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Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 16, 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 16

4:00 – Kresta Comments – Supreme Court Argument Recap: Abortion Buffer Zones? Maybe Yes But How Big?

4:20 – Defending Life In A Post-Christian World
Suppose that you have just five minutes to graciously defend your pro-life beliefs with friends or classmates.  Can you do it with rational arguments?  What should you say? And how can you simplify the abortion issue for those who think it’s hopelessly complex? Scott Klusendorf, President, Life Training Institute, is here to explain how to succeed in three easy steps.

5:00 – “Gimme Shelter:” A Film Based on the Life and Work of Kathy DiFiore – She Joins Us
Based on a true story that centers on 16-year-old Agnes “Apple” Bailey, the film “Gimme Shelter” uncovers her struggle for survival and the hope of redemption through the harsh realities of life on the streets. As a pregnant teenager, Apple’s journey plummets her into a perilous struggle as she seeks to break the shackles of her past and to embrace the future with clarity, maturity and hope – not only for herself but her unborn child as well. We talk to Kathy DiFiore, the woman whose work the film is based on.

5:40 – Kresta Comments – Supreme Court Argument Recap: Abortion Buffer Zones? Maybe Yes But How Big?

Reforming the Annulment Process–A Continuning Conversation. (Or Why “Alienation of Affection” is a stupid reason to require divorce before annulment).

I appreciated the many thoughtful responses to my brainstorming on ways to improve the annulment process.  Regarding my first suggestion; stopping the practice of requiring the couple to seek a civil divorce before filing for a declaration of nullity, a few people suggested that this needed to be in place because of the fear that [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 15, 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 15, 2014

4:00 – Kresta Comments

4:20 – Integrity Restored: Fighting Porn In Our Culture – And Winning
If you, or someone you love, are struggling with pornography use, this is an interview you need to hear. Dr. Peter Kleponis and his ministry Integrity Restored was designed to help men, their wives and their families break free from the bonds of porn. We will talk about pornography use and addiction, as well as pornography’s effects on people’s lives.  Moreover, you will find out how to get help!  The good news is that freedom is possible.  This site will show you the way! Peter joins us.

5:00 – Mackerel Snappers: How to explain even the toughest teachings about God and his Catholic Church
Where is Purgatory in the Bible? Why does the Catholic Church oppose in-vitro fertilization? Catholics were once labeled “mackerel snappers” because of their regular consumption of fish on Fridays. Abstinence from meat is just one of many often misunderstood Catholic teachings. Rather than shy from that old derogatory nickname, Spencer Allen claims it as a badge of pride as it explains and defends the teachings of God’s one, true Church. Spencer is here to offer systematic explanations invaluable in their own defense and practice of the faith.

5:40 –Exposing the Lie: Marriage and Manipulating the Media
Many of you have probably seen the headline “Marriage Not An Antidote to Poverty” which has been all over the news.  As you might have guessed, there is more to the story.  The truth is, the “study” is actually a position paper that presents no new data and, in fact, supports a foundational assertion of the marriage movement’s campaign against poverty; namely, that to be effective as an anti-poverty initiative, marriage must come before baby. Dr. Greg Popcak joins us to discuss the facts behind this latest PR campaign against marriage.

Reforming the Annulment Process–Brainstorming Solutions.

Deacon Greg Kandra links an article that encourages overhauling the annulment process.   I think most people would agree that the annulment process is in need of serious improvement.  In fact, one of the factors influencing Pope Francis’ call for an Extraordinary Synod on the Family next November was his concern about the way the Church [Read More...]

Damn Lies: When Anti-Religious Bigots Use Math to Hate

Mark Twain once famously said, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” You’ve probably heard some of those lies used by non-believing friends and relations to discredit Christians.  For instance, have you heard that Christians divorce at the same rate as others?  How about the one about Christians being bad tippers?  How about the one [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – January 14, 2014

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on January 14

4:00 – Contraception and Catholicism: What the Church Teaches and Why
Catholic teaching on contraception…a hard pill to swallow? Despite the Catholic Church’s clear opposition to contraception, many individuals, including Catholics, consider the Church’s stance misogynistic and outdated. In perspective of the prevailing ideologies of today’s mainstream society-a morality dictated by feeling, the assumed inevitability of extramarital sexual activity as necessary for human fulfillment, and the unconsidered idea that contraception is a magic cure for unwanted pregnancy and disease-the Church’s teaching on contraception may surely seem like a hard pill to swallow. But really, it is not. Author Angela Franks, PhD, an experienced pro-life speaker and educator, discovered this truth herself. After questioning the Church’s stance as a young Catholic, she realized that the Church was not forcing an old-fashioned view on our intimate relationships. Rather, the Church was aligning to the reality already present in our biology. She is here to present a comprehensive look at the Church’s view on the meaning and purpose of sex as love and life, unity and procreation. She equips you with the information that you need to understand, adopt, and/or teach the Church’s position on contraception.

5:00 – 2014 Catholic Almanac

It’s the absolute best source for trustworthy, accurate, up-to-date information. Our Sunday Visitor’s Catholic Almanac remains the only annual, comprehensive guide to the Catholic Church. Published annually since 1904, this compendium of information is THE authoritative source for all your most up-to-date facts on the Catholic Church. With thousands of intriguing facts and essential details on a wide range of Catholic subjects, this almanac is completely updated every year and packed with topics relevant for researchers, homilists, writers, media professionals, students, parents, librarians, and teachers. We talk to Almanac editor Matthew Bunson.

John Kerry Discusses Middle East Peace Process, Other Issues with Vatican Secretary of State

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
admires Vatican art

This morning the Secretary of State for the Holy See, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, welcomed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to the Vatican to discuss the peace process in the Middle East.

Of special concern was the situation in Syria and the preparations for the Geneva II Middle East Peace Conference, and negotiations between Israel and Palestine.  

Completing the agenda for the meeting, which lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes, were problems in Africa (particularly South Sudan) and other concerns of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, such as healthcare reform.

Also representing the Holy See at the meeting was Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.  The U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett, participated on behalf of the United States.  

Because No One Does Tolerance Like the Germans — (German Judge Torments Homeschooling Family)

This is terrifying…. Many readers may recall that in August, German authorities used the equivalent of a SWAT team to remove children from their homeschooling parents.  20 jack booted thugs (literally) burst into the Wunderlich’s home and took their children, even though the judge in the case admits that the children were well-adjusted and well [Read More...]

NY Mayor De Blasio’s New Goal: Bring Pope Francis to Town

Cardinal Dolan with NY Mayor Bill de Blasio

By Kathy Schiffer
   
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has not been a friend to Roman Catholics.  His policies in support of abortion, homosexual rights, and increased taxes for Church-owned lots have been met with stern opposition from many people of faith.

But the Mayor has been inspired by Pope Francis’ message, and he hopes to attract the pontiff to visit New York City.

With that in mind, Mayor de Blasio visited Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s residence in Midtown on January 13.  The two discussed their mutual interests, and made plans to work together to bring Pope Francis to town.

De Blasio left the 45-minute meeting upbeat and enthusiastic.  According to a report in Politicker.com:

Mr. de Blasio raved about the “fantastic meeting,” which he said had covered a lot of ground.
“Just wanted to say that I’m really appreciative of the opportunity to spend as much time as I did with His Eminence. And it was a very energizing meeting. We have so much common ground, so much we want to work on together.
 “We talked a lot about affordable housing. We talked a lot about Catholic charities and the work it does on behalf of children, on behalf of people in need. We talked about the need to help prisoners returning to society, a whole host of areas where we have common ground and where we can work together,” he added. “We think it’s crucial for the people we represent to have a personal bond and a close working relationship.”

The mayor, who was raised Catholic and whose Italian uncle was a priest, has broken ties with the church of his youth and is not affiliated with any formal religion.  He was elected by a 73% majority of New Yorkers, despite a number of anti-Catholic planks in his platform, including:

  • He has pledged to partner with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, helping them to expand their businesses, even providing “city-sponsored” space to set up shop.
  • At the same time, he pledged to help abortionists to wipe out their main competition, pro-life pregnancy centers—which he refers to as “sham” clinics which are not “legitimate health care centers.”  (Pro-life pregnancy centers offer women financial and logistical assistance to either keep their babies or place them with adoptive families, but they do not perform abortions.)
  • He supports a pending appeal by the City of New York of a court order striking down a law aimed at closing pro-life pregnancy centers.  If the court appeal fails, de Blasio pledges to “craft new regulations to prevent [crisis pregnancy] centers from masquerading as legitimate health care providers.”
  • He supports a NARAL-backed program begun under Mayor Michael Bloomberg to force doctors who train in city hospitals to perform abortions as a routine part of their training.  This is intended to ensure that there are a sufficient number of abortionists to meet the high demand in the city.
  • He has pledged to use ObamaCare to expand state funding for abortion, so that more New York women will have access to abortions.
  • He plans to raise taxes on some 7,000 to 10,500 vacant residential lots, many of which are owned by the Roman Catholic Church.  De Blasio’s plan calls for a five-year phase-in  period, after which owners of the vacant lots could expect tax hikes averaging $15,300 annually.   Crain’s reports that the plan is intended to spur development of housing; but critics doubt that the higher taxes would have the desired effect.

De Blasio’s “diverse” transition team included two rabbis, two Christian ministers and an imam, but no Catholic priest to assist as he assumed office.  He did rectify that after receiving complaints from Catholics.

De Blasio has shown solidarity with gays rather than with Irish Catholics, declining to march in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade—citing homosexuals’ complaints that they are not permitted to march.  (Actually, the parade officials do not permit any organization to preempt the stated purpose of the parade, namely, to honor St. Patrick; so pro-life organizations, also, may not march under their own banner.)

When the Brooklyn Museum of Art hosted an anti-Catholic exhibit that featured elephant dung smeared on a portrait of the Virgin Mary, along with pornographic pictures, then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani pledged to pull funding from the museum; but de Blasio, then serving as campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s bid for the U.S. Senate seat, accompanied Clinton to the museum without comment.

He ignored a request from the Catholic League to light the Empire State Building in blue and white commemorating Mother Teresa’s centenary.

De Blasio does have direct experience with one “Catholic” organization. In the 1980s, he was employed by the Maryland-based Quixote Center, a social justice center which supports liberation theology and which has been investigated by the Justice Department for smuggling guns to their Sandinista friends, and has been the target of probes by the IRS and the U.S. Customs Service.  According to the website of the Quixote Center:

The Quixote Center supports gender equality, including ordination for women; the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons; and advocate for an end to the rule of celibacy for Catholic clergy.  We support full communion for divorced and remarried Catholics; due process for church employees and theologians; and democratic reforms in the governance of the Roman Catholic Church.  We call for lay involvement in the formulation of church teachings on sexuality and reproduction, improvements in interfaith and ecumenical dialogue, and a strong church voice on issues of social justice.

Cardinal Dolan was cordial during the meeting, and seemed to anticipate a good working relationship with the new mayor.  Speaking to reporters afterward, the Cardinal said:

“I expressed to him my deep appreciation for the courtesy of his visit … I felt inspired about his commitment to a lot of the causes that we’re passionate about and I felt excited about working closely working with him.”

New Year’s Resolutions for Eternity






PopeFrancis 280x320Have you given up on your New Year’s resolutions already? The New Year represents a time of new beginnings for many, but do you make your resolutions based on emotions and feelings tied to temporal things like saving money, losing weight, or reducing the clutter in your life? Is that where God wants you to focus …

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