Why Marriage Matters

In her article, “Why Marriage Matters,” Caitlin Flanagan provides a powerful, prudential defense of traditional marriage. Reflecting on the painfully public infidelities of Governor Sanford, Senator Ensign, and others, Flanagan laments the state of marriage in America and shows why its deterioration should concern us all.

She writes, “There is no other single force causing as much measurable hardship and misery in this country as the collapse of marriage.” That collapse “hurts children, it reduces mothers’ financial security, and it has landed with particular devastation on those who can bear it the least: the nation’s underclass.”

And Flanagan isn’t shy about showing how marriage benefits children. She writes, “On every single significant outcome related to short-term well-being and long-term success, children from intact, two-parent families outperform those from single-parent households.”

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Submitted by Doria2

Recent survey reveals what Muslims detest most about the West

Surveys of the world’s Muslims find that most Muslims support democracy and freedom. Indeed, many Muslims complain that they are ruled by Western-supported secular despots who deny people their right to self-government. Most Muslims also support scientific advancements and seek more prosperity through free markets and global trade. However one reads the Qur’an or the historical record of Islam, no one familiar with this data can call contemporary Muslims enemies of modernity.

At the same time, there are some anomalies. Esposito and Mogahed’s analysis shows that Muslims fear that “Islam is under attack” and that the West is leading that attack. In addition, while most Muslims don’t support theocracy, they do want religion to have an important role in shaping their private and public lives. Even Shari’ah, with its draconian provisions against theft and adultery, enjoys wide support among Muslims, at least in the domestic sphere.

To understand these seemingly contradictory currents, it’s helpful to distinguish between two types of liberalism…

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Submitted by Doria2

Note to Congress: Real freedom is the choosing of the good.

050514-F-7203T-005One should not be worried about whether one is free, but rather about what one does with that freedom. There is no virtue in being free; the virtue comes in the actions that stem from our freedom of choice. Real freedom is the choosing of the good.

-St. Augustine

Nun becomes top-selling Polish cookbook writer

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Sister Anastazja had been cooking for the Jesuits for years when they got the idea to put some of her best recipes together in a brochure, said Father Bogdan Calka, a director at the Catholic publishing house WAM. That evolved into her first book, “103 Cakes of Sister Anastazja,” which was published in 2001 and became a surprise success. With 400,000 copies sold to date, it is her most popular book.

Later books include recipes for Polish classics: hearty casseroles, a cabbage-and-sausage stew called bigos, and golabki, or stuffed cabbage rolls. Her latest book, published this year, brings together 123 salad recipes.

Calka said profits from the books go to “good causes,” including Jesuit educational programs. He said negotiations are under way for translations to be published in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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( AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

“We have lost the sense of sin”

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The sacrament of penance is like an oil change for the soul. It’s like moving the furniture of our souls and getting to the places that escape everyday cleaning. It is like periodically checking the garden of our souls for weeds that hamper our discipleship.

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Papal Encyclicals: Spotlighting a century of Catholic social teaching

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For more than 100 years, Catholic social teaching has tried to help people face the world’s social, political and economic challenges with the power of the Gospel.

Pope Benedict XVI announced June 29 that he had signed his first formal contribution to the list of papal encyclical letters on social themes and that it was titled “Caritas in Veritate” (“Love in Truth”). Although dated June 29, the letter was released July 7.

The letter looks at modern problems in the field of promoting development, and the pope asked for prayers for “this latest contribution that the church offers humanity in its commitment for sustainable progress in full respect for human dignity and the real needs of all.”

Instead of focusing on theological beliefs, the social encyclicals written by most modern-day popes have tried to shape the way Christians and all people of good will can better serve the common good.

Each social encyclical was unique in that it sought to respond to the most pressing social realities at the time.

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Catholic Cemeteries head to temporarily oversee Burr Oak operations: judge

Day-to-day operation of the Burr Oak Cemetery has been wrested from the owners and turned over to the head of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Catholic Cemeteries.

During a Wednesday hearing, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Stuart Palmer OKd the appointment of Roman Szabelski, executive director of Catholic Cemeteries, to temporarily oversee the Alsip cemetery which is now a crime scene.

The move comes a week after four Burr Oak employees were arrested and accused of pocketing $300,000 by digging up old bodies, dumping them in a mass grave in the cemetery and reselling the old plots off the books.

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