Catholic Interest

Interesting things Catholic

  • ..the devil's in the details..
  • ... John 5 25-29 ...
  • National Shrine in Wash. D.C>
    Add to My Yahoo! << # St. Blog's Parish ? >>

    Saturday, December 31, 2005

    That "iota" thing again, still

    Q: As 2006 dawns, are Christians closer to unity or further away from it?

    A: The churches are separated doctrinally. The major difference was the Nicene Creed, [which] as established stated that we believe in the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father. A change came in, from our point of view from the influence of Charlemagne, when the creed stated that the Holy Spirit proceeded ''from the Father and the Son," [because for Orthodox Christians] the Spirit proceeding from the Son technically would take away Christ's humanity.

    Holy Spirit help us.

    Poor and chaste by court order,1,3826302.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

    PORTLAND, OREGON -- A judge ruled Friday that the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, not its parishes, owns church assets, dealing a major blow to its efforts to protect property from lawsuits filed by alleged victims of priest sex abuse.

    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, in two opinions, ruled that church property and real estate is under the control of the archdiocese, not its individual parishes, as attorneys for the archdiocese had argued.

    I know this is making it's way through the system to the Supreme Court. But this is hardly encouraging.

    In the best case worldly senario, perhaps the 80% of plaintiffs who were once young gay teen boys playing with gay Father, now 40 year old "victims", will offer to sell the churches and schools back to the Church. Unless WalMart makes a better offer.

    Perhaps the best case other-wordly senario is that in many places we will be the Church without churches. Offering a lived poverty, and now finally chaste.

    These folks would rather die

    Manfred Nowak's comments came after it emerged that the number of detainees refusing food at the prison camp had more than doubled since 25 December.

    Some 84 inmates are now refusing food, according to the US military.

    In old age homes, refusal to eat is often the only way the aged can express their will to stop the endless medical life support. Usually, they are allowed to die without forced feeding. For them, life has become too cruel or inhumane.

    Apparently circumstances which cause 84 non-elderly people to try to commit suicide are still not considered overly cruel or inhumane.

    I think history will have a field day with this president and his staff.

    Friday, December 30, 2005

    Twice as many killed,5478,17698646%5E1702,00.html

    ALMOST twice as many Catholic priests, other religious and lay workers were killed in violent incidents in the past year than in 2004, the Vatican's Fides news agency reported overnight.Of the 26 deaths, four priests and a nun were killed in Colombia, where Fides said "the Church is paying a heavy price for its commitment to reconciliation and social justice in the name of Gospel."

    Other countries in the Americas where killings occurred were Mexico, Brazil and Jamaica, Fides said.

    In Africa, Italian bishop Luigi Locati was murdered in Kenya, in an apparent power-struggle in the diocese he founded, while six priests and a lay worker died in the violence-ridden Democratic Republic of Congo.

    In Asia, three priests were killed in India and one in Indonesia, while in Europe a priest active in helping immigrants was murdered in Brussels. Another priest was killed in Russia, near Moscow, "where he was building a pastoral community," Fides said.

    Fides also referred to the "long list of 'unknown soldiers of the faith"' who lost their lives in 2005 and "of whom perhaps nothing will be known."

    In somewhat recent memory, our neighbors to the South were quite killing also.....

    Following the Revolution of 1860, US-backed President Benito Juárez, issued a decree nationalizing church property, separating church and state, and suppressing religious orders.
    Following the revolution of 1910, the new Mexican Constitution of 1917 contained further anti-clerical provisions. Article 3 called for secular education in the schools; Article 5 outlawed monastic orders; Article 24 forbade public worship outside the confines of churches; and Article 27 placed restrictions on the right of religious organizations to hold property. Most obnoxious to Catholics was Article 130, which deprived clergy members of basic political rights. Many of these laws were resisted, leading to the Cristero Rebellion of 1927 - 1929.

    Article 130, the most onerous, deprived members of the clergy of their basic rights; priests and nuns were forbidden to wear clerical robes, to vote, to criticize government officials or comment on public affairs. Catholic schools were closed and the church was forbidden to own property. Although these measures were enacted in 1917, President Venustiano Caranza and his successor, Alvaro Obregón, with canny political prescience, chose to enforce the law selectively thus avoiding a confrontation with the Church. When Obregón was succeeded in 1925 by Plutarcho Elías Calles, this somewhat tense modus vivendi came to an end. Calles was a different kind of politician, rigid and unbending; one of his goals was to eliminate the Church's influence in Mexico. He began to vigorously enforce the laws and added further sanctions called "Calles Law" which imposed heavy fines and imprisonment for priests who violated the anti-clerical Articles. The Church responded by suspending worship and encouraging a boycott of recreational, commercial, educational and transportation services.

    This period of action and reaction between the two sides finally erupted in violence on August 3, 1926 when 400 armed Catholics barricaded themselves inside the Guadalupe Shrine in Guadalajara. In the battle that followed, 18 people were killed and 40 wounded. The following day in Sahuayo, Michoacan, the church was stormed by Federal troops. Amongst those killed were the parish priest and his vicar.

    On the 14th of August, in the state of Zacatecas, federal agents took over a local Catholic youth organization and executed the priest who was their advisor. These continued attacks against the Church were the roots of the Cristeros Rebellion, officially announced in a Manifesto read on New Years Day, 1927. This Manifesto called Catholics to battle and thousands of peasants and ranchers answered the call. The epicenter of this increasing violence was the state of Jalisco where Aurelio Lopez Rosales found himself and his Hacienda inextricably committed to the support and protection of the religious fugitives. During this time Catholic priests, nuns and their sympathizers were ruthlessly hunted down to be imprisoned or executed.

    Unmarried couples free to adopt,1074,1675400,00.html?gusrc=rss

    The Adoption and Children Act 2002, the most radical overhaul of adoption legislation for almost 30 years, is designed to encourage more people interested in adopting to come forward by removing the bar on unmarried couples who wish to jointly adopt a child.

    From today, adoption agencies will merely need to be satisfied that an individual couple have a stable and lasting relationship and that they can provide a loving family for a child.

    I may be wrong, but I bet this is a gay agenda thing, in fact a victory, although the article doesn't mention it. Otherwise, why woundn't a normal couple be willing to marry in order to provide the required "stable and lasting relationship"?

    Most uses of the term "homophobic" are ridiculous. But I am naturally “phobic” about 2 homosexual men adopting boys.

    Let's not kid ourselves. The bonds of family prevent and provide lots of things.... but first you need a family.

    More help for the desperate,1,3170940.story

    Luong, who is Vietnamese, says she doesn't mind the long hours of boredom sitting on the hard floor her family shares with seven others, who also use the same hot plate and toilet. At the end of that coveted phone call, she says, lies fulfillment of a powerful dream: escape, after 16 years in the Philippines, to a new life in the United States.

    Many initially lived in a refugee camp on Palawan, a remote island 360 miles southwest of Manila. In 1996, the camp was closed, and the Philippine government, under United Nations supervision, began sending them back to Vietnam.

    Some refugees responded by attempting suicide, community workers say, and others rioted at the airport. Finally, after the intervention of human-rights groups and the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines, the repatriation was halted.

    On Palawan, stories of anticipation and dejection are common. After the camp closed in 1996, at least 400 refugees were moved 10 miles away to "Vietville" a site that the Catholic Church built. Today about 40 remain, living in two-room huts made of concrete and bamboo.

    Amid the dust of the camp, one corner remains alive: a small white coral grotto made by refugees in the trunk of a tree. There's a cross and a statue of the Virgin Mary surrounded by flowers and lighted candles.

    For the Vietnamese refugees, many of whom are Catholic, the place is a shrine.

    "Every week they make offerings," said Hue Thi Le, 45, who, with her husband and six children, now lives a few blocks from Luong in Manila. "Those who have been approved offer flowers as thanks. Those who've been denied come to pray that they'll be accepted."

    I'm glad to see the Philippines and the USA and the Church are still working together.

    Church before Borders,1,3840084.story

    Loiacono, and other priests along the border, reflect Roman Catholic social teaching that recognizes the right of nations to control their borders but also asserts that people who cannot support themselves have a right to find work in another country for their survival.

    But promoting such compassion for illegal immigrants and helping them once they are inside the United States are a tough sell these days.

    Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman Project, a burgeoning vigilante group that fights illegal immigration, said there should be limits to mercy for people who break federal law."We have a long history of churches being sanctuaries because they perceive these people as being just children of God," he said. "But how do they know they're not aiding and abetting terrorists?"

    Founded in 1884 by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the church leaves its doors open overnight for immigrants to rest until the office opens in the morning.

    Meidy Garcia said she and her 3-year-old daughter, Susan, could have died if the church hadn't provided refuge. During their two-week journey from Honduras, they slept in a rat-infested house, endured double-crossing guides and ached from hunger and thirst.

    Such a mess we have created through neglect and lack of courage. Unable to articulate clear legal controls that match the permitted reality, both the USA and the immigrants participate in a unofficial winking tango that hurts everyone by encouraging lawlessness and confusion.

    Mexico is known for their bureaucracy instead of effectiveness. We have become them.

    Thursday, December 29, 2005

    Voice of the Year

    “His rhetoric is obscene. He wants gays clearly taken care of — it’s almost like the Final Solution,”

    “He’s trying to create ‘Stepford Priests,’” she said. “And if any heterosexual Catholic thinks this is a good thing, they’re living in an illusion.”

    Sam Sinnett, president of the gay Catholic organization Dignity USA, said it was not the people supporting Spain’s public policy who had it wrong when the measure was approved, but rather the church’s hierarchy, which is out of step with the times.

    “Their consciences are misinformed,” Sinnett said in May. “They need to learn about social and medical sciences [about homosexuality] and incorporate them into theology.

    Obviously a clear difference of opinion.

    Until this article, I didn’t know that the gay agenda was actually worried about the Church’s opinion on the world stage. They worry it is an unfair advantage, and I hope they are right.

    The site does a great job of summarizing the Pope's teaching though:

    “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

    “Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.”

    “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior.”

    'Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development."

    “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.”

    “The various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today, like free unions, trial marriages and going up to pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are rather expressions of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man.”

    “The church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture. Those people find themselves, in fact, in a situation that presents a grave obstacle to a correct relationship with men and women. One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies.”

    Slavic suicide,7792,1674948,00.html?gusrc=rss

    Alcoholism, tuberculosis and Aids - as well as road accidents, suicides and other unnatural causes of death - are eroding the population at an alarming speed.
    Circulatory diseases, exacerbated by stress, are a major killer. Life expectancy for a man has sunk to 58 years (72 for women), the lowest bar two of the 52 countries in the WHO European region.

    Russia's population has plummeted by almost 7% to 143 million in the last 15 years, and is predicted to drop by another 20 million by 2025.

    "This is our tragedy," she said. "The decline in industry, the closure of factories, the uncertainty of the period of reforms, the inflation, the poverty - all those things contributed to high mortality."

    However, demographers insist low birthrate remains the overriding factor in the population decrease, and can only be changed by stimulating business.

    "The recent collapse of fertility in Russia has been almost completely economic," Carl Haub, a researcher at the Washington-based Population Research Bureau, said. "When people are uncertain about the future, they don't have children."

    Interesting that there is no mention of Russian culture as contributing to the problem, but perhaps understandable that religion would not make it unto England's secularist radar.

    All those years of Communist indoctrination have taken their toll for both Russia and Poland. Although different cultures, they are both Slav, sharing Slav traits.

    In Poland it was the Catholic Church that defined the Polish culture against Communist doctrine. The Poles culture was severely injured by the ruling ideology and economy, yet were able to hang in there. Although Western influence is putting large pressure on Polish culture, Poland’s strong Catholic faith is providing a bulwark. The small towns are emptying, just like Russia’s are, because people’s growing Western lifestyle appetite, coupled with the growing but thin economy, draws them to the cities. But this has happened all over the developed world.

    From what I understand about Russia, it is mean, gruff, mafia infested, and the men are mainly always drunk. The Russian Church under Communism, unlike Poland, was so infiltrated and diminished, that it had ceased to exist outside the Church walls. Today Russia is still largely without the Church’s effective role in society.

    Putin thinks it will take a long time for Democracy to grow to adulthood for Russia, and it would seem it will also take a long time for the Church to grow again to it’s rightful place of influence and relevance. Russians will have to take notice of Jesus again, because they have forgotten.

    In the mean time, the government may improve the health and food situation. People may even live longer. But where are the babies?

    Only the Church through God can make the lived environment welcoming for parents wanting to live life by participating joyfully in life’s continuation, and doing that in abundance.

    With God, the economy and food part of the equation become secondary. Although this Guardian article misses God entirely.

    Western atheism


    1696 MIND BENDING: Englishman John Toland openly defends deism in Christianity Not Mysterious, a book that nudges European intellectuals toward atheism.


    2005 ENLIGHTENMENT: The Council for Secular Humanism celebrates its 25th anniversary with a World Congress and a call for a “new Enlightenment” that can spread to the Middle East and other areas relatively untouched by atheism.

    Wednesday, December 28, 2005

    This is big, but is it real?

    VISIT Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, an upscale exurb of Chicago, and you are confronted with a puzzle. Where in God's name is the church? Willow Creek has every amenity you can imagine, from food courts to basketball courts, from cafes to video screens, not to mention enough parking spaces for around 4,000 cars. But look for steeples and stained glass, let alone crosses and altars, and you look in vain. Surely this is a slice of corporate America rather than religious America?

    The corporate theme is not just a matter of appearances. Willow Creek has a mission statement (“to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ”) and a management team, a seven-step strategy and a set of ten core values.

    Back in 1975 the church's founder, Bill Hybels, conducted an informal survey of suburban Chicagoans, asking them why they did not go to church, and then crafted his services accordingly. He removed overtly religious images such as the cross and stained glass. He jazzed up services with videos, drama and contemporary music. And he tried to address people's practical problems in his sermons.

    An emphasis on user-friendliness continues to pervade the church. Mr Hybels's staff try to view their church through the eyes of newcomers (or “seekers” as they are dubbed). This means dedicating themselves to “total service excellence”. The grounds—“the path of first impressions”—are kept impeccably, with the lawns mown and the car park perfectly organised. It means being welcoming without being over-the-top (“evangophobia” is a big worry). And it means having lots of “hooks” that help to attach seekers to the church.

    Willow Creek is particularly careful to ensure that everything is suitably tailored for different age-groups. The church provides child-care for thousands of children every weekend: this started out as a necessity (parents will not come if their children are not taken care of) but has become a hook in its own right (parents can relax at the service while children are royally entertained). The church also has a youth auditorium. Willow Creek's adolescent members have taken over a hall, tearing up the carpet to expose the concrete floors, painting the whole thing black and littering video-screens all over the place.

    Mr Hybels's emphasis on user-friendliness is now commonplace in the Evangelical world. Rick Warren is a fifth-generation Southern Baptist who was raised in a faith that is both austere and emotional. But when he moved to Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Southern California, he realised that Baptist staples like altar calls—in which worshippers come to the front of the church and accept Jesus—would not go down well with his prosperous and laid-back congregation. So he packaged himself as a relaxed Californian: bearded and open-shirted, he served up a diet of contemporary music and self-help tips.

    Some mega-church complexes house banks, pharmacies and schools. Counselling and guidance groups are routine. So are children's ministries. The Second Baptist Church, in Houston, Texas, has a huge football pitch. The Phoenix First Assembly of God has a medical-equipment lending closet. The World Changers Ministry in Georgia offers help preparing for tests, filling out tax forms and buying houses (it even has a network of mortgage brokers and real-estate agents).

    Mr Osteen and his equivalents preach reassuring sermons to “victors not victims”, who can learn to be “rich, healthy and trouble free”. God, after all, “wants you to achieve your personal best”.

    The wonderfully named Creflo Dollar, chief pastor of World Changers Church International in Georgia, drives a Rolls-Royce and travels in a Gulfstream jet. Joyce Meyer, who promises that God rewards people with his blessings, counts among her own blessings a $2m home and a $10m jet.

    Rick Warren has inserted his “purpose-driven operating chip” into churches in 120 countries around the world. He and his congregation have also set themselves the goal of eradicating poverty in Africa. The Willow Creek Association has 4,700 member churches abroad; a meeting in the staid English town of Cheltenham recently attracted almost 3,000 people. The merger between business and religion has been fabulously successful in America. Now it is starting to do battle with the “evangephobia” that marks so much of the rest of the world.

    I have seen Creflo Dollar on TV. Nothing but sham prosperity gospel. Joyce Meyer's audience is full of smiling nodding women, as Joyce struts around in her clear high heels and dangling earrings. I would sure like a ride in her jet though!

    But regardless of the snake oil these folks are peddling, is it fair for people to think themselves Christian because they are "seekers" who distain religious symbols like the cross? And is it fair to take their money!? Is it fair to their salvation? Nope, negative, absolutely not.

    On the one hand people should probably hear of Jesus and pray in any manner they are able, even if through circumstance they do not know Catholicism. Still, it hurts to see these great numbers mixing banking, counselling, customer satisfaction, and questionable preaching, then calling it "saved"; When they could have the Truth and Eucharist.

    Not exciting in quite the same American way, I know. Thank God.


    Thought police,,174-1958015,00.html

    Mr Roberts, 73, told the Daily Mail: “I told him I was offended. I asked him if I could put Christian literature on display alongside the gay material. He said I couldn’t because it would offend gay people.

    “I said we had no objection to gay people, but we thought that homosexual practice was wrong and we were offended by the gay culture which the council is promoting.

    “They warned me that being discriminatory and homophobic is in line with hate crime. The phrase they used was that we were ‘walking on eggshells’.

    A council spokesman said the couple had “displayed potentially homophobic attitudes”.

    This month a Metropolitan Police officer telephoned the author Lynette Burrows at her home in Cambridge after she took part in a BBC Radio 5 Live programme. He told her that her broadcast view that gay couples were not good adoptive parents for boys had been reported and recorded as a homophobic incident.

    Thank Goodness this is not happening in the USA (yet).

    Tuesday, December 27, 2005

    Catholics agree on manly things

    “We have received with great disappointment and grief the news that not only does the Lutheran Church of Sweden not oppose so-called homosexual marriages, but has even ruled to establish an official blessing ceremony,” the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church said in a statement at a session in Moscow.

    Perhaps the Government sponsored Swedish Church could use some separation of church and state.

    Collaboration and Tolerance

    Mindanao is a Muslim-majority region which has seen violent inter-faith clashes over the last 33 years.

    Ibrahim Paglas, one leader in the region, gave his Christian friends CDs with Christmas songs; he feels “all Muslims should join Christians in celebrating Christmas”.

    Muslim leaders in the region, which has seen violent inter-religious clashes, have urged collaboration and tolerance, the only path to development and peace.

    Here's that Tolerance word again, this time joined to Collaboration. I'm only aware of the tourist hostage taking and separatist rebels.

    Maybe the change is that it is the Muslims that are talking about Tolerance for a change.

    Tolerance is cool

    "Pope John Paul II promoted love and tolerance among people of all faiths, she said."

    I thought I'd better look this up, since tolerance to me seems close to indifference.

    tolerance: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own ...

    tolerate: to suffer to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction; to put up with

    OK, so it is not indifference, but sort of indulgence, sympathy, and putting up with.

    And the kids got motivated by "backlash against Muslims after 9/11 and anti-Jewish sentiments in the Gaza Strip. And because of their own experiences as Catholic kids. They’ve heard the Catholic jokes."

    Well as Catholic kids, perhaps tolerance can subdue the Catholic jokes. I doubt that tolerance has anything to do with 9/11 and the Gaza Strip.

    Are we expecting Al Queda to tolerate the USA better? That would stop them from being Al Queda.

    Are we expecting the Gaza folks to accept Israel by putting up with them? There must be a more probable suggestion (I think Gaza may be about land, and nation).

    I think the Pope was asking to let the other religions exist, and let the draw of Truth sort things out without coercion.

    I won't be buying this T-shirt, nor one that might say "Can't we all just get along?"

    Maybe, if the Priest hadn't said ‘Wow, that’s a great idea.’, I wouldn't be picking on high school kids. I would have tolerance.

    Less children = reproductive health\ForeignBureaus\archive\200512\FOR20051227b.html

    The bill's main author, Excel Legman, said the measure would provide "free and full access to adequate and relevant information on reproductive health and a full range of family methods and devices," excluding abortion.

    Any health care worker who withholds or provides incorrect information about "reproductive health"...

    The constant relating of “health” to “intentional infertility” is nothing new to us in the USA, and it looks like the word games are also being well used by the population control proponents in the Catholic Philippines.

    But it should be a stretch to think of “reproductive health” as being purposely barren and infertile. It can be more properly called “reproductive sickness”.

    I hope that such a beautiful country with such wonderful families and culture can withstand the pressure to such a short term cost saving vision. Why emulate the literally dying European cultural model based on the parent’s desire for ease and economic maximization, while sacrificing the future? I hope the Philippines will instead continue to follow what is eternal and true, and so preserve the joy of life that shines in their culture.

    Monday, December 26, 2005

    Without Christmas, and having "corrected" the Bible, Muslims get a religion like this

    The Greater Shari`a Court of Dammam sentenced Puthan Veettil `Abd ul-Latif Noushad, an Indian citizen, to be punished by having his right eye gouged out in retribution for his role in a brawl in April 2003 in which a Saudi citizen was injured.

    Noushad’s case is the third known instance over the past year in which a Saudi court has issued a sentence of eye-gouging, Human Rights Watch said. Saudi law allows for maiming, including the severing of limbs and severe flogging, as judicial punishments.

    "To give help is easy.. To ask for it is hard."

    St. Vincent de Paul also said something along these lines to his helpers...

    It is only because of your love that the poor will forgive you the bread you give them.

    Nepal Catholics

    In the early 90's I met a visiting Priest from Nepal. He said he could not baptise there, or attempt to convert anyone. It looks like, and I hope, things have lightened up a little.

    The excommunicated's strange attitude toward sin

    As a result, Bozek and the six-member lay board were excommunicated last week by Archbishop Raymond Burke for committing an act of schism.

    Burke said it would be a mortal sin for anyone to participate in a Mass celebrated by a priest who was excommunicated.

    Despite the warning, Catholics and non-Catholics from as far as Oregon and Washington, D.C., filled the church. An overflow crowd viewed the Mass by closed circuit TV in an adjoining parish center.

    Sin is quite a draw, as usual.

    “I’m not worried about mortal sin,” said worshipper Matt Morrison, 50. “I’ll take a stand for what I believe is right.”

    “It was magic,” said JoAnne La Sala of St. Louis, a self-described lapsed Catholic. “You could feel the spirit of the people.”

    Thank you lapsed JoAnne for your magic feeling spirit.

    Died for the Eucharist

    Sacred Heart is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester. The cathedral, built between 1925 and 1927, had been outdated and was in need of repairs, according to diocesan officials.

    The former tabernacle was replaced with one that a priest and a nun died trying to save from a fire at the former St. Philip Neri Church in Rochester on Feb. 20, 1967. The Rev. George J. Weinmann and Sister Lilian Marie were found about 6 feet from a church door. By their sides, were the chalices and Holy Eucharist they had given their lives for.

    Sunday, December 25, 2005

    The Son's Light,,30200-1207221,00.html?f=rss

    "Wake up, O men and women of the third millennium," said the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

    "The modern age is often seen as an awakening of reason from its slumbers, humanity's enlightenment after an age of darkness.

    "Yet without the light of Christ, the light of reason is not sufficient to enlighten humanity and the world."

    Pretty difficult without the Sermon on the Mount

    President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Saturday highlighted the need for projecting Islam in its true perspective as a religion of peace and tolerance. “Islam stands for peace, enlightenment, tolerance and moderation and we must strive for projecting the great religion in its true perspective to the world,” he stated.

    Sorry, but they are missing an important ingredient.

    Saturday, December 24, 2005

    Ecumenical commitment is irrevocable

    The non-Catholic Christian who thinks of the church (usually lower case) as a voluntary association of believers–whether local or connected with other such voluntary associations–can, in the Catholic understanding, certainly be saved. Saving and sanctifying grace is certainly present in such associations or “ecclesial communions.” They are not unrelated to the Church, the Body of Christ apostolically ordered through time, but neither are they that Church.

    Because of its more comprehensive understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ fully and rightly ordered through time, the Catholic Church cannot let go of the ecumenical quest for full visible communion with other Christians.

    The Catholic Church recognizes that she is wounded by our present divisions in a way that other communities do not understand themselves to be wounded by division.

    It is because of her very self-understanding that the Catholic Church knows, as John Paul II and Benedict XVI have regularly repeated, that the ecumenical commitment is “irrevocable.”

    How wonderful it will be.

    And how good it is that we are not a voluntary association of believers, but the compelled Body of Christ left with no other choice; as bound as Peter's "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life ."

    Sorry, but the church structure is hopeless

    The Rev Paul Collier, meanwhile, wrote to his Bishop this weekend saying he would be registering a same sex partnership and would not be making an promises as to its nature.

    "I think the church has got itself into a mess over the issue," he told BBC News.
    "There is no reason why anyone should worry about any aspect of any person's private life or any priest's private life unless there is some kind of scandal."

    Traditionalists such as Canon Chris Sugden, of the Anglican Mainstream coalition, have voiced their opposition.

    No hierarchy to speak of, no authority, and no single voice. And who wants to uphold the truth, only to be thought of as a "traditionalist". Sounds about as inportant as the tradition of hanging up stockings on the fireplace for ol St. Nick.

    Perhaps some folks will be coming home soon.

    Viet Nam Merry Christmas

    Like Catholics nationwide, nearly 400,000 Christians of 645 dioceses in Red river delta Nam Dinh province on December 24 jubilantly celebrated Christmas, which has over recent years become a festival not only for Christians but for all.

    Vu Cong Vu, a Catholic follower from Bui Chu diocese, joyfully said: “Thanks to the Party, State and local government’s assistance, the lives of Christians like us have been improved both spiritually and materially and churches have been upgraded. I believe that Catholics will has a merry and happy Christmas.”

    I though I was just reading that religious freedom in Viet Nam was pretty bad. This seems to say otherwise. Then there is the.. “Thanks to the Party, State and local government’s assistance" thing. Sounds a bit communist. Still, 400,000 is a big number.

    Filipinos evangelize Hawaii

    But for Salt Lake resident Annabelle Castillo and hundreds of other Roman Catholics who flock to churches before dawn on each of the nine days before Christmas, sacrificing a few hours of sleep to take part in Misa de Gallo is something to look forward to each holiday season.

    Translated from Spanish as "Mass of the Rooster," Misa de Gallo was introduced to Catholics in the Philippines by missionaries from Spain, where the tradition is believed to have started. At least 10 Catholic churches in Hawai'i, many of them with large Filipino congregations, celebrate Misa de Gallo Masses, often followed by about an hour of fellowship and breakfast.

    They still have fighting roosters in the Philippines. Why are the Philippines shuch a bright spot of Christianity in Asia? Wonderful. Built upon the numberless missionaries' efforts over these hundreds of years I know. But still, why so receptive compared to the sad state of so many neighboring countries? A very good light.

    India Christians 2000 year witness

    Christianity came to India much before it went to the West, perhaps a reason why India's 25 million Christians prefer to be catholic in faith, oriental in worship and Indian in culture.

    According to a 2003 report of Directory of Catholic Health Facilities in India, the Catholic church itself has 764 hospitals, 2,975 dispensaries and health centres and 115 medical training centers throughout the country.

    There are eight Christian community-run medical colleges apart from 600 Catholic nuns trained as medical doctors serving in rural areas of the country.

    25 million! And I was a bit dismayed at the kooky mormons with 6 million in USA.

    With 25 million, I guess the Gospel just about HAS been preached to the whole world after all.

    Friday, December 23, 2005

    I don't know what to say.. this must be the atheist hope

    Such thinking -- conscience as personal behaviour religiously guided -- is far too limiting for what is actually happening in the modern world.

    The old questions of personal conduct for a moral life have given way to new questions about the well-being of the citizens of the planet and of the planet itself.

    It is certainly not religions that are imposing such an ethic on the world; for the most part religions are still internally oriented, though the social teaching of some clearly leads to peace and world harmony.

    Just as personal conscience does not depend on religion for its effectiveness, so too global conscience transcends religions. It is deeply moral, but it crosses boundaries and is becoming interwoven in the processes of daily life.

    Care of the planet will do the trick for this guy. This "deeply moral" thing he talks about... would be fun to find out where he thinks these deep morals come from if not God.

    "of the new age in which the planet has become our common home"

    I hate to break it to him, but this common home is in bad shape. Web chatting with someone on the other side of the globe (even using a webcam) won't cure much.

    Yikes! Humorous and sad.

    JPII’s encyclicals were the voice of an angel. Seems we have the same with Benedict. a generation whose past has been poisoned by a particular program of liberation that has stifled hope?

    When we read of the pessimism with which our young people look toward the future, we ask ourselves, Why?

    Is it that, in the midst of material affluence, they have no memory of human goodness that would allow them to hope?

    Mother Teresa: Christianity Tried,0,4269116.story

    A typical day began with Mass at 6 a.m., followed by a breakfast of white bread and one banana, the same breakfast the Sisters eat every day of their lives. Then, on to their tasks until noon, when they had lunch and rested till 3, then on to the second shift of their day, which, for these three, meant Kalighat, or the home for the dying. Kalighat was the home Mother Teresa opened in 1952, a Hindu temple she took over, and it's where the dying are cared for to this day.

    "They're so still," says Dal Molin.

    Can't hurt

    Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a joint initiative of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Roman Catholic Church, and is traditionally celebrated from 18 to 25 January, although in the Southern hemisphere other dates are sometimes chosen.The Week of Prayer has been taking place each year since its foundation in 1968.

    Since the Orthodox continue to maintain their membership in the WCC, there is hope. And of course there is always prayer.

    Mexico folk
    During the march, the demonstrators shouted their demands for the authorities to comply with the law, to end discrimination and religious intolerance, and to give fair treatment to religious minorities compare to the dominant church.

    The dominant Church.

    The folk religion Catholics of Mexico may have a rough time facing the storefront churches, and lately the auditorium theatre church productions and prosperity gospels. Worry is warranted as the situation works itself out over time.

    Thursday, December 22, 2005

    I saw those icons and I was mesmerized

    "They're artists," he said. "I don't ask them why they want to come here. I don't judge them. God sends them. Painting an icon is a tangible religious expression. ... Sometimes it has a real effect on them."

    "I'm not a monk," he says. "I don't parade my religion before people who are already happy with their own faith. I'm a convert, and I'm a former public school teacher, so I understand where a lot of my students are coming from," he said.


    the Malta exception... very nice

    Malta "included a clause in its EU accession treaty that excludes it from any future EU rules on abortion."

    Malta contimues to be a shining Catholic example.

    Walking the talk for 41 months in jail

    A pacifist nun convicted of using her blood to deface a Colorado missile silo in 2002 was released Thursday from federal prison in Connecticut.

    Federal authorities released Sister Ardeth Platte, 69, from Danbury Federal Correctional Institution after she completed a 41-month sentence.

    The nuns are members of the Dominican Sisters order in Grand Rapids, Mich. They said their protest was a symbolic disarmament, prompted by an imminent war with Iraq because the United State has never disavowed nuclear weapons.

    Regardless of whether their spraying a missile with blood was worthy of a prison sentence, I admire their sacrifice.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    Perfectly legal

    "Criminal indecency or obscenity must rest on actual harm or a significant risk of harm to individuals or society. The Crown failed to establish this essential element of the offence. The Crown's case must therefore fail," wrote McLachlin.

    "Attitudes in themselves are not crimes, however deviant they may be or disgusting they may appear," the judges said, noting that no one had been pressured to have sex or had paid for sex in either of the cases.

    "The autonomy and liberty of members of the public was not affected by unwanted confrontation with the sexual activity in question only those already disposed to this sort of sexual activity were allowed to participate and watch," they said.

    "Attitudes in themselves are not crimes, however deviant they may be or disgusting they may appear," the judges said, noting that no one had been pressured to have sex or had paid for sex in either of the cases.

    Attitudes are not crimes?... but I think they were really doing something behind the locked doors, not just grooming attitudes.

    I have this vision of little Tommy defending himself to Mommy by saying.. "we'll it's not illegal or anything!". O well, nothing too surprising as countries move forward without a moral foundation.

    I think it is still illegal for Catholics though.

    St. Peter forgot to lock the gate

    "Eighty-nine percent in this ABC News poll believe in heaven, which is consistent with data going back 30 years. Among believers, 85 percent think they'll personally go there"

    OK, now where did those 4% go????

    With this kind of success rate, heaven should pretty much resemble your existing home, street, town, state, country, and world. Getting rid of those 4% troublemakers may not do the trick. As I read old prayer books from not so long ago, it is obvious that Catholics were not at all sure they were guaranteed anything but a lifelong struggle, and a final judgement. It appears the struggle and judgement is not a common worry anymore.

    Can Catholics get naked?,10117,17605384-13762,00.html

    "As evidenced by Adam and Eve, we believe that when God's children are in the right relationship to Him, they will be naked and unashamed," explains one of Natura's brochures.

    US christians have long been intrigued by the biblical implications of nudity and Ilsley Boone, a Baptist pastor, was the founder in 1931 of the American Sunbathing Association, an early naturist group.

    I am afraid the Catholic Saints were rather against public nudity. Seems they felt that in our fallen state, it may be presumptuous to jump the fence back into Eden.

    Although good St. Francis did take off all his clothes when he left his father, and the Bishop had to cover him up. So I don't know. Perhaps Francis kept his underwear on.


    "She became very much a sister to me in my heart, my soul, my spirit,” said Lydia Longoria, a BU graduate. “I think one of the best compliments anyone can ever receive is, ‘You remind me of God. You remind me of Jesus.’ I think we can all say that about Sister Olga.”
    Currently there is only one other woman living as a hermit in the archdiocese, but Sister Marian Batho, CSJ, archdiocesan Delegate for the Religious, asserts that it is a calling that people are still responding to.

    “The call to eremitical life is still very present,” she said.

    There is a Catholic hermit up on Madeline Island also. Folks there give her food, wood for the stove, and check in on her well being.

    Catholics behaving badly

    Some fled, but those who stayed were subjected to humiliating public baptisms. They were designated "New Christians" or "Marranos," Iberian slang for pigs. Even then, they remained at risk from religious persecution. In 1506, some 3,000 Jews were massacred in Lisbon.

    The royal edict forced the Jewish faith underground, while publicly Jews performed Catholic rituals.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    Balik Islam literally means "return to Islam"

    Balik Islam literally means "return to Islam" and its adherents believe that all individuals are born free of sin and are Muslims. And those that deviate are those that follow the wrong teachings of their parents and guardians. Following that, according to the Balik Islam, to abandon other faiths in favour of Islam is therefore not a conversion but instead a "return".

    Apart from East Timor, the Philippines is the only Asian country with a Christian-Catholic majority. Leaders of Balik Islam argue that before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors the Philippines was a Muslim nation. But historians point out that the main indigenous belief system was animism, until Muslim colonisers arrived in the mid 1300s, followed by the Catholic Spaniards some two hundred years later.

    One of the reasons I am suspicious of the origins of the Muslim religion, is the deep reasoning that is built in which prevents followers from ever being able to escape. This kind of foundation seems to me to be more than Muhammad could conjure up by himself. For example the reasoning behind the death penalty for converting from Islam.

    And this Balik group is pretty clever also…. You were always a Muslim, even if you didn’t know it. That includes Catholic me I guess!

    An insidious premise.

    Good news here.. but "unwanted" or "unplanned"?
    US women of childbearing age who were surveyed in 2002 revealed that 14 percent of their recent births were unwanted at the time of conception, federal researchers said yesterday.
    In a similar 1995 survey, only 9 percent were unwanted at the time of conception.

    ''I don't think there's any mystery here," said Susan Wills, of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    The new data underscores that more women are turning away from abortions, even when it's a pregnancy they don't initially want, said Wills, associate director for education in the Conference's Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

    I wonder what the wording of the survey was? "Unwanted" is such a negative term, whereas "unplanned" might be more appropriate coming from a mother.... I hope.

    Monday, December 19, 2005

    Integration or invasion?

    France, a predominantly Catholic country with a 5-10 percent Muslim population, needed to ensure immigrants and their descendents could be part of "a real common culture imbued with fundamental moral and spiritual values", he said.

    That meant giving them "more confidence in a better future, allowing them to build their existence, to find a job to meet their needs and those of their families, to have the well-being which is their natural right."

    Other countries in Europe needed to make similar efforts, Benedict added. "Social peace, to a large extent, is (achieved) at this price."

    In other words, the immigrants must become European, or else there has been a de facto invasion. It is a question of the continued existence of what has been called Europe.

    The USA has the same, but milder problem.

    Liturgy pet peeve

    This whole choreography of ushers, readers, cantors, and altar assistants standing around, then slowly receiving Communion, then going out to the crowd seems very bulky.

    The clothing is wrong, the long pause while the crowd waits for their chance to advance to the altar, and my general feeling of “who are these guys?” all make it bothersome to me. They look like some kind of committee.

    I think it started out with the extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers only, but has grown to way too many people.

    I do applaud the recent directives to keep the Priest in the close proximity of the Altar during the Sign of Peace. His glad handing throughout the whole church, while leaving Jesus alone on the Altar is obtuse, and just poor form. Now I hear they may move the Sign of Peace to some other part of the Mass. Alleluia.

    We have to have an answer for this

    "Those who would invoke the name of the Lord to justify protecting the zygote run up against a challenging reality. Over 50 percent of all fertilized eggs are spontaneously aborted, washed out before they attach to the womb. Some 15 percent of the attached eggs themselves are aborted spontaneously. It is hard to figure out God's will in all of this."

    What happens to all these souls? That has been in the back of my mind for years, and although I think the answer is "we don't know", it does make us look clueless.

    For a newborn in its mothers arms, it is easy to know that his soul was enfleshed at conception. But what about these spontaneous abortions?

    Yes, Santa Claus does exist

    Born in Asia Minor, St. Nicholas was favored by God with the power of miracles. He was a beloved Bishop in the Church. He used his inheritance to provide dowries for three sisters who were about to be sold into slavery due to their family's poverty. He is famous for his love for children and his name and reputation have been transformed by modern folklore into "Santa Claus."

    I didn't know this...

    He participated in the Council of Nicea in 325, until he was ejected for slapping Arius on the face.

    Good for Arius.

    Are Catholics the only ones left that know there is a living Communion of Saints in heaven intimately involved with our daily lives? I am pretty sure the Lutherans tossed that out along with Purgatory.

    Which is why only Catholics name their Churchs after Saints for the last 60 odd years. And unfortunately why new Catholic Churches are named Prince of Peace, or Good Shephard, or whatever... they are afraid of offending the ecumenical spirit by using Saint names if no one else believes in Saints... shame on them. Without the help of our Saints, we would be very poorer.

    Sunday, December 18, 2005

    When the Catholic solution goes unheeded,0,1140423.story?coll=la-home-headlines

    Play with fire, get burned.

    I'm glad I'm not in grade school

    I must have a weak stomach.

    catholic interest.