Monday, February 28, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 28, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 28

4:00 – The Living Stations of the Cross
Experience the Passion like never before. Walk with Jesus on the Way of the Cross. Witness the Last Supper. Share in His agony in the Garden. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of His trial and crucifixion in the original musical production The Living Stations of the Cross. Live and feel the most important mystery of our faith. Now, with the approval of Archbishop Vigneron, the production is coming to the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit for the first performance of its kind at a Cathedral in the US. We talk with Kelly Nieto, producer and creator of the Living Stations.

4:20 – First Anglican Ordinariate Formally Established
Supremacy and Survival - How Catholics Endured the English Reformation
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman, has set up by decree of the Vatican. It is the first Ordinariate formally established to welcome former Anglicans into full union with the Catholic Church. Stephanie Mann has been following these development closely and is here to tell the story of the Catholic Church's survival and restoration in England.

5:00 – A Conversation with the Bishop of Gaylord, MI
With the appointment of Msgr. Bernard Hebda to lead the diocese of Gaylord, MI one year ago, a record seven Pittsburghers now lead US dioceses, including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C., Archbishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, and Bishop Edward Burns of Juneau. Bishop Hebda joins us to look at his first year as a Bishop.

5:20 – The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition
The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition is an engaging and authoritative guide to Catholicism’s most distinctive practice. And now, with the Church introducing revised language for the Mass, Catholics have a perfect opportunity to renew their understanding of this beautiful and beloved celebration. Co-authors Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina guide readers through the different parts of the Mass, from the entrance procession to the blessing and dismissal, capturing the deep meaning of elements that are at once ordinary and mysterious: bread and wine, water and candles, altar cloths and ceremonial books. They join us.

5:40 – Parents of Baby Joseph to appeal ruling that would take child off life support
The family of a terminally ill Ontario infant is preparing to launch a second appeal against a judge's ruling that they must consent to the removal of a breathing tube that is keeping their baby alive. A friend of the family of Joseph Maraachli has said no agreement has been reached between the family and the London Health Sciences Centre regarding the 13-month-old. Joseph suffers from a severe neurological disorder and is at the centre of a growing debate as his family and the hospital clash over where he will die. Bioethicist Fr. Tad Pacholczyk weighs in.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Virginia bill will impose safety standards on abortion clinics

CWNews.com

Virginia's legislature has passed a bill that will impose new safety standards on abortion clinics. Abortion advocates fear that the legislation will force most of the state's abortion clinics out of business.

The bill, which Governor Bob McDonnell has indicated he will happily sign into law, requires abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as hospitals. Abortion providers have always fought efforts to raise safety standards.

Most of Virginia's existing abortion clinics do not currently have the equipment, staff, and facilities necessary to respond adequately to emergencies that could arise. An AP account, generally favorable to the abortionists, observes that "the clinics resemble dentists' offices."

"Democrats and abortion-rights supporters said the change would put an estimated 17 of the 21 clinics out of business," the AP story reported. The abortion advocates evidently considered this a criticism of the new bill, rather than a reflection on substandard conditions in abortion clinics.

Outrage of the Day

The 24 February 2011 edition of ABC's The View neglected one side of the abortion debate by bringing on two staunch supporters of Planned Parenthood in Congress without any other guests arguing the pro-life side. Barbara Walters herself defended the organization, while Whoopi Goldberg assisted in spreading a falsehood about "federal dollars" for abortion.



Dr. Alveda King Blasts Billboard “Censorship”

Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, released the following statement today regarding the billboard in Manhattan that proclaims “The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb.” The billboard was taken down after pressure from local politicians and neighborhood residents.

“It is an outrageous act of censorship that this billboard was taken down,” Dr King said. “This billboard should be posted in every city of the country. And it should provoke outrage in the African-American community—not because it is racist, but because of the truth it reveals; the truth that is being kept from the African-American community.

“Black people in New York and all over the country should be outraged at the numbers of black babies we lose every single day to abortion. An astonishing 60 percent of African-American pregnancies in the five boroughs of New York City end in abortion. That’s unfathomable!

“Some people are angry about the billboard, but that anger is misplaced. We should all be upset and heartbroken that so many African-American women have bought into the lie that abortion will solve their problems. Legal abortion has been with us for 38 years, and the problems facing the African-American community have not gone away.”

Dr. King concluded: “The message of this billboard is totally accurate. The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb! It’s a travesty of justice that it is being taken down.”

Today on Kresta - February 25, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 25

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – The Catholic Perspective on Paul: Paul and the Origins of Catholic Christianity
If you're looking for a complete and simple Catholic resource to equip you to answer your Protestant friends about salvation, faith and works, baptism, the Eucharist, the sacraments, the priesthood, celibacy, and redemptive suffering, then this new book is for you. This book intends to show once and for all that Saint Paul was thoroughly Catholic, and that Protestant and liberal prejudices against the Catholic perspective on Paul are unwarranted. If we read Paul in his own words, we find none other than the great Catholic Apostle of Rome. Taylor Marshall is here.

5:00 – Annulments on the Decline in US / Should Andrew Cuomo be Denied Communion
Every year, Pope Benedict XVI gives a speech to the judges of the Roman Rota, a Vatican court that mainly handles marriage cases. He usually includes a warning about handing out annulments too easily, and Americans invariably assume that he's talking about them. On this matter they may have a point: Vatican statistics say that more than 60% of annulments come from the United States. But annulments in the US are now on the decline. Why? Canon lawyer Ed Peters answers that question as well as whether NY Governor Andrew Cuomo should be denied Communion.

5:30 – "Of Gods and Men"
Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery perched in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly determine that their calling is to remain and continue the work they were called to do. The film is “Of Gods and Men” and Steven Greydanus is here to review the film that was France’s submission to the Academy Awards “Best Foreign Film” category.

Reverse Thinking

These "Reverse Thinking" videos are brilliant and powerful. Watch all the way through.



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hero Priests!

An elderly man is fighting for his life after accidentally lighting himself on fire inside a Long Island church Thursday morning.

The 89-year-old man, who goes to mass on a regular basis, was inside the Holy Family Church in Hicksville around 6:30 a.m. when Nassau County Police Sgt. James Skopak said his clothes caught fire while lighting candles in the back of the church.

“The fire alarm was activated from within the church,” Skopak said. Pastor Gerard Gentleman called 911 while Father Henry Reid used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.

Skopak said the man suffered burns on over 60 percent of his body. The man is in critical condition at Nassau University Medical Center.

“The priest’s quick action is obviously going to help and hopefully save this individual,” Skopak said. No criminality is currently suspected.

USCCB Decries Refusal to Support Defense of Marriage Act

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issues the following from its Office of General Counsel:

“Marriage has been understood for millennia and across cultures as the union of one man and one woman. Today, the President has instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law reiterating that definition of marriage, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by a Democratic President just fifteen years ago. The principal basis for today’s decision is that the President considers the law a form of impermissible sexual orientation discrimination.

“This decision represents an abdication of the responsibility of the Executive Branch to carry out its constitutional obligation to ensure that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed. It is also a grave affront to the millions of Americans who both reject unjust discrimination and affirm the unique and inestimable value of marriage as between one man and one woman. Support for actual marriage is not bigotry, but instead an eminently reasonable, common judgment affirming the foundational institution of civil society. Any suggestion by the government that such a judgment represents “discrimination” is a serious threat to the religious liberty of marriage supporters nationwide.”

February 23, 2011

Anthony R. Picarello, Jr.
General Counsel
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Canonist: New York's Governor Cuomo should be barred from Communion

February 24, 2011  CWNews.com


A leading canon lawyer has criticized Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany for administering Communion to New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, a proponent of legal abortion who is openly living with a female partner to whom he is not married.

Edward Peters, a canon-law professor at Sacred Heart seminary in Detroit and a consultant to the Vatican’s top court, Apostolic Signatura, said that Cuomo’s “public concubinage” is clear and highly public violation of moral norms. He said that "as long as he persists in such conduct, he should refrain from taking Holy Communion" and "if he approaches for Holy Communion, he should be denied the august sacrament in accord with Canon 915." Peters added that Cuomo’s support for legal abortion could also be grounds for exclusion from Communion.

The fact that Cuomo received Communion during a Mass for his gubernatorial inauguration was a “grave scandal,” Peters told the CNSNews. He said that Bishop Hubbard’s homily during that Mass seemed to be “a failure in pastoral care, but more for what he did not say, than for what he did say.” In his homily, the bishop had said that Governor Cuomo would be "deeply immersed in the work of evangelization" in his new post.

After the comments by Peters were reproduced in the New York Times, Bishop Hubbard responded by saying that it is “unfair and imprudent” to comment on the situation “without knowing all the facts.”

The bishop’s statement did not provide any indication for what facts, if any, might have been missing from Peters’ analysis. Instead, Bishop Hubbard said: “As a matter of pastoral practice we would not comment publicly on anything which should be addressed privately, regardless if the person is a public figure or a private citizen.”

The bishop’s reference to private matters did not respond to the canonist’s criticism, since Peters was speaking about the public scandal caused by the governor’s public reception of Communion, in light of his public espousal of abortion and his public concubinage.

Governor Cuomo, however, followed the bishop’s lead, issuing his own statement to say: “My religion is a private matter and it’s not something I discuss in the political arena.”

[The New York Times said that Peters had declined a request for an interview. He did not. When contacted by the Times by telephone, Peters said that he did not have time for an interview at that moment, but could answer detailed questions later. The Times reporter did not call back.]

MSNBC Tag Teams Pastor Over Pro-Life Billboard

Journalist and publicist Karen Hunter belittled Pastor Stephen Broden on MSNBC Thursday over a pro-life billboard in New York City that reads "The Safest Place for an African-American Is In the Womb." MSNBC's Chris Jansing didn't do much moderating, as she barely questioned Hunter but pressed Broden on the issue.

Today on Kresta - February 24, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 24

4:00 – Spirituality at Work: 10 Ways to Balance Your Life on the Job
Inviting us to pause, reflect, and act with the God who is already present, Gregory Pierce boldly confronts and honestly evaluates our struggle to find meaning in the workplace. Unlike books that try to impose religion on the world of work, spirituality@work promotes an authentic spirituality that is rooted in the nitty-gritty of the workplace. Pierce shows how each of us can successfully balance our work with other aspects of life.

4:30 – The Freedom of True Love
Fr. Frank Wagner is a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and has served in the mission field of the United States for over 50 years. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is, in his opinion, the only way to true freedom. Fr. Frank is here to address the enslavement many in our culture have through one or the other of the basic human weaknesses so that neither the inner addictions not outside influences will end up transforming our nation into a society that is no longer free.

5:00 – Haiti: What’s Happening A Year After the Earthquake?
The U.N. last week said Haiti's cholera outbreak appears to be waning overall, but high death rates from the virus in rural regions of the country remain a concern. According to figures released by the Haitian government, 231,070 cholera cases and 4,549 deaths from the disease have been reported since the outbreak first emerged in October. This on the heals of the devastating earthquake only a year ago. Catholic journalist Jeff Gardiner visited Haiti shortly after the anniversary of the earthquake and has this report for us.

5:20 – The Mission of Cross Catholic International in Haiti
Jim Cavnar of Cross International Catholic Outreach joins us to follow-up on Jeff Gardiner’s report to explain what the primary needs are in Haiti and to tell us what his organization has been able to accomplish with Ave Maria Radio listeners in the past year.

5:40 – We’ll be saying what? Preparing for the improvement of the English translation of the Roman Missal
As you know, English translations of the Roman Missal are set to be implemented in Advent of this year. Preparing the Way for the Roman Missal is a multi-media faith formation tool that includes a highly informative yet approachable introductory video that delivers critically important catechesis on the sacred liturgy, along with six straightforward, easy-to-follow audio-visual tutorials that explore all of the forthcoming changes to the prayers of the people at Holy Mass. Louis Verrecchio has created MissalPrep.com to help dioceses, parishes and the lay faithful prepare for the upcoming changes in Mass. He joins us.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 23, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 23

4:00 – The Grace Card
The Grace Card is a deeply Christian film directed by David Evans and starring Louis Gossett Jr. Everything can change in an instant ... and take a lifetime to unravel. When Mac McDonald loses his son in an accident, years of bitterness and pain erode his love for his family and leaves him angry with God ... and everyone else. Can Mac and Sam Wright, his new patrol partner, somehow join forces to help one another when it's impossible to look past their differences—especially the most obvious one? Every day, we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships and heal wounds by extending and receiving God's grace. never underestimate the power of God's love. Writer / Director David Evans joins us to discuss the film.

4:20 – Al on the feast of St. Polycarp
St. Polycarp (d. 156) , bishop of Smyrna, disciple of St. John the Apostle and friend of St. Ignatius of Antioch, was a revered Christian leader during the first half of the second century. Saint Ignatius of Antioch praised his single-minded devotion. He told Polycarp “your mind is grounded in God as on an immovable rock.” Polycarp had no tolerance for heresy. Marcion, the leader of the Marcionites who followed a dualistic heresy, confronted Polycarp and demanded respect by saying, “Recognize us, Polycarp.” Polycarp responded, “I recognize you, yes, I recognize the son of Satan.” St. Polycarp never sought martyrdom, but at age 86, Polycarp was led into the crowded Smyrna stadium to be burned alive. When he was tied up to be burned, Polycarp prayed, and the flames did not harm him and he was finally killed by a dagger. Al discusses this extraordinary Saint.

4:40 – Hollywood Anecdotes in this month of Reagan’s 100th Birthday and the Oscars this weekend
This month we celebrated the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan and this weekend will be the Oscars. Stephen Schohett, author of Hollywood Stories, takes us behind the scene of Reagan’s acting career, his wit and wisdom on set and he takes us behind the curtain of the Oscars to predict winners and discuss how the awards have changed and developed over the years.

5:00 – The WI, OH and IN Union Protests and Catholic Social Teaching
Amid unprecedented protests in the state of Wisconsin over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to sharply limit bargaining rights for union employees, the state’s Catholic bishops underscored the “moral obligation” of protecting workers' rights and called for lawmakers to carefully evaluate the difficult situation. Gov. Walker faces a deficit of $137 million in the current state budget and the prospect of a $3.6 billion debt within the next two years. A spokesman for the WI Bishops Conference said ““Because you support workers or the right of unions to assert and affirm their interests, (it) doesn't follow that every claim made by workers is valid.” Sam Gregg from the Acton Institute is here to look at the protests and Catholic Social Teaching.

5:20 – Direct To My Desk

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 22, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 22

4:00 – Christians Caught in the Middle of Middle East Strife?
Christians and Muslims are involved together in the democracy and reform movements bubbling up around the Middle East and members of both communities will gain from their success and suffer if they are violently suppressed, said a leading Lebanese Muslim scholar. With demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt, simmering unrest in Yemen and government changes in Lebanon, "I am both worried and hopeful," said Muhammad al-Sammak, whom Pope Benedict XVI invited to speak to the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East in October. Paul Marshall, Senior fellow in the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, is here to look at Christians in the Middle East protests.

4:20 – Creating Life in the Lab: How New Discoveries in Synthetic Biology Make a Case for the Creator
Each year brings to light new scientific discoveries that have the power to either test our faith or strengthen it--most recently the news that scientists have created artificial life forms in the laboratory. If humans can create life, what does that mean for the creation story found in Scripture? Biochemist and Christian apologist Dr. Fazale Rana, for one, isn't worried. In Creating Life in the Lab, he details the fascinating quest for synthetic life and argues convincingly that when scientists succeed in creating life in the lab, they will unwittingly undermine the evolutionary explanation for the origin of life, demonstrating instead that undirected chemical processes cannot produce a living entity. He joins us.

4:40 – TBA

5:00 – A Tour of Unrest in the Middle East
Two months ago, a Tunisian fruit vendor lit a match, starting a fire that has spread throughout the Arab world. Muhammad Bouazizi's self-immolation prompted anti-government protests that toppled the regime in Tunisia and then Egypt. The demonstrations have spread across a swath of the Middle East and North Africa. Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch is here to give us the latest developments, country by country.

5:20 – Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper
In recent years, Christians everywhere are rediscovering the Jewish roots of their faith. Every year at Easter time, many believers now celebrate Passover meals (known as Seders) seeking to understand exactly what happened at Jesus’ final Passover, the night before he was crucified. Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist shines fresh light on the Last Supper by looking at it through Jewish eyes. Using his in-depth knowledge of the Bible and ancient Judaism, Dr. Brant Pitre answers questions such as: What was the Passover like at the time of Jesus? What were the Jewish hopes for the Messiah? What was Jesus’ purpose in instituting the Eucharist during the feast of Passover? And, most important of all, what did Jesus mean when he said, “This is my body… This is my blood”? He is with us to answer those questions.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 21, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 21

4:00 – Presidents’ Day – The Faith of the Presidents
Religion has been a major part of the presidency since George Washington's first inaugural address to President Obama’s black liberation Christian background. Despite the mounting interest in the role of religion in American public life, we actually know remarkably little about the faith of our presidents. Was Thomas Jefferson an atheist, as his political opponents charged? What role did Lincoln's religious views play in his handling of slavery and the Civil War? How did born-again Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter lose the support of many evangelicals? Is George W. Bush, as his critics often claim, a captive of the religious right? On this Presidents’ Day, Gary Smith answers these questions and many more. He takes a sweeping look at the role religion has played in presidential politics and policies. Drawing on extensive archival research, Smith paints compelling portraits of the religious lives and presidencies of eleven chief executives for whom religion was particularly important. We will examine what each of its subjects believed and how those beliefs shaped their presidencies and, in turn, the course of our history.

5:00 – Presidents’ Day - The President, the Pope, And the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World
They were three "middle managers" no one imagined could reach the top, but the changed the course of history. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II. Not only did they rise to the top, but all three of them also survived assassination attempts, collaborated in the miraculous peaceful liberation of Eastern Europe from Soviet Communism, and reinvigorated their respective countries and the West. They were beacons of optimism cutting through the malaise and despair that afflicted 1970s America, strike-ridden and economically moribund post-imperial Britain, and a Catholic Church rocked by social and sexual revolutions. We talk with John O’Sullivan about these three who changed the world.

5:40 – Presidents’ Day - George Washington's Leadership Lessons
George Washington has long been a role model for Americans. Legends of his honesty and virtue are part of America's cultural heritage. But Washington's legacy is much greater than the apocryphal story of the cherry tree. George Washington's Leadership Lessons offers a unique perspective on America's first president—not as a caricature of model behavior, but as an effective, visionary, and inspiring leader of men. On this Presidents’ Day, we talk with James Rees, director of Mount Vernon and author of George Washington's Leadership Lessons: What the Father of Our Country Can Teach Us About Effective Leadership and Character.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pakistani lawmaker faces blasphemy charge for seeking to amend law

Sherry Rehman, Parliamentarian from the Pakistan People’s Party, the woman who presented the motion to the Pakistani Parliament to modify the blasphemy law has been formally charged with blasphemy. The decision was taken by a court in Multan, which enlisted the local police to register the charge of blasphemy against Rehman. The court received the denouncement by a local shopkeeper, who accuses the woman of blasphemy in her address on television in November 2010. The local police, for now, have declared her legally incompetent. In recent weeks there have been other attempts to incriminate her but other Pakistani courts have refused to give authorisation.


This news creates “discouragement and deep concern within the Christian community” which, as a local source of Fides confirms, sees its fears being realised: that it has gone beyond the idea of defining “blasphemous”, and therefore, anyone who opposes the law on blasphemy can be incriminated.

Meanwhile cases are multiplying in which extremist Islamic groups openly praise the “holy war”, the civil disobedience and murders. Fides sources in Pakistan's civil society express growing concern that these attitudes, however, “are not producing any solid responses from the Pakistani Government,” which “should stop these preachers of hate and lawlessness.” Many mullahs use the Friday sermon to convey hostile messages to increase social and interreligious tensions, to override the rule of law.

“Some are even demanding the use of nuclear bombs against India in the name of holy war in Kashmir,” said a note sent to Fides from the Asian Human Rights Commission. Recently, this occurred in Lahore by Hafiz Saeed, leader of the radical Islamic group Jamaat-ud-Dawah, speaking to an audience of over 20,000 militants. Although the leader is wanted for terrorism, he was able to harangue the crowd undisturbed.

“It is absolutely incomprehensible that the Pakistani government close their eyes and allow these terrorists to circulate freely, spreading radical ideas,” says the Fides source. “The authorities can not continue with this conciliatory policy towards religious extremism. Inciting religious war is a crime against humanity.” The Pakistani civil society forum “Citizens for Democracy”, in a note sent to Fides, appeals to the Government to stop and prosecute those who incite religious hatred and murder

Rome diocese offers online help for pilgrims attending beatification of John Paul II

Are you planning to go to Rome for the May 1 Beatification celebration for Pope John Paul II and don’t know where to turn? Hotel and bed and breakfast reservations are being quickly gobbled up as Church and city authorities predict more than two million pilgrims will be descending on the Eternal City for the weekend event presided by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Vicariate of Rome’s travel organization Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (ORP) has launched a new multi lingual website that will help visitors plan their trip to Rome for the beatification of John Paul II, the city’s bishop for 26 years.

For practical information on getting to Rome and finding and booking accommodations, pilgrims can click on http://www.operaromanapellegrinaggi.org/ or http://www.jpiibeatus.org/. The site, available in English, Italian, and Polish, will soon offer Spanish and German editions as well.

It also provides information on events planned around the beatification ceremony, real time traffic updates, and press and multimedia areas. Like Vatican Radio, the site will allow visitors to follow the major beatification events in live-streaming.

In addition, ORP offers the “Special JPII Pass” including public transportation around the city, a package lunch, a map of Rome, ORP’s double decker bus tours of Christian Rome, audio guided visits to a number of Christian sites, health coverage, and exclusive deals and discounts.

Through their website, pilgrims can also plan and reserve tours of the Vatican Museums and Rome’s four Major Basilicas. Links to external sites, including that of the canonization process and to local institutional sites are also provided.

Outrageous Statement of the Day

Back in 1991 ABC News produced a full 15 minute mini-documentary on how terrible they think Crisis Pregnancy Centers are. You can view that "documentary" below. However, why is it that they can not muster the same outrage over the horrors uncovered in the recent Planned Parenthood undercover investigations? Not a peep out of them. Wonder why that is?

Today on Kresta - February 17, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 17

4:00 – Roman Catholic / Orthodox Relations
The renowned theologian Metropolitan Kallistos Ware is here to discuss Orthodoxy in the Americas and the world. He tells us about his personal journey to Orthodoxy, being Orthodox by choice and not by birth, the state of worldwide Orthodoxy, and the current status of the Roman Catholic / Orthodox dialogue.

4:20 – Spiritual Warfare, the Occult and the New Age
Ordained in 2001, Father Christopher Crotty is a member of the Fathers of Mercy. He has spent the last six years traveling the globe preaching God's love through parish missions, conferences and nights of healing. The Fathers of Mercy were founded in France during the early part of the 1830s with a mission to preach parish missions and retreats, emphasizing the power of the holy Eucharist and confession. Fr. Crotty is here in MI giving a retreat and joins us in studio to discuss spiritual warfare, the Occult and the New Age.

4:40 – Why Christianity Lacks a Holocaust Literature?
Here’s a question that astute observers of the religious landscape find themselves asking these days, and which deserves a serious response: Why doesn’t Christianity have its own Holocaust literature? By that, of course, no one means to minimize the absolute singularity of the Holocaust against the Jews during the Second World War, and the moral imperative of keeping that memory alive. Yet the question persists: Given the harrowing realities of Christian martyrdom during the 20th century, and the rising global tide of anti-Christian violence in the early 21st century, why isn’t there a budding genre of Christian analogs to Night by Elie Wiesel, or Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”? Vatican analyst John Allen joins us to discuss this question.

5:00 – The “Snowshoe Priest” Bishop Frederic Barraga
Bishop Frederic Baraga was first bishop of the Diocese of Marquette, MI and was the first of many Slovenian missionaries to come to the United States to help build up the American Catholic Church. As a seminarian, the future St. John Neumann, was inspired to come to America after reading Baraga's missionary accounts. We talk to Bishop Alexander Sample, current Bishop of Marquette and vice-postulator of the cause for sainthood for Bishop Barraga, about the life and ministry of this extraordinary pioneer priest.

5:20 – Pope recognizes heroic virtue of American priest, Fr. Nelson Baker
In January Pope Benedict officially recognized the heroic virtues of 20th century American priest Fr. Nelson Baker, which moves the beloved champion for the poor further along in the process towards sainthood. Fr. Baker – who was born in Buffalo, New York in 1842 – lived to be 95 years old and is heralded for building what's been called a “city of charity” in Lackawana, New York. By the time of his death in 1936, his initiatives for the poor included a minor basilica, an infant home, a home for unwed mothers, a boys' orphanage, a hospital, a nurses' home, and an elementary and high school. Today there is a 41-year-old Catholic priest in the Arlington diocese, Fr. Stefan Starzynski, attributes his opening three homes for expectant mothers there to a vision of Fr. Baker he had eight years ago. Fr. Starzynski describes the inspiration he got from this priest he'd never met -- a champion for unwed mothers, their babies, orphans, and children --- in his book, Miracles: Healing for a Broken World. Fr. Starzynski joins us again to talk about Fr. Nelson Baker.

5:40 – “Vocation Boom Radio”
If you think you have a vocation or know someone who might or if you want to better understand the role of a Catholic priest, then don’t miss EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network’s newest series, “Vocation Boom Radio,” which will air Saturdays at 5 p.m. Eastern. Host Jerry Usher brings his lively, breezy, often humorous style with him as he interview priests, bishops, seminarians and their families, and other with a passion for promoting priestly vocations. Jerry joins us to tell us about the show and its aims.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 16, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 16

4:00 – US Bishops to Revise “Faithful Citizenship” Document on Voting
This coming November the Catholic bishops will approve a new version of their “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” document. The 36-page statement on political responsibility was hotly debated at the bishops’ meeting in 2007, though only four bishops voted against it. At the time, Archbishop Raymond Burke made an impassioned plea for his fellow bishops to reconsider problematic sections of “Faithful Citizenship” to no avail. Now, it is known that Cardinal Raymond Burke’s concerns were well founded. During the election, various sentences of the bishops’ statement were cherry-picked, stripped of context, and employed to convince Catholic voters it was justifiable to vote for pro-abortion candidates. We talk about the possible revisions with Deal Hudson and Matt Smith of Catholic Advocate.

4:20 – Al Challenges Former Priest Alberto Cutie
Alberto Cutie, also known as "Father 'Oprah'" due to his frequent radio and television appearances was formerly a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami. He has now written a self-justifying book entitled Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle With Faith and Love. The book is his attempt to justify his double life which was exposed in May of 2009 when the paparazzi photographed him on a Miami beach in the arms of his "girlfriend." He quickly made a public showing of his departure from the priesthood, marriage, and entry into the Anglican clerical state. But the scandal is not ended. His new book makes sure of that as it attacks the Church and continues to lead the faithful astray with his outrageous claims and skewed theology. It is for this reason that Al has decided to challenge him and expose his deception, false teaching, and accommodation to the world.

5:00 – TBA

5:40 – Why Exorcism Films Still Fascinate / Saint Paul and the Mission of the Church
Today we have our regular segment with Fr. Robert Barron of Word on Fire Ministries. He is here to discuss the fascination people have with exorcism films in light of the recent release of “The Rite.” He also talks with Al about St. Paul and the Mission of the Church.

Al Kresta Challenges Former Priest Alberto Cutie

THIS AFTERNOON on "Kresta in the Afternoon" Al will be interviewing Alberto Cutie a.k.a. "Father 'Oprah'" due to his frequent radio and television appearances. Cutie was formerly a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami, and has now written a self-justifying book entitled Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle With Faith and Love. The book is his attempt to justify his double life which was exposed in May of 2009 when the paparazzi photographed him on a Miami beach in the arms of his "girlfriend." He quickly made a public showing of his departure from the priesthood, marriage, and entry into the Anglican clerical state.
  
But the scandal is not ended. His new book makes sure of that as it attacks the Church and continues to lead the faithful astray with his outrageous claims and skewed theology. 
  
It is for this reason that Al has decided to challenge him and expose his deception, false teaching, and accommodation to the world.
  
Be with us from 4-6 p.m. Eastern Time for this riveting and instructional interview.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 15, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 15

4:00 – Catholic IPhone App Aids Catholics in Confession
Developed for those who frequent the sacrament and those who wish to return, Little iApps is pleased to announce the release of “Confession: A Roman Catholic App.” This confession helper follows directly on the heels of Pope Benedict’s message for the 45th World Communications Day address in which he emphasized that new media, “if used wisely, can contribute to the satisfaction of the desire for meaning, truth and unity which remain the most profound aspirations of each human being.” Is has a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament, this app invites Catholics to prayerfully prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance. Developer Patrick Leinen joins us.

4:20 – John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the New Evangelization
In September, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI established a new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. He issued a "motu proprio" entitled “Always and everywhere it is the duty of the Church to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Here we find embodied and perpetuated the legacy of Pope John Paul II and the “Church in the Modern World.” Fr. Patrick Collins, a popular teacher and retreat master, joins us in studio to discuss effective evangelization in the world.

5:00 – Gelileo Galilei Born February 15, 1564 - The Galileo Affair: Facts and Misconceptions
It is commonly believed that the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo for abandoning the geocentric (earth-at-the-center) view of the solar system for the heliocentric (sun-at-the-center) view. The Galileo case, for many anti-Catholics, is thought to prove that the Church abhors science, refuses to abandon outdated teachings, and is not infallible. For Catholics, the episode is often an embarrassment. It shouldn’t be. On this anniversary of his birth, Al provides a brief explanation of what really happened in the Galileo affair.

5:20 – Pro-Life Bills Make Their Way Through Congress
House Republican leaders have made life issues one of their top priorities, pushing two bills to the forefront of the congressional agenda. One bill would strengthen the already existing Hyde Amendment banning federal tax dollars from paying for abortions, and the second would defund Planned Parenthood. We talk with Marjorie Dannenfelster, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, who is on the front lines of this legislative fight.

5:40 – Christ-Centered Healthcare in the Public Square and in the Marketplace
As the health care law of 2009 works it’s way through the court system, it is also working its way through Capitol Hill. Now, four moderate Senate Democrats may break with their party and imperil the president's signature legislative accomplishment. They are facing tough re-election battles in 2012 say they are open to changing the law, especially the controversial individual mandate at its heart. Four Democrats plus the Senate's 47 Republicans equals a simple majority. Mike O’Dea of the Christus Medicus Foundation and Jack Nelson, author of Diagnosis Critical: The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Healthcare join us to talk about Christ-centered health care in the public square and in the marketplace.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 14, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 14

4:00 – The Real St. Valentine
It's Valentine's Day! We will introduce you to the REAL St. Valentine - You will be surprised at how much misinformation and urban legend exists surrounding the life of St. Valentine. (and there’s even more than one!) Al will show you the history of Valentine’s Day.

4:20 – How to Get to “I Do”: A Dating Guide for Catholic Women
"Finding a man is just like finding a parking spot in New York CIty. It can be hard and take a while, but you can do it."--from Chapter One. On this Valentine’s Day we talk to Amy Bonaccorso, a savvy veteran of the Christian dating scene. In her book, How to Get to “I Do”, she offers hard-won advice that will help you get real, get practical, and get married. Forget about Prince Charming--he doesn't exist--but plenty of good men are waiting for a woman like you to throw away the checklist of idealized mate material and settle down with a real man.

4:40 – TBA

5:00 – Lila Rose and Live Action Films: Christian Crusaders or Sinful Liars?
Young pro-life crusader Lila Rose and her organization Live Action Films have been responsible for an amazing series of undercover videos showing the nasty underbelly of the abortion industry. Because of her work, Planned Parenthood employees have been fired, PP has suffered a sullied reputation nationwide, and has contributed significantly to an effort in Washington, DC to defund PP. But now a series of bloggers have accused Lila and her undercover actors of being responsible for immoral lying. They say the investigations are a matter of the ends justifying the means - and the means are the sin of lying to PP employees. Al examines the issue.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Today on Kresta in the Afternoon - February 11, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 11

4:00 – February 12 – Birthday of Charles Darwin
Alfred Russel Wallace's Theory of Intelligent Evolution
With tomorrow being the anniversary of the death of Charles Darwin, we look at the fascinating story of Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer with Darwin of natural selection. Yet his belief in spiritualism caused him to be ridiculed and dismissed by many, leaving him a comparatively obscure and misunderstood figure. Michael A. Flannery places Wallace in historical context. Flannery exposes Charles Darwin's now-famous theory of evolution as little more than a naturalistic cover for an extreme philosophical materialism borrowed as a youth from Edinburgh radicals. He joins us.

4:30 – More Christianity: Finding the Fullness of the Faith – Expanded Revised Edition
No one would dare to suggest that C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity is anything less than a brilliant explanation and defense of the Faith. But as robust, wise and ardent as it is, still it is incomplete. It begins our banquet at the table of the Lord, but doesn’t take us all the way to the final course. That is what Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s new book, More Christianity, does. It fills our plates with the fullness of the Christian Faith found only in the Catholic Church. Fr. Longenecker is back with us.

5:00 – TBA


5:20 – Finance Friday: The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy--If We Let It Happen
Today we continue our series intended to fully explore the practical, political, moral and philosophical underpinnings of the financial meltdown of 2008. Our guide will be Dr. Max Torres and each “Financial Friday” we will be using as a base of discussion, one book written on an aspect of the financial crisis. Today, we look at Arthur Laffer’s The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy--If We Let It Happen

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Canadian bishops seek action to save Afghan Christian's life

Kingston, Canada, Feb 10, 2011 (CNA)

On behalf of his country's Catholic bishops, Canadian Archbishop Brendan M. O'Brien of Kingston has asked his government to intervene on behalf of Musa Sayed, a Christian convert in Afghanistan who may soon be executed for the “crime” of renouncing Islam.

On Feb. 9, the archbishop – who is also the human rights chairman for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – wrote to Canada's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon, about Sayed's plight. He called attention to the Afghan Christian's “urgent case,” citing reports that he is to be executed within days on charges of apostasy.

Sayed converted to Christianity sometime between 2002 and 2003. An amputee and physical therapist, he has worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross for 15 years and specializes in fitting children with prosthetic limbs.

If executed, he would leave behind a wife and six young children, who have reportedly fled Afghanistan already due to fears for their safety.

Archbishop O'Brien urged his government “to express its condemnation of this religious persecution, and to intervene with the Government of Afghanistan for mercy and clemency for Mr. Sayed.”

From his prison cell in Kabul. Sayed himself has written an open letter – addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama and other international leaders – detailing the beatings and acts of sexual abuse he has suffered.

“The authority and prisoners in jail did many bad behaviors with me, about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” he wrote. “For example, they did sexual things with me, beat me by wood, by hands, by legs, put some things on my head, mocked me.”

“Please pray and immediately help with me and rescue me from this jail,” the letter concluded. “Otherwise they will kill me.”

Jamal Khan, the chief of staff at Afghanistan's Ministry of Justice, has maintained that Sayed's Christian conversion is clearly a capital crime under the country's Islamic legal code.

“The sentence for a convert is death and there is no exception,” Khan has stated, maintaining that defectors from Islam “must be sentenced to death to serve as a lesson for others.”

Some Christian groups are taking a different lesson from Sayed's sentence, however, as they begin to wonder what nine years of war in Afghanistan have accomplished.

“A coalition of nations has spent many billions to help Afghanistan come out from under a religious dictatorship and into some semblance of modernity,” said Jeff King, an activist who heads the Washington-based International Christian Concern.

“This case, if taken on its own, would point to a grand waste of time, money, and blood,” King observed

House Dems Say They Oppose Hyde Amendment, Support Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

A group of House Democrats -- asked directly if they support the use of federal (taxpayer) funds to pay for abortion -- said yes, they do.


Today on Kresta in the Afternoon - February 10, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 10

4:00 – Egypt army poised to take charge, Mubarak to address nation
Egypt's military announced on national television it had stepped in to secure the country and promised protesters calling for President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster that all their demands would soon be met. The CIA director James Clapper said Mubarak appeared poised to hand over his powers to his vice president, Omar Suleiman. Meanwhile Director of US National Intelligence James Clapper said this afternoon said the Muslim Brotherhood is a “very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.” Tens of thousands of protesters packed in central Tahrir broke into chants of "We're almost there, we're almost there" and waved V-for-victory signs as thousands more flowed in to join them well after nightfall. Former CIA officer Michael Scheuer joins us.

4:20 – Sarah Palin Supports the Inclusion of GOProud, A Conservative Gay Rights Group, at CPAC – Other Conservative Groups Boycott
Some conservatives who are already upset that this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC) will include a right-leaning organization that promotes gay rights grew even more concerned this weekend when Sarah Palin said that she, too, supports the group. Meanwhile organizations like the Family Research Council, American Principals Project, and Liberty Council have pulled out of the CPAC conference over the inclusion of GOProud. Stephen Mansfield, author of The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin joins us to analyze.

5:00 – Ave Maria University Names New President and CEO
Ave Maria University announced today that Jim Towey will be the new President and CEO. His duties will begin July 1, 2011. Current President Nick Healy will serve as President Emeritus. Current CEO and Chancellor Thomas Monaghan will retain his role as Chancellor. Jim Towey served as Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and as Assistant to President George W. Bush from 2002 to May 2006. He served as president of Saint Vincent College, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania from 2006 until stepping down on June 30, 2010. Thomas Monaghan and Michael Timmis join us in their exclusive first interview.

5:20 – The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II -- The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy
“As March gave way to April in the spring of 2005 and the world kept vigil outside the apostolic palace in Rome, the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, then drawing to a poignant end, was already being described as one of the most consequential in two millennia of Christian history.” With these words, world-renowned author George Weigel begins his long-awaited sequel to the international bestseller Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. More than ten years in the making, The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy tells the dramatic story of the Pope’s battle with communism in light of new and recently disclosed information and brings to a close Weigel’s landmark portrait of a man who not only left an indelible mark on the Catholic Church, but also changed the course of world history. With the recent news of the beatification of John Paul II, George is here to discuss the book again and talk about a pilgrimage he will be participating in for the beatification.

5:40 – Pilgrimage for the Beatification of Pope John Paul the Great
More than two million pilgrims are expected to throng the streets of Rome for the beatification ceremony of John Paul II on May 1, leaving travel agencies desperate for accommodation and hotel prices soaring. Hotels and city authorities are bracing themselves for crowds as big as the ones that descended on the Vatican when John Paul II died on April 2, 2005, after a pontificate that spanned a quarter century. You can’t buy a hotel room anywhere near Rome and airfares have gone through the roof. But Steve Ray is here to tell you about a pilgrimage that was set up before the hotels booked up and before the airfares went skyward.

BREAKING NEWS: Ave Maria University Names New President and CEO

Ave Maria University is announcing today that Jim Towey will be the new President and CEO. His duties will begin July 1, 2011. The press conference will be held at 10:30 a.m.

Current President Nick Healy will serve as President Emeritus.

Current CEO and Chancellor Thomas Monaghan will retain his role as Chancellor.

Jim Towey Jim Towey served as Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and as Assistant to President George W. Bush from 2002 to May 2006. He served as president of Saint Vincent College, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania from 2006 until stepping down on June 30, 2010.

Major accomplishments during the years of his presidency at St. Vincent College include record levels of applications, enrollment as well as new pledge commitments; three consecutive budget surpluses; and the initiation of the most expensive construction and renovation project in the college’s history. Towey has made a priority of recruiting minority and international students. He also created a new Office of Service Learning to provide opportunities for hundreds of Saint Vincent students to experience serving those in need. Towey also presided over as somewhat controversial reaccreditation of the college by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in 2007.

In his role of Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, he was recognized by President George W. Bush for his work to improve the lives of those in need. Because of his work with the poor and infirm, consistent with his conscience and the dictates of his faith in the face of legal and public challenges, the Cuban Association of the Order of Malta has awarded Towey the 2009 Tuitio Fidei Award.

At the White House, Towey served as a member of President George W. Bush’s senior staff and reported directly to him on church-state and religious liberty issues, policies promoting tax incentives for enhanced charitable giving, and the implementation of individual choice in drug treatment, mentoring, housing and other federal programs.

Statements from Towey, Monaghan, and Healy will be forthcoming.

"Kresta in the Afternoon" will have the first exclusive interview with Thomas Monaghan and Michael Timmis, President of the Board of Trustees this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

UPDATE:

Jim Towey:
“It is a new day at Ave Maria and I am excited about its future. The start up phase is over, a strong foundation is now in place, and now we must go about the difficult work of building the best Catholic liberal arts university in America.  We will attract more of the best students available, continue to recruit and retain the very finest professors, and secure the financial resources necessary to fulfill the University’s potential.    Tom Monaghan has devoted all of his wealth and energy to get us to this point and now it is time for the rest of us to ask what we can do to help Ave Maria transition to self-sufficiency and new excellence.”

Thomas Monaghan:
“This decision was a result of ongoing discussions that I’ve had with the board throughout the last couple of years in terms of developing and implementing a succession plan. This new structure will enable me to spend more time working with university supporters both locally and nationally. It will also free me up to do more public speaking to promote awareness of AMU among high school students and potential benefactors. I’ll also be able to work on some special projects and a book I have wanted to write for some time.

“I have known Jim for more than 10 years and am very excited about the new stage of growth and development that AMU has to look forward to under his leadership. He is a man of high moral character and professional competence."

Michael Timmis:
“This is a huge win for Ave Maria University. We retain the vision and experience of our pioneers, while seamlessly handing over the reins to the next generation of leadership.  It is the belief of the Trustees that Jim Towey is the most desirable Catholic university president in America today.  And I am thrilled to announce that he is going to be our President.”

Nicholas Healy:
“It has been a singular honor to be the first president of Ave Maria University, and to work closely with a man of Tom Monaghan’s extraordinary integrity and commitment to Catholic higher education.  The honor is enhanced by being succeeded by someone of Jim Towey’s stature, experience and devotion to the Blessed Mother.”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Permanent Ban on Abortion Funding Long Overdue, Says USCCB in House Testimony

A permanent ban on abortion funding is long overdue, which is why the U.S. bishops support the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act (H.R. 3), said a representative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in February 8 testimony to the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House Judiciary Committee.

“H.R. 3 will write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for over 35 years: The federal government should not use tax dollars to support or promote elective abortion,” said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “Since 1976 this principle has been embodied in the Hyde amendment to annual appropriations bills funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and in numerous similar provisions governing a wide range of domestic and foreign programs. It has consistently had the support of the American people.”

Doerflinger noted that support for the Hyde amendment is so broad that many have assumed it is already a permanent part of federal law when it is actually a rider on the annual Labor/HHS appropriations bill, applying only to funds under that act.

Doerflinger also highlighted the need for more secure protection for the conscience rights of health care providers who do not participate in abortion, citing the substantial role of Catholic hospitals in providing health care in the United States.

“If Congress wants to expand rather than eliminate access to life-saving health care, particularly for the poor and underserved, it should be concerned about any effort to attack the rights of these providers and undermine their continued ability to serve the common good,” said Doerflinger.

The full testimony can be found here.

Planned Parenthood Video Investigation Featured on CBS Evening News

This is an AMAZINGLY accurate, unvarnished, honest, possibly even sympathetic piece that CBS Evening News did on Lila Rose and Live Action Films' undercover investigations.

Today on Kresta in the Afternoon - February 9, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 9

4:00 – Kresta Comments: End of the World Set for May 21, 2011?
If there had been time, Marie Exley would have liked to start a family. Instead, the 32-year-old Army veteran says she has less than six months left, which she'll spend spreading a stark warning: Judgment Day is almost here. Exley is part of a movement of Christians loosely organized by radio broadcasts and websites, independent of churches and convinced by their reading of the Bible that the end of the world will begin May 21, 2011. To get the word out, they're using billboards and bus stop benches, traveling caravans of RVs and volunteers passing out pamphlets on street corners. Al has some comments.

4:20 – Redeeming Economics: Rediscovering the Missing Element
Economist John Mueller is calling for a bold revolution in economics—by retrieving its past. John says to make this leap forward will require looking backward, for the most important element of economic theory has been ignored for more than two centuries. Since Adam Smith tore down this pillar of economic thought, economic theory has had no way to account for a fundamental aspect of human experience: the social relationships that define us, the loves (and hates) that motivate and distinguish us as persons. In trying to reduce human behavior to mere exchanges, modern economists have lost sight of how these essential motivations are expressed: as gifts (or their opposite, crimes). Mueller makes economics whole again, masterfully reapplying economic thought as articulated by Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas. He joins us to make his case.

5:00 – Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line
Abby Johnson quit her job in October 2009. That simple act became a national news story because Abby was the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas who, after participating in her first actual abortion procedure, walked across the road to join the Coalition for Life. Unplanned is a heartstopping personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks hope and compassion into the political controversy that surrounds this issue. Telling Abby’s story from both sides of the abortion clinic property line, hew book is a must-read for anyone who cares about the life versus rights debate and helping women who face crisis pregnancies.

5:40 – “Princess Boy” Ignites Media Buzz: Cross-Dressing Kindergarteners.
Any semblance of objectivity went out the window on the January 3 broadcast of NBC’S “Today Show.” Host Meredith Vieira promoted a book by Cheryl Kilodavis, titled “My Princess Boy,” an illustrated children’s book that promotes the tolerance of cross-dressing boys. The segment featured Kilodavis and her 5-year-old Dyson. Dyson likes to wear girls’ clothes and do girl things. Mom likes to make money off her son’s proclivities. And “Today” wants to educate viewers about “tolerating” little boys who wear dresses. We bring in a real expert – Clinical Psychologist Dr. Ray Guarendi.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Planned Parenthood clinic caught in another revealing 'sting'


For the third time in less than two weeks, a Planned Parenthood employee has been caught on videotape giving helpful advice to a man who identifies himself as the operator of a prostitution ring using young girls.

The pro-life group Live Action has released a new video from a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Bronx, New York. In the video, a man posing as a pimp consults with a Planned Parenthood staffer, and receives advice on how he might obtain free services for underage prostitutes by posing as their legal guardian.

The video from the Bronx follows closely on the heels of similar evidence from Planned Parenthood clinics in Virginia and New Jersey. Lila Rose, the president of Live Action, said that the evidence points to an “institutional crisis in which PP is willing to assist sex trafficking and exploitation of minors and young women.”

See the video here.

Rome Diocese launches site dedicated to John Paul II's beatification

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- The Diocese of Rome launched a new website dedicated to the beatification and canonization of Pope John Paul II.

Published in seven languages, the site -- www.karol-wojtyla.org -- offers news updates and background information on the late pope and his sainthood cause, as well as a live webcam of his tomb in the grotto of St. Peter's Basilica.

The website also announced that the beatification ceremony in St. Peter's Square May 1, Divine Mercy Sunday, will be open to the public and no tickets will be required to attend.

The evening before the ceremony, April 30, there will be a prayer vigil at Rome's ancient Circus Maximus racetrack, it said.

The website offers the diocesan-approved prayer asking for graces through the intercession of Pope John Paul in 31 languages, including Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Swahili.

A miracle after Pope John Paul's beatification would be needed for his canonization, which is a church declaration that the person is a saint and worthy of universal veneration.

On Jan. 14, Pope Benedict XVI approved a first miracle attributed to the late pope's intercession, clearing the way for his beatification.

The approval came after more than five years of investigation into the life and writings of the Polish pontiff, who died in April 2005 after more than 26 years as pope.

Pence: Deny Federal Funding to Planned Parenthood; "A Scandal To Every American"

In the wake of Lila Rose and Live Action Film's release of multiple undercover investigations at Planned Parenthood "Clinics" in multiple states showing workers willing to look the other way and even offer buisness advice to actors posing as a pimp and a prostitue involved in child sex trafficking, this bill to defund Planned Parenthood takes on a new importance. Listen to Mike Pence below.

Today on Kresta in the Afternoon - February 8, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 8

4:00 – Human Rights Watch slams Egypt treatment of Copts
Meanwhile the US-based Human Rights Watch has accused Egypt of "widespread discrimination" against its Christian and other religious minorities in its annual report for 2010, which also highlights repression of political dissent. We talk with Ashraf Ramela from Voice of the Copts.

4:20 – Catholic Controversies: Understanding Church Teachings and Events in History
A new book entitled Catholic Controversies gives Catholics and others seeking the truth a valuable resource for correcting the most common misunderstandings and myths perpetuated by the media, university professors and the uninformed. It collects the very best articles addressing most of the “hot-button” issues used to undermine both the authority of the Church and the faith of Catholics, especially young people. The topics range from proofs of God’s existence to the Spanish Inquisition to human cloning and stem-cell research. Author Stephen Gabriel joins us.

5:00 – TBA

5:20 – Dickens and the Social Order – Charles Dickens Born Feb. 8, 1812
Today is the birthday of Charles Dickens. Dickens was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature's most iconic characters. We take this opportunity to discuss Dickens and the Social Order, as well as the religious themes and contexts in the works of Dickens with author Myron Magnet.

5:40 – An Evening of Tribute to Joe Scheidler
Joe Scheidler is one of the Grandfathers of the Pro-Life Movement. He was called the Green Beret of the pro-life movement by Pat Buchanan. His book on his methods of fighting abortion, CLOSED: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion was a seminal book for pro-lifers. Joe also produced the definitive videos on sidewalk counseling, No Greater Joy, and Face the Truth. He was the chief defendant in a RICO lawsuit brought against him, his pro-life action league, and other pro-life activists by the National Organization for Women and two abortion clinics. In April, pro-life activists from across the country, including Al, will gather in Chicago to honor the life and work of Joe Scheidler. We talk with Monica Miller, one of the organizers of the event.

Vatican official instructed US bishop to withhold files of troubled priest

February 07, 2011
CWNews.com

In 1984, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy wrote to an American bishop, instructing him not to hand over personnel files in the case of a priest who had been accused of misconduct.

The letter is being cited as new evidence that the Vatican had a policy of encouraging bishops to withhold evidence of priestly misconduct. In January, the release of a 1997 letter to Irish bishops from the apostolic nuncio in Dublin prompted similar outcries.

The letter, from Cardinal Silvio Oddi to Bishop Manuel Moreno of Tucson, Arizona, has been made public on the BishopAccountability web site. The correspondence involved the case of a Tucson priest whose name has been redacted from the correspondence because, BishopAccountability explains, his misconduct involved consensual activity with a female adult (as well as other misbehavior) rather than abuse of a child.

In response to Bishop Moreno’s question whether the diocese should turn over the priest’s personnel files, Cardinal Oddi replies that “under no condition whatever ought the after-mentioned files be surrendered to any lawyer or judge whatsoever.”

After giving that unequivocal instruction, Cardinal Oddi suggested that the Tucson diocese should anticipate demands for release of the files, and should “begin preparing whatever resistance to this request may be necessary.” The cardinal expresses confidence that American courts would uphold the Church’s position.

While the message from Cardinal Oddi is unmistakably clear, the letter does not indicate whether or not the priest in question could face criminal charges, nor is there any indication that he would be a threat to public safety. Thus it is difficult to judge, from the letter alone, whether Cardinal Oddi was justified in thinking that the US legal system would have favored the bishop in this case.

However, the newly disclosed letter adds to the mounting evidence that many Vatican officials were adamant in their belief that bishops should not allow such disclosure. “The files of a bishop concerning his priests are altogether private; their forced acquisition by civil authority would be an intolerable attack upon the free exercise of religion in the United States,” Cardinal Oddi explains.

During the sex-abuse scandal that reached its zenith in the US about 18 years later, dozens of American bishops cited the same argument of confidentiality that Cardinal Oddi raised in his letter, resisting demands to open their personnel files. However, when the courts ordered release of those files, the US bishops complied.

The two prelates involved in the 1984 letter are now deceased. Cardinal Silvio Oddi, who was prefect of the Congregation for Clergy from 1979 to 1984, died in 2001 at the age of 90. Bishop Manuel Moreno, who resigned his post in Tucson in 2003 at the age of 72, died in 2006.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 7, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 7

4:00 – The Soon-to-Be Archbishop of LA Talks Immigration, Catholic Radio, and More
José Horacio Gomez was born in Monterrey, Mexico, December 26, 1951. He became a priest and immigrated to the United States where he became Bishop of Denver, Archbishop of San Antonio and now will soon be Archbishop of Los Angeles. Archbishop Jose Gomez sits down with us to talk immigration, education, and Catholic Radio.

4:20 – America’s Premiere Biographer
David McCullough is one of the premiere biographers in America and has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other widely praised books are 1776, Brave Companions, The Great Bridge, and The Johnstown Flood. He joins Al to discuss what drives him, what inspires him, and what qualifies as good literature.

4:40 – Egypt and the Financial Markets
Stocks edged up last week as investors grew hopeful that the political standoff in Egypt will be contained and resolved peacefully, while the euro eased back from three-month highs against the dollar after a ratings downgrade of Ireland. Though Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak' vow late Tuesday to not stand for president again in September has not stopped the protests, there is a feeling in the markets that a peaceful transition may be in the works. George Schwartz, President and portfolio manager of the Ave Maria Family of Funds and author of Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing is here to analyze the markets and how they are responding to the Middle East turmoil.

5:00 – Justice Clarence Thomas Speech
On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas delivered a speech at the Legatus Summit where “Kresta in the Afternoon” was being broadcast. While the Justice does not do media interviews while the Court is in session, we do have his moving and candid speech that we want to share with you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today on Kresta - February 4, 2011

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Feb. 4

Live From Legatus Summit in Naples, FL

4:00 - Daughters of Mary, Mother of Our Hope
In 2008 Rosalind Moss, author, Catholic Answers apologist, and EWTN that she was starting a new community of sisters in the Archdiocese of St. Louis with the permission of then St. Louis Archbishop Raymond L. Burke. The new group is the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope. Sr. Rosalind Moss is here with us at the Legatus Summit and joins us to talk about the order and it’s purpose.

4:20 – Blazing fast ruling in favor of San Diego firefighters
After being forced to participate--despite numerous objections--in San Diego’s 2007 “Gay Pride Parade,” four firefighters from the San Diego Fire Department were sexually harassed through lewd cat calls and obscene gestures at the event, which was replete with sexual displays and graphic images. The San Diego Fire Department disregarded the firefighters’ objections. For its wrongful actions against the firefighters, a jury in state superior court found in favor of the firefighters in the case in February 2009. The city appealed the verdict and in October the Appeals Court ruled in the firefighters favor, saying “the record contains substantial evidence to support a finding that the sexual harassment experienced by the Firefighters during the Pride Parade was severe and pervasive, thus altering the conditions of employment and creating a hostile or abusive work environment.” Their attorney, Charles LiMandri, joins us.

4:40 – Portions of Justice Clarence Thomas Speech
Today, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas delivered a speech at the Legatus Summit where “Kresta in the Afternoon” is being broadcast. While the Justice does not do media interviews while the Court is in session, we do have some portions of his moving and candid speech that we can share with you.

5:00 – The Soon-to-Be Archbishop of LA Talks Immigration, Catholic Radio, and More
José Horacio Gomez was born in Monterrey, Mexico, December 26, 1951. He became a priest and immigrated to the United States where he became Bishop of Denver, Archbishop of San Antonio and now will soon be Archbishop of Los Angeles. Archbishop Jose Gomez sits down with us to talk immigration, education, and Catholic Radio.

5:20 – More of Justice Clarence Thomas Speech

5:40 – Egypt and the Financial Markets
Stocks have edged up this week as investors grew hopeful that the political standoff in Egypt will be contained and resolved peacefully, while the euro eased back from three-month highs against the dollar after a ratings downgrade of Ireland. Though Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak' vow late Tuesday to not stand for president again in September has not stopped the protests, there is a feeling in the markets that a peaceful transition may be in the works. George Schwartz, President and portfolio manager of the Ave Maria Family of Funds and author of Good Returns: Making Money by Morally Responsible Investing is here to analyze the markets and how they are responding to the Middle East turmoil.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Painful Conclusion": Senators Say FBI & DOD Could Have Prevented Ft. Hood Shooting


A new Senate report on the 2009 Fort Hood shooting blames the FBI and Department of Defense for failing to recognize or act on alleged shooter Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s extremist views.

The report, released today by Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Joe Lieberman and ranking Republican Susan Collins, says the FBI and DOD could have prevented the shooting if they had identified Hasan’s radical Islamist views and disciplined or discharged him before the attack occurred.

“Our report’s painful conclusion is that the Fort Hood massacre could have and should have been prevented,” Lieberman said at a press conference today.

“The fact is that both the FBI and the Army were aware of Major Hasan,” Collins said. “This is not a case where a lone wolf was unknown to the FBI, unknown to the military officials, until he struck – and that is the tragedy of this case.”

The November 2009 shooting killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.

“Although neither DOD nor the FBI had specific information concerning the time, place, or nature of the attack, they collectively had sufficient information to have detected Hasan’s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act on it,” the senators said in the report. “Our investigation found specific and systemic failures in the government’s handling of the Hasan case and raises additional concerns about what may be broader systemic issues.”

“DOD possessed compelling evidence that Hasan embraced views so extreme that it should have disciplined him or discharged him from the military, but DOD failed to take action against him,” the report said.

At today’s press conference Lieberman noted that an instructor and a colleague had each referred to Hasan as “a ticking time bomb.”

“To me it’s infuriating that a member of our armed services who expressed such radical opinions to other members of our military was not discharged,” Lieberman said.

“The Fort Hood massacre resulted because of what I would call a tragedy of errors – just one after another - by organizations that normally perform effectively. But in this case – for a host of various reasons and frankly some things that are hard to explain – just totally failed to act in a way that as you look back at the evidence with the clarity of hindsight just shouts out, ‘Stop this guy before he kills somebody!’ And he was not stopped.”

Lieberman vowed that the report would be used as a “blueprint” for reforms “so the next human ticking time bomb will be identified early and defused before the next deadly detonation.”

Under death threat, Pakistani lawmaker backs away from bid to amend blasphemy law

Sherry Rehman, a member of the National Assembly for the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), has agreed to follow the party line and withdraw her bill to amend the controversial blasphemy law. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani made the announcement at a meeting with a group lawmakers in Islamabad. He said he had spoken to Rehman and that she had agreed to withdraw her proposed bill to amend the ‘black law’. In the meantime, a 17-year-old student was jailed on blasphemy charges after an invigilator reported on him for insulting the name of the Prophet Muhammad in an exam paper.

Ms Rehman, who has been threatened by Muslim fundamentalists for proposing changes to the controversial law, has decided to accept her party’s line after Prime Minister Gilani said the government had closed the door to any changes to the law.

Last year, she had proposed eliminating the death penalty from Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which covers blasphemy, enraging fundamentalists who then issued a fatwa against her.

Sherry Rehman had explained that changes were designed to “prevent abuses” in the application of the law. In a public statement, she had talked about “simple” changes to guarantee that people were “given a chance to prove their innocence” and to ensure that no one could “makes false charges in the name of the Holy Prophet”.

Meanwhile, the infamous ‘black law’ continues to be abused. Pakistani police arrested a 17-year-old student in Karachi last Friday. He is accused of blaspheming against Islam in a paper he wrote during a high school final exam. Muhammad Samiullah, who has been in jail since his arrest, was denounced by one of the invigilators in charge of supervising the exam.

Human rights groups and civil society associations responded immediately calling for the repeal of the blasphemy law. Human Rights Watch (HRW) appealed to the Pakistani government to let the boy go.

“Pakistan has set the standard for intolerance when it comes to misusing blasphemy laws, but sending a schoolboy to jail for something he scribbled on an exam paper is truly appalling," said Bede Sheppard, senior children's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Mgr Lawrence Saldhana, archbishop of Lahore and president of the Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, spoke out against the growing Islamisation of the country and the ever-tighter bond between state and religion. He said he was saddened by the attacks against the Pope and the burning of the pictures of Benedict XVI and Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti. Dissociating himself from any violent action, he extended his “solidarity and gratitude” to the Catholic minister, but did not mention the blasphemy law or any changes to it.