Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 30, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 30

Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009

#11 – Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America

Secularism. This assault is not happening from accident or whim. It is happening because disaffected liberals have deliberately set out to upend our Judeo-Christian traditions. Indeed, they are determined to tear down the traditional norms, values, and institutions that have been part of American society from its founding. The cultural debris that these saboteurs have created will take decades to clean up. In feisty prose Bill Donohue explores our nation where a college student is threatened with expulsion because she prayed on campus, a civil rights organization protests a statue of Jesus found on the ocean floor and a housewife sues a school district to stop the singing of Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer at a school choral production. These are just a few examples cited that demonstrate a culture descending into madness. He joins us.

#10 – Original “Schindler’s List” Found in Sydney Library
A list of Jews saved by Oskar Schindler that inspired the novel and Oscar-winning film "Schindler's List" has been found in a Sydney library, its co-curator said this week. Workers at the New South Wales State Library found the list, containing the names of 801 Jews saved from the Holocaust by the businessman, as they sifted through boxes of Australian author Thomas Keneally's manuscript material. The 13-page document, a yellowed and fragile carbon typescript copy of the original, was found between research notes and German newspaper clippings in one of the boxes. We talk with the man who wrote the book on Oskar Schindler, David Crowe.

#9 – Word Pictures: Knowing God Through Story & Imagination
At a contentious intersection of faith and contemporary culture, Brian Godawa offers what many have been calling for: balance. In a world (and often a church) torn by imbalanced devotion to either word or image, Godawa joins the two with a needed 'and.' He shows a well-developed literacy for both forms of communication, shows how the Bible incorporates both and challenges us to engage our culture creatively and redemptively on both fronts.

#8 – Fr. Leo Wins the “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”
It's official - Father Leo Patalinghug defeated renowned chef Bobby Flay in a Fusion Fajita cook-off. The episode of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” took place in June. Flay traveled to the Mount St. Mary’s campus and challenged Father Leo to the “Throwdown” marking the first time the Iron Chef has faced off against a priest. The two prepared Fusion Fajitas for a select group of families, members of the Mount St. Mary’s community and other guests outside University President, Thomas H. Powell’s home. Fr. Leo says “It was a fun day having people come together and enjoy our fajitas…it’s what the concept of Grace Before Meals is all about.” He joins us.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 29, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 29

Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009

#16 – Kresta Comments - Michael Jackson: A Human Commodity

#15 – Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America

In a remarkable and controversial work which goes back to 1992, Marvin Olasky wrote an in-depth analysis of the history of abortion in America. Part One describes the three groups of women who were having abortions through the mid-nineteenth century. Part Two examines the failures and limited successes of anti-abortion Americans as they tried to develop a societal mind-set in which abortion was condemned. And Part Three carries the story into the twentieth century, examining the moral transition among physicians and the impact of changing values and economic pressures. It is as relevant today as it ever was, and Marvin joins us to look at the social history of abortion in America.

#14 – Christianity Caused the Crash?
Recently the Atlantic magazine ran an article under the provocative headline “Did Christianity Cause the Crash?” The article itself was much less silly than the headline, but even so, its effort to tie Christian religious movements to the crash was a pretty implausible stretch. However, the topic of Christianity and the market deserves some serious attention, because (the absurdity of the Atlantic notwithstanding) recent shifts in Christian religious attitudes really are related in important ways to the American economy. So—Did Christianity Cause the Crash? Dr. Greg Forster has the answer.

#13 – Climate talks seek calm after “Climategate” fury
For years, Jay Richards says he’s warned fellow Christians not to confuse environmental stewardship with climate change alarmism. His experience is that many Christian environmentalists simply accept the conventional wisdom when it comes to the science, rather than studying it carefully. They place a lot of weight on the credibility of mainstream views. So he is now hoping that “Climategate” will cause many of them to rethink their uncritical embrace of what they learn from the cover of Newsweek. We talk to Jay about how “Climategate” has affected the current Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

#12 – A. Lincoln: A Biography
Today we celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is endlessly chronicled because he is, like the nation he saved, endlessly fascinating. In celebration of the Lincoln’s 200th birthday, Lincoln scholar Ronald White has written a splendid, sprawling biography of a man we can never know too much about. Everyone wants to define the man who signed his name “A. Lincoln.” In his lifetime and ever since, friend and foe have taken it upon themselves to characterize Lincoln according to their own label or libel. In this magnificent book, White offers a fresh and compelling definition of Lincoln as a man of integrity–what today’s commentators would call “authenticity”–whose moral compass holds the key to understanding his life. He joins us.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 28, 2009

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

Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009

#20 – The Five Love Languages
Dr. Gary Chapman
believes you have a God-given yearning for complete and unconditional love. But you’ll never be able to express it – or receive it – until you learn to speak the right “love” language. The Five Love Languages for Singles reveals how different personalities express love in different ways. In fact, there are five specific languages of love: Quality time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Chapman’s first best-selling book, The Five Love Languages, has already connected with more than 3 million readers. How he tailors that message to meet the unique needs of singles, using real-life examples and anecdotes taken from his 30 years of interaction with single adults. He joins us.

#19 – The Pope, Africa, Condoms, and AIDS
In March, Pope Benedict’s comments on AIDS and condoms during his visit to Africa garnered criticism from editorial pages and health officials. Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass for a congregation of nearly 1 million, underlining his message that Africa, for all its problems is "the continent of hope." In his farewell remarks before board the plane, the Pope said that he was pleased to have "found the Church here to be so alive and full of enthusiasm, despite the difficulties, able to take up its own cross and that of others, bearing witness before everyone to the saving power of the Gospel message." Vatican reporter John Allen was with the Pontiff every step of the way and joined us from Cameroon.

#18 – Augustine and Monica
On Aug. 27th we celebrate the feast of one of the greatest Saints the Church has ever known. Augustine was born in a Roman province and educated at Carthage. As a young man he became interested in philosophy, with little interest in Christianity until a profound experience in his early thirties. By 396 he had become bishop of Hippo, and his sermons and writings gained fame, notably his Confessions and the treatise City of God. His notions of God's grace, free will and Original Sin have had an unmatched influence on Christian theology. Augustinian philosopher Dr. Barry David joins us.

#17 – “The Catholic Church: A History”
The Catholic Church. It began as a small band of supporters following the teachings of an itinerant preacher in an outpost of the Roman Empire. From there, the church expanded both its size and its importance in the grand scheme of Western history. Today, the church is the oldest continuously active organization on Earth and one of the most influential institutions in the world—a force capable of moving armies, inspiring saints, and shaping the lives of a billion members. But how did this powerful institution develop out of the early church community—a loosely associated group of disciples who were inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus? Why do today's Catholics worship the way they do? How has this institution influenced world history far beyond the walls of its churches and monasteries? Dr. William Cook discusses “The Catholic Church: A History.”

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 25, 2009

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

Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009

#24 – Notorious Abortionist Gunned Down in Church
George Tiller, one of the nation's few providers of late-term abortions despite decades of protests and attacks, was shot and killed on May 31, in a church where he was serving as an usher. The gunman fled, but a 51-year-old suspect was detained some 170 miles away in suburban Kansas City three hours after the shooting. We have talked with Joe Scheidler many times about “Tiller the baby killer.” He joins us again.

#23 – Bridging the Great Divide : Musings of a Post-Liberal, Post Conservative Evangelical Catholic
Fr. Robert Barron’s book “Bridging the Great Divide: Musings of a Post-Conservative Evangelical Catholic” represents a pivotal moment in the life of the Catholic community. Today's faithful are searching for an expression of Catholic Christianity that is vibrant, colorful, provocative, counter-cultural, deeply rooted in the tradition, and full of the promise of the Good News. In this timely and prophetic book, Fr. Barron--himself a member of the younger generation--has minted a new vernacular and blazed a new way that bridges the great divide and gives voice to the concerns of post-liberal, post-conservative, evangelical believers.

#22 – Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
On the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, we took a unique look at the two giants of the faith. Because Peter plays such a prominent role in the New Testament and the tradition of the church, he has been the focus of much scholarship over the centuries. One wonders whether there can be anything more to say about Peter. Indeed, there is. Fr. Richard Cassidy takes a look at Peter in the story of each gospel individually, rather than studying Peter via a side-by-side analysis of the gospels. We look at Four Times Peter.

#21 – Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, R.I.P
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus passed away in January at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. As a priest, as a writer, as a public leader in so many struggles, no one can take his place. He was a giant of an intellectual leader, a prolific writer, a leading voice of authentic ecumenism and so much more. We took time to remember his life and contributions to the Church with Jody Bottum, editor-in-chief of “First Things.”

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 24, 2009

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

Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009

#27 – Kresta Comments – “Where are the Grown-Ups?”
As the flames grew higher on Capitol Hill earlier this year, eyes bulged, tongues became unhinged, consciences were seared and necks craned so the cameras could show how many veins were popping. Two congressmen suggested that some AIG execs ought to have the decency to commit hari-kari. We all stood by waiting for someone to call for slaughter of the firstborn, lynchings or exile. If the economic meltdown is traced to the subprime housing crisis, then the psychological meltdown these events must be traced to the subprime emotional immaturity of Congress. Al says what we witnessed as the AIG debacle unfolded was that the world is being run by people not much wiser than your Uncle Bob but a whole lot better dressed. He has analysis and commentary. “Where are the Grownups?”

#26 – Dan Brown, Freemasonry, and the Catholic Church
Dan Brown may loathe Catholics, but he just adores the Masons. Brown goes out of his way in his latest book “‘The Lost Symbol” to present the lodge as essentially benign and misunderstood. The Catholic Church, of course, is seen by Brown as essentially wicked and misunderstood only by its followers. “Masons are praised for their religious tolerance,” an AP article says. In the book, Brown defends the Masons against “unfair” portrayals. So kind of him. In real life Brown says he has “enormous respect for the Masons.” Must be their historic anti-Catholicism that won him over. Showing nothing but sweetness and light, the man who has made millions dumping on the Catholic Church says of his new work, “It’s a reverent look at their philosophy. I’m more interested in what they believe than all their rituals and conspiracy theories about them.” Now if only Brown had cut Catholics the same break. We are joined by John Salza, former 32nd degree Freemason in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and author of Why Catholics Cannot Be Masons and Masonry Unmasked.

#25 – Embryo Adoption. Why Not?
With the current battle over embryonic stem cell research and a recent flurry of articles on embryo adoption in the National Catholic Register, we take the opportunity to examine the Catholic moral principles at play and look at what the Church has to say on this controversial matter of bioethics. Dr. Monica Miller is our guest.

Today on Kresta - December 23, 2009

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

Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009

#30 – The Darwinian Revolution – Darwin Turns 200
Published 150 years ago, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species—the text that introduced the world to natural selection—is among a handful of books that have changed the world. Born amid a ferment of speculation about evolutionary scenarios in the early 19th century; vilified and later pronounced dead at the turn of the 20th century; and spectacularly confirmed by discovery after discovery in succeeding decades—natural selection ranks with the theories of Copernicus and Newton for its iconic stature in science. But the route to that status has been surprisingly circuitous and uncertain. Darwin's profoundly revolutionary message has often been misunderstood, and so have his own views on evolution, the intellectual background that led to them, and the turbulent history of their reception. We talk to Dr. Frederick Gregory about Darwin, his influence, and how his work should be viewed today.

#29 – The End of Secularism
University scholars have spent decades subjecting religion to critical scrutiny. But what would happen if they turned their focus on secularism? Hunter Baker seeks the answer to that question by putting secularism under the microscope and carefully examining its origins, its context, its claims, and the viability of those claims. He reveals that secularism fails as an instrument designed to create superior social harmony and political rationality to that which is available with theistic alternatives. He also demonstrates that secularism is far from the best or only way to enjoy modernity's fruits of religious liberty, free speech, and democracy. The message is that the marketplace of ideas depends on open and honest discussion rather than on religious content or the lack thereof. He is here to make his case.

#28 – Victory for Prop 8 – Where Does the Fight Go From Here
The California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex “marriage” earlier this year but it also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed. The 6-1 decision rejected an argument by gay rights activists that the ban revised the California constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature's approval. The court said the people have a right, through the ballot box, to change their constitution. How big was this victory and where does the battle go from here? Maggie Gallagher has the answers.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 22, 2009

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

Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009

#34 - Violence Against Christians in Pakistan Rooted in Long History of Blasphemy Laws
The latest spate of violence against Christians in Pakistan vividly illustrates the difficulty that faces the religious minority in a country where blasphemy laws give Muslims a powerful weapon to use against Christian neighbors. Allegations that Christians have given offense against Islam regularly provoke violence, and create the climate of tolerance for that violence. Two bishops are now – at great risk to themselves - demanding the repeal of the blasphemy laws that encourage the persecution of the nation’s Christians. Meanwhile Church leaders are also speaking out against the imposition of the jizya, a tax on non-Muslims, in remote regions of Pakistan abutting Afghanistan, where the Taliban exercises considerable de facto power. Paul Marshall, America’s foremost expert in religious freedom joins us.

#33 – Sports and the Catholic Family
Participation in athletic activities and playing on sports teams has been viewed as contributing in positive manner to the character development of children. However, a remarkable change has occurred over the past 20 years in regard to the degree of involvement on sports teams by children. Today, many children are under extreme pressures from both coaches and parents to commit themselves to give an unprecedented amount of time and effort to participation in team sports, including those teams which travel regularly on weekends and during the summer. One coach commented that some children now play up to 80 baseball games over the course of a summer, including playing in double headers and in repeated weekend tournaments. This significant change in regard to children's and families’ relationship with sports has damaged marriages, family life and the ability of a large number of children to enjoy sports as a pleasant, relaxing childhood activity. Psychiatrist Rick Fitzgibbons is here to address a number of issues related to this important area of child development and family life.

#32 – The Economy: The Government, Thirty Years of Bad Economic Policy, or Both?
Conventional wisdom in America today holds that high levels of taxes and government spending diminish America’s prosperity. The claim strikes a deep intuitive chord, not only among those on the Right, but also among many on today’s Left. Indeed, the antitax credo has become so obvious to so many over the past thirty years, and rolls off the tongues of policymakers from both parties with such fluency, that one would think evidence needn’t even be gathered to support it. Even Clinton proudly announced that “the era of big government is over.” Michael Miller of the Acton Institute is here to look the economic meltdown: blame the government, free market principles, or both?

#31 – Hiking the Camino: 500 Miles with Jesus
You might reasonably wonder why anyone would shoulder a heavy backpack, grab a walking stick and hike across Spain. Whatever happened to planes, trains and automobiles? But Father Dave Pivonka knew that the Camino—the ancient pilgrim path to the tomb of Saint James the Apostle in Santiago—offered an opportunity to focus on God in the stripped-down environment typical of the religious journey known as a pilgrimage. Fr. Dave takes us along with him, eager to show that God wants to take care of you whether or not you can see down the road or, if tired and sore, you're tempted to quit. His Camino hike holds real lessons for our own life's journey.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 21, 2009

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

Kresta Countdown of the top interviews of 2009

#40 - Polygamy and the Courts
From the Mormon Church's public announcement of its sanction of polygamy in 1852 until its formal decision to abandon the practice in 1890, people on both sides of the "Mormon question" debated central questions of constitutional law. Did principles of religious freedom and local self-government protect Mormons' claim to a distinct, religiously based legal order? Or was polygamy, as its opponents claimed, a new form of slavery--this time for white women in Utah? And did constitutional principles dictate that democracy and true liberty were founded on separation of church and state? Sarah Barringer Gordon is here to answer those questions and more.

#39 – John Paul II: Confronting the Language Empowering the Culture of Death
We live not only in a time and place but also in the description of that time and place. William Brennan is here to expose how that description was twisted and deformed, and how John Paul the Great responded by teaching the world the language of the culture of life. He reveals how, through a discourse of truth-telling - calling things by their proper name - Pope John Paul II effectively exposed the corruption of language and thought fueling a death culture that is becoming increasingly embedded in medicine, human experimentation, commerce, law, and ideology.

#38 – A Catholic View of Literary Classics – Part 10 of 10: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
We continue our 10-week series examining Classic Literature from a Catholic perspective. We will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer choice, enabling educators, students, and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism. Today, we examine Uncle Tom’s Cabin with Ave Maria University Professor Mark McCullough.

#37 – Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason
On a brutal winter's day in 1650 in Stockholm, the Frenchman René Descartes, the most influential and controversial thinker of his time, was buried after a cold and lonely death far from home. Sixteen years later, the French Ambassador Hugues de Terlon secretly unearthed Descartes' bones and transported them to France. Why would this devoutly Catholic official care so much about the remains of a philosopher who was hounded from country to country on charges of atheism? Why would Descartes' bones take such a strange, serpentine path over the next 350 years—a path intersecting some of the grandest events imaginable: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, the mind-body problem, the conflict between faith and reason? Their story involves people from all walks of life—Louis XIV, a Swedish casino operator, poets and playwrights, philosophers and physicists, as these people used the bones in scientific studies, stole them, sold them, revered them as relics, fought over them, passed them surreptitiously from hand to hand. Russell Shorto is here to explain.

#36 – The True St. Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas
When most of us hear the name "Saint Nicholas," we immediately think of Santa Claus. But if asked why Santa sometimes goes by this alias, we might be at a loss for a satisfactory answer. Too bad: the real St. Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop who may have attended the famous Council of Nicaea in 325, was a fascinating if elusive figure whose name has been invoked, and selfless deeds recounted, for hundreds of years. Now, in The True St. Nicholas, the bestselling author, radio talk-show host and former Secretary of Education William Bennett brings Saint Nicholas's story to life, and shows why it is still relevant today.

#35 – Who Is My Neighbor?: Personalism And The Foundations Of Human Rights
Over the past half century the language of human rights has gained such dominance in moral, civic, and ecclesiastical discourse that ethical and social questions are increasingly framed in terms of rights. Yet the vast literature dealing with human and civil rights focuses almost exclusively on the juridical and practical ramifications of rights, rather than the philosophical, moral, and foundational aspects. As a result, the proliferation of rights claims and catalogs has not been accompanied by a reasoned case for the existence of human rights or rational criteria for distinguishing true moral entitlement from spurious claims. Fr. Thomas Williams makes an original, compelling case for human rights as moral entitlements grounded in the dignity of the human person.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Annual "Kresta in the Afternoon" Book Recommendation Special

Today we did the annual book show as the last show before we start the "Best of 2009" Countdown. Below are all of the books and links for each. Most are to our online bookstore and should be there by Friday late evening. Enjoy!!!

The Difference God Makes
By Francis Cardinal George

Breathless: A Novel
By Dean Koontz

The Cold War: A New History
By John Louis Gaddis

Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies
By David Bentley Hart

Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason
By Russell Shorto

A Civilization of Love
By Carl Anderson

Render unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life
Archbishop Charles Chaput

Sober Inoxication of the Spirit: Filled With the Fullness of God
By Raniero Cantalamessa

God and Man
By Anthony Bloom

The Catholic Church: A History
By William Cook

Heaven and Heresies: A History of the Inquisition
By Thomas Madden

The 13th Day

The Class


Summer Hours

The Informant

Logos Bible Software

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture

Ignatius of Antioch
By Kenneth Howell

Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths: A Source Book for Apologists and Inquirers
By Dave Armstrong

SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life
By Steven Pratt

Prayerfully Expecting: A Nine-Month Novena for Mothers to Be
By Donna Marie Cooper-O’Boyle

All Things Girl
By Teresa Tomeo, Monica Cops, Molly Miller

Diagnosis Critical: The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Healthcare
By Leonard Nelson

Embracing Dementia, A Call to Love: Finding Hope, Loving Someone with Alzheimer's or Other Dementias
By Ellen Marie Edmonds

Adoption: Choosing it, Living it, Loving it
By Dr. Ray Guarendi

Everyday Encounters with God: What Our Experiences Teach Us About the Divine
By Bert Ghezzi and Fr. Benedict Groeschel

Arise From Darkness
By Fr. Benedict Groeschel

A Still Small Voice
By Fr. Benedict Groeschel

Christmas Joy: From Christ's Birth to His Baptism
Bishop Robert Baker

The Darwin Myth
By Benjamin Wiker

Moments of Grace
By Al Kresta and Nick Thomm

Anything Written By Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Man To Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men About Marriage, Sexuality, and Family Life
By Fr. James Farfaglia

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Catechism
By Mary DeTurris Poust

All Things Girl
By Teresa Tomeo, Monica Cops, Molly Miller

The Rosary: Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary
By Karen Edmisten

Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts
By Mike Aquilina

The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul
By Lisa Hendy

Autobiography of a Hunted Priest
By John Gerard

Home: A Novel
By Marilynne Robinson

The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path
By Fr. Robert Barron

By Bill Bryson

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
By Bill Bryson

111 Questions on Islam: Samir Khalil Samir on Islam and the West
By Samir Khalil Samir

The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command
By James Kalb

The Seal: A Priest’s Story
By Fr. Timothy Mockaitis

Chosen: How Christ Sent Twenty-Three Surprised Converts to Replant His Vineyard
By Donna Steichen

The Line Through the Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction
By J. Budziszewski

The Line Through the Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction
By J. Budziszewski

The Road to Siena: The Essential Biography of St. Catherine
Edited by Jon Sweeney

Render Unto Ceasar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life
By Archbishop Charles Chaput

The Difference God Makes
By Cardinal Francis George

Lay Siege to Heaven: A Novel About Saint Catherine of Siena
By Louis DeWohl

The Crucified Rabbi: Judaism and the Origins of Catholic Christianity
By Taylor Marshall

Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots
By Scott Hahn

When Children Became People: The Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity
By O.M. Bakke

By Marco Bussagli

We Look for a Kingdom: The Everyday Lives of the Early Christians
By Carl Sommer

Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words
By Rod Bennett

7 Miracles That Saved America
By Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart

The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers
By Thomas Fleming

Heart of the Assassin: A Novel
By Robert Ferrigno

Shop Class as Soulcraft
By Matthew Crawford

The Last Thing I Remember
By Andrew Klavan

The Last Undercover
By Bob Hamer

By Jonathan Kellerman

The Seige
By Stephen White

Venerable Pope John Paul II? Pope John Paul Advances on Path to Canonization

Pope Benedict XVI is poised to move his predecessor John Paul II a step closer to sainthood in the coming days by declaring the late pontiff "venerable," it's being widely reported. The decision would pave the way for the late pope to be beatified at a ceremony planned for next year in Rome. And beatification would leave the late pontiff just one step from canonization, and full sainthood.

A beatification ceremony in the capital, which could attract crowds of up to 1 million people, is being planned for October 16, reports say. The date has been chosen to mark the anniversary of John Paul's election to the papacy on October 16, 1978.

The path to sainthood usually takes decades if not centuries, but Benedict launched the beatification process for John Paul just 2 months after his death in April, 2005. If John Paul is beatified in October next year, he will have gone through the process faster than Mother Teresa, the nun remembered for her work with the poor and sick who was beatified six years after her death.

Two stages must still be completed for John Paul to be beatified. First, his "heroic virtues" must be recognised, which the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints last month agreed to approve. Benedict must now agree with this, and John Paul will then be proclaimed "venerable."

The final stage for beatification is providing evidence of a miracle, usually a medical cure with no scientific explanation which is reviewed by several commissions. In John Paul's case, the miracle is said to have taken place when a French nun was cured of Parkinson's disease in 2005. Benedict will once again have to give the final approval on the miracle.

View the video below for a glimpse of just how ground-breaking the John Paul II papacy really was.

Religious Freedom? Not So Much

Nearly 70% of the world’s people live in countries that restrict religious liberty, according to a study by the Pew Forum. The Pew survey found restraints on religious expression in 64 countries, including some of the world’s most populous nations. The Pew study reported:

The highest overall levels of restrictions are found in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, where both the government and society at large impose numerous limits on religious beliefs and practices. But government policies and social hostilities do not always move in tandem. Vietnam and China, for instance, have high government restrictions on religion but are in the moderate or low range when it comes to social hostilities. Nigeria and Bangladesh follow the opposite pattern: high in social hostilities but moderate in terms of government actions.
Northern Africa and the Middle East are the regions where religious freedom is most heavily circumscribed, the Pew study found; the Americas allow the greatest degree of religious liberty. The survey encountered high degrees of both government regulation and popular hostility to religious minorities in countries such as Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. The large countries with low levels of both regulation and public hostility were Brazil, Japan, the United States, Italy, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Vatican dismisses Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo

Retired Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo of Lusaka, Zambia, who attracted the world's attention in 2001 when he attempted to marry a Korean acupuncturist during a ceremony of Sun Myung Moon's Unificationist Church, has been dismissed from the clerical state.

A communiqué published today by the Vatican press office notes that the "dismissal of a bishop from the clerical state is most extraordinary," and adds that the Church "hopes that Archbishop Milingo will see the error of his way."

Although the scandal of Milingo's attempted marriage -- so noted because the Church doesn't recognize its validity -- garnered much more media attention, the Church didn't take the extreme measure to dismiss him from the clerical state until after he began in September 2006 to ordain bishops without permission from the Vatican. The ordinations are part of an effort to abolish celibacy in the priesthood.

"By so doing," the Vatican statement affirms, "he incurred the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae (Canon 1382) which was declared by the Holy See on 26 September 2006 and is still in force today."

Read the full Vatican Statement here.

Today on Kresta - December 18, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 18

4:00-6:00 p.m. - Annual Book Recommendation Special!!!

Today it’s our annual book recommendation special!!! Over 60% of our audience says they will be purchasing at least one book as a Christmas gift. If you have procrastinated or if you just can’t figure out what to give that certain someone on your list, this show is for you. We talk with many of the frequent contributors to “Kresta in the Afternoon” to hear what books they read or rediscovered this year. Dave Forsmark, Mike Aquilina, Teresa Tomeo, Carl Olsen, Rori Hoipkemier, Doug Keck, Steve Ray, Steven Greydanus, and more.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 17, 2009

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

4:00 – and MSNBC: “The teachings of homosexual ‘healer’ Richard Cohen inspired Uganda's hateful new legislation”

Proposed legislation in Uganda would impose the death penalty for some homosexuals, and their family and friends could face up to seven years in jail if they fail to report them to authorities. Even landlords could be imprisoned for renting to homosexuals. Gay rights activists say the bill, which has prompted growing international opposition, promotes hatred and could set back efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. They believe the bill is part of a continent wide backlash because Africa's gay community is becoming more vocal. Now, homosexual activists in America are trying to argue that those who support traditional marriage in the US stoke the fires that lead to this legislation. We talk to Richard Cohen, former homosexual, who has been accused of supporting this legislation.

4:20 – Reason to Believe: Why Faith Makes Sense
Is religious belief reasonable? Of course the so-called New Atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, energetically say, No! Many others, including some believers, insist that faith is utterly beyond reasoned argument. Faith, they declare, is believing something that reason tells you cant be so. In this way they think they shield belief from rational criticism. But philosopher Richard Purtill will have none of that approach to religion. Purtill carefully applies the power of the mind to understanding whether there is a rational basis for certain religious beliefs. His focus is on widely held Christian beliefs, although much of what he says applies also to other religious traditions. We look at Reasons to Believe: Why Faith Makes Sense.

5:00 – Looking Back at the Feast of St. Ambrose
Saint Ambrose was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the fourth century. He is counted as one of the four original doctors of the Church. Ambrose was descended from an ancient Roman family, was a successful lawyer, governor of Milan, and ended up as Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church. His feast day was celebrated last week, and we now pay him his due with Steve Ray.

5:20 – The Seal: A Priest’s Story
When Father Timothy Mockaitis heard inmate Conan Wayne Hale’s sacramental confession on April 22, 1996, he had no idea it was being recorded. He also didn't know that the event would spur an unprecedented legal case that attempted to demonstrate that a violation of the seal of the confessional was an infringement on the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Father Mockaitis is here to discuss how this case involved not only canon law versus civil law, but also a threat to the long term viability of our Constitutional freedoms.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ben Nelson: Count Me Out

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson is holding out against the Senate health care bill because it funds abortions.

Nelson has pledged to filibuster the bill if his demand to remove the massive abortion funding, which could lead to tax-funding of hundreds of thousands of abortions, is not removed from the bill.

He sponsored an amendment to do that, but the Senate defeated it.

In recent comments, Nelson remains firm on wanting the abortion funding removed and his commitment to filibuster if that doesn't happen.

"I'm not blockheaded and I'm not stubborn," Nelson said in an interview on Monday with the Associated Press. "I've carved out what I can live with and what I can't live with."

"I can't get there [to vote for the bill without the abortion funding ban]," he said.

"I still have the unique issue of abortion," Nelson said on Sunday's Face the Nation. "I've said I can't support the bill with the abortion language that's there."

Nelson said some of his Senate colleagues are working on a compromise, but he didn't think there was a way to satisfy both his and pro-life concerns as well as finding language that abortion advocates would accept.

"That's a tall order for people," Nelson noted, quite rightly. "And I'm not prescribing ahead what they may be able to do."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could pacify Nelson by including his amendment to get to 60 votes and then remove it during conference committee.

However, removing the abortion funding ban would potentially see the bill die in the House as pro-life Democrats, led by Bart Stupak, pledged to oppose the bill without his amendment in place.

Outrageous Statement of the Day

Rachel Maddow falsely claims ex-gay author gave "support and encouragement" for execution of gays in Uganda. Frequent "Kresta in the Afternoon" guest Richard Cohen is more than up to the task of taking on Rachel Maddow's incredible claims that Christian politicians in America are supporting a bill to execute gays in Uganda. Simply outrageous. Watch the video below or click here.

Catroon of the Day - Wise Men 2009

Today on Kresta - December 16, 2009

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

4:00 – Breathless
Supernatural thriller writer Dean Koontz has written more than 50 novels, 45 of which have been on The New York Times’ best-seller list. While his novels are often filled with darkness (Faith & Family magazine warns, he is animated by his Catholic faith — a faith which has become more evident in his books in recent years. He is here to discuss his latest thriller, Breathless, a novel of suspense and adventure, as the lives of strangers converge around a mystery unfolding high in the Colorado mountains—and the balance of the world begins to tilt….

4:20 – The Star of Bethlehem
From Producer Stephen McEveety (The Passion of the Christ) comes an amazing documentary on the Star of Bethlehem. This presentation has rapidly grown in popularity around the world by thousands who have seen this dramatic revelation as it explores the exciting truth of scripture and reveals the evidence for God s existence as seen in the stars above. Presenter Rick Larson walks you through Biblical and historical clues revealing the incredible significance of this celestial event as well as the vastness of God s creativity.

4:40 – The Great “O” Antiphons of Advent
From tomorrow through December 23rd you will be treated to the great “O” Antiphons of Advent. O Wisdom, O Key of David, O Rising Sun, O Emmanuel, etc. In each of these antiphons we ask the Lord to come save us. What does that mean? What evils do we want to be delivered from? Fr. Pat Egan is here to discuss the “O” antiphons of Advent.

5:00 – A First-Person Interview with St. Nicholas
St. Nicholas was born into wealth, became Governor or Myra, was an attorney and ended up a Bishop, persecuted by Diocletian, and became one of Christianity’s most beloved saints. We talk to St. Nicholas about his life, his ministry, and how he became universally known as Santa Claus.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bill Donohue Interviews Obama on Abortion

Well, not really, but below is the latest from Bill with his usual cutting wit and spot-on analysis.

Associated Press reports today that “A south Texas couple put an aborted 7-month-old fetus under a Christmas tree after they were unable to flush the remains down a toilet, authorities alleged Monday. Ruby Lee Medina, 31, and Javier Gonzalez, 37, of Mission, have been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.” It is alleged that the woman used pills to induce the abortion.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue envisions a discussion with President Obama:

Donohue: When asked when life begins, you once said that it was above your pay grade to answer.

Obama: Yes.

Donohue: But can you answer this much: Is a corpse a dead body?

Obama: Yes.

Donohue: Is it true that all dead bodies were previously alive?

Obama: Yes.

Donohue: Then if this 7-month old was previously alive, how is this abortion different from any other?

Obama: In this instance, no one was paid, the cops were summoned, the toilet was rendered inoperable and the corpse was placed in a gift box.

Donohue: That’s it? In other words, there are no moral differences?

Obama: My salary doesn’t justify an answer.

Pope sends "green" message for World Day of Peace

Pope Benedict XVI sent his message for the upcoming World Day of Peace. His 2010 theme: "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation." Full text of World Day of Peace Message found here. Report below.

Homosexual protestors outside St. Louis cathedral claim police harassment

Members of two activist organizations taking part in weekly protests outside the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis are alleging police harassment after an officer told a noncompliant protestor to “prepare for arrest.” The protestors are angry at Archbishop Robert Carlson for donating $10,000 to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maine.

“Several of the protestors told police that they wanted to get arrested for the media attention,” according to a police department statement. “They have been doing these protests every week for several weeks now with no arrests, so this is their way of getting media attention. If someone is alleging officer misconduct, we encourage them to contact the Internal Affairs Division.”

Read more here...

Bus ads aim to attract lapsed Catholics in Dallas

As Christmas quickly approaches, the Diocese of Dallas has launched a campaign to bring lapsed Catholics back into the Church. One part of the outreach involves bus ads with the message: “Catholics come home for Christmas.”

“When I travel around the diocese, I have so many people tell me that their wife or husband or parents or kids have abandoned their church or faith,” Bishop Kevin Farrell explained to the Dallas Morning News on Sunday. “They're always asking me what we can do about it.”

The recent bus ads are part of the larger Catholics Come Home for Christmas campaign which “is an appeal from the Diocese of Dallas” to “welcome all inactive Catholics to return to the Faith,” the diocesan website says.

“No matter if you've been away from the Church for only a brief period of time or for many years, the important thing that I want you to know is that all of us are praying that during this special time of the year, this Christmas season, you will think about coming home to the Catholic Church,” Bishop Farrell said in a video message.

“I hope you will fondly remember the church you grew up in, the church you made your first communion in or confirmation,” continued Bishop Farrell. “Perhaps you will think of your friends and family members who attended the same Catholic school with you or maybe you just remember what it was like to be part of a parish community who praise God together and were strengthened in faith through the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass.”

The Bishop of Dallas also acknowledged that people may have left the Church because they were hurt. “ I hope that whatever the hurt, the anger or the disinterest you experienced in leaving the Church can be healed so that you can once again know the comfort, the joy, the sense of belonging that worshiping with your family, your friends and neighbors can bring,” the bishop said in his video.

“As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we invite you to join us at any one of more than 70 parishes to welcome the light of the world, Who has saved us,” Bishop Farrell concluded.

The bus advertisements in Dallas have been financially supported by the Knight of Columbus as well as private donors who have worked to put the ads on 13 Dallas Area Rapid Transit buses. The ads cost $359 each and will run through Dec. 27.

To view the Come Home for Christmas video, click here.

Outrageous Statement of the Day - Glenn Beck

With the value of gold on the rise, Jon Stewart was determined to get to the bottom of what may have caused the increase. The likely fanner of these flames: yep, Glenn Beck. After noting that gold goes up when people are panicked or concerned, Stewart sat back and enjoyed the greatest hits from "Beck's hour-long nightly fear-cast." That alone wouldn't be enough to credit Beck for initiating this gold rush, but his role as spokesman for Goldline, an internet site where you buy gold, surely sealed the deal. Stewart recapped:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Beck - Not So Mellow Gold
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Cartoon of the Day - I Have Come That They May Have Life

Today on Kresta - December 15, 2009

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

4:00 – CNN Viewers Say Yes to a One-child Policy in America
CNN’s Jack Cafferty all but endorsed a global version of China’s oppressive one-child policy on Friday’s Situation Room. He used the argument that population control is the only way to fight global warming, and mentioned the opposition of “fundamentalist leaders” and others only in passing. This comes on the heels of a Canadian journalist named Diane Francis publishing an article in the Financial Post entitled “The real inconvenient truth: The whole world needs to adopt China's one-child policy.” Steve Mosher of the Population Research Institute is with us.

4:20 – Fire of God’s Love: 120 Reflections on the Eucharist / “The Passion of St. Perpetua”
Science falters and poetry fails when we try to speak of the Eucharist, but across the centuries saints, theologians and ordinary Catholics have nevertheless found words to express the inexpressible: Jesus, fully present, body, blood, soul and divinity, offers himself to humanity in this sacrament. Mike Aquilina brings together 120 of those reflections to encourage and inspire you as you ponder the fire of God's love revealed in the mystery of the Eucharist. We also talk with him about his involvement with the “Catholic Heroes of the Bible” series and his new documentary on St. Perpetua.

5:00 – The Theology of the Body Debate: The Pivotal Questions
What’s the proper interpretation of Pope John Paul II’s teachings on the human person, love and sexuality? While championing the goodness of the body, do we risk underemphasizing our tendencies to sin? Has John Paul II’s “theology of the body” been distilled into a “theology of sex”? These questions and more have made up the discussion on Christopher West’s interpretation and presentation of the theology of the body over the past few months. The debate was spurred by an appearance of West – arguably the most widely publicized author and lecturer on the theology of the body in at least English-speaking media – on ABC’s Nightline, when he suggested a “very profound historical connections” between Pope John Paul II and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, as well as described the Book of the Song of Songs as the Bible’s “centerfold.” A statement from Christopher said that while he was pleased that the show exposed more people to Pope John Paul II’s teachings, ABC “failed to provide the larger context Christopher offered in his extended interview.” Critics, however, found the moment an opportunity to discuss what they see as fundamentally flawed in West’s theology as a whole. Christopher is now speaking out and is here to discuss the theology of the body, the controversy and more.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Outrageous Statement of the Day - CNN Viewers Say Yes to a One-child Policy!!!

CNN's Jack Cafferty found a number of readers who answered "yes" to the question, "Should mandatory population control be a part of the fight against global warming?" These statements are utterly mind-boggling.

Cartoon of the Day - Wise Men Cutback

Pope Visits the Terminally Ill

The pope, this weekend, visited the Sacred House of Charity in Rome. This small hospital provides free care to terminally ill cancer patients, Alzheimer's and Amyotrophic Lateral sclerosis patients. Watch the report below.

Today on Kresta - December 14, 2009

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

4:00 – Christianity Caused the Crash?

Recently the Atlantic magazine ran an article under the provocative headline “Did Christianity Cause the Crash?” The article itself was much less silly than the headline, but even so, its effort to tie Christian religious movements to the crash was a pretty implausible stretch. However, the topic of Christianity and the market deserves some serious attention, because (the absurdity of the Atlantic notwithstanding) recent shifts in Christian religious attitudes really are related in important ways to the American economy. So—Did Christianity Cause the Crash? Dr. Greg Forster has the answer.

4:20 – December 14, 1799 – George Washington Dies / The Political Philosophy of George Washington
George Washington is revered as the father of his country, a clever and skilled general, and a man of restrained principle -- but not as a political thinker. Though Washington left little explicit writing on political philosophy, on this 210th anniversary of Washington’s death, Jeffry Morrison is here to examine his key writings, actions, education, and political and professional lives. He finds that Washington held closely to a trinity of foundational principles -- classical republicanism, British liberalism, and Protestant Christianity -- with greater fidelity than many of the other founding fathers. In unearthing Washington's ideological growth, Morrison reveals the intellectual heritage of his political thought and shows how these beliefs motivated him to action.

4:40 – Reflections on Music and the Incarnation of Christ
As we move through the season of Advent, Brian Nelson finds his thoughts naturally turning to the mystery of the Incarnation. But this year, he says, they are more personal than in the past, closer to home. As a classically trained composer, he is asking questions like “What are the implications of the Incarnation for the arts, and for music in particular?” and “Is there a proper theology of music?” We look at Music and the Incarnation of Christ.

5:00 – Kresta Comments

5:20 – Be a Man!: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be
Men are rediscovering the importance of the spiritual life. And Father Larry Richards is helping them do it. While some writers apply a one-size-fits-all approach to the Christian life, Father Richards draws on his many years of ministry and his own experience as a man to inspire other men as men. In Be a Man!, he recounts his struggles to learn true manhood, as well as the inspiring stories of others he has served in his decades as a priest. He tells men how to focus on the right goal, how to live as a beloved son of God, of the need to acknowledge one's faults and to live according to the Holy Spirit, to be a man of true love and of wisdom, to appreciate properly the differences between men and women, to pursue holiness, and to make a difference in the world. We explore how to become the man God created you to be.

5:40 – December 13, 2004 – Vatican issues a “Notification on the book ‘Jesus Symbol of God’ by Father Roger Haight S.J.”
Five years ago yesterday, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a “Notification on the book Jesus, Symbol of God by Father Roger Haight S.J.” With the leadership of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Congregation stated that the book contains serious doctrinal errors regarding certain fundamental truths of faith. We look at Haight, Jesus, Symbol of God, and the impact of the notification. Dr. William Loewe takes us through it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today on Kresta - December 11, 2009

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

4:00 – How Goes the Christmas War?
Earlier this month in the New York Times, there was an article about White House social secretary Desirée Rogers. In it, reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote: “When former social secretaries gave a luncheon to welcome Ms. Rogers earlier this year, one participant said, she surprised them by suggesting the Obamas were planning a ‘non-religious Christmas….’” This same participant said that “the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display” (this was confirmed by the White House). Indeed, as Stolberg wrote, “there had been internal discussions about making Christmas more inclusive and whether to display the crèche.” In addition to this disappointment, the regular Christmas shenanigans are well underway. We talk with Bill Donohue about the “Christmas Wars.”

4:20 – Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of America
When Wall Street Journal reporter John Fialka set out to tell the story of America's Catholic nuns, he knew he faced a daunting challenge. Church histories contained little about the women he calls "America's first feminists," though they built 800 hospitals and more than 10,000 private schools. We hear a well-told history of these remarkable women from the time of their arrival in America in 1790 to the present, when their numbers have dwindled considerably. Against the backdrop of the Apostolic Visitation of Women’s Religious in America, currently underway, nuns will appreciate his treatment of their lives, as will Catholics pondering a church with diminishing numbers of the women who helped shape it.

4:40 – Sisters Supporting the Apostolic Visitation
Women religious, upset their orders are not cooperating with a Vatican study of their religious congregations, are using the Internet to bring together like-minded souls. They have formed a Yahoo group and are working with author Anne Carey who is to moderate contributions. The Vatican announced last January an Apostolic Visitation of some 340 U.S. women religious congregations, saying its purpose is to assess the quality of life in the communities. The study has stirred controversy with some women religious vocally opposed to the effort and others supportive. Ann Carey came up with an idea for a Yahoo group - first of all because it was free. Also, since some sisters fear retribution from their superiors for their support of the visitation. The site allows sisters to exchange information and ideas while still protecting their identity if they so choose. We talk to Ann about the Visitation and the Website.

5:00 – Kresta Comments

5:20 – How Goes the Christmas War?

The United States justifiably celebrates its pluralism. The mandate to find unity in diversity—e pluribus unum—is predicated not on the premise that all peculiarities of creed or color must be washed away; instead, it insists that all such cultural and social differences must be respected. Part and parcel of this freedom is the right of parents to educate their children as they see fit. Like all rights, this one carries with it a duty: to prepare the child adequately for participation in society by being attentive to technical and life skills as well as moral formation. Kevin Schmeising of the Acton Institute is here to look at “School Choice and the Common Good of All Children.”

5:40 – The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog is – according to Steven Greydanus - the first real classic Disney of the 21st century. To say this is not to elevate The Princess and the Frog above the near-brilliance of Lilo & Stitch or The Emperor’s New Groove (technically a 20th-century film), neither of which suffers for comparison to the new film. Rather, the kind of brilliance in those films could almost as easily have come from rival DreamWorks, or from somewhere else. He says none of the studio’s cartoons of the last fifteen years or so has had both feet firmly in the tradition represented by golden-age masterpieces like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White as well as “silver age” classics like Beauty and the Beast. The Princess and the Frog may not be in the same league as those gems, but it’s the first Disney film since The Lion King that feels like a real heir to this tradition. We talk about The Princess and the Frog.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

Creative high schools students give a great rendition of Halleluia! Watch and enjoy!

Bishop warns against Islamization of Malaysia

A Jesuit bishop is warning that the Malaysian government’s effort to forbid non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” is merely part of the effort to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state. Only 60% of the nation’s 26.6 million residents are Muslim, while 19% are Buddhist and 9% are Christian, a third of them Catholic.

“This Islamization process has now begun to penetrate our Federal Constitution, which is rooted in British common law,” said Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing of the southern Malaysian diocese of Melaka-Johor. “Using their own words, the federal law should be made ‘compliant with Islamic Law.’”

“Our mission schools have all but lost their character, with non-Christian headmasters and headmistresses,” he continued. “The conversion of children under the age of maturity, which is 18 years old in Malaysia, becomes automatic when one of the parents converts.”

The Church “should have the fortitude to continue standing up for the rights of non-Muslims and, at the same time, push for equality in dialogue with all parties,” he added. “The Church, in spite of everything, must be open to dialogue with others, especially with Muslims, without allowing herself to be trampled upon.”

Read more here.

Sen. Boxer Compares Viagra Prescription with Abortion Coverage in Health Care Bill

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) compares health insurance coverage for Viagra with health insurance coverage for abortion in debating amendment to Senate health care bill.

100 of the most unique nativity scenes on display in Rome

You probably know what a nativity scene looks like, but these are by far some of the most peculiar.

It’s ‘100 presepi’, or nativity scenes, an exhibit at Piazza del Popolo in Rome. For 34 years, nativity scenes from all corners of the world have come together in Rome to celebrate Christmas.

Watch this video:

Harry Reid Stands by Slavery Comparison for Health-care Opponents

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is not a likely candidate to write a sequel to the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People," especially when it comes to winning over the opposition to health-care reform. In one broad sweep, the Democratic Leader on Monday tarred all opponents of health-care reform with the same brush as Americans who once opposed ending slavery or extending civil rights to women and Blacks, and he has refused to back down from his analogy.

Instead, the Nevada Democrat on Tuesday castigated Republicans for "distorting" his comments, made Monday on the Senate floor, reported The Hill.

"At pivotal points in American history, the tactics of distortion and delay have certainly been present," Reid said. "They've certainly been used to stop progress. That's what we're talking about here. That's what's happening here. It's very clear. That's the point I made -- no more, no less. Anyone who willingly distorts my comments is only proving my point."

On Monday, Sen. Reid accused the Republican opposition of employing the same delaying tactics used to frustrate anti-slavery efforts, women's emancipation, and civil rights for Blacks, saying they were on the "wrong side of history."

"You think you've heard these same excuses before? You're right," Reid declared. "In this country there were those who dug in their heels and said, 'Slow down, it's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough' -- about slavery. When women wanted to vote, [they said] 'Slow down, there will be a better day to do that -- the day isn't quite right.'"

Reid also stated, "When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today."

Republicans were outraged at the insinuations. GOP Chairman Michael Steele - who is himself Black - blasted Reid for the remarks and demanded an apology, reports Politico.

"The pressure has apparently led Senator Reid not only to make offensive and absurd statements, but also to lose his ability to reason," Steele said.

Steele later appeared on CBS' Tuesday Early Show, calling it an "ignorant moment for Harry Reid" and repeating his call for an apology.

"They [the Left and Democrats in this country] play that race card, that slavery card, that civil rights card," when things do not go their way said Steele.

Resistance to Reid's health-care plan hinges largely on two points: the bill's funding of abortion through health-care subsidies, and the public option, a government-run insurer that would "compete" with private insurance companies.

Reid announced a compromise deal today on the public option, which would involve a plan to allow Americans 55 years old and older to enroll in Medicare. The other provision would provide national health-benefit plans through private insurers, coordinated by the Office for General Management. If that plan failed to give Americans near-universal insurance coverage, then a government-run plan would kick in.

However, a 55-45 vote to table an amendment offered by Sens. Nelson, Hatch, and Casey to forbid the use of federal subsidies to pay for elective abortions, has exacerbated, not solved, Reid's problem about where to get the 60 votes necessary to end debate and pass the bill. Both Nelson (D-Neb.) and Casey (D-Penn.) have indicated that the abortion-debate is not over, and unless their legislation is added to the health-care bill, they will join the GOP in filibustering the bill.

Today on Kresta - December 10, 2009

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

4:00 – Direct to my Desk - Most Fascinating People of 2009

Barbara Walters thinks this year’s roster of fascinating people is a little edgier, more current, and less obvious than usual. Of course, the fact that she’s compiling a new list is no surprise. Airing last night on ABC, Barbara Walters Presented her 17th edition of “The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year.” The surprise #1 was Michelle Obama. Others included Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert, Tyler Perry, Kate Gosselin, Brett Favre, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the Jackson kids. We think the listeners of “Kresta in the Afternoon” may have very different people in mind. We create our own list of the most fascinating people of 2009.

5:40 – Senate Health Care Bill: Yes to Federal Funding for Abortion
By a vote of 54 to 45, the U.S. Senate today tabled (killed) an amendment to remove elective abortion from the new federal programs that would be created by pending health care legislation. National Right to Life says they will oppose cloture on the bill, which would require 60 affirmative votes. In addition, a number of pro-life Democrats in the House, who supported passage of health care legislation on November 7, will not vote for the Senate bill in its current form. The USCCB said “The Senate vote to table the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment is a grave mistake and a serious blow to genuine health care reform.” We talk with Mike O’Dea of the Christus Medicus Foundation.

Pushing Abortion - Shhhh! Nobody is Supposed to Notice

A pro-life group warns that Senate Democrats are attempting to use the end of the year omnibus funding bill to "smuggle" in the removal of three longstanding bans on government-funded abortion.

Democrats are considering attaching to the omnibus bill provisions that would drop the ban on government-funded abortion in Washington, DC, and also in the insurance plans that cover members of Congress themselves. They are also hoping to include a provision that would even prevent any future president from curbing U.S. funding of organizations that promote abortion overseas through the foreign aid program.

According to Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill are using the omnibus legislation as camouflage for the pro-abortion provisions. "They're...trying to smuggle through some changes in law that would remove some longstanding pro-life policies," he explains. "They're trying to do this through an end-of-the-session catchall funding bill, which is being cooked up behind closed doors."

Johnson says proponents of the changes are trying to get them approved while not many members are focused on it. And none of the provisions being pushed were considered by the full Senate, he adds.

"What the congressional Democratic leaders are considering doing is taking a single appropriations bill that's just supposed to cover a couple of departments and just stapling a bunch of other bills to it that were never even taken up by the Senate," Johnson explains. "And these bills contain three different pro-abortion provisions. So, they want to ram these through under a fast-track procedure where the Senate would never have even debated or had a chance to vote on these measures."

Johnson is convinced that if the pro-abortion measures are attached, they will threaten passage of an appropriations bill that must be approved for the government to continue operating after December 18.

Thirty-five senators led by Republican Jim DeMint of South Carolina have sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), warning him that if the three pro-abortion provisions are included in the omnibus bill, they will use all procedures at their disposal to block its passage. The pro-abortion measures are being pushed by the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg.

On Tuesday, the Senate rejected the Nelson-Hatch amendment, which would have removed abortion funding from the healthcare reform bill. In taking the action, the Senate also voted to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand. Johnson explains what happens next.

"So now the upcoming vote on cloture on the bill itself will become the key vote on whether to put the federal government into the abortion business," he offers. "We oppose cloture on this bill, which would require 60 affirmative votes -- and in addition, a number of pro-life Democrats in the House who supported passage of healthcare legislation last month will not vote for the Senate bill in its current form. So this thing is a long way from over."

Cloture means getting 60 votes to end debate. The vote killing the pro-life amendment was 54-45.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nelson-Hatch Has Been Tabled (Not Good)

The Senate finally addressed the Nelson-Hatch Amendment to prevent taxpayer funding of aboriton under the health care reform bill.

As expected, the amendment was defeated. Be sure to know how your Senator voted ("nay" is pro-life). If the bill passes, it will have to be reconciled with the House version of health care reform, which contains pro-life regulations. Pro-life Senators are also facing a pro-abortion omnibus bill, which they are threatening to filibuster.

Image taken from

Undercover inside the Appleton, WI Planned Parenthood

The latest video from Lila Rose and Live Action Films.

Investigating medical misinformation and manipulation at Planned Parenthood, the nation's abortion industry giant.

"At Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, we know that to truly take charge, you need information. You need facts. You need knowledge."
-Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin website, accessed 12.7.09

Today on Kresta - December 9, 2009

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

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – Climate talks seek calm after “Climategate” fury

For years, Jay Richards says he’s warned fellow Christians not to confuse environmental stewardship with climate change alarmism. His experience is that many Christian environmentalists simply accept the conventional wisdom when it comes to the science, rather than studying it carefully. They place a lot of weight on the credibility of mainstream views. So he is now hoping that “Climategate” will cause many of them to rethink their uncritical embrace of what they learn from the cover of Newsweek. We talk to Jay about how “Climategate” has affected the current Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

4:40 – A Catholic View of Literary Classics – Part 10 of 10: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
We continue our 10-week series examining Classic Literature from a Catholic perspective. We will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer choice, enabling educators, students, and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism. Today, we examine Uncle Tom’s Cabin with Ave Maria University Professor Mark McCullough.

5:00 – President Creates New Bioethics Commission / National Institute for Health Expands Federal Funding for ESCR
Fr. Thomas Euteneue
r, president of Human Life International, is calling on the pro-life majority of Americans to pay close attention to the new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues created by President Barack Obama. On December 2, 2009, President Obama created the new commission, after dismantling the former National Bioethics Commission. The prospects don’t look good for the unborn. Also, the National Institutes for Health just announced that scientists can start using taxpayer dollars to do research with 13 batches of embryonic stem cells and the government says dozens more cell lines should be available soon. Fr. Euteneuer has the analysis.

5:20 – Looking Back at the Feast of St. Ambrose
Saint Ambrose was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the fourth century. He is counted as one of the four original doctors of the Church. Ambrose was descended from an ancient Roman family, was a successful lawyer, governor of Milan, and ended up as Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church. His feast day was celebrated this past Monday and we pay him his due with Steve Ray.

5:40 – From the Ring to the King
Catholic lay evangelist Jesse Romero is here in studio. This former 2 time world champion professional kick boxer and east LA cop tells of his journey from nearly leaving the Church to becoming a great defender of the Faith. Jesse's energetic enthusiasm is sure to inspire you in your walk with Christ.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Today on Kresta - Dec. 7, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on Dec. 7
The Best of “Kresta in the Afternoon”

4:00 – Abraham's Children
Could our sense of who we are really turn on a sliver of DNA? In our multiethnic world, questions of individual identity are becoming increasingly unclear. Now Jon Entine brings to life the profound human implications of the Age of Genetics while illuminating one of today's most controversial topics: the connection between genetics and who we are, and specifically the question "Who is a Jew?" and "What is the GENETIC difference between Jews and Christians?"

5:00 – Unlocking the Book of Revelation
We welcome Michael Barber back to the program and take a detailed look at the book of Revelation with its rich tapestry of prophecy, history, and biblical allusion. Verse by verse, we will unravel the hidden threads of meaning in the Book of Revelation, all the while celebrating this beautiful and glorious vision of God.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Santa at our Pledge Drive!

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A History of Russian Presidents at the Vatican

The Holy See and the Russian Federation vowed to establish full diplomatic ties, the Vatican said Thursday, after a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev. The Vatican called the meeting “cordial.” Ties between the Vatican and Russia have historically been strained, because of the cold war and the centuries-old rift between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. In spite of improved ties, Vatican officials said an official visit to Russia was not likely, The Associated Press reported.

Watch this video from "Rome Reports" about the history of Russia and the Vatican.

Naked for Jesus?

Joanna Krupa, the Polish model on the cover of this month's Playboy magazine has released a statement countering critics of her recent advertisement for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in which she professes herself to be a practicing Catholic who is “working to stop senseless suffering of animals, the most defenseless of God's creation.”

Krupa's comments came in response to statements made by Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, in reaction to Krupa's most recent ad campaign with PETA: “Be an angel for animals. Always Adopt. Never Buy.”

One of the ads features Krupa wearing angel wings and a digital halo while holding a large, elaborate cross which barely covers her nude figure. The other shows a topless Krupa, again with angel wings and a halo, holding a dog while a rosary dangles from her hand.

Donohue blasted PETA for a lack of reverence and an ignorance of ethics. "The fact is that cats and dogs are a lot safer in pet stores than they are in the hands of PETA employees," Donohue said in a statement. "Moreover, pet stores don't rip off Christian iconography and engage in cheap irreligious claims." "It also has a long and disgraceful record of exploiting Christian and Jewish themes to hawk its ugly services. Those who support this organization sorely need a reality check,” he continued.

“It's understandable that the Catholic League is wary of another sex scandal, but the sex we're talking about pertains to dogs and cats,” Krupa's statement reads. “In my heart I know that Jesus would never condone the suffering that results when dogs and cats are allowed to breed,” she added.

The model who appeared, unclad, in PETA's 2007 “I'd rather go naked than wear fur” campaign said, “As a practicing Catholic, I am shocked that the Catholic League is speaking out against my PETA ads, which I am very proud of.”

“I'm doing what the Catholic Church should be doing, working to stop senseless suffering of animals, the most defenseless of God's creation. I am a voice for innocent animals who are being neglected and dumped by the millions at shelters,” she asserted.

Terry Polakovic, Executive Director of ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women) told CNA that if Krupa is “a serious Catholic, she might want to devote some time to catechesis.” Polakovic referred Krupa to John Paul II's, “'Theology of the Body,' wherein he explains how the human body speaks a language of its own.”

Earlier this year, Krupa defended nudity by saying the human body is a work of art. "I think worrying about going topless in a photo shoot or film is really ridiculous," she told Fox News. "And the fact is, Pope John Paul said, since we were born naked, it is art, and it's just showing a beautiful body that God created."

Krupa's suggestion that the late Pope John Paul II endorsed photographs of half-naked women because they depict "a beautiful body that God created" is simply wrong," said Joan Frawley Desmond, a Catholic journalist who studied at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.

Desmond added, “For the Pope, the human body has been created by God as a priceless 'gift' of one spouse to another. Great art respects this 'truth' and treats the naked human form with dignity. In contrast, the casual display of the naked body transforms this inestimable 'gift' into 'public property.'”

“It is not enough to say “The body is a work of art” and then proceed however you might wish,” Polakovic remarked. “ That the body may be perceived as a work of art needs to be understood within a much larger context of the overall understanding of what it means to be a human person, that is, a union of body and soul. We must understand the dignity of the person, which stems from being created in the image and likeness of God.”

“For a beautiful woman like Joanna to be under informed about her true nature and dignity as a woman made in the image of God is a real sorrow. And more worrisome is that it poses a danger to other people who are similarly confused about their nature and purpose and look to a famous model to school them in truth,” Polakovic added.