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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Required Reading: Abp. Chaput on Media, New & Old

    I'm going to break with tradition and not excerpt any of the text because I think you should just click through this link and read the whole thing.

    ... especially if you spend a good deal of time digesting mainstream and new media (and really, who of us doesn't?). Not a single wasted word!

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    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    BlogAd: Read Communio!

    New AmP blogads advertisement:

    Communio is the theological journal founded by Ratzinger, Balthasar, de Lubac, and others after Vatican II. The conversation continues today.

    Visit our online bookstore to subscribe, order back issues, or read archived articles.

    See the current issue: Natural Law.


    I'm happy to add my unsolicited endorsement: Communio is a great magazine. They have a special student rate, and if where you are going to school doesn't have a subscription yet - suggest they add it!

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    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    NCRegister editor responds to questions regarding Maciel scandal silence

    In the midst of the Maciel scandal breaking, a former writer for the (Legion-owned)Register published a lengthy piece in First Things demanding that the Register end its silence on the issue, saying:

    "A good Catholic newspaper must not shy away from the truth. But it would frankly make the newspaper look absurd if the whole Catholic world is discussing Fr. Maciel and the Register’s pages largely ignore the whole matter."

    Today, in answer to a letter to the editor, the Register responds:

    Our publisher, Father Owen Kearns, knew of Father Raymond’s concerns when he wrote in his publisher’s note for the Feb. 22 issue, “I’m also grateful for those who have expressed their indignation and their hurt. I know that it comes from their love for the Church we all love so well, and which the Register is dedicated to serving.”

    ... The paper covered the Holy See’s 2006 communiqué regarding Father Marcial Maciel with a wire service news story. Father Owen Kearns wisely limited any defense of Father Maciel to two pieces bylined by himself, one in 2001 and another in 2006. We have told Father Raymond repeatedly that the Register fully intends to correct the record on that coverage as soon as we can do so accurately.

    The Register is dedicated to follow this story in as responsible a way as possible. This will mean, for the most part, relying on journalism produced independently of the Register to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest.

    At the Register, our mission is to form and inform Catholics. We are more than a newspaper — we have a mission to bring readers closer to the Church. But we are also a newspaper, and accuracy is our fundamental value.

    We will keep readers informed about this situation in a way that is accurate, above all, and in keeping with our mission to form and inform.

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    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Report: Vatican to get own YouTube channel

    The Vatican will soon have its own channel on the video sharing site YouTube where the Catholic faithful or the curious will be able to see Pope Benedict or Church events, a Vatican source said on Saturday.

    The details of the accord are due to be presented on Friday at a news conference attended by Vatican officials as well as Henrique de Castro, managing director of media solutions for Google, which owns YouTube.

    The initiative will involve Google, the Vatican Television Center and Vatican Radio.

    It will mark the Vatican's deepest plunge into new media. The Vatican opened up its website,, in 1995. (Reuters)
    I hope they friend AmericanPapist and AMPNews!

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    Monday, October 27, 2008

    Introducing AmP News

    I'd like to introduce AmP readers to a work-in-progress I've undertaken recently (that I hinted about earlier this month) which is now ready for public viewing.

    I've been collaborating with a young man named Alex Buder to produce a video version (or "vlog") of this blog, American Papist, called AmP News. Here is our show's description:

    "AMP News, an upbeat week-in-review of news, politics, and culture, along with commentary and interviews, all from a uniquely Catholic perspective."

    Our working motto is "AmP News, reporting the stories you can believe." (Catchy, huh?)

    We're taking this slowly, and are very excited about its potential. We've produced two segments so far, which you can now view on YouTube below. Consider this our "first draft."

    AmP News Pilot Episode - The Headlines:

    AmP News Pilot Episode - The Papist Take:

    How can you help us out? Several ways:
    1. Give us your feedback - send emails to "americanpapist [at]" and let us know what we can improve, what you liked, didn't like, etc. Our aim is to serve you.
    2. Subscribe to our AmP News YouTube channel so you'll receive notification of future segments, as well as comment, favorite, and rate the video, gaining it visibility
    3. Embed the video on your blog or website, and email it to your friends (most important!)

    If things go well, we intend to soon add exclusive interview segments and on-site reporting.

    This project has the potential to reach a much wider audience of young Catholics, fallen-away/nominal Catholics, as well as the general public, providing them with accurate, interesting news and content, all from a uniquely Catholic (= Papist) perspective.

    And no worries - I'll still be blogging up a storm.

    Thanks so much, and please keep our efforts in your prayers.

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    "Catholic bishops want the word of God on iPods"

    But really, not just iPods - everywhere:
    Catholic bishops meeting in Rome said Friday they want the word of God to be heard through what could be considered an unlikely channel: iPods.

    The bishops, attending a synod at the Vatican since October 5, called for increased distribution of the Bible "in the largest variety of our planet's languages".

    They said in a message to believers that the printed text is no longer sufficient at a time when communication has been transformed by technology.

    "The voice of the divine word must also resonate over the radio, Internet channels with virtual online distribution, CDs, DVDs, iPod ...", it said.

    It went on to add to the list "television and cinema screens, in the press, at cultural and social events." (AFP)
    It is good that they are saying this, but let us remember that the Catholic laity are already doing us a huge service by distributing the teaching's of the bishops using these new technologies. The examples are too many to name.

    Ph/t: Whipsers (who also tries to do some naming).

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    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Mike Maher releases new CD!

    Matt Maher just released a new CD. As I've mentioned before, he is an up-and-coming Catholic musician from Canada who now lives and records in Arizona.

    He just released his fourth album, Empty and Beautiful.

    His most popular album, Overflow, is available on Amazon.

    You can read a 2006 inteview with him here.

    Ph/t: Duc in Madison.

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    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Video: The Catholic Vote

    Some fantastic new work by Grassroot Films:

    This is an initiative of

    update: more on this project from Fidelis.

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    Monday, September 01, 2008

    Tipfest: AmP's weekly website picks

    As promised, a collection of recent links and tips I've been sent. In no particular order...

    • First off, a new resource for Catholics called Headline Bistro:

    "Headline Bistro: Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the site seeks to provide visitors -- Catholics especially -- with the Church, national and world news they need to know. We link to outside stories and columns, write a daily "News Wrap" from a Catholic perspective, provide visitors with information on the top public-policy issues by state, and have a list of featured blogs, among other resources."

    "We strive to provide you with Catholic Christian resources faithful to the Holy Father and the magisterium of the Church. With these resources bishops, pastors, priests, catechists, youth directors, and teachers/instructors of all varieties are now able use media in a positive way to re-evangelize the baptized, disciple and mobilize them for evangelization and to be a blessing. It is a great joy to assist you in this noble and essential cause."

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    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Text Messages from Pope Benedict to WYD pilgrims

    So Cool.

    The first one:
    "Young friend, God & his people expect much from u, because u have within u the Father's supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus - BXVI"
    The second:
    "The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles & gives u the power boldly 2 proclaim that Christ is risen! - BXVI"
    And while we're on the topic of "iReporting," a confirmed picture of Pope2008 blogger Tim Drake!

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    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Bible applications part of iPhone 3G's software offerings

    The Christian Post has a story talking about the latest Apple gadget, and mentions some cool Bible software that can be downloaded for it:

    In addition to the games, social networking apps, and sports programs, a surprising number of Bible software were also made available for the App Store’s launch.

    “While other faiths seem left in the dark, Christian software design firms showed up in large numbers to repackage what is pretty much the same thing, the Bible,” commented Mark Wilson, the weekend editor for Gizmodo Australia, an online technology blog.

    In his report, Wilson highlighted six different Bible software including Bible Xpress, Bible Verse, BibleScope, Holy Sword, Universalis, and Bibles2GO.

    “At the moment, no other religious texts appear to be represented on iTunes,” Wilson commented. “That is, if you don't count the ‘Attaining Zen’ rock garden app.”

    Okay, so that's what the Protestants are up to. What applications would Catholics be interested in besides the apps mentioned above? Are they easily accessible? Please contribute your tips!

    Of course, I don't want to see folks get carried away either....

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    Wednesday, July 09, 2008

    Video & Report: Catholics Come Home web innitiative results in 6,000 inquires!

    Amy Welborn has described the web innitiative Catholics Come Home as a "group dedicated to reconnecting Catholics with their faith, with the byproduct of deepening the faith of all of us."
    She continues: "These commercials are miles beyond the quality of most Catholic media efforts we see and are deeply substantive and do things, IMHO exactly right."

    I agree with her, so much so that I made CCH my AmP website-of-the-month in June (I realize that we are now deep into July and I haven't updated it yet, no worries - it's coming).

    Now Zenit reports that CCH's efforts have resulted in 6,000 inquires and reversions back to the Church:

    For many who have left the Catholic Church, there is often a great desire to come home. However, fear and guilt often lead many to put off the gnawing decision to return to the Church. Not knowing where to turn, many who were once faithful feel lost and ashamed.

    Tom Peterson, founder of, has found television and the Internet to be just the place to reach out to those wishing to come back to the Church.

    Earlier this year Peterson tested his methods and ideas using an advertising campaign geared toward the 3.5 million who live in the Diocese of Phoenix.

    More than 6,000 people inquired and came back to the Church via the Web site, and many more came back to Catholicism by reporting directly to a parish near their home. One priest reported that 16 people came to him for confession after they saw the television ad.

    “One of the biggest surprises for us was the amount of inquiries from those who are not Catholic," said Peterson. "About one quarter of those expressing an interest in the Catholic Church are from those who have seen our commercials or visited our Web site and want to better understand the Catholic Church, or have actually made the decision to become Catholic.”

    With results like this, it was frustrating when I first gave them press at the time of their roll-out that their videos were not accessible and able to be distributed through YouTube. This problem has been fixed to some degree, however, with the introduction of the official Catholics Come Home YouTube Channel. This is a very smart move for two reasons: 1) it's free advertising and 2) it allows the message to be easily and widely distributed.

    Sadly, however, they've decided to disable the function of embedding these videos. I think this is a very poor decision and I hope it is reconsidered quickly. The vidoes are languishing at about between 1k-10k views. I know this blog alone could help boost those numbers if I were allowed to embed it. And imagine if major Catholic websites were to follow suit?
    Please, make it easier for me and other Catholics to promote this video on the internet.

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    Thursday, May 29, 2008

    Now you can get emails from cardinals, too

    Or at least the faithful of Boston can, from their Archbishop:

    News from the Archdiocese of Boston and Cardinal Sean O'Malley can now be obtained just by opening your e-mail inbox.

    The 63-year-old cardinal announced Saturday that the archdiocese is reaching out to the faithful through e-mail.

    The "Weekly E-mail From Cardinal Sean & the Pilot" will include messages from the cardinal, notes from his blog, press releases from the archdiocese, and links to current stories from the archdiocesan paper.

    "This weekly e-mail initiative will increase communication and connection among Catholics across the archdiocese," Cardinal O'Malley said. "As we celebrate our bicentennial year, we have been reminded how Catholics have innovated to ensure that the saving message of Jesus Christ reaches as many people as possible.

    "We want to continue that spirit of innovation and evangelization by utilizing the many new communication tools made possible by the recent advances in technology. I encourage every Catholic of the archdiocese with an e-mail account to sign up."

    Those wishing to receive the mail can do so at the archdiocese's bicentennial Web site, (Zenit)

    Okay, I don't get emails from cardinals ... yet.

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    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Catholic Facebook Drama

    At least this time it's a minor one. Damien Thompson writes:

    I accepted a Facebook friend request yesterday, and suddenly I noticed a familiar name in my new friend’s list – Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor! I wouldn’t presume to add myself as a friend of His Eminence, but I did post a nice message on his wall.

    Back came the response (see above): “You do not have permission to write on this wall.”

    That’s not very welcoming is it? Particularly when you consider what I’d written: “Many thanks, Your Eminence, for your tireless efforts to implement the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.”

    Who could object to that?

    Of course, someone other than the Cardinal might have created the page.

    While we're on the topic of Facebook, some folks in Lafayette, LA formed a group called "Facebook - stop removing Fr. from priests' names!":

    Facebook is randomly removing the "Fr." prefix from priests' names and the "Sr." prefix from sisters' names but haven't done so for "Rev." and "Dr." Signup to join this group and we'll petition Facebook to reconsider what seems to be this anti-Catholic and more generally anti-Religious action.
    I would say, however, that mosts the priests I'm friends with on Facebook do have their "Fr." titles retained.

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    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    Picture: A Text Message from Pope Benedict

    This sure beats the "LOL" or "TTYS" texts I'm used to receiving on my phone....

    Okay, so actually this is a CNS concept photo, but you get the idea.

    Also cool? The surfer cross. Yeah.

    Ph/t: Pope2008.

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    Monday, May 12, 2008

    Latin version of Vatican website unveiled!

    Tuesday, May 06, 2008

    Video: Cardinal Pell talks WYD and Text Messaging from the Pope

    Ph/t: Pope2008 (which has more details):

    Cool stuff, plenty to catch up on!

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    Saturday, May 03, 2008

    CNA and (Arch. of DC) Director of Communications Susan Gibbs at loggerheads

    Here's a story of note, one that is sadly unrelated to it's original topic (or maybe it is related).

    Catholic News Agency has been following the story about pro-choice Democrats receiving communion at papal Masses during the pope's visit, and the subsequent response of Cardinal Egan and Archbishop Wuerl.

    But read the last paragraph of the published CNA article:
    When contacted for additional comment by CNA, Susan Gibbs, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Washington, said that she would not provide a statement. The reasons she gave for not providing a statement were that she doesn't consider CNA worthy of a statement and that she is "not interested" in providing one.
    Now of course, as cited above, that's quite a statement for an archdiocesan communications director to make.

    But is that the entire story? I think not.

    Tom Lang claims to have sent Susan Gibbs an email, and publishes her response:

    CNA unfortunately did not share with you the entire story. We have had a number of experiences where CNA has printed erroneous and non-sourced information in the past, which is not consistent with standard journalistic practices.

    As I told them when they called (multiple times in one hour, when I was involved with other meetings), until they could account for why false information about the archdiocese (unrelated to politicians) and other concerns were addressed, we could not help them. They actually later told me they recorded our conversation secretly. While I stand by my concerns, the recording actually was illegal and a serious ethics violation under journalistic standards. It is very difficult in today's electronic world for visitors to a website to know whether a site is legitimate and it can be a challenge to verify or correct information. For example, blogs regularly repeat and change information and a lot that is out there is wrong. That misleads people.

    The editor is now trying to address some of the issues I raised, but has not fully yet. We continue to work towards a solution.Thank you.

    Okay, there's a lot in this response. Let's break it down:
    • She claims CNA has "printed erroneous and non-sourced information in the past". Okay, when? Have they done so intentionally, is she claiming?
    • Her sentence beginning "As I told them" is a bit of a jumble (I think it's a fragment). Again, what false information has CNA published?
    • She's claiming they recorder her call, and that such an action is illegal. Is this this case?
    • As for the "difficulties of living in an electronic world", is she claiming that CNA isn't a legitimate site, or people might think it a legitimate site, when it isn't, and in any case, if she's the director of communications, and herself has had a long experience with CNA, how can she claim the question of the website's legitimacy is unclear to her? CNA is not just a blog. And I don't think it's fare to compare it to blogs (which, actually, can often be accurate too).
    • She finally claims that CNA is working to address the background issues. That's good to hear. I'm glad she's decided to not press legal charges for the illegal action CNA supposedly took.

    My take:

    Like most disagreements, there's probably blame on both sides here, I grant that. Could CNA have been too pushy? That's a possibility. Could Susan Gibbs have overreacted? That's also a possibility.

    More importantly: was it needlessly provocative for CNA to publish the supposed contempt shown to them by Susan Gibbs? Yes. Does the reply published above (if it is indeed her, and it seems legitimate), reveal Susan Gibbs is rather unfairly treating CNA? Yes.

    I'm not trying to take sides here. But I would say that I've been reading CNA closely for years and have never caught them twisting facts or being wilfully negligent in their reporting. But it doesn't surprise me that an issue as volitile as this one might cause tempers to flare where otherwise they haven't before.

    But, you know, don't listed to me - I'm just a blogger.

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    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Pictures: The Best Photos of Pope Benedict XVI

    Flickr User Christus Vincit has done us a service - the best photos of Pope Benedict XVI.

    A sample:

    .... an endless supply of Papist Pictures of the Day! ;-)

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    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    Catholic Radio gets a Sirius Papal Shout-Out

    Talk about a fun listen, Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to New York sat down to record a 30-second spot for the Catholic Channel on Sirius Satelite Radio, which you can hear here. The story has been picked up by Zenit.

    Hmm, "other media" - is that a subliminal reference to Catholic blogs?!

    Oh, and they offer a free 3-day trial on their website.

    Plans are in the works to have Pope Benedict guest-blogging on American Papist soon. ;-)

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    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    Alert: Presumed Islamic Extremists Hack Knights of Holy Sepulchre website

    Will Cubbedge sent the alert:
    As of right now (3:42pm on Palm Sunday) it would appear that someone has hacked and uploaded insulting images onto the American website of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

    As of 8:30pm EST, the website is still comprimised. Here is an image of what the homepage looks like:

    I would recommend to not visit the website until control of it has been restored. Hackers can also upload viruses and trojans onto compromised web pages, and they might upload offensive images.

    More from Will:

    The pictures of the Jerusalem cross have been replaced by the face of some Muslim cleric (the Ayatollah?), and the pictures of the Cardinal Grand Master replaced by those of a donkey.

    Get that? They replaced the Cardinal Grand Master's image with a picture of a donkey.

    As for the phrase "al sana kardinal", I do not speak Arabic, but I was able to find that "sana" means "illustrious splendor". It would be helpful if someone could help us with an accurate translation.

    Finally, it goes without saying that this is an offensive act of internet terrorism, and that because such acts are becoming more and more frequent, it is important that the culprits be brought to swift justice.

    The Knights of the Holy Sepulchre should not only notify their ISP, they should notify the U.S. government.

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    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Video: Winner of the first-ever Pro-Life film festival

    The first-ever Pro-Life film festival has taken place, "Cinema Vitae: Films for Life."

    The winner of the Open category is "A short film related to society's confused views about life, choice, and abortion. Specifially, this film questions issues relating to the abortion pill, RU-486."

    "Mad World" by Brooke Burns & Trent Horn:

    Other winners:

    Ph/t: Ignatius Insight.

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    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Thompson complains about "useless" UK Catholic Communications Network

    I hear him:

    No, pollution is not a new 'deadly sin'

    But the Church has only itself to blame, for it took until late morning today – more than 24 hours after the story broke – for the useless Catholic Communications Network (annual cost: £315,286) to issue a memo to journalists pointing out that the Vatican has NOT published a new list of seven deadly sins.

    The statement adds: “This is not a new Vatican edict. The story originated from an interview that Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti gave to the L'Osservatore Romano in which he was questioned about new forms of social sins in this age of globalisation.

    “Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti is not the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary; he is the regent (official). The Major Penitentiary is Cardinal James Francis Stafford.”

    And, er, that’s it, apart from a copy of Mgr Girotti’s interview, which the CCN cannot even be bothered to translate into English. The memo has not even gone up on the CCN website. And this is what churchgoers are paying for when the plate goes round on “Communications Sunday”.

    Let me get this straight: £315,286 a year?? That's slightly over $639,062!

    I'd work for half that much and have at least twice as much to say on any given day. =)

    I've been blogging a little over two years now, and after almost 2,800 posts, I've never heard of CCN before today.

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    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi the latest YouTube sensation

    UK Telegraph:

    One of the Vatican's most senior cardinals has become an internet sensation after using YouTube, the internet video-sharing website, as a pulpit during Lent.

    Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, 73, the charismatic Archbishop of Milan, responded on film to a set of questions that were emailed to his diocese. He intends to post a new video every Friday until Easter.

    Mgr Tettamanzi prefaces his question and answer session with a catechesis for Lent.

    The success of the first video, which was downloaded more than 16,000 times [now over 64,000 - AmP] in a few days, has surprised the Church.

    More than 12,000 people a day are emailing questions for the cardinal to answer. In the last video, Mgr Tettamanzi preached about the meaning of baptism.

    ... The diocese of Milan said that YouTube was a useful tool in helping it spread the Easter message.

    "The cardinal's attitude is always one of dialogue," said a spokesman.

    I can't attest to this sentence one way or the other:
    He is one of the most liberal figures at the top of the Catholic Church, and is possibly the leading Italian candidate to become the next pope.
    The claim about being "liberal" sounds like typical british tabloid editorialism. As for his being a leading candidate to become the next pope, I find that these sources rarely even attempt to back up such statements.
    If you can understand Italian, the video is here on YouTube.
    update: as if on cue....

    "Video of His Eminence Cardinal George's visit to the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago is now available through the Institute's Web site:

    His Eminence, the President of the USCCB, assisted and preached at Solemn Mass at the Shrine in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

    Funds are currently being gathered for the shrine's restoration."

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    Monday, March 03, 2008

    Dawn Eden thrills the Today Show

    From Dawn Eden's blog, the Dawn Patrol:

    "Today is the big day: I'm appearing on NBC's "Today" show at 10:30 a.m. to discuss a topic related to my book The Thrill of the Chaste."

    She's also published an article for MSNBC to dove-tail with her Today Show appearance, and fills in the backstory for the invite here. I hope video is made available. If so, I'll post it.

    Jill Stanek has more on her blog.

    update: here is the video.

    It's funny how the hosts decide to ask "the doctor" to resolve the question. I wasn't aware sex was only an issue of physical health.

    If folks want to be extra helpful, they can follow this link and give Dawn's article a (deservedly) high rating.

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    Friday, February 22, 2008

    AmP Shout-out: Sacred Heart Radio

    Welcome listeners of Sacred Heart Radio. As I mentioned in my short interview this morning, here is my coverage of the 2008 March for Life and here are some humorous Papist-Pictures-of-the-Day.

    Hopefully next time I'm scheduled to appear I'll remember to announce it!

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    Friday, February 15, 2008

    Act One now accepting summer program applications

    Act One is the best way for Christians to get their foot in the Hollywood door. BettNet has more.

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    Monday, January 14, 2008

    Article: "Catholic evangelization with Youtube [and Facebook]"

    A nice little article by Alicia Ambrosia over at Western Catholic Reporter.

    "Because people are turning to the Internet to find the answers to life's big questions, the Catholic Church, as well as other Christian denominations, are trying to make sure Internet surfers can find the answers they seek on-line."
    Of course, AmP readers have been living the dream for a couple years now. Long may this prosper.

    Ph/t: CNS News Hub.

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    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Reuters: Saints on cellphones spark controversy in Italy

    Reuters reports:

    If you are a Catholic looking for a saint in heaven to protect you, you no longer have to carry a small "holy card." You can get the image sent to your cellphone.

    A company in Italy started offering the service on Tuesday but ran into opposition from some Catholic Church leaders who think the idea is crass and commercial.

    ... Many taxis, private cars and trucks in Italy have a small picture of a saint -- known as a "santino" or little saint -- taped to the dashboard. Millions of Italians also keep wrinkled and worn "santini" in their wallets or handbags.

    ... The company started the service with 15 saints on offer and Labate said the hallowed catalogue will grow. The downloading service, done by sending a text message to a phone number, costs three euros ($4.42).

    Nearly every shop near the Vatican sells paper "santini" but not everyone in the Church thinks cellphones and saints are a marriage made in heaven.

    "This is in really bad taste," Bishop Lucio Soravito De Franceschi, a member of the Italian bishops conference committee for doctrinal matters, told the Turin newspaper La Stampa.

    "It is a distortion of sacred things ... selling 'santini' for cell phones is horrifying," he said.

    I'm trying to figure out what exactly is so "horrifying" about folks having sacred images on their cell phone. Of course, as far as I know, cell phones can't carry a blessing like holy cards. But as for this company making a profit from the service - well, I doubt all holy card producers are non-profit.

    Indeed, I rather like this sort of thing. See: "Give your cell phone a Catholic makeover!" I did.

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    Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    "World Day for Media" - but is anyone listening?

    Zenit reports:

    The theme Benedict XVI chose for the 2008 World Communications Day focuses on the media at the service of truth.

    The Pope chose "The Media: At the Crossroads Between Activism and Service. Seeking the Truth in Order to Share It With Others” as the theme for the 42nd world day, to be celebrated in most countries on the Sunday before Pentecost, this year, May 4.

    Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said: "The theme chosen by the Holy Father for World Communications Day calls on us to reflect on the role played by the media and especially the increasing risk of their becoming self-absorbed and no longer tools at the service of truth -- something that is meant to be sought and shared."

    World Communications Day is the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council, in its decree “Inter Mirifica."

    The Holy Father’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers, Jan. 24.

    This is all well and good. At the same time though, is anyone listening? I don't think it's a very radical idea to most Catholics that the media should be evaluated critically sometimes. Most conservative folks in the U.S. have plenty of people telling them to not trust the liberal media. And I can't think that TV producers are even aware of this event.

    Am I missing something?

    Honestly, I think the best thing to ever come from it is this picture of our beloved John Paul the Great:

    Of course, this picture alone might make the whole thing worthwhile. I used to have that model laptop in college.

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    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Local event: *free* pre-screening of Bella

    On the heels of the director of the Population Research Institute saying Catholics should support the movie "Bella" (more on that here), here's some exciting news for folks in Michigan: a free pre-screening of the movie in Ann Arbor, Michigan, hosted by a local pregnancy counseling center.

    More from the organizers:

    "This is a FREE EVENT and may be your only chance to see "Bella" on screen. Bella is a tender and life-affirming movie that is so good, it won the coveted 2006 Toronto Film Festival People's Choice Award -- even though it's pro-life!

    Follow the two main characters as they discover their own capacities for love in the face of unexpected -- and ostensibly unwelcome -- events.

    Following the film, its lead producer, Leo Severino, will give his moving testimony regarding the film's inception and production. Learn more about Leo and the lead actor, Eduardo Verastegui, at

    "Bella" has already changed the hearts and minds of mothers considering abortion. I had the privilege of seeing it in St. Louis, and it's a beautiful movie. Don't miss it -- it isn't scheduled to be released in Michigan, so this may be your only chance to watch it on the big screen.

    The screening is free!

    FYI, the new pregnancy center (ArborVitae Women's Center) will be located just a few doors down from the Michigan Theater, in the Starbucks building. If construction is finished, you are invited by after the movie to take a tour!

    [More on their website.]

    I've blogged at-length about Bella before.

    I'd also invite you to checkout the website for ArborVitae, an excellent center that offers crisis pregnancy counseling (I'm good friends with executive director, who has been giving me updates on their progress).

    They are currently in the process of moving to a location in the heart of the University of Michigan main campus - right next to a Starbucks, which means that ideally the students of UofM will now have easy access to abortion alternatives and the many other good services they offer.

    I'd urge you, finally, to consider contacting them and supporting their efforts. After all, theater tickets in my neck of the woods cost almost $10 for an evening showing, and this one will be free!

    Here is the website for Bella (again).

    And here is a trailer for it:

    Sadly, I won't be able to attend the screening because of prior plans, but I really can't wait to see this movie after the continual good reviews I hear of it! I hope to hear that this event was well-attended.

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    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    The Pro-Life episode of House

    As I've mentioned recently, I'm nursing an addiction to House. Because I'm a purist, I've been watching the episodes in sequence, beginning with the first season (I'm just starting season three now).

    However, I might have to jump ahead on Amy's news and After abortion's confirmation that there was an incredible episode last night with a strong pro-life message.

    Amy has more:

    "I gather (and correct me) that the plot involved a situation in which a late-term abortion was being advised by House who referred to the child throughout as a fetus, tadpole, thing, etc...and then in crisis, with pre-natal surgery being attempted, the tadpole grabs House's finger..."

    There's a bit more to it than that.

    Right now I'm trying to figure out a cheap/easy/legal way to get my hands on the episode, since none of my friends have Tivo. (Please post any suggestions in the combox.)

    As for House, I'm waiting till I've caught up to the current season to write a longish post detailing my thoughts about the show.

    Update: Impatient as always, I decided to see what the secular news/blogs were saying about the pro-life moment. I found a couple treatments:
    • Buzzsugar: "Luckily, House is free to come back to the hospital for a nutso surgery that involves delivering the baby, fixing him, and putting him back in the womb. In the middle of the surgery, the baby's little hand reaches up and grabs House's finger, and even though they're whacking us over the head with the "House realizes it's a person!" moment, it's disturbingly cute.
      After the surgery, Emma and baby are fine, and House even uses the word "baby," though he quickly reverts to "that thing that tried to kill you." [And apparently the infant isn't very cute, in the blogger's opinion.]
    • doesn't do much analysis but touches off a long comment thread. Good to get a feel for what the average person is saying.

    I'm more interested than ever. Amazing that this aired on primetime telivision.

    And now that I think about it, readers who haven't seen any episodes of House shouldn't be overly shocked by House's comments about "that thing" or a "tadpole." One of House's character trademarks is extreme rudeness and shock language, so don't read too much into it.