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One grand jury. Two indictments. Now what?

Posted by on January 30, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

The Harris County, TX, grand jury indictments against David Daleiden (pictured below) and Susan Merritt of the CMP (Center for Medical Progress) are all over the news. But how much confusion and misinformation has so far muddied the waters? Tons. The indictment case is a festival of half-truths, which have only added to an already Kafkaesque state of affairs. What is a grand jury? What do the indictments mean for Daleiden and Merritt? You’re about to get the answers from my latest podcast interview with Daleiden’s attorney in the (concurrent) civil case in Los Angeles Superior Court regarding StemExpress, Charles LiMandri. He is president and chief counsel for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, is double Board Certified in Pre-Trial Litigation and Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and is qualified to argue before the United States Supreme Court. I’ve interviewed Chuck many times. He is an outstanding communicator, especially when it comes to distilling complex legalese for the layman. In this interview gives you the inside scoop about the Harris County grand jury, the particular indictments against Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt, how Planned Parenthood was cleared of wrong-doing in their baby body parts practices yet the ones who exposed it in their sting video footage were indicted (!), and what’s at stake for the pro-life movement. You’re not going to hear this side of the (legal and moral) story on MSNBC, CBC, ABC, et al, nor will you read it in The New York Times or The Boston Globe. These MSM outlets are unofficial mascots for Planned Parenthood. They protect their own and promote their own. Click here to listen. One more thing. The director of Priests For Life, Father Frank Pavone, has a new book out, titled Abolishing Abortion: How You Can Help End the Greatest Evil of Our Time. It’s part field manual, part history, and part practical guide to answering tough questions from pro-choice friends. What about the much vaunted “separation of church and state”? What about “losing our tax-exempt status” if our leaders blow the whistle on the abortion industry? You’ve heard them all, but can you reply to them effectively? And what do you do if you feel down right guilty about not doing enough to abolish abortion in this country? If this sounds like you, Father Pavone’s your man, and this is your book. It’s hard to think of a priest who has done more to help pro-lifers from all backgrounds engage their talents to defend innocent human life — armed with the charity and patience of the...

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Renouncing the brand called FEMEN

Posted by on January 23, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Sara Winter is a summa cum laude graduate of The School of Hard Knocks, featuring an abusive father and brother, exposure to drug abuse, a stint in prostitution, a painful abortion, and the thick darkness of despair. Winter is a pen name. It befits the harsh experiences she has undergone. Her real name is Sara Fernanda Giromini, 24, and she became the face of FEMEN in Brasil. She got herself in the papers and in jail, having been arrested over a dozen times. FEMEN is a feminist-activist group founded in the Ukraine in 2008 by Anna Hutsol. (In 2013, Australian documentarian Kitty Green outed a Victor Svatsky as the group’s financial svengali.) For her part, Sara quickly identified with FEMEN’s cause, particularly with its anti-male impulses and its passionate support for unfettered access to abortion. She was soon trained in the group’s form of guerrilla street theater, which consists mainly of a) ambushing politicians (like Russian president Vladimir Putin) and Christian leaders (like retired Belgian Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard) with screamed-out rhyming epithets, b) showing off their womanly assets, which are festooned with graffiti slogans, and c) generally attract media buzz (as much to FEMEN itself as to their pet political causes). Sara eventually left FEMEN, and later abandoned the whole feminist enterprise. She put her shirt back on for good, and went to the trouble of apologizing on YouTube for any offense she caused. The witness of a few kind Christians and–perhaps more importantly, the birth of her son in the fall of 2015–led to such an unexpected transformation. She is now pro-life, anti-feminist, and a grateful recipient of the unpredictable grace of God. Her new book is titled, Vadia, Nao! Setes vezes que fui traída pelo feminismo. While some English media outlets translate vadia as bitch, in her interview with me Sara explains that vadia is really Portugese for slut or whore. It’s her way of taking the slur back by domesticating it. The subtitle is essentially, The Seven Ways I Was Betrayed By Feminism. I’ll let you know when the English version comes out. She says within a few months or less. My podcast interview with her reveals some shocking information about FEMEN, including her claim that the group not only abuses its own members (such as the ones deemed too unsexy for the cameras) but it also routinely covers up the crime of pedophilia. At one point in the interview, as I’m asking her about how her abortion affected her, she thought she heard her infant son stirring. The interview halts for a bit. It was a false alarm, but I wanted to keep it in the interview because it’s sweet moment, courtesy the providence of God. Share with your circle of...

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The real Force behind Obi Wan Kenobi

Posted by on January 15, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

. I had the pleasure this week of interviewing one of England’s best novelists, Piers Paul Read. He is well-known for his #1 New York Times best-welling...

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76 years a priest!

Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The year 1939 saw many milestones. Most critics say it was the best year for movies (Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Ginga Din, Stagecoach, for starters). All the attention of the Polish people, however, was on the terrifying sight of Hitler’s tanks and shock troops rolling into their homeland. In Spain, the civil war ended and the rule of Franco began. I could go on. In Toronto, Canada, on Saturday, June 3, 1939, young Vincent Foy was ordained to the Catholic priesthood, the beginning of a high and lasting adventure: the longest life of priestly service in Canadian history and one of the longest in the world. From the start, Foy had a passion for helping ordinary Catholics with their family struggles. Although he dearly loved theology, out of obedience Foy took a doctoral course in canon law at Laval University in Quebec City. In 1942, he was appointed vice chancellor of the Archdicoese of Toronto and secretary of the Toronto Archdiocesan Matrimonial Tribunal; by 1957, he was named both presiding judge of the regional and archdiocesan tribunals and a domestic prelate by Ven. Pope Pius XII. Born in 1915 during the so-called War to End All Wars, Foy has lived a life spanning the reigns of nine popes, with the Second Vatican Council bisecting his nearly eight decades of service to God’s people. At a hale and hearty 100 years old, Msgr. Foy still celebrates daily Mass and keeps up an impressive roster of correspondence and other writing. I have admired Msgr. Foy for many years, having learned a great deal from his courageous defense of the teaching of Humanae Vitae. He is the last surviving member of the Class of ’39. Foy has suffered much because of this courage, but his is a witness of firm and persistent gentleness. He’s also got stories galore. The pro-life lion agreed to a Q&A interview this week: PC: Monsignor, you have been ordained now seventy-six years. By any measurement, that is astounding. I understand your vocation was tied in some way to a promise to God to spare your mother. Tell us about the seed of your priesthood. VF: About ninety years ago, I was going to lose my mother to double pneumonia. She was fighting for her life at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital after giving birth to one of my sisters, Doreen. I begged God to spare her life. “If my mother recovers,” I prayed, “I will do my best to become a priest.” My mother recovered, and I remained true to my promise—a promise that I kept a secret for the duration of my mother’s life. I was an altar boy early on. Fr. Fullerton, our pastor, came to the house and told my mother that he’d like to train me to serve at the altar. My mother used to get me up to serve Mass. I served at the 8 a.m. Mass and went to school without having breakfast, since I went to Holy Communion. The eucharistic fast in those days went from midnight onward and with no water. I didn’t go home for lunch, but sometimes my mother gave me fifteen cents, and I got fish and chips. If I served at the 7 a.m. Mass, I went home for breakfast. When I went...

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The very best Christmas movies

Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Each December I get asked to recommend Christmas movies. There sure are some crappy “holiday movies” out there. (Anything involving a man called Tim Allen is a no-go for me, for instance.) But here are what I consider the greats — and, with the exception of number three, which has war scenes and some potty words — all are family friendly. In no particular order, although I regard number five as the greatest film every made, here they are: 1) Meet John Doe, directed by Frank Capra (1942). It’s the last movie Capra directed before heading off to fight in World War II. (Sidebar rhetorical question: how many of today’s Hollywood directors have signed up to fight ISIS in the Middle East or anywhere?) It also marked the final film written by his longtime writing partner Robert Riskin. That’s another story for another post. Meet John Doe is the OTHER Christmas classic involving a good man tempted to suicide on December 24. (See number five below.) It’s a tear-jerker not for maudlin reasons but for principled ones. The character Annie Mitchell is so well crafted and the brilliant structure of her slow conversion to sanity and self-donation is the heart of this film. I wrote all about Meet John Doe two years ago in my column The Cinephile. 2) White Christmas, directed by Michael Curtiz (1954). Can you believe he is the same director who helmed Casablanca, We’re No Angels, and Mildred Pierce? Starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye and a bevy of beauties, White Christmas is fluffy, happy, innocent, warm-hearted and unabashedly pro-American. It’s not quite Christmas without it. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the song “White Christmas” remains the all-time best selling single. It debuted in the 1942 film Holiday Inn (also starring Der Bingle) and has since been covered by wildly diverse array of artists, from Elvis Presley to the Beach Boys to the punk band Stiff Little Fingers to Andrea Bocelli to Taylor Swift. See? Catholic appeal! 3) Joyeux Noel, directed by Christian Carion (2005) based on the true life Christmas Eve truce on the front line trenches of World War One. The movie tracks the story from multiple points of view, and hence conflicting patriotisms. It was nominated for many international awards, including Best Foreign Film Academy Award. But just enjoy the goosebumps when the sworn enemies stop shooting for long enough to meet in frigid no mans’ land to sing Adeste Fideles and clink their goblets together. In December 1914, German Crown Prince Wilhelm sent the top opera star from the Berlin Imperial Opera, Walter Kirchhoff, on a special visit to the front line. For the historical account, check out Silent Night: The Story of the World War One Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub. Amazing story. 4) Disney’s A Christmas Carol, directed by Robert Zemeckis (2009). I know, I know, you’re put off by most films beginning with “Disney’s.” Me too. But I think this one is the rule-proving exception. Zemeckis is in full command of both the trope of time travel (this is, after all, the man who gave us the Back to the Future franchise) and the performance-capture cinematography technique he used in Beowulf and The Polar Express. I am not a member of the Jim Carrey fan club, but here Carrey is astonishing, playing Scrooge, and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future. And...

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Recommended today on the radio

Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Biblical origin of the Hail Mary: Luke 1:28 My interview with exorcist Father Gary Thomas (see at right) Coming Soon book by Dr. Michael Barber

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Meet me in Dallas!

Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I will be emceeing the Annual Bishop’s Pro-Life Dinner in Dallas on the evening of April 18, 2015 at the Irvine Convention Center. Special guest is pop and gospel singer Kathy Troccoli. Kathy and I met briefly in 1995 when I co-hosted the Steubenville High School Youth Conferences on campus that summer. Hard to forget a voice that naturally soulful. Should be deliciously awkward when she tells me she doesn’t remember me, wot. I must say, awkward used to bother me. Now embrace it. We’re buds. Feeeel the awkward, O my people. If you’re a drive from Dallas/Irvine, register at that link. A great night for a worthy...

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Recommended on “Catholic Answers Live”

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Welcome to my website, new visitors! Whenever I or a guest recommends a book or some other resource, I try and post as many as I can remember at the end of the broadcast. A few recent picks: Free prayer app: iBreviary YouTube documentaries on homosexuality and chastity: The Third Way and Desire of the Everlasting Hills Book on suffering and God’s will: Making Sense of Suffering by Peter Kreeft Book explaining Catholic teaching on contraception to skeptics: Sex Au Naturel by Patrick Coffin (available by clicking at the right)....

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Patrick’s picks

Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

As I mentioned on Catholic Answers Live today, since most people do not have a pen and paper handy while listening to live radio, I’m going to start posting books or other recommendables that I bring up on the air. You can do an online search for: The Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion by Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman. Makes for GREAT Lenten reading and meditation. He did it all for me and you…

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Kevin Costner’s Big Gamble

Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

My latest Cinephile column over at Catholic World Report includes an interview with double Academy Award-winner Lt. Dunbar, I mean Eliot Ness, I mean Ray Kinsella, I mean…. The audio version began airing February 6 at www.catholic.com/focus.    

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