Catholic Interest

Interesting things Catholic

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    Thursday, June 29, 2006

    It's getting rough out there

    THE Catholic Church could one day be prosecuted for its right-to-life stance by some countries where abortion is considered a woman's right, a senior Vatican cardinal said in an interview published today.


    "I fear that faced with current legislation, speaking in defence of life, of the rights of the family, is becoming in some societies a crime against the state, a form of disobedience of the government, a discrimination against women.

    "The Church risks being brought in front of some international court, if the debate gets any more tense, if the most radical opinions are heeded," Lopez Trujillo told Famiglia Cristiana, a Catholic Italian weekly.

    Last week, another cardinal said he feared human rights group Amnesty International might start campaigning against countries that make abortion a crime. The group said it was discussing the issue but no decision had been made.

    Who would have thought that a painful witness would be called for in
    Western civilization. I guess that it was not that long ago that we had the
    Nazis and Mexicans. To me it just seemed like a history lesson. Now it is coming

    I like the challenge, and hope I am up to it.

    Sunday, June 25, 2006

    Sad cullture of sad people and missing babies

    When abortion was legalized in 1973, Catholic Charities of Boston saw the number of babies put up for adoption plummet, and its caseload fell from about 500 to 50 children a year. The agency changed its focus to finding homes for older foster children.


    ``That turned the whole thing around," said Bishop Francis X. Irwin, who joined Catholic Charities in 1968 and became its director in the mid-1980s.
    Irwin said other social trends contributed to the drastic reduction of adoptions , including the greater availability of birth control and the women's movement, which led to women bearing fewer children.

    A pregnant woman also had new options, he said. ``If they were going to have a child, they'd keep the child. It became more accepted," he said.

    Saturday, June 24, 2006

    Philippine strive to so the right thing

    "We yield to the high moral imperative dictated by God to walk away from capital punishment," Arroyo, a member of the huge Catholic majority in the Philippines, said in a speech.


    Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, seeking to shore up support from powerful Roman Catholic bishops, on Saturday signed a law abolishing the death penalty before her imminent visit to the Vatican.

    The new law offers a reprieve for more than 1,200 convicts on death row who faced lethal injection.

    Loud & Proud, taboo & anonymous

    When thousands march proudly through the streets of Paris on Saturday, young gays from the gritty housing estates where homosexuality is still taboo will be absent from the crowds.


    I think this article is interesting in how it twists and turns around the fact
    that acceptance of homosexual behavior has arrived at a plateau. Women care less about it
    than men, and among men, they better stick to academia and the rich.

    Notice how it says that in the "gritty" housing areas, homosexuality is
    "still" taboo. The liberal media assumes all this is just a matter of time. But
    I think not. The pride is displayed only in the liberal ghettos where it was
    born, and still isolated to worldly pockets of white Western and atheistic

    "In the suburbs you have to hide," said the 29-year-old, who fled to Paris as soon as he could to escape from a life of oppression and fear.

    Sorry about that poor 29-year-old. The oppression of deviant behavior is a
    normal facet of society which causes fear in the deviant. That's how human
    society has always worked. Christians make an effort to love the sinner, but do
    not make the mistake of loving the sin. The deviant try to claim "but I am the
    sin!". Not so. You "do" the sin.

    The organisation SOS Homophobia revealed a disturbing picture of life for gays and lesbians in the housing projects in its annual 2006 report, saying homosexuality was misconstrued and often associated with paedophilia and AIDS.

    Homophobia is such a tricky word. We are not afraid of homosexuals as the
    "phobia" would try to tell us. We look away with shame. Phobia is word used from
    a proud view. Homoshame would be a much clearer word creation.

    associated with AIDS? Well, of course. That where it started, and that's where
    it lives. Mainly caused by abusing orifices against nature.

    is a misconstruction. Just as with the Catholic Church's gay scandals, it was
    not love of little boys, but lust for young teen boys that drove the disaster.
    This is not the definition of paedophilia. It is the definition of homosexuality
    among males.

    "It's a terrible suffering to know that you are completely rejected by your environment," he said.

    "When I began to accept myself at 17 or 18, I realized how important it was for me to leave my hometown."

    Boris was lucky as his parents stood by him.

    It is truly important for parents to stand by their deviant sons. Not of course
    to accept the behavior, but to always accept the son.

    "The gays from the (Paris upscale) Marais area are fighting for civil liberties, for marriage and adoption. The gays from the suburbs are above all fighting to be able to tell their parents and friends that they are gay," he said.

    Here's that adoption thing again. Makes me shudder for the children's sake..
    especially boys. "To be able to tell their parents". This is all a push to make
    "gay" acceptable. Not going to happen. It needs a cure, not an outbreak.

    In some ways this weekend's Gay Pride, a kind of huge carnival which often spotlights a vast array of sexual practices, can be counter-productive.

    "We want to achieve indifference by highlighting the differences. But how can you be accepted by showing off your sexual exploits," said Boris, who said he was shocked by some of the images he saw on marches.

    This array of sexual practices on display focuses on an important element. It is
    sexual practice that these folks are using to define themselves. Sexual practice
    is not central to who anyone is. The act does not define the person. As it has
    always been, this fighting for rights has been the fight for sexual deviance
    which among some parts of society finds a home. Sexual acts do not define the
    "person" any more than hair color, race, or profession. It's the acts that need
    to be controlled.

    And yes, the aim of all these public displays is to achieve indifference from
    society. Again, not going to happen universally. And especially it is not going
    to happen among Christians.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Rural India

    Thousands of people are flocking to an impoverished Indian village in eastern West Bengal state to worship a man they believe possesses divine powers because he climbs up trees in seconds, gobbles up bananas and has a "tail."


    Devotees say 27-year-old villager Chandre Oraon is an incarnation of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman -- worshipped by millions as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion.

    "He climbs up trees, behaves like a monkey and is a strict vegetarian, but he is no god and his condition is just a congenital defect," says Bhushan Chakraborty, the local medical officer.

    Tucked away in a hamlet in Banarhat, over 400 miles north of Kolkata, the state capital, devotees wait for hours to see or touch Oraon's 13-inch tail, believing that it has healing powers.

    They also persecute Christians in India.

    Gay suicide and the self-loathing should stop

    That's all the KC want. To put a stop to it.

    With all the self-inflicted problems the Catholics had with gay priests and
    teen boys, the KC should be applauded for trying to keep things right (and


    James Loney, an aid worker kidnapped in Iraq and held for four months by insurgents, is accusing the Knights of Columbus of closing a youth camp which he is associated because he is gay.

    According to Loney the KC became concerned the camp would be used to promote gay issues. The decision by the Ontario branch of the KC was made within days of Loney's return to Canada and the heavily publicized airport reunion with his same-sex partner he said.

    Surrounded at the news conference by supporters Loney said they decided to go public because "We care about the church, we care about young people and we care about the kind of church they are coming into.''

    We had that kind of Church since the 60's. Hopefully the cure is having an

    While he was being held by insurgents in Iraq Loney's family his sexual orientation quiet out of fear for his safety. He and a group of other prisoners were freed by coalition forces.

    No kidding. A wise choice to stay in the closet.

    "This is the litmus test for us, Loney told reporters. "We love God as much as the one we love the least, and that's what we've been trying to be about, as a leadership camp ...We want the teasing and the bullying and the harassment that comes with homophobia to stop. We want the teenage suicide and the self-loathing of the closet to stop.

    Yup... such an interest in teens. Not a good thing to repeat all over

    Loney said he hoped it would "spark a dialogue about the place of gay and lesbian people in church."

    Try the Presbytians. They're bledding edge.

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Youth.. whatever it takes. I doubt it.

    A new £1million youth initiative has been launched by the Church of England to bring young people to the good news of Christ and integrate them more with church life.


    So far so good. Let's see, whatever should we do???

    The pilot scheme proved highly successful in bringing unchurched youth to the church. St Catherine’s Church in Leyton, the Diocese of Chelmsford, used its grant to purchase equipment and promotional material to run a series of film nights on Saturday evenings.

    Meanwhile the Chichester Diocese used the funds it received to hold an evening for young people dredging a drainage ditch and renewing a forest path to enhance a local nature trail as well as to lay out a flower bed on a local housing estate.

    Oh boy. Movies and ecology.

    I am such a square peg that I think it's the Word of God and the Holy
    Spirit. I would change my mind if there was anything in the New Testament that
    mentioned flower beds or nature trails to "attract" kids.

    I am not making fun of these Henry the VIII folks. Just berating the idea
    that given the most powerfull means to call the chosen, we first would like
    to trick them into finding out how friendly and nice we all really are.

    How much you want to bet they don't find us as friendly and nice as we
    think? Reason? It's God alone folks, not programs that will evangelise. Can't
    get more real than that.

    Presbyterians... OK I know they're only 'discussing' it

    But still, who there is nutty enough to want to discuss it?


    Delegates of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are to tackle whether to adopt gender-inclusive language for worship of the divine Trinity along with the traditional "Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

    One reason is that language limited to the Father and Son "has been used to support the idea that God is male and that men are superior to women," the panel said.

    Among the feminist-inspired, gender-inclusive options:

    • "Lover, Beloved, Love"

    • "Rock, Redeemer, Friend"

    Our Lover who art in heaven... Rocky for short.

    Some worldviews know no shame. Not to mention heavenly views.

    Saturday, June 17, 2006

    Medjugorje... forget it

    Marian expert Donal Foley, in his new book, "Understanding Medjugorje," reviews the public evidence, particularly from the early days of the reported visions, and says that, "sadly, the only rational conclusion about Medjugorje is that it has turned out to be a vast, if captivating, religious illusion."


    In a phone interview, Foley listed several factors that make him dubious: contradictions over how long the apparitions would continue, the excess number of messages, their questionable and sometimes "silly" content, excess focus on inexplicable "signs," and the credulous local culture in Medjugorje.

    Foley said it was obvious that some Medjugorje pilgrims have experienced spiritual awakening. But he said part of this could be attributed to a "charismatic element that grabs people's emotions."

    Another factor, he said, is that Medjugorje may appeal to Catholics confused by changes after the Second Vatican Council. "It's a sad reality that some people have had to go to Medjugorje to get priests who were enthusiastic about confession, and to get the things they used to be able to get in the church in the West," he said.

    Anglicans: on Episcopal Ordination of Women

    Cardinal William Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to the Church of England bishops' meeting June 5, on the question of ordaining women as bishops.


    ...the question arises which also occupied John Henry Newman: is the so-called via media a viable path?[11] Where and on what side does the Anglican Communion stand, where will it stand in the future?

    Ecumenical dialogue in the true sense of the word has as its goal the restoration of full Church communion. That has been the presupposition of our dialogue until now. That presupposition would realistically no longer exist following the introduction of the ordination of women to episcopal office.

    Following that action we could still come together for the sake of information and consultation; we could continue to discuss and attempt to clarify theological issues, to cooperate in many practical spheres and to give shared witness.

    Above all we could unite in joint prayer and pray for one another. All of that is, God knows, not negligible. But the loss of the common goal would necessarily have an effect on such encounters and rob them of most of their élan and their internal dynamic.

    Above all -- and this is the most painful aspect -- the shared partaking of the one Lord's table, which we long for so earnestly, would disappear into the far and ultimately unreachable distance. Instead of moving towards one another we would co-exist alongside one another.

    For many that may seem a more realistic path than what we have attempted previously, but whether it is in accordance with the binding last will and testament of Jesus, "that all may be one" (John 17: 21) is of course another question. The answer would have to be in the negative.

    I ask you: Is that what we want? Are we permitted to do that? Should we not ponder what Cyprian tells us, namely that the seamless robe of Jesus Christ cannot be possessed by those who tear apart and divide the church of Christ ("De catholicae ecclesiae unitate," 1,6)?

    Friday, June 16, 2006

    Clinton exposes himself again

    Some time ago Bill told us that we can't be too sure of what God wants, since we only "see through a glass darkly".

    I thought that was an odd viewpoint.

    Here I think we see the full power of the liberal view that no one has the truth, hence let's proceed without it.

    Now I know, he "may" be speaking about our inability to fully know God. But I doubt it. And he certainly would not entertain the Catholic notion that the Chirch treasure and speaks the Truth via the Holy Spirit.

    Guess what he calls "believing they were in full possession of the truth"? Yup, a sin.

    Theologically he is right. But practically he is certainly speaking of us muddling on with no assurance, seeing darkly, driven by opinion.

    Catholics would not say any individual "possesses" the Truth. But we would certainly say the Church possesses the Truth, as we endeavor to listen and learn and live it.

    But at least we know where to look. Bill boy is not expecting to look anytime soon.


    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Too much poverty, disease, ecological crisis, and geopolitical neglect to save themselves

    The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church says, "The poverty of billions of men and women is the one issue that most challenges our human and Christian consciences"


    As this article brings to fore, Africa may be past the point of no return. And who else will suffer the consequences but the Africans themselves, not us.

    So there they sit, stuck in neutral and sliding downhill. When they got off the "colonialism" train, having been brought roughly into the modern age from grass huts, the wheels came off. I also find myself going directly to blaming corruption and bad government. But it may not matter anymore what was the cause.

    The only recourse left is for them to suffer unto death or return to their tribes. Yet just enough modernism has been mixed in to prevent truly becoming primitive again.

    How can we save an entire continent? It will be slowly and as we are able, based on the strength of our Christian character and nothing else. And if not Christian, the servicing the remnants of Noblesse Oblige current during the Colonial days that we still hold responsibility to.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Torture and us

    "Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear," the advertisement said. "Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable."
    In a news release, Cardinal McCarrick said every human being has "a special dignity... that comes from the fact that we are brothers and sisters in God's one human family."
    "It is because of this that we all feel that torture is a dehumanizing and terrible attack against human nature and the respect we owe for each other," he added.
    The release said that although torture has "long been banned by U.S. treaty obligations," a statement issued by President George W. Bush at the signing of the McCain Amendment banning the use of torture "implies that the president is not bound by the amendment in his role as commander in chief."


    Sorry to offend.. but my gut tells me that history will not treat us kindly as we review our our response to terrorism in this area.

    I realize now that the moral authority I thought the USA embodied in this area was a mirage of wishful thinking. As I imagine the Germans experienced under the Nazis, we are immobilized, unable to think.

    We can argue about it, but only on grounds of self defense, not morals.

    Hunger strikes and suicides are the voice coming from this human scum that will not be silenced. We have joined them in the dance.

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Baptist hand

    Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexy II led a service at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to celebrate the relic's return.


    The hand belonged to the tsars in the 18th Century, but was taken out of the country by Empress Maria Fyodorovna in 1917 as she fled the revolution.

    The relic has since been stored in Germany, Yugoslavia and Montenegro.

    It will be on display at the cathedral in Moscow for two weeks before being taken on a tour of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

    Saturday, June 10, 2006


    It must be specified that there is no dualism, in the sense that Lucifer is not God's antagonist. Lucifer is the Archangel Michael's antagonist because God does not lower himself to combat Lucifer, but sends Michael.


    Mexico is different

    Maybe if we remember that less than 100 years ago, they were shooting Priests in the street, it makes more sense.


    President Vicente Fox's conservative National Action Party, or PAN, is known for its strong ties with the Catholic Church and both he and his administration, especially Interior Secretary Carlos Abascal, have been criticized for making public religious gestures and statements.

    The group alleged that several Catholic priests recently have intervened illegally in politics, including one who allegedly urged parishioners to vote against Patricia Mercado of the small Alternative Social-Democratic Party, and another who advised the church community to vote against the leftist Democratic Revolution Party in recent Mexico state elections.

    The Observatory group also said it believes the risk of the church's influence on the elections is greater this year – in part because of the church's strong connection with the Fox administration. The president has been criticized for publicly kissing the ring of the late Pope John Paul II during the pontiff's last visit to Mexico, and for using the Virgin of Guadalupe, the country's most revered religious image, during his election campaign.

    The church's own current campaign to get Catholics to vote – which the group said is unmonitored by Mexico's independent electoral agency – and private visits by candidates to the Mexican Council of Bishops "are other indications of the Catholic hierarchy's intentions to strongly influence these elections," the group added in a news release.

    Increasing the risks of church influence, observatory members said, is that 43 percent of the Mexican population does not know about the legal separation of religion and politics. The organization did not say how it arrived at that statistic, which could not be confirmed independently.

    Cruz called on parishioners to monitor and denounce illegal church influence and invited all Catholics "to choose the candidates for their deeds and proposals ... and for their ability to govern and legislate, not because they argue that they are Catholics."

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    They think Pell is "provocative". Well sure.

    AUSTRALIA'S most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, would rather provoke debate than have sensible discussions about Muslims, the Islamic Council of New South Wales (ICNSW) said.


    Pell has a really good article in this issue of First Things.


    ICNSW spokesman Ali Roude today said Dr Pell admitted he knew little about his subject matter.

    There we go again. Non-islams know little about the "subject matter" so
    shut-up. I don't think so!

    "However, as a forceful speaker and thinker, sometimes he seems tempted to put a position forward to provoke debate rather than wait for sensible discussion," Mr Roude said.

    In the NCR interview conducted in Rome, Dr Pell said "the million-dollar question" was whether intolerance was a modern distortion of Islam or arose out of internal logic.

    "It's difficult to find periods of tolerance in Islam," he was quoted as saying.

    A recent commenter here mentions that bad bad Benny Hinn as as example of
    Christianity. Seems not knowing the subject matter can be applied widely.. and
    it is.. and it is useless. We know what we know from our point of view, which is
    what discussion is all about curing.

    "It was Western European Christians who launched the Crusades, who conquered most of the world (including the Muslim majority regions) during the Age of Discovery, who grew strong and wealthy through the exploitation of Muslim peoples under centuries of colonialism, and who still today refuse to engage seriously on the issues of debt relief, disarmament and trade reform," he said.

    Old problems as if they were ever quite true, and some new stuff. We don't
    like terrorism.. and what don't they like???

    debt relief,

    disarmament and

    trade reform

    Oh yeah, it's going to be a LONG road to discussion curing anything.

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    WWJT What would Jesus think?

    Here's a picture of some Catholic folks at an attempt to "relate" better.

    How to get young Hispanics to stay Catholic without "losing" them to "evangelical Protestant and Pentecostal churches" that "are better organized to provide social, recreational, and spiritual activities".


    Okay, let's think this a moment. Jesus is right there in the tabernacle, looks at the crowd, and the King of the Universe sees people sitting on chairs, hands up and waving, eyes closed, singing. Sometimes it seems they are trying to hypnotize themselves, even babbling new la-la words in secret non-communication. Not quite the way the crowd were affected when He walked the earth.

    Let's compare that to 50 years ago when He would see people silently kneeling, looking at Him, praying.

    Quite a difference.

    I once heard someone say that the difference between Catholic churches, and everyone else, is that for non-Catholics, they have to pray real good to get Jesus to come and listen.. and they know they've done a good job because they can feel the difference.

    For Catholics, Jesus is there whether they pray good or not.. He just is. Whether they feel different or not.

    Enough said. I am not picking on Hispanics or young people. I am picking on all of us that need to "feel" different. It is not about us, until it is about Him. It is not about numbers in the pew, but about those loved folks with the gift of Faith.

    Everything flows from the Gift. The entertainment study group is not the Gift. Nor are the social and recreational activities.

    Put your hands down, open your eyes, look and listen. That should keep God's children busy for a lifetime of church-going.

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    June Pope prayers

    "that Christian families may lovingly welcome every child who comes into existence, and surround the sick and the aged, who need care and assistance, with affection."

    "that pastors and the Christian faithful may consider inter-religious dialogue and the work of acculturation of the Gospel as a daily service to promote the cause of the evangelization of peoples."

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Bad China

    Two former Tibetan political prisoners who were part of a group known as the "singing nuns" have left the mountainous Chinese region and gone into exile in India, an advocacy group said on Wednesday.


    Rigzin Choekyi, who served 12 years in prison and Lhundrub Zangmo, who served nine years, left overland and travelled through Nepal before reaching India, where Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, leads a government in exile.

    "Both Rigzin Choekyi and Lhundrub Zangmo now wish to receive medical treatment due to concerns for their health following torture in prison," the International Campaign for Tibet said in a statement.

    China, which considers the Dalai Lama a traitor who is trying to split Tibet from China, said the songs spread "counter-revolutionary propaganda" that incited independence.

    Kate Saunders, of the International Campaign for Tibet, said political prisoners faced restrictions even after they were released, adding that was what prompted the singing nuns to leave.

    "Tibetans when they're released from prison really don't experience freedom. They are under constant suspicion from the authorities, they're under constant surveillance," she said. The nuns were also unable to return to their nunneries.

    Phuntsog Nyidron, who was the last of the singing nuns freed when she was released in 2004, was allowed to leave China in March to seek medical treatment in the United States.

    She had been barred from re-entering her nunnery, speaking with the press or meeting freely with foreigners.

    catholic interest.