ASIA & AUSTRALIA
Massacred in their classroom: At least 145 children killed as Taliban fighters storm Pakistani school and detonate suicide bomb in room full of pupils before shooting others dead NEW YORK TIMES Christians violently attacked in India for singing Christmas carols
— An anti-Christian attack on a group of peaceful Christians singing Christmas carols in the Indian city of Hyderabad has left a church minister and congregation members severely injured CHRISTIAN POST
Sydney hostage taker had long history of involvement with radical IslamBREITBART Sydney attack was not "lone wolf" operationBREITBART "I think we got ourselves a real life hostage situation in Sydney lol!"
Sick taunts of Australian terrorist Mohamed Elomar DAILY MAIL
New Canadian ambassador seeks collaboration for "betterment of humanity"
— Pope Francis received the new Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See, Dennis Savoie, on Monday. During an interview, Ambassador Savoie said his “first priority” is to establish a network within which to identify areas of collaboration between Canada and the Holy See RADIO VATICANA
Pope Francis meets Croatian member of Bosnia’s Presidency
— In a statement following an audience in the Vatican, the Holy See press office said the two leaders talked about bilateral relations and other common concerns, particularly regarding the contribution that Catholics make towards society RADIO VATICANA
China will continue to hold constructive dialogue with the Holy See
— "China isalways
sincere about improving relations with Vatican," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang has said VATICAN INSIDER
Avoid the "sins of the media,"
Pope urges Italian journalists — Catholics in the media should have the “courage to speak directly, telling the truth and working to preserve it from all that distorts and twists it for other purposes.”CATHOLIC CULTUREVATICAN INSIDER
People are more valuable than "hits"
—Pope Francis CNA
Schönborn disturbed by bishops who wanted Putin-style leadership
at family synod THE TABLET
"Count down to Christmas by counting your blessings"
—Pope Francis CNS
"I don’t understand why people want to take away our love of Christ"
: Indiana town fights atheists to keep Nativity scene CHRISTIAN TODAY
Cardinal Timothy Dolan cuts ties with anti-abortion crusader Frank PavoneRNS
Ramos: "Pressure from journalists may have changed Obama on Executive Amnesty"BREITBART
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is creating a new Office of Catholic Identity Assessment
for Catholic high schools starting January 1st – an initiative that may be the first in the country PATHEOS
Arizona biology teacher mocks Christ’s Biblical creation
in lecture CHRISTIAN NEWS
Jeb Bush urges Republicans to do more than just oppose ObamaCHARISMA Virginia attorney wants ALL public schools to stop renting to Churches
— Attorney John Flannery, a former federal prosecutor and congressional chief of staff, recently wrote on the blog “Loudon Progress” that he found it problematic that 34 out of 87 schools in Loudoun County allow churches to host services on the premises each Sunday and is now seeking to have the practice stoppedCHRISTIAN NEWS
Anti-religion bullies switch targets
— Two atheists who recently targeted churches in Hawaii that rent space from public schools are continuing their assault on religious liberty—this time, in Michigan CHL
Is Obama about to destroy the cross?
— President Obama’s signature is the only thing standing between the Mt. Soledad memorial cross in San Diego and its destruction CBN
Controversial candidate takes helm as ambassador-at-large for International Religious FreedomCNA Job-seekers must explain faith to win anti-discrimination protectionCHARISMA McDonald’s and Starbucks resist calls for them to install "porn-free" filter
on WiFi service CHL
Compassionate policing,Is it possible?FAITH IT Payday loans are a mean holiday trap
— Payday loans, and car title loans are quick ways to get money without the hassle of a credit check. But these popular loans are trapping many Americans in a crushing cycle of debt. (If you are reading this and considering a payday loan I encourage you to do all
you can to avoid this option. You would rather speak with your family and arrange to participate in some special treat after the holidays once you’ve been able to accumulate sufficient funds. I cannot count the number of families I have counselled through debt issues in which payday loans were the proverbial "nail in the coffin." Please try and avoid them at all cost! Remember, Christmas is not about "stuff;" it’s about our love for each other, something Pope Francis recently emphasized) CBN
More attacks against US nativity scenesCHARISMA Canada’s new prostitution law takes effect
amid backlash from media, Ontario’s premier, and activists LIFE SITE
Dominican President using abortion for re-election:
Priest resigning as Church’s presidential liaison LIFE SITE
"Pregnant" suicide bomber plot thwarted in IsraelBIN Netanyahu applauds Christian IDF soldiers saying "We Are Brothers!"ISRAEL TODAY Hamas attempts to hack IDF computersBIN Netanyahu: European support for Palestinians "endangers Israel"YNET Palestinian and Israeli kids play soccer match
to mark 100th anniversary of "Christmas truce" JERUSALEM POST
Iranian militiaman-turned-Christian visits IsraelISRAEL TODAY
Russia Hikes Interest Rate to 17%TDB Obama administration says no decision yet on Russia sanctions billJERUSALEM POST
RECOMMENDED ON ALETEIA
Tom Hoopes looks at Pope Francis and the "Year of Misunderstandings"
and explains how the media managed to getthe wrong end of the stick
time and again. "If it felt like 2014 was the year the media joined the Pope Francis misunderstanding-of-the-month club, that is probably because, well, they did." ALETEIA
If you want to brighten-up your day then I recommend you have a read of Jeff Ostrowski’s "Is There Any Hope For Modern Catholic Liturgical Music?"
in which he sets out to identify the insipidness associated with some of today’s hymns. Jeff’s critique of wanting verse and hyper-linked evidence of modern melodic miscarriages is fair amusing! His piece ends with an invitation to participate in a project he is working on involving the development of a new hymnal. In the meantime, and recalling Tom’s advice that "the inherent qualities of the hymn are what should matter,"
I submit for your listening pleasure this music clip
BRITAIN & IRELAND
Cardinal introduces new Pope-Francis-inspired national evangelization initiativeCCIEW Duncan Smith defends benefit cuts criticized by Cardinal Nichols
— (The strife with benefits will never
be resolved, unless the government takes drastic steps towards stemming the tide of abuse which has swept over the entire system in recent decades) THE TABLET
Ireland’s former president Mary McAleese appointed professor at British Catholic universityTHE TABLET Midwives’ ruling due on Wednesday
— The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the conscientious objection to abortion case of the two Glasgow Catholic midwives on Wednesday SCOTTISH CATHOLIC OBSERVER
WWI Christmas truce football match reenacted
in Glasgow COS
Anti-immigration protests grow in Germany amid fears of IslamizationJERUSALEM POST
South Sudan: 1st anniversary of war, people continue to suffer — South Sudan currently facing the world’s worst food crisisRADIO VATICANA
Kuwaiti ship and Egyptian fishing boat collide in Red Sea killing 13JERUSALEM POST
Chaldean Patriarch urges pre-Christmas fast
for Iraqi Christian refugees (We should
be fasting in any case in advent!) CATHOLIC CULTURE
ISIS, Assad, and what the West is failing to see about Syria
— "If the insurgents win the war, there will be no Christian churches in Syria any more (just as there aren’t in Saudi Arabia at the moment). Life will be similarly terrible for many of the ordinary Muslims who make up the great majority of the population" CWR
Saudi police arrest woman for attending soccer matchTHE STAR
Olympics now banned from any country restricting spread of homosexuality
— A decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will apply new restrictive anti-family pressure on nations wanting to host the Olympic Games. On December 8, the IOC unanimously approved a wide-ranging package of 40 recommendations, the Olympic Agenda 2020, that includes a rewording of its anti-discrimination Principle 6 clause to include a reference to "sexual orientation" as a protected category LIFE SITE
Christian man asks 13 gay-owned bakeries to create pro-traditional marriage cakes to prove a point, all deny his requestGOSPEL HERALD Catholic charities adopt nearly 300 families for ChristmasWOWT The 28 internet acronyms EVERY parent should look out forDAILY MAIL
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Catholic rebel: Becoming a female priestDW
Church History: The consecration of Eusebius,
Bishop of Vercelli, in 340AD CHRISTIANITY