24 February, 2017

NY Bishop: Pro-Abortion 'Catholic' Politicians Imperil Their Souls, Create Scandal

"Without question, Planned Parenthood provides some morally unobjectionable health services to women," he said. "However, this statement is not unlike saying that a man who beats his wife sometimes gives her flowers."

NY Bishop: Pro-Abortion 'Catholic' Politicians Imperil Their Souls, Create Scandal

Australian prelate acknowledges "criminal negligence" on abuse

Australian prelate acknowledges "criminal negligence" on abuse

Could Catholicism handle the discovery of extraterrestrial life? The pope, experts and theologians say yes.

Could Catholicism handle the discovery of extraterrestrial life?

No, Pope Francis Did NOT Say It's Better to Be an Atheist Than a Bad Catholic

No, Pope Francis Did NOT Say It's Better to Be an Atheist Than a Bad Catholic | ChurchPOP

'No cure for me': Young Ontario man wants mental illness included in assisted-dying law

'No cure for me': Young Ontario man wants mental illness included in assisted-dying law | CTV News

The End of the Catholic State? An interesting essay on the relationship between Church and State by Joseph G. Trabbic

The End of the Catholic State? | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

Catholics shouldn't totally reject human gene editing – but it still has ethical problems

Catholics shouldn't totally reject human gene editing – but it still has ethical problems :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

23 February, 2017

Nothing focuses the mind more intensely than death

"The unforgiving reality of my own mortality has been rudely slapping me upside the head in recent weeks. And I'm glad."
Nothing focuses the mind more intensely than death:

Murder of Montreal woman with dementia leads to demand for more euthanasia.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Euthanasia Prevention Coalition: Murder of woman with dementia leads to demand for more euthanasia.

Catholic doctors protest French law banning 'misleading' pro-life websites

Catholic doctors protest French law banning 'misleading' pro-life websites

How Did Catholic Monks Become So Good At Brewing Beer?

How Did Catholic Monks Become So Good At Brewing Beer? | uCatholic

Why Does God Allow Horrible Evil?

Why Does God Allow Horrible Evil? | ncregister.com

Pope says better an atheist than a Catholic living a double life

Pope says better an atheist than a Catholic living a double life

Bishop Barron: Evangelizing through the good

Bishop Barron: Evangelizing through the good - Church - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Want to be holy? Then work on your friendship with God: You might be surprised what it does for your relationships with others, too.

Want to be holy? Then work on your friendship with God - Spirituality - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

22 February, 2017

A Modest Defense of the “Liberal World Order” by George Weigel from First Things

A Modest Defense of the “Liberal World Order” | George Weigel | First Things

Vatican, Al-Azhar team up to counter religious justification for violence

Vatican, Al-Azhar team up to counter religious justification for violence

Renewed calls to review assisted death rules after Montreal man charged with murdering wife

Renewed calls to review assisted death rules after Montreal man charged with murdering wife - Montreal - CBC News

Why do Americans Believe that Christianity is as Violent as Islam?

Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Why do Americans Believe that Christianity is as Violent as Islam? SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Why is there a feast day for a chair? And what is the 'Chair' of St. Peter?

Why is there a feast day for a chair? - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Muslim-Americans raise $20,000 to repair desecrated Jewish cemetery

Muslim-Americans raise $20,000 to repair desecrated Jewish cemetery – Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

21 February, 2017

Bodies of 74 migrants wash ashore in Libya

Bodies of 74 migrants wash ashore in Libya - World - CBC News

Government pressed on plan to deal with migrants illegally crossing into Canada

Government pressed on plan to deal with migrants illegally crossing into Canada - Politics - CBC News

Pope Francis: Protecting the world's migrants and refugees is a moral imperative

Pope Francis: Protecting the world's migrants and refugees is a moral imperative | America Magazine

Knight of God: a Review of “Ignatius of Loyola” - a movie about the founder of the Jesuits

Knight of God: a Review of “Ignatius of Loyola” - The Catholic Thing

Scientists are pushing to genetically modify babies to avoid diseases - A good thing? Or the first step on the road to creating 'designer babies'?

Scientists are pushing to genetically modify babies to avoid diseases - National | Globalnews.ca

Time to start thinking about Lent. Here's a list 19 things to give up that aren't chocolate.

19 things to give up for Lent that aren't chocolate

On Euthanasia and Going Gentle into that Good Night

Reflections of a Catholic Scientist: On Euthanasia and Going Gentle into that Good Night

How All the Apostles Died & Where You Can Find Their Remains Today

How All the Apostles Died & Where You Can Find Their Remains Today | ChurchPOP

Bergoglio's red hat marked the start of the Francis era

Bergoglio's red hat marked the start of the Francis era

Abbey beers vs. Trappist beers

Abbey beers vs. Trappist beers - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

20 February, 2017

“Why did you become Pope?” Francis explains the conclave to children

“Why did you become Pope?” Francis explains the conclave to children - La Stampa

Millions at risk as famine grips parts of South Sudan Another man-made tragedy unfolds in Africa

Millions at risk as famine grips parts of South Sudan - World - CBC News

Why Don't Secularists Just Be Honest and Outlaw Christianity?

Why Don't Secularists Just Be Honest and Outlaw Christianity? | The Stream:

Suggested Lenten reading for 2017: Finding it difficult to settle down and read anything longer than a Facebook post? Thank God for Lent, and the pleasant discipline of reading.

Suggested Lenten reading for 2017 - Spotlight - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

A guide to dealing with people you don't like


A guide to dealing with people you don't like – For Her

How Christianity Civilized Mankind

How Christianity Civilized Mankind - Crisis Magazine

19 February, 2017

Pride and Humility, Vice and Virtue

Pride and Humility, Vice and Virtue - Catholic Stand : Catholic Stand

How Does One Have Faith in An Age of Doubt? Part II

The Bloggin' Brother: How Does One Have Faith in An Age of Doubt? Part II

How Does One Have Faith in An Age of Doubt? Part I

The Bloggin' Brother: How Does One Have Faith in An Age of Doubt? Part I

Norma McCorvey Was Wrong, Then She Was Right — May God Welcome Her Home

Norma McCorvey Was Wrong, Then She Was Right — May God Welcome Her Home | ncregister.com

In Memoriam: Michael Novak

In Memoriam: Michael Novak | ncregister.com

Little boy born without a brain can now speak, count, and attend school - So much for what the experts said!

Little boy born without a brain can now speak, count, and attend school - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

A fast take on ‘The Be-DAD-itudes: 8 Ways to Be an Awesome Dad’ with Dr. Greg Popcak

A fast take on ‘The Be-DAD-itudes: 8 Ways to Be an Awesome Dad’ with Dr. Greg Popcak - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

18 February, 2017

On immigrants and the poor, Pope Francis walks his talk

On immigrants and the poor, Pope Francis walks his talk

Nobel Prize-winning agnostic scientist says “The miracles at Lourdes are inexplicable” - Faults those who "commit the error of rejecting what they don’t understand"

Nobel Prize-winning agnostic scientist says “The miracles at Lourdes are inexplicable” - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Michael Novak dead at age 83. Theologian shaped Church and state in late 20th century

Michael Novak dead at age 83. Theologian shaped Church and state in late 20th century - World - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Atheist chat with Bishop Robert Barron makes me want to read Peter Kreeft

Atheist chat with Bishop Robert Barron makes me want to read Peter Kreeft - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Andrew Coyne: Free speech needs to be guided by judgment and conscience, not rules

Andrew Coyne: Free speech needs to be guided by judgment and conscience, not rules | National Post

Christie Blatchford: We already know how to silence the cranks, do we really need M-103?

Christie Blatchford: We already know how to silence the cranks, do we really need M-103? | National Post

Chaos at Church of England synod after two members may have pressed wrong button in gay marriage vote - God works in mysterious ways?

Chaos at Church of England synod after two members may have pressed wrong button in gay marriage vote | National Post

Philippine Catholics rally against drug killings, death penalty

Philippine Catholics rally against drug killings, death penalty | CTV News

Does Morality Depend on Religion?

The Bloggin' Brother: Does Morality Depend on Religion?

17 February, 2017

Cardinal Burke sent to Guam to oversee sex abuse trial

Cardinal Burke sent to Guam to oversee sex abuse trial :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pastoral handbook on 'Amoris' says answer is no on Communion

Pastoral handbook on 'Amoris' says answer is no on Communion

Statue a reminder that pope criticism is just Romans being Romans

Statue a reminder that pope criticism is just Romans being Romans

France makes it official: fines and prison sentences for pro-lifers who practice free speech online

France makes it official: fines and prison sentences for pro-lifers who practice free speech online | NRL News Today

“Migration is not a threat but a challenge to grow”

“Migration is not a threat but a challenge to grow” - La Stampa

Denying abortion akin to violence, Monsef says of Planned Parenthood funding

Denying abortion akin to violence, Monsef says of Planned Parenthood funding | CTV News

The Forgotten Holocaust: The Films of Boris Maftsir - An Israeli filmmaker works to revive the neglected, terrible history of Shoah victims in the Soviet Union

The Forgotten Holocaust: The Films of Boris Maftsir – Tablet Magazine

Father honors son he lost to suicide by starting Facebook’s “Kindness Challenge”

Father honors son he lost to suicide by starting Facebook’s “Kindness Challenge” - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

15 February, 2017

Stuart McLean, host of 'Vinyl Cafe,' has died - God has called a truly wonderful Canadian and humorist to his side. It's heaven's gain... and our sad loss.

Stuart McLean, host of 'Vinyl Cafe,' has died | Entertainment & Showbiz from CTV News

Pope Francis seeks forgiveness from clergy abuse victims

Pope Francis seeks forgiveness from clergy abuse victims | National Catholic Reporter

Is Marriage Catechumenate the Church’s Missing ‘Antidote’ for the Marriage Crisis? Talked about by two synods on the family, a new form of marriage formation is finally making headway in the Church, with a boost from Pope Francis.

Is Marriage Catechumenate the Church’s Missing ‘Antidote’ for the Marriage Crisis? | ncregister.com

Napa Institute February Newsletter


- Preparing for Lent -
Matthew Leonard

Lent is coming (sigh). Unlike really holy people, part of me starts to dread Lent as soon as the Christmas season ends. It’s the dark cloud on the horizon, the looming test for which I didn’t study. But once I refocus on the incredible value of sacrificing bourbon, coffee, and other “necessities” of life, some of the pain is assuaged.

The goal of this life is to conform ourselves to Christ, the Christ who gave of himself for our salvation. Voluntary penance conquers our fleshly desires. It prevents them from mastering us so that we are more in control, so that we have possession of ourselves. And that’s the key. As St. John Paul II taught, you have to possess yourself before you can give yourself away. Why? Because you can’t give away what you don’t own. If we’re ruled by our passions, then we aren’t free to give of ourselves completely like Christ. That’s why penance is so powerful. It’s all about freedom and self-gift. The bourbon, coffee, and chocolate we give up in Lent are means to an end, and the end is self-donation.

Ultimately, when we practice penance, we’re giving up something good for something better. We’re sacrificing the temporal goods of this world for the eternal “greats” of the next. By voluntarily taming our own wants and desires, we free our eyes to look to heaven and humbly identify with the actions of Our Lord. That’s the power of penance. It detaches us from the things of this world so that we can act out of heavenly love...even if we don’t yet love Lent.

Matthew Leonard is Vice President at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and host of “The Art of Catholic” podcast on iTunes. His website is MatthewSLeonard.com.


- Observing Lent on the Digital Continent -
Matt Meeks

Many people enter Lent resolved to give up media entirely. For some, this means a blackout of all activities on Facebook, for others it is a resolution to avoid TV or movies.  As Catholics, Lent is a time to renew our witness to be like Christ reflecting on his sacrifice and his evangelical zeal for souls. With more people spending time immersed in the ‘digital continent,’ we can’t let Lent result in a total blackout of our efforts to bring Christ to this new world. To stay present in the conversation online without falling into its pitfalls, I present two saintly models: St. Barnabas and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

St. Barnabas – The First Evangelization
Many logically assume that media consumption has an effect on behavior, but a couple years ago Facebook released a scientific study proving the connection. Facebook showed that it could manipulate the emotions of its users by increasing the negative content in participant’s feeds. Simply put, the more negative content shared, the more negative its users became. In light of this, when it comes to what we share and how we comment online this Lent, I would like to present St. Barnabas as a model. Barnabas means “Son of Encouragement” and it was Barnabas who encouraged the Apostles to accept Saul after his conversion, not focusing on his many sins but instead supporting him on his journey to become an Apostle. When Paul was unsure of Mark, it was Barnabas who saw the good in Mark, leaving Paul to accompany Mark and lift him up. Simply stated, without the encouraging words of Barnabas we would not have the Gospel of Mark or the Letters of Paul – some of the most significant media in human history. And this is due to Barnabas’s habit of focusing on the good in his brothers, elevating them to sanctity.

Our Lady of Guadalupe – The Evangelization of the New World
At perhaps the moment of greatest change for the Church during its 2,000 year history -- In the midst of the discovery of the new world and the middle of the Protestant reformation -- Our Lady chose to renew and preserve the Church using a piece of media. In 1531, she appeared, giving Juan Diego a beautiful snapshot of her image on the canvas of his simple peasant’s cloak. In this one image, we see two worlds (the new and the old) and two peoples (natives and Europeans) joined as one. We see virginity and motherhood and we see time and eternity all laid out for the observer. In short, we glimpse heaven through the gate of heaven: Our Lady. In this one miraculous image, we see the answers for the evangelization of the new world 500 years ago and the path for the new evangelization we are called to today. This lent, let us use this image as the model for the content we choose to create and share. Let’s make a promise to avoid comments that divide instead of sharing content that builds bridges, conveys truth and does so with the maternal love of Our Lady and Our Church.

This is not to state that we should use Lent as an opportunity to jump online without reflection. We need to pray first and for some of us that prayer will result in a prudent decision to abstain from online activity or media for the duration of Lent. But for those of us who choose to practice Lent on the digital continent, like Barnabas we should commit to sacrificing negativity and make an effort to lift our brothers and sisters up. Most importantly, we should reflect on the image of Our Lady before sharing with others so we might reflect her image. Whatever we do, we should offer our Lenten sacrifices for those who need help in their Christian witness on and offline, taking St. Barnabas and Our Lady as guides.

Matt Meeks is the Chief Digital Officer of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and President at the OneWord Group, a strategic consultancy helping the Church elevate her marketing, operations and communications so that “all might be one.” 

The Trump Era’s Catholic Mirror - by Ross Douthat

The Trump Era’s Catholic Mirror - The New York Times

6 Things You Need to Know About Getting Married in a Catholic Church

6 Things You Need to Know About Getting Married in a Catholic Church | Brides

An Oregon bill could allow mentally ill patients to be starved

An Oregon bill could allow mentally ill patients to be starved :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The Stumbling Block of the Crucifix

The Stumbling Block of the Crucifix

Facing a post-truth culture, let's be apostles of dialogue

Facing a post-truth culture, let's be apostles of dialogue

​'Paul, Apollos, and Cephas, all Over Again' by George Weigel

​Paul, Apollos, and Cephas, all Over Again | George Weigel | First Things

Laurentian University pays tribute with Red Dress Campaign: My undergrad alma mater leads the way in an important campaign for social change.

Laurentian pays tribute with Red Dress Campaign | Sudbury Star

The Resurrection and the Death of Atheism: Jesus rose from the dead. How's that for evidence that God exists?

The Resurrection and the Death of Atheism

13 February, 2017

After last night's Grammy tribute to Prince, here's my favorite cover of his hit 'Purple Rain' by Matt Terry and Nicole Scherzinger

It's not celibacy, but a distorted view of it, that leads to abuse

It's not celibacy, but a distorted view of it, that leads to abuse

Pope taps delegate to study 'pastoral situation' at Medjugorje

Pope taps delegate to study 'pastoral situation' at Medjugorje

What C.S. Lewis can teach us about true love: C.S. Lewis decoded the 4 different types of love—which one are you thankful for this Valentine’s Day?

What C.S. Lewis can teach us about true love – For Her

Vatican Updates Health Care Charter: New version’s purpose is to remove question marks from modern ethical concerns.

Vatican Updates Health Care Charter | ncregister.com

The Francis freakout, continued: The danger for critics at all times - they stop listening to what their opponents have to say.

The Francis freakout, continued - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

08 February, 2017

The latest from George Weigel: 'Synod Talk Again'

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/02/synod-talk-again

How Catholic is your stance on Immigration: By Msgr. Charles Pope

How Catholic is Your Stance on Immigration?

“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to
welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood
which he cannot find in his country of origin.” (CCC 2241)

By Msgr. Charles Pope

I have lamented in the past that the politicization of moral issues has
caused distortions in the reflections of many Catholics. No Catholic should
have any doubt about the Church’s teaching on abortion, contraception, and
euthanasia, nor should he or she dissent from it. But enter the fact that
political parties take different stands on the issues and suddenly many
Catholics either set aside the teachings of faith, embrace flawed moral
reasoning, or engage in outright dissent. Sadly, many are more influenced by
their political leanings than their faith or the very Word of God.

There are other moral issues (such as war and capital punishment) that are
understandably intertwined with political thinking, as they involve the
government and decisions largely consigned to the prudential decisions of
secular leaders. Nevertheless, Catholics should still consider these to be
primarily moral issues and draw their views first and foremost from
Scripture and the principles taught by the Church.

I would argue that this is also true in the case of immigration. This is an
admittedly complex issue, but it has a strong moral element because God
consistently warns in Scripture that the way we treat the stranger, the
sojourner, and the refugee is a matter of justice and something for which He
will hold us accountable. Hence it is a moral issue with which we must
wrestle.

But as is too often the case with politicized moral discussions, the
positions taken are often deformed by excesses and/or defects. On the one
side, there is the opinion that we should severely limit immigration if not
close our borders entirely. On the other side, there is an almost reckless
demand to allow the admission of huge numbers of people from anywhere
accompanied by a willingness to simply ignore widespread violations of the
law. Those on the first side strongly emphasize that we are a nation of laws
while speaking less to the obligations and traditions of our country in
accepting immigrants. Those on the other side are suspicious of almost any
law related to immigration, declaring all such laws unjust; they seem little
concerned with security or the difficulties associated large numbers of
immigrants entering the country in unregulated or illegal ways.

A short article like this one cannot possibly address all of the
complexities of immigration. Further, it is inappropriate for me as a priest
to comment publicly on specific policy initiatives (e.g., wall, no wall)
since they involve prudential decisions of government leaders. But permit me
to offer some principles from Scripture, the Catechism, and St. Thomas
Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, that we should use to guide our reflections and
to form our views. more than our opinions or political leanings.

Consider, first, some of the following Scripture passages (you can find more
examples here). God speaks quite a bit about immigration in the Scriptures!


 When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you,
and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of
Egypt: I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 19:34).
 You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in
the land of Egypt (Ex 22:21).
 Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the
fatherless, and the widow. And all the people shall say, “Amen” (Dt
27:19).
 You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners
who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you
as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an
inheritance among the tribes of Israel (Ez 47:22).
 And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field
right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest.
You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your
God (Lev 23:22).
 Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand
of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the
resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in
this place (Jer 22:3).
 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph
in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to
Egypt, and remain there until I tell you” (Mat 2:13).
 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns
among you (Ex 12:49).


Those who are immigrants or sojourners in a land not their own also have
obligations:


 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray
to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare
(Jer 29:7).
 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no
authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed,
and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to
good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in
authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he
is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he
does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger
who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore, one must be in
subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of
conscience (Rom 13:1-4).
 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions
of the flesh, which wage war against your soul (1 Peter 2:11).
 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to
be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1).
 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be
to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those
who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God,
that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish
people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up
for evil, but living as servants of God (1 Peter 2:13-16).
 Do not move the ancient landmark that the fathers have set (Prov 22:28).


And thus the Scriptures weigh heavily toward the generous and just treatment
of refugees, sojourners, and foreigners in our midst, while reminding them
to be productive and prayerful for the nation that hosts them. In the
current public discourse, however, these two propositions are often
separated.

The teaching of the Church, as expressed in the Catechism, enshrines both
principles, speaking to the duties of nations as well as those of
immigrants.

The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to
welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood
which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see
to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the
protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are
responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to
various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’
duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect
with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that
receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens (CCC
2241).

Although these principles are meant to balance each other, one or the other
is often discarded by those on the extremes. We are called to accept
immigrants generously, especially those escaping political or economic
oppression. But the rule of law, which is meant to preserve order and
benefit the common good, is also important. The Catechism, without providing
a specific prescription, calls for balance. A generous, orderly immigration
is recommended, one which respects individual natural rights while also
advancing the common good.

Seldom is this balance to be seen in current discourse. There are, of
course, prudential judgments to be made. In particular cases, one principle
may be favored over the other, but both should always be considered and any
judgment should not wholly violate either.

Another helpful reflection on immigration policy is found in St. Thomas’
Summa Theologiae:

Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in
directing both kinds of relation, the Law contained suitable precepts: …
First, when foreigners passed through [the Jew’s] land as travelers.
Second, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both
these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is
written (Exodus 22:21): “Thou shalt not molest a stranger”; and again
(Exodus 22:9): “Thou shalt not molest a sojourner.” Third, when any
foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of
worship.

With regard to these, a certain order was observed. For they were not at
once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no
one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the
Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1). The reason for this was that if foreigners
were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled
down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet
having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to
the people. Hence it was that the Law prescribed in respect of certain
nations that had close relations with the Jews (viz., the Egyptians among
whom they were born and educated, and the Idumeans, the children of Esau,
Jacob’s brother), that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the
people after the third generation; whereas others (with whom their relations
had been hostile, such as the Ammonites and Moabites) were never to be
admitted to citizenship; while the Amalekites, who were yet more hostile to
them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in
perpetuity: for it is written (Exodus 17:16): “The war of the Lord shall
be against Amalec from generation to generation” (Summa Theologica I-II,
Q. 105, Art. 3).

And thus we can see that it is permissible, according to Scripture and
reason, for a nation to exhibit a more lenient policy toward one nation than
toward another. Such a position does not necessarily offend against justice
provided that the basis for it is demonstrably serious and true, and the
principles of generosity and the advancement of the common good are not
entirely set aside.

Above, then, are some principles from Catholic teaching and Scripture. While
immigration is a complex issue involving prudential decisions by lawful
authority, the hope is that principles such as these (generosity framed by
legitimate concern for the common good) are applied.

For us who are Catholic, the questions are these:

How Catholic is my stance on immigration?

Is my view based in the faith or merely in my preferences or political
leanings?

Do I agree that, as a prosperous nation, we should be generous in accepting
and welcoming refugees and immigrants?

Do I understand that proper laws governing the immigration process are
legitimate but should be in service of the common good and should assist in
welcoming the stranger in a humane and orderly way?

Many people today strongly emphasize one principle at the expense of the
other. In so doing, Catholic balance is lost. How Catholic is your
understanding of immigration? I hope that this modest summary helps you to
think about immigration as a Catholic.

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/how-catholic-is-your-stance-on-immigration

Copyright (c) 2017 EWTN News, Inc. All rights reserved.

02 February, 2017

Secularism, the new ancien régime

Secularism, the new ancien régime – CatholicHerald.co.uk

‘Is there a god? What’s the point of it all?’: How to answer your child’s first Important Questions - What do you think of his answer?

‘Is there a god? What’s the point of it all?’: How to answer your child’s first Important Questions | National Post

Pro-Life Means Pro-Social Justice

Pro-Life Means Pro-Social Justice | Public Orthodoxy

Ben Affleck and the End of 'Argument'

Ben Affleck and the End of Argument | RealClearReligion

Middle East Christians as refugees: What are the facts? - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Amid all the social media yelling and media narratives, here are some important things to know.

Middle East Christians as refugees: What are the facts? - Top Stories - Aleteia.org – Worldwide Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth – Aleteia.org

Why 'Groundhog Day' is worth watching again. And again. And again.

Happy Groundhog Day!!



Why 'Groundhog Day' is worth watching again. And again. And again. – For Her

01 February, 2017

Low supplies could lead to bacon shortage: Now THIS would constitute a MAJOR crisis!!!

Low supplies could lead to bacon shortage | Lifestyle from CTV News

Persons First: Refugees, Immigrants and Executive Orders

Persons First: Refugees, Immigrants and Executive Orders | ncregister.com

Pope Francis: Jesus was concerned with people, not polling results

Pope Francis: Jesus was concerned with people, not polling results

A Papal Tutor of Heroic Virtue | George Weigel | First Things

A Papal Tutor of Heroic Virtue | George Weigel | First Things

Quebec's ugly ethnic-nationalism

Quebec's ugly ethnic-nationalism - CBC News | Opinion

Are we living in a holographic universe? New study suggests that it's possible

Are we living in a holographic universe? New study suggests that it's possible - Technology & Science - CBC News

Montreal police arrest man accused of online threats towards Muslims: Words DO have consequences!

Montreal police arrest man accused of online threats towards Muslims | CTV News

Mass held honouring Quebec shooting victims

Mass held honouring Quebec shooting victims | CTV News

Five lessons for Catholic men from the game of chess

Five lessons for Catholic men from the game of chess | Catholic World Report - Global Church news and views

A little something as a respite from the rancor and partisanship of these times we are living through

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