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Cheating, Lady of Bethlehem & Fashion Show

To Cheat or Not to Cheat

Dear whomever this may concern,

I am a university student. I took a test for a class which the professor had permitted us to use calculators. I used a graphing calculator and loaded information onto the calculator to assist me with the test. I feel guilty about this and want to know whether this was a sin.



TIA responds:

Dear M.C.,

Some data are missing to evaluate your question well:
  1. You did not specify whether the professor had allowed sophisticated calculators or just elementary ones;

  2. Your action, which you described as “I loaded information,” is also not precise. It is necessary to know what kind of information you downloaded. It can either be data that were not directly related to the material being tested or specific answers that you are not allowed to have.
If you cheated in one of the two items above or in both, you committed fraud in relation to your professor and your university. Further, if your test was competitive – to select a small number of students – you may have harmed persons who are more competent than you.

If you cheated, it would be good to tell your professor what you did and then do what he deems best to repair the damage. In parallel you should look for a priest to confess it.

If the professor allowed graphing calculators for all students and you only downloaded information that is available to all, you did not commit fraud. Consequently, your action was honest and you do not need to make moral reparation for it.

These are the criteria we offer to orient your case. You can apply them to what objectively happened and act accordingly.


     TIA correspondence desk


Our Lady of Bethlehem


Thank you for your work on Our Lady of Bethlehem and her history, especially her role in founding the missions of California.

I thought you would like to see this beautiful statue of Our Lady of Bethlehem in Narbonne, France - photos below.

This alabaster statue of Notre-Dame de Bethlehem is in a chapel in the ancient Cathédrale Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur (a cathedral dedicated to Saints Justus and Pastor).

The church's history dates to the 4th century, but the present gothic Cathedral was erected in the 13th century on the order of Pope Clement IV, the former Archbishop of Narbonne. He granted a two-day indulgence to those who visited Notre Dame chapel of Bethlehem on the days of the Assumption and of the Nativity of the Virgin (Bull of October 3, 1266)

Today, thanks to restoration in the early 1900s, in the ambulatory chapel close to the Cathedral one can still honor the beautiful statue of Our Lady of Bethlehem.

Here is the prayer we found at the chapel store:

Our Lady of Bethlehem
Mother of Christ, Our God,
Mother of the Church,
We hail Thee.
Thou, who givest us the grace today
Of being your beloved children.


Our Lady of Bethlehem


Traditional Clothing Getting Rarer

Dear TIA,

I read with complete appreciation the letter written by C.R. 

My 14-year-old daughter went to the mall today to see if she could find some new clothes. Our mall is not all that big, but she went to every store that might have some “decent” clothing. After over two hours of searching, she found nothing.

She said, “It’s either too short, too low, cut out in too many places, too tight, or made of fabric that is not near warm enough for our winters. I told her we might have to start sewing our own clothes, but fear many of the old patterns are also no longer available. We’ll have to see...

Hopefully, eBay will remain a place where some of the “vintage” clothing will fill our need(s) for a bit longer, but I have noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to find things there, too. The thrift stores in our area are also at the point of very slim pickings for the criteria we seek to meet.

After having our daughter read Colleen Hammond’s book about a year ago, we had a discussion wherein I explained that she would have to decide for herself which is the right way to dress.

Thankfully, she has decided to dress as modestly as possible, something of a true rarity amongst her peers. I pray she will maintain her level head and eye for the right things to wear. She has been instrumental in trying to get one of her peers to follow her lead, but I don’t think the other girls' hearts & heads are in the right place, when one has a mom who truly doesn’t “get it” and the other has an older liberal sister living in the home who can’t figure out why wearing pants is so disastrous for women and undermines the parents’ wishes for their girls to dress appropriately.

Yes, such a cross and a penance for anyone with a desire for purity and the love of God. May this mess be cleaned up soon!

     Thank you,

     E.S., Ph.D.


Vogue's Anti-Catholic Fashion Show

Dear TIA,

Vogue has announced that the Met Gala's theme for 2018 will be "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." According to the New York Times, Cardinal Dolan was consulted and has been invited to come. The display will also feature several pieces on loan from the Vatican. The Met Gala is the most influential and important fashion event in the world.

It is curious that this was the chosen theme this year, and I wonder what the motivations behind it may have been. Of course, the influence of Catholicism within fashion is undeniable, especially given that many established fashion designers were actually raised Catholic, e.g. John Galliano, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and Armani, to name a few. One wonders why the fashion world today is so virulently anti-Catholic then.

The hosts for the event will be Donatella Versace, Amal Clooney, and Rihanna, and the Met Gala proclaims to "create a dialogue between fashion and the masterworks of religious art." It should be noted that the three hosts are nothing if not notoriously anti-Catholic.

"Religious art" seems innocent enough, if not for the fact that "art" has been so broadly defined as to lose its meaning and become completely subjective and detached from truth. Attaching "art" to "religion" in this context treats the Faith in the same subjective manner so that sacrilege and profanity can be encouraged in the name of "dialogue through art." The Faith is forcibly rendered as nothing more than a cultural artifact devoid of God, leading to meaningless and fabricated ideas such as "the Catholic imagination." What precisely that means is up to anyone's interpretation, which is the point.

Under the pretext of "dialogue," fashion and Catholicism are supposed to ... what exactly? A cursory internet search of celebrities "dialoguing" with Catholicism on the red carpet or on concert tours clearly shows a desire to provoke and profane, at best.

Nevertheless, I hope that people will see the exhibit and feel an attraction towards the sublime in the timeless beauty of the Church, and that the seeds of conversion may plant. Realistically, what I expect to happen are several influential celebrities wearing not just the standard immodest garb at the red carpet, but clothes with Catholic imagery embedded onto skimpy attire as well, adding sacrilege to their immodesty.

How can Catholics understand the role of beauty and art when the Faith is being handed over to Pilate by Judas?



Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted November 14, 2017

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