IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.
Robert R. Reillywas Senior Advisor for Information Strategy (2002–2006) for the US Secretary of Defense, after which he taught at National Defense University. He was the director of the Voice of America (2001–2002) and served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President (1983–1985). He writes widely on "war of ideas" issues, foreign policy, and classical music. His previous book is The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis.
Ignatius Press is pleased to announce the arrival of video streaming!
Now, for the first time ever, watch your favorite Ignatius Press feature films and documentaries INSTANTLY.
For a list of all available titles, see below or visit our website and simply click on "Streaming Video" and for more information on how our streaming platform works, please read over our Video Streaming Instructions.
Now Available for Streaming
Mother Teresa In an acclaimed film portrayal, Olivia Hussey illuminates the life story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the selfless missionary who brought hope, love and salvation to the poorest of the poor. The movie examines the fundamental moments of Mother Teresa's life from her childhood in Albania in the 1920s to her first calling as a nun, the decision to leave her order and live with the poorest of the poor, the vicissitudes of founding the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity, and her great work of service in Calcutta and the rest of the world. Original full length version, 177 minutes. $3.95
Padre Pio: Miracle Man This movie captures the Capuchin friar's intense faith and devotion, and deep spiritual concern for others, as well as his great compassion for the sick and suffering. It reveals the amazing details and events in Padre Pio's life as a boy and throughout his 50 years as a friar, dramatizing the frequent attacks of the Devil on him, as well as the persecution he suffered at the hands of people, including those in the church.
Starring Italian actor Sergio Castellitto, and directed by Carlo Carlei, this is an outstanding feature film on the amazing life of this great saint. $3.95
Pope John Paul II This epic film follows Karol Wojtyla’s journey from his youth in Poland through his late days on the Chair of St. Peter. It explores his life behind the scenes: how he touched millions of people and changed the face of the Church and the world; how he defended the dignity of mankind. Jon Voight’s powerful, Emmy-nominated performance as John Paul II was widely praised, as was Cary Elwes as the young Karol. Shot on location in Rome and Poland in close connection with the Vatican, this is the definitive epic film on the life of Pope John Paul II. $3.95
Clare and Francis A major epic feature film on the lives of St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi shot on location in Italy by the Italian film company Lux Vide, the producers of Saint Rita, Pope John Paul II and St. John Bosco. This outstanding movie is unique among films on St. Francis because of the historical accuracy of the story and its authentic spirit of joy and piety Francis was known for, as well as the major role played by Clare who is given equal stature with Francis. The two leads are played by very appealing performers, Mary Petruolo and Ettore Bassi, who give genuinely inspiring and beautifully moving performances of the daughter of a patrician family and the son of a rich merchant who leave all to follow Christ. $3.95
Pius XII: Under the Roman Sky Based on Vatican documents and personal testimonies used by advocates for the cause for the canonization of Venerable Pope Pius XII, this epic film stars acclaimed actor James Cromwell in a powerful movie about the great, often hidden struggle waged by the Pope and many others with him to save the Jews from the Nazis during WWII. After the Nazi's take over Rome in 1943, Hitler's plan to kidnap the Pope is revealed as the Nazis make an all-out attempt to silence the one authority figure in Italy standing strong against them. Everything comes together with great intensity in this dramatic story that retraces history from the documents and the testimonies of witnesses that was not fully known til now. $3.95
Maximilian Schell stars as "the flying friar", St. Joseph of Cupertino, in this heartwarming and amazing true story of the humble Franciscan friar who literally rose to sainthood. In the impoverished village of 17th century Cupertino, Italy, Joseph’s peasant mother convinces the reluctant Abbott (Ricardo Montalban) to accept her son into the monastery. With the support of the kindly local Bishop who sees in him a great deal more than others, and by a series of miraculous incidents, the simple but pious Joseph is ordained a priest. Yet some are convinced that it is the devil, not God, who is responsible for Joseph's miraculous powers – until a final miracle reveals to all his true sanctity. $3.95
To see a full list of the Ignatius Press films and documentaries that are available for streaming please click below.
Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley star in a scene from the movie "The Fault in Our Stars." (CNS photo/Fox)
An (Almost) Faultless Masterpiece | Nick Olszyk | CWR
The Fault in Our Stars can be seen as a theodicy of sorts, a film about how to find love and meaning amid so much pain and suffering
MPAA Rating, PG-13 USCCB Rating, A-III Reel Rating: (4 Reels out of 5)
The Fault in Our Stars is a difficult, painful story about cancer-stricken teenagers; it is also one of the most beautiful films ever made about romantic love. It has the courage to approach the frequently trodden—yet nearly always disappointing—genre of “Young Adult” (YA) romance with surprisingly youthful vigor considering its deep subject matter (and without Mandy Moore or sparkling vampires). What a treat! It’s rare to see a film turn almost every expectation on its head in such thrilling fashion.
Put simply, this is a tale of true love, a love forged in the crucible of pain, suffering, and devotion. While it is lacking in addressing spiritual questions, it is profound in its approach to human relationships.
Hazel Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is an average sixteen year-old girl who likes books and thinks her parents are embarrassing. But she also has cancer, which requires her to carry around extra oxygen wherever she goes. Her mother forces her to go to an unreasonably lame Christian cancer support group where she meets Gus Waters (Ansel Elgort), a likeable dreamboat whose recent and successful battle with cancer left him without one leg but in possession of a fresh, exciting perspective on life.
Hazel is obsessed with a serious, dark novel titled, An Imperial Affliction, written by a recluse Salinger-esque Dutch author, which is about a similar cancer patient and which ends, maddeningly, in mid-sentence.
Ignatius Press Novels interviewed Mrs. Beckett via email.
The Leaves Are Falling is your third work of historical fiction published by Ignatius Press. Why are you interested in the historical fiction genre?
Beckett: I am a historian by training, but I got married very young (age 19), had a lot of children and now grandchildren, live in the depths of the country, and have been a schoolteacher for 40 years (I still teach Latin in the local high school), so I never had a chance to do proper historical research, though I have written academic books on literature and music. So historical fiction is perfect for me: I can read plenty of books at home, and I love to imagine what it must have been like to live through periods and events quite different from my own quiet and orderly life. Because I am a teacher, I also like the idea of helping people to understand better things that they may know little about: the Reformation in England (The Time Before You Die), the descent of Germany into the horrors of Nazism (A Postcard from the Volcano) and now, in The Leaves Are Falling, what really happened on the Eastern front in World War II, where no British or American forces ever were.
This novel provides a lot of details about the historical events of World War II and the events after the war. How much research did you do before writing this novel? Do you have any favorite history books or resources that helped your research?
Beckett: I did a lot of work and read a great many history books. The two authors who were the most help with this new book were Professor Timothy Snyder, now at Yale, particularly his books The Reconstruction of Nations, and Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, and Yitzhak Arad: The Holocaust in the Soviet Union. I read dozens of other books, including all (not very much) that has been written about the Jewish partisans in Byelorussia, and about the Katyn massacre. (Everything that happens in the Soviet prison in the last third of my book is true, and Major Zarubin, the NKVD interrogator, and Rabbi Steinberg, are real historical figures.)
The novel tells the story of Joseph Halpern, an octogenarian book seller who finds a description of his father in a story, and wonders if his own story would be worth telling. Why did you decide to tell Joseph’s story in this novel?
The Story of the West: Who, Why, and How | Gregory J. Sullivan | CWR
Rodney Stark's new book, How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity, relates history that most Westerners have never heard
The impressive book by Baylor University social scientist Rodney Stark, How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity, continues the prolific scholar's fascinating project of bringing social-science rigor (a phrase that is not contradictory in Stark’s meticulous hands) to watershed historical events and epochs.
As with such earlier and well-received works as The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Let to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (2005) and The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion (2011), Stark’s lively and absorbing new work beheads the academy’s dictatorship of relativism and enthrones in its place concrete and fact-based understanding in order here to give Western civilization the credit it richly deserves.
Modernity – the centerpiece of this project that Stark defines as “that fundamental store of scientific knowledge and procedures, powerful technologies, artistic achievements, political freedoms, economic arrangements, moral sensibilities, and improved standards of living that characterize Western nations and are now revolutionizing life in the rest of the world” – and its unique development in the West is Stark’s emphasis. That is to say, this book is an investigation of why it happened here and not the Islamic world or anywhere else.
Of course, the advent and astonishing spread and influence of Christianity is at the core of Stark’s analysis.
This Father's Day, give your dad a gift that is out of this world.
Choose one of our new films or spiritually enriching titles, and touch not just his heart, but also his soul.
Save 20%* on featured titles by entering the code FATHER at checkout.
Francis: The Pope of Renewal
All the Insights into an Already Historic Papacy
This film shows the striking ascension to the top of world's popularity of the almost unknown Argentinian cardinal. It also reflects the renewal of the Catholic Church's image that he has generated. A brief street poll with people of various nationalities and beliefs suggests the extension of this phenomenon. What can be the causes of such spectacular change in the public opinion?
This new film is the world's biggest documentary on the new saint. It utilizes exclusive archival footage featuring John Paul II, as well as a lot of original shots made for this comprehensive film. Produced in HD quality, and four years in the making, it was filmed in 13 countries. It features many world famous figures from the Church, Politics, Entertainment and News industries, and their inspiring, insightful thoughts about and experiences with John Paul II. 90 minutes, $19.95 Watch the trailer
When he opened the historic Second Vatican Council in 1962, the "Good Pope" launched a spiritual revolution in the Church and the world. He summoned the bishops of the world to engage in straightforward discussions about the direction and future of the Church, and the relationship of the Church to the modern world. Few events in the history of the modern Catholic Church have been as far-reaching as the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). And few have been as controversial. 55 minutes, $19.95 Watch the trailer
Left: Meredith Greenberg holds hands with her partner, Leora Pearlman, as Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City, N.J., presides over their wedding in Jersey City Oct. 21, 2013. (CNS photo/Shannon Stapleton, Reuters). Right: People demonstrate outside the Supreme Court building in Washington in this photo from late March 2013, when the court heard oral arguments in two same-sex marriage cases. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)
Why Is Gay Not Okay? | Carl E. Olson | Catholic World Report
“Compassion does not trump truth,” says Robert R. Reilly, “And the truth is becoming harder to tell.”
Scholar and author Robert R. Reilly was Senior Advisor for Information Strategy (2002-2006) for the U.S. Secretary of Defense, after which he taught at National Defense University. He was the director of the Voice of America from 2001 to 2002, and served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President from 1983 to 1985. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Claremont Graduate University, and has written widely on “war of ideas" issues, foreign policy, and classical music. His previous books and monographs include Surprised by Beauty: A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music, The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis, and The Prospects and Perils of Catholic-Muslim Dialogue.
His new book, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, was published recently by Ignatius Press. It has been praised as “magnificent, a real achievement” (Austin Ruse, President, Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute) and described as “a rare tour de force on a defining question of our time” (Dr. Robert Royal, President, Faith & Reason Institute). Reilly recently corresponded with Carl E. Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, about his new book and its approach and arguments.
CWR: Right at the start, you make the connection between contraception and same-sex marriage, writing in the Introduction that the “progression from the one to the other was logically inescapable.” What are the main points of that progression? How unique is the “capstone” of same-sex marriage; that is, how uncharted are the waters that have now flooded society?
Reilly: The key is separating sex from diapers. Once you consciously subvert the procreative power of sex with contraception, there is a very slippery slope—more like a cliff, actually—down to the moral pigpen where sex is simply a form of degraded entertainment. You try to grab the pleasure from the act, while denying the thing toward which the act is essentially ordered.
So it is perfectly logical to go from contraception to abortion (so those whose contraception has failed are not “penalized”) to the celebration of sodomy as the basis of marriage. Homosexuals can easily pose the question, “if you endorse contracepted heterosexual acts, what could possibly be wrong with our acts which don’t even have to be contracepted?”
The logic of the situation makes it very easy to see where this is going next—polygamy and polyandry. In fact, a Federal District Court has already taken a step in this direction in respect to Utah’s laws against polygamy. When we allow homosexual acts to serve as the basis for “marriage,” anything goes.
CWR: Your thesis, as you noted, “is very simple: There are two fundamental views of reality.” What are those two views of reality? And if the thesis is simple, why is it so difficult for people to either comprehend it or to explain it themselves?
Written for the candidates in junior high and high school (or older), this YOUCAT Confirmation book provides in-depth preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Designed in the same popular format as the best-selling YOUCAT, this book has interesting, lively text on many spiritual topics and themes to help the student be well prepared to receive the Sacrament. It also includes many good questions throughout the book that youth ask about the faith, God, Jesus, the Church, etc., and the answers are cross referenced with either the Bible or with YOUCAT.
Among the topics covered are: Why the World is Broken, Jesus-More than a Mere Man, In Search of the Holy Spirit, Prayer-Staying in Touch with God, The Church, Eucharist, Confession, the Rite of Confirmation, and more. Like Youcat, the creative design includes many fun illustrations, color pictures, quotes from saints, popes and scripture, and the favorite “moving stick figures” at the bottom of each page.
A Teachers Book for this Confirmation book will be released in the Summer by Ignatius Press.
"This book is a must-read for every person of faith who understands that action is needed – now – if we ever hope to build a free, just and humane society." - Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, Priests for Life
Non-Negotiable Essential Principles of a Just Society and Humane Culture Sheila Liaugminas Hardcover, $17.95—eBook also available."Combining the passion of personal conscience and the convictions of reason and faith, Sheila Liaugminas analyzes conflicted points in our culture in the light of first principles. It's a good tool in skilled hands."
- Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. Archbishop of Chicago
Robert Osborne will feature Mother Dolores Hart as his special guest on Turner Classic Movies, Tuesday, May 27, 8pm ET, to discuss her amazing journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows, as told in her new biographic memoir, The Ear of the Heart.
Dolores Hart stunned Hollywood in 1963, when after ten highly successful feature films, she entered a contemplative monastery. Hart was a bright and beautiful college student when she made her film debut with Elvis Presley in Loving You. She also acted with other big stars such as Montgomery Clift, Anthony Quinn, and Myrna Loy.
She entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, CT., at the peak of her career, not to leave the glamorous world of acting she had dreamed of since childhood, but to answer a mysterious call she heard with the “ear of the heart”.
Be sure to hear her inspiring story on TCM on Tuesday, May 27, 8pm ET/ 5 pm PT.
Save 20%*on the enlightening titles below! Simply enter the coupon code NNEG2014 at checkout to take advantage of this great offer!
Principles of Christian Morality Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and Hans Urs von Balthasar $9.95 eBookalso available.
by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)
Hardcover | 700 pages
This major volume is a collection of the writings of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) on the theology of the Liturgy of the Church, a subject of preeminence to him as a theologian, professor and spiritual writer. It brings together all his writings on the subject, short and long, giving his views on liturgical matters and questions over many years and from various perspectives.
He chose to have his writings on the Liturgy for the first volume published of his collected works (though listed as vol. 11) because, as he says in the Introduction: "The liturgy of the Church has been for me since my childhood the central reality of my life, and it became the center of my theological efforts. I chose fundamental theology as my ﬁeld because I wanted ﬁrst and foremost to examine thoroughly the question: Why do we believe? But also included from the beginning in this question was the other question of the right response to God and, thus, the question of the liturgy."
By starting with the theme of liturgy in this volume, Ratzinger wants to highlight God's primacy, the absolute precedence of the theme of God. Beginning with a focus on the liturgy, he said, tells us that "God is first". He quotes from the Rule of St. Benedict, "Nothing is to be preferred to the liturgy", as a way of ordering priorities for the life of the Church and of every individual. He says that the fundamental question of the man who begins to understand himself correctly is: How must I encounter God? Thus learning the right way of worshipping is the gift par excellence that is given to us by the faith.
The essential purpose of his writings on the liturgy is to place the liturgy in its larger context, which he presents in three concentric circles. First, the intrinsic interrelationship of Old and New Testament; without the connection to the Old Testament heritage, the Christian liturgy is incomprehensible. The second circle is the relationship to the religions of the world. The third circle is the cosmic character of the liturgy, which is more than the coming together of a circle of people: the liturgy is celebrated in the expanse of the cosmos, encompassing creation and history at the same time.
Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As Pope he authored the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth; and prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books that continue to remain important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.
Homosexuality and the Logic of a Disordered Polity | Fr. James V. Schall, SJ | CWR
Robert Reilly’s new book, Making Gay Okay, is an objective and logical discussion of where certain ideas and actions must—and do—invariably lead
“‘But surely,’ someone will object, ‘it isn’t easy for vice always to remain hidden.’ We’ll reply that nothing great is easy. And, in any case, if we’re to be happy, we must follow the paths indicated in these accounts. To remain undiscovered we’ll form secret societies and political clubs. And there are teachers of persuasion to make us clever in dealing with assemblies and law courts. Therefore, using persuasion in one place and coercion in another, we’ll outdo others without paying a penalty. ‘What about the gods? Surely we can’t hide from them or use force against them!’ Well, if the gods don’t exist, or concern themselves with human affairs, why should we worry at all about hiding from them?” — Adeimantus, The Republic of Plato, II, #365c-d.
In my mind, I associate three books together—Hadley Arkes’ First Things, Jay Budziszewski’s On the Meaning of Sex[Editor's note: See CWR's April 2012 interview with Dr. Budziszewski], and Robert Reilly’s new book, Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything. Together they constitute, as it were, a “trilogy” that makes intelligible our acknowledged or unacknowledged public disorder of soul. When Aristotle distinguished political regimes in his Politics, he pointed out that each regime within itself—monarchy, aristocracy, polity/tyranny, oligarchy, democracy, and the mixed regimes—manifested a certain order. This order, in its turn, revealed the souls and character of the citizens of the regime. In addition, regimes become better or worse through time. They change; they decline and fall, rise and ascend. The criterion of what is good and what is not is grounded in what is. Man discovers reality. He does not will it or make it, except in so far as he bases himself on being, to follow it or to reject it.
Changes in regimes always reveal and follow a certain “logic.” When polities change, they do so for a purpose found ultimately in the souls of the citizens that constitute them. Such changes, ultimately, are set in motion by the free choices of citizens about how they live. How they live follows on how they think. Political “structures” do not “determine” the virtue or vice of citizens. They follow and flow from them. There is a “best” regime, an “in-between” regime, and a “worst” regime. The steps by which one goes from bad to good, or from good to bad, are inherent in things themselves. These steps are open to the mind’s understanding. “Man did not make man to be man,” as Aristotle put it. He is already a “made” reality before he begins to think of why he is as he is.
What man makes of himself will thus follow the logic of his being, not the logic of his will alone. Yet, as St. Thomas pointed out in his Summa (I-II, 91, 5), there is an order in disorder. To think and act against the good leads step by step, whether we like it or not, foresee it or not, to that which is most opposed to the good of any order. One goes gradually and incrementally from good to bad one step at a time. Each change makes a further ascent or declination possible, even likely. But change is always in the direction of making man more or less human. He always insists that he acts to make things better, even when he is doing the worst.
Man is responsible for what he makes or allows himself to be. He cannot make himself to be non-human. But he can make himself to be good man or bad man. Aristotle said that man can make himself worse than the beasts. He was not criticizing the beasts. Being indirectly protects the good by punishing a disorder of soul in the very living of out of the disorder. Such disorder and its “punishment” can be seen and traced in objective terms; this is what sociology and political science are at their best.
This tracing of the human good as it systematically deviates from its essence is what Reilly's book does.
New online parish youth ministry program also available now!
San Francisco, May 15, 2014 – The first two DVD sets in the multi-media YDisciple® formation program for young people have just been released. The two DVD sets, TRUE STRENGTH and TRUE BEAUTY, focus on chastity formation.
TRUE STRENGTH (4 discs) examines masculinity and the virtue of chastity for young men. Based on biblical teaching and principles, this series helps young me discover masculinity as God’s invitation for them to be men of greatness. TRUE STRENGTH features many of the best Catholic speakers, including Chris Stefanick, Jason Evert, Matt Fradd, and Scott Powell, and comes with a leader’s guide and a study guide.
TRUE BEAUTY (4 discs) explores femininity and the virtue of chastity for young women. This series helps young women joyfully live out chastity in the midst of an unchaste culture. Crystalina Evert, Sarah Swafford, Mary Bielski, Lisa Cotter, and others are featured in these inspiring presentations for young women. TRUE BEAUTY also has a leader’s guide and a study guide.
TRUE STRENGTH and TRUE BEAUTY are two parts of YDisciple®, an exciting new formation program for youth from the Augustine Institute, available through Ignatius Press and Lighthouse Catholic Media. Three years in the making, YDisciple® is a powerful program developed by a team of experienced youth ministers, speakers, and theologians.
In addition to the newly released DVD sets, YDisciple® provides a host of resources available on an online platform, including: numerous highly engaging video series for teens; training videos for adults; leader, teen, and parent resources; and guided small group activities.
YDisciple® works through a small group model by equipping committed adults to meet young people right where they are – with all their fears, doubts, and questions – to form young disciples.
By empowering key adults in the parish community, YDisciple® is able to provide effective, dynamic youth ministry with little-to-no dedicated staffing resources. This makes it perfect for the 88% of parishes that don’t have full-time, professional staff, and an ideal complement for those that do.
Jesus modeled discipleship when He invested His life in a small group of men and gave the Church the vision of reaching the world through the multiplication of disciples, and YDisciple® follows this example.
Sean Dalton, the Associate Director of YDisciple®, explains the reason YDisciple® is an effective ministry for the youth: “A great poverty in the life of teenagers today is a lack of meaningful relationships with caring, faith-filled adults. The YDisciple® online platform is designed to mobilize as many adults as possible in order to meet the needs of teenagers: a need to belong, a need to be transparent, a need to engage in critical thinking around beliefs, and a need for guidance. Small group discipleship provides an ideal environment to meet those needs and help teenagers take ownership of their faith.”
Ignatius Press and Lighthouse Catholic Media have partnered with the Augustine Institute and YDisciple® to spread the word about this ground-breaking program. For more information or to order YDisciple®, please visit: www.YDiscipleIP.com About the Associate Director of YDisciple®
Sean Dalton received his Master of Arts in Theology and Certification in Catechetics from Franciscan University in 1998. Sean has 20 years of experience in youth, young adult and campus ministry as a parish youth minister, Diocesan Director, and Regional Director with FOCUS. Sean joined the YDisciple® team at the Augustine Institute in July, 2013. Sean and Jenn have 5 children and live in Littleton, CO.
Associate Director Sean Dalton is available for interviews about YDisciple®.
For a sample study or to request an interview with Sean, please contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press, (239) 867-4180 or rose@Ignatius.com
What gave Abraham Lincoln the authority to declare the freedom and choice to own slaves as immoral? After all, the law of the land allowed it. What gave Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King the authority to lead a whole movement calling civil laws immoral and demanding new civil rights laws that recognized the equal dignity and worth of "all God's children" without exception? After all, segregation was legal. What gave the United Nations the moral authority to claim and designate absolute human rights in an international declaration, though some member nations were already violating them?
Principles. First principles. In their founding documents, the United States and the United Nations recognized the principles that all men have inherent dignity and that they deserve equal rights. They both have declared those principles the conditions fundamental to freedom, justice, and peace. Yet both the United States and the United Nations have within them powerful political forces passing laws or resolutions that violate first principles and put at risk the most vulnerable populations.
This book goes beyond the politics of pragmatism and cultural relativism to reacquaint the reader with first principles. It demonstrates what the Church has to say about the most important issues of our time and why. It anticipates the questions readers will ask and provides the answers they will need in the struggle to restore respect for human dignity.
Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy Award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. She reported for Time magazine in its Midwest Bureau for over 20 years, and co-hosted the Chicago television program YOU. She has appeared on Fox Chicago News and the BBC. Liaugminas is an established contributor to MercatorNet.com, and has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, Crisis, National Catholic Register, and National Review Online. She currently hosts the daily radio program A Closer Look on Relevant Radio.
Praise for Non-Negotiable:
"Sheila Liaugminas is an articulate voice of the New Evangelization and as she demonstrates in this powerful book, being seriously Catholic today means being part of a culture-reforming counterculture." - George Weigel, Author, Evangelical Catholicism
"Combining the passion of personal conscience and the convictions of reason and faith, Sheila Liaugminas analyzes conflicted points in our culture in the light of first principles. It's a good tool in skilled hands." - Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. Archbishop of Chicago
"Sheila Liaugminas stresses in her fine book that 'Complacency is not an option,' and she hammers home that point with brilliant insight into the past, present and future of all the so-called 'social issues' that continue to divide America. This book is a must-read for every person of faith who understands that action is needed – now – if we ever hope to build a free, just and humane society." - Dr. Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, Priests for Life
"I truly admire Sheila Liaugminas. She is an outstanding journalist. We have dialogued extensively on her radio program about the rights of conscience and the protection of what we call our 'first principles.' Sheila has laid out in great breadth and depth the need for a revived understanding of the essentials of human dignity and societal organization." - Jeff Fortenberry, Member of Congress
"Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have spoken of the 'dictatorship of relativism' in our world today and its negative impacts not just on our faith, but to the common good of society. Shelia Liaugminas draws upon the universal principle of natural human rights and dignity to address several contemporary moral issues which have suffered as a result of a relativistic mindset. Her book is a valuable resource in the struggle to restore a true, just and virtuous society." - Most Reverend Thomas Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield, Illinois
"Sheila Liaugminas brings her keen insights on applying timeless truths to important issues of the day. She demonstrates how 'first principles' have made free, just, and humane society possible and explains why these principles must be non-negotiable. As America grapples with issues of freedom and justice today, Sheila's book is a must-read for those who want to understand why it is critical that we do not back down from "human truths" – affirmed by the Catholic Church and others – if we want a society that protects every individual's life and dignity." - Dan Lipinski, Member of Congress
"A rare tour de force on a defining question of our time."
- Robert Royal, PhD, President, Faith & Reason Institute
Making Gay Okay How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything Robert R. ReillyAt stake in the rationalization of homosexual behavior is the notion that human beings are ordered to a purpose that is given by their Nature. The understanding that things have an in-built purpose is being replaced by the idea that everything is subject to man's will and power, which is considered to be without limits. This is what the debate over homosexuality is really about-the Nature of reality itself. The outcome of this dispute will have consequences that reach far beyond the issue at hand. Hardcover, $22.95—eBook also available.
"This book should be required reading for anyone who writes our laws-in fact, for anyone with cultural decision-making power."
— Joseph Nicolosi, PhD, Co-Founder, National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH)
"This book is a stark warning that should be read by every lover of liberty, and a call to action for those who would preserve it." —John C. Eastman, JD, PhD Chairman, National Organization for Marriage Founding Director, Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
Save 20%*on this title and the related titles listed below by entering the coupon code MAKING at checkout!
The Truth about Homosexuality Fr. John F. Harvey $17.95
Sacra Liturgia 2013 explored questions of liturgical art, architecture, music, the ars celebrandi, the importance of ritual in human psychology, truly pastoral liturgy, the place of the older liturgical rites in the New Evangelization, liturgical formation, liturgical law, the role of the diocesan bishop in respect of the liturgy, and more.
“The Sacred Liturgy is not a hobby for specialists. It is central to all our endeavors as disciples of Jesus Christ. This profound reality cannot be over emphasized. We must recognize the primacy of grace in our Christian life and work, and we must respect the reality that in this life the optimal encounter with Christ is in the Sacred Liturgy,” explained Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, France, who opened the conference with these words.
Sacra Liturgia 2013 saw over three hundred delegates from over thirty countries listen to twenty leading liturgists, cardinals, bishops and other scholars—including Cardinals Burke and Ranjith, Archbishop Alexander Sample, Bishops Mark Aillet and Peter Elliott, Abbot Christopher Zielinski, Father U.M. Lang, Don Nicola Bux and Professor Tracey Rowland—emphasize the centrality of liturgical formation and celebration in the life and mission of the Church. “The New Evangelization must be founded on the faithful and fruitful celebration of the Sacred Liturgy as given to us by the Church in her tradition – Western and Eastern,” Bishop Rey asserted.
As the fruit of this conference Sacred Liturgy: The Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church is an important resource in ongoing liturgical formation for clergy, religious and laity and makes a significant contribution to that renewal promoted in the Pontificate of Benedict XVI: a renewal which embraces the riches of liturgical tradition as valuable treasures, seeks to read the Second Vatican Council according to a hermeneutic of continuity, not rupture, and is in no doubt that, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger once wrote, “the true celebration of the Sacred Liturgy as the center of any renewal of the Church.”
About the Editor: Dom Alcuin Reid is a monk of the Monastère Saint-Benoît in Fréjus-Toulon, France. He has lectured and has published extensively on the Liturgy, including The Organic Development of the Liturgy with a preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described.
Dom Alcuin Reid is available for interviews about this book. To request a review copy or an interview with Dom Alcuin Reid, please contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press at (239) 867-4180 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A Really Funny Movie About Real Motherhood | Sarah Reinhard | CWR
Moms’ Night Out is a celebration of the everything that parenthood and family life is, including the chaos and the crazy and the comical
So, which of the following was true of the day I tried to sit down with my BFF and watch Moms’ Night Out?
A. I had a “moment” wherein I threw out my coffee, locked the bathroom door, and ignored the noise in the other room.
B. I texted said BFF and told her to forget it, because there was just no way I could endure the whining. (I didn’t specify if it was mine or theirs.)
C. I realized that I broke the screener and used up all my chances to watch the movie, thereby ruining all of our chances to even see the movie (and my shot at writing about it for the deadline I had).
D. My car broke down, people broke into my house, the kids ran around naked, and the internet was down.
The good news is that the answer is not “all of the above”—but just barely.
It was the perfect introduction to a movie that I’ve seen so hyped in my circles that I couldn’t decide if I really wanted to see it or if I would be vastly disappointed.
Within the first five minutes, I knew the answer, and it wasn’t disappointment.
"The Sacred Liturgy is not a hobby for specialists. It is central to all our endeavors as disciples of Jesus Christ. This profound reality cannot be over emphasized. We must recognize the primacy of grace in our Christian life and work, and we must respect the reality that in this life the optimal encounter with Christ is in the Sacred Liturgy."
With these words Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, France, opened Sacra Liturgia 2013, an international conference in which he brought together over twenty leading liturgists, cardinals, bishops and other scholars from around the world to emphasize the centrality of liturgical formation and celebration in the life and mission of the Church. "The New Evangelization must be founded on the faithful and fruitful celebration of the Sacred Liturgy as given to us by the Church in her tradition - Western and Eastern," Bishop Rey asserted.
Sacra Liturgia 2013 - the proceedings of which this book publishes - explored questions of liturgical art, architecture, music, the ars celebrandi, the importance of ritual in human psychology, truly pastoral liturgy, the place of the older liturgical rites in the New Evangelization, liturgical formation, liturgical law, the role of the diocesan bishop in respect of the liturgy, and more.
Sacred Liturgy - The Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church is an important resource in ongoing liturgical formation for clergy, religious and laity, and makes a significant contribution to that renewal promoted in the Pontificate of Benedict XVI. That is the renewal which embraces the riches of liturgical tradition as valuable treasures, seeks to read the Second Vatican Council according to a hermeneutic of continuity, not rupture, and is in no doubt that, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger once wrote, "the true celebration of the Sacred Liturgy as the center of any renewal of the Church."
Dom Alcuin Reid is a monk of the Monastère Saint-Benoît in Fréjus-Toulon, France. He has lectured and has published extensively on the Liturgy, including The Organic Development of the Liturgy with a preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described.
Calling Men to Be Icons of God the Father | Carl E. Olson | CWR
An interview with Devin Schadt, whose new book challenges men to recognize that fathers are not defined by their occupations but by their vocations
Devin Schadt is a husband, father, and speaker whose book, Joseph's Way: Prayer of Faith (80 Days to Unlocking Your Power as a Father) was recently published by Ignatius Press. The book is the first of a two-volume series that seeks to “transmit the message of the glory, necessity, and power of fatherhood.” Devin is the cofounder of the Fathers of St. Joseph, an apostolate that works for the renewal of authentic fatherhood, and he lives in the Midwest with his wife and five children. He recently corresponded with Carl E. Olson, editor of Catholic World Report, about the family as an icon of the Trinity, the example of St. Joseph, and how families goes the way of the father.
CWR: What was the inspiration, or origin, of Joseph’s Way: Prayer of Faith? How did your own experience as a Catholic, husband, and father shape this book and the second volume, Prayer of a King?
Devin Schadt: Joseph's Way was born out of crisis. Our third daughter, Anna Marie, was born at 28 weeks gestational period. After an emergency caesarian section, she spent a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in order to develop her lungs and digestive system, and eventually returned home with our family. After five days she contracted the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a type of cold that attacks premature infants’ lungs, often causing death. We readmitted Anna Marie to the pediatric unit at the local hospital, but the team was not equipped, nor did they have enough experience, to care for a child that small. Due to neglect, and ten hours of apnea, Anna Marie suffered a hypoxic event, wherein not enough oxygen was transmitted to her brain. By the time the Medivac team stabilized her on life support and she had arrived by helicopter at a children's hospital a couple of hours away, she had suffered three clinical death experiences and permanent brain injury.
Because of this, my wife implored me to discontinue my participation in youth ministry and to focus on being a husband and father. At that time, I viewed fatherhood as a second-rate vocation, not capable of fulfilling the great commission given by Christ in Matthew 28. In fact, I sensed that fatherhood was essentially a way to dismiss oneself from following Christ and becoming one of His disciples.
For years, I had lived in the tension of wanting to follow Christ, but also acknowledging that I was needed at home, and because of this I concluded that I was not called by God to be one of His followers. I went on a pilgrimage and confessed my interior struggles to one of the spiritual directors accompanying us. She said, "Go home and be Joseph." Those words initially crushed me. Couldn't she have said, "Go home and become St. Paul", or "Go home and start a mission"? Who was this St. Joseph, not a word of whose is recorded in Sacred Scripture, and who, in so much of Christian art, is depicted as lacking vitality and youth? St. Joseph appeared to be an extra, a tack-on, someone needed to "fill in" and make the Virgin's teenage pregnancy acceptable.
I went home and, being consecrated to Our Lady, asked her to introduce me to her "most chaste spouse"—and she did.
I started a writers’ group—not because I am a writer, but because my brother is an excellent writer, and had a couple of projects that he had been working on; I had hopes that the writers’ group would give him the accountability needed to complete his works. Each week, one of the members would share his latest writings. I was the odd man out, in that I was the only one among the men who was not a writer. When it was my turn to share, I would share brief reflections on fatherhood through the lens of St. Joseph. At one of these meetings, my friend (aptly named Joe) turned to me and said, "You are called to write on fatherhood through the lens of St. Joseph." His words resounded in my being. I was leaving for a four day retreat later that day, and by the time I had returned, God had given the entire outline for what originally constituted four books, which now comprise the two volumes of Joseph's Way.
I originally wrote Joseph's Way as a letter to myself, in hopes of discovering what it truly means to be a great father. Four books later, which now constitute two volumes, I sensed that God had given me something very special. Joseph's Way is unique, in that it provides a theological vision of fatherhood through the lens of St. Joseph. It is theological, yet practical—sometimes painfully practical. The books present a chronological, theological account of St. Joseph's life—from his first step to fatherly greatness, returning to his vocation after originally fleeing from it, and embracing his role as protector of woman, Mary, to his commissioning of Jesus to be built into a temple of sacrifice.
There are books written on the subject of fatherhood, and there are also books written on the subject of St. Joseph. But there are very few that offer an integration of fatherhood and St. Joseph in a practical, yet theological manner. Joseph's Way accomplishes this.
CWR: There are two sources, in particular, that inform Joseph’s Way: Sacred Scripture and the writings of St. John Paul II. Can you comment on the importance of both for your work and thought?
San Francisco, April 28, 2014 – The beautiful and timeless biblical story of Tobit is given a fresh new take in a recently released novel from Ignatius Press, Tobit’s Dog by Michael Nicholas Richard. Tobit’s Dog tells the story of a humble man named Tobit Messenger, who despite the ever-present oppression of the Jim Crow South around him, becomes a prosperous and well-respected man. One day forces beyond his control start a cascade of misfortune that leaves him blind and nearly destitute. It is then that an affable travelling musician, who calls himself Ace Redbone, shows up on his doorstep claiming to be a distant relative.
In an effort to alleviate his family’s dire situation, Tobit allows his son, Tobias, to accompany Ace Redbone on a quest to collect a long overdue debt. Together, Ace, Tobias, and a most peculiar dog named Okra set off on a journey that will lead to unexpected consequences. Currents of grace begin rippling through not only Tobit’s family but his entire community as hidden crimes are revealed and justice, which had almost been despaired of, is served.
This retelling of the biblical story of Tobit, set in North Carolina during the Depression, brings to life in surprising ways the beloved Old Testament characters, including the important but often overlooked family dog. In Tobit’s Dog, important themes such as faith, prejudice, and suffering are explored and the novel compels readers to ponder thought provoking questions about these important topics.
Author Michael Nicholas Richard explains why he decided to re-tell the classic biblical story, saying, “Language and our perception of reality are ever evolving and changing things. Even great truths can become stale in expression. We should always be seeking to express these truths in new ways. We risk losing some of each generation who cannot see the truth behind what feels, to them, to be tired clichés.”
Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and author of the book Jacob’s Ladder, says, “Sheldon Vanauken, author of A Severe Mercy (which is indeed a masterpiece), gave me the best compliment I ever received from an author when he told me that one of my books was on his bookcase. He lived monastically in a one room cottage with one bookcase, and whenever he kept a new book he had to throw out an old one. If I were living in his house, Tobit’s Dog would be one of the books I’d keep, to read again in a few years. That applies to about 1 out of 100 of the books I read.”
Kreeft continues, “What’s so good about Tobit’s Dog? Richard’s transparent writing style gives us a charming story and a strong theme, with realistic, convincing characters that we care about, who exhibit genuine love and gentleness in a challenging culture. It’s a believable story whose characters we know are real from our own experience, even though they are mostly of another time. This book would make a great movie!”
James Casper, author of Everywhere in Chains, calls Tobit’s Dog “a sturdy tale in the journey genre, with hope, love, faithfulness, and spirituality wrapped into it. An ancient story retold and repopulated in a fresh and vibrant manner, it is a praiseworthy contribution to possibly America’s most unsung and yet important literary cultures, anchored in the fiction of Walker Percy and Flannery O’Connor.”
About the Author:
Michael Nicholas Richard lives with his wife, Sherri, in New Bern, North Carolina. He draws inspiration for most of his work from the historical graveyards, churches, and stories from his hometown. Michael has two grown daughters, two young grandchildren as well as two dogs. The dogs never ask for money, but the daughters and grandchildren don't shed. They are all allowed on the couch.
Richard is the author of the novel, Bogfoke, and a number of short stories in small press and mass market paperback formats.
Author Michael Nicholas Richard is available for interviews about this book. To request a review copy or an interview with Michael Nicholas Richard, please contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press at (239)867-4180 or email@example.com