In the decades since Turkey's independence in 1923, his Greek Orthodox community has dwindled from around 150,000 to 1,500 people, most of them elderly. And his role as spiritual head to Orthodox Christians worldwide has been curtailed, critics say, by Turkish restrictions. . . . "The Turkish government limits our role, and places serious constrictions on us," says Father Alexander Karioutsos, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. "We have a church whose body is greater than its head, because its head cannot grow." . . . Another ongoing bone of contention between Turkey and the Orthodox community is Ankara's refusal to recognise the patriarch as ecumenical, meaning head of the Orthodox Christian community worldwide. Turkey believes acknowledging this would be one step towards the patriarchate eventually demanding some form of autonomy on its territory, much like the Vatican. "The title ecumenical has accompanied the Patriarch for 15 centuries, it's not a 20th century invention," says Archbishop Demetrios of America. "It refers to a spiritual function." The Orthodox church is hoping that Turkey's possible entry into the European Union will help give minority religions some political leverage. But given the increasing tension in relations between the E.U. and Turkey, the pronouncements of Benedict and Bartholomew will face intense scrutiny.To read more click here. UPDATED: Great posting about the Armenian Genocide orchestrated by the Turkish government here.
"Benedict is a man of charity and of truth, and rarer still, he is a man who has integrated both within his life and teaching. In a sense he is like St. Francis of Assisi, who in 1219, during the Crusades, walked into the midst of the Saracen camp and preached for days, and eventually spoke with the Sultan of Egypt in the hope of converting him ... He was a sign of contradiction to all parties in the wars. He was unarmed. He was a presence of Christ to the major adversary of Christian civilization in those times." "So, too, Pope Benedict continues to be a sign of contradiction. He has crossed the lines of our normal categories regarding the world situation. He has made possible a dialogue with Islam. ... He is not naive about the nature of radical Islamics, and indeed his Regensburg speech has been a catalyst of clearer vision about the nature of militant Islamism -- its irrationality, its spirit of relentless hatred and contempt for human dignity. Yet we must remember that neither is the pope naive about the other beast -- the one that is killing us from within the parameters of our civilization, the secular humanism of Late Western Man."God bless our German Shepherd. To read more of Toney Blankely's article at RealClearPolitics click here. UPDATED: Great video from the Pope's pastoral trip in Turkey. Click here.
Here Constantine, recognizing the strategic "lynch-pin" of his empire, which encircled the Mediterranean Sea, set up the city he wished to be called by his name, Constantinople, laying the cornerstone on May 30 in 330 AD, and titling the city "New Rome," much in the manner of "New York." And just as "New York" surpassed York, so "New Rome" in time surpassed Rome, attracting to itself the riches of the east, and developing into "Byzantium." This is the city that the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, contended had reached the highest possible level of human culture, art and artifice, becoming for him a metaphor for all human striving to represent reality in art, for all attempts to shape this sometimes shapeless natural world. In his poem, "Sailing to Byzantium," it was the golden nightingale of the emperor which typified the artifice and art of the Byzantines: a nightingale made by a goldsmith, and somehow endowed with the mechanical ability to sing before the lords and ladies of Byzantium. . . . Many Muslims felt the Pope had insulted their faith. (Many secularists said he had done precisely that, though it is difficult to see what standing they have to make comments in this matter.) In any case, following the Regensburg talk, which occurred precisely five years and one day after 9/11 and the fall of the Twin Towers in New York City, the prospects and significance of this papal trip to Istanbul altered. Instead of concentrating on Christian questions, on relations with the Orthodox, the trip was transformed into an opportunity to attempt to grasp and clarify the issues that now increasingly divide the Muslim world from the post-Christian West. No one knows, of course. But if he (Pope Benedict) is true to his office and his own past, he will speak in a profound way about the one thing most important to him: the Gospel. That is, the Christian faith. He will attempt, as St. Paul attempted, to speak in such a way that the whole world can hear him. The Muslims of Turkey and the Islamic world, the Jews of Israel and the Diaspora, the humanists of the West, and his own co-believing Christians, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants alike. To all he will preach the message of Christ, of salvation from sin and death through faith and hope in Jesus Christ, and in love as "the way" which men are invited to follow, that they might live. Will this message be pronounced eloquently and courageously? Will it be heard? Will it be perceived as an offense? We will see in the coming days. But it is clear already that these upcoming days in Istanbul will be historic ones, worthy of a city which is still, in so many ways, the hinge of the world -- of Europe and Asia, of ancient and modern times, of clashes between civilizations, and of the possibility of finding a way to live in peace for a post-modern world which is seeking its path into mankind's future.To read the rest of this article from Catholic Exchange click here.
Ukraine's parliament has voted in favour of declaring a Soviet-era famine an act of genocide against its people. Historians say Soviet leader Joseph Stalin created the famine, confiscating the harvest of Ukrainian peasants to force them to join collective farms. The bill was proposed by President Viktor Yushchenko, who wants the UN to also recognise the famine as genocide.Now maybe the New York Times will send back the Pulitzer that Walter Duranty won for covering up the famine to promote his socialist and communist principals. To read the rest of the article click here. To read about the New York Times cover up of the genocide click here. UPDATED: Ukrainian Genocide recognized by Poland, for more click here.
Here's the best part.
Archbishop of Birmingham Vincent Nichols threatened to withdraw Catholic co-operation with the Government over schools, charity programmes and adoption agencies if the new sexual orientation regulations go ahead. The fierce assault on the new laws signalled an ominous deepening of the row between Labour and the churches over the new laws, which are designed to stop businesses from discriminating against homosexuals. Archbishop Nichols declared that ministers were "engaged in an intense and at times aggressive reshaping of our moral framework". And he added that "those who are elected to fashion our laws are not elected to be our moral tutors. They have no mandate or competence to be so."
Archbishop Nichols gave his scathing verdict in a sermon in St Chad's Cathedral. He told the congregation: "The Government must realise that it is not possible to seek co-operation with us while at the same time trying to impose upon us conditions which contradict our moral values.I wish our bishops over here on the other side of the pond had backbones such as Archbishop Nichols. To read the rest of the article click here.
The World Health Organisation's head of HIV/Aids called on the Vatican yesterday to speed up a decision on the limited use of condoms in pandemic-hit countries. . . . welcomed the news that condoms could be sanctioned for married Catholic couples where one partner has HIV. "We're very pleased to hear this," he said. "But our concern is that these deep theological decisions take account of the biological consequences of infection. Could we please have this debate in a hurry. Lives are at risk and time is short."If you don't want to get AIDS then don't engage in sex period. That is 100% full proof. A condom is only 95-97% full proof. Why play games with your life. For the rest of the article click here.
The Vatican has ruled that the phrase pro multis should be rendered as "for many" in all new English-language translations of the Eucharistic Prayer, CWN has learned. Although "for many" is the literal translation of the Latin phrase, the translations currently in use render the phrase as "for all." All new English-language translations will use "for many" when they appear.(Hat Tip: Whispers in the Loggia) To read more click here.
A very bold statement by the USCCB. What about participating in 'Gay Pride' parades? What about being proactive in the 'Gay Rights' movement? The USCCB is only following Catholic teaching in any regards. It is not a sin to be attracted of someone of the same gender.St. Thomas Aquinas said that "Sin is nothing else than a morally bad act". The sin primarily consists in a voluntary act repugnant to the order of right reason. The act passes, but the soul of the sinner remains stained, deprived of grace, in a state of sin, until the disturbance of order has been restored by penance. This state is called habitual sin, macula peccati. reatus culpa. Nice to see that no spinal implant will be occurring over in Baltimore this week while the USCCB tiptoes carefully around the sensitive issue of homosexuality. To read further on the USCCB's declaration that same sex attraction is not a sin click here. UPDATED: Attraction to someone of the same gender is not a sin. I added two sentences to this posting because it gave the general impression that it is a sin, which is incorrect. Remember that we are all sinners and need to treat each other charitably as Jesus taught us to.
His interest in things Christian led him to provide the first international publicity for the work of a tiny nun on the streets of Calcutta. He was convinced that there was something supernatural behind Mother Teresa and her Sisters of Charity. . . . He recognized that the Church was the only institution telling the truth about human sexuality and cited as evidence the disastrous marriage and family situations he saw all around him. Muggeridge knew his own need for the correction of his lust. He knew that men need to be surrounded by a culture and society and civilization that call them to the sacrifices of love, an atmosphere in which sex is not divorced from procreation. He was right about that, and he will always be right, because he took the side of the Catholic Church which will always be right about that.Malcom Muggeridge died a Catholic today in 1990. To read more about Malcom Muggeridge click here.
The Vatican statement said the meeting would reflect on requests made by married priests in recent years for dispensation from the obligation of celibacy and on requests for readmission to the priestly ministry. The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, later said he did not expect the discussions to consider major changes in the priestly celibacy rule. When ordained, Catholic priests in the Latin church make a promise of celibacy. In Eastern-rite Catholic churches, married men may become priests, but are not allowed to marry after ordination.This is actually taking place to discuss the wayward Archbishop Milingo and his ordination of married priests. The celibacy rule is a side issue and will be discussed because of the scandal caused by Archbishop Milingo. I'm posting this to squash any 'rumors' from coming of this 'reflection'. To read the rest of the article click here. UPDATED: "The value of the choice of priestly celibacy, according Catholic tradition, has been reaffirmed, and the need for solid human and Christian training, for seminarians as well as already ordained priests, has been reiterated,". This statement by the Vatican again reaffirms priestly celibacy. To read more click here.
Latin should be used more frequently in the Roman Catholic liturgy, according to a Vatican’s chief liturgist. Speaking Nov. 11 to the Archdiocese of St. Louis Gateway Liturgical Conference here, Cardinal Francis Arinze, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, told the more than 250 people gathered that the Latin language is currently “in the ecclesiastical refrigerator.” “Mass today,” the 74-year-old conference keynoted added, “should be in Latin from time to time.”To read the rest of the article click here. UPDATED: Can American Catholics adapt to a Latin Mass? To listen to an NPR discussion on this click here.
A company that sells Bible-quoting Jesus dolls said it was surprised and disappointed that the Marine Reserves' Toys for Tots program turned down its offer to donate 4,000 of the talking dolls.Wait a minute here, did I read the article wrong?
"We can't take a chance on sending a talking Jesus doll to a Jewish family or a Muslim family," Grein said Tuesday. "Kids want a gift for the holiday season that is fun."Oh, it said holiday season. What holiday season are Jewish and Muslim families celebrating for December 25th? For this interesting story click here. UPDATED: Toys for Tots does a reversal and will now accept these Jesus dolls. For the story click here.
I guess with thinking such as believing in an imperfect God and praying to the Golden Calf of homosexuality produces Bishops from the Church of England endorsing the killing of disabled newborn babies as alright since it costs to much to keep alive.
For more click here. (Hat Tip: Built on a Rock)
The Vatican announced Monday, November 6, 2006 that Pope Benedict XVI has granted the retirement of the Most Reverend Vincent M. Rizzotto, beloved auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Bishop Rizzotto celebrated his 75th birthday on September 9 of this year and says he “happily submitted his letter requesting retirement at that time.” Bishop Rizzotto, who observed his 50th anniversary as a priest on May 26, was named a bishop on July 31, 2001 by Pope John Paul II. Upon learning he was granted his retirement Bishop Rizzotto said, “I am grateful that the Holy Father has accepted my request for retirement. This marks a new venture in my presbyteral and episcopal life and I am pleased to look forward to a somewhat slower schedule.” Archbishop Daniel DiNardo said, “While it is a loss for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, we are certainly happy for Bishop Rizzotto. After more than 50 years of outstanding priestly service he very much deserves a retirement filled with good health and many blessings.” The archbishop went on to say that while the retirement is official as of November 6th, Bishop Rizzotto will continue to serve the Archdiocese of Galveston- Houston in a variety of ways. The bishop will continue to preside at confirmations, he will remain on the Personnel Board and committees involved in the new Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. And, the bishop will continue to serve on the archbishop’s cabinet until a new director is named to take over the Secretariat for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services.
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- Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam by Pope Benedict XVI & Marcello Pera; Forward by George Weigel, Translated by Michael F. Moore
- Triumph - The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, a 2000 Year History by H.W. Crocker, III
- Witness To Hope, The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel
- Uncommon Faith by John F. Coverdale
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- Understanding Medjugorje: Heavenly Visions or Religious Illusion? by Donal Anthony Foley
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