http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2015/05/euthanasias-cancerous-corruption-of-medical-morality. And then he provides an example of how it sneaks in through the back door via "futile care" theory: http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/418511/mds-give-selves-duty-die-power-over-patients-wesley-j-smith.

6. An organization of lay people who are allegedly Catholic ask their bishops to re define the moral law down to the level of human weakness: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/top-german-lay-catholic-group-pushes-communion-for-civilly-divorced-remarri/.

7. Play the "Do You Know Your Corrupt Legislators" game: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/235534/test-your-knowledge-of-albanys-fallen-pols/. Fun for friends and family.

Varia — May 19, 2015

Varia — May 15, 2015

1. The House passes the late-term abortion ban: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-approves-20-week-abortion-ban/2015/05/13/e25f4748-f97b-11e4-a13c-193b1241d51a_story.html.

2. The battle over the Indiana religious freedom bill teaches us about who our rulers really are: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/06/the-power-elite.

3. Here’s a test of whether our government is really committed to religious freedom — can we do better than China? http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/05/13/china-religion-america-government-gay-marriage-column/27130999/.

4. Members of the "Final Exit Network" are convicted of assisting a suicide and tampering with evidence to cover up their crime: http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/418393/final-exit-network-convicted-assisted-suicide-wesley-j-smith.

5. Fascinating statistical snapshot of the "average American Catholic": http://americamagazine.org/issue/your-average-american-catholic. The saddest thing — only 4% are "core Catholics".

6. A beautiful reflection on the power of praying the Memorare: http://catholicpreaching.com/the-memorare-the-anchor-may-15-2015/.

Varia — May 15, 2015

Varia — May 13, 2015

1. The House Foreign Affairs Committee held hearings today on ISIS and the persecution of Christians. Read the powerful testimony of Sister Diana Momeka, who is herself a victim of this tragic persecution: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20150513/103454/HHRG-114-FA00-Wstate-MomekaS-20150513.pdf.

2. The Cardinal’s plan to help persecuted Christians: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joan-desmond/card.-dolans-7-pt.-plan-to-stop-christian-persecutionit-isnt-a-chic-hobby-i.

3. The Cardinal and the Governor join forces to help parents of private and parochial schools: http://blog.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/234620/watch-live-at-10-a-m-cuomo-timothy-dolan-make-an-announcement/.

4. A new initiative to oppose surrogate parenting — sign the petition today: http://www.stopsurrogacynow.com/.

5. Regarding the decline in numbers of self-identified Christians, Russell Moore, an important leader of the Southern Baptists, has some crucial insights about what he calls "Almost-Christianity": http://www.russellmoore.com/2015/05/12/is-christianity-dying/. What the Apostles proclaimed on Pentecost morning was real Christianity, not the ersatz version.

6. Holland continues its descent into the Culture of Death: http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/418306/dutch-move-toward-family-assisted-suicide-wesley-j-smith.

7. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Varia — May 13, 2015

Varia — May 12, 2015

1. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will be voted on by the House tomorrow — have you contacted your representative? http://www.nchla.org/actiondisplay.asp?ID=314.

2. Another of our Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Rulers on the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor, displays her distorted constitutional law theory that she has the power to create and grant constitutional rights: http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2015/05/justice-sotomayor-on-us-giving-gays-rights-to-marry.html. Making it up as you go along is not a jurisprudential theory.

3. Our pro-abortion stalwart Attorney General wants to put pressure on insurance companies to ensure that women can get all the free contraceptives (including the abortifacient types) that they want: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/State-AG-seeks-insurers-contraception-data-6255413.php.

4. I guess the AG didn’t read this story from last week — women who have been harmed by a long-term contraceptive implant are calling for it to be removed from the market, but the manufacturer remains adamant: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/04/us/long-term-data-on-complications-adds-to-criticism-of-contraceptive-implant.html?ref=us&_r=0. Over 16,000 complaints worldwide. It’s all about women’s health, right?

5. The USCCB has issued a powerful report calling for a transformation of the "inhumane" immigrant detention system, which is causing particular hardships for families: http://www.usccb.org/news/2015/15-074.cfm.

6. The Pew Center has released a study of religion in the population, and shows some very troubling trends: http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/new-pew-research-center-study-examines-americas-changing-religious-landscape/.

7. Important analysis of the post-Synod remarks by the Holy Father, who is speaking strongly on the hot button issues of abortion, homosexuality, divorce: http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1351045?eng=y.

Varia — May 12, 2015