"The forces challenging the modernist ideal in America are now decisively led by conservative Catholics, not evangelical Protestants, with a new focus on claiming influence and power via America’s legal institutions, particularly the federal courts," says the article. See National Review's dissection of the piece here.
"As educators and students across the nation conclude Catholic Schools Week, it’s important to recognize, as the Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn recently noted, that Catholic schools have offered a 'lifeline to hundreds of thousands of children who would otherwise be out of class and losing ground.' And yet, these schools continue to face headwinds, including the reality that education funding discriminates against parents who choose Catholic or other non-public institutions." Read the report here.
"This injunction will prevent the Biden administration from using the HHS and the EEOC to enforce the Obamacare transgender mandate, forcing doctors to provide cross-sex hormones and sex-reassignment surgery. Some doctors have warned that even the hormones — the less invasive 'treatment' — give healthy people a disease. The actual surgery often involves sterilizing a patient for life. Mandating such 'treatments' would force doctors to violate the Hippocratic oath." Read more here.
A Key Motive for the Intellectual, Legal and Physical Attacks on Catholic and Other Christian Institutions: Anger & Opposition to Traditional Families
"This brings us to the grittiest truth not only of 2020, but of the future it foretells. Much of America now roams the nation and the internet in search of family substitutes: street gangs, ‘chosens’, identitarian groups, BLM and toxic ideologies. And none of these alternatives is remotely up to the job done by the functioning real thing — or even the semi-functioning real thing. The new American ‘haves’ are those who have managed, through luck or hard work or both, to maintain vigorous family ties despite it all. The new have-nots are those who suffer from these primal losses, and who latch with increasing desperation on to collective, victim-centered ‘identities’." Read the Spectator story here.
"In a tribal village in India during the season of preparation for Advent on a late November night, a mob attacked more than 100 of the community’s Christians. About 50 people armed with homemade weapons targeted Christians in the Sukma district of India’s Chhattisgarh state, burning Bibles and destroying property in the early hours of Nov. 25.
For these humble Christian villagers — like so many other persecuted believers around the world — the Christmas season is a time of heightened persecution and fear. For some Christians living in India’s rural areas, associating with holiday festivities can make them targets." Read more here.
There are now more than 100 million Protestants and over 10 million Catholics in China, according to this report, up from 3 million at the end of the Cultural Revolution. "The explosive growth of Chinese Christianity is on a collision course with a government determined to centralize power in the Communist Party in ways not seen since the death of Mao. China’s Christians are to a great extent urban, well-educated and connected to global information networks. For these reasons, serious pressure on Christians will have an even more damaging impact on China’s international standing than what happened in Tibet, Xinjiang or Hong Kong. As news spreads that the Communist Party is persecuting Christians for their faith, the effects on American public opinion will be both explosive and long-lasting, potentially ending any hope for better or even stable relations between Washington and Beijing." Read the story here (paywall may apply).
"President-elect Biden has chosen a secretary of Health and Human Services who sued to block a policy that would have exempted nuns from Obamacare's contraception mandate, provoking even more scrutiny over how Biden's Catholic faith influences his political agenda."
He went after the "Little Sisters of the Poor." Demonstrates Biden's views on individual rights and abortion. Read the story here. No wonder this retired Archbishop supports refusing Holy Communion to Biden.
"(T)here is one place where China’s bullying elicits only silence: the Vatican. Which is strange, because Jimmy Lai is not only Hong Kong’s most well-known champion of democracy; he is also its most prominent Catholic layman. At a moment when he and his family most need their shepherd, Pope Francis is MIA.
The silence might be understandable if Pope Francis were in the tradition of pontiffs who hold themselves aloof from worldly affairs. But Pope Francis is a man who readily weighs in on outrages wherever he finds them, whether it be modern air conditioning, American capitalism or Catholic moms who breed “like rabbits. But on China . . . silence." Read the story here (paywall may apply.)
"... American faith, even after so many waves of secularization, still retains large numbers and a zealous core. But as a project of expansion and reconquest, it conspicuously failed. After an arguable high tide in the years of John Paul II Catholicism and George W. Bush’s Evangelical presidency, the project’s more ambitious goals collapsed, its beachheads in elite culture weakened, its own institutions fell into scandal or theological civil war, and the country moved in a more overtly post-Christian direction overall.
Meanwhile, out of the complex currents of cultural liberalism, a more intense form of anti-traditionalism has recently emerged — itself a sort of successor to the lost Protestant establishment, with the Christian doctrine shorn away but with a renewed moral zeal, an extremely detailed blueprint for social and political relations, and a revival of the old establishment’s hostility to more-disreputable (meaning Catholic and Evangelical and even Jewish) forms of faith." Read the report here.
"Andrea (Pisano) was working at a time when the Roman Catholic Church wanted to make its lessons visually accessible and relatable. A century before, St. Francis—preaching poverty, a love of nature, and a compassionate Christianity that emphasized the value of the individual—had brought a new humanity to its teachings. At the time, the dominant Byzantine painting style was abstract and emotionally distant, with starched, flat figures in frontal poses standing in front of gold backgrounds symbolizing divine light. This was reflected in Bonanno’s doors, whose stiff figures, without facial or corporeal expression, still belonged to that Byzantine paradigm. In addition, the reliefs lacked any sense of spatial depth.
Andrea looked away from that tradition and toward the frescoes in the nearby Church of Santa Croce..." Read the article here (paywall may apply.)