In other news, Lourdes experienced their 53,912 consecutive riot-free day.For more on this story from The Brussels Journal click here.
The Christian is not saved by faith alone (Jas 2:14-26), but by grace alone (Eph 2:8-9) through a faith that is not mere belief, but through a faith that is completed by obedience (Rom 1:5, 16:26) and love (Gal 5:6), that is, by keeping the commandments of the Lord (Jn 15:6-10; Gal 5:17-21) and working out salvation in acts of charity and goodwill (Mt 25:31-46; Phil 2:12-13). Indeed, faith is never without works.For the rest of this excellent posting click here.
"...many of today’s young adults are not embracing the hippie ethos of their parents’ generation. Instead, they are embracing traditional morality and religion. Their choice arises not from fear, ignorance, or nostalgia. It springs from an intense and abiding hunger for God, and a deep disillusionment with what they view as the God-substitutes of our post-modern culture."
(Hat Tip: Catholic and Enjoying It!) For the posting click here.
It will be the largest place of worship in Europe, a gigantic three-storey Islamic centre, with schools and other facilities, able to hold at least 40,000 worshippers and up to 70,000 if necessary.You know, I don't mind my fellow Muslims building their mosques in our countries. What I do mind is when we aren't allowed to build our churches in their countries. For more on this story click here.
Joaquin Aguilar Mendez, 25, filed a civil suit in Los Angeles accusing Archbishop Roger M. Mahony of negligence in aiding the plight of a homosexual predator Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera. Cardinal Mahony, also the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City are accused of being partly responsible for sexual battery.
Aguilar alleged the cardinals transferred a Mexican priest to the United States in 1987 despite knowing that he had a record of molesting minors in Mexico.
The details are to disturbing to post on my blog. Of course Cardinal Mahony is denying the allegations. His high-priced Hollywood lawyers are seasoned veterans but in time they will pay the price either here on earth or when they meet their maker.
To read more of this story click here.
To read a blog that keeps the worst bishop in America as honest as possible click here.
The families are being heavily fined; the parents are being jailed; the children are being threatened with being seized and placed in the custody of the state; and families are being forced to flee to Austria and other surrounding countries.(Hat Tip: The Brussels Journal) To read the Brussels Journal posting click here. To read the plight of one family fleeing imprisonment for homeschooling their children click here. UPDATED: European Human Rights Court Denies Appeal of German Homeschooling Family; says the right of the state supersedes that of the parents./LifeSite
A new station premiering on SIRIUS Satellite radio will be an all-Catholic format. SIRIUS satellite radio is a nationwide subscription based radio service that competes with XM satellite radio. The new all-Catholic format will be dubbed The Catholic Channel. It has a lifestyles format with call-in shows, live daily Mass, Notre Dame football, and reflections on current affairs.
The Archdiocese of New York is working in conjunction with SIRIUS satellite radio in establishing this new Catholic channel. EWTN Radio is free online, available in many stations across the United States, and is also part of the SIRIUS lineup of radio stations (available in both the US and Canada).
I do hope that The Catholic Channel does work, but doesn't the Archdiocese of New York need to get permission from the Vatican to use the term 'Catholic'? Maybe they did, but EWTN is named thusly specifically because of this reason.
Nonetheless, here are some programming highlights of The Catholic Channel:
- The Catholic Guy, hosted by Lino Rulli (weekdays, 5-8pm). The 34-year-old Rulli is the Emmy award-winning host and executive producer of the popular TV show Generation Cross and a former TV reporter for the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. With a master's degree in theology and a sometimes off-beat and humorous approach, Rulli has emerged a fan-favorite for younger generations of Catholics.
- Speak Now with Dave and Sue Konig, hosted by Susan and David Konig (weekdays, 12-2pm). She is a former newspaper columnist. He is an award-winning actor and stand-up comedian. They are married with four children and together will focus on married life, parenting and the issues facing today's families.
- Sleepless With SIRIUS, hosted by Father Paul Keenan (weekdays, 11pm-3am). Fr. Keenan, an experienced author and radio broadcaster, will help those who are seeking to add more meaning and purpose to their lives, and will be a comforting and understanding companion to those who are facing life's daily struggles and concerns.
- Live daily Mass from St. Patrick's Cathedral (weekdays, 8-8:30am).
- Notre Dame Athletics. SIRIUS is the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the University of Notre Dame and will air all Fighting Irish football and basketball broadcasts on The Catholic Channel.
(Hat Tip: Whispers in the Loggia)
For the Whispers in the Loggia posting click here.
For the news release click here.
Updated: The Catholic Channel has suspended their launch until Cardinal Edward Egan recuperates from a recent knee replacement surgery, or so says his spokesman. This will be for a 'few weeks', until Cardinal Egan can actively participate like he wants to with The Catholic Channel./Whispers in the Loggia
"the victory of love over hate and evil".To read further click here.
"It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the pope to apologise for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries."This is in reference to the Muslim invasion and occupation of Spain for approximately 700 years where forced conversions, second class citizenship, rape, and enslavement were implemented on the Christian, mostly Catholic, population of Spain. Mr. Aznar also added:
"We are living in a time of war... It's them or us. The West did not attack Islam, it was they who attacked us." "We must face up to an Islam that is ambitious, that is radical and that influences the Muslim world, a fundamentalist Islam that we must confront because we don't have any choice." "We are constantly under attack and we must defend ourselves,"For more on this article click here. UPDATE: For a more comprehensive article on the Aznar statement click here.
To read more of Cardinal Pell and his concerns about Islam click here.
The Pope and Pell articulate an emerging Catholic view about Islam. They believe the core issues are not being confronted: the link between Islam and the state and between Islam and violence. The test is whether Islam accepts religious tolerance and whether it rejects violence. They believe Islamic doctrine and practice in parts of the world today demands such a discussion... Turning to the pessimistic side, Pell says: "In my own reading of the Koran I began to note down the invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages."
The more muscular stance of the Catholic Church can help if it encourages genuine dialogue. Yet it will be seriously counter-productive if it damages relations between two great religions...
'The ill-chosen words of Pope Benedict XVI and the deranged response of Muslim extremists occupy two different planes of reality. That world leaders and opinion writers have said fairly little about the latter reflects not the extremists' legitimacy but merely their predictability. Carried out by a tiny splinter of the world's billion Muslims, these events get little analysis only because there's not much to say.'First of all, when well-educated, upper-middle class Pakistani Muslims in Karachi are ‘happy’ that 9/11 occurred and would be willing to die as suicide bombers, this is not a ‘tiny splinter’ of the world’s ‘billion’ Muslims. Not to mention that the 21 perpetrators of 9/11 were well educated Muslims from well-to-do Muslim families.
'With apparently unlimited free time on their hands, the fanatics greeted the pope's words with the equivalent of a small war. They may have murdered a nun caring for sick children in Somalia. They unquestionably firebombed five churches in the West Bank, burned a papal effigy in Iraq and inspired Gaza's "Army of Guidance" to vow vengeance upon Christian targets. Is it news that a cancerous Muslim minority commits crimes under the pretext of faith?'‘Cancerous Muslim minority’ is wrong again. When a plurality of Muslims believe the Jews were behind the 9/11 bombings, then 'minority' is not the apt word to use here.
'Does it surprise anyone that irrational people answer ideas with violence? Finally, is there the slightest chance that fanatics care about the contempt they inspire in Westerners, including most Western Muslims? All this is why so much attention has flowed instead toward the less serious and more forgivable gaffe by the pope. As he's consistently shown, Pope Benedict reveres verbal dialogue. So while it may not be proportional, analysis of how Benedict erred is likely to be more fruitful. Plenty of other political and religious leaders, after all, may want to avoid his mistakes.'Pope Benedict XVI’s lecture at the University of Regensburg was a philosophical and theological analysis of the risk the world takes of separating reason from faith.
'he pontiff erred in two ways: badly choosing his public words in a time of world conflict, and then possibly being disingenuous about why he chose them.'Number one: let’s assume that the editor has been around for say 40-45 years. The Catholic Church has been dealing with Islam for roughly 1300 years since Mohammad’s Muslim hordes swept into the then Christian Middle-East. I believe 1300 years of Church history truncates 40-45 years of an unlearned editor in relation to Church history, theology, philosophy, and religious current affairs. Number two: Pope Benedict XVI is a gentle man with a heart of gold. A man of his stature doesn’t arrive at the Throne of St. Peter through lies and deceit. He was ‘sorry’ about the reaction to his lecture. Enough said.
'Within Benedict's long, cerebral speech to Bavarian academics, the quote that triggered the uproar indeed seems oddly aggressive. "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman," it begins. The line fails to support any of the pope's later points. Theological tradition, meanwhile, does include the technique of making provocative statements by citing others — then safely distancing oneself from the words. That's what the pontiff said of the Byzantine quote in his speech.'Um, what do you know of theological tradition. Since when is free speech only applicable to everything else on the planet except ‘theological tradition’?
'It's impossible to know what he really intended when he crowbarred an ancient indictment of all Islam into his dense, scholarly talk. Also unknowable is why he reportedly brushed off warnings about the quote from colleagues.'Who, and when, and where did these ‘colleagues’ warn the Holy Father? Where do you get your information? Hearsay does not count as fact. Rumor mongering does not count as fact. Since when did anything but the facts become front page news and dissertation?
'At worst, Benedict is guilty of impolitic speech. It just doesn't compare to the blood and fear spread by those enraged by his words. Benedict, though, is a participant in the culture of free speech and conscience. Recognizing that he'd spoken badly, the pontiff chose to honor free speech's other side. He amended his words with a public apology.'
By the way, the proper to refer to 'Benedict' is Pope Benedict XVI. Have some respect.
This is not the only time the Houston Chronicle editorial page has gotten mostly everything wrong about religion, Christianity in particular.
"The pope has a Muslim problem all right. It is the hammering that Christian communities have been taking for years and are getting now in Islamic countries all over the world, but especially in the Middle East."He goes further to state:
"Across the region (with some exceptions), non-Islamic minorities--which by and large means Christian minorities--are being driven out through physical abuse, legal discrimination, murder and the destruction or confiscation of homes, businesses and churches. Call it religious cleansing. It is a political strategy that would eventually give Iran, Iraq, Egypt and the Holy Lands of Palestine a cultural homogeneity that has never existed in human history, before or after Christ."There is much more to read. The point is that the mainstream media (MSM) has hardly, if ever, reported on the thousands of Muslim atrocities toward non-Muslim minorities. Thanks to the growth of the new media, ie, talk radio, the internet, and podcasting, these issues are no longer reserved for small conservative and religious magazines stored away in the deep recesses of libraries everywhere. They are front and center and it is amazing how the MSM still ignores the obvious. Muslim religious cleansing has gone on for years among many religions, but not as prevalent, systematic, and destructive as the alleged 'religion of peace' has done throughout its history, ever more so in today's current affairs. To read more about this topic click here. *CORRECTION: Approximately 2300 people were prosecuted, not 100 as originally stated.
Is the pope wrong to imply--in a rather roundabout way--that there is today something amiss inside Islam, as a community of believers sharing one faith and a long, common cultural tradition? There probably isn't a single liberal editor at a major American or European paper who doesn't think that there is something a little dysfunctional--a disposition that tolerates, if not encourages and admires, violence as expression of religious outrage--among young Muslim males from Northern Europe to Indonesia... Many Muslims know it too, even if they are not inclined to say so publicly--it's often dangerous and always enormously difficult for believing and nonbelieving Muslims to aggressively critique their own when they know non-Muslims are listening. Self-described Muslim intellectuals (often meaning the traditionally devout, clerics) really have a hard time engaging in self-criticism that fortifies non-Muslim critiques of Islamic society... And self-confidence is a huge problem. Militarily triumphant in the past, traditional Muslims had an easier time being tolerant toward the minorities in their midst; they certainly were unperturbed by the theological arguments and invective put forth by practitioners of a superseded faith. As many believing Muslims have become less self-confident--and the world around them has become ever more incongruent with the imagined, pure world of early Islam, when the faithful were unceasingly victorious because they were more perfect in their submission to God's will--they have become more acutely conscious and aggressive about their Muslim identity. Clerics in London, Copenhagen, Cairo or Tehran dictating terms about the appropriate comportment of non-Muslims toward believers has naturally followed... Pope Benedict nailed two facts about Islam that are contributing factors to the faith's very rough entry into modernity. The prophet Muhammad, the model for all Muslims, established the faith through war and conquest. His immediate successors, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, whom traditional and radical Muslims cherish, reinforced Islam's identity as a victorious faith through the rapid creation of a world empire...It would be wise to be forthright and sincere on both sides of the divide rather than let Muslims shut down dialogue with a childish reaction of vitriolic language and senseless violence. To read the WSJ article in full click here.
Troy Polamalu, a brother in Christ, alter christus. To read the rest of the article click here.
Updated (2-2-2009 A.D.): Mr. Troy Polamalu converted to Greek Orthodox two years ago. His wife is a Greek Orthodox and he is just as devout, if not more so!
For more click here.
I read a proverb which is very popular in some countries: “God owns the world, but he rents it out to the brave”, and it made me think.
What are you waiting for? The difficulties you have met have made you shrink back, and you have become “prudent, moderate, and objective”.
Remember that you have always despised those terms, when they became synonyms for cowardly, fainthearted, and comfort-seeking. --St. Josemaría Escrivá (Furrow #99, 101)
"For 12 years I wandered in the wilderness, went through a divorce and struggled with questions about my direction. Then suddenly and movingly, I had a revelation about the connection between the work I was doing as a public servant and my formative teachings,"Unfortunately he doesn’t practice his faith in public office. The article says:
"The pickle that some of these liberal policymakers find themselves in is, they know that faith is important to people, but when they get pinned down on their policy positions that are inconsistent with the tenets of their faith, they start hedging and talking about other factors in their decision."St. Thomas More was beheaded by King Henry VIII because he would not acknowledge the wedding between the King and his mistress Anne Boleyn and indirectly for not recognizing King Henry VIII as ‘supreme head’ of the Church in England. St. Thomas More was a brilliant lawyer, former Chancellor of England, a knight, author, was fluent in Latin and Greek, and a martyr for his Catholic faith. St. Thomas More refused to compromise his faith for public favor. Unlike John Kerry who would rather ‘abort’ the pro-life teachings of Catholicism for public favor. To read Kerry’s renewal of faith click here. To read Kerry’s compromise of faith click here. To read more about St. Thomas More click here.
"At this time I wish also to add that I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims,"Christian charity as practiced by the vicar of Christ. And now for the Muslim response.
"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."The Muslim community's reaction is as follows:
Religious leader Ali Badda Kolu said the Pope's comments represented what he called an "abhorrent, hostile and prejudiced point of view".So are they now going to riot in the streets? Burn our churches? Behead our children? Rape our mothers and daughters? Oh, they already do all that. When will the Muslim community begin to engage with the rest of us in a civilized manner? When will they stop reacting and start addressing the many problems within their faith? It may have already started with this brave woman discussing the many issues prevalent in the Islamic world, ie, Muslim community. To read more about the Muslim reaction to our Popes speech click here. To view the video of the Muslim community discussing their problems click here. For the Catholic League's response to unwarranted Muslim anger click here. To read an example of American appeasement to Muslim rage click here.
"I believe this treaty should be linked to Christianity and God because Christianity was decisive in the formation of Europe."Recently referendums in the Netherlands and France sent the new constitution down into defeat for various reasons, one minor reason being that there is no reference to Christianity at all in the new European Union (EU) constitution. Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church lobbied greatly for inclusion of a reference to the Christian heritage of Europe and the EU only referred to Christianity as "inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe". Germany now joins Poland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Ireland as countries wanting an explicit reference to the 1600 years of Christianity that helped form modern Europe today. Only the United Kingdom, Sweden, and of course France oppose such a measure. Let us pray that the EU will allow this to be enshrined in their new constitution. Words and symbols carry powerful meanings, and to deny 1600 years of Christianity is historically wrong. To read this article click here.
Thomas À Kempis (1380-1471) had a wide knowledge of the Scriptures and classical philosophy, and although most of his life was spent in a Dutch monastery, he also possessed a deep understanding of human nature. His acquired wisdom convinced him of man's complete dependence on God's love and the empty futility of life without it.There are too many passages that I want to share, so I'll just quote the following since this struck me because of its sheer simplicity:
There are two wings that raise a man above earthly things – simplicity and purity. Simplicity must inspire his purpose, and purity his affection. Simplicity reaches out after God; purity discovers and enjoys Him. No good deed will prove an obstacle to you if you are inwardly free from uncontrolled desire. And if you are free from uncontrolled desires, and seek nothing but the Will of God and the good of your neighbor, you will enjoy this inner freedom. If your heart be right, the every created thing will become for you a mirror of life and a book of holy teaching. For there is nothing created so small and mean that it does not reflect the goodness of God.For a soft copy of the book I am reading click here.
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- What's Going On
- Nappy-Nap Time
- Lourdes Reports 53,912th Riot-Free Day
- Muslims Continue Ramadan Rioting in Europe
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Books I Recommend
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas À Kempis
- 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
- Holy Bible
- A History of Christendom Vols. 1, 2, & 4 by Warren H. Carroll
- Understanding Medjugorje: Heavenly Visions or Religious Illusion? by Donal Anthony Foley
- The Courage to be Catholic by George Weigel
- God's Choice by George Weigel
- Clash of Civilizations by Samuel P. Huntington
- Fr. Tim Finigan
- Richard Collins
- Pro Ecclesia by Jay Anderson
- Father Philip Neri Powell, OP
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- Thomas Peters
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