Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vacation Vacation

I should have posted this last week, however time is a funny thing that way. :) Al and I are both on vacations this week, so postings on the blog will be spotty at best until Mon., Aug. 2. Don't forget about us in the meantime!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Vatican publishes the decree of powers of the commissary of the Legion of Christ

The pope is writing a book about the infancy of Jesus

Just when you thought you had heard it all...

A dog has received communion at an Anglican parish in Toronto. Pets are permitted in the church.

“The minister welcomed me and said come up and take communion, and Trapper [the dog] came up with me and the minister gave him communion as well,” said Donald Keith, the dog’s owner. “Then he bent his head and said a little prayer.”

"I thought it was a nice way to welcome me into the church,” said Mr. Keith, a new member. “99.9% of the people in the church love Trapper, and the kids play with him.”

Following a parishioner’s complaint, the local Anglican bishop decided that Trapper would not receive communion again, though he will continue to be welcome at church.

Peggy Needham, the deputy people’s warden at the parish, told the Toronto Sun that the parish supported Mr. Keith.

“The backlash is from just one person. Something happened that won’t happen again. Something our interim priest did spontaneously,” she said.

“This person went to the top and e-mailed our bishop to make a fuss and change things,” she added. “But he misjudged our congregation.”

‘Catholics United’ to raise funds for congressman praised by NARAL

Catholics United, a politically liberal advocacy group, has announced that it will raise $500,000 to support the candidacies of four Catholic congressmen who, over the objections of the nation’s bishops, supported health reform legislation passed in March.

While three of the representatives have generally voted pro-life, one-- Rep. Tom Perriello of Virginia-- was described as “pro-choice” in a profile during the 2008 election campaign. Since his 2008 election, NARAL Pro-Choice America has praised his votes on Medicaid funding of abortion in the District of Columbia and Title X funding of Planned Parenthood, even as the congressman has eschewed the “pro-choice” label.

Catholics United should not be confused with Catholics United for the Faith, an apostolate founded in 1968 to support, defend, and advance the efforts of the teaching Church.

Muslim Men in Pakistan Protest French Ban on Veil

Hundreds of Muslim men staged a protest in Karachi, Pakistan this week against a ban approved by France's lower house of parliament on wearing burqa-style Islamic veils.

Outrage of the Day

The youth-led pro-life group Live Action released a new undercover video this week showing staff at an Indianapolis Planned Parenthood clinic using manipulative and medically inaccurate counseling to convince a young woman to have an abortion. This is the third undercover video Live Action has released showing abusive counseling practices at Planned Parenthood of Indiana. When the woman, purportedly 10-weeks pregnant, asks the clinician, named "Sarah," when her baby's heart begins to beat, Sarah replies, "It's around I think the 8th or the 9th week that you can hear the heartbeat." The heart actually begins beating 3 weeks and 1 day after conception, according to Moore and Persaud's well-known textbook The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. The Planned Parenthood clinician also insists, "It's not a baby, it's a fetus," which, she claims, is "not like a person."

Cartoon of the Day - Sherrod Affair

Today on Kresta - July 23, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 23

4:00 – is a dynamic new national project employing powerful new media and technology focused on shaping the minds and imagination of the American people through prayer, grassroots education, and action. Founded in 2008, is neither conservative nor liberal, neither Republican nor Democrat. We aspire to be something even greater. The late William F. Buckley once described the purpose of National Review, the celebrated magazine that he founded, by explaining: "It stands athwart history, yelling Stop!" might similarly be described as "standing athwart history, yelling Rejoice!" President Brian Burch joins us.

4:30 – Does Social Justice Require Socialism?
Does social justice require socialism? Fr. Robert Sirico is here to answer that question and address the increasing calls for government intervention in financial market regulation, health care, education reform, and economic stimulus in the name of “social justice.”

5:00 – Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy
We talk with Dr. Denis McNamara about the deep meanings of liturgical art and architecture, and by association, the Sacred Liturgy itself. He is here to help us to drink deeply from the wells of the tradition, to look with fresh eyes at things thought to be outdated or meaningless, and glean the principles which underlie the richness of the Catholic faith.

5:30 – Catholics, Hollywood, Faith, Film and Culture
Joan of Arcadia, Mission Impossible, Batman Forever, and That '70s Show have been some of the biggest productions in film and television. But did you know that Christians have been behind the scenes of these and other box office smashes? Industry professional Barbara Nicolosi has discovered that the Church is very much alive in Hollywood--and making a difference! Barbara presents a fascinating look at Hollywood through the eyes of Christian writers, producers, and executives living out their faith behind TV shows, on movie sets, and in studio offices. She tells us what you can do to close the gap between Christianity and culture.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cartoon of the Day - BP Caps Toothpaste Tube

BUDAPEST . Parking

This is AMAZING.

Today on Kresta - July 22, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 22

4:00 – Federal Judge Hears Arguments on Constitutionality of Obamacare
Moments after President Obama signed the so-called health care reform bill into law in a televised White House ceremony, the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit challenging its constitutionality in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The purpose of the lawsuit is to permanently enjoin enforcement of the new health care legislation. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Law Center itself, and four individuals from the Southeastern Michigan area. None of the individuals have private health care insurance; all object to being forced to purchase health care coverage; and all object to being forced to pay for abortions, which is contrary to their religious beliefs. A hearing was held on this lawsuit yesterday and Thomas More attorney Rob Muise is here to tell us what happened.

4:20 – Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century
Citizens across the country are fed up with the politicians in Washington telling us how to live our lives—and then sticking us with the bill. But what can we do? Actually, we can just say “no.” As New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., explains, “nullification” allows states to reject unconstitutional federal laws. For many tea partiers nationwide, nullification is rapidly becoming the only way to stop an over-reaching government drunk on power. From privacy to national healthcare, Woods shows how this growing and popular movement is sweeping across America and empowering states to take action against Obama’s socialist policies and big-government agenda.

4:40 – Boy Scouts of America Turn 100 – How have they survived in tact in our PC ACLU world?
This summer the Boy Scouts of America celebrate their 100th Anniversary. In honor of this anniversary we talk to Hans Zeiger. He is not the typical postmodern young twenty something. You don't see his type portrayed on The Real World on MTV. But he isn't alone. He is part of a movement that is alive and well-and thriving. Hans is a Boy Scout. More specifically, he is an Eagle Scout. And he is tired of the attack on the Boy Scouts by those who would like to see it assimilated into the politically correct culture that dominates many of our nation's institutions. He analyzes a half-century of events leading up to the present struggle for the soul of the Boy Scouts. Hans shows how those who wish to destroy the scouts are attacking it for what it represents at its core-Christian values. He paints a picture in which the Boy Scouts have been spat upon and cursed by its critics. Groups as diverse as the United Way, ecumenical church denominations, unions, educational and medical organizations, judges, and politicians have labeled the Boy Scouts as bigots and homophobes. He is here to let the world know the truth about scouting and why it has succeeded while so many have given in and failed.

5:00 – Freedom Rides
As the civil-rights movement was simmering in the early 1960s, black men and women, often accompanied by white sympathizers, boarded buses in the American South and sat wherever they wanted. These “freedom riders” challenged local and state laws and customs that kept the races separate on public transportation as well as in waiting rooms and restrooms. Now, a new kind of freedom rider will take to the road as “Freedom Rides for the Unborn” turns the ignition key. It’s a project of Priests for Life and PFL President Fr. Frank Pavone joins us.

5:30 – Dr. Berwick, the Final Exit Network, and the future for the disabled in America
A national right-to-die organization has launched a controversial billboard campaign to inform terminally ill and elderly adults that they have a right to end their own lives – but critics say the group is simply preying on vulnerable senior citizens and mentally unstable people. The Georgia-based Final Exit Network says it provides a service for ailing people who want to die, giving them the information, materials and emotional support they need to commit suicide. Between this outrage and the recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – a man who advocates for rationed health care – we have Bobby Schindler to discuss the future for the disabled in America.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Outrage of the Day

Welcome to what passes for politicall discourse these days.

Cartoon of the Day - National Dialogue on Race

Today on Kresta - July 21, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 21

4:00 – From the Battlefield, to the Courtroom, to Congress?
During the height of our conflict in Iraq, Brian Rooney’s public service didn’t mean talking - it meant fighting as a United States Marine. It meant hard service in the Iraqi desert and infamous kill zones like Fallujah and Najaf. Brian Rooney has spent his life doing the right thing for this country: defending our freedom on the battlefield, and defending our conservative values in the courtroom. Now, Brian wants to take that fighting spirit where we need it most - to Congress. We talk with Brian about his campaign, his vision for the future, and his campaign.

4:20 – Get Low
For years, townsfolk have been terrified of the backwoods recluse known as Felix Bush. People say he's done all manner of unspeakable things -- that he's killed in cold blood; that he's in league with the Devil; that he has strange powers -- and they avoid him like the plague. Then, one day, Felix rides to town with a shotgun and a wad of cash, saying he wants to buy a funeral. It's not your usual funeral for the dead Felix wants. On the contrary, he wants a 'living funeral,' in which anyone who ever had heard a story about him will come to tell it, while he takes it all in. But on the big day, Felix is in no mood to listen to other people spinning made-up anecdotes about him. This time, he's the one who is going to do the telling about why he has been hiding out in the woods. The film is Get Low and Robert Duval is here to talk about it.

4:40 – Boy Scouts of America Turn 100 – How have they survived in tact in our PC ACLU world?
This summer the Boy Scouts of America celebrate their 100th Anniversary. In honor of this anniversary we talk to Hans Zeiger. He is not the typical postmodern young twenty something. You don't see his type portrayed on The Real World on MTV. But he isn't alone. He is part of a movement that is alive and well-and thriving. Hans is a Boy Scout. More specifically, he is an Eagle Scout. And he is tired of the attack on the Boy Scouts by those who would like to see it assimilated into the politically correct culture that dominates many of our nation's institutions. He analyzes a half-century of events leading up to the present struggle for the soul of the Boy Scouts. Hans shows how those who wish to destroy the scouts are attacking it for what it represents at its core-Christian values. He paints a picture in which the Boy Scouts have been spat upon and cursed by its critics. Groups as diverse as the United Way, ecumenical church denominations, unions, educational and medical organizations, judges, and politicians have labeled the Boy Scouts as bigots and homophobes. He is here to let the world know the truth about scouting and why it has succeeded while so many have given in and failed.

5:00 – Direct to my Desk - Ban the burqa?
France has passed a ban on the burqa. This is the conservative Islamic head-to-toe covering with mesh or a slit at the face that is worn by some Muslim women in public. French President Sarkozy called the burqa "subservience," not religious garb. Other European countries are taking up the issue as well. In Iran, the Islamic government takes just the opposite view. Women must be mostly covered – hair, neck, and loose-fitting clothes on the body – as a sign of religious morality. It may be hard for an American to fathom – this idea that government would dictate a religious dress code. Why? Because it violates the separation of church and state. It suppresses religious freedom. And in a broader sense, it squelches identity – for isn't fashion (religious or not) a means of self-expression? We revisit the issue of the burqa. Ban the burqa? Or ban such bans? We want to hear from you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Benedict XVI seventh-oldest pope in history

Cartoon of the Day - Shovel-ready Project

Today on Kresta - July 20, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 20

4:00 – New Vatican Norms Issued: More Important Than You Think?
The Holy See Press Office has published a revised edition of the 2001 norms dealing with clerical abuse of minors and other “exceptionally serious” crimes against faith and morals. While the norms dealing with sex abuse have dominated Catholic news outlets, the secular press has zeroed in on the inclusion of “the attempted ordination of a woman” among the revised Vatican norms for “extremely serious” crimes. Fr. Peter Stravinskas is here to look at the revised norms and makes the case that both of these story lines are quite important.

4:20 – Kresta Comments – Papal Infallibility
140 years ago this week, the Vatican I Council voted 533 to 2 in favor of "papal infallibility" as defined that "the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church . . . is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his church should be endowed. Al has a defense of papal infallibility.

4:40 – Orthoscopy: Clear Vision to See What We Ought To Do
Does our society have only fifty years left in its existence? While some spread doom and gloom claiming that our civilization is about to come to an end, Deacon Joe Hulway presents a more positive outlook in his first work, Orthoscopy. He maintains that we are merely stuck in a painful adolescent stage of societal development - that many of our problems result because we prefer to act like teenagers and not adults. It is a time of rebellion and can be one of great danger unless we clear our vision to see the paths that lead to maturity. The author draws upon his life experiences as a parent, an engineer, a manager, an ordained minister, and a youth leader to offer reflections to guide you to have clearer vision for finding the truth. He demonstrates the value of faith, encourages us all to be philosophers, points out the dangers of applying labels to ourselves and to others, and examines the value of asking good questions.

5:00 – Kresta Comments – The Catholic Church and Science
This week in the year 1822 Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk and botanist who discovered the basic laws of genetic inheritance was born. This is a Catholic monk who is one of the greatest contributors to modern science. So why is it that when you think of the Catholic Church and science – you inevitably think of Galileo? Why not Mendel? Why not Pasteur? Why not Copernicus? Al has the answers.

5:40 – Vatican Norms, The Economy in Detroit, NFP Conference in Detroit, and 35 years as a priest
Archbishop Allen Vigneron joins us for his regular monthly segment. We discuss the economy in MI, the new Vatican norms, the NFP Conference at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and His Excellency’s 35th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Outrageous Statement of the Day

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski on July 19 couldn't hold back her praise of Democratic Vice President Joe Biden. He is "our guy," the Morning Joe host enthused.

Cartoon of the Day - Recovery Signs

Today on Kresta - July 19, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 19

4:00 – Fired for Presenting Church Teaching While Teaching a Class on the Catholic Church?
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have sent a letter to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign officials on behalf of a popular, highly regarded professor who was fired for explaining the position of the Roman Catholic Church on human sexual behavior to members of his Introduction to Catholicism class. A university cannot censor professors’ speech--including classroom speech related to the topic of the class--merely because certain ideas ‘offend’ an anonymous student. Dr. Kenneth Howell, who had been teaching at the university since 2001, was relieved of his duties based in part on an anonymous complaint sent via e-mail to university officials. The e-mail was sent by the friend of an anonymous student who claimed to be “offended” by Howell. Ken joins us with his attorney, Jordan Lawrence.

5:00 – The Godless Delusion - A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism
The New Atheists came on the contemporary scene with an unprecedented mixture of confidence and scorn. And, sadly, most of the books written in response have conveyed an impression of ad hoc defensiveness. But not this one. The Godless Delusion by Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley wages a full-scale frontal assault on the tallest turret of the New Atheists’ stronghold— the claim to moral and rational superiority. With remorseless logic, wit, skill, and boundless, joyful enthusiasm it lays waste that stronghold, routs the enemy, occupies the high ground for Christ their king, and dares anyone to retake it. Pat joins us.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Outrageous Statement of the Day

Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's Hardball, asks South Carolina Republican Congressman Bill Inglis how GOPers in his state can vote for an Indian-American like Nikki Haley but not support a black president? Oh, I don't know, maybe because it's about POLICY and not SKIN COLOR. That may be one of the most ridiculous questions I have heard asked in a LONG time.

Cartoon of the Day - Mel

Today on Kresta - July 16, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 16

4:00 – Lost Souls
Lost Souls is the first novel in the second trilogy of Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series, and the fourth book overall. Koontz puts a singular twist on this classic tale of ambition and science gone wrong and forges a new legend uniquely suited to our times—a story of revenge, redemption, and the razor-thin line that separates humanity from inhumanity as we consider a new invitation to apocalypse.

4:20 – July 16, 1945 – The Nuclear Age Begins
On this day in 1945 the atomic bomb was tested at Trinity, Los Alamos where the scientists there were the first humans to witness the power of a nuclear weapon. Jon Hunner is the author of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Cold War, and the Atomic West and is here to explore the promise and peril of the Atomic Age.

4:40 – Inception and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Our resident film critic, Steven Greydanus says “A day or two after seeing Christopher Nolan's much-anticipated Inception, my head's still reeling. I don't think it will stop until I see it again. Once is not enough. One thing I'm confident of: Inception is the most audacious and multifaceted Hollywood entertainment for grown-ups I've seen in years: a brainy, bravura achievement inviting comparison to the most inspired work of Hollywood visionaries” He is here to explain!

5:00 – Authentic “Social Justice” and how it is misunderstood by the political Left AND Right

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What if Roman Polanski Was a Catholic Priest

EXCELLENT observations by Cristina Odone in the Times of London.

Here’s a maxim for Left-wing luvvies: let’s treat the Pope like a rapist, and treat a rapist like the Pope.

By the Pope, of course, I mean Benedict XVI, who has been at the helm of the Church during its darkest hour, when scandal upon scandal involving priests sexually abusing children has come to light. By the rapist I mean Roman Polanski, the Polish film director who was convicted of raping an underage girl in America back in 1977.

Ah, but there is a difference between the two men, I hear you say: one has been convicted of a crime, while the other is in charge of a global Church at the moment when some of its members are being exposed as criminals.

That may be the difference in your eyes. But in the eyes of Lefty luvvies from Hollywood to Hampstead, the only real difference between the Pope and Polanski is that the latter is an artist. That, you see, erases a multitude of sins – yes, even the rape of a 13-year-old girl. The same people who are viciously denouncing Benedict even though he has not been convicted of any crime defend Polanski despite his conviction because he’s “one of us”. In their eyes, directing The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby has somehow cleansed the stain of shame from this repulsive little man.

Here is the bad news: the luvvies have won. Their man has been let off – to cries of relief from the arty set, the Swiss authorities have refused the America its request for extradition. The Pope, meanwhile, continues to be publicly reviled by bohemians who think he should be arrested for crimes he neither committed nor concealed. And they dare attack the Church for hypocrisy!

Cartoon of the Day - Newspapers then and now

Today on Kresta - July 15, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 15

4:00 – In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving
First came the bestselling book, then the Oscar-nominated movie—the story of Michael Oher and the family who adopted him has become one of the most talked-about true stories of our time. But until now, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy have never told this astonishing tale in their own way and with their own words. For Leigh Anne and Sean, it all begins with family. Leigh Anne, the daughter of a tough-as-nails U.S. Marshal, decided early on that her mission was to raise children who would become "cheerful givers." Sean, who grew up poor, believed that one day he could provide a home that would be "a place of miracles." Together, they raised two remarkable children—Collins and Sean Jr.—who shared their deep Christian faith and their commitment to making a difference. Sean is here to tell their story.

4:20 – Vatican revises norms for clerical abuse of minors, other ‘exceptionally serious’ crimes
The Holy See Press Office has published a revised edition of the 2001 norms dealing with clerical abuse of minors and other “exceptionally serious” crimes against faith and morals. The revised norms also list crimes against faith and morals that were not included in the 2001 document, including heresy, apostasy, schism, “the indirect violation of the seal” of Confession, “the recording and divulgation of a sacramental confession done with malice,” “the attempted ordination of a woman,” and “the acquisition, possession or distribution of pornographic images of minors under the age of 14. We look at the significance of this development with Matthew Bunson.

5:00 – Catholic Radio Coming to Boston!
Holy Family Communications is pleased to announce the agreement to purchase WBIX 1060AM in Boston, MA. The Station of the Cross Catholic Radio Network, a division of Holy Family Communications, will broadcast to a population of over 5.5 million with a new upgrade, this 50,000-watt signal. Scot Landry, the Secretary for Catholic Media for the Archdiocese of Boston stated, “Cardinal Seán O’Malley and many of us at the Archdiocese have prayed for years to have a strong Catholic radio presence here. As you know, Boston has been one of the only major media markets without 24/7 Catholic radio. The programming that will run has been proven nationally, and we are happy that Catholics in Boston now will be able to listen to it.” Dave VanVickle, Director of Advancement at Holy Family Communications is with us.

5:10 – Ten Facts Most Catholics Don’t Know (But Should!)
Every time Gary Zimak hears someone claim to be an “ex-Catholic”, a sense of sadness comes over him. In just about every case, people leave the Catholic Faith due to a lack of understanding. After all, if Catholics truly believed that they were members of the one, true Church founded by Christ (and necessary for their salvation), nobody would ever leave! In an effort to help clarify what the Catholic Church teaches, Gary has compiled a list of 10 important facts that every Catholic should know. More than simply Catholic trivia, these are important concepts that can help us to better understand and defend our beliefs. Gary joins us.

5:30 – Kresta Comments – The Demographics of Islam

Freedoms should trump feelings

Thanks to COLLEEN CARROLL CAMPBELL for this piece

Heavy-handed, mushy-headed responses to real-life problems teach students victimhood rather than citizenship and do little to foster a climate of civil debate necessary for a free society.

Thanks to the circumspect nature of the nominees and the short attention spans of their interrogators, Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court vacancies have become some of our republic's most tedious affairs. Yet, every once in awhile, even a non-responsive response from a would-be justice reveals something significant about the mysterious figure seeking a lifetime appointment to our highest court.

That happened last week, during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was questioning the former dean of Harvard Law School about her decision to bar military recruiters because she believed the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy against open homosexuality violated Harvard's anti-discrimination policy. Following that line of logic, Graham asked, would Kagan's decision also apply to recruiters from the Catholic Church, since the church does not allow women to be ordained priests?

Kagan's answer, if you could call it that, was to offer an impromptu recitation of Harvard's policy against discrimination on the basis of, as she put it, "race and creed and gender and sexual orientation and actually veterans' status as well." If recruiters agree to abide by that policy, they're in, Kagan said. "And if not, not."

Graham did not follow up on the inquiry, but he should have. Kagan's evasion only begged his original question: What do you do when non-discrimination policies of more recent vintage conflict with the freedoms of religion, speech or assembly that our Founding Fathers considered fundamental human rights?

The question is not merely academic. Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the right of a California law school to demand that a Christian student group seeking official campus recognition accept leaders who openly reject its statement of faith. Authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the 5-4 decision paves the way for schools to effectively prohibit socially conservative religious students from forming official campus alliances because their traditional sexual morality conflicts with campus non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation.

In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito blasted the decision because it "arms public educational institutions with a handy weapon for suppressing the speech of unpopular groups."

"I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today's decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country," Alito wrote. "... Even those who find [the Christian student group's] views objectionable should be concerned about the way the group has been treated."

The decision was the latest in a series of strikes against a conviction once deeply rooted in the American psyche: that it's better to be free to shout my beliefs from the rooftops and run the risk of being offended when my loudmouth neighbor does the same than for both of us to be forced into polite silence by Uncle Sam.

In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito blasted the decision because it "arms public educational institutions with a handy weapon for suppressing the speech of unpopular groups."

That belief used to go without saying in our liberty-loving nation, but no more. With the rise of hate-crimes legislation and hate-speech monitoring, it's not hard to imagine that someday soon we may follow the lead of thin-skinned nations like France, which passed a law last month against "psychological violence." The law makes it a crime to insult another person in a way that could "degrade one's quality of life and cause a change to one's mental or physical state."

Or perhaps we will be tempted to copy Britain, which has begun creating school-based "hate registers" to track children accused of employing 'sexist, sexual and transphobic" putdowns in their playground banter. The British government is mulling a plan that would make it mandatory for schools to record such insults and report them to police, so a child as young as 5 who utters the wrong sort of slur — even if he has no idea what it means — could be monitored for future infractions and have the incident immortalized on his school record.

Such heavy-handed, mushy-headed responses to real-life problems teach students victimhood rather than citizenship and do little to foster a climate of civil debate necessary for a free society. That the woman likely to become our next Supreme Court justice could not bring herself to publicly side with the First Amendment over political correctness in Graham's test case is a worrisome sign that America soon may be traveling down Europe's touchy-feely slope toward soft despotism.

Vatican revises norms for clerical abuse of minors, other ‘exceptionally serious’ crimes

The Holy See Press Office has published a revised edition of the 2001 norms dealing with clerical abuse of minors and other “exceptionally serious” crimes against faith and morals.

“The norms of canon law dealing with crimes of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy have been published today in a comprehensive and updated form, in a document which covers all the crimes the Church considers as exceptionally serious and, for that reason, subject to the competency of the Tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” said Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the director of the Holy See Press Office. “Apart from sexual abuse, these include crimes against the faith and against the Sacraments of the Eucharist, Penance and Holy Orders.”
The revised norms, approved by Pope Benedict XVI on May 21, were sent by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to all the bishops of the Church on that date.

The revised norms (Normae de Gravioribus Delictis) codify seven modifications originally made by Pope John Paul II and confirmed by Pope Benedict in 2005-- most significantly the increase of the statute of limitations to 20 years, the right to lift the statute on a case-by-case basis, and the faculty to request that the Pontiff dismiss offenders from the clerical state without an ecclesial trial. Another modification granted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “the right, as mandated by the Roman Pontiff, to judge Cardinals, Patriarchs, Legates of the Apostolic See, [and] Bishops.”

The revised norms also list crimes against faith and morals that were not included in the 2001 document, including heresy, apostasy, schism, “the indirect violation of the seal” of Confession, “the recording and divulgation of a sacramental confession done with malice,” “the attempted ordination of a woman,” and “the acquisition, possession or distribution of pornographic images of minors under the age of 14, a clerico turpe patrata [shamefully accomplished by a cleric], in any way and by any means.” Furthermore, the revised norms state that “a person over 18 years of age who is developmentally disabled is equated to a minor” in the norms’ treatment of the “more grave delicts against morals.”

The Holy See Press Office noted that the essence of the 2001 document remained unchanged; rather, “the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith felt it necessary to propose certain changes to these norms, not modifying the text in its entirety, but rather only in a few areas, in an effort to improve the application of the law.” Thus the following serious crimes are reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the 2001 norms and in the 2010 revision:

•throwing away, taking or retaining the consecrated species for a sacrilegious purpose, or profaning the consecrated species
•attempting the liturgical action of the Eucharistic sacrifice or the simulation thereof [citing Canon 1378, this norm applies to persons who have not been ordained priests]
•concelebrating the Eucharistic Sacrifice together with ministers of ecclesial communities which do not have Apostolic succession nor recognize the Sacramental dignity of priestly ordination
•consecrating one matter without the other in a Eucharistic celebration or both outside of a Eucharistic celebration
•absolution of an accomplice in the sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue
•solicitation to sin with the confessor against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, in the act of, context of or pretext of the Sacrament of Penance
•direct violation of the Sacramental seal
•the violation of the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, committed by a cleric with a minor under the age of 18.

Read more here...

Evangelical group releases documentary on the pill as an abortifacient

London, Ont., Jul 15, 2010 / (CNA)

In light of the birth control pill's 50th anniversary this year, a group of Evangelical Christians released a documentary addressing the controversial claim that the pill acts as an abortifacient, and that women across North America are largely uninformed on what the drug actually does.

In his documentary titled, “28 Days on the Pill,” Trent Herbert of London, Ontario discussed how he set out with his wife and nurse friend on a journey across the U.S. and Canada “to uncover the truth about the birth control pill.”
The interviews garnered from women, medical professionals and church leaders provide the footage for their recently released film, and include commentary from Baptist seminary leader Dr. Albert Mohler, the Duggar family, author Randy Alcorn and Dr. Walt Larimore, a family physician formerly with Focus on the Family.

“Whether Christian or not, women across the board do not have a real understanding of how the pill actually works,” the group said in a press release on the documentary. “Does it only prevent ovulation? What do the inserts and pharmaceutical guides really say? How is it that women consume something when they know very little about how it actually works?”

Explaining to CNA in an exclusive interview the motivation behind this project, Herbert said that he and his wife several years back read Randy Alcorn's notable work, “Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?”

After praying about the issue, “we felt that it was important to get the word out to as many individuals as we could,” Herbert told CNA.

“To our knowledge there hasn't been a full length documentary on it,” Herbert explained, saying that the process of filming and production took them about two and a half years. Despite having no previous experience in film making, the three gathered up their camera equipment and journeyed through multiple states and provinces to seek out interviews.

On the controversial claim that the pill acts as an abortifacient, the group explains in their video the three functions that the birth control pill performs in a woman's body, stating that a startling number of people are uninformed on how it actually works.

“The woman's normal menstrual cycle involves the ovary, cervical mucus and the uterine lining,” the film explains. “In a normal cycle, a woman releases an egg every month due to the natural hormones estrogen and progesterone.”

“For a woman on the pill,” however, “the artificial hormones usually prevent ovulation.”

“Secondly, in a normal cycle, cervical mucus changes to improve sperm migration.” Yet, for a woman on the pill, the group adds, cervical mucus thickens to prevent sperm penetration.

Last, “the natural hormones in a normal cycle cause the lining of the uterus to build up in preparation for a newly conceived child to implant.”

But for woman on the pill, “artificial hormones cause the lining to shrink and do not allow it to mature properly.”

“So if the first two mechanisms of the pill fail, and the woman does ovulate and conceive, implantation of a new child may be hindered, which would be an abortion.”

Dr. Larimore, a family physician who formerly worked with Focus on the Family, says in the film that in his extensive research on the topic, he discovered that the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. requires that the information on how drugs work must be given in handout form to the patient.

However, in his studies and in those of his colleagues, it was found out that “all of the birth control pills, except one, excluded that information.”

Though the companies stated the first two effects of the pill in handouts to women, said Dr. Larimore, no where did they state that the drug shrinks the uterine lining creating a hostile environment for implantation.

“We wrote every one of those companies as part of our study,” he said. “None of them gave us an answer.”

Dr. Larimore claims that since the days of his research the handouts have been changed for the worse, as none of them now contain any information on the three effects of the pill.

Herbert told CNA that one of the main objectives in making the film is to ask the question, “do women really understand how it works and are they being fully informed?”

No matter what one's conclusions may be, said Herbert, the group believes everyone has the right to full information and informed consent.

More information can be found at:

Soccer player who scored winning World Cup goal promises to make pilgrimage

Madrid, Spain, Jul 14, 2010 (CNA)

Spanish soccer player Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal during the World Cup final in South Africa, has promised to walk the Way of St. James, which leads to Santiago de Compostela.

The Way of St. James is a pilgrimage route that for centuries brought the faithful from across Europe to the city of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the saint are venerated.

According to the Spanish newspaper, Marca, months before the 2010 World Cup, the members of the Spanish team sent the newspaper sealed envelopes with the promises they would keep if they won the title.

Marca opened the envelopes after Spain’s historic victory on Sunday and found that Iniesta, along with Fernando Torres and Carlos Marchena said they would walk the Way of St. James.

Iniesta also revealed his promise in an interview prior to the World Cup. Speaking on Spanish television he said he would make the pilgrimage “somehow…I’ll do it however I have to!” His teammate Sergio Busquets, who was with him, made the same promise.

The Spanish media is reminding the players of their promise and although no plans have been officially made, reporters were convinced many fans would share the pilgrimage with them.

This year, Pope Benedict XVI will travel to the city for the Holy Year of St. James 2010, which is celebrated each year that July 25, the saint's feast, falls on a Sunday.

The next Year of St. James will be celebrated in 2021.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another Broken Promise - Surprise! Abortion Really IS Covered in Health Care Bill

If you want proof that President Obama's Executive Order on taxpayer-funded abortion was a sham, look no further than Pennsylvania, says House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio).

Boehner and other Republicans point to reports that the Health and Human Services Department is giving Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new high-risk insurance pool that will cover any abortion that is legal in the state.

"The fact that the high-risk pool insurance program in Pennsylvania will use federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions is unconscionable," Boehner said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Just last month at the White House, I asked President Obama to provide the American people with a progress report on the implementation of his Executive Order, which purports to ban taxpayer-funding of abortions. Unfortunately, the President provided no information, and the American people are still waiting for answers."

President Obama pledged that under his health care plan “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

In a May 13 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Boehner asked if her department has provided guidance to the states on how to implement the president’s Executive Order on abortion funding. Boehner also asked Sebelius if the new federal high-risk pools would exclude abortion coverage.

He says his questions remain unanswered.

"Millions of Americans care deeply about this aspect of the new law and its implementation, and no progress report is complete without detailed information about it,” Boehner wrote to Sebelius.

The conservative Family Research Council says the $160 million in taxpayer funds for Pennsylvania is the first known instance of direct federal funding of abortions through the new high-risk insurance pools.

The abortion funding for pool participants validates the arguments pro-life groups made throughout the health care debate – that taxpayer dollars will fund abortions, said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of the Family Research Council’s political action arm.

“For our efforts to remove the bill's abortion funding, we were called 'deceivers' by President Obama and 'liars' by his allies. Now we know who the true deceivers and liars really are,’ McClusky said.

"This action by the Obama Administration also exposes the worthlessness of President Obama's Executive Order that supposedly would prevent federal funding of abortion, but which both sides, including Planned Parenthood, agreed was unenforceable.

"While the American people deserve an apology from President Obama for his deception, we should only be satisfied when this Pennsylvania abortion funding is rescinded and the health care law repealed.

McClusky noted that the new health care law also includes $12.5 billion for community health centers, and $6 billion for co-ops, both of which can fund abortions. And some people will use tax credits to help them pay for plans that cover abortion.

Even before it’s fully implemented, the Democrats’ health care plan “is already being exposed as a high-taxing, poorly thought-out, and taxpayer-funding-of-abortion monstrosity,” McClusky said.

Republican leader Boehner says House Republicans would codify the Hyde amendment, thus prohibiting all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. Under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage would not receive federal funds

Outrageous Statement of the Day

Ted Turner on Gulf Spill: "God's Telling Us He Doesn't Want Us to Drill Offshore". Turner and Pat Robertson need to do a radio show together. :)

Cartoon of the Day - Swiss Embassy

Today on Kresta - July 14, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 14

4:00 – Kresta Comments – The Demographics of Islam

4:20 – The Mystery of Predestination: According to Scripture, the Church, and St Thomas Aquinas
How can an all-loving God choose some people for eternal salvation while permitting others to fall away? Doesn't God offer the same amount of saving grace to everyone? Isn't predestination a Protestant doctrine? Author and apologist John Salza seeks to answer these questions, and others, about that most ineffable and confounding of Christian beliefs: that God chooses to infallibly direct certain people to salvation but not others. Drawing deeply upon Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, Salza says that a proper Catholic understanding of the doctrine of predestination is interconnected with two other central mysteries: the ability of mankind to choose freely to accept or reject God's saving grace, and the inability of mankind to accept God's grace without first being moved by His grace from within.

5:00 – Fired for Presenting Church Teaching While Teaching a Class on the Catholic Church?
Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have sent a letter to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign officials on behalf of a popular, highly regarded professor who was fired for explaining the position of the Roman Catholic Church on human sexual behavior to members of his Introduction to Catholicism class. A university cannot censor professors’ speech--including classroom speech related to the topic of the class--merely because certain ideas ‘offend’ an anonymous student. Dr. Kenneth Howell, who had been teaching at the university since 2001, was relieved of his duties based in part on an anonymous complaint sent via e-mail to university officials. The e-mail was sent by the friend of an anonymous student who claimed to be “offended” by Howell. Ken joins us with his attorney, Jordan Lawrence.

5:40 – Kresta Comments – The Demographics of Islam

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ginsburg: Supreme Court Will Never Reverse Roe

Last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she is confident the Supreme Court will never overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that resulted in unlimited abortions in the United States. She said doing so would hurt poor people who supposedly have no other resource during an unplanned pregnancy.

Participating in a discussion during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, Ginsburg said the infamous decision that allowed more than 52 million abortions won't be overturned because women and society has gotten used to it.

"Over a generation of young women have grown up, understanding they can control their own reproductive capacity, and in fact their life's destiny," Ginsburg said, according to a Politico report. "We will never go back to the way it once was."

In an introduction of Ginsburg for the event, pro-abortion former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said Ginsburg is relishing adding a new member of the Supreme Court -- pro-abortion activist Elena Kagan, whom President Barack Obama has nominated to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens.

Ginsburg's comments on abortion and its availability for poor women are not surprising given how she was taken to task last year for her comments about the Roe v. Wade abortion case that appeared racist.

In a July 2009 interview with the New York Times, Ginsburg said she once supported Roe for population control reasons targeting minorities.

Cartoon of the Day - Steele and the GOP

Outrage of the Day - Dutch Church Goes Orange (and painfully irrevrent) for World Cup Final

Does this look like "sacred space" to you?
Does this look like place for worship of God or soccer?
Does the congregation look more interested in the Real Presence or the spectacle?
Do you see the priest mugging for the camera while DISTRIBUTING THE EUCHARIST?
This is a disgrace and a blasphemy.

Today on Kresta - July 13

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 13

4:00 – Politics for Christians: Statecraft As Soulcraft
Politics is concerned with citizenship and the administration of justice--how communities are formed and governed. The role of Christians in the political process is hotly contested, but as citizens, Francis Beckwith argues, Christians have a rich heritage of sophisticated thought, as well as a genuine responsibility, to contribute to the shaping of public policy. In particular, Beckwith addresses the contention that Christians, or indeed religious citizens of any faith, should set aside their beliefs before they enter the public square. What role should religious citizens take in a liberal democracy? What is the proper separation of church and state? What place should be made for natural rights and the moral law within a secular state?

5:00 – Many Are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood
In Many Are Called, Dr. Scott Hahn enthusiastically encourages Catholics around the world to renew their focus on the sacred role of the Catholic priest. Using his unique ability to present deep spiritual and theological ideas in the language of everyday life, Dr. Hahn examines the biblical and historical roots of the priesthood to explain the centrality of the priest in the life of the Church. He brings reinvigorated attention to the many roles of the priest—provider, mediator, protector, teacher, judge, and more—all of which are united in the priest's place as spiritual father to God's people, and ultimately he shows that it is through the priest, empowered by God, that the continuing presence of Jesus Christ makes itself known to our world.

Muslims demand Facebook adhere to Sharia Law

July 11, 6:32 PM Freethought Examiner D.M. Murdock

A comment is being circulated on Facebook complaining that the site has not only allowed Islam-critical pages like "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" to thrive but has also removed four major Muslim Facebook pages with a total of about 2.5 million members. This "chain email" is thus claiming that Facebook has taken a dramatic anti-Islam stance, and the comment is further demanding that the site restore the Islamic pages, make it illegal to criticize Islam, and remove all FB pages that are critical of Islam. In other words, it is demanding that Facebook follow Islamic or sharia law.

While the comment claims that these Islamic pages were not anti-infidel in sentiment, its demands certainly are, and they belie any possibly "peaceful" notion of why these pages should be allowed back on Facebook.

Supporters of free speech are calling for this Islamist comment be searched out on FB and flagged in a show of support for Facebook's creators not to kowtow to censorship and to demonstrate that the non-Muslim world will not be subjugated under Islamic or sharia law.

Here is the comment:
Facebook Admins, Moderators, Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Sheryl Sandberg, and Matt Cohler;
Although you have attended the world's best communication skills courses you have been most successful in growing great hatred and hostility between you and Muslims around the world, but seriously this time you have caused an almost unrepairable damage.

Only a few weeks after your irresponsible behavior during the Everybody Draw Mohammed Day events you most aggressively removed four of the largest Islamic Facebook Pages of total fans/likes over 2.5 million Facebook members. That happened on the morning of Thursday 8th July, 2010.

These four Facebook pages were totally peaceful and free of any hate speech, but you removed it ignoring the feelings of more than 2.5 Million Facebook Muslims and disrespecting over 1.5 Billion Muslims worldwide.

And now since that is what it had come down to you, with your irresponsibility and fake preach of freedom of speech, have left us no other choice other than permanently boycotting Facebook. And now we are giving you a 2 weeks notice - ending at midnight of 21st July, 2010 - to fulfill our demands or else we will leave Facebook....

Our demands are:
1- Reactivating the four pages that have been disabled
2- Adding a Facebook Term that illegalizes disrespecting Islamic religious symbols
3- Disabling any Facebook Page, Group, or Event that shows direct or indirect disrespect towards Islamic religious symbols

The pages that were unfairly removed are: - About 1,600,000 Likes - About 600,000 Likes - About 200,000 Likes - About 70,000 Likes

Pope Calls for a New Charism for the Legion

Monday, July 12, 2010

Haiti: 2 million still living on the streets

Six months after a devastating earthquake killed over 220,000 of the nation’s 8.8 million people, some 2 million Haitians are still living on the streets, according to the Fides news agency.

“The situation is still terrible as far as the practicability of the roads; it seems that the earthquake just happened yesterday,” said Archbishop Bernard Auza, the apostolic nuncio. “There is no one to carry away the debris, and we can still not use certain streets in the capital. There are still no offices for some local government institutions. Many people who are living in tents still have nothing and then there are still many poor people who do not even have tents and do not see a way out.”

“As the Church, we are waiting for a sign from the Government in order to be able to act with all our strength,” he added. “For example, some religious institutions cannot begin to rebuild the buildings or houses, because they lack a safety certificate issued by the government for that area. And that part does not depend on us.”

Ave Maria Radio has partnered with Cross International Catholic Outreach to bring help AND the Gospel to the people of Haiti. Cross Catholic is the perfect partner to accomplish this important task. It works through Catholic priests, nuns and lay leaders already in Haiti – already familiar with the needs of the poor and devoted to serving in their communities. Through this network of ministry partners, Cross Catholic is able to cut through the chaos and deliver aid directly and effectively to the places it is needed most.

Cross International Catholic Outreach is also committed to meeting spiritual needs. To that end, Cross Catholic integrates spiritual formation into its humanitarian work. This means that families facing incredible suffering are receiving physical sustenance, as well as learning about the eternal hope they can have in Jesus Christ. It also means that prayer is actively going out from both American and Haitian Catholics, binding them together as part of one family and one Church.

A simple $32 is enough to feed someone for a MONTH!!! Please become part of this shared mission. Join Ave Maria Network, Cross International Catholic Outreach, the nuns, priests, and lay leaders in Haiti as we seek to bring Christ’s love and mercy to the poorest of the poor. Together, our collective prayer and material aid will make a profound and tangible difference!

Click here for more information.

British Imam Says Islam Not a Religion of Peace / Praises 9-11 / Calls for Papal Assassination


White House counters NASA Muslim outreach remarks

The White House is contradicting the NASA administrator's claim that President Obama assigned him to reach out to Muslims on science matters.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden recently told Al-Jazeera that the "foremost" charge Obama gave him was "to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and engineering." His words - not mine.

Now, today White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that such activities are NOT among Bolden's assigned tasks. Not only are they not "foremost" - they are not even on his list of tasks. Gibbs said administration officials have spoken with NASA about the matter.

Spoken with NASA??? So we are to believe that the head of NASA just went off to an interview, made up a directive from the President, called it his "foremost" directive from the President, and the President's response is to basically have a chat with him about it. Don't you think something like that would merit a firing? A reprimand? Something other than a chat? ......Unless Bolden was telling the truth.

Outrageous Statement of the Day

CBS' Early Show promotes the "One Child Myth." Guest makes the case that mothers of only one child are happier that mothers of multiples, that multiple children cause stress to marriage, and that kids just cost WAY too much money.

Cartoon of the Day - Arizona Lawsuit

Today on Kresta - July 12, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 12

4:00 – The Miracle of a Summer Fog – July 12, 1776
In July 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, formally "dissolving the connection" with Great Britain. In August, the resolve of the new country was severely tested when the Army, under the direction of George Washington, found itself in precarious circumstances on Long Island, defeated in battle, "facing a superior force, and with only one route of retreat — over the East River." As the British prepared for a final assault, a freak summer storm blew in, halting their advance. And, as the American Army began what seemed like a hopeless retreat over the river, they were enshrouded by a dense, and unlikely, summer fog, allowing the troops to make their way to safety. Chris Stewart is the author of Seven Miracles That Saved America, and he is here to talk about the “Summer Fog” of July 12, 1776.

4:20 – The Judas Syndrome: Seven Ancient Heresies Return to Betray Anew
Throughout two millennia of Christian history, the great heresies have tried to destroy the Faith by perverting the truths that Christ taught the apostles. Beginning in Jesus' own time with the betrayal of the arch-heretic Judas, and continuing through the centuries, waves of error have threatened to swamp the Church, only to break and be dashed upon the Rock of Peter. However, though they may be defeated for a time by saints, popes, councils, and even force of arms as long as sin and error remains in our fallen world these heresies can never be truly vanquished. This condition is the Judas Syndrome; it betrayed Christ unto death, and it afflicts His Church and the world unto this day. In these pages, author Tom Colyandro investigates seven of the most harmful, most seductive, heresies in Church history, and discovers that although their faces may have changed, they are indeed with us once more. Tom joins us.

5:00 – Sharia in Dearborn, MI?
Is it illegal to preach Christianity to Muslims in America now? Acts 17 Apologetics, a Christian evangelistic group, says they were kicked out of this year’s Arab Festival in Dearborn, Mich., and arrested for doing nothing but talking to Muslims. Islamic law forbids Christians to preach to Muslims. Is Dearborn, MI under Sharia law? Rob Muise is defending Acts 17 Apologetics and is here to discuss this case.

5:20 – Direct to My Desk

Friday, July 9, 2010

Today on Kresta - July 9, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 9

4:00 – The Recovery Prevention Act of 2009
Once President Obama signs the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill into law, the topic of how to fix Wall Street will no longer resonate in the Beltway. Financial regulation will have come and gone without either party realizing that getting this issue wrong isn't a disaster for the future. A bad law -- as this one will be -- will add to the disaster now, further stalling job creation and crippling the administration's economic agenda. Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute is here to tell us how she really feels.

4:40 – Another Stoning in Iran?
The Iranian Embassy in London is denying reports by media and human rights groups that a convicted adulterer would face death by stoning for her crime. The execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, who has already spent five years in prison and received 99 lashes for alleged adultery, would "disgust and appall the watching world," the British Government declared. Later Thursday, the Iranian Embassy took issue with those comments, releasing its own statement that "according to information from the relevant judicial authorities in Iran, she will not be executed by stoning punishment." It was uncertain if Ashtiani would face death by another means. We talk to Faraz Sanei of Human Rights Watch.

5:00 – What The Week Long LeBron James Ego Charade Can Tell Us About The State Of the World, As Well As The Catholic Church
“What a fraud. What a scared little kid. Greatest player of all time? This guy? Nope. Not now. Not ever. Not even if LeBron James wins five rings in the next five years -- which he should.” Those are the words of one sports columnist – but shared by a large percentage of basketball fans after the self-proclaimed “King James” embarked on a month-long self-aggrandizing, arrogant, display of everything that we teach our kids is wrong with sports which culminated in an hour-long ESPN special last night for LeBron to announce where he would play next. Dave Hartline has some insights into what this charade can teach us about the world and the Church.

5:20 – TBA

5:40 – Cross International Catholic Outreach – The Kobonal Haiti Mission
Cross International Catholic Outreach is an international Catholic relief and development ministry that assists the poorest of the poor around the world, reaching countless souls with the love of Christ and the message of the “good news’ of salvation. They work in more than 40 countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Cross International President Jim Cavnar is here to talk about their Kobonal Haiti Mission. The mission provides good schools and clean water. Teen pregnancy is down; Voodoo has disappeared; and the village enjoys a vibrant Catholic community. But there is still a long way to go.

Oops - Say it Ain't So Joe

I think I want to start a cable channel that just airs campaign ads from those who won elections. I would venture to guess that within a year of being in office, the vast majority of politicians would be embarassed to see their campaign ads because of the utter inability to live up to the promises that are always made during campaigns.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Church-Cuba dialog leads to freedom for political prisoners

Cuban President Raúl Castro has announced to Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino the immediate release of five political prisoners. Castro also announced plans to release 47 more prisoners in the coming months.

Cartoon of the Day - LeBron

Today on Kresta - July 8, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 8

4:00 – SCOTUS: Calif. university’s policy upheld, but school still barred from targeting Christian group
An ideologically split Supreme Court has ruled that a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join. The court turned away an appeal from the Christian Legal Society which sued to get funding and recognition from the University of California's Hastings Law School. Hastings says no recognized campus groups may exclude people - taking it as far as saying a NAACP group could not reject a white supremacist. The court on a 5-4 judgment upheld the lower court rulings saying the Christian group's First Amendment rights of association, free speech and free exercise were not violated by the college's nondiscrimination policy. We debate it with Rob Boston of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and Jordan Lawrence of the Alliance Defense Fund.

4:20 – Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents' Guide to Raising almost Perfect Kids 2nd Edition
Family therapist and parent, Gregory Popcak, and his wife, Lisa, are back with their second edition of Parenting with Grace: The Catholic Parents' Guide to Raising almost Perfect Kids. This latest updated version continues to guide parents through each stage of child development from infancy to adolescence, offering additional age-specific advice on parenting with grace. Filled with honesty, practical examples, and thought-provoking quizzes, the book helps parents discover their own God-given instructional manual for creating a highly individualized, completely Catholic parenting plan for raising their children.

5:00 – Direct to my Desk

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Outrageous Statement of the Day

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is the 15th president of Bennett College. She is a black economist, author, liberal social and political commentator, and businesswoman. She is well-known for her left-wing political opinions. Described by Dr. Cornel West as "the most iconoclastic public intellectual in the country", Dr. Malveaux contributes to the public dialogue on issues such as race, culture, gender, and their economic impacts. Now she publicly wishes Clarence Thomas dead of heart disease because he is a "reprehensible person." Outrageous statement and outrageous that you haven't heard this reported ANYWHERE. What if Pat Robertson said he wished Ruth Bader Gisnsburg would drown in Matzah Ball Soup because she was a "reprehensible person." Do you think the media would have ignored that?

Cartoon of the Day - NASA

Today on Kresta - July 7, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 7

4:00 – American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll
Aristocrat. Catholic. Patriot. Founder. Before his death in 1832, Charles Carroll of Carrollton - the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence - was widely regarded as one of the most important founders. Today, Carroll's signal contributions to the American founding are overlooked, but in the fascinating new biography American Cicero, historian Bradley Birzer rescues Carroll from this unjust neglect. Born out of wedlock, Carroll became the best educated founder, a man of supreme intellect, imagination, and integrity. He recognized the necessity of American independence well before most other founders, brilliantly analyzed the situation in the run-up to the Revolution (though that analysis is now ignored by historians), inspired the creation of the U.S. Senate, and helped legitimize his religion, Roman Catholicism, in America. In this week after the 4th of July, we examine this fascinating Founding Father.

4:40 – The Vatican Secret Archives
The Vatican Secret Archives have fuelled people's imaginations for centuries, most recently and notably Dan Brown (who has said he wasn't allowed in!). For the very first time, a publisher was allowed access to the archive without restriction. The result is an unprecedented and fascinating visual tour of this private place where the reader is not only able to view the public rooms that are only open to academics, but also the areas closed to the public, some decorated with 16th and 17th century frescoes, others stocked with documents dating back to the 8th century. Publisher Paul Van de Huevel joins us.

5:00 – Kresta Comments

5:40 – Bleeding Hands, Weeping Stone: True Stories of Divine Wonders, Miracles and Messages
Miracles are real! And the history of the Church, from ancient times to the modern day, is full of them. God in His mercy has not only given us the revealed truths of Scripture and Tradition, but in all times and places has exercised his power on earth in extraordinary ways: to teach, correct, warn, and inspire His people according to the needs of the age. Elizabeth Ficocelli is here to reveal history's most magnificent miracles. Some of them are quiet and simple, some of them are dramatic bordering on outrageous but all of them are signs of God's loving, providential hand at work in the world, continually inflaming our hearts to greater faith and more ardent love.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vatican Formally Announces Pope's Visit to UK

The Vatican has announced the pope's visit to the UK from September 16th through the 19th. The pope was officially invited by Queen Elizabeth II and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England, Wales and Scotland.

This will be the first official state visit by a pontiff to the UK, in other words, it will be the first time a pope addresses the entire population at the request of Queen Elizabeth II.

Cartoon of the Day - Black Panther case

Outrageous Americans (and American Education)

Yes, this funny, but it is also said. What a commentary on the "ignorant American." For now, I will choose to believe that Leno had to tape for about 2 hours before finding people who don't know what the 4th of July celebrates, or who America won its independence from.

Today on Kresta - July 6, 2010

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 6

4:00 – The Reformation Project
Reformation - The usual term for the religious movement which made its appearance in Western Europe in the sixteenth century, and which, while ostensibly aiming at an internal renewal of the Church, really led to a great revolt against it, and an abandonment of the principal Christian beliefs. Due to the great amount of ignorance and misconception about the Reformation, Fr. Mitch Pacwa has embarked on a 10-part video series entitled The Reformation Project. We take a look.

5:00 – Jesus and Money: A Guide for Times of Financial Crisis
Widespread unemployment. Record home foreclosures. A vulnerable stock market. Government bailouts. In the wake of a sobering global recession, many Christians realize they need to rethink their approach to money. Here, respected New Testament scholar Ben Witherington III explores what the Bible does--and doesn't--say about money. He clearly and concisely examines what Jesus and his earliest followers taught about wealth and poverty, money and debt, and tithing and sacrificial giving to helps us understand the proper role of money in modern Christian life. Along the way, he critiques the faith promise and health-and-wealth approaches to these issues, showing what good stewardship of God's possessions really looks like. Church study groups, pastors, church leaders, students, and all who are concerned about making sense of money in a world of economic uncertainty will value this book.

5:40 – Religious Ideas for Secular Universities
During the last century American students and scholars have found it increasingly difficult to discuss the relation of religion to the mission of self-consciously secular colleges and universities. Respected scholar C. John Sommerville offers thought-provoking reflections on this subject in a conversational style. Sommerville explores the crisis of the secular university, argues that religion and secular universities need each other, and examines how Christianity shows up on both sides of our “culture wars.” The astute reflections in Religious Ideas for Secular Universities point the way to a dialogue that would do justice both to religious insights and to truly neutral secular education.