1. A Victory for Catholic Beliefs at a Catholic College.

By Ashley McGuire, Ashley McGuire is a senior fellow with The Catholic Association, Real Clear Politics, November 8, 2017

Catholic students can still be Catholic at Georgetown University. That’s basically what the school’s Student Activities Commission decided Thursdayevening in all its benevolence. The commission ruled that the pro-family, pro-chastity student organization Love Saxa could retain its status as a recognized campus group despite efforts to have it labeled a “hate group” and essentially disbanded.

The church has long stood stalwart against the sexual revolution and its empty promises of liberation, especially for women. The costs of the sexual revolution are especially stark on today’s college campuses, which CNBC recently called “the most dangerous place in America for women.” On-campus housing, about 90 percent of which is co-ed nationwide, is the most likely place a college woman will experience sexual assault. Young college men and women are sold a bed of lies, quite literally, that teach that casual hook-ups are somehow the great equalizer. 

But groups like Love Saxa, one of many chapters of its parent organization, The Love and Fidelity Network, are a testament to the reality that young people today are yearning for something better. The men and women who form these groups are hardly looking for culture war. To describe them as hateful is almost laughable.  

To the contrary, the students in groups like Love Saxa are grasping for love. The respectful, committed, monogamous love that seems so elusive to a generation that has grown up in broken homes and been force-fed a diet of entertainment including “Girls” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” They are men and women who want to go on dates and who dare to dream of finding someone to have and to hold for a lifetime.  

These are the audacious aspirations of the students in groups like Love Saxa. They are young men and women who haven’t given up hope in what the church has long taught is the ultimate human safe space: the family.

And it defines the challenge of today’s young people, who know all too well that it is up to us to claw our way through the cultural sands in order to build something lasting, on solid ground. The students at Love Saxa and groups like it around the country should be commended for refusing to give up their struggle. There is none greater.


2. Big Tech backs bill on sex trafficking.

By Tom Jackman, The Washington Post, November 8, 2017, Pg. A18

When Congress launched an effort in August to enable prosecution of online sex trafficking by amending the Communications Decency Act, the titans of the Internet such as Google and Facebook rose up in opposition. Having to police the vast amount of content on their websites would be too burdensome, they said; smaller sites without big legal teams would face overwhelming liability and who knew what unforeseen lawsuits would be made possible by changing a law known as “the bedrock of the Internet”?

But now “Big Tech,” whose opposition was anticipated to be a major stumbling block to amending the law, has mostly backed down. After working with Senate staff members to obtain what they see as important changes to the language of the bill, the Internet Association announced late Friday that it supports the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, also known as SESTA.


3. The Costume Institute Takes on Catholicism.

By Vanessa Friedman, The New York Times, November 8, 2017

The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is stepping into the religious fray.

The title of the department’s blockbuster 2018 fashion exhibition will be “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” Stretching across three galleries — the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the medieval rooms in the Met on Fifth Avenue and the Cloisters — and approximately 58,600 square feet, it will feature 50 or so ecclesiastical garments and accessories on loan from the Vatican, multiple works from the Met’s own collection of religious art and 150 designer garments that have been inspired by Catholic iconography or style.

Mr. Bolton had been thinking about doing a show on the connections between fashion and religion for years — since “the culture wars of the 1980s,” he said — but only became serious about it at the Met around two years ago.

He began conversations with the Vatican in 2015; the loan came from the Sistine Chapel sacristy Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, as opposed to the Vatican Museums, since it involves garments still in active use. (They date from the mid-18th-century to the papacy of John Paul II.) Mr. Bolton said the church was immediately receptive to the idea of working together, though he had to make eight visits to Rome to discuss the show. And because of concerns about display and security, the loan contract was not signed until last week.

Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See press office, said: “The Roman Catholic Church has been producing and promoting beautiful works of art for centuries. Most people have experienced that through religious paintings and architecture. This is another way of sharing some of that beauty that rarely gets seen.”

The Vatican garments will be separated from the rest of the fashion in the exhibition, out of respect for the fact that they are still working garments and, presumably, to defray criticisms that could incur if a visitor were to see, for example, a sacristy robe next to a Jean Paul Gaultier dress with a chalice embroidered over the breasts.

The last time this many Vatican garments made their way across the ocean, in 1983 for “The Vatican Collections,” the exhibition became the third-most-visited in museum history, with 896,743 attendees.


4. U.S. bishops call for a national debate on America’s gun policies.

By Christopher White, Crux, November 7, 2017

Following the latest episode of gun violence in the United States, Bishop Frank Dewane, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued a statement on Tuesday urging for a national debate on America’s gun policies.

“For many years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been urging our leaders to explore and adopt reasonable policies to help curb gun violence,” said Dewane.

“Violence in our society will not be solved by a single piece of legislation, and many factors contribute to what we see going on all around us,” said Dewane. “Even so, our leaders must engage in a real debate about needed measures to save lives and make our communities safer.”

Among the initiatives urged by the bishops is a total ban on assault weapons. Dewane noted in his statement that the bishops supported the 1994 ban, which congress failed to renew in 2004.


5. Pope offers condolences for Texas church shooting.

By Associated Press, November 7, 2017, 10:58 AM

Pope Francis has sent a telegram to the archbishop of San Antonio, Texas, to express his condolences for the deadly shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

The telegram was sent Tuesday by the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who said the pope was “deeply grieved by news of the loss of life and grave injuries caused by the act of senseless violence.”

Twenty-six people were killed in Sunday’s attack at the Texas church.


6. House Bill Would Strip Adoption Tax Credit: ‘Pro-Life’ conservatives urge House to retain break, not cut taxes ‘on the backs of orphans’.

By Natalie Andrews, The Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2017, 2:53 PM

Social conservatives have urged House Republicans to retain a tax credit for families who adopt children in their tax overhaul bill, arguing the party shouldn’t gin up revenue at the expense of vulnerable children and the taxpayers who would give them homes.

The adoption tax credit is on the chopping block in the bill being debated this week in the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill’s drafters aim to significantly cut corporate taxes, compress individual income-tax brackets and eventually repeal the state tax, requiring them to offset those revenue losses by curtailing other tax breaks. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates repealing the adoption credit would raise $3.8 billion over a decade.

But adoption advocates argue the high initial costs of adopting a child, including legal fees and medical expenses, justify a special credit. The adoption credit—a one-time credit of up to $13,570 per child—is only available to those with incomes lower than $243,540. In 2015, 63,950 families used the credit, for an average benefit of $3,925, according to Internal Revenue Service data. The total cost of the credit is $251 million.

The bill will raise the child tax credit to $1,600 per child from $500, a measure the bill’s authors say will aid all families, and provide other broad tax benefits.

“Do we want to stick with the old credit, which leaves fewer and fewer people behind, and helps one time in your life?” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R., Texas), who adopted two of his children, said on a radio broadcast Tuesday. “Or do we go with the tax cuts that provide about $2,000 a year, and the new family credit that helps you with your child every year of their life?”