Catholic Interest

Interesting things Catholic

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    Monday, July 31, 2006

    little p priests playing dress up

    I have no interest in this anymore, but thought a few paragraphs at the end
    put the friction in a clear light...


    Meehan and others in the group seemed to hold contradictory sentiments about approval from church authority. On the one hand, they say the ordination ceremonies are legal because of the involvement of the bishop in good standing. On the other hand, they say the current rules are illegal and should be ignored.

    There have been no further excommunications since the first seven, which the women believe reflects a softening of the church's position.

    That doesn't sound likely to Irwin, of Catholic University.
    "Rome has spoken, so why keep going back to this?" he said.

    Secret abortions to become more difficult

    The spokesperson for pro-life activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement commending the United States Senate for their vote approving a parental notification act Tuesday, which protects parents' right to be involved in their pregnant teenage daughter’s abortion decision.


    The Child Custody Protection Act would make it a crime to avoid a state's parental-notification law by taking a minor to another state to obtain an abortion. Violators would face fines and up to one year in prison. The only exception would be if the abortion were required to save the teen’s life. According to the National Right to Life Committee, 26 states would be covered by the bill.

    26 States!

    President George W. Bush strongly supports the measure. He has said transporting minors to other states to avoid parental-involvement laws "undermines state law and jeopardizes the lives of young women," reported the Post.

    "I appreciate the Senate's efforts to preserve the integrity of state law and protect our nation's families," he reportedly said after the bill was passed.

    Polls show that a majority of Americans support parental-notification laws. A Gallup poll, issued Thursday, indicates that more than two-thirds of Americans support legislation preserving parents’ rights, reported LifeNews. Only 28 percent are opposed.

    Good for Bush, and good for that 2/3 of the population. It's nice to know
    that the news coming from Bush and polls is not always terrible.


    Something seems to be working. While the national numbers above show a decrease in religious vocations, Mother Regina Pacis said that orders such as the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia of Nashville, the Sisters of Life, the Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist, the Missionaries of Charity, and the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles (among many others) have been experiencing tremendous growth in their communities.


    Sister Mary Emily, O.P., Vocation Director of the Dominicans of Nashville said that her order has nearly doubled in the last 10 years, seeing over 100 new vocations in that period. Not only that, but there are currently an additional 80 women in formation with an average of 15 entering each year. The median age of her community is now 36 and the average age of those women entering is 24.

    “The young women who enter the community are talented, wholesome women who want to sacrifice their lives for the Church. They have heard the call to “Come follow Me” and they do it very willingly and very joyfully,” Sister Mary Emily told CNA.

    Mother Regina Pacis said that several religious orders listed on the CMSWR website get thousands of hits each week. “This shows that people are still searching.”

    The most important thing for Catholics to do, Mother Regina Pacis said, is to pray for vocations. Mother said that, “we must keep in mind the words of (Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation) Vita Consecrata, which says, that everyone is called to work for vocations.

    “We pray especially that parents will be open to the vocations of their children and be supportive if they are called to the religious life,” Mother Regina Pacis said, “It is a sacrifice, but we pray that they will be generous.”

    Just like our culture's horrid modern archetecture, we just can't deliver
    men and women into Religious life anymore like we used to.

    The reasons are too many to mention, but it is nice that prayer is still
    the main suggestion from the experts.

    And I would bet that if a study were done, Catholics who home school would
    prove to have many more vocations coming from their families. It just makes
    plain sense. The corrosive culture is held at bay during the tender young years,
    and the flower blooms again.

    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    Only in America, and only with deep pockets

    Amazing stupidity, or the end of reason. Then again, I could use $311K!

    I hope my boss asks me to work on Sunday, and fired me if I leave before the
    job is done.

    A United States federal district court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has ruled for a Seventh-day Adventist who sought accommodation for his Sabbath-keeping beliefs. The worker was awarded U.S. $311,166.75 in lost wages and punitive damages.


    "Through all of this, my faith has grown. Maybe a lot of people might want to try and blame God for what happened, but I wouldn't change a thing. If I had lost [in court] today, I still would have been thankful for what I'd done, standing up for what I believe," he told Adventist News Network in a telephone interview.

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    Sunday 23rd Mid-East Peace

    "The Holy Father is following with great concern the destinies of all the peoples involved and has proclaimed this Sunday, July 23, as a special day of prayer and penance, inviting the pastors and faithful of all the particular Churches, and all believers of the world, to implore from God the precious gift of peace.

    "In particular, the Supreme Pontiff hopes that prayers will be raised to the Lord for an immediate cease-fire between the sides, for humanitarian corridors to be opened in order to bring help to the suffering peoples, and for reasonable and responsible negotiations to begin to put an end to objective situations of injustice that exist in that region; as already indicated by Pope Benedict XVI at the Angelus last Sunday, July 16.


    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Poland's missionary work.. nearer than you think

    The situation has not gone unnoticed at the Vatican, where Pope Benedict urged Polish bishops visiting him last December to keep up the missionary work.

    "Encourage your priests to do their missionary service or pastoral work in countries where clergy are scarce," he told them. "It seems that today this is a special task and, in a certain sense, also a duty of the Church in Poland.


    At Krakow's Franciscan Missionary Center, a display case full of African masks and Asian costumes recalls the adventures that awaited priests who went to spread the Roman Catholic faith in far-off lands.

    Nowadays, however, half of the missionaries who leave this southern Polish city for abroad head no further than nearby European countries or just over the Atlantic to North America.

    Priests have become a top "export product" as Poland, where the Catholic Church retains a vibrant strength lost in the rest of Europe, helps fill the dwindling ranks of clergy in the West.

    "The Church is universal, not just Polish," said Father Marek Lesniak at the Krakow seminary, whose alumni man parishes of this large archdiocese and also work in Austria, Britain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United States as well as Russia, Ukraine, Democratic Republic of Congo and Brazil.

    "We Franciscans want to join in the rechristianization of Europe," said Father Jan-Marie Szewek of Krakow's Franciscan province, which has missionaries in Germany, Austria, Italy and the United States.

    Franciscans are good folks.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Regression of humanity.. nicely put

    The pursuit for more speculative, technical progress that turn individuals into raw material for research is a regression of humanity, the American bishops told the U.S. Senate.


    Cardinal Keeler said that the measure, the “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act,” violates a “decades-long policy against forcing taxpayers to support the destruction of early human life.”

    “Federal funds would promote research using ‘new’ embryonic stem cell lines, encouraging researchers to destroy countless human embryos to provide more cell lines and qualify for federal grants,” the cardinal said. “However, no alleged future ‘promise’ can justify promoting the destruction of innocent human life here and now, whatever its age or condition.”

    In indicating the U.S. bishops’ support for “Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act” (S. 2754), Cardinal Keeler said the bill serves the “important goal” to funding research to find ways to obtain stem cells that have the capabilities and versatility of “embryonic stem cells but are not obtained from a human embryo.” He added that this may include stem cells from adult tissues or umbilical cord blood.

    The cardinal said that the “Fetus Farming Prohibition Act” (S. 3504) is needed “to prevent the most egregious abuse” of growing human embryos in a human or animal uterus in an effort to “harvest” stem cells for therapeutic usage.

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Let us agree as we are able

    "The seminar in Seoul has been timed to coincide with the World Methodist Conference, to be held there from July 20 to 24. ... At this conference it is expected that the Methodist Churches will adopt the Joint Declaration on Justification agreed between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, and a solemn celebration of the Word of God will mark this extended agreement, to be signed in the presence of Cardinal Kasper and Rev. Ismael Noko, secretary general of the Lutheran World Federation."


    Take the steps we can, although the end is not in sight, save for the 2nd
    coming of the Lord.

    Sunday, July 16, 2006

    Thank You Jesus goes too far

    Thank You Jesus!

    I admit that I cringe sometimes when I hear these words. Usually uttered by
    people who must constantly mutter "Amen" and "I just want to thank you Jesus",

    "The Lord put this on my heart" is a close 2nd.

    So I know how the judge felt. Still, you can't just send these folks to jail!
    Or can you?


    Junior Stowers raised his hands and exclaimed, "Thank you, Jesus!" in court last month when he was acquitted by a jury of abusing his son.

    But his joy was short-lived when Circuit Judge Patrick Border held him in contempt of court for the "outburst" and threw him in jail.

    Stowers couldn't be reached for comment. But his attorney in the contempt case, Deputy Public Defender Susan Arnett, said he wasn't treated fairly.

    "I don't think there's anything about saying 'Thank you, Jesus' that rises to the level of contemptuous behavior in this case," she told The Honolulu Advertiser.

    Stowers is a devoutly religious man active in his church who spontaneously expressed his thanks to the higher power in which he believed, she said.

    Family members and Stowers' pastor at Assembly of God Church, Iakopo Sale, who watched from the gallery were "very upset that those words could land somebody in jail," Arnett said.

    Take me as I am, or else

    Initially the philosophy went something like this: “It doesn’t matter how you dress; what’s important is that people come to the service.” The come as you are attitude took root because hippies wanted more than a drug-induced high; they wanted to get high on Jesus. So a number of them started attending worship services and were summarily snubbed by congregants who were put off by their grungy clothes and hair. Hence, non-denominational churches did away with any sort of dress code. The plan was to make visitors feel like they fit in. It worked!


    Here’s the difference between then and now. Hippies may not have washed their hair or spit shined their sandals for church, but they showed up fully clothed.

    The problem with the “Christians are cool” approach is that followers of Christ aren’t supposed to be cool; they’re supposed to be holy. But few pastors preach on holiness these days. Even though we serve a holy God and are called to be holy as He is holy, the message of sin and repentance has been diluted to appeal to the “felt needs” of today’s self-absorbed audience. People want to leave the church feeling good about themselves. No one wants to hear anything “negative” anymore. “That’s what liberalism is,” says Gene Edward Veith, “changing your theology to fit whatever the culture is.”

    The problem is, our culture is morally bankrupt. Still, the Church bends over backwards to blend in with our hedonistic society. Is it any wonder that professing Christians find purity and righteousness passé? The fact that many churchgoers don’t care what God thinks about their character and behavior is obvious by the way they dress, the way they talk, what they watch on TV and see at the movies, the books they read, and the music they listen to.

    So, is a Christian’s behavior and character important to God? Absolutely! Here are two examples of what He requires of His people:

    “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity…because these are improper for God's holy people” (Ephesians 5:3).

    “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).

    Saturday, July 08, 2006

    2 priests in California sink Milwaukee

    The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is going ahead with plans to sell the Cousins Center in St. Francis and has launched a major communications effort, partly to prepare its 700,000 Catholics for what might be "staggering financial consequences" as 10 lawsuits filed against it by victims of clergy sexual abuse move toward trials in California.


    Katherine Freberg, an attorney representing eight of the victims, said Thursday that the archdiocese has expressed interest in seeking settlements while also indicating "there's a possibility they will file for bankruptcy."

    "When we hear that from a defendant, we are very suspicious that a mediation would not be very fruitful," added Freberg, who noted that average settlements of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits in California "certainly are over $1 million."

    Dolan said Thursday in his column and in an e-mail to priests and parish leaders that the first of 10 cases of abuse allegedly committed more than 30 years ago in California by two former Archdiocese of Milwaukee priests has been scheduled for trial Nov. 6.

    In response, he says, he is following up on a promise to be upfront. That included taking the unusual step of mailing Thursday's Catholic Herald, which included a variety of information on the archdiocese's response to the sexual abuse crisis, to all 200,000 households of registered Catholics in the 10-county archdiocese.

    Noting in his Herald of Hope column that "we sure need a lot of HOPE right now," Dolan tells people to expect more secular news coverage of a settlement and trial process that will have harmful effects. He cites "the valuable work and ministries of the archdiocese, which could be seriously curtailed if the resolution of these cases results in staggering financial consequences against us. What adds to the sadness of all this is that we had been making some steady progress."

    Walking across the bridge

    "Pope John Paul met with Muslims more than 60 times over the course of his pontificate, and his hope was to build bridges," Allen said. "Pope Benedict, on the other hand, seems to believe those bridges have been built, and now it's time to walk across them."


    Rather than seeing dialogue with other religions as a way to iron out doctrinal differences, an oftentimes impossible task, Pope Benedict sees interreligious dialogue as a means of establishing common values and finding common cause in the fight against secularization and injustice.

    Accordingly, Pope Benedict's dialogue with Muslims has thus far centered on questions of culture and human rights, rather than theology.

    Father Samir noted it also reflects the pope's recognition of a traditional stumbling block in Muslim-Christian dialogue: Islam's inability to conceive of the separation of church and state according to traditional Western formulas.

    "Whenever we try and dialogue with Muslims, always the discussion will move from religion to cultural, social, even political questions," said Father Samir. "The Muslims will ask the Christians about Israel, or colonialism, or even the Crusades.

    Why must communists act like horse's asses all the time?

    A 72-year-old bishop in China's underground Catholic Church was detained when authorities took him from a hospital as he was recovering from surgery, a US-based group said yesterday.


    The foundation said Jia might have been detained to prevent him from contacting a Vatican delegation that was in Beijing to discuss possible diplomatic relations between the communist government and the Holy See.

    China bars Catholics from having contact with the Vatican and allows worship only in government-monitored churches.

    Millions remain loyal to the pope and worship in secret, but priests and members of their congregations are frequently detained and harassed.

    Jia, who was ordained in 1980, has been arrested nine times since January 2004, according to the Cardinal Kung Foundation.

    It said that Jia also looks after some 100 handicapped orphans.
    In its statement, the foundation didn't give details about Jia's surgery, but said he had a catheter in place when he was taken from the hospital.

    "To kick a person out of a hospital and send him away for detention with his catheter still in place and without adequate medical care is obviously naked evidence of total violation of human rights in China," foundation president Joseph Kung said in the statement.

    And in god forsaken Mogadushu Pray or Die

    A leading Mogadishu sheikh said on Friday Muslims who do not pray five times a day should be put to death - the latest sign of a fast-emerging hard-line face to Somalia's newly-powerful group.


    "He who does not perform prayer will be considered as infidel and our Shariah law orders that person to be killed," said Sheikh Abdalla Ali, who runs a Shariah court in the Somali capital which the religious group took last month.

    Pride & Shame.. they can't keep these straight

    Let's see. First international march was in Rome, second in Jesusalem. Seems
    confronting religion is a centeral theme.

    And this 'pride' thing. Take the exact opposite of shame, and proclaim it
    loudly. Maybe they hope saying it loud and often will make it so. And it does in
    a way to the weak minded. But that is nothing new.

    Besides, proclaiming one of the 7 Deadly's shows exactly where the heart

    Israel's chief rabbi wants to see Pope Benedict XVI throw his support behind growing religious opposition to an international homosexual, bisexual and transgender event scheduled to take place in Jerusalem this summer.


    InterPride, an international "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender" (LGBT) association, chose Jerusalem as the venue for a weeklong international "pride" event, including a parade down the streets of the Holy City, scheduled to take place next month.

    Israel's chief rabbi, Shlomo Amar, sent a letter to the pope on Tuesday asking him to help "thwart" the pride event while some 50 Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders met with Israeli politicians in the Knesset this week to call on them to stop WorldPride.

    This is only the second event of its kind to be held in the world. The first was held in Rome, despite strong opposition from the Vatican, during celebrations in 2000 marking the second millennium since the birth of Jesus.

    Amar appealed to the pontiff to issue a strong declaration against this "terrible phenomenon in the hope that the protest of different religious leaders will guide lost souls who fool and harm themselves."

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    India nuns do the right thing

    The four nuns who were held up by an extremist mob for their alleged proselytising forgive their aggressors and do not press charges. The bishop of Hyderabad talks to AsiaNews about Hindu fundamentalists’ plan against Christians in Andhra Pradesh.


    The sisters of Mother Teresa, who had gone to the hospital to carry out their regular and duly authorised weekly visit, were arrested by the police. They were freed only late in the evening after the metropolitan archbishop of Hyderabad, Mgr Marampudi Joji, intervened on their behalf.

    “The sisters,” the prelate told AsiaNews “have not pressed charges against anyone, but the police sent an agent to their House, who, in a threatening manner, tried to get them to sign a statement. The missionaries refused saying they were prepared to forgive those responsible for what happened.”

    “Hindu fundamentalism wants to raise fears among the people with respect to Christians,” he said. “For this reason, they accuse them of proselytising and working behind the scenes to distort the country’s nature. The reality is that elections are coming up and the BJP is trying its best to discredit the current Congress Party-dominated government”.

    The attack against the nuns of Mother Teresa is not the only weapon used by Hindu fundamentalists. According to reliable sources, they are organising a demonstration in the capital on July 11 “to raise awareness in the population about the ‘Christian danger’ which is working in favour of proselytising with the tacit approval of the government”.

    “All of a sudden,” he explained mockingly, “they found that some Christians work inside the temple and now accuse them of spying and working for the conversion of the whole state. The same thing is happening in two universities in Tirupati, where, if they are to be believed, Christians got jobs only in order to convert people”.

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    More reasons to skip Medjugorje

    Was the Virgin Mary ever known to foster disobedience? I believe not.

    Some of the Franciscan priests assigned to the Medjugorje parish, he said, have been expelled from their order because of their refusal to accept Church authority. "They have not only been illegally active in these parishes, but they have also administered the sacraments profanely, while others invalidly," he said. As Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, he said, he felt obliged to warn the faithful "who invalidly confess their sins to these priests and participate in sacrilegious liturgies."


    The bishops urged the "seers" of Medjugorje to "demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish."

    Bishop Peric reminded his people of the restrictions that he has imposed on activities in Medjugorje. The parish church is not formally a "shrine," he said, and should not be characterized as such. Pilgrimages to the church are discouraged. Priests there are "not authorized to express their private views contrary to the official position of the Church on the so-called 'apparitions' and 'messages,' during celebrations of the sacraments, nor during other common acts of piety, nor in the Catholic media."

    "They particularly do not seem to be authentic," the bishop observed, "when it is known before that these so-called 'apparitions' will occur." Bishop Peric cited the schedule that the Medjugorje seers have provided, listing the times and places at which they claim the next visits by the Mother of God will occur. Thousands of messages from Mary are now claimed, and the bishop observed that "the flood of so-called apparitions, messages, secrets, and signs do not strengthen the faith, but rather further convince us that in all of this there is nothing neither authentic nor established as truthful."

    Pope Prayers

    For July:

    "That all those who are in prison, and especially young people, may receive the necessary support from society to help them rediscover a sense to their own existence."

    His mission intention is: "That, in the mission territories, different ethnic and religious groups may live in peace and together build a society inspired by human and spiritual values."

    They just don't understand

    ...a majority of the Britons questions described Americans as uncaring, divided by class, awash in violent crime, vulgar, preoccupied with money, ignorant of the outside world, racially divided, uncultured and in the most overwhelming result (90 percent of respondents) dominated by big business.


    US policy in Iraq was similarly derided, with only 24 percent saying they felt that the US military action there was helping to bring democracy to the country.

    A spokesman for the American embassy said that the poll's findings were contradicted by its own surveys.

    "We question the judgment of anyone who asserts the world would be a better place with Saddam still terrorizing his own nation and threatening people well beyond Iraq's borders," the paper quoted the unnamed spokesman as saying.

    A massive 83 percent of those questioned said that the United States doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks.

    Bush fared significantly worse, with just one percent rating him a "great leader" against 77 percent who deemed him a "pretty poor" or "terrible" leader.

    US policy in Iraq was similarly derided, with only 24 percent saying they felt that the US military action there was helping to bring democracy to the country.

    What's the problem here? Easily answered.......

    "With respect to the poll's assertions about American society, we bear some of the blame for not successfully communicating America's extraordinary dynamism".

    They are simply unaware of our dynamism.

    Perhaps some public service ads played on their TV channels would help.

    But then again, who cares?

    catholic interest.