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Ecstatic love and Real Presence...

Ecstasy is a total going out of oneself. It is an abandonment of all else save for what has captured the heart. It is a getting caught up in the beauty, the glory of something - someone outside of myself. Ecstasy is to be rendered fully present to the other - the beloved before me captures my attention until I am aware of nothing else...

In Brazil, sudden darkness befalls Sao Paulo, baffling thousands...

In the height of daytime on Monday, the sky suddenly blackened, and day became night in Sao Paulo. Sure, smog is bad in the Western Hemisphere's largest city, where traffic jams can stretch for dozens of miles. But not this bad. What was going on? Was the end near? "Apocalypse!" one person cried on Twitter. "The final judgment is coming...

Ruling cements Pell’s profile as the Dreyfus or Hiss of the Catholic abuse crisis...

Although Australian Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of a conviction on child sexual abuse charges was rejected Wednesday, that ruling may not be the end of the legal road. As of this writing, Pell’s attorneys were still weighing whether to file a final appeal to Australia’s High Court. Those attorneys told reporters that Pell continues to maintain his innocence...

The conviction of Pell is an outrage — the case against him could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt...

Pell was charged with sexually abusing two thirteen-year-old choirboys on two occasions—in 1996 and 1997. Only one of those boys is still living. The other was asked by his mother in 2001 whether he had “ever been interfered with or touched up.” He answered no. The one still living claimed that Pell found the two boys drunk on communion wine in the sacristy of the Melbourne cathedral immediately after Mass one Sunday and forced them to fellate him...

This astonishing decision calls into the gravest doubt the quality of justice in Australia...

There will be much more to be said in the weeks and months ahead about the rejection of Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of his conviction for “historic sexual abuse,” by the 2-1 vote of a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court of Victoria. For the moment, this astonishing, indeed incomprehensible, decision calls into the gravest doubt the quality of justice in Australia—and the possibility of any Catholic cleric charged with sexual abuse to receive a fair trial or a fair consideration of the probity of his trial...

Why Justice Mark Weinberg, the dissenting vote in the Pell appeal, believed George Pell should go free...

One of the three Court of Appeal judges who heard George Pell's appeal believes there is a "significant possibility" the cardinal did not commit the child sex crimes he's in jail for and would have acquitted him. Justice Mark Weinberg said he was not convinced by the victim's evidence and could not exclude the possibility that some parts of the former choirboy's testimony were "concocted"...

Yale computer science professor takes a fresh look at stale Darwinism...

Bishop Robert Barron and others working hard to evangelize the “Nones” — young adults without religious conviction — tell us that a major obstacle to a None embracing Christianity is the cultural assumption that Science Explains Everything. And if science explains it all, who needs God, revelation, Christ, or the Church...

It is better to be hated by the world but be with God...

Never presume that the world and the prince of this world, the devil, love you or are pleased with you. You are just a tool for them to use; when you do connive with them, you are not loved or respected but rather regarded with contempt because you are so easily manipulated. Once you are no longer useful, you will be thrown out and trampled underfoot...

Watch: Trailer of ‘A Hidden Life,’ Terrence Malick’s biopic of Blessed Franz J gerst tter...

Based on real events, Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life is the story of an unsung hero, Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani and children that keeps his spirit alive...

Where are the young? Familiar religion ghosts in Washington Post report on Maine’s aging crisis...

If you have followed international news about abortion and demographics, you are used to seeing headlines such as the following in the New York Times, focusing on a side effect of China’s infamous one-child policy. That headline: “Teenage Brides Trafficked to China Reveal Ordeal: ‘Ma, I’ve Been Sold’.” Selling brides...