Varia — June 24, 2015

1. The incredible courage and witness of an Iraqi bishop: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/returning-to-iraq-during-is-occupation-was-a-call-from-god.

2. So as the tragedy/farce of the legislative session ends, they betrayed Catholic school students to placate the teachers’ unions, and tried to cover it up by giving our schools money that they had already owed us for years: http://www.archny.org/news/statement-on-mandated-services-reimbursement. And they wonder why people are cynical.

3. More Supreme Court decisions Thursday, Friday, and Monday. Here’s an overview of the big cases remaining, including the marriage cases and a challenge to the drug protocol for executions: http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/and-then-there-were-seven-the-remaining-cases-in-plain-english/.

4. And the Administration is still holding firm on the HHS mandate, including preparing the ground for a Supreme Court battle: http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/pressing-the-aca-birth-control-issue/.

5. Pro-abortion lunatics will launch a drone from Germany and drop abortion pills over Poland: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/womens-rights-group-will-use-a-drone-to-drop-122260405619.html?src=rss. Let’s see… Germans, indiscriminate bombing of Poland to take civilian lives, ideological fanaticism… Gosh, what does that remind me of?

6. As Msgr. William Smith used to say, "Social engineering is always preceded by verbal engineering": http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/420199/ap-stop-using-committed-suicide-descriptive-wesley-j-smith.

7. Still waiting for that English translation (or any other language — Esperanto, maybe?) of the Instrumentum Laboris for the Synod on the Family, so we can read it for ourselves, without the filter of reporters and pundits. Is anyone home in the Vatican? Hello? Ola? Allo? Guten Tag? Saluton? Bueller?

Varia — June 24, 2015

Varia — June 23, 2015

1. Kathryn Jean Lopez on the encyclical and the common good: http://www.nationalreview.com/node/420100/print.

2. The working draft ("Instrumentum Laboris") for the upcoming Synod on the Family has been released, but only in Italian: http://www.news.va/en/news/presentation-of-the-instrumentum-laboris-of-the-sy. If you can’t read Italian, you’re out of luck. Maybe the Holy See will get around to communicating its insights to us Anglophones someday. Great communication strategy, boys.

3. The Fifth Circuit rejects a challenge to the HHS mandate "accommodation": http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2015/06/5th-circuit-rejects-rfra-challenge-to.html.

4. A million people marched for marriage in Rome: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/one-million-marchers-for-marriage-in-rome.

5. The evil Peter Singer again shows his anti-life ideology: http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/420138/peter-singer-save-200-pigs-over-1-human-baby-wesley-j-smith.

6. So much bad news, I just couldn’t resist this: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/baby-born-deaf-hears-parents-voices-for-the-first-time/.

Varia — June 23, 2015

Varia — June 22, 2015

1. A powerful first-hand account of a visit by an American priest to witness the plight of Christian refugees in Iraq: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/we-will-not-forget-those-who-helped-us. Please remember them in prayer!

2. An interesting footnote to the encyclical can be found in the footnotes — the Holy Father quoted bishops’ conferences from all around the world: http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/06/20/the-encyclicals-footnotes-say-a-lot-about-this-pope/. My first take on the encyclical: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/?p=3570.

3. The Texas abortion clinic law has reached the Supreme Court on an appeal by abortionists for a delay pending a full appeal: http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/texas-abortion-case-reaches-the-court/.

4. Another major document will drop from the Vatican tomorrow — the Instrumentum Laboris, or working draft, for the upcoming Synod on the Family. Keep your prayers going!

5. No marriage decision from the Supreme Court today. Only two days left — this Thursday and next Monday.

6. An amazing witness to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as the families of the victims of the Charleston massacre publicly forgave the attacker:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=395&v=e26Eysq22Yg.

Varia — June 22, 2015

Varia — June 19, 2015

1. Good summary of the encyclical from the Vatican press office: http://www.news.va/en/news/laudato-si-a-press-guide-to-the-new-encyclical. Still, read it yourself — at least the Introduction and Chapters 2 and 3.

2. Nice video from the Vatican, hitting on many of the themes of the encyclical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=199&v=1tYdOIqvpqg.

3. John Allen on the encyclical’s long background in Church teaching: http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/06/18/if-laudato-si-is-an-earthquake-it-had-plenty-of-early-tremors/. Nice line: "like the pontiffs who preceded him, Francis, too, is painting with a distinctively Catholic shade of green."

4. Terrible decision by the Supreme Court on the Texas license plate case. Why should we care? It permits governments to propagandize and exclude opposing viewpoints, and specifically gives governments — like NY’s — the basis for suppressing pro-life license plates: http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/419996/todays-rulings-part-1-ed-whelan.

5. Simcha Fisher offers her advice on how to determine if you should read the encyclical: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/should-you-read-laudato-si-a-quiz.

Varia — June 19, 2015

Varia — June 18, 2015

1. The encyclical is out! The Vatican server is having trouble keeping up with the traffic, but here’s the link: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html.

2. Read it yourself before reading anything about it. At the very least, read the introduction which is magnificent, and paragraphs 115 to 123 which are essential. Then pray the two beautiful prayers at the end. Thank you Holy Father!

3. Okay, if you have to read one pundit, read Kathryn Jean Lopez: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/419946/consider-accepting-pope-franciss-invitation-view-human-creation-full-and-yes-including.

4. The Times demonstrates the inherently unjust plight of frozen human beings who have been created, then rejected by their parents: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/us/embryos-egg-donors-difficult-issues.html?ref=us&_r=0. Note their neutral presentation on the openly eugenic profiteers in the industry.

5. The "Catholic" Health Association and the 1000% anti-life anti-religious freedom President, displaying no shame whatsoever: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/ann-carey/lets-call-cha-what-it-really-is-a-secular-trade-group.

6. That’s all for today. Got a lot of reading to do.

Varia — June 18, 2015

Varia — June 16, 2015

1. The Archbishop of Mosul is again calling for military action from the West to defeat ISIS: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/mosul-archbishops-plea-to-the-west-save-us-from-isis-64585/.

2. For those with strong hearts and a healthy prayer life, behold the nihilistic heart of the Culture of Death in the euthanasia ideology that has gripped Belgium: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/22/the-death-treatment. It’s not a slippery slope, it’s an elevator to Hell.

3. Fortunately, reason still prevails in some parts of the US, as the Maine Senate rejected assisted suicide: https://bangordailynews.com/2015/06/15/politics/state-house/maine-senate-rejects-right-to-die-bill-in-razor-thin-vote/.

4. The Supreme Court declines to hear a case involving a law requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion: http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/a-gesture-in-favor-of-a-womans-abortion-choice/.

5. Mexico abandons reason: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/15/world/americas/with-little-fanfare-mexican-supreme-court-effectively-legalizes-same-sex-marriage.html?_r=0.

6. Interesting think-piece about the trend in American Christianity away from empty tribalism to something that actually begins to resemble real Christianity: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-end-of-casual-christianity/2015/05/25/75e6b06c-009f-11e5-833c-a2de05b6b2a4_story.html.

7. If you’re interested in some background reading on the Church’s teaching on the environment prior to the encyclical, we have some up on our office website: http://www.archny.org/care-for-creation. Since the Holy See has obviously never heard of ebooks (or Kindles, or Nooks, or iPads), the best bet is to download the encyclical on Thursday morning in pdf format from the (awful and ugly) Vatican website (assuming they can figure out how to post a pdf in time).

Varia — June 16, 2015