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The Patrick Coffin Show | Interviews with influencers | Commentary about culture | Tools for transformation

The Patrick Coffin Show podcast features weekly interviews with A-list influencers and outliers in the effort to recover the Judeo-Christian roots of the culture. Patrick is the Canadian-born former host of Catholic Answers Live, and he has raving fans around the world. He injects these fascinating interviews with his own distinctive blend of depth and levity. If you’re tired of politically correct mediaspeak, you want to see God back in the public square, and you’re not allergic to having a laugh, this is the place to be.
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The Patrick Coffin Show | Interviews with influencers | Commentary about culture | Tools for transformation
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Now displaying: 2019
Dec 31, 2019

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Despite teaching at prestigious universities, René Girard (1923—2015) was an outsider to the world of academe. The French philosopher and social critic began teaching literature because he needed a job. This venture set up his discovery of just how similar the various novels and classics were that he was lecturing on. He realized over time that, primarily, people want what other people want, a dynamic he called mimetic desire.

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Dec 28, 2019

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Christmas is a season, so, Merry Christmas!

In this video, I dive into some word origins and Bible verses that have to do with the brevity of life. Natura is the Latin root for nativity and nature and natural — and it has to do with things coming into being.

We often treat life like a giant game of dodgeball and we hear about someone dying we think “Oh, that’s too bad they got hit with the ball” as if we’re never going to get hit. We’ll be the last man standing forever.

The word of God teaches us otherwise. you and I will spend a brain-fracturing long amount of time in eternity in the life to come, whether in heaven or in hell, compared to the short decades we spend here in this life.

With each 52-week unit of time known as one year that we experience the subsequent 52-week units of time seem to go by faster with each passing year.

Isn’t that true?

Didn’t Christmas seem to come around every 10 years or so when you were a little kid?

So here are seven Bible verses on the brevity of life:

1. Psalms 90:10

2. Psalms 144:4

3. Job 9:25-26

4. 1 Chronicles 29:15

5. Luke 12:20

6. James 4:14

7.  Hebrews 2: 14-15

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have changed death from a black pit into a well-lit door.

The great playwright and Catholic convert Tennessee Williams wrote something fascinating and very practical about the brevity of life. I’ll close with this:
“In the time of your life–live!” That time is short and it doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.”

 

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Dec 24, 2019

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This episode debuted exactly two years ago, and I could think of no better show this year to honor my all-time favorite movie, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1947) through the eyes of two women with close ties to its creation.

If Mr. Capra didn’t write it, why do I call it “Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life? It’s because that’s how the movie was marketed, which helps explain why the film got only a so-so reception when it was first released. Most of Mr. Capra’s pre-World War II movies were so sweet-hearted that they later earned the moniker “Capracorn,” not meant as a compliment.

It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most critically acclaimed films ever made. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made, and placed number 11 on its initial 1998 greatest movie list, it also ranked number one on its list of the most inspirational American films of all time.

Think about that. In light of the fact that hundreds of thousands of movies have been made, this is a jaw-dropping achievement.

By the end of the Second World War, though, the mood of the movie-going public had shifted, as I wrote about the making of the movie in National Review a few years ago HERE.

The next day after it was published, an appreciative email from a woman named Mary Owen arrived in my inbox. Turns out, Mary is the daughter of actress Donna Reed, who played Mary Bailey, the wife of James Stewart’s George Bailey.

I thanked her for the lovely email and we had a few back-and-forths. After my podcast was up on two feet and spreading around the world (110 countries and counting), I thought it would be fun to have her on the show to talk about her mother’s role in this now-international favorite Christmas movie and to learn some back story to her mother’s career and her commitment to writing back to the G.I’s who wrote to her from the trenches and the gun turrets of World War II.

The interview segues nicely into the next one, a rich conversation with actress Karolyn Grimes who played Zuzu, one of the four Bailey kids. Remember Zuzu’s petals? This was a real treat for me who loves the movie so well, and I know it will be for you as well.

I learned, among other things, how much Mrs. Grimes suffered as a teen when her mother died and then the next year her father was killed and she became a ward of the state—then “rescued” by an aunt and uncle in Missouri, which was an unhappy home situation. Karolyn also played Debbie, the daughter of David Niven and Loretta Young in another Christmas favorite, The Bishop’s Wife.

For those of us who can’t gobble up enough trivia and true stories about It’s a Wonderful Life, Mrs. Grimes is a treasure trove of first-hand memories and insights!

For the show notes: www.patrickcoffin.media

Dec 22, 2019

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In this Christmas video, I cite a writer writing about Christmas.

 Without Googling, can you guess who wrote it?

The mystery writer starts according to John’s Gospel:

“And the Word was made flesh, and came to dwell among us; and we had sight of His glory, glory such as belongs to the Father’s only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

I’ll give you a major hint: the writer is a Christian.

Leave your guess in the comment box below.

A merry and blessed and peaceful Christmas to you and your family!

 

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Dec 17, 2019

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Do you find yourself distracted all day by the pings and dings of your smartphone, by the lure of that Amazon Prime movie, or hilarious kitten videos on YouTube, or your favorite news commentary, or the funny pages, or making a hot coffee before you “really get down to work”?

Stop me if this sounds like you, because it certainly sounds like me.

Fortunately for the distracted brethren of this world, a practical guide to distract-proofing your brain is now available. New York best-selling author Nir Eyal has put 5 years of research into one place.  It's called Indistractible: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

Nir does not spout platitudes or make generalizations. He provides practical tools that build the kind of habits that enable you to stay on task and to use your time wisely and deliberately. Lots of objective data to back it all up as well.

 

Read the rest of the show notes at: www.patrickcoffin.media/show

Dec 14, 2019

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Resources Mentioned:

 

In this video, I describe what these three classic Christmas movies are must-watches. (NB, Die Hard has some potty words, so it's not for kids.)

Dec 10, 2019

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Two months ago, Alexander Tschugguel (chu-goo-gle) was almost a complete unknown, apart from pro-life activism in his native Vienna, Austria. All that changed when he released the video his removal of five Pachamama idols that sat at the side altar of the church of Santa Maria of Transpontina in Rome marching them on the ancient Ponte Sant'Angelo over the Tiber River and knocked them, one by one, into the drink.

 

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Dec 7, 2019

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In this video, I summarize the story so far of the sudden postponement of the Bishop Fulton Sheen beatification, which had been slated for December 21, 2019.

I also provide some important context for the lead up to the "Sheen Cause Pause," and give you the lowdown on WHY it was halted, as well as give a short introduction to the great man himself.

In his day Bishop Sheen was a household name.

Every aspect of his very public life has undergone extraordinary scrutiny already. The miraculous raising of the dead of young James Fulton Engstrom is a certified bona fide miracle (see my interview with his mother Bonnie in the link below), and Pope Francis himself authorized Bishop Sheen as worthy of beatification.

But...the Diocese of Rochester confirmed last Thursday that it had requested a delay of the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, which had been scheduled for Dec. 21 until it was postponed indefinitely earlier this week.

The Diocese of Peoria says the Rochester Diocese has left out key facts as to WHY.

This is what this video addresses.

The bottomline is, Fulton J Sheen is clean. The screeching halt to his Cause, was orchestrated by Bishop Salvatore Matano of Rochester (Rome sources say he was abetted by Cardinals Cupich of Chicago and Dolan of New York—no surprise there). It's a sham.

Does Cardinal Dolan's silence in particular have something, maybe, possibly something to do with the fact that he lost in four different legal Appeals in a row—costing the faithful of New York hundreds of thousands of dollars for high-priced attorneys to keep Bishop Sheen’s body in Saint Pat’s Cathedral?

Will no US bishops stand up in defense of their brother bishop and sainthood candidate?

In the end, Catholics should be glad the Cause was halted. I explain why in this video.

Venerable Fulton J Sheen, Ora Pro Nobis.

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Dec 3, 2019

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If you think George Cardinal Pell is innocent, and you happen to be a Catholic, you’re open to the charge of protecting your a hero from your tribe or—worse—disbelieving victims. Andrew Bolt is a top TV journalist, and host of “The Bolt Report” on Sky News in Melbourne, Australia, and he is firmly convinced that the guilty verdict, when the facts of the case are closely analyzed, is dead wrong.

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Nov 28, 2019

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Is there a more urgent, vital question than what happens to you after you die? Despite misunderstandings about what purgatory or limbo are, the Catholic Church, following Scripture and Tradition, teaches with highest authority that there are only two eternal destinies: heaven and hell.

If you read the Gospels and pay attention to what Jesus says about hell, you’ll be surprised how often and how seriously He warns us about it. But are these merely “warnings”? Is Jesus bluffing to teach a lesson? Could hell, in fact, be empty?

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Nov 19, 2019

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Suicide is a pandemic today. Most people are inclined to disbelieve how bad the problem is. Father Chris Alar, MIC, can relate. He didn’t give suicide too much thought.

Until his beloved grandmother killed herself at home.

That traumatic loss, after many years of confusion and grief, led by God’s providence, to his call to the priesthood. The author and preacher wrote a kind of handbook for friends and loved ones of those who have taken their own lives. It’s titled After Suicide: There’s Hope for Them and For You.

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Nov 17, 2019

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The U.S. Bishops met this past week in Baltimore and it was two days of fairly procedural discussions and long speeches and talk of preparing documents that very few people outside that that ballroom will read.

But a few things struck me watching the footage of the proceedings and from the transcript of what was said.

The first thing I noticed was how many of the interventions expressed viewpoints that are not in fact the teachings of the Catholic Church.

To take one example, the bishop of Venice Florida, Bishop Frank Dewane—apparently speaking to previous USCCB statements—supported the idea that civilians should have virtually no access to handguns.

Erm, what?

The Second Amendment should go?

The question of violence in our society is an important one but taking guns away from EVERYONE is worse than putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg, because it ignores the root problems:

…the breakdown of the family, the fallout of failed sexual revolution, the skyrocketing divorce rate, the epidemic of depression and suicide.

…the exodus out of the Church and away from Jesus Christ.

…the secularist media machine hell-bent on selling fear, relativism, and despair.

But the real clash of happened on the second day between Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.

Bishop McElroy does not like the idea of non-negotiables for Catholic voters, Including please sing abortion and euthanasia as more important than the urgent them things like the environment and care for the poor. Full stop.

In his address to the Bishops, the Bishop of San Diego expressed displeasure with the phrase “preeminent concern given to the weakest members of society,” a reference to the killing of innocent unborn human beings through abortion.

This line appears in a 2015 USCCB document that very few people read called “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” The Bishop’s at this week’s meeting are set to publish another letter that contained the line, “the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself.”

Well, Bishop McElroy objected to the line as being “at least discordant” with the pope’s teachings.

He didn’t say why this is, since Pope Francis has referred to abortionists as “hitmen.”

Among other things, McElroy said:

“It is not Catholic that abortion is the preeminent issue that we face as a world in Catholic social teaching. It is not. For us to say that, particularly when we omit the pope’s articulation of this question, I think is a grave disservice of our people…so either we shouldn’t have “preeminent” in there, or we should have the pope’s full paragraph where he lays out his vision of this same question, delicately balancing all of it in the words he does,”

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler Texas said that he thought preeminent should stay.

Next up was Archbishop Chaput wasn’t having any of the reasoning proffered by is brother Bishop McElroy.

Archbishop Chaput replied:

“I am against anyone stating that our saying [abortion] is ‘preeminent’ is contrary to the teaching of the pope. Because that isn’t true. It sets an artificial battle between the bishops’ conference of the United States and the Holy Father which isn’t true.

So I don’t like the argument Bishop McElroy used. It isn’t true.

In an unusual break with protocol, the bishop’s broke into applause.

This clash right here is a microcosm of the civil war going on right now inside the Catholic Church between those who go along with the word salad and the weaponized ambiguities of Pope Francis, and those who want continuity with the previous 265 popes and sacred Tradition especially in the area of moral theology.

First, is this disagreement imaginable under John Paul II or really any previous Pope?

Second, many people are beginning to ask why the bishops have to meet in lavish hotels in big cities? Wouldn’t any of the unused or abandoned retreat houses or monasteries across the country provide a more fitting setting?

Third, then Cardinal Ratzinger has explained that National Bishops conferences do not have magisterial authority and their pronouncements per se—especially in matters political or prudential—are not binding on the faithful.

Not including retirees, there are 433 Bishops in the United States. The airfare alone comes to over $130,000 for this 48 hour event, not including the army of staffers, not including hotel, Ubers, meals ,and other costs.

The annual budget of the USCCB is 180 million dollars, and not all of it is funded by donations. For the Catholic Relief Services alone, federal monies accounted for 64.70 percent of its total annual budget.

It’s getting harder to know where the Church ends and where the State begins.

Somehow the Church in America managed to preach the gospel, celebrate the sacraments, and teach the Faith before then for over 300 years, before the US Conference of Catholic Bishops began in 1966.

All things considered, with six adults leaving the Catholic Church for every convert who joins, maybe it’s time to streamline and get back to basics, and seriously consider putting the USCCB out of its misery.

Yes? No?

Let me know in the comments.

Nov 12, 2019

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You might not know it, but Pembroke-born Father Mark Goring has been churning out YouTube commentaries for many years now—almost daily—and with increasingly creative green screen backgrounds! He knows the risks of “permanentizing” your words for all the world to see and comment on. 

For the rest of show notes and resources mentioned go to my website at: www.patrickcoffin.media/show

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Nov 5, 2019

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As the Irish used to put it, “it’s the Mass that matters.” The holy sacrifice of the Mass is the “source and summit of the Christian life” according to Vatican II. In the short years following the Council, the reformation of the Mass, replacing the pre-1962 Missal with the Mass of Paul VI (aka the Novus Ordo Missae), has unfortunately led to what amounts to a two-track Church.

The 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI lifted the need for episcopal permission to celebrate the Extraordinary Form (the Traditional Latin Mass) so any priest could celebrate it. This in turn led to a resurgent interest in the Mass that nurtured saints and sinners alike for over 500 years.

Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, OR, taught himself how to say the Latin Mass, and has nuggets of wisdom as to why the Church benefits from its celebration and the sense of balance needed to avoid extremist attitudes. He’s also an expert in sacred music, which is a much-overlooked element of the Divine Liturgy.

Oct 30, 2019

Perhaps because of movies like The Exorcist and TV shows like Ghost Hunters, one wonders if more people believe in demons than in angels.

Demonologist Adam Blai has devoted his life to training exorcist priests and lecturing on the different levels of demonic activity: temptation, oppression, infestation, and (the much rarer) possession. His sometimes harrowing experiences are found in his book, Hauntings, Possessions, and Exorcisms, which is part autobiography and part field manual.

The devil and his angels are real, but they are on a strong leash held by Jesus Christ. We need the grace of Christ to ask for more virtue, and greater faith, so we can live daily in victory over our common enemy.

 

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Oct 22, 2019

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Were you raised on Dr. Seuss? P.D. Eastman? The Hardy Boys? Maybe Anne of Green Gables? If the answer is yes to this genre and quality, then this interview will shock you. Author and educator Debbie DeGroff has put together a painfully brilliant collection of evidence showing the drip-by-drip degradation of books aimed at high schoolers, and younger.

 

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Oct 15, 2019

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Does the practice of psychiatry bring answers to suffering people or just more questions? How scientific is what we call psychiatry (as opposed to psychology), and how can it be integrated into the Christian faith? Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, MD has written about and pondered these questions deeply as a professor of psychiatry at the University of California Irvine and in private practice. This exchange of ideas and historical perspectives sheds a lot of light on questions Catholics and other Christians have about the world of psychiatry

For the rest of show notes and other resources go here.

 

Oct 8, 2019

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When people in an otherwise civilized society want to die or want to kill other people, they must first come up with legit sounding euphemisms. “Death with dignity.” “Medical aid in dying.” “Clump of cells.” “Products of conception.” Same with racial hatred. First dehumanize, then act. 

Or, first euphemize, then euthanize.

There has been one euthanasia or trans surgery story after another in the last few weeks. I found the right man in Wesley J. Smith to talk about them. He is a lawyer and award winning author of 13 books (see some gems below), and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Smith is also a consultant to the Patients Rights Council.

 

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Oct 1, 2019

 

LAST CALL for our Oberammergau Pilgrimage with Fr. Willy Raymond. Go here: www.patrickcoffin.media/pilgrimage to learn more.

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Archbishop Julian Porteous is the Ordinary of Hobart, Tasmania, and an astute observer of Australian culture, particularly how fast it has veered toward militant secularism. The latest example is the law passed September, 2019, that provides jail time for priests who will not disclose what is confessed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (aka Penance, or Confession) by, say, an abuser of minors.

This is an outrageous and unprecedented intrusion into the running of the Catholic Church in what is otherwise known as a free country. The rights of the Church are violated, and the challenge becomes down to the great difficulty in explaining why the Seal of Confession is substantially different from a relationship like attorney-client privilege. 

Think this could only happen in secularist Australia? Think again. Secularist America is next: California and Louisiana legislatures have already tried the same stunt.

 

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Sep 24, 2019

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In June 1981, six Croatian teens (well, one was 10) went up Podbrdo Hill near the village of Medjugorje in then rural Yugoslavia. When they came down, they said they had seen “the Gospa” (Croatian for Lady). The local bishop, Pavao Žanić, was initially open to their claims but...after he interviewed them, and learned the full story, he knew it was a complete hoax.

If you do an internet search for “Medjugorje” you will find that the pro-apparition websites, books, DVDs, and prayer groups, positively swamp any critical sources. Yet the official judgment of the Catholic Church is clear: Medjugorje is rejected (officially, non constat de supernaturalitate). And yet Church leadership all the way up to Pope Francis treats the decades-sprawling phenomenon with a combination of kid gloves playing hot potato, to mix a metaphor.

The six seers have parlayed their so-called apparitions into consistently high sources of income, and the pilgrimage industry still rakes in millions each year off of naive, usually low information Catholics seeking solace or answers at the place.

Dr. E. Michael Jones, editor of Culture Wars magazine, wrote the first full length treatment of Medjugorje in 1988, and a book length account in 2010, which is why I invited him to give us an overview of the sprawling saga from the beginning. I do so with the intention of alerting my fellow Catholics who may be unaware (most are) of the truth about the Church’s discernment of this oddly toxic phenomenon.

 

 

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Sep 17, 2019

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Many people, especially Catholics, are vexed and confused about how the once admirable Catholic Church suddenly became identified with pedophilia, leadership corruption, duplicity, and worldly ideals having little to do with the gospel.

Author John Gravino has outlined two forces—one intellectual, one moral—working in tandem (although not always intentionally as allies) to create the present crisis. So the John Jay Report found that 81% of sexual abuse victims were teen boys (not “children”). But which moral theologians taught these predators in Roman collars? 

And what about humanistic psychology? Ever hear of Carl Rogers and William Coulson—or Richard McCormick, SJ, or Andre Guindon, or Charles Curran? If the answer is no, this interview is the place to start understanding how the bleep we got here as a Church that claims to have been founded and sustained by Jesus Christ.

 

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Sep 10, 2019

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LAST CALL for the Oberammergau Pilgrimage with Fr. Willy  Raymond. Learn more: www.patrickcoffin.media/pilgrimage. Registration ends September 30.

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If Joseph Pearce had a superhero alter ego, it would be...Bookman! I know of very few other scholars more qualified to recommend the great books we all ought to read before we go to The Great Printer. The British born writer, editor, and professor of literature has spent his life mining the gold from the raw ore of books out there. How great to have a guide who can tell gold apart from fool’s gold.

This exchange was a lot of fun, and I know you’ll learn as much as I did.

 

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Sep 3, 2019

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How did the culture get so chaotic so quickly? Identity politics taints everything it touches; sexual minorities clamor for rights that didn’t exist five years ago; violence has replaced reason in public discourse.

How did we get here?


This is the gargantuan problem tackled by scholar and social critic Mary Eberstadt in her latest book, Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics. In light of the level of rage that has taken over public conversations, on and off line, how can we get traction with ideologues on the Left? Eberstadt says we must begin by listening and understanding.

 

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Aug 27, 2019

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It’s a classic David vs Goliath set up. Planned Parenthood veteran director lives in America illegally discovers serious moral and medical problems going on at the clinic she runs. Decides to blow the whistle. Planned Parenthood brass go after her immediately by firing her, poison the well of her reputation, plant narcotics in her desk, and suddenly care about her residence status. 

That’s when Mayra decided to punch back twice as hard. She sued the largest provider of abortions in the world for wrongful dismissal, against the odds, and faced down witnesses with their grim-faced attorneys.

And won.

The unanimous jury judgment awarded her $3,000,000. This is her story.

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For rest of the story go to: www.patrickcoffin.media/show

Aug 20, 2019

Come to Germany with me and Fr. Willy to see the Passion Play in Oberammergau. For more information: www.patrickcoffin.media/pilgrimage

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Very few journalists who are practicing Catholics are willing to honestly tackle the corruption in the Church by naming names, digging until the truth is unearthed, confronting bad guys, making antagonists squirm.

This is what George Neumayr does, chiefly as a correspondent for The American Spectator, but elsewhere as a freelancer. He has gone after the DC Swamp (Catholic Edition) for some years now, telling the true, often horrifying, story of malfeasance and other forms of corruption (sexual and financial) among priests and prelates in what he describes as the epicenter of the priestly abuse scandal that first broke nationally in Boston 2002, with ongoing tremors to this day.

Neumayr is doing what the official Catholic establishment media won’t do. His work is a testament to the power one man can have when writing the truth.

 

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