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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 13, 2013/ 2 Nissan, 5773

Media myopia in Rome

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | All things considered, I’d rather be in Rome. Isn’t everyone?

Tout le journalism monde has descended on Rome since Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise retirement last month. The ensuing Vatican intrigue has been appropriately sumptuous: Was it the gay cabal? Blackmail? Did the butler do it?

And now what?

The 115 cardinals electing the new pope finally began deliberations Tuesday after weeks of finger-drumming by the international press. Could you guys hurry up already? The Vatican’s tiny communications office has been driven batty by 5,000 reporters who descended with deadlines and little to report.

The Vatican, despite Pope Emeritus Benedict’s relatively recent foray into the Twitterverse, apparently is not yet on the 24/7 news clock. The cardinals, according to one source in Rome, declined to be rushed by journalists. Meanwhile, reporters stateside embarrassed themselves daily by projecting their own values onto the centuries-old institution — insisting that the church has to modernize on issues ranging from women priests to same-sex marriage to abortion. One colleague recently intoned a popular, if overwrought, sentiment: If the church doesn’t change its position on women in the clergy, the church is doomed.

This is all laughable to anyone vaguely familiar with Catholic teaching. The Virgin Mary is at the center of the church and is otherwise known as the mother of God — hardly a secondary role. Women who want to become priests may need a different church, as the all-male priesthood is considered doctrinal. One doesn’t easily amend that sort of thing.

Such issues are not of prime concern to the church or the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics. Rather, Vatican concerns tilt more toward alleviating poverty in the developing world and ending the persecution of Christians. And, of course, getting its own house in order.

No one needs a primer on the scandals that have plagued the church the past few decades — or the more recent discoveries of financial mismanagement and the “gay cabal.” The new pope will have to yoke himself immediately to these burdens. Amid such troubles — not to mention managing a world religion, an assortment of eccentric personalities and a vast charitable and diplomatic empire — he will need a sense of humor.

The modernization of the church about which so many recently have opined is unlikely to make headlines soon. What is imperative is that the new pope be a strong communicator, or an “Evangelical Catholic,” as author and commentator George Weigel termed it. This means, among other things, adapting to the global news cycle.

This is no century for introverts.

The recently retired pope much preferred studying and writing to meeting and greeting, his tweets notwithstanding. Efforts to humanize him via stories that he loved cats were somewhat outdated and mildly annoying. Worshipers seeking solidarity with the Vicar of Christ often sent Benedict photos of their cats. When a prominent television personality visited the pope, he gave Benedict a gift: a Baccarat cat.

Benedict had no cats at the Vatican.

The church faces enormous challenges, but none so daunting as communicating the Good News, which translates to helping millions around the world. Whatever one’s personal opinion of Catholicism (I am not Catholic), the church remains a bulwark against Western secularization and the growing culture of choice. Is it really desirable, just for starters, that the leader of the Christian church embrace the destruction of human life in the womb?

One may make painful, personal choices as the law permits, but even non-Catholics can find solace in the barricade that men and women of conscience erect between human beings and the abyss of relativity. If the church means nothing to some, it is at least a welcome noisemaker in the public square, fearless in making the argument that life does matter.

Without the Catholic Church — the largest charitable organization in the world — millions of the least fortunate would suffer. Catholic Relief Services works in nearly 100 countries and reaches 100 million of the poorest people with emergency aid and health care, including 280 HIV and AIDS projects. Catholic Charities USA provided food services to 6.5 million people last year, according to Vatican sources.

Scandal surely has diminished the Vatican’s moral authority, but 2,000 years of history suggest it will adapt and survive. In the meantime, any evaluation of its present situation must also include recognition of the immense good that individual Catholics and the church do.

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