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Devra Torres

Factions

Oct. 20 at 11:39pm

The Synod is over!  The Synod is over! Relieved or dismayed, euphoric or alarmed, we can take a deep breath and relax. (No, not really: now it’s time to begin sifting through the results and preparing for the real Synod.)

                        

The commentary has ranged from distraught to elated, but one recurring idea is that it’s been good to get things hashed out: that it’s a good sign we haven’t settled for a bland, generic document-generating process. Over at Shoved to Them Rebecca Frech even has a post entitled “Why I’m grateful to Cardinal Kasper,” 

She argues that a rousing debate about important questions is a wholesome and necessary thing, recalling the words of her high school

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Devra Torres

The Neomalthusianism of Captain Kirk

Mar. 10 at 9:10pm

I have a confession to make. I'm a Star Trek fan. 

Not the movie versions. I tried to watch one of them once, but it was too much like being imprisoned in an unpleasantly frenzied video game.

Not even The Next Generation, or whatever the remake is called.

I mean the old, old, OLD Star Trek, the version that was already a rerun during my annual childhood visit to my grandparents’ house.  (Every year my sister Abby and I spent one week at Nana and Lenny's house, busily making up for the other 51, which were TV-less.  This involved a lot of Star Trek.) Now my husband and I watch DVDs of the reruns with my own kids. 

So there we were, last night, all cozy in the basement, watching Captain

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Katie van Schaijik

The contraception crisis

Oct. 31, 2012, at 1:16pm

Crisis Magazine's website today kindly published my remarks from the religious liberty panel discussion last week.  The bottom line:

When the federal government uses the force of law to mandate that Catholic institutions and businesses provide birth control and sterilizations and abortifacient drugs to their employees, it is, in effect, seeking to conscript the Church into the service of the culture of death as a condition of our participation in society. It is no side issue.  It is no glancing blow.  It is a stake aimed at the very heart of Catholic life.


Devra Torres

Procreation and Human Dignity in the Philippines, or What About the Hard Cases?

May. 3, 2012, at 1:59am

Today, I'd like to open a can of worms.  I hope we'll all still be on speaking terms by the time we're done.  But they're important worms.

Last week, I tried to articulate a more personalist take on pronatalism--not, of course, that everyone must have as many children as biologically possible (cf. Catholic Teaching 101), but rather that we shouldn't go around blithely judging that this one or that one should never have been born.

I stand by everything I said about the value of those who happen to be their parents' umpteenth-born, or poor, or don't seem likely to offer the world a lot of entertainment value or marketable skills.  Happy pictures of my own very jolly eighth child, and the

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Katie van Schaijik

The Hunger Games

Mar. 20, 2012, at 9:43am

The other day my fourteen year old son asked whether he could go to see the new movie, The Hunger Games, with some friends. He'd read the book, he told me, and thought it really interesting.  He described it to me, and it sounded hideously unreal: an imagined life-and-death moral drama without God, and without any sense of eternity.  

Maybe it's not all bad, though, since today at Public Discourse, philosophy professor Stephen Heaney, uses the story as a jump-off point for a consideration of totalitarianism and bullying. He explains why the Obama administration cannot be content with birth control being freely available to all who want it, but must force all of us who object to participate

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Katie van Schaijik

A priest lays out the wrong of the HHS mandate

Mar. 6, 2012, at 9:13am

Saturday Jules and I went to a "Newman Night" gathering of local friends.  We meet several times a year for a potluck dinner, lively debate and discussion over a selection of readings, then night prayer.  The readings this time were all about the HHS mandate.  They included this short article by fellow personalist Peter J. Colosi. The debate was about our focus.  Should it be on protesting the violation of religious liberty, or should it be on explaining the evil of contraception?  Or both?

One of those present and participating was our friend, Fr. Philip Forlano.  Sunday evening he sent around the homily he had given at Mass.  I asked him if I could publish it and he said yes.  Here it

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Gregory Borse

The Bishop and the Baby

Feb. 11, 2012, at 9:12pm

Here's my question to the Bishops, who made a full throated defense against the Administration's effort to infringe upon the rights of Churches to teach and live their creeds--and to protect their institutional sister-institutions to be free of governmental infringement.

What about me, your Eminences?

I work for a secular institution that will enact the Administration's mandate requiring that my premiums pay for other people's contraceptions, sterilizations, and abortions.  So what if the Administration has said that insurers will be the ones who will be required to do this?  Isn't my compensation package inclusive of health insurance benefits in the form of my employer contributing to the

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Katie van Schaijik

Who or what cares?

Feb. 8, 2012, at 10:00am

Friend Justine links to this Fox news story about a college in Pennsylvania that has a vending machine where students can purchase "emergency contraception", the so-called Plan B or Morning After pill.

I was especially struck by this defense offered by one senior: "It's a way for students to get the help or care they need".

Help and care from a vending machine?!  

You know what the real "message" of the machine to young women is? No one cares about you and what's happening in your life.  No one wants to deal with any consequences.  You're on your own.

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