Thursday, November 30, 2006

Yearnings of the Pre-Christian World Part II

Preparing for the Season of Advent we look into the past to see signs of the coming of our Lord and Savior. "The Yearnings of the Pre-Christian World" Greek literature was not alone in picturing man craving for another wisdom than that of earth, and another relief from inner misery than that given by man alone. The Eastern people had it, too. The ancient Hindus sacrificed a lamb to Ekiam as they prayed, "When will the Saviour come? When will the Redeemer appear?" …Confucius in his Morals continued this universal craving for a Saviour when he wrote, "The Holy One must come from heaven who will know all things and have power over heaven and earth." One may ask if Buddha pointed to Christ? Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, lived from 563-483 B.C. On dying he said, "I am not the first Buddha who came upon earth, nor shall I be the last. I will die, but Buddha will live, for Buddha is Truth. The kingdom of truth will increase for about 500 years…In due time another Buddha will arise and he will reveal to you the self-same eternal truth which I have taught." His disciple asked, "How shall we know him?" Buddha answered, "The Buddha who will come after me will be known as Maitreya, which means, "He whose name is love." Roman civilization struck the same chord, for all humanity is one…Cicero, the great orator, quotes a sibyl as saying, "A King will come who must be recognized to be saved." Suetonius, in his life of Augustus, continued the traditional aspiration: "Nature has been in labor to bring forth a personage who would be King of the Romans." The Senate was disturbed by this general expectation and passed a law forbidding anyone to let live a male child that year. The order was not executed because many of the senators' wives were with child. But it did show how much the ancient air was filled with a hushed expectancy that some great King was coming to the world. Tacitus confirmed this in his History: "Mankind is generally persuaded that the ancient prophecies of the East will prevail, and it will not be long until Judea would bring forth one who would rule the universe." (Life is Worth Living, Bishop Fulton Sheen, pg. 31-33) For Part I click here.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Turkey's Minority Christians

Turkey's minority Christians only make up barely 1% of the Turkish population. The rest being Muslim. The Christian population has been dwindling due to persecution, harassment, and discrimination at the public and private sectors of Turkish society. A Time.com news article investigates the Pope's push to protect Christian minorities in Turkey. It is part of a larger plan set forth by the Vatican to ask for reciprocity in Muslim nations where Christian minorities reside. A plan to ask for the same rights that Muslims have in Christian countries for the Muslim countries Christian minorities.
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.

Stephen Colbert is Catholic

The following posting is based on postings by College Catholic and The Cafeteria is Closed and for the record I didn't watch the show last night which this posting is referencing, but I do watch Colbert Report vignettes on YouTube... Last nights Colbert Report on the Comedy Central had Stephen Colbert (the host of course) on his "The WØRD" segment come out defending the Pope in Turkey and putting Islam in their place because Jesus is the Son of God, not a prophet. The audience seemed a bit shock but they came around to his comedy and began applauding again, after Stephen Colbert recited the Nicene Creed of all things! Stephen Colbert is a comedian that is the host of this show. It's basically a mock-news show of a clueless conservative playing to the crowds liberal sensibilities. I've been wary to say if he is orthodox in his Catholicism, but every little bit that I see of him brings me closer to the realization that he is at least an honest Catholic trying to practice our Catholic faith. Maybe even a practicing, dare I say, orthodox Catholic? One can only hope. To view the segment, "The WØRD", click here. (Hat Tip: College Catholic) UPDATED: Fidei Defensor over at College Catholic has an excellent roundup of the Colbert Catholic phenomenon, for the posting click here.

Pope Benedict's Pastoral Trip in Istanbul

Pope Benedict XVI is in a seminal moment of his papacy. Right now it may not seem as much, but what he says and does this week in Turkey may echo for the next 100 years towards reconciliation with our Orthodox brothers in Christ. It may also be the impetus towards changing the nature and character of Islam throughout the region because Pope Benedict XVI has changed his personal views on the entry of Turkey into the EU. How is this so? Well, part of his papal agenda is to provide for reciprocity by Muslim nations towards their non-Muslim minorities in the Middle East. The issue is one where Muslims build mosques without hindrance in the post-Christian West while non-Muslim minorities are not even allowed to build churches, much less have upkeep of their church's. If his Holiness is able to spark the change that is needed in Muslim dominated Turkey towards their Christian minorities, that may be the impetus that would catapult Turkey into the arms of the European Union. By this example this would be a watershed moment towards other Middle East countries (which whom all are Muslim dominated) of creating an atmosphere of tolerance and cooperation. These simple changes may also change the path that radical and political Islam is taking, a dark and deadly path towards nihilism. The Toney Blankely at has an excellent quote from Catholic essayist Michael D. O'Brien on Pope Benedict XVI's pastoral trip to Turkey:
"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.

Hagia Sophia and Pope Benedict XVI

The Hagia Sophia, or the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, was the grandest church in all of Christendom until the Muslim Turks sacked Constantinople in AD 1453. This was the end of they Byzantium Empire as the Turkish Muslims raped women, enslaved children, and tortured and murdered Christians during the sack. The Muslims seized the Hagia Sophia from the Orthodox Christians, desecrated the altars, removed the beautiful mosaics, and destroyed the statues that represented saints, angels, and the Holy Trinity. In 1935 Turkish president Ataturk converted the Hagia Sophia Mosque into a museum which it is to this day. Today any tourist can come in and take a tour of the former church. Some of the iconography has been restored but one can still see the desecrations of Muslim script and images all over this grand church. Pope Benedict XVI will be making a tour to this former center of Christianity as part of his visit with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. There is growing concern, what I call insecurity, among Muslim Turks (99% of all Turks are Muslim) that Pope Benedict XVI will kneel down and pray just as Pope Paul VI did during his visit in 1967. I doubt his Holiness would do this considering the dangerous climate he is in. What I would like to see is that the Turkish government return this wonderful piece of architecture and history back to the Orthodox Church as a sign of peace and respect. This would go a long way in showing to the world that Islam is certainly the religion of peace. Note: the picture of the Hagia Sophia at the top is what this great church looked like before the conquest by the Muslims in AD 1453. To read more about the pope's visit to the Hagia Sophia click here. To learn more about the Hagia Sophia click here. To read more about Patriarch Bartholomew I click here. To learn more about the plight of Orthodox Christians in Turkey click here. UPDATED: To read an excellent article on the Hagia Sophia by the Brussels Journal click here.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Yearnings of the Pre-Christian World

What did the Pre-Christian world have to say about our Lord and Savior? Interesting question for an era (outside the Jews) to ponder on. Archbishop Fulton Sheen has a great reflection on the Greek world prior to the coming of Christ. Here is an excerpt taken from "Life is Worth Living", a series by Archbishop Fulton Sheen. “The Yearnings of the Pre-Christian World” Very often we call something modern because we do not know what is ancient; many so-called “modern” ideas are really old errors with new labels. We owe greater debt to the past than is generally recognized. The waters of ancient cultures are constantly washing our shores. One of the greatest epic poets who ever lived was Homer, whom Plato called the educator of the Greeks. Homer wrote two great works, one called the Iliad and the other the Odyssey. The Iliad ends with the story of a defeated king and the Odyssey with the story of a sorrowful woman…Great classical scholars have wondered why Homer threw into the current of literature the story of a king who was made great in defeat and a woman glorious in sadness and tragedy. Greek philosophy was concerned with answering this question…It was impossible for all the Greek philosophers to understand how there could be victory in defeat, how there could be nobility in suffering. There was really no answer given to this problem until the day of Calvary , when a defeated man hanging on a Cross ultimately became the conqueror, and a Mater Dolorosa at the foot of the Cross became the Queen of Christendom. Over 500 years before the Christian era lived the great dramatist Aeschylus, who wrote Prometheus Bound. Prometheus is pictured as bound to a rock because he had stolen fire from heaven. An eagle comes and devours his entrails – a symbol of modern man, whose heart is being devoured, not by an eagle, but by anxiety and fear. For these thousands of years mankind had been yearning for some kind of deliverance; that aspiration found its answer in the speech of Hermes to Prometheus, “Look not for any end… to this curse, until some God appears to accept upon his head, the pangs of thy own sins…” …At another time, Socrates said, “Wait! Wait for a wise man who is to come, who will tell us how we are to conduct ourselves before God and man.” [Socrates’ student], Alcibiades said, “I am ready to do all He desires. When will He come?” Socrates said, “I know not when, but I know that He also desires your good.” (Life is Worth Living, Sheen, pg. 29-31) B.A.P. Reflection: Just like the Greeks awaited the coming of the Christ and were ready to do all He desires, so we should use this penitential time of Advent to prepare ourselves for the season of Christmas – which is a reminder that the Redeemer has come and will come again. Even more than the Greeks, since we have received His grace in the Sacraments, we should be ready to do all He desires. (Hat Tip: a friend)

The Other Side of the Imam Terror Threat

All the heterodoxical Christians and their liberal friends jumped on the US government's War on Terror by siding with the Imams who were escorted off a plane in Minneapolis bound for Phoenix. After doing some research the truth finally came out. There was highly suspect activity such as yelling "Allah akbar" at the top of their lungs and their seating arrangements, exactly identical to those of the 9/11 hijackers. Now I travel twice a week due to work and I can tell you that this kind of behavior would be disturbing to me. I know I would have raised an eyebrow and informed the TSA of this behavior. I have also experienced observing airport security at work. This is not a one time incident, but this is ongoing throughout the airport, not just at the gate, but at check-in, the kiosks, baggage claim etc. For example on a flight to Detroit at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport I was engaged in conversation with a nice gentleman. He stood up and walked away for a brief moment leaving his bags behind. Immediately the gate person began asking us whose bags they were. Moments later airport security arrived just in time for this nice gentleman to return. He explained himself and that was that. No big hoopla, this happens nearly everytime I am at the airport, during peak and non-peak hours in various situations, now when you have liberals and their allies start screaming discrimination then I need to put in my two cents worth. These "alleged Christians" and "liberals" represent the fifth column on the war on terror, ie, they will do anything to undermine our security at home. I will not stand by as these Imams begin their false accusations. I have been involved in random security checks and at times asked to move around or even change planes, not the same experience these Imams had but nonetheless it is part of everyday life here in America. So that is my two cents worth. Oh, and this is the greatest nation in the history of humanity. It may not be perfect, but it is superior to anything that I have studied and seen. God bless America! To read the Washington Times article on the Imam farce click here and here. UPDATED: The Wall Street Journal Opinion page has an excellent follow up to the Imam plane backlash. You moonbats and orthopraxic Catholics should read this. (Hat Tip: Hot Air)

Pope Benedict XVI in Turkey

Dr. Robert Moynihan wrote an excellent piece on the Pope's journey into Turkey on Catholic Exchange.
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.

Genocide Recognized in Ukraine

The Ukrainian government has declared that the Communist era 'famine' in 1932-33 where 10 million Ukrainians were killed will be declared a genocide. Joseph Stalin attempted social engineering to subjugate the Ukrainian people to his communist ideals, ie, atheism.
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.
Monday, November 27, 2006

Don't Impose Your Values on Us

It seems that the Catholic Church in England and Wales is telling the current Labour Party to stop imposing your morality of same sex marriages.

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."

Here's the best part.
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.
Friday, November 24, 2006

Questions for Katharine Jefforts-Schori

I saw a great comment posted on Amy Welborn's Open Book that I wanted to share with you all. It is in reference to The Episcopal Church (TEC) new primate, Katharine Jefforts-Schori interview in which when questioned on why TEC is shrinking she references Catholics as having large families and Episcopalians as smarter with smaller families and are more responsible with stewardship of the earth (I'm paraphrasing). So a comment by Terry had some choice questions for Katharine Jefforts-Schori: Bishop Jefferts Schori’s interviews always feature softball (or even NERF-ball) questions. Here are some questions I would like to see a reporter ask her (I can dream can’t I...) In your papers and press releases prior to your election as Presiding Bishop, you made a big point of “el buen Samaritano” and your deanship of the “Good Samaritan School of Theology.” Yet, you have admitted both of these were inflated terms. They have also disappeared from any post-election materials (such as the Episcopal page ‘Who is the Presiding Bishop?’). Why did you lie on your resume? Why were you elected? On paper, even with your inflated claims, you were clearly the least qualified candidate. Were you elected solely because of your gender? During your tenure as Bishop of Nevada, you used the Kairos Prison Ministry materials inappropriately. This organization considers the breaches significant enough that they are suing the Nevada Diocese for copyright violations. Would you care to comment? The Kairos organization feels that their approach of gender-specific ministers for prison populations is both sound Biblically and practically? Would you care to comment. What happened to “el buen Samaritano?” Reporters seem to be very impressed by your experience as an oceanographer and as a pilot. Why are these relevant? During you tenure as Bishop of Nevada, how much did the diocese grow? In that same period how much did the state of Nevada grow? Why do you think the Episcopal percentage is so much lower? Jesus said, “No one comes to the father except through me.” What does that mean? The Episcopal Church has been losing members for many years, why? Do you really think, as you said in a New York Times Magazine interview, that the conservatives (such as Catholics) are “outbreeding” the Episcopalians? Is it not possible that the liberal social gospel and ordination and promotion of gay ministers bears some responsibility for the membership loss? In recent memory, two ministers confessed to breaking their wedding vows, one left his marriage and one did not. Why has one been made an Episcopal bishop and the other has resigned his position in disgrace. Compare and contrast - Vicki Gene Robinson’s marital breakup and Ted Haggard’s fall. You state in the New York Times Magazine interview that we “are all hypocrites.” Isn’t the Christian belief that “we are all sinners?” What is sin? The Episcopal Church in America was at one time named the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. With this Protestant background, how is “deeds-based evangelism” consistent with the Protestant principle of “faith alone?” Why was one of your first acts as Presiding Bishop the formation of a committee to make sure property does not leave the TEC when parishioners leave the TEC? Why does all material related to the issue of gay sexuality refuse to include references to Dr. Gagnon’s work. For example, the study guide prepared by the association of Episcopal Seminary Librarians has expressly excluded Gagnon’s work. This is so, even though Biblical scholars consider it a masterful treatment of the Biblical issues. If the Millennium Development Goals are so important, why is the TEC allocating only seven-tenths of one percent of its budget to them? If the MDGs are a sign of our deeds-based evangelism, how do you justify the buildings, salaries, and budget of the TEC bureaucracy? Why have you singled out eight dioceses as “problem dioceses?” What exactly is the problem? Has the Dennis Canon ever been tested and upheld in a court of law? You and your supporters often criticize the African Bishops for turning a blind eye to polygamy. Where is the evidence of this? You have an “honorary” doctorate from CDSP. The African Bishops, as a group, have a significant number of earned doctorates from major Western theological schools. Why should we listen to your theology rather than theirs? Why is the Episcopal Church in Nigeria one of the fastest growing churches anywhere on earth? Who is Jesus? In what way is threatening churches consistent with deeds-based evangelism? Two churches in Virginia have just proposed leaving the TEC. Their Average Sunday Attendance exceeds that of the entire Nevada Diocese. Shouldn’t their concerns be taken seriously? In your New York Times interview, you discuss the relative childlessness of Episcopalians in terms of stewardship of the Earth’s resources. In light of this stewardship, what percentage of the TEC budget could be reduces if the offices at 815 were moved to say, Topeka or Omaha? In this day of instant communications and the Internet, surely a less expensive and wasteful location could be found for the headquarters of such an environmentally responsible church. Why should I be Episcopalian rather than sleep in on Sunday morning? I understand your mother became an Orthodox Christian in the 1970’s. What was that like? You have criticised some for placing God in a “little box.” Jesus speaks of the “eye of the needle” and the “narrow way.” Compare and contrast your and Jesus’ viewpoints. Why has the outreach to LGBT individuals been such a failure in terms of growing the Episcopal Church? A significant portion of Christianity (Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy) does not allow women to be priests. What is your response to this fact? At your investiture, I noticed that none of the major celebrants nor you had any cross symbols on their vestments. Was this intentional? What is the Resurrection?

Vatican Rethinks Condom Use?

Many people seem to be in arms urging the Vatican to revise the ban on condoms because peoples lives are at stake. First point, people make their own decisions and when they don't listen to the teachings of the Church on chastity and celibacy they are responsible for their own actions. So to imply that the ban on condom usage is the Vatican's fault and millions of lives are at stake is erroneous.
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.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Anti-Christ Watch

Well I haven’t done one of these in roughly 10 months for many reasons, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind so here’s an update from the previous rankings. This Anti-Christ Watch list is more of a speculation on my part from discerning current events in contrast to what has happened in the past. For the record this has absolutely nothing to do with the Book of Revelation because I haven’t really studied it in depth outside of reading through it once. What is an Anti-Christ, in my opinion it is someone who wantonly wants to destroy or create as much havoc and damage to Christendom, which today we call the ‘West’. Whether by subversive or revolutionary means. Only individuals will be named and any type of organizations and creeds are left out such as Free Masons, the Royal Windsor family, and any other serious or crackpot groups or ideas. So here they are, oh, and your own listings in the comments section would be much appreciated because I’m sure I may have missed someone that surely would be a threat to our way of life which is the Christian way. One last thing, the number in parentheses represents the ranking from the last Anti-Christ Watch poll. 1. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Muslim Iran (2). His most recent threats towards Israel, notwithstanding his governments support of the Iraqi terrorists, and the Iranian governments support of Hezbollah are major causes of concern. Combined with the fact that Iran is within 3-5 years of attaining nuclear technology, we are witnessing a prelude to a major escalation of tension in the Middle-East. Though he holds relatively symbolic power in Iran in which the clerics, ie, ayatollahs, hold real power, Ahmadinejad is the face of hate around the world. He is the quintessential bigot anti-Semite who subscribes to a faith of hate that is Islam. In addition he is an Islamic fundamentalist nut job who believes in the most crackpot doomsday prophecies that Islam could produce such as the coming of the 12th Imam which is a historical benchmark forewarning the destruction of the House of War (basically the death of all non-Muslims). And we all thought Tom was nuts with his non-Thetan creed that is Scientology. 2. Sheik Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah (5). His ability to organize a military campaign on a massive scale and stop the Israeli war machine is incredible. Granted that the Israeli’s were battling world opinion with both hands tied behind their backs, this brazen action by Nasrallah is frightening. With his sponsors the whack jobs from Iran willing to hand him millions of petro-dollars hand over fist, military training, and sophisticated missile technology to boot, to eliminate an entire race of people just because the Koran commands this is scary indeed. Did I mention how disconcerting this is? This all goes to show that Nasrallah will not hesitate to use a nuclear device to achieve his ends of the complete genocide of the Jews. This unqualified success of the ability to endure hundreds of deaths on his side and still fight back has caused his standing to shine and thus allows me to raise him from his previous ranking of five to two. 3. Ayatollah Khamenei of Muslim Iran (Supreme Leader). (3) The real power in Iran, but because he isn’t well known outside of the Middle-East he stays still at number three. The latest successor to the evil Ayatollah Khomeni, he holds religious and political authority over the nation of Iran. He has been able to crush dissent inside Iran and simultaneously run a terror network that spans from Afghanistan through Iraq to Lebanon. He masterminded the destruction of the Jewish Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994. Killing 85 Jews and injuring more than 200 others in a bomb blast that brought down a seven story building. He also orchestrated the nuclear program in Iran by recruiting Pakistani scientists such as E.Q. Khan (the ‘father’ of Pakistan’s nuclear program) and has built intimate relations with the Russian Federation by acquiring nuclear technology and disaffected Russian scientists. 4. Mahmoud al-Zahar of Hamas. (1) Leader of the militant Arab terrorist front Hamas gained international attention earlier this year by leading his ‘party’ to parliamentary victory in the alleged ‘Palestinian’ Authority (PA) government. His fall from number one to number four was a result of a combination of factors. The most important of which was the loss of funding for the PA government from their greatest benefactor, the European Union! He still won’t recognize the Jewish state of Israel and would like to erase them from the map entirely. His other mistake was losing the PR battle with his fellow Muslim terrorist Nasrallah during the short lived hot war between Israel and Hezbollah. All he could do was sit on the sidelines and recruit suicide bombers. Nonetheless, this does not diminish the fact that he has a loyal following of millions of Arabs that are willing to give up their lives in senseless homicide attacks against Israel’s right to exist as a people and nation. 5. Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il of Communist North Korea. (4) Having acquired nuclear technology should have been enough for him to jump to the top spot. But when China sneezes North Korea jumps. China, having discovered the power of the almighty dollar, doesn’t want a nuclear war in its backyard so lately they have been reigning in their little puppet. North Korea can theoretically deliver a nuclear device via a missile to Los Angeles but would probably be taken out in the first minute of any war with the United States. Now that the U.S. has declared that an attack on Japan is considered an attack on the U.S., it seems that Kim Jong-Il has acquired a liking to his own life, especially after seeing the verdict handed down to Saddam. But the real threat lies in his ability to create nuclear bombs and how willing he is to provide them to his enemies’ enemies. Even though the U.S. can trace where the nuclear device came from, how smart is the Dear Leader? 6. Osama Bin-Laden. (8) His needs no explanation. The only question is can he still deliver his promises of doom and destruction. Thankfully the U.S. military and intelligence agencies and the Bush doctrine have prevented anymore attacks on U.S. soil or U.S. assets abroad. The question remains if he is even alive. Only a Democratically elected president will be able to answer this question when our defenses are stripped down to the liking of the morally inferior. 7. King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud of Muslim Saudi Arabia. (UR) Has been the regent of Saudi Arabia since 1995 and enthroned as King in 2002 (the prior ruler held the number four spot), he inherits a wealthy absolute monarchy ruled by a militant form of Islam called Salafi, better known in the West as Wahhabi’s (part of the Sunni branch, the other being Shi’ite). He helps in the spread of this militant strand of Islam by funding schools and mosques all over the world. Unfortunately the Bush administration is high on his oil so is willing to overlook the fact that in the Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Virginia the textbooks teach young Muslim children to disrespect Jews and Christians as well as kill them in an act of Jihad if one can. King Abdullah plays a subversive roll since he doesn’t come out and ask for the death of infidels but funds US style maddrassahs all over the West to indoctrinate young Muslim children to hate Jews and Christians. 8. Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr of the Mahdi Army in Iraq. (UR) This guy is your genuine school bully. Insecure and needing to push around the weak among him. Having jumped from out of obscurity by fighting toe-to-toe with U.S. forces (though he gets his butt cleaned out each and every time, his resiliency is impressive), the danger he poses is how long can this young punk deal with the fact that he is no more than number two on the Iraqi Shi’ite clerical hierarchy and whether or not his insecurity will allow him to play in the shadows of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Having murdered all of his main rivals but Sistani, he has rattled his saber by terrorizing all of Baghdad with his Mahdi army. Installing Sharia law and expelling Sunnis and Christians from their homes unless they convert. Will he continue to sit on the sidelines or will he cozy up to his Shi’ite brothers in Iran for military equipment and training for his upstart paramilitary force? If Iraq would fall into civil war he has positioned himself as the most able to keep Iraq together if and when the Democrats force U.S. forces out of Iraq. Then we’ll see what real terror is with a young firebrand that is al-Sadr. 9. Major General Hassan Firuzabadi of Muslim Iran. (UR) The top general in Iran and a highly charismatic and polemic figure. Has tried to provoke the U.S. by running a series of military exercises close to the Iraqi and Afghanistan borders. This demonstration shows the brazenness of the Iranian military leadership and their confidence in their own abilities. Secretly sending missiles to Sheik Nasrallah has proven providential as it caught Israeli (and US?) intelligence off guard once the hot war between Hezbollah and Israel started. 10. President Hu Jintao of Communist China. (10) Riding the rising economic prowess of Communist run China his stature has been eclipsed by Islamic fundamentalism and the cowardice of the liberal media to question his human rights abuses. He has exterminated unknown thousands that have challenged his regime, worse yet, he has sponsored a white paper that seeks to replace (not share) the United States status as a world power. Has secretly funded North Koreas and Pakistan’s nuclear programs (to their own detriment) and continues to conduct economic and military espionage on the United States. The only threat that can come from President Hu Jintao is possibly through proxy agents that are willing to engage the United States at their peril. Having the economic and (growing) military capacity to engage the United States as the decades pass along, China will stumble in grasping this new found power, but domestic problems still could arise to destabilize an increasingly interconnected world. Dishonorable Mentioned: Chechen Muslim rebel leader Shamil Basayev (is he dead yet? How many times can the Russians dispose of this guy?). He masterminded the Moscow apartment bombings killing over 300 Russians; he organized the Beslan children massacre, as well as numerous acts of terror on Russian soil. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York can accelerate the downfall of the United States by winning the 2008 presidency and to begin work on her Socialist agenda of Medicaid, expand bureaucratic governments, and continue to the downfall of the US educational system. Plus she’s married to Slick Willie. Former President Bill Clinton could someday become Secretary-General of the United Nations, though at the moment this seems a bit far off, but he is young. If his wife becomes president we could be in for another 4-8 years of soap opera television that will only accelerate this countries slouch towards Gomorrah. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is a tin pot demagogue, hence why he’s dishonorably mentioned. But due to the US reliance on his oil he can still do some economic damage as well as continue his effective PR campaign of vilifying the US to the world. Former President Jimmy Carter just seems to extend his half-life each year doesn’t he? His nonsensical diatribes towards every US president (including Slick Willies) continue to debase American politics to the rest of the world. The liberal Medias love affair with this guy is incredible. He is arguably the WORSE president of the 20th century. He is relative harmless but due to his political stature can still do damage to our great democratic experiment by his continual espousal of failed socialist principles that continue to gain traction by the liberal media. Republican strategist Pat Buchanan, (the GOP answer to Howard Dean) would somebody please appoint him as an ambassador to some third-world country just so we don’t have to listen to this guy. I’ll admit, he’s only here because I simply don’t like his illogical worldview. Senator Barak Obama of Illinois. He is an advocate for killing babies. He is charismatic, charming, and telegenic, so he can make up for his political inexperience by exploiting these traits and overcoming his dismal attitude towards the defenseless and unborn. He is already showing his true francophone colors by advocating for a timetable of withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Has a great reservoir of goodwill on both sides of the political statement, but like Senator Obama, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, ie, he advocates for the murder of innocent unborn children. Up and Coming potential disasters: Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy is flirting with raising taxes and liberalizing abortion laws. Fortunately, like France, his world stature is non-existent but he could be the Hugo Chavez of Europe. President Evo Morales of Bolivia. If he had oil, you would have heard of him by now. He is just as polemic and a socialist nut job as Hugo, but without that black gold. French presidential candidate Segolene Royal of the Socialist Party. She will carry the socialist banner of the fifth republic where Chirac is leaving off. Chirac continued the great French tradition of being a completely unimportant country yet able to annoy the United States to no end. With an ally such as France, who needs enemies? If Segolene Royal is able to beat her challenger (likely Nicolas Sarkozy) she will have the western European media at her fingertips as the embodiment of Marianne. Next UN General-Secretary Ban ki-Moon of South Korea. Relatively little is known of this paper pusher, but if he reflects anything that is the university-educated Korean populace of violently anti-American, we could have another Kofi Annan, but on steroids at the head of the UN. The upside is that President Bill Clinton will have to wait a few more years again. General Guo Boxiong of Communist run China. China’s top general and one of the main protagonists behind the crushing of the Democratic movement at Tiananmen Square. Again not much is known of this shadowy character but with nuclear weapons and millions of red Chinese at his command, he poses a potential threat with his adherence to the godless creed of communism. Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov of the Russian Federation could become the next president of Russia. Granted I really don't know much about this guy, but if he continues the horrible policies of President Putin of aiding America's sworn enemies in acquiring nuclear technology then that would be enough for me to vault him into the top-10. Dissipating Disasters: These guys are fading away, but still able to make waves. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is a known anti-Semite and ardent socialist. His dream of making the US succumb to UN authority failed miserably, but because of the worldwide megaphone that is the UN his word still carries some weight when he disparages the US efforts around the world. President Jacque Chirac of France still annoys me. His funding of the PA and his slavish platitudes of homicide bombers is disgraceful. His failure in containing the first French Intifada pretty much turned him into a lame-duck president… sacre blah! President Vladimir Putin of Russia has been aiding and abetting the Iranians in their pursuit of nuclear technology. We can’t do much here since he’s duped President Bush into being his good ole boy. If he adheres to the terms of the constitution to the maximum of two terms in office, he’s safely away in some dacha in the Crimea for the rest of his days. Nice view from their once the Chechens get some of that Iranian nuclear technology as they level Moscow. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany lost the election to Angela Merkel thus leaving a vacuum of hating Americans all to Chirac. **SIGH** I’m really not going to miss him. He turned into a violent anti-American during his last term and has cooperated with the French of all people to undermine US authority in the near-abroad of Europe. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts represents what’s wrong with Catholic politicians as they leave their faith at home and transform into Karl Marx while in office. Good thing he can’t keep his mouth shut, but he basically rendered himself out of the 2008 presidential elections by calling our military ‘stupid’. I’d add Mario Cuomo, but that would be giving him too much credit.
Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pro Multis = For Many

The Vatican has spoken. All American translations of the Eucharistic Prayer should reflect the correct translation of pro multis, which means "for many".
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.

Foundation for Life Banquet 2006

This past Saturday evening the Foundation for Life held their 30th Anniversary Banquet to benefit the Maternal Assistant Program. This was their most successful banquet since the inception of Foundation for Life. The banquet benefits mothers and their babies. Foundation for Life is a pro-life non-profit organization that was established to fight for the underrepresented such as the unborn and mothers. On the heals of the disastrous Supreme Court decision of legalizing abortion through Roe v. Wade, the Foundation for Life has created the Maternal Assistance Program that offers emergency and medical aid to expectant mothers. The Maternal Assistance Program assists in shelter, food and clothing, maternity and baby items, transportation, pregnancy testing, physician consultations, prenatal care, ultrasound, and many more social service assistance. The Maternal Assistance Program offers sophisticated services that Planned Parenthood would never offer such as an ultrasound and natal care. The Maternal Assistance Program is another example of the Culture of Life battling the Culture of Death. The 2006 banquet had nationally acclaimed commentator Ann Coulter as their guest speaker with Texas State Senator-elect Dan Patrick as Master of Ceremonies. The banquet honored Matthew Lenz, MD. Many of Houstons spiritual and political heavyweights attended the banquet uniting in their support of Foundation for Life. To learn more about Foundation for Life click here. To learn more about Foundation for Life's Maternal Assistance Program click here.
Friday, November 17, 2006

Jeremiah and Carol Alvarado

609 BC... ...The armies of Babylon were devastating the countryside of Judah. One by one the towns and villages of Judah were falling under the control of the Babylonians. Surely God's chosen people, what was left hiding in Jerusalem, thought that the Lord would protect them regardless of past indiscretions. Even though now the people of Judah were going through the motions of respect for the Lord through rituals and custom, this should have been enough to assuage God Himself to forgive them of their long years of idolatry and infanticide. Long years of prosperity, territorial pettiness, recession into pantheism, and disregard for the promises of the Covenant handed down to Moses allowed the people of Judah to be of the world instead of God. The great prophet Jeremiah forewarned the twelve tribes of Israel but to no avail. Finally, with Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar's armies ready to lay siege to the walls of Jerusalem the people of Judah listened to the prophet's Jeremiah words which today we call the Temple Sermon: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: `This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.' (Jeremiah 7:3-4) AD 2006... ...City of Houston Councilwoman Carol Alvarado is the darling of the up and coming 'Hispanic' political community. Many expect her to run for mayor or even state politics. Known for her political savvy and bounce back-ability she claims to be an avowed Catholic who attends Sunday Mass at St. Alphonsus. "For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers for ever. (Jeremiah 7:5-7) Miss Alvarado is a friend of immigration reform and many other politically correct social causes. Yet she is a proud board member of Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas. So proud of being a board member of these abortion mills that she has it posted twice! One on her personal website and the other on her political website. "Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Ba'al, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, `We are delivered!' -- only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, says the Lord. Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house which is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. (Jeremiah 7:8-14) Miss Alvarado, if you are such an avowed Catholic, why then do you participate in the shedding of innocent blood? Our shared Catholic faith specifically states, "You shall not kill." (Exodus 20:13). What part of "You shall not kill" do you not understand? Since you don't know much about our Catholic faith, let's revisit the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on abortion: 2271: Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae, "by the very commission of the offense, and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society. 2270: Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; (Jeremiah 1:5) Back to 609 BC... ...the prophet Jeremiah prophesized the demise of Judah and the beginning of the Babylonian exile of the Jews. "For the sons of Judah have done evil in my sight, says the Lord; they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it. And they have built the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind. Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when it will no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter: for they will bury in Topheth, because there is no room elsewhere. And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth; and none will frighten them away. And I will make to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride; for the land shall become a waste. (Jeremiah 7:30-34) Miss Alvarado, how Catholic are you now? By the mere fact that you are a board member of Planned Parenthood of Houston and southeast Texas the blood of innocents are on your hands. The death of untold thousands of children stains your conscience. You are contributing to this century’s greatest slaughter of people. The people you explicitly seek to serve.
Thursday, November 16, 2006

Our Lady of Victory, Pray for the Unborn

Houston Coalition for Life had a counselor at this abortion mill as we were praying the Rosary. Prayer warriors from St. Anne's, Annunciation, St. Michael, and Holy Rosary young adult groups and encyclical study groups were on hand praying the Rosary for the unborn (as well as Foundation for Life). Here in this pic we are at the most notorious abortion mill in Houston, on 3601 Fannin Street (I'm holding the camera). For last weeks pic click here.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

USCCB Tip Toes Around Capital Sin for Homosexually Inclined

According to the Associate Press the UCSSB has agreed to new guidelines that says "it is not a sin to be attracted to someone of the same gender only to act on those feelings."

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.

St. Muggs

St. Muggs is the name given to Catholic convert Malcolm Muggeridge by the British press when he converted in 1983. Malcom Muggeridge was an ardent socialist who believed in social engineering and would have been a staunch communist if it hadn't been for his honest and investigative reporting. Working for the Manchester Guardian during the 1930s he was one of the few reporters that shed light on the manmade famines that Joseph Stalin created in his efforts to wipe out Ukrainian Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Stalin wanted to remove, read eliminate, any opposition to his plans of reengineering Soviet society to serve the State. The New York Times, many reporters, and misguided Christians were duped to the point of denying that an actual genocide was occuring in the Ukraine. Not Malcom Muggeridge. This was the beginning of his journey home to the Catholic faith.
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.

Pope To Reflect on Celibacy for Priesthood

...but no changes will take place. The calls for readmitting priests who married it seems has caused the Holy Father to call for top Vatican officials to review the Celibacy rule.
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.

Cardinal Arinze: Bring Latin Back into the Mass

...or at least use it from time to time instead of leaving it in deep freeze.
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.

Charity Refuses Jesus Doll

Because it might offend Jewish or Muslim families who celebrate Christmas.
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.
Monday, November 13, 2006

Imperfect God

According to the Episcopal Church in America (ECUSA). To be fair this is the conclusion given in a comment thread in my previous posting on the Ms. Katharine Jefferts-Schori Interview. A particular reader was debating with Matt and I on whether a woman can become a priest. The reader was basing his argument that our God is a dynamic God and we used the Bible and Tradition argument on why women can’t be priests. Well after some give and take the discussion came to a sudden halt when this reader declared that God is imperfect. Basically this discussion came to a dead end since how can someone hold that God is imperfect yet hold to certain basic truths of Christianity? But then again these truths ‘evolve’ and can progress to meet the needs of the world according to this particular reader. For if God is imperfect then there is no God. It could be rationalized that Jesus may have made a mistake to die for our sins? This particular reader represents what is wrong when you deviate from Sacred Scripture and Tradition by personal analysis. This reader in one fell swoop rendered his Episcopal faith, ie Anglican, marginalized and lumped together with all other Protestant branches instead of being the ‘third trunk’ (along with Catholicism and Orthodoxy) of the Christian tree. Where personal interpretation trumps nearly 2000 years of Tradition, referred to by Protestants as ‘classical’ Christianity or ‘Biblically-based’ Christianity, of the development of Christian theology. To be honest, my own limited knowledge of Christian theology prevents me from developing a coherent argument to this reader’s assault on the perfection of God. But I believe the illustration below perfectly depicts to which god the ECUSA adheres to (Hat Tip: CaNN)

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.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Flash Forward Fun!

Remembering my days at Waimea High on the westside of Kauai and listening to 'Weird Al' Yankovic bustin out the tunes in 'Beat It'. Well just when you thought he would quietly go off into the sunset, 'Weird Al' Yankovic is back with a vengeance in his newest music video "White & Nerdy". Is that Donnie Osmand shaking and baking in the background as Weird Al's sidekick?

What Bible Do You Read?

I personally like the Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition). Before reverting I used to carry the New American Bible, that's until I began to study more about my faith and pray more. I like the Douay-Rheims Bible but all those 'th''s really got me tongue-tied at times. That and leaving my mouth awfully dry. Seriously though, rather readeth withouteth all thoseths 'the''s because it makes for easier reading to me. Oh, and the pic above is what my Bible looks like the RSV Catholic Edition! (I borrowed the poll idea from Michael & Kat)
Thursday, November 9, 2006

Germany Will Disappear in AD 2100

That's my prediction after getting more news that Germany's population tumble is now irreversible. Even taking into account an increase of immigrants coming into Germany, the replacement birth rate is well below required levels for a stable population. The Brussels Journal also predicts that by the year AD 2025 that one third of all births in Europe will be Muslim. This is major concern for Christians in general, specifically for all Americans. We should take notice that within the last 40 years of the European Union (EU) implementing secular-humanist programs ranging from abortion on demand to gutting the educational system of Christianity, the EU has seen a radical drop in their birth rates. Is there a connection? For more on this topic click here. For a more in depth analysis of this click here.

Eliminate the USCCB?

The idea has crossed my mind many times. Besides issuing a pretty poor translation of holy scripture under the name of the New American Bible, the USCCB has become a weak institution that has only added to the poor image of the Catholic Church in America. First of all the USCCB holds no authority whatsoever in the daily lives of Catholics. There is basis for a 'national conference of bishops' anywhere in scripture, tradition, and in the Magisterium. In fact Pope Benedict XVI has said many times there is no legal or canonical reason to have a 'national conference of bishops'. There should be no 'layer' of bureaucracy between the bishops and the Holy See. There wasn't one when Jesus graced us with His presence between Him and the 12 Apostles and there shouldn't be one now. The USCCB is just another bureaucracy that has contributed to many of the social ills affecting American Catholics. It is an easy way for a bishop to hand off difficult decisions to a national body to bury under committees and put off statements that may make a bishop 'uncomfortable' in issuing. Catholic Exchange has a good article on the transition that the USCCB is facing as it meets in Baltimore to commemorate the beautiful Basilica there. For more on this article click here.
Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Marian Warriors

It was a bloody scene this past Saturday morning as I lost track of the number of abortions that took place at the abortion mill on 3601 Fannin Street here in Houston. There were a total of four prayer warriors and one counselor onsite. There were more abortions than usual on this day. I had the counselor take our picture (the fourth prayer warrior showed up a few seconds after this pic was taken). I'm the one that is obscured by a University of St. Thomas student to my left and flanked on my right by a Knight of Columbus.
Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Bishop Rizzotto Retires

I didn't get to know the good Bishop very well, but I heard nothing but good things about him.

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.

For more click here. (Hat Tip: Built on a Rock)

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