Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
At his regular Sunday Angelus audience on October 28, Pope Benedict XVI said that the beatification of 498 Spanish martyrs earlier that day was a reminder that "the supreme witness of blood is not an exception reserved just for a few individuals, but a realistic possibility for the entire Christian people."
The Holy Father reminded his audience that the Spanish martyrs of the 1930s included Catholics of all states and conditions, lay men and women as well as priests and religious. Most almost certainly did not think of themselves as potential martyrs, he remarked, before they were caught up in the campaign of violence against the Church. Then, he said, "they paid with their lives for their faithfulness to Christ and to His Church."
In most cases, faithfulness to Christ will not lead to bloody martyrdom, the Pope continued-- although that possibility cannot be dismissed. More often, he said, fidelity is shown in "the silent and heroic witness of so many Christians who live the Gospel without compromise." He called attention to the example of Blessed Celina Chludzinska Borzecka, the Polish woman who was beatified in a separate ceremony on October 27 in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran. "This martyrdom of everyday life is a vital testimony in the secularized societies of our own time," the Pope said...
At the same time I read this: "Nuns beaten, then charged under conversion law."
Catholic Church leaders in India's Madhya Pradesh state have protested the vicious beating of several nuns. Their protest was quickly followed by charges that the nuns were seeking to convert Hindus to Christianity.
Five Clarist nuns were assaulted by Hindu fundamentalists near the town of Indore on October 27, as they traveled to the home of a Catholic parishioner for a prayer meeting. After inflicting serious injuries on three of the nuns, the Hindu zealots took the religious to the local police station, where they filed charges against them under the state's law restricting religious conversions.
"How can they be charged with conversion," asked Indore's Bishop George Anathil, "when the nuns went to pray at the house of a Catholic?" The bishop said that the legal charges were "a clear attempt to justify the attack on our sisters and to divert public attention." (CWN)
Hail Mary full of grace...
"What to do if an Evangelical is roaming toward Rome?"
What would you say to an Evangelical tempted to become Catholic or Orthodox?
Moore: There are some Evangelicals who genuinely become convinced that the truth claims of Rome or Antioch are persuasive. If that’s the case, one should indeed become Catholic or Orthodox rather than attempting to convince Shiloh Baptist Church to use icons or King James Bible Church of the benefits of venerating Mary.
Most Evangelicals I’ve encountered who are tempted to become Catholic or Orthodox, however, are going to make quite poor Catholic or Orthodox churchmen. I type that with fear, knowing many exceptions to this—including some colleagues on our editorial board...
A great read about six Evangelical Scholars/theologians and their thought on Catholic conversion.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Brant Pitre will be speaking in San Diego.
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA... OR WHO MIGHT KNOW SOMEONE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!
When: Friday, November 16th @ 7pm
Where: Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Mira Mesa (link) (location / directions on Google Maps)
Tickets are $10.
Got this off of Michael Barber's website "Singing in the Reign"
Check there for more details...
Alright, alright, I admit it: I'm a bit cranky today. No reason, really. After all, the new Dwight Yoakam CD, Dwight Sings Buck, is excellent, we've had three days of sunshine in a row here in western Oregon, and the Oregon Ducks still have a shot at the national title (yeah, I know. Just let me dream the impossible dream for another day or three).
It didn't help my mood too much to read an opinion piece, published in today's Idaho Statesman, titled "When I weigh all the issues of importance to me as a Christian, I must vote Democrat" and written by Will Rainford, LMSW, Ph.D., who is "the legislative advocate for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise." As regular readers of this blog know, we try to avoid much discussion of politics just for the sake of politics. That isn't one of the objectives of Insight Scoop, and we know that good Catholics can and do disagree on a host of touchy political issues (i.e., welfare reform, the war in Iraq, the music of Bob Dylan, etc.). But this op-ed begs—cries out!—for a little bit of fisking, for at least two reasons: it is irrational and it is condescending. And (okay, three reasons) it is written by a Catholic who really shouldn't be embarrassing himself like this in public. That said, here goes:
I'm passing on this posting from Carl because I believe that some Catholics (not all) seem to be justifying their voting positions minus the teachings of the Church. This posting from Carl is just one example. I've read postings on another catholic website that supported pro-choice and same sex marriages (I'm not linking them. I'm sure one can find them on your own).
To do this I relay on checking with the experts (see my links on this page). I've learned plenty from these sites. In the link above Carl consults the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That's always a good place to start.
I'm not a scholar or a Catholic intellectual. Just another Catholic trying to follow the Church of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, as closely as possible. I pray that my postings don't mislead others away from the true teachings of the Church. If anyone does find something, please post your concerns and I will correct any errors.
If you have any good Catholic websites you'd like to recommend please forward them.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Luke Rivington was a convert to the Catholic Faith in the late nineteenth century. His books The Primitive Church and the See of Peter by Luke Rivington (1894
and Authority; or, A plain reason for joining the Church of Rome (1890)
Born in London, May, 1838; died in London, 30 May, 1899; fourth son of Francis Rivington, a well-known London publisher. He was educated at Highgate Grammar School and Magdalen College, Oxford. After his ordination as an Anglican clergyman in 1862, he became curate of St. Clement's, Oxford, leaving there in 1867 for All Saint's, Margaret Street, London, where he attracted attention as a preacher. Failing in his efforts to found a religious community at Stoke, Staffordshire, he joined the Cowley Fathers and became superior of their house in Bombay. Becoming unsettled in his religious convictions he visited Rome, where in 1888 he was received into the Church. His ordination to the priesthood took place on 21 Sept., 1889. He returned to England and settled in Bayswater, not undertaking any parochial work, but devoting himself to preaching, hearing confessions, and writing controversial works. The chief of these were "Authority; or a plain reason for joint the Church of Rome" (1888); "Dust" a letter to the Rev. C. Gore on his book "Roman Catholic Claims" (1888); "Dependence; or the insecurity of the Anglican Position" (1889) "The Primitive Church and the See of Peter" (1894); "Anglican Fallacies; or Lord Halifax on Reunion" (1895); "Rome and England or Ecclesiastical Continuity" (1897); "The Roman Primacy A.D. 430-51" (1899) which was practically a new edition of "The Primitive Church and the See of Peter". He also wrote several pamphlets and brought out a new edition of Bishop Milner's "End of Religious Controversy". This was for the Catholic Truth Society of which he was long a member of the committee, and a prominent figure at the annual conferences so successfully organized by the society. His pamphlets include "Primitive and Roman" (1894) a reply to the notice of his book "The Primitive Church" in the "Church Quarterly Review"; "The Conversion of Cardinal Newman" (1896) and "Tekel" (1897) in which he criticized the reply of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to Pope Leo XIII after the condemnation of Anglican Orders. In 1897 the pope conferred on him an honorary doctorate in divinity. During his latter years he lived near St. James church, Spanish Place, devoting himself to his literary work and the instruction of inquirers in the Catholic Faith.
Here's and excerpt from the Preface of he's 'The Primitive Church and the See of Peter'
...First, it would be easy to string together a most formidable array of difficulties quoted and examined by Catholic theologians in their great scientific works on theology. But it is obvious that I would be necessary to be a trained theologian, or to spend a lifetime in research, were it needful to give detailed answers to them all. Then there are works, like those of Dr. Litttledale (prominent anti-catholic apologist of the time) and others, written in order to blind and mislead; made up of calumnies, misquotations, and a calculated admixture of truth and error. These are often intended to shock and alienate the moral sense quite as much as the intellectual. If they do not finally succeed in this, at least they may succeed in creating perplexity, anxiety, and delay.
Now, instead of entering into a maze of objections, into labyrinth of difficulties, a shorter and more satisfactory course should be taken. Find the Divine Teacher, find the Supreme Shepherd, find the Vicar of Christ. Concentrate all ;our mental and moral faculties upon finding he Head of God’s Church upon earth. This is the key to the situation. The learned work to which these words serve as introduction is intended to aid this inquiry, by setting forth for this doctrine various of it’s reasonable motives of credibility. If only you find the Divine Teacher, you may leave all objections to the doctrines he teaches to answer themselves. And if you find him not, then answers to the difficulties brought against his teachings will go for little.
[The Primitive Church and the See of Peter - Preface, xii]
I recently say the interview with Francis Beckwith on EWTN a couple of weeks ago and it seemed to me that he approached his conversion in a similar manner. He didn't have all the answers to the questions asked him from callers to the show or in other interviews about the Rosary or other Catholic devotions and traditions, but he seemed to be saying, Ive found that Christ Jesus founded the Catholic Church and I must be apart of this. All other objections will work themselves out.
Enjoy the read...
Monday, October 15, 2007
'Mom' and 'Dad' banished by California...
The bills signed by Schwarzenegger include SB777, which bans anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.
There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however.
"SB 777 will result in reverse discrimination against students with religious and traditional family values," said Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute. "These students have lost their voice as the direct result of Gov. Schwarzenegger's unbelievable decision. The terms 'mom and dad' or 'husband and wife' could promote discrimination against homosexuals if a same-sex couple is not also featured.
"Parents want the assurance that when their children go to school they will learn the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic – not social indoctrination regarding alternative sexual lifestyles. Now that SB777 is law, schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation," she said.
...you've got to read the whole article for yourself.
Thomasson said SB777 prohibits any "instruction" or school-sponsored "activity" that "promotes a discriminatory bias" against "gender" – the bill's definition includes cross-dressing and sex changes – as well as "sexual orientation."
"Because no textbook or instruction in California public schools currently disparages transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality, the practical effect of SB777 will be to require positive portrayals of these sexual lifestyles at every government-operated school," CCF noted.
Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.
CCF noted that now on a banned list will be any text, reference or teaching aid that portrays marriage as only between a man and woman, materials that say people are born male or female (and not in between), sources that fail to include a variety of transsexual, bisexual and homosexual historical figures, and sex education materials that fail to offer the option of sex changes.
Further, homecoming kings now can be either male or female – as can homecoming queens, and students, whether male or female, must be allowed to use the restroom and locker room corresponding to the sex with which they choose to identify.
It just keeps going down hill. The worst part is that this stuff just gets accepted without much notice.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Coulter said earlier this week that Jews would be “perfected” if only they would embrace Christianity, and an angered National Jewish Democratic Council wants CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS and ABC to stop giving her air time.
The Vatican is a proponent of stem cell research as long as it does not harm human embryos, which the Catholic Church holds are humans from the moment of conception.
"The destruction of human embryos, whether to acquire stem cells or for any other purpose, contradicts the purported intent of researchers, legislators and public health officials to promote human welfare," the Pontiff said.
The Church supports research on adult cells and even promising alternatives to embryonic research, like the use of amniotic fluid protecting fetuses in the uterus.
The Pope said such research methods "harmonize with the aforementioned intent (to promote human welfare) by respecting the life of the human being at every stage of his or her existence".
But it is the graphic and disturbing depiction of termination procedures, filmed like the rest of the movie in black and white, that marks the film out.
"From the moment I started making the film I thought I have to show an abortion, which at the time had never been done before," Kaye, best known for his 1998 neo-Nazi feature "American History X," told AFP in an interview.
"There was no question about whether or not that was the right thing to do because if I'm documenting two sides of the argument, that is one side of the argument and you have to show it," he said.
McCorvey was the poster child of the pro-choice camp until she turned pro-life and explains in the film how anti-abortion campaigners told her that "I was the one that was responsible for all the dead babies."
From this article in CWN it sound like Bishop Robert McManus is providing the needed shepherding with a stern warning of withdrawing the school's recognition as a Catholic institution.
A Massachusetts bishop has strongly criticized a Jesuit-run college in his diocese, hinting that he could withdraw the school's recognition as a Catholic institution.
Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester issued a statement on October 10, responding to protests from lay Catholics about plans for a conference at the College of the Holy Cross in which Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts will make presentations. Siding with the pro-life protestors, Bishop McManus disclosed that he had urged Holy Cross to cancel the conference plans.
The organizations participating in the scheduled event, the bishop said, "promote positions on artificial contraception and abortion that are contrary to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church." Saying that the Church's position on key issues involving respect for life is "manifestly clear," he questioned why a Catholic school would offer these groups a forum. The bishop warned that the conference could create a "situation of offering scandal understood in its proper theological sense, i.e. an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil." By canceling the conference, he said, Holy Cross would not infringe upon academic freedom, but would "make unambiguously clear the Catholic identity and mission of the College of the Holy Cross." MORE
I hope the College of the Holy Cross follows the Bishops advise.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than the tragedy of abortion, especially in contrast to where some (but certainly not all) Protestants stand on the issue, including two extremely influential Protestants: Bill and Hillary Clinton.
No president did as much to advance legalized abortion as Bill Clinton, who is now poised to be exceeded in that capacity only by his spouse, who has an exceedingly good chance of becoming our next president, and no doubt will be the Democratic Party’s nominee for 2008.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I found this interesting article on the Catholic Exchange website that explores this topic.
Religious Freedom : A Double Standard
On Sept. 24, President Bush spoke to the UN General Assembly against "regimes that deny their people fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration." He was referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Article 18 of the Declaration defines freedom of religion and belief as follows: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance."
Stressing that the expansion of freedom is not just a Western goal, nor a mere Bush doctrine, but a fundamental agreement of the world body, the President cited Myanmar, where "basic freedoms of speech, assembly and worship are severely restricted."
The issue of religious freedom is part and parcel of the American heritage, not only in political speeches, but also in academic circles. When Lee Bollinger recently introduced the president of Iran as a guest speaker at Columbia University, he scathingly referred to Iran's denial of freedom to a religion founded there in the 19th century: the Baha'i faith. The mainline media picked up Bollinger's statement and clearly emphasized it.
Current criticism of those who deny religious freedom throughout the world often focuses on Muslim countries. It is noticeable, however, that the same critics in America have nothing to say about ongoing violations of religious freedom by the Israeli government. Just recently, for example, it has rescinded its policy of granting re-entry visas to Arab Christian ministers, priests, nuns and other religious workers who wish to move in and out of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories to church offices in Jerusalem, or to travel abroad. In the past, re-entry visas were routinely granted to Arab Christian religious workers in the Holy Land, and clergy traveled relatively freely to and from points overseas, including the United States. They must now apply for re-entry visas at Israeli consulates abroad each time they travel outside the areas under Israeli control. Since visa applications submitted to Israeli missions abroad take months to process, the new Israeli policy means that religious personnel will no longer be able to move freely outside their parishes in the West Bank. Many of the clergy and other church workers are from nearby Jordan, which made a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. The new Israeli policy will effectively prevent them from visiting their families there.
Rev. Fares Khleifat, the only Greek Catholic priest in Ramallah, traveled to Jordan for several days in mid-September. When he tried to return to his parish on September 14, he was stopped at the Al Sheikh Hussein Bridge, and his valid multiple-entry visa was canceled without explanation. He was forced to return to Jordan. His de facto deportation from the Holy Land by the Israeli government has left his parish without a priest. Father Faris, a holder of both Vatican and Jordanian passports, commented: "For the past six years, I have been traveling regularly between the West Bank and Jordan on church affairs without any problems whatsoever."
Father Faris is one of thousands of foreign passport holders who have been denied entry by the Israeli authorities over the past several years, and is only the latest in a trend in refusing religious-worker visas. This trend, which has disturbed Vatican officials for some time, is one of a number of contested policies under debate in a Vatican-Israeli permanent working commission since 1994, when the Vatican and Israel established diplomatic ties. In 1997, a Fundamental Agreement was made, clarifying the legal status of Catholic institutions in Israel. That agreement, however, was never added to Israeli law, rendering it unenforceable. With no legal relationship between the Church and the Israeli government, church property disputes cannot be resolved in court. The Israeli government thus reserves for itself the handling of Church-property disputes. There are many cases of confiscation of Church properties by Israel that have never been resolved or even litigated. Since 1994, the Vatican has requested guaranteed access to juridical due process through the Israeli court system when property disputes arise, and, more specifically, the return of those Church properties confiscated by the Israeli government. The failure to come to an agreement on these issues has been a long-standing obstacle in Vatican-Israeli relations.
Now this from another source.
'Not a Single Christian' in Birthplace of Christ
The once vibrant Christian communities of Bethlehem and Nazareth, with roots in the "land of Jesus" going back to first century Israel, are rapidly declining in the face of a systematic campaign of persecution conducted by the same Muslim terrorists intent on driving the Jews into the sea.
Beatings, sham legal proceedings, property seizures, dismissal and replacement of elected Christian leaders, accusations of selling property to Jews and intimidation by gunmen with links to the government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have so reduced Christian populations in the cities of Jesus' birth and boyhood one community leader predicts all Christians will be gone within 15 year
lots of turmoil in the Holy Lands...
...please excuse the formatting...my computer or this application is acting up.
Monday, October 08, 2007
A number of related news articles have, by blind chance and the mysterious process of cyber-viewing-evolutionary selection, come to my attention. First, from EWNews, this brief note:
The Council of Europe has adopted a resolution calling upon nations to "firmly oppose" efforts to encourage the teaching of creationism in schools.
By a vote of 48-24, the Council approved a statement that said "creationism could become a threat to human rights."
The Strasbourg body based its resolution on a report that said the teaching of creationism and intelligent design, which "was for a long time an almost exclusively American phenomenon," has begun to make inroads in Europe. This trend is dangerous, the report said, because creationism is unscientific.
The resolution called upon education officials to resist appeals to put creationism or intelligent design in the curriculum alongside the teaching of evolution. These studies are fundamentally different, the Council of Europe proclaimed, because: "The theory of evolution has nothing to do with divine revelation but is built on facts."