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Mass for archdiocese, visit to prison top pope’s Philadelphia itinerary

July 2nd, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

PHILADELPHIA — The first stop for Pope Francis when he visits Philadelphia the morning of Sept. 26 will be the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul to celebrate a special Mass for the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The previously unannounced Mass is part of the pope’s itinerary for his Philadelphia visit announced by the Vatican June 30. Read more »

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Pope will have ‘profound impact’ on New Yorkers, says cardinal

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NEW YORK — The 30 hours or so Pope Francis will spend in New York in September will be relatively brief, but “his presence here among us will have a profound and lasting impact on all New Yorkers,” said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan. Read more »

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Pope will visit nation’s capital as a pastor, says Washington cardinal

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis will make history during his visit to Washington in September, when he becomes the first pope to address a joint meeting of Congress and he celebrates the first canonization Mass to be celebrated in the United States. Read more »

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Vatican Letter — Pope has harsh critiques of free-market economy, but he’s neither pro- nor anti-capitalist

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Harsh criticisms meted out by Pope Francis on free-market capitalism have sparked backlash from some fiscal conservatives and have led some people to call him “anti-capitalist” or even Marxist. Read more »

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Philadelphia Orchestra, Andrea Bocelli will perform at Festival of Families for Pope Francis

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PHILADELPHIA — Though thousands may be drawn to the Festival of Families Sept. 26 where Andrea Bocelli, Juanes and the Philadelphia Orchestra will be performing, local parish members may have the opportunity to grace the very same stage. Read more »

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The Dialog wins three Catholic Press Association awards

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The Dialog won three awards, including general excellence, from the Catholic Press Association (CPA) during its annual Catholic Media Conference in Buffalo, June 24-26.

The Dialog took second place in the 17,001 – 40,000 newspaper circulation category that’s given to publications considered the best by judges who work in journalism fields outside the Catholic press.

“The Dialog had a wealth of articles about topics not usually seen in Catholic publications, like praying and eating healthy,” said the judges’ notes. “Enjoyable variety of topics covered in this paper, most of it original reporting and not just taken from Catholic News Service. Overall, a very impressive paper.” Read more »

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Catholics urged to thank their Delaware legislators

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The Delaware Catholic Action Network (DCAN) is urging parishioners in the Diocese of Wilmington to thank a state legislator.

When Delaware lawmakers approved the state budget this week, funding for Catholic school nurses and for transportation stipends for Catholic school families was included, albeit at lower levels than in previous years.

DCAM reported June 29 that the Joint Finance Committee, which draws up the state budget, had restored $533,000 for school nursing and $800,000 for transportation for nonpublic schools.

“While these numbers are slightly less than what our schools received last year, they will help families who struggle to send their children to Catholic schools,” DCAN said in a statement.

DCAN asked Catholics “to thank your representatives in Dover for being responsive to our requests.”

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Time is relative but action violence a constant in latest ‘Terminator’

July 2nd, 2015 Posted in Movies Tags: , , ,

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Catholic News Service

Any movie plot that hangs on the ability of an adult character to journey into the past to give vital advice to himself as a child is bound to register as convoluted.

Emilia Clarke and Arnold Schwarzenegger star in a scene from the movie "Terminator: Genisys." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Paramount)

Emilia Clarke and Arnold Schwarzenegger star in a scene from the movie “Terminator: Genisys.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (CNS photo/Paramount)

Add the further wrinkle that the film in question is the fifth installment in a franchise so antique that a sequence set in the year of the series’ first release seems like a visit to an alien culture, and viewers can be forgiven for feeling a bit at sea.

Still, the riddles of time travel are not really the point of “Terminator: Genisys.” The primary purpose of this easily forgotten latest chapter in a sci-fi action narrative that dates back to 1984’s “The Terminator” is, rather, to empower its cast to blow things up, fire off weapons and drive with abandon.

There is, accordingly, mayhem aplenty, both before and after that inevitable moment when the original Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, assures us, yet again, that he’ll be back.

What’s behind all this stylized ruckus? The post-apocalyptic conflict between murderous machines and embattled humanity in the world of 2029, that’s what.

The prospects of those fighting on the flesh-and-blood side in this drawn-out battle are looking up, thanks to the work of their Messiah-like leader, John Connor (Jason Clarke). Just as he’s about to achieve a definitive victory, however, John faces a unique threat.

His adversaries, we learn, have used a time machine to send a cyborg (Byung-hun Lee) into the past to eliminate John’s mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), before she can give birth to him. Not to be outdone, John, in turn, dispatches Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), his most trusted lieutenant, to follow the assassin back in time and protect Sarah.

Once safely arrived in the Reagan era, however, Kyle is confused to find that Sarah is already being shielded by another chronology-defying robot (Schwarzenegger) who seems to be fighting on the wrong side.

Kyle’s bewilderment is likely to be shared by those whose memory of the mid-1980s is not sufficiently detailed to explain why or how the new, good Arnold winds up battling the bad Arnold of 30 years ago. And then there’s grown-up Reece’s counsel-bearing encounter with little Reece.

Given the obvious prima-facie appeal of director Alan Taylor’s shoot ’em-up to youthful viewers, however, the question confronting parents is much more straightforward.

Despite its relentlessness, the destruction on view carries with it little bloodshed. And the fact that time machine passengers can only be transported in the buff also is treated more as an occasion for smirking jokes than for visual exploitation. Together with the relative absence of obscenity in the dialogue, such restraint may lead at least some parents to consider “Terminator: Genisys” acceptable for mature teens.

The film contains pervasive action violence with minimal gore, several scenes of partial nudity, a few uses of profanity, at least one rough term and occasional crude and crass language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III, adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13.

 

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‘Magic Mike XXL’ returns to ‘subculture of smut’

July 1st, 2015 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

Don’t let those fancy-looking Roman numerals in its title fool you, the male-stripper sequel “Magic Mike XXL” isn’t just for intellectuals.

Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer star in a scene from the movie "Magic Mike XXL." The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.(CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

Channing Tatum and Matt Bomer star in a scene from the movie “Magic Mike XXL.” The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.(CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

In fact, the shallower your thinking, the more at home you’re likely to feel, both with the characters and the content of this preposterous return to a subculture of smut.

Cobbling together a series of familiar tropes in lieu of a plot, director Gregory Jacobs gives us a buddy film by reuniting the bump-and-grind alchemist of the title (Channing Tatum) with several members of the trou-dropping group he once headlined. This is followed by a road movie as the mostly restored ensemble — Matthew McConaughey as the original’s club owner, Dallas, is a notable absentee — depart their Tampa, Florida, home base for an annual convention of clothes shedders in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Once there, it’s time for a “you-can-do-it-if-you-try” final segment in which the retiring (but not shy) team rack their brains and doff their garments to achieve a farewell performance. Along the way, Jacobs pads out the boys’ lewd routines, one of which uses the trappings of a wedding ceremony to degrading effect, with vacuous reflections on the Zen of masculine burlesque.

Of course, even hearts hidden within layers of beefcake crave romance. So enter Mike’s love interest, aspiring photographer Zoe (Amber Heard). The two meet cute when he steps away from a nighttime beach party to relieve himself, and she ambles along and starts taking snaps of the process. Some enchanted evening.

No doubt anxious lest the lady-pleasing ways of Mike and his pals be mistaken for intolerance, the script has the boys stop off at a drag show, where they join in a campy stage prancing contest for members of the audience. When their portly non-stripper sidekick Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias) instantly shuts down all competitors by appearing in a Carmen Miranda outfit, you know you’ve been entertained.

The film contains a debased view of human sexuality, including implicit approval of an off-screen casual encounter, brief but nasty irreverence, drug use, frequent scenes of publicly simulated sex acts, some of them aberrant, rear male nudity, a couple of uses of profanity and pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive.

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.

 

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‘Max’ is a wholesome family drama

July 1st, 2015 Posted in Movies Tags: , ,

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Max, a “military working dog” returns from Afghanistan to vanquish evil while mending a broken home in this wholesome and welcome family drama.

Robbie Amell stars in a scene from the movie "Max." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.(CNS photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Robbie Amell stars in a scene from the movie “Max.” The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.(CNS photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

When the eponymous canine’s handler (Robbie Amell), a Marine, is killed, the distraught animal is sent home to Texas to live with the Leatherneck’s parents (Lauren Graham and Thomas Haden Church) and his troubled younger brother (Josh Wiggins). With the encouragement of a sassy girl (Mia Xitlali), for whom he’s fallen, the rebellious teen overcomes his resistance and bonds with his new pet.

Together, they uncover a plot by an ex-Marine (Luke Kleintank) to peddle illegal weapons. Director and co-writer Boaz Yakin conveys his youthful main character’s evolution from zero to hero while underscoring the importance of telling the truth and respecting your parents.

Despite some mild action violence which may be too intense for the younger set, “Max” is a wholesome — and welcome — family drama. Director Boaz Yakin (“Remember the Titans”), who co-wrote the screenplay with former Marine Sheldon Lettich, nicely conveys Justin’s evolution from zero to hero, underscoring the importance of telling the truth and respecting your parents.

Yakin also wrangles some remarkably expressive performances from the half-dozen dogs who alternate in portraying the eponymous star.

The film contains scenes of combat and human peril as well as dog-fighting and a few mild oaths. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

 

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