31 December, 2011

Is a Santorum Surprise in Iowa About to Upset the 2012 Republican Primary? - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

I appreciate this story is about the American election, but its message applies to Canada as well in as much as we too are plagued with politicians who espouse one set of values when the campaign but fail to live up them once elected. I happen to agree with Mr. Santorum's values because they are Catholic values. I appreciate his openly professing them faithfully. It is refreshing in these troubled times. However I have no idea whatsoever whether or not he'd make a good president and am not taking a position on an election in another country. But it is unique to see a politician on either side of the border so forcefully and completely present the Catholic proposition in an election campaign. Santorum is doing exactly what the Church asks the laity to do... to live out their lives as a only then can uniquely do.


He is BEING a Roman Catholic Christian in running for President. He is not just a person running for President who happens to be Catholic and Christian. It's hard not to wish him all the best even if, as a Canadian, I don't have a pony in the race.


Is a Santorum Surprise in Iowa About to Upset the 2012 Republican Primary? - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

A Reluctant Sinner: When is a vicar not a vicar? The Guardian's coverage of the "midnight mass brawl" at a Southampton Catholic church

A Reluctant Sinner: When is a vicar not a vicar? The Guardian's coverage of the "midnight mass brawl" at a Southampton Catholic church

The Thin Veil: A Tweeting, Blogging, Podcasting Bishop

The Thin Veil: A Tweeting, Blogging, Podcasting Bishop

30 December, 2011

Victims' group must reveal records in priest case - WKRN, Nashville, Tennessee News, Weather and Sports |

Victims' group must reveal records in priest case - WKRN, Nashville, Tennessee News, Weather and Sports |

Two abortionists charged with multiple counts of murder - U.s. - Catholic Online

Two abortionists charged with multiple counts of murder - U.s. - Catholic Online

Upcoming Vatican events for 2012

A Canadian holiday treat that brings together our two favorite things: hockey and music. No buddy does it better than Don Cherry!

Appetite for destruction: 2012 and the Apocalypse | CTV News

Appetite for destruction: 2012 and the Apocalypse | CTV News

Top 10 under-covered Vatican stories (plus a bonus feature) | National Catholic Reporter

Top 10 under-covered Vatican stories (plus a bonus feature) | National Catholic Reporter

26 priests, religious, lay pastoral workers slain in 2011 : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

26 priests, religious, lay pastoral workers slain in 2011 : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Strait of Hormuz showdown: Iran to test fire missiles in key oil-waterway | News | National Post

The drumbeat of war is getting louder. If Noam Chomsky is correct, we might see the start of hostilities between Iran and the West within months. I believe it was he who postulated that when a nation's media starts to pay up another country as a threat, it puts into process a series of events that usually leads to armed conflict within a year. It is a process that is marked by a steady drumbeat of more and louder voices making the argument that force is the only effective option to 'protect ourselves'. Somehow they convince the majority to actually buy into an argument that essentially concludes that 'war is the best tactic to prevent war'. After suitable noise has been made demanding steps Iran must take to change its ways (allowing inspections etc.) along with the establishment of deadlines that ultimately Iran will either ignore or fail to comply with, Chomsky would predict that the West will go to war again in the next phase of a battle to control the earth's energy sources.


God, I hope Mr. Chomsky is wrong.

Strait of Hormuz showdown: Iran to test fire missiles in key oil-waterway | News | National Post

28 December, 2011

Charles Lewis, Religion editor of the National Post writes an interesting column about the rising tide of Christianity

Charlie Lewis of the National Post writes in response to a column by Margaret Wente in which he takes exception this her assessment of the state of the faith in Canada. He writes:



"Many people have written that the re-evangelization of the West by missionaries from the Global South is becoming more commonplace. In Canada and the United States there are, for example, a number of African priests now ministering to mainly white Catholic parishes. Canterbury has already been supplanted in terms of credibility by the more orthodox Anglican bishops in Africa and Anglicanism will become more orthodox as a result of that shift. In fact, the radical growth of orthodox Anglicanism in Africa will make Anglicanism the number two Christian faith in the world, behind Roman Catholicism, by 2050 or so.
The priest in my own Catholic parish in Toronto is originally from Columbia and he considers himself a missionary to Canadians. He also spent many years in Africa, living rough and spreading the Gospel message.
But there are a few points in Ms. Wente’s column that need addressing."
Click on the link below to read the entire column.


Holy Post

To steal a line from REM, perhaps 'it's the end of the world as we know it'. If so, do you know where to head to when the time comes?


According to prophecies of Hopi and Mayan mystics and the predictions of Nostrodamus, 2012 will bring catastrophic events to plague humanity, culminating with the end of the world as we know it today. Television programming, media reports, books and blogs, are all beating the drum of impending doom which resonates within many people as they stand on the precipice of the dread year’s start, tinging their celebration with a touch of apprehension. If our previous obsession with the Y2K and the fascination with failed predictions of Harold Camping are at all normative, doomsayers will find a growing audience. 'Apocalypse' is destined to be a trending topic in the months to come. 

Indeed, if these voices crying out that the ‘end is near’ are correct, it would seem an appropriate time to look back to see how we arrived at this epitome of human cognitive and cultural evolution, particularly as we stand at the eve of the promised climactic year. Historians and theologians are now taking up this task, trying to distill the essential elements of success to pass along to any remnant to bring forward to rebuild civilization. 

Recent studies of ancient documents, letters and artifacts, as well as new books from historians like Thomas Cahill (‘How the Irish Saved Civilization’) or Thomas Wood ('How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization') indicate that the Catholic Church was the conduit by which discoveries were made and shared. It was the sociological construct that preserved and transmitted the wisdom of antiquity after the fall of Rome. As the sole surviving functioning organization that continued to operate throughout the length and breadth of the entire Empire, she became the vehicle around which civilization was ordered. Using her agencies to facilitate communication, commerce, culture and everyday life, she became the vehicle by which new advances in technology spread between different cultures and countries. The same was true when it came to transmitting developments in other fields: politics and current events, philosophical and theological progressions, etc. The Church was the essential element which made possible all these advances.

This emerging consensus has created a new understanding of the vital role Catholic institutions played in creating the liberty, wisdom, and prosperity of today. It is wisdom that will be valuable if humanity faces the task of rebuilding its preeminent place on the globe in 2013 and beyond. 

Even the Vatican is getting into the spirit of the times (although accidentally) with the opening for the first time in many years of their archives for public examination. Opening such a font of primary documents for study will no doubt produce any number of example which demonstrate the essential role of religious institutions in facilitating and promoting human development across the globe. 

The Church also provided an economic morality which eventual evolved into the modern western capitalist system responsible for Western prosperity today. Monasteries and abbeys created and sustained an agrarian culture which permitted the development of trades and guilds whose innovations slowly but steadily advanced the arts, culture and technology around the known world. Towns and cities sprang up around ancient churches, monasteries and abbeys which provided a template for survival and salvation during our darkest times as a civilization. Through them, the Church sustained educational, scientific exploration, economic progress and social institutions, all while acting as the ultimate juridical agent in the wake of the fall of the Roman Empire. 

It is not just coincidental, that the nations which have attained this high water mark of human progress, were functionally and culturally Christian for almost two millennia. The fact that the West shares one primordial paradigm from which public and private morality springs is the element which explains the causal relationship which exists between the Catholic Church and the modern secular State. 

Even if the past 50 years has seen the influence of the Church wane and she has lost her privileged role in establishing Western public policy, law and morals, it is still the best proven institution at preserving and impelling human progress when faced with an apocalyptic future. Thank God that she possesses Christ's promise that she would be a successful instrument of grace until his return. For Catholics, and for all Christians in general, the approaching New Year's celebrations simply mark one day closer to that promised day of glory.

The Weakness of Tyranny | First Things

The Weakness of Tyranny | First Things

27 December, 2011

It’s Officially Getting Weird Out There | Swampland | TIME.com

It's the last line of this Gingrich ad that amazes me. I cannot help but ask... Newt actually paid for this political ad? If this is what he means when he speaks about being open to 'big ideas', he's about to be slaughtered.

It must be difficult being a Republican these days. A handful of longshot congressional representatives each with evident defects, two Mormon governors... and Newt. Make your choice. It's enough to make them wish for a 'none of the above' option.

It’s Officially Getting Weird Out There | Swampland | TIME.com

Vatican throws light on history as it opens secret archives - Telegraph

Vatican throws light on history as it opens secret archives - Telegraph

Going to church is good for you: Services lower blood pressure, research finds | Mail Online

Going to church is good for you: Services lower blood pressure, research finds | Mail Online

Bishops 'discussing' Obama's 'war on religion' | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner

Bishops 'discussing' Obama's 'war on religion' | Campaign 2012 | Washington Examiner

23 December, 2011

Study compares Catholicism to Christianity across the globe | National Catholic Reporter

Study compares Catholicism to Christianity across the globe | National Catholic Reporter

UN says “denigration of believers” is no longer taboo - Vatican Insider

UN says “denigration of believers” is no longer taboo - Vatican Insider

A Star War's version of a Christmas classic: 'Vader, did you know?'

ISS comet-rise: See Comet Lovejoy from the International Space Station

Time lapse video: ISS cometrise | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

Europe suffers from 'faith fatigue," says Pope in year-end summary : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Europe suffers from 'faith fatigue," says Pope in year-end summary : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

For everyone travelling home this Christmas... Michael Bublé sings 'I'll be Home for Christmas' on the X Factor finale

22 December, 2011

The History & Structure of the Universe (Infographic) | Big Bang & History of the Universe | Universe Evolution & Astronomy | Space.com

WAY COOL!

The History & Structure of the Universe (Infographic) | Big Bang & History of the Universe | Universe Evolution & Astronomy | Space.com

The accidental universe: Science's crisis of faith—By Alan P. Lightman (Harper's Magazine)

The accidental universe: Science's crisis of faith—By Alan P. Lightman (Harper's Magazine)

Signs Point to Economy’s Rise, but Experts See a False Dawn - NYTimes.com

Signs Point to Economy’s Rise, but Experts See a False Dawn - NYTimes.com

The List: Santa's Christmas List. A little Christmas something for we sport fans!

The List: Santa's Christmas List - sportsnet.ca

Bob McDonald's top science stories of 2011 - Quirks and Quarks

Bob McDonald's top science stories of 2011 - Quirks and Quarks

Dangerous travel: Countries to avoid this holiday - it's a dangerous world these days according to this government map!

CBC News - Dangerous travel: Countries to avoid this holiday

Tired by all your Christmas shopping. Here's a song offering about the best Christmas gift ever! The perfect tonic for tired shoppers!

21 December, 2011

The headline is false but the article is worth reading. (Hardly the world's first war of national liberation)

The First War of National Liberation » Main Feature » Jewish Ideas Daily

A most interesting question: Are Muslims trying to subvert America through the media?

 I received an email from a fellow blogger regarding the TV program "All American Muslim". Evidently a major sponsor had pulled its ads in response to a campaign that alleged the program was part of an Islamic attempt to subvert and prepare America for conversion to the Muslim faith.


Elizabeth Potter writes:


I thought that you and the readers of Where the Rubber Hits the Road would be interested to know that Lowe's Home Improvement recently pulled its ads from the TLC show All-American Muslim in response to an organization claiming the show "falsely humanized Muslims in America.” This controversy has exposed more Islamophobia in America which falls directly in line with what the My Fellow American project is trying to prevent and overcome in America.

As a supporter of the project, would you please visit www.myfellowamerican.us to share what this controversy means to you? I encourage you to ask your readers to do the same to help spread the message of tolerance to fight back against intolerance and fear-mongering. We've just posted a host of new content from various entertainers and faith leaders on this topic.

Visit her site and read up on the issue.

http://www.myfellowamerican.us/

Christmas, the Infinite, and the Finite | First Things: Latest from George Weigel

Christmas, the Infinite, and the Finite | First Things

Alvin Plantinga’s New Book on God and Science - NYTimes.com

Alvin Plantinga’s New Book on God and Science - NYTimes.com

Only 51% of US adults are married : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Only 51% of US adults are married : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

19 December, 2011

Kim Jong Il, N. Korean dictator, dies at 69 Sound's like a good time to trust that Christmas Prince of Peace to guide us in to the future

Kim Jong Il, N. Korean dictator, dies at 69 - CBS News

Waving the flag as we start off into the winter of 2012

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Canadians, during a recent appearance at Caesars in Windsor ;

If someone in a Home Depot store Offers you assistance and they don't work there, You may live in Canada.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, You may live in Canada.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation With someone who dialed a wrong number,.................. You may live in Canada.

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere South of Detroit for the weekend, You may live in Canada.

If you measure distance in hours, You may live in Canada.

If you know several people Who have hit a deer more than once, You may live in Canada.

If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' In the same day and back again, You may live in Canada.

If you can drive 90 km/hr through 2 feet of snow During a raging blizzard without flinching, You may live in Canada.

If you install security lights on your house and garage, But leave both unlocked, You may live in Canada.

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, You may live in Canada .

If you design your kid's Halloween costume To fit over a snowsuit, You may live in Canada .

If the speed limit on the highway is 80 km -- You're going 95 and everybody is passing you, You may live in Canada .

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, You may live in Canada .

If you know all 4 seasons: Almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, You may live in Canada .

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, You may live in Canada

If you find -2 degrees 'a little chilly', You may live in Canada .

If you actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all your friends, you definitely are Canadian and proud too be one !!!!

The Angels of Advent | Daily News | NCRegister.com

The Angels of Advent | Daily News | NCRegister.com

NEW EVANGELISATION IS NOT AN ABSTRACT CONCEPT

NEW EVANGELISATION IS NOT AN ABSTRACT CONCEPT

VATICAN CITY, 17 DEC 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received prelates from the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Conferentia Episcopalis Pacifici, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  In his address to the group, the Pope spoke of the challenges "which are common to all of you, in spite of the many social, economic and cultural contexts in which you work". In particular, he mentioned secularism and its "significant impact on the understanding and practice of the Catholic faith. This is seen specifically in a weakened appreciation for the sacred nature of Christian marriage and the stability of the family", he said.

  "Ultimately, Christian faith provides a surer basis for life than the secular vision. ... Thus, the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation was recently established. Since the Christian faith is founded on the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, the new evangelisation is not an abstract concept but a renewal of authentic Christian living based on the teachings of the Church. You, as bishops and pastors, are called to be protagonists in formulating this response according to local needs and circumstances in your various countries and among your peoples".

  Benedict XVI then reminded the prelates of the importance of caring for their priests, "especially those who are experiencing difficulties and those who have little contact with their brother priests. ... In our day young people need more assistance with spiritual discernment so that they may know the Lord's will. In a world affected by a 'profound crisis of faith', ensure too that your seminarians receive a well-rounded formation". The Pope also acknowledged the "significant contribution" made by religious to the work of evangelisation, and the contribution of the lay faithful.

  "I have had this opportunity to discuss with you the new evangelisation, I do so mindful of the recently proclaimed Year of Faith, which 'is intended to give a fresh impetus to the mission of the whole Church to lead human beings out of the wilderness in which they find themselves'. May this privileged time serve as an inspiration as you join the entire Church in the ongoing efforts of the new evangelisation, for although you are spread among many islands and we are separated by great distances, together we profess 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all'".
AL/                                                                                                    VIS 20111219 (410

Cheering for Incest?!? Some Healthy Shame Would Do Us Some Good - U.s. - Catholic Online

Cheering for Incest?!? Some Healthy Shame Would Do Us Some Good - U.s. - Catholic Online

Prison according to Peter - Vatican Insider

Prison according to Peter - Vatican Insider

Christopher Hitchens Interview | Hitchens Catholic Church | Hitchens Dawkins Atheism | Mediaite

Christopher Hitchens Interview | Hitchens Catholic Church | Hitchens Dawkins Atheism | Mediaite

Today's Christmas song! Michael Bublé and Thalia sing 'Feliz Navidad/Mis Deseos'

13 December, 2011

Is a massive earthquake ready to rumble? Click on the link and watch this video!

Luke 21: 10-19   "Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer,for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/video/video-is-a-massive-earthquake-ready-to-rumble/article2269846/

Archbishop Chaput Answers Questions About His Stunning Letter | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Archbishop Chaput Answers Questions About His Stunning Letter | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Research teams say latest findings narrow search for 'God' particle: Close... but not yet!

Research teams say latest findings narrow search for 'God' particle - The Globe and Mail

11 December, 2011

Einstein, Imagination and the New Translation | Crisis Magazine

"What came into the church, in the wake of the second Vatican Council, was an unthinking acceptance of certain tenets of secular modernism – one of the most fundamental and insidious being utilitarianism – or the barbaric belief that what works is good. When this frightening aphorism was unthinkingly stood on its head, not only “what works was good”, but “what is good is that which works”, and consequently the only “Good” became “whatever works”.
Why do I think that there's a logical fallacy in there someplace? I can't remember the proper name, but I call it a 'Stevie Wonder'. It goes like this: Love is blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is love. Clearly 'love' is being used analogously, but so is 'works' in this column. One can speak of it as a process (it 'works') and an end in itself (good 'works'). I do not believe that the majority of today's Christians would fail to see that Fr. Longnecker's has indeed committed a 'Stevie'. I doubt that many would consider themselves 'utilitarians' for the reasons this article portents.


Read it for yourself and share your thoughts!


Einstein, Imagination and the New Translation | Crisis Magazine

Female priests push Catholic boundaries | StarTribune.com

Female priests push Catholic boundaries | StarTribune.com

07 December, 2011

And on to a completely different subject... Charlie Brown channels Charlie Sheen

The Challenge of Contemporary Atheism: The Vatican's paper sums up today's climate

'What has happened to contemporary atheism? Until a few years ago, atheism resided in a pragmatic space of irreligiousness and indifference, assisted by the modern turn of events which rendered philosophical discourse on the existence of God dogmatically impossible by definition. Today, we are witnessing a double turn.
The first involves a return to theoretical atheism, assisted by references to scientific discourse. After the classic seasons of suspect teachers (Marx, Nietzsche, Freud), today it is the turn of neo-darwinism and neuroscience to furnish arguments for the belief that God does not exist. A God whom some authors prefer to write with a lowercase “g”. The second and more interesting change perhaps, is atheism as a new form of morality. In this case too, historical antecedents can be cited. In the modern age, there is Pascal’s debate with erudite libertinism or Sartre’s celebrated pamphlet on atheism as humanism.
The new apologetics of atheism privileges the reference to empirical science to justify the thesis that without God one can live morally well and even more, one can and must take into one’s own hands the future of an evolution which until now has been blind, so to speak, but can now finally be governed by a human project freed from the tether of ancestral prohibitions formed under a divine authority.'
Read the entire article here.

L'Osservatore Romano, The

Vatican astronomer discusses earth-like planet : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Vatican astronomer discusses earth-like planet : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Coercing Consciences | First Things

Coercing Consciences | First Things

06 December, 2011

CBS Sunday Morning Report Simplifies as It Scolds the Catholic Church | Archdiocese of Washington

CBS Sunday Morning Report Simplifies as It Scolds the Catholic Church | Archdiocese of Washington

Atheists Crucify Skeleton Santa

Siri 'Scandal' Due to Deceptive Advertising by Abortion Clinics | NewsBusters.org

Siri 'Scandal' Due to Deceptive Advertising by Abortion Clinics | NewsBusters.org

Sex, sin and redemption in America - World - CBC News

ANALYSIS | Neil Macdonald: Sex, sin and redemption in America - World - CBC News

Two brands of birth control pills raise blood clot risk | CTV News

It is a continuing mystery to me why women who shun regular produce in favor of 'organic' foods so willingly ingest chemicals designed to alter their body chemistry to prevent fertility. Stories like this one only serve to deepen the mystery for me.

Two brands of birth control pills raise blood clot risk | CTV News

05 December, 2011

Iran's escalating conflict with Gulf neighbours increases risk of war | News | National Post

This story is part of an unsettling trend where the 'drums of war' are becoming more and more insistent. It has been posited that whenever governments decide that war 'needs to' be waged, they start 6-12 months in advance to prepare their population with a slow and steady increase in 'propaganda' designed to bring them on side in preparation for conflict. I've noted such an increase over the past few weeks of media stories which seem to be aimed at just such a process.


I really, really hope that I am wrong, but I fear that I may be correct. If I am correct, we are in for some difficult times in the months ahead.


Iran's escalating conflict with Gulf neighbours increases risk of war | News | National Post

Potentially Earth-Like Planet Has Right Temperature for Life | Wired Science | Wired.com

Potentially Earth-Like Planet Has Right Temperature for Life | Wired Science | Wired.com

Should I give change to a homeless person on the street? - The Globe and Mail

What would you do?

Should I give change to a homeless person on the street? - The Globe and Mail

Watchdog group releases list of most and least corrupt nations - U.s. - Catholic Online

Watchdog group releases list of most and least corrupt nations - U.s. - Catholic Online

Cardinal: failure to address climate change is ‘moral apartheid’ : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Cardinal: failure to address climate change is ‘moral apartheid’ : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The Catholic church: A house divided? - CBS News

The Catholic church: A house divided? - CBS News

03 December, 2011

A dialogue of faith and reason beats fanaticism and relativism - Vatican Insider

A dialogue of faith and reason beats fanaticism and relativism - Vatican Insider

The cult of IKEA?

IKEA a temple? Think of it this way: Ottawa’s IKEA is bigger than any other place of worship in the city, including those of the secular variety, bigger than six football fields and more than 18 times the size of the arena floor at Scotiabank Place when it is opened up for a major event like a rock concert.

On a global basis, IKEA sold $17.7 billion U.S. worth of goods in 2005, and $23.1 billion in 2010. Recession be damned. IKEA has a hold on the hearts and minds of its acolytes and the pilgrims willing to travel for hours or line up for days anticipating the opening of a new store. Steve Jobs’ Apple did it well, but IKEA has been doing it for longer.

IKEA has its rites — putting together a bookcase with an Allen key — and its own language — a chair named Bofink, a bed called Leksvik, just to name two out of thousands.

And it has self-appointed brand evangelists who say they have seen the light.


The cult of IKEA

Office of Religious Freedom sends shivers through the Canadian civil service

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/12/03/pol-office-religious-freedom.html

Large Hadron Collider & the ‘God Particle’: Six creators, one Nobel Prize | News | National Post

Large Hadron Collider & the ‘God Particle’: Six creators, one Nobel Prize | News | National Post

02 December, 2011

What do you know! Common sense kicked in quicker than expected! Yea!

Ban on Christmas decorations in Quebec quickly overturned - The Globe and Mail

Best Space Pictures of 2011: Editors' Picks

Best Space Pictures of 2011: Editors' Picks

Religious slurs in lawyer's memo have court up in arms - TwinCities.com

Religious slurs in lawyer's memo have court up in arms - TwinCities.com

Secret, Closed-Door Vatican Smackdown? | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Secret, Closed-Door Vatican Smackdown? | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Centres de Service Canada - Les décorations de Noël interdites

Here is an English translation of this short French article:


There will be no Christmas decorations in the Service Canada Centres this year. These decorations are prohibited.

This is stipulated in a note circulated in early November by the Senior Executive Service of Canada, Marc Simoneau.

According to press reports, the Christmas wreaths, trees and other symbols of the Nativity must be absent from public areas in the service centers.

Officials explained that the measure is to avoid complaints about religious beliefs. There are 118 centers in federal services in Quebec.


Centres de Service Canada - Les décorations de Noël interdites

Atheists can not be trusted: Religious people rank non-believers alongside rapists, study | Holy Post | National Post

This story on the Holy Post has generated a great conversation in the comment threads. It may interest anyone who enjoys the 'Does God exist?' debate.

Atheists can not be trusted: Religious people rank non-believers alongside rapists, study | Holy Post | National Post

01 December, 2011

Peaking what the universe looks like once you stand outside of the solar system

Voyager Probes Detect "Invisible" Milky Way Glow

Does Apple's Siri have a pro-life bias? | CTV News

Does Apple's Siri have a pro-life bias? | CTV News

Translating the European Financial Mess into simple english - NYTimes.com

Translating the European Financial Mess - NYTimes.com

Bearing False Witness » Catholic Sistas


An interesting column on 'calumny'. Many people who post on the internet (thankfully not on this blog!) are guilty of this offense.

Bearing False Witness » Catholic Sistas

The Catholic Church and World AIDS Day | First Things

The Catholic Church and World AIDS Day | First Things

Theologians, Apologists. What the New Bishops Have To Be

Theologians, Apologists. What the New Bishops Have To Be

30 November, 2011

Vatican chuckling over seatbelt charge against Pontiff : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Vatican chuckling over seatbelt charge against Pontiff : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Papal backing for efforts to end capital punishment : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Papal backing for efforts to end capital punishment : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Polygamy ruling revisited: Judge takes swipe at ‘alarmist’ views of gay ‘marriage’ opponents | LifeSiteNews.com

Polygamy ruling revisited: Judge takes swipe at ‘alarmist’ views of gay ‘marriage’ opponents | LifeSiteNews.com

If You’re Unclear How Grave The Threat to Religious Liberty Is, Read This « Campus Notes

If You’re Unclear How Grave The Threat to Religious Liberty Is, Read This « Campus Notes

Number of US seminarians on the rise : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Number of US seminarians on the rise : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

29 November, 2011

Catholics and Freedom - George Weigel - National Review Online

Catholics and Freedom - George Weigel - National Review Online

Priests' group critical of bishops - The Irish Times - Tue, Nov 29, 2011

Priests' group critical of bishops - The Irish Times - Tue, Nov 29, 2011

Canada’s expanding surveillance ‘should scare you’: privacy watchdog | News | National Post

Canada’s expanding surveillance ‘should scare you’: privacy watchdog | News | National Post

How to Understand Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity and Subsidiarity

Shameless Popery: How to Understand Catholic Social Teaching: Solidarity and Subsidiarity

Some advice from Lech Walesa for Occupy Wall Street… | The American Catholic

Some advice from Lech Walesa for Occupy Wall Street… | The American Catholic

Catholic, Muslim scholars discusses faith, reason : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Catholic, Muslim scholars discusses faith, reason : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Vatican newspaper sees reinvigorated atheism : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Vatican newspaper sees reinvigorated atheism : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

28 November, 2011

We're Rich! We're Rich! Help spread the news!

Guess what? You probably own something that's incredibly valuable. It costs $65,000 to purchase one gallon! Don't believe me? Click on the title of this post to see for yourself.


Yippee!! We're RICH!

Men don’t think about sex every seven seconds: study - The Globe and Mail

WOW! If men thought about sex every seven seconds, wouldn't we see their corpses all over the road? Pedestrians would be at particular risk. If they didn't step in front of a moving vehicle because the were sexually distracted, if it's a man behind the wheel it's likely he won't see the pedestrian. Thank God this 'modern myth' has been busted before we collapsed as a species!


Who the hell thinks up this stuff? And more importantly who believes it? Every seven seconds of every day? I don't think so.

Men don’t think about sex every seven seconds: study - The Globe and Mail

Teaching: It's only human (sorry, chimps) - The Globe and Mail

Teaching: It's only human (sorry, chimps) - The Globe and Mail

Secret Planned Parenthood Memo: Stop Maternity Coverage | LifeNews.com

If this story is accurate, it reveals an amazing change in public policy. Up to now, governments offered (directly or indirectly) financial support for the procreation of the generation to follow. Now it is doing the opposite. Strange when you consider the requirement of a sufficiently expanding population to maintain pension and other social programs. Demographic trends demonstrate that the past two generations have failed to have enough children to accomplish the task. It makes little sense to implement a policy which will serve to discourage couples having children into the future.

Secret Planned Parenthood Memo: Stop Maternity Coverage | LifeNews.com

Our Advent Lights | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Our Advent Lights | Daily News | NCRegister.com

23 November, 2011

B.C. Supreme Court upholds ban on polygamy | CTV News

B.C. Supreme Court upholds ban on polygamy | CTV News

Child Rape, Penn State and the Catholic Church: Is Religion Especially Bad? | Belief | AlterNet

Child Rape, Penn State and the Catholic Church: Is Religion Especially Bad? | Belief | AlterNet

Born To Smile: New Evidence That Laughing And Smiling Begin In The Womb - Worldcrunch - All News is Global

Born To Smile: New Evidence That Laughing And Smiling Begin In The Womb - Worldcrunch - All News is Global

Pope accepts resignation of another Irish bishop - York Dispatch

Pope accepts resignation of another Irish bishop - York Dispatch

GEORGE WEIGEL: Downsizing-to-grow in Ireland

GEORGE WEIGEL: Downsizing-to-grow in Ireland

Giving thanks helps your psychological outlook | CTV News

Giving thanks helps your psychological outlook | CTV News

B.C. court prepares to rule on polygamy law | CTV News

B.C. court prepares to rule on polygamy law | CTV News

22 November, 2011

Why Do Catholics Call Priests "Father"?

Shameless Popery: Why Do Catholics Call Priests "Father"?

Leonard Cohen's lastest offering... BEAUTIFUL and suprisingly CHRISTIAN "Show Me The Place"



Click on the link below to listen!


Show Me The Place by leonardcohen

"Stop homilies in church for one year" - Vatican Insider

"Stop homilies in church for one year" - Vatican Insider

Catholic Church Weighs in on NYC's Living Wage Bill | NBC New York

Catholic Church Weighs in on NYC's Living Wage Bill | NBC New York

If the Catholic Bishops Preach Economic Justice in a Forest...

If the Catholic Bishops Preach Economic Justice in a Forest...

WORLDmag.com | Silently stealing away

It’s nice to be vindicated, and tempting to gloat, but we’re not quite in the clear. If—it could happen—embryonic stem cell research finally opens up a glittering horizon in viable therapies, will we still insist on our view of when life begins? Or fudge a little? Geron had to give up the game because the results weren’t there; hence the money wasn’t there. If we were slammed against a wall equally solid—such as saying “no” to a therapy that could well save our lives—would our ethical concerns seem as real? Humans will never stop trying to be God—all the more reason for believers to strive for godliness.
Read the rest by clicking on the link below.

WORLDmag.com | Silently stealing away

New Jersey bishops issue statement on poverty : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

New Jersey bishops issue statement on poverty : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

21 November, 2011

Bountiful, B.C., polygamy debate could wind up in Parliament's hands: Scott Stinson | Full Comment | National Post

Bountiful, B.C., polygamy debate could wind up in Parliament's hands: Scott Stinson | Full Comment | National Post

Oh Oh... is that the sound of the Chinese real estate market bubble going 'POP'? Hope not. Then they will have to call in some of that Western debt to pay off their own banks! That won't be good...

Property transactions plunge in China’s big cities - The Globe and Mail

34 thousand Catholics more each day - Vatican Insider

According to the annual "Status of global mission" report produced ​​in 2011, the Catholic Church has one billion and 160 million faithful around the world, with 34,000 new people joining every day. The figures from the study, released by the agency Analisis Digirtal, say that there are two billion people in the world today, out of a total of approximately seven billion, who have never received the Gospel’s message. Another two billion and 680 million listen to it sometimes, or are vaguely aware of it, but they are not Christians.

34 thousand Catholics more each day - Vatican Insider

Delia Smith wants to do for Catholicism what she has done for cooking - Telegraph

Two of my favorite things: faith and food! I hope these programs will be available in Canada.

It does though put me in mind of my favorite New Year's prayer. 

"Dear God. This 2012 I would like a fat bank account and a thin body. Please don't mix them up like you did last year! Amen."

Delia Smith wants to do for Catholicism what she has done for cooking - Telegraph

How to Solve Moral Dilemmas (Plus: How to Recognize Hypocrisy) | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Some tools to use on the highway of life!


How to Solve Moral Dilemmas (Plus: How to Recognize Hypocrisy) | Blogs | NCRegister.com

20 November, 2011

New research slays myth of weight loss

CTV News - New research slays myth of weight loss

On Secular Repentance | Crisis Magazine

"(T)here is a curious blind spot in these various calls for the Church to repent. Secular figures rarely feel a need to disavow their own complicity in crimes, even when many of them, still living to this day, bear no little guilt for atrocities that make the Church’s sins pale by comparison.
Take the Inquisition. Beyond question the Church was involved in religious trials that probably led to the deaths of several thousand people over the centuries. Though the process was conducted under a strict legal code, it was wrong to execute people for their beliefs. But as the Polish poet Cszelaw Milosz has reminded us, communism in some of the larger countries killed more people on average per day than the Church killed in centuries. Rare is the Western intellectual who supported communism and repented of that monstrous error."
Interesting perspective!

On Secular Repentance | Crisis Magazine

CTV News - How much does it cost to raise a child today?

"According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is now a breathtaking $226,920.
For sake of perspective, a Ferrari 458 Italia Coupe will set you back $225,325. Like the former, it too may end up living in your garage long after its 18th birthday."

It's sad when we begin to measure people (children in this case) against material things. Yet, this is exactly what has led to the demographic collapse in western nations birthrates. Click on the link below to read the entire article.





CTV News - How much does it cost to raise a child today?

18 November, 2011

Transcript from Papal Plane | National Catholic Reporter

Transcript from Papal Plane | National Catholic Reporter

Neutrinos still faster than the speed of light, new experiment shows | News | National Post

Neutrinos still faster than the speed of light, new experiment shows | News | National Post

Timing error ruled out in speed-of-light findings

CTV News - Timing error ruled out in speed-of-light findings

Canadian bishops, pro-life advocates welcome report on palliative care : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Canadian bishops, pro-life advocates welcome report on palliative care : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Abortion rate on the decline, study finds | News | National Post

Abortion rate on the decline, study finds | News | National Post

Is the Obama Administration ‘At War’ with Catholics? | Swampland | TIME.com

Is the Obama Administration ‘At War’ with Catholics? | Swampland | TIME.com

16 November, 2011

Town Rejects Rosary as Offensive and the Prayers That Changed Everything | News | NCRegister.com

Thanks to Pacheco from SoCon for this link. The 'happy ending' is unusual these days!

Town Rejects Rosary as Offensive and the Prayers That Changed Everything | News | NCRegister.com

Married and Ordained. The Minor Leagues of the Catholic Clergy?

Married and Ordained. The Minor Leagues of the Catholic Clergy

Stem cell pioneer halts spinal cord research

CTV News - Stem cell pioneer halts spinal cord research

Usage-based billing decision: What it means for Canadian Internet users | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post

Usage-based billing decision: What it means for Canadian Internet users | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post

Tim Tebow’s Christian fervour becomes a lightning rod for public faith debate | Holy Post | National Post

Tim Tebow’s Christian fervour becomes a lightning rod for public faith debate | Holy Post | National Post

Royal Society of Canada report urging legalization of euthanasia a ‘sham’: anti-euthanasia leader | LifeSiteNews.com

Royal Society of Canada report urging legalization of euthanasia a ‘sham’: anti-euthanasia leader | LifeSiteNews.com

Four issues raised by the end-of-life report - The Globe and Mail

Four issues raised by the end-of-life report - The Globe and Mail

15 November, 2011

Affiliation, Before and After Scandal - NYTimes.com

Affiliation, Before and After Scandal - NYTimes.com

The “Virtual” Challenge: The Spiritual Effects of an Autumn of Scandal - I've re-posted this article from a couple of years ago... because its still true today!

The “Virtual” Challenge: The Spiritual Effects of an Autumn of Scandal Autumnal weather arrives with its attendant rites of death when we see nature passing from the verdant beauties of summer to the cold and brutish death of fall. Alas for many who claim membership in the Roman Catholic Church of Canada, it is not only dead leaves that litter the ground, but we also seem hip-deep in among the tattered remains of many a faith gravely tested. For some, the revelations that have come to light concerning the arrest of Bishop Raymond Lahey, Bishop Emeritus of Antigonish, Nova Scotia on charges of importation of child pornography has been a killing frost laying waste their belief in the moral status of their church’s leaders, their Bishops. Beginning with the startling news of his initial arrest and with each subsequent news development, Canadian Catholics have faced a direct and brutish challenge to their faith in the Church. This trepidation in the face of a savage hostility, rarely experienced in Canada since the passing of dark days of the Protestant - Catholic battles of the 1920’s and 30’s, has even led some to the point of formally renouncing their membership in the Catholic Church. It is imperative that we consider the interplay of forces that has robbed so many of the beauty and the comfort of their previous convictions of faith. In the age of the “crack-berry”, the “iphone” and wireless networks everywhere, the Internet may well be a proper place to discover, defend and engage in argument by partisans of various social schools of thought. It has become the “place” where anyone, theist or atheist, secular humanist, or other citizens of Church and State can meet and engage each other in debating the great questions of our time. Marshall McLuhan’s merging of the medium and the message is made manifest within the web pages of news sites, which act now as both objective presenters of the news of the day, and as a blank chalkboard which allows the sharing of opinion Even the most cursory review of these posts is sufficient to prove that today’s theists’ are being pounded into submission by a tsunami of hostility and indignation from every corner. There have been very few souls who have been willing to step into the virtual arena and take up the mantle of defending and protecting the faith. Those few that have “stepped up to the plate” have had to deal with dangerous brush back pitches that would make Phillies hurler, Pedro Martinez, blush with shame. But much as he has returned to form with the Philadelphia Phillies after an extended absence from Major League’s play, so now too is the time for partisans of all camps to work out together that “equilibrium” which John Ralston Saul describes as being essential to any vibrant society. The internet was heralded as the medium through which citizens from any corner of the globe could meet to accomplish this end. It has, for better or for worse, succeeded. The legion of souls won away from the Church threatens to dwarfs the largest pile of dead leaves, leaving in their passing a cultural atmosphere that is as toxic as the smoke that scents the autumn air. As a Canadian in his 50’s who has lived in both the English and French solitudes of Ontario and Quebec, I remember the rapidity of change in the Québécois culture that accompanied “la Révolution Tranquille”. Seemingly “as in the twinkling of an eye”, the Catholic Quebec voice disappeared from debate. Now, once again the voice of Catholicism, is in danger of being rendered silent in the face of the sinfulness of its spiritual leaders. It is a truism that nothing is as firmly than “conventional wisdom” until that day when it is held no longer. One is reminded of the clarion call of John Paul II which echoed through of the Soviet Empire. It wreck asunder the altars of belief that were held to be “self-evident truths” through his inspirational call to all people to “be not afraid” in the face of oppression. Such a voice needs to be heard again. The challenge of this current spiritual season of death has given to believers and non-believers alike the opportunity to change the conventional wisdom of the day and Catholics of all ranks and convictions ignore at their peril the challenge this poses to the Canadian church. Revolutions come like a thief in the night. It is now time for Canada’s Bishops, currently gathered in meetings in Cornwall, Ontario, to engage fully in this debate. It is a time for them to shake off the shame that has seemed to still their previously robust voice within the public square. It is time for them to lead, to teach and to pastor their wounded flock of followers. My experience as a participant in this debate within the threads of the C.B.C. news website exposed me to a vitriol such as I rarely faced as a priest. Yet all was not bleak and hostile. Interesting questions, like the hardy flowers of fall, pop forth from within a few of these exchanges. One multiple poster posed the following question regarding the financial capacities of various diocese to pay the settlements, without facing bankruptcy: is the Catholic Church, like other institutions such as banks or automakers, “too big” to be allowed to fail. This may prompt the state to intervene to ensure full and just compensation to the victims of clergy sexual abuse. Some Western societies offer such supports to maintain a viable system of churches to service those citizen who would to access their services, but this has often come with costs to their freedom and liberty. David ben Mark who identifies himself as a person of Jewish faith, reaches out in sincere compassion to Bishop Lahey. “Just by living life we are broken into pieces and scattered into the wind and we reassemble ourselves to be broken and scattered again. We break in many different ways and none of them are pleasant. I am not ashamed of you or shamed by you.” His is a voice reminding all that no one escapes this life without the stain of sin, even sins seemingly as heinous as what is alleged of Bishop Lahey. Yet no where in the untold bytes that comprise this “virtual space” could be seen the presence of any Bishop or priest of the Catholic Church. The faithful have every reason to expect that it should be their religious leaders who would want for their voice to be heard in these trying times. It’s absence is keenly felt by many. I pray that the Bishops might resolve do all that they can to help right the seriously listing ship of faith that is the Canadian Roman Catholic Church of