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The brain that remade itself...  

I put my hand on a bishop and slide it several squares before moving it back. "Should I move a different piece instead?" I wonder to myself. "You have to move that piece if you've touched it," my opponent says, flashing a wry grin. Fine. I move the bishop. It's becoming increasingly obvious to me now — I'm going to lose a game of chess to a 12-year-old...

what do you think?

2019-04-21 09:52:33



Easter attacks on churches in Sri Lanka are tragic, but hardly surprising...  

Sadly enough, there's now an ugly and utterly predictable dynamic on Easter Sunday: Somewhere in the world, full churches will be attacked and some number of Christians will die for no other reason than that they chose to attend services to celebrate what is supposed to be the faith's great celebration of life. Today, it happened in Sri Lanka...

what do you think?

2019-04-21 09:03:26



Hundreds killed in Easter Sunday bomb attacks on hotels, Catholic churches throughout Sri Lanka...  

As Christians in Sri Lanka gathered on Sunday morning to celebrate Easter Mass, the culmination of Holy Week, powerful explosions ripped through three churches packed with worshipers, leaving hundreds of victims amid a havoc of splintered and blood-spattered pews. In what the police said were coordinated attacks carried out by a single group...

what do you think?

2019-04-21 08:51:38



Where, O death, is your victory?  

For those of you who mourn the death of a loved one, this is the day when we joyfully (yet often with tears in our eyes) anticipate our eventual reunion in heaven. May the powerful hope of seeing our dear ones again, that is made possible by our Lord's victorious Resurrection, be with you this Easter season and always. Oh, what a glorious day...

what do you think?

2019-04-21 04:12:10



Here's what to know about the Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka...  

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds wounded in a series of blasts that rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Explosions have occurred in the capital Colombo, as well as in a town north of the capital and a town on the east coast. Churches, hotels, and a housing development were targeted. Nobody has claimed responsibility so far...

what do you think?

2019-04-21 03:32:03



“In my life, where am I going? What is the stone I need to remove?”...  

The women bring spices to the tomb, but they fear that their journey is in vain, since a large stone bars the entrance to the sepulcher. The journey of those women is also our own journey; it resembles the journey of salvation that we have made this evening. At times, it seems that everything comes up against a stone: the beauty of creation against the tragedy of sin; liberation from slavery against infidelity to the covenant; the promises of the prophets against the listless indifference of the

what do you think?

2019-04-21 01:54:24



Facebook fascism and the slippery slope to tyranny...  

Following the recent attack on a mosque in New Zealand by a white supremacist terrorist, I was asked by a national TV network in the UK to appear on a live show to give my perspective as a former white supremacist. (I served two prison sentences for "inciting racial hatred" back in the 1980s.) I was happy to do so. More recently...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 17:59:34



Medieval cathedral spires have been at risk from the get-go...  

Fire made quick work of the 300-foot spire that stood until recently atop Paris's Notre Dame cathedral. As orange flames engulfed the lead-clad wood, smoke billowed skyward in thick, gray clouds. Sirens wailed, and so did onlookers' voices. The blaze ate away at the spire until the structure leaned and then finally splintered and fell...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 12:51:41



“Three days and three nights?”...  

In Matthew 12:40, Jesus says: Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. This has widely—and correctly—been understood as a reference to the period he spent in the tomb, between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 12:10:14



3D scans of Notre Dame could prove pivotal in its reconstruction...  

The priest in charge of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral says the landmark, nearly destroyed by Monday's fire, will be closed for five or six years. Twenty-first century technology will likely be pivotal in its reconstruction...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 11:57:21



Heaven is real...  

During Holy Week I sometimes think of the Woman in the Bus. The bus in question went up and down Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena, California, where Wendy and I lived for roughly twenty years. Much of the time, I walked to downtown Pasadena, but sometimes—especially when I was carrying books and such—I took the bus. Most of the other passengers were black...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 11:28:57



Tenebrae: Lamentations of Jeremiah...  

The ancient chants of Tenebrae are the Church's song of mourning for her betrayed, crucified, and buried Redeemer. The Lamentations of Jeremiah are cries from the heart over the ruin of the Jerusalem, and a call to rebuild what is broken. They reflect the sorrow of the Church for her sin.

what do you think?

2019-04-20 11:08:11



A Tale of Two Cities' Cathedrals...  

The fires that burned brightly at Notre-Dame de Paris were matched by the vivid resolve of French politicians and civic leaders that from the ashes this great cathedral will rise once more. Across the channel in London, one cannot help but be reminded of another fire and another cathedral that burned equally disastrously. In 1666 what was to become known as the Great Fire of London began shortly after midnight on Sept...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 10:47:49



Holy Saturday and the Lord of the Rings...  

One of Catholicism's greatest contributions is the great artists it has produced. I have written elsewhere about how the deeply incarnation and sacramental vision of Catholicism helps to inspire art that works at a deeper level than anything the world (and non Catholic Christians) can produce. One of the best examples of this is the comparison between Tolkien and Lewis...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 05:59:50



Holy Saturday: “He descended into hell”...  

On Holy Saturday the earth waits in stillness for the Resurrection of the Lord. Here are 12 things you need to know about it.

what do you think?

2019-04-20 05:26:02



Where is Jesus between His death and resurrection?  

Where is Christ after He dies on Friday afternoon and before He rises on Easter Sunday? Both Scripture and Tradition answer this question. Consider the following excerpt from a second century sermon as well as this meditation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 04:44:53



Palm Sunday and the spiritual logic for the Pope's sound of silence...  

For the past six years, it's been a hallmark of Pope Francis's leadership style not to engage criticism, at least not in any direct or public fashion, especially when he regards it as reflecting mixed motives. Shortly after his papacy began, Francis was hit with a mini-scandal fueled by veteran Italian journalist Sandro Magister pivoting on the new pope's choice of Monsignor Gianbattista Ricca as his delegate to the so-called "Vatican bank...

what do you think?

2019-04-20 04:44:48



Niccolò dell'Arca's lament for the dead Christ...  

"God is dead and we have killed him." Nietzsche is right once a year. The horror of the death of Christ for our sins, marred beyond recognition, and the responsibility we bear for this suffering, should touch us deeply. Although the terror of the death of God gives way to the joy of the Resurrection, the the enduring evidence of the distortion wrought by our sin on the dead Christ continues to move us (as Dostoevsky portrays in The Idiot)...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 14:55:37



Let's examine the sequence of events on Holy Thursday...  

According to the Synoptic Gospels, sundown of Holy Thursday ushered in the Passover. Later on this evening, the Lord will celebrate the Passover meal with His disciples. We ought to be mindful that the unleavened bread Jesus will take in His hands is called "the bread of affliction." Indeed, this is an evening of affliction for Jesus...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 13:55:49



Inflated Ego Syndrome and the hazards of being a Catholic celebrity...  

A recent internet uproar over the behavior of a Catholic celebrity reminded me of an incident from my days as a graduate student in economics. During one class, my labor economics professor scraped his fingernails on the chalkboard. We all grimaced. He looked at the class and said dryly, "Occupational hazard." Yes, economists really do talk like that...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 13:34:54



Jesuit Father James V. Schall dies at age 91...  

Fr. James V. Schall, a Jesuit priest and longtime professor of political philosophy, has died at the age of 91. He had been living in the Jesuit residence in Los Gatos, California. Fr. Schall died April 17, shortly after noon, after a brief hospitalization in Los Gatos. A prolific author, Fr. Schall published more than 30 books over the years...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 12:32:08



In the image of a fire-gutted Notre Dame, I see myself, and I see the whole Church.....  

I write this just days after watching Paris' Cathedral of Notre Dame become engulfed by flames and fearing that the most famous and treasured place of worship in all of Christendom after St. Peter's Basilica would be reduced to stone and ash at the start of Holy Week. Thankfully, the Cathedral is not wholly lost, but as it burned...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 12:08:52



Passiontide Chronology: Good Friday...  

Jesus was arrested late Thursday evening. The Scriptures recount, They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together (Mark 14:53). According to Mark's chronology there was a sham of a trial, based on false evidence and distortions of Jesus' teachings. According to tradition...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 11:13:44



Fr. Fournier performing benediction inside the burning Notre-Dame? That gave me chills.....  

Here's a transcript of an interview with Fr. Jean-Marc Fournier, the chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade. He went into Notre Dame as it burned — standing there below a cascade de feu— and saved the Blessed Sacrament and the Crown of Thorns. "[W]e had a vision of what hell may be: like waterfalls of fire pouring down from the openings in the roof...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 10:54:26



Pope's Wednesday Audience: “Christ's glory is found in suffering for love”...  

Jesus' glory is not found in the acclaim or applause of the world, but in the act of suffering and dying out of love - the same love demanded of everyone, Pope Francis said Wednesday. "True glory is the glory of love, because it is the only one that gives life to the world," the pope said at the general audience April 17...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 10:13:57



Meet the priest who saved the Blessed Sacrament and the Crown of Thorns...  

It's not every day that someone performs an act of bravery that simultaneously expresses the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, but Father Jean-Marc Fournier, did just that. As the flames engulfed the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Monday, Father Fournier—who serves as the chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade—ran into the cathedral with a team of firefighters to save the Blessed Sacrament and Jesus' Crown of Thorns...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 09:33:45



The readings for Holy Thursday...  

The Readings for the Holy Thursday Mass focus on the continuity between the ancient Jewish Passover and the institution of the Eucharist. As the Passover was the meal that marked the transition from slavery to Egypt to the freedom of the Exodus, so the Eucharist is the meal that marks the transition from slavery to sin to the glorious freedom of the children of God...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 08:58:01



Pope Benedict's essay is a summary of his theological quest...  

The recent essay of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, "The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse," was published in the proximity of his 92nd birthday, which fell on April 16. The essay can be read as a summary of key moments in the long life of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. At 6,000 words, it is possible that this is last major text Benedict will publish...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 08:50:27



This photo inside Notre-Dame is the most beautiful thing in the world today. The great rose windows all survived.....  

The great and glorious rose window on the west portal of the cathedral held on through the inferno! That entrance is known as the Portal of the Last Judgement. The rose window itself is a symbol of the whole of the universe — all of time, and all of human life — centered in perfect harmony around the God-Man and His mother, on whose lap He sits in the very center of the rose: the King of Creation on his throne...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 08:08:01



Notre Dame was more than a cathedral. Let's pray for its resurrection.....  

The sight of flames hungrily engulfing the spire of Notre Dame de Paris has been experienced as a physical shock by those of us Catholics who have seen it on video, on our televisions or computer screens. Far from Paris, far from France, far from personal associations of memory and experience with what is, after all, just a building...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 07:16:51



Why go to Confession? Here's why it's worth it.....  

If you've ever been hospitalized, you know the indignities of the hospital gown. It's flimsy and open at the back, which means it's pretty tough to retain any sense of decency or decorum. It's all by design, of course, because clinicians — nurses, doctors, surgeons — require ready access to our anatomy in order to assess...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 06:47:43



Gallup Poll: U.S. church membership down sharply in past 20 years, hits all-time low in 2018...  

As Christian and Jewish Americans prepare to celebrate Easter and Passover, respectively, Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low, averaging 50% in 2018. U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 06:43:21



NYTimes says priest braved Notre Dame fire to save “statue of Jesus,” not Blessed Sacrament...  

OK, Catholic readers of GetReligion (and you know who you are), we have a solution to a journalism mystery that many noticed in the wave of coverage following the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. The big question raised by The New York Times: What's the difference between a "statue" of Jesus and a priest carrying the Blessed Sacrament"...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 06:14:53



The fire will test the quality of each one's work...  

Jesus teaches, "There will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. ... I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents." I suspect the world's heartbroken reaction to seeing Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral ablaze resembles how the angels in Heaven mourn the loss of one soul...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 06:10:29



Man arrested entering St. Patrick's Cathedral with gasoline, lighters...  

A man is in custody after he attempted to bring containers of gasoline into St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City Wednesday night. A spokesperson from the Archdiocese of New York told CNA that "the individual was stopped as he tried to come into the cathedral" before he was turned over to the police. The man was apprehended by cathedral security around 8 p...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 05:56:45



Did the rooftop bees of Notre Dame survive?  

It took me several days to think of the bees. After the smoke had cleared and the heartbreak settled in, I remembered: they kept beehives up there. So you might be wondering too: were the honeybees spared from the fire that ravaged Notre Dame and left the world in disbelief on that black Monday evening in Paris? The fate of the cathedral's busiest little winged inhabitants may seem all too insignificant next to centuries of history destroyed...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 05:21:42



Homily at Holy Thursday Chrism Mass in St. Peter's Basilica...  

The Gospel of Luke, which we just heard, makes us relive the excitement of that moment when the Lord made his own the prophecy of Isaiah, as he read it solemnly in the midst of his people. The synagogue in Nazareth was filled with his relatives, neighbours, acquaintances, friends... and not only. All had their eyes fixed on him...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 05:15:13



The 'Seven Last Words' of Christ on the Cross...  

On Good Friday, Catholics keep the custom of the Via Crucis, the Stations of the Cross. In 2005, for the Stations at the Colosseum in Rome, a dying St. John Paul II had asked Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to compose the meditations. Less than a month before he would be elected as Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger gave pilgrims a severe and sober assessment of the state of the Church...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 04:59:17



Good Friday: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced”...  

Good Friday is the most somber day of the Christian year. It is the day our Savior died for us. It is the day we were redeemed from our sins by the voluntary death of God Himself at the hands of man. Here are 9 things you need to know.

what do you think?

2019-04-19 04:46:06



Large crowds sing hymns for hours outside Notre-Dame Cathedral (videos inside)...  

This is absolutely beautiful! Throughout Notre Dame Cathedral's devastating fire yesterday, social media users posted crowds of people singing religious hymns outside. One of the most popular videos circulating across the internet shows an enormous crowd singing the Ave Maria.

what do you think?

2019-04-19 04:06:35



In this season of Catholic discontent, the Easter Effect is worth keeping in mind...  

Some two millennia ago, a ragtag bunch of nobodies learned what their tortured and executed friend, the rabbi Jesus from Nazareth, meant by "rising from the dead" (Mark 9:9-10) — because they met him again, the same but utterly transformed, as the Risen Lord. The Easter Effect upturned all they had once thought about time...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 03:48:30



MLB umpires missed 34,294 pitch calls in 2018. Time for robo-umps?  

Baseball is here, another season of amazing catches, overpowering pitching, tape-measure home runs, overpriced beers, and, yes, television replays of every missed call by umpires, revealed in painful, high-definition slow motion. It's time for Major League Baseball to put an end to the agony caused by at least some of those blown calls—the balls and strikes...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 03:45:07



Notre Dame priest: How Blessed Sacrament, Crown of Thorns were saved from fire ...  

Father Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain to the Paris Fire Brigade, was on his way with a group of military chaplains to a dinner with a local bishop on Holy Monday when they noticed plumes of black smoke towering over the French capital. He looked at his phone and saw many missed messages telling him the cathedral was on fire. The priest...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 03:44:08



How Judas Iscariot is the Gollum of the Gospels...  

Unlike his friend, contemporary and fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis, Tolkien did not approve of nor employ direct allegory. In the Chronicles of Narnia, (contrary to what Liam Neeson would want you to be believe) Aslan IS Jesus. Lewis had the idea that if Jesus were to become incarnate, as He did on earth, in a world mostly populated by talking animals...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 02:43:14



From the ashes of Notre-Dame: How a burning cathedral rebukes a divided Catholic Church.....  

A first draft of this column was written before flames engulfed the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, before its spire fell in one of the most dreadful live images since Sept. 11, 2001, before a blazing fire went further than any of France's anticlerical revolutionaries ever dared. My original subject was the latest controversy in Catholicism's now-years-long Lent...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 02:19:13



Holy Thursday and Divine Mercy...  

As the Sacred Triduum begins Holy Thursday, the Church ponders three interconnected realities: Christ's washing of the feet of his apostles, instituting the Eucharist, and establishing the priesthood to perpetuate the Eucharist in memory of him. These are always inexhaustible mysteries to actualize in any liturgical cycle; this year...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 02:07:16



Pause a few minutes and listen to Pergolesi's Stabat Mater...  

Giovanni Battista Draghi (1710-36), known simply as Pergolesi, died far too young. It may be fitting, therefore, that he is known for his musical setting of the Stabat Mater, the hymn we know mostly from the Stations of the Cross. Its emotional and spiritual power may derive, in part, from its completion just before Pergolesi died of tuberculosis...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 02:02:42



Before-and-after photos of Notre Dame Cathedral show fire's devastation...  

After a fire engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, Paris has vowed to repair the devastating destruction of the historic church quickly. Shortly after the fire was extinguished, people all over the world got a glimpse inside the cathedral via images that revealed the roof had been burned away and the inside of the iconic church had been charred...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 01:52:09



Here are the plenary indulgences available during Holy Week...  

The plenary indulgences that we can receive on every day of Holy Week actually are of two kinds. Certain ones are specific to Holy Week itself. Certain ones we can actually gain anytime. They're listed in the Norms and Grants in the official Manual of Indulgences, fourth edition (1999), the latest and most up-to-date edition of the Manual...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 01:49:01



Almost 100 abortion workers seek to leave industry after seeing pro-life movie 'Unplanned'...  

Chuck Konzelman, director of the Pure Flix movie Unplanned, revealed to Congress this week that nearly 100 abortion clinic workers have sought to leave their jobs after seeing the pro-life film. During his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Konzelman said 94 clinic workers have approached former Planned Parenthood executive Abby Johnson's nonprofit...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 01:27:13



Dear France, this Holy Week, go back to your Mother. This is your home.....  

On April 15, there was a fire in Notre Dame de Paris. We are, so many of us, reeling in shock. We don't quite know how to place this traumatic event in context. Our hearts have fallen into our stomachs we are surprised to feel tears coming down our cheeks. Something dreadful has happened, something we never imagined. A reporter places a microphone in front of us as we stare in dismay toward this smoking horror...

what do you think?

2019-04-19 01:27:08



The Readings for Good Friday...  

Every year on Good Friday, we read St. John's account of the Passion from John 18-19, together with Isaiah 52-53 and Psalm 31. One of the themes that runs through these reading is the Priesthood of Christ. 1. There is priestly language already in the First Reading, from Isaiah 52 & 53, the famous "Suffering Servant" Song

what do you think?

2019-04-19 01:03:04



Gallup Poll: U.S. church membership down sharply in past 20 years, hits all-time low in 2018...  

As Christian and Jewish Americans prepare to celebrate Easter and Passover, respectively, Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low, averaging 50% in 2018. U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 18:21:17



Holy Thursday and Divine Mercy...  

As the Sacred Triduum begins Holy Thursday, the Church ponders three interconnected realities: Christ's washing of the feet of his apostles, instituting the Eucharist, and establishing the priesthood to perpetuate the Eucharist in memory of him. These are always inexhaustible mysteries to actualize in any liturgical cycle; this year...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 17:55:17



Before-and-after photos of Notre Dame Cathedral show fire's devastation...  

After a fire engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, Paris has vowed to repair the devastating destruction of the historic church quickly. Shortly after the fire was extinguished, people all over the world got a glimpse inside the cathedral via images that revealed the roof had been burned away and the inside of the iconic church had been charred...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 15:16:19



The readings for Holy Thursday...  

The Readings for the Holy Thursday Mass focus on the continuity between the ancient Jewish Passover and the institution of the Eucharist. As the Passover was the meal that marked the transition from slavery to Egypt to the freedom of the Exodus, so the Eucharist is the meal that marks the transition from slavery to sin to the glorious freedom of the children of God...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 07:43:39



Homily at Holy Thursday Chrism Mass in St. Peter's Basilica...  

The Gospel of Luke, which we just heard, makes us relive the excitement of that moment when the Lord made his own the prophecy of Isaiah, as he read it solemnly in the midst of his people. The synagogue in Nazareth was filled with his relatives, neighbours, acquaintances, friends... and not only. All had their eyes fixed on him...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 06:04:58



Jesuit Father James V. Schall dies at age 91...  

Fr. James V. Schall, a Jesuit priest and longtime professor of political philosophy, has died at the age of 91. He had been living in the Jesuit residence in Los Gatos, California. Fr. Schall died April 17, shortly after noon, after a brief hospitalization in Los Gatos. A prolific author, Fr. Schall published more than 30 books over the years...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 05:18:32



Let's examine the sequence of events on Holy Thursday...  

According to the Synoptic Gospels, sundown of Holy Thursday ushered in the Passover. Later on this evening, the Lord will celebrate the Passover meal with His disciples. We ought to be mindful that the unleavened bread Jesus will take in His hands is called "the bread of affliction." Indeed, this is an evening of affliction for Jesus...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 04:34:02



In this season of Catholic discontent, the Easter Effect is worth keeping in mind...  

Some two millennia ago, a ragtag bunch of nobodies learned what their tortured and executed friend, the rabbi Jesus from Nazareth, meant by "rising from the dead" (Mark 9:9-10) — because they met him again, the same but utterly transformed, as the Risen Lord. The Easter Effect upturned all they had once thought about time...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 03:36:42



Man arrested entering St. Patrick's Cathedral with gasoline, lighters...  

A man is in custody after he attempted to bring containers of gasoline into St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City Wednesday night. A spokesperson from the Archdiocese of New York told CNA that "the individual was stopped as he tried to come into the cathedral" before he was turned over to the police. The man was apprehended by cathedral security around 8 p...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 02:34:36



Inflated Ego Syndrome and the hazards of being a Catholic celebrity...  

A recent internet uproar over the behavior of a Catholic celebrity reminded me of an incident from my days as a graduate student in economics. During one class, my labor economics professor scraped his fingernails on the chalkboard. We all grimaced. He looked at the class and said dryly, "Occupational hazard." Yes, economists really do talk like that...

what do you think?

2019-04-18 01:27:52



How Judas Iscariot is the Gollum of the Gospels...  

Unlike his friend, contemporary and fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis, Tolkien did not approve of nor employ direct allegory. In the Chronicles of Narnia, (contrary to what Liam Neeson would want you to be believe) Aslan IS Jesus. Lewis had the idea that if Jesus were to become incarnate, as He did on earth, in a world mostly populated by talking animals...

what do you think?

2019-04-17 12:42:58



Pope Benedict's essay is a summary of his theological quest...  

The recent essay of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, "The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse," was published in the proximity of his 92nd birthday, which fell on April 16. The essay can be read as a summary of key moments in the long life of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. At 6,000 words, it is possible that this is last major text Benedict will publish...

what do you think?

2019-04-17 05:54:31



Dear France, this Holy Week, go back to your Mother. This is your home.....  

On April 15, there was a fire in Notre Dame de Paris. We are, so many of us, reeling in shock. We don't quite know how to place this traumatic event in context. Our hearts have fallen into our stomachs we are surprised to feel tears coming down our cheeks. Something dreadful has happened, something we never imagined. A reporter places a microphone in front of us as we stare in dismay toward this smoking horror...

what do you think?

2019-04-17 05:50:19



Pope's Wednesday Audience: “Christ's glory is found in suffering for love”...  

Jesus' glory is not found in the acclaim or applause of the world, but in the act of suffering and dying out of love - the same love demanded of everyone, Pope Francis said Wednesday. "True glory is the glory of love, because it is the only one that gives life to the world," the pope said at the general audience April 17...

what do you think?

2019-04-17 03:03:38



Meet the priest who saved the Blessed Sacrament and the Crown of Thorns...  

It's not every day that someone performs an act of bravery that simultaneously expresses the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, but Father Jean-Marc Fournier, did just that. As the flames engulfed the Cathedral of Notre Dame on Monday, Father Fournier—who serves as the chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade—ran into the cathedral with a team of firefighters to save the Blessed Sacrament and Jesus' Crown of Thorns...

what do you think?

2019-04-17 02:58:56



Large crowds sing hymns for hours outside Notre-Dame Cathedral (videos inside)...  

This is absolutely beautiful! Throughout Notre Dame Cathedral's devastating fire yesterday, social media users posted crowds of people singing religious hymns outside. One of the most popular videos circulating across the internet shows an enormous crowd singing the Ave Maria.

what do you think?

2019-04-17 01:07:32



Notre Dame in flames: What was lost? What was saved? What was 'news?' What issues remain?  

As it turns out, Paris firefighters — apparently drawing on centuries of tradition — know quite a bit about how to save a medieval cathedral, or how to save as much of one of these unique structures as can be saved. They know more about this subject than the president of the United States does, apparently. It will take weeks to unpack all of the stunning details of the story that unfolded before the eyes of the world yesterday in the heart of Paris...

what do you think?

2019-04-16 19:47:18



From the ashes of Notre-Dame: How a burning cathedral rebukes a divided Catholic Church.....  

A first draft of this column was written before flames engulfed the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, before its spire fell in one of the most dreadful live images since Sept. 11, 2001, before a blazing fire went further than any of France's anticlerical revolutionaries ever dared. My original subject was the latest controversy in Catholicism's now-years-long Lent...

what do you think?

2019-04-16 13:37:23



'Fearless' Paris Fire Brigade chaplain Fr. Jean-Marc Fournier, former FSSP priest, rescued Blessed Sacrament and relics from Notre-Dame ...  

A French priest who helped comfort the wounded after the worst terrorist attack on Paris this century has emerged as the hero of the Notre-Dame fire. Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade, saved the Blessed Sacrament and the Crown of Thorns from the burning cathedral on Monday night when he bravely went in with firefighters...

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2019-04-16 12:20:03



Benedict XVI offers a salve to his hurting children...  

There have been a wide variety of responses to Pope Benedict's essay on the sex-abuse crisis, most somewhat critical for not giving a full analysis of the sources of the crisis, the nature of crisis and his possible role in the crisis. These responses, though, seem to mistake the genre of the piece. It is not meant to be any kind of full response to the crisis; rather...

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2019-04-16 11:46:22



Archbishop Wilton Gregory sounds a lot like the Jimmy Carter of the U.S. Church...  

During his 14 years as archbishop of Atlanta, Wilton Gregory - appointed the new Archbishop of Washington on April 4 - would certainly have crossed paths with former American president Jimmy Carter. Atlanta is the home of the Carter Center, seat of his post-presidential activities. It's possible that in whatever conversations they had...

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2019-04-16 11:23:23



Structure of Notre-Dame saved after major fire...  

Shortly after midnight Tuesday, firefighters said the main structure of Notre-Dame de Paris, the city's cathedral, had been preserved from collapse. "We now believe that the two towers of Notre-Dame have been saved," Jean-Claude Gallet, Paris' fire chief, said April 16. "We now consider that the main structure of Notre-Dame has been saved and preserved...

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2019-04-16 09:39:27



Notre Dame was more than a cathedral. Let's pray for its resurrection.....  

The sight of flames hungrily engulfing the spire of Notre Dame de Paris has been experienced as a physical shock by those of us Catholics who have seen it on video, on our televisions or computer screens. Far from Paris, far from France, far from personal associations of memory and experience with what is, after all, just a building...

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2019-04-16 09:10:34



Good Friday comes early this year for Notre-Dame...  

Notre-Dame de Paris is burning. The cathedral's spire has fallen. The roof has collapsed. Firefighters have been on the scene for hours. The fire won the fight. "There will be nothing left," a spokesman for Notre-Dame told the BBC. It's almost that bad: The towers and façade will be spared, but much of the interior, including the famous carved woodwork that was the labor of generations...

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2019-04-16 08:22:59



This photo inside Notre-Dame is the most beautiful thing in the world today. The great rose windows all survived.....  

The great and glorious rose window on the west portal of the cathedral held on through the inferno! That entrance is known as the Portal of the Last Judgement. The rose window itself is a symbol of the whole of the universe — all of time, and all of human life — centered in perfect harmony around the God-Man and His mother, on whose lap He sits in the very center of the rose: the King of Creation on his throne...

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2019-04-16 08:04:13



Passiontide chronology: Tuesday of Holy Week...  

It is Tuesday of Holy Week. Jesus likely arises early, as did all the ancients. Days both ended and started early, at dusk and dawn, prior to the advent of electric lighting. They leave Bethany and head back to Jerusalem. Perhaps a few converts can be made before the transcendent events of the Passion begin. It is only a couple of miles...

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2019-04-16 06:37:53



Notre Dame's age, design fueled fire and foiled firefighters...  

Is there anything firefighters could have done to control the blaze that tore through Paris' historic Notre Dame Cathedral sooner? Experts say the combination of a structure that's more than 850 years old, built with heavy timber construction and soaring open spaces, and lacking sophisticated fire-protection systems led to the quick rise of flames Monday...

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2019-04-16 06:19:15



This passport is so rare, only 500 people on Earth have it — and you have to be Catholic...  

It's well-known that some passports are more powerful than others. Take, for example, the Japanese passport, one of the most powerful global entry tools on Earth. Japanese passport holders can visit 189 countries around the world without needing a visa. And while being able to visit more countries is cool, what may be even cooler is being a card-carrying member of the world's most exclusive passport: the Sovereign Military Order of Malta...

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2019-04-16 04:30:46



Archbishop Charles Chaput warns Catholics against 'divided loyalties' in fight for society...  

The once Christian culture of the West has forgotten its roots, Archbishop Charles Chaput said Friday, warning that basic principles of human dignity and freedom are now at risk. The leader of the Philadelphia archdiocese told an April 12 gathering of priests, seminarians, and lay people at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary's Bishops and Rector Dinner...

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2019-04-16 04:02:19



The best hike in every state of the U.S...  

Alpine scrambles and beach-front strolls; multi-day singletrack adventures and quick urban escapes; soaring trees and rolling sand dunes—every state in the country has something to offer intrepid hikers. So we rounded up a bucket-list-worthy, best-of-the-best guide.

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2019-04-16 03:48:35



Pause a few minutes and listen to Pergolesi's Stabat Mater...  

Giovanni Battista Draghi (1710-36), known simply as Pergolesi, died far too young. It may be fitting, therefore, that he is known for his musical setting of the Stabat Mater, the hymn we know mostly from the Stations of the Cross. Its emotional and spiritual power may derive, in part, from its completion just before Pergolesi died of tuberculosis...

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2019-04-16 01:56:39



Whether the Notre Dame fire was accidental or deliberate, shouldn't the recent wave of vandalism in French churches get more U.S. coverage?  

Is it a news story if a church is set on fire or vandalized in some other way? What about if it's part of a string of incidents? What if it happens five times? How about 10 times? What if there are flames pouring out of one of the world's most iconic cathedrals and its Monday in Holy Week? We will come back to the flames over Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in a moment...

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2019-04-15 21:41:34



The striking similarities between Black Panther's heart-shaped herb and the Holy Eucharist...  

Marvel's imaginary land of Wakanda is much like ancient Egypt in a way. Its people live in simplicity, yet magnificent technology is displayed in their civilization that remains unknown to the rest of the world. The people of ancient Egypt were primarily fed by a single supreme staple: bread. This unassuming product carried the nation from day to day...

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2019-04-15 21:13:10



16 photos (taken only last week) of the renovation work at Notre Dame...  

Statues are removed from the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris by a crane.

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2019-04-15 18:22:20



21 photos of the Holy Week fire at Notre Dame in Paris...  

The fire, which began early Monday evening, sent flames and huge clouds of gray smoke billowing into the Paris sky as stunned Parisians and tourists watched on in horror.

what do you think?

2019-04-15 18:17:51



How the French author Victor Hugo and 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' saved Notre Dame Cathedral...  

Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world. But if it wasn't for one French literary legend, Victor Hugo, and his best-selling book then its breath-taking legacy may well have vanished forever. The building work for Notre Dame, located right in the heart of the city in the Ile de la Cite...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 13:01:14



New Zealand cardinal asks people to stop calling priests 'Father' to fight 'clericalism'...  

Cardinal John Dew of New Zealand wrote a missive to Catholics of the Pacific archipelago urging them to not address priests as "Father." In providing a synopsis of an article by Fr. Jean-Pierre Roche that appeared in La Croix, Cardinal Dew said he joined the French priest in wondering why priests are called "Father." He continued...

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2019-04-15 12:52:39



125 years ago, St. Thérèse wrote this play about St. Joan of Arc...  

While St. Therèse of Lisieux is most well-known for her autobiography, Story of a Soul, she also wrote many poems, songs and plays. She had a very creative mind, one that was informed by her deep love of God. On January 21, 1894, in honor of her sister, Mother Agnes of Jesus, Therèse wrote her first play on St. Joan of Arc entitled...

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2019-04-15 11:51:48



I'm a Catholic priest, but Holy Week makes me squirm...  

As a priest I'm part of the religious establishment. I'm in there with the theologians, the monks, the abbots, the bishops, the archbishops, the cardinals and that whole gang. The monsignors in the Vatican are part of the gang. The Vatican diplomatic corps, the chancery bureaucrats, the theology professors and Biblical scholars...

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2019-04-15 10:59:40



Homily for Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord...  

Joyful acclamations at Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem, followed by his humiliation. Festive cries followed by brutal torture. This twofold mystery accompanies our entrance into Holy Week each year, as reflected in the two characteristic moments of today's celebration: the initial procession with palm branches and the solemn reading of the Passion...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 10:40:02



I worshipped the Goddess of Reason — until I met the God of Mercy in Notre Dame Cathedral...  

I am watching Notre Dame Cathedral burn on television from my living room in Toronto. I want to look away but I cannot. I have watched the spire collapse. I now see the glow from inside the church. It is bright orange. Now I realize it is Holy Week. And I think I hear the commentator say the historic church will be gone forever...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 09:34:34



The divine tragedy of Achilles...  

As the heroes of The Iliad are slain in blood, Homer gives each of them an epitaph in poetry, that they may die not as expendable masses, but as men with names. Even as they fall, death swirling round them, the blind poet looks for the monument of man, decrying its absence while railing at the meddlesome gods and goddesses that fly from the field of human carnage with scraped wrists and wounded feelings...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 08:05:36



Jesus before Pontius Pilate — 5 observations of Ven. Fulton J. Sheen...  

Possessing exceptional knowledge and wisdom, the Archbishop uncovers meanings in biblical texts that would be otherwise easy to miss. After Jesus' arrest and trial by the Sanhedrin, Friday morning He was taken to Pontius Pilate with a demand for his execution; Pilate responded, What charge do you bring against this man? They simply responded that he was a "malefactor"; Pilate refused to hear the case...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 07:04:25



Alyssa Milano's call for abortion stories backfires, provokes heartfelt pro-life testimonies...  

Let's applaud these Twitter users for defending the unborn! Alyssa Milano asked women to email her their abortion stories in a recent tweet. The stories will be for her upcoming podcast "Sorry Not Sorry." The actress, known for her roles in Who's the Boss and Charmed, is a passionate pro-abortion advocate. She made headlines for initiating a protest against Georgia's Heartbeat Bill...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 06:42:15



Is 'Unplanned' the 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' of our era? The parallels are too interesting to ignore.....  

In the 1850s the nation was roiled by the issue of slavery. There had been major political compromises regarding slavery both in the nation's founding documents and in subsequent congressional legislation. There was an uneasy peace between the members of Congress from the South, who were determined not only to preserve slavery but to extend it to the new territories in the West...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 05:49:03



How a professional gambler broke the single-game winnings record on 'Jeopardy'...  

Plenty of Jeopardy! champions have rung up six-figure payouts. But until James Holzhauer put up his $110,914 total on Tuesday, no one had done it in a single game. He did it with smarts—but also with a nearly flawless command of Jeopardy! game theory. The Jeopardy! board is arranged in a grid featuring 30 total clues across six categories...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 05:15:33



5 reasons for the explosive growth in Korea's Catholic Church...  

The Catholic Church in South Korea has a lot of lessons for us in the United States. Did you know that the growth of the Church in the last 30 years in Korea has been nothing short of explosive? Did you know the Catholic Church is considered the most respected institution in the entire country (by polling data)? Both are true and if we study this growth...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 04:15:48



Fluoride? Asteroid strike? You're definitely worrying about the wrong things...  

In small doses, fluoride is good for your teeth. It protects against tooth decay by binding to the enamel (the hard, outer shell of the tooth) and remineralizing the enamel with calcium and phosphate. This makes the enamel harder and more resistant to bacteria. For this reason, most toothpastes contain fluoride, and dentists apply topical fluoride treatments to their patients' teeth...

what do you think?

2019-04-15 03:59:39






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