Armen Grigorian

Writer

Tue

25

Apr

2017

The Promise: Movie Review

by Armen Grigorian

 

The Promise, a film directed by Terry George and starring Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, and Christian Bale, is a love story set during the onset of the Armenian Genocide. Michael Begosian (Oscar Isaac), is an Armenian medical student in Istanbul who falls in love with Ana Khesarian, (Charlotte Le Bon). Khesarian, however, is already in a relationship with Christopher Meyers (Christian Bale), a renowned American journalist. Much of the movie’s plot is driven by this love triangle, but the film also does not shy away from addressing the Armenian Genocide.

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Tue

25

Apr

2017

Euthanasia Debate - Rebuttals

This Catholicism 101 special feature is part two of a debate between the editorial staff of The Torch.

To view the first part of this debate, please click here.

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Wed

29

Mar

2017

How Lent is Celebrated Around the World

by Armen Grigorian

 

When you think of the Lenten season in the United States, a few traditions come to mind: Not eating meat on Fridays, giving something up, or even doing something extra as a reminder that this is a holy time of year. While these traditions are all very familiar to us here in the U.S., all over the world, different people and different cultures are observing Lent in their own ways.

 

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Wed

22

Feb

2017

What Neil Gorsuch Could Mean for the Supreme Court

 

by Armen Grigorian

 

On January 31, 2017, President Donald J. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, a judge of the United State Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to be the next member of United States Supreme Court. He was nominated to this position by President George W. Bush and has been serving in this role since 2006. Jude Gorsuch’s’ nomination is to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. Since Justice Scalia’s passing there have been eight members sitting on the Supreme Court, four of which tend to have a more conservative approach to interpreting the Constitution, and four of which have a more liberal approach to interpreting it. This breakdown of the Supreme Court hold particular significance due to the fact that a 4-4 tie when the justices vote on a case means that the holding of the lower court gets upheld and no precedent is set. This rule has impacted multiple cases since the death of Justice Scalia, and has held up multiple rulings. Judge Gorsuch’s potential impact on the Supreme Court is quite substantial as his vote may be the deciding one on multiple cases.

 

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Tue

15

Nov

2016

“Religion of Sports” by Tom Brady Set to Air

by Armen Grigorian

 

On November 15, a new TV show, “Religion of Sports,” aired on the Audience Network. The show is produced by Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, and Gotham Chopra, the son of famous spirituality guru Deepak Chopra. The series will consist of six hour-long episodes that will each explore an example of the ways in which sports impact the cultural and spiritual aspects of religions around the world. According to The Boston Herald, the show explores the rivalry between soccer clubs in Glasgow, Scotland; the Calgary Stampede rodeo in Alberta, Canada; and the rise of "e-sports." It will also delve into NASCAR, mixed martial arts, and minor league baseball.

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Tue

25

Oct

2016

Arrests Continue in Turkey in Aftermath of Coup

by Armen Grigorian

 

Since the attempted coup in Turkey this past July, the Turkish government has cracked down on any group it believes has connections to the coup. On October 4, Turkey's Security General Directorate fired 12,801 policemen because of suspected ties to a Muslim cleric living in the United States named Fetullah Gulen. The Turkish government claims Gulen orchestrated the failed coup.

 

According to the news site UPI, the move amounts to an 18 percent reduction of the Turkish police force. The swift response comes as no surprise after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would seek revenge for “a clear crime of treason.”

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Tue

25

Oct

2016

Pros or Priesthood: An Interview with BC’s Quarterback Patrick Towles

by Armin Grigorian

 

 

"[God] gave me the ability to play so I think it’s my responsibility to play as well as I can. I think, and I disagree with this, a lot of people say God is a big part of their lives, but that sells Him short. I think God is not just a part of their lives but is a part of everything. Everything you do, He’s there somewhere."

-Patrick Towles

 

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Tue

27

Sep

2016

Why We All Can’t Stop Singing Along to “Hamilton”

by Armen Grigorian

 

I’m sure almost all of you have either heard the soundtrack to the hit Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” or at least heard about the musical itself. The musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, America’s first Secretary of the Treasury, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, opened in August 2015 on Broadway. Since then Hamilton has grown to become one of the most successful musicals of all time. The popularity of the musical has only slightly decreased since its opening, and most people still can’t get tickets. This begs the question, what makes this musical so popular? Everyone had heard of Alexander Hamilton, but until the musical came out, most people did not give him a second thought, except when they took out a ten-dollar bill to pay for lunch. Now, it’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t say that Hamilton is their favorite Founding Father.

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Tue

26

Apr

2016

New F.D.A Rule Increases Access to Abortion Pill

by Armen Grigorian

 

 

On Wednesday, March 30, the Food and Drug Administration approved new, more relaxed guidelines for mifepristone, formally known as RU-486, a pill that induces abortion. The new guidelines allow women to use the pill further along into the pregnancy and with fewer visits to a doctor as long as they take a reduced dose. More specifically, as long as the dosage of the drug is reduced from 600 to 200 milligrams, women can now start taking the drug 10 weeks into pregnancy instead of seven and with only two visits to the doctor instead of three. Doctors claim that new evidence has emerged since the pill was first approved in 2000 to support these changes to the regulations.

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Tue

29

Mar

2016

Supreme Court Hears Little Sisters of the Poor Case

by Armen Grigorian

 

 

On March 23, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, more commonly know as the Little Sisters of the Poor case. Their lawsuit challenges the Affordable Care Act, specifically the provision that requires religious organizations’ insurance plans to cover contraceptives. In the case of religious institutions like “churches, synagogues and mosques,” the Department of Health and Human Services states, “Religious non-profits can opt out of the so-called contraceptive mandate simply by notifying the government of their objections.”

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Tue

23

Feb

2016

Pope Francis Visits Mexico for First Time

by Armen Grigorian

 

 

Between February 12 and 18, Pope Francis visited Mexico for the first time during his time as pope. The trip followed in the footsteps of his predecessors, Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, both of whom also visited Mexico during their tenures. While most of the trip was spent in Mexico City, Pope Francis also visited Ecatepec, an extremely poor suburb of Mexico City, as well as the Mexican border to celebrate Mass and speak about immigration.

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Tue

26

Jan

2016

Pope Francis Visits Synagogue in Rome for First Time

by Armen Grigorian

 

On Sunday January 17, Pope Francis visited the primary synagogue in Rome for the first time during his tenure. He became the third consecutive pope to visit the synagogue, following in the footsteps of his predecessors St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

 

While at the synagogue, Pope Francis began by thanking the Jewish community that invited him, saying that, “During my first visit to this synagogue as Bishop of Rome, I wish to express to you, and to the whole Jewish community, the fraternal greetings of peace of this Church and of the entire Catholic Church.” In his introductory remarks, he also added that during his time in Argentina he had formed a special relationship with the Jewish community there, one that he described as “a spiritual bond, which has favored the birth of an authentic rapport of friendship and has inspired a common commitment.”

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Wed

09

Dec

2015

Pope Concludes First Visit to Africa

by Armen Grigorian

 

On November 25 through 30, Pope Francis visited Africa, his first visit to Africa since his election to the papacy. His trip consisted of three stops. The Pontiff’s first stop was in Kenya, where he remained from November 25 through 27. He then traveled to Uganda for the next two days and wrapped up his trip in the Central African Republic (CAR) on the 28th through the 30th. The pope’s visit to CAR is especially significant because it is the first time that he has visited an active war zone. According to ETWN there are new deaths being reported in the region daily. In a video released before his trip Pope Francis said to the people of CAR,“Your dear country has for too long been affected by a violent situation and by insecurity of which many of you have been innocent victims.” In a second video tailored towards the people of Kenya and Uganda, Pope Francis said of his upcoming visit, “I am coming as a minister of the Gospel, to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ and his message of reconciliation, forgiveness and peace.”

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Tue

17

Nov

2015

Vatican Arrests Two in Connection to Information Leak

by Armen Grigorian

 

Earlier this month, the Vatican arrested two individuals on charges of stealing and leaking confidential Vatican information: Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, 54, a Spanish official and Francesca Chaouqui, 33, an Italian public relations specialist. Both of these individuals had served on the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of the Economic Administrative Structure of the Holy See (COSEA). COSEA was formed in 2103 by Pope Francis to reform Vatican finances, but once the Vatican bureaucracy was reformed, the commission was dissolved and now no longer exists. According to EWTN, it is alleged that the two individuals used their positions (Msgr. Balda as secretary and Chaouqui as a member) to gain access to the confidential information that they later leaked. According to a press release from the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican Gendarmerie (police) took the two into custody after questioning each of them regarding their potential involvement individually.

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Tue

17

Nov

2015

Steve Jobs and Forgiveness

by Armen Grigorian

 

Since his death in 2011, people have been unsure what exactly to think of Steve Jobs. Many remember him for changing the world with his revolutionary products, such as the iPhone and the iPad, and even go as far as saying that he was the Thomas Edison of our time. Despite this praise, there are many others that are highly critical of Jobs, saying he was impossible to work with, mistreated those around him, and cared for no one. The recently released biopic movie Steve Jobs explores this troubled, personal, side of Jobs while placing particular emphasis on what people are perhaps most critical of Jobs for: his treatment of his daughter.

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Tue

27

Oct

2015

Second Session of the Synod on the Family Concludes

by Armen Grigorian

 

This year from October 4-25 the Vatican held the second session of the Synod on the Family. This years’ session, originally called by Pope Francis in October of 2013, was a meeting of the general assembly of the Synod of Bishops to discuss different issues facing families, as well as Catholic teaching regarding these different issues. The central issue the Synod was trying to address was ‘the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world,” as a continuation of the discussion of last year’s session, centering on challenges to Catholic families in our time.

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Tue

29

Sep

2015

New Struggles Arise for Christians in the Middle East

by Armen Grigorian

 

Christians across the Middle East are facing new hardships as the region continues to struggle through turbulent times. According to ETWN News, in Israel, the government has seized land from 58 Christian families living in the Cremisan Valley, which lies on the border between Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli government sees this area as a potential security risk due to recent conflicts regarding the West Bank, and has taken the Christian lands in question so that a wall can be built on the land to reduce any security issues. In addition to the loss of land, Christian schools in Israel are also in danger of disappearing. Despite laws stating that parents have the right for their children to be educated in any faith, the government is reducing funding to Christian schools in a way that threatens their existence. ETWN also said Christian schools in Israel have always only received about 75% of the funding that Jewish ones receive, so parents have been required to pay a small amount of tuition to make up for the difference. With funding now shrinking, parents are being asked to pay an increased cost of tuition, but since many cannot afford this increased cost they are instead opting to remove their children from the Christian schools. The combination of decreased funding and enrollment is threatening the existence of the schools.

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