Joan Frawley Desmond

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Irish PM Says Catholic Hospitals Will Be Forced to Abort Children

Just weeks after a lopsided, groundbreaking vote struck down Ireland’s constitutional ban on legal abortion, the country’s Taoiseach signaled the broader moral and legal implications of this sea change in a once deeply Catholic nation. “It will...

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Jordan Peterson Confronts the Problem of Pain

A Jewish ophthalmologist I know is a leading specialist on a rare condition that can cause blindness, and it was that expertise that led him to the Catholic faith.  Over time, as scores of anxious patients came to him for final confirmation of...

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A Closer Look at Justice Kennedy Retirement Rumors

Rumors are flying that Justice Anthony Kennedy, 81, will tender his resignation by summer. The closely watched “swing” vote on the ideologically divided high court, Kennedy is the subject of furious speculation by court watchers.  Republicans...

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Honolulu Bishop Appeals for Prayers as Volcano Erupts on Big Island

HONOLULU—The Kilauea volcano eruption on Hawaii’s “Big Island” has forced the evacuation of 10,000 people and destroyed more than 20 homes over the past four days. The major volcanic eruption &

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Humanae Vitae: Who Is Out of Touch?

July 26, 2018, marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, but few expect the occasion to prompt celebrations in Rome. A papal commission has quietly undertaken a “historical-critical investigation” of the bitter...

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‘The 15:17 to Paris’ Shows That Ordinary People Can Be Extraordinary

Once there was a lost, fatherless boy named Spencer Stone, who worried his mother and antagonized his teacher. Spencer liked to stare out the window during math class. His teacher recommended ADD meds.   Instead, his mother moves her son to a...

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‘I Lived on Parker Avenue’ Seeks to Revive the Adoption Option

David Scotton knew he was adopted from the time he was a toddler. His parents had never hidden the truth about his origins, nor did they give their son any reason to doubt their unconditional love and support. But during his teenage years as a...

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NYTimes to Cardinal Tobin: Prove That God is Real

When New York Times’ columnist and author Nicholas Kristof interviewed Cardinal Joseph Tobin for a Yuletide Q&A, the journalist prodded the archbishop of Newark to defend the miracles attributed to Jesus and the Scriptural basis for Catholic...

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6 Things You Discover When You Give Up Shopping

Last year, as 2016 drew to a close, a rough election year left the Catholic writer Ann Patchett “mindlessly scrolling through two particular shopping websites, numbing my fears with pictures of shoes, clothes, purses and jewelry.” Finally,...

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‘Lady Bird’ is an Unusual, Hopeful Movie

[Editor's Note: This post was updated Dec. 19.  Since writing this post, I have read Bishop Robert Barron's column, "Lady Bird and the Breakthrough of Grace," and wanted to bring it to readers' attention.  It is well worth reading.] As an...