Regardless of how hard they try, secularists can't keep Christ out of Christmas.
There's the "happy holidays" and "season's greetings" substitutes for "Merry Christmas." There's also more overt attempts, such as a secular group in Arkansas that sought to prevent students from attending a performance of "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown," a theatrical group's adaptation of the popular animated TV classic, "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
Some people are justifying the use of torture in the wake of a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report condemning the CIA's tactics in seeking information from detainees in the war on terror.
Don't fall for it. Torture is not OK. No way, no how, no where, at no time.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that torture -- which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents or satisfy hatred -- is contrary to the Church's teachings on respect for the person and for human dignity.
At a recent Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis said that God will reveal Himself to those who have humble and meek hearts.
"Only those who have a heart like a child are capable of receiving this revelation, those who have a humble, meek heart, who feel the need to pray, to open themselves to God, who feel poor; only those who live according to the first Beatitude -- the poor in spirit," the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.
It's time to step back, take a deep breath and let the smoke -- literally in Ferguson -- clear.
Our next move is to work for unity.
Our community is numbed and divided following what unfolded after the announcement that a St. Louis County grand jury opted to not indict a Ferguson police officer in the death of an unarmed African-American teen.
In the summer of 1947, Cardinal Joseph E. Ritter instructed all pastors in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to end segregation in their parish schools.
It was a decision met with disdain from many white Catholics who organized to oppose it before disbanding after Cardinal Ritter held firm. Cardinal Ritter continued his efforts for equality, including a letter in 1965 calling clergy to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to the civil rights struggle.
When it was announced Nov. 8 that Cardinal Raymond Burke would be transferred from the office of prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura to Patron of the Knights of Malta, some media reports suggested that he had been prematurely dismissed and demoted.