Archive for Spaniard

Of Special Olympics, Aktion T4, Hope and Caution

A few days ago my son and I watched the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.  Admittedly, I’d much rather watch competition than parades, but in this case one cannot help but be inspired by the athletes and their dedicated network of support (families, coaches, sponsors, etc).  I also learned about the initiation of the Special Olympics by Eunice Kennedy Shriver (JFK’s sister and pro-life Democrat).  Uplifting stuff. The very next day I learned for the first time of Aktion T4 during one of the endless history shows reporting on Nazi brutality.  The T4 program

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The Fruits of Uncontrolled Immigration

The ongoing furor over illegal immigration has reached a higher pitch lately with the murder of Kate Steinle earlier this month by an illegal alien who’d already been deported five times and returned yet again.  There are strong opinions all around.  Junto members are well acquainted with Church teaching about immigration but it bears repeating CCC 2241: “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner…  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

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Hypocritical Oath?

As I was away on business for several days, I need to keep this post short and sweet. On BBC Radio’s Health Check show today, I listened to their host and an analyst discuss the phenomenon of Islamic State terrorists in Syria recruiting doctors to join the cause.  It turns out that many doctors have fled Syria amid the danger and chaos, but nevertheless people under ISIS rule continue to get sick and need medical attention.  And- will wonders never cease?- there are Muslim doctors who are answering the call, taking the oath, and getting sworn into their society of

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Telling the Truth Is Not Always Right

The Royal Opera is, perhaps, going to have to start reconsidering its priorities and its relationship with its audience after the first night of Damiano Michieletto’s wretched new production of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell. The groundswell of concern about the bifurcation between musical excellence and weak theatrical standards at Covent Garden has been gathering for some time now. Michieletto’s decision to recast the third act ballet – in which the tyrannical Gesler’s henchmen force a group of girls to dance with them – as a protracted and pruriently voyeuristic gang rape, resulted in an immediate reaction of unprecedented anger, as sustained booing

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Good, Old Friends and a Bit of Ecumenism

Last weekend I had a chance to finally re-connect with my closest two friends from high school, one of whom I hadn’t seen in 13 years and the other eight years.  We’ve talked many times about meeting up somewhere but plans always seemed to fall through, I suspect mainly from simple neglect of these relationships.  One of them owns a lake house in northern Michigan, halfway between the other two of us, and therefore that became our rally point.  The weekend couldn’t have gone better. Yes, we did a lot of reminiscing and fell into our old banter that had

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Nowa Huta: A Story of Catholic Culture and Courage

Shortly after the Nazis were driven from Poland by the Soviets, the communist masters of the new People’s Republic of Poland commenced construction of an industrial city outside of Krakow, Poland’s cultural and intellectual capital.  It was to be a tribute to the socialist ideal of order and perfection, as the proletariat and farmer were to flock there to enjoy the state-provided parks, apartment buildings and employment at the factory.  The name given the town by the typically imaginative communists:  The New Steel Mill, or in Polish Nowa Huta.  Through a combination of curiosity, perceived opportunity and a bit of

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Today’s Ecclesial Brinkmanship

On Monday, we awoke to the news that Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche, both of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, had resigned amid criminal charges against the archdiocese concerning the mishandling of sexual abuse cases, and the associated swirl of who knew what, and when, and the recent announcement that the archdiocese had filed bankruptcy.  It was a sad, but not all that surprising development.  In perusing the news I’ve read more than one legal or church official claim that the resignations are “closing a chapter” or “will begin the healing.”  I don’t think so,

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Genesis and Genetics: the Same Truth

Last week I finally had the chance to watch the film Noah.  Admittedly I had already read the very positive review by Steven Greydanus on his DecentFilms site, and so I felt predisposed to not hate it.  In fact, I didn’t hate it, but I’m not sure I’d give it an “A-” either. Be that as it may, it re-ignited a line of thinking that I’ve discussed with friends over the last few years, of how the story of Creation and Fall contains wisdom that can inform our post-modernity arrogance, especially that of atheistic science.  Many of us have dismissed the

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Kung Fu, Apostate-Style

As soon as I read the Catholic World Report article linked within Timshel’s comment on the May 28 post about rogue bishops, a name mentioned in the article began rattling around in the foggy recesses of my memory:  Hans Küng.   I finally remembered and located the reference to this long-time dissident.  In researching the communist period in Poland I had previously read the following passage in a journal article on this notable period of modern Polish history.  Pardoning the length, here it is: Yet many devout Catholics, both within and outside Poland, were beginning to lose sympathy with the position of

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Devil May Care? I Think He Does!

From Jimmy Akin’s latest blog post regarding Pope Francis.  As Jimmy points out, the Zenit news agency’s report that the Holy Father said “Jesus” doesn’t care what kind of Christian one is, was mixed up.  Zenit has corrected the error as of today.  Francis was actually referring to the Devil, who doesn’t care about denomination because he (the Devil, not Francis) seeks to lead astray any Christian. Thanks to Jimmy for this information– the last thing Francis needs these days is a quote taken out of context, mistranslated from Spanish, or otherwise mangled from its true intent. But… wait a

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