Thursday, March 31, 2011

Go get yourself some Campbell soup to thank them

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Campbell Soup drops ties with corporation that uses fetal tissue to test flavors

Scary

Surge in Satanism sparks rise in demand for exorcists, says Catholic Church - Telegraph

Short article on keeping sex abuse in perspective

Click here.

Pakistan thanks Pope, but is it enough?

According to this article, Pakistan is thanking the pope for his response to the Terry Jones incident where he was planning on burning a Qur'an in the US. The pope decried the action. Now Pakistan is thanking the pope and wants further action taken to prevent this type of thing from happening.

But my question is, is Pakistan doing enough? I think the best way they can thank the pope is to ensure the safety of Christian in their country. There have been many instances of violence against Christians in Pakistan and reports that the government sometimes turns a blind eye. A particularly infamous case was that of Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian in Pakistan's government who was assassinated. See my article on that incident here.

Here's the article I'm referring to above:

Pakistan will write to Pope Benedict XVI and the Interpol for taking appropriate action against controversial US pastor | MBPE Capital

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

History Channel Presents the Vatican

A program aired tonight called "Secret Access: The Vatican" on the History Channel from 9pm to 11pm EST. I'm not sure if it aired in Canada, because I did not see it in local listings. Looks like a great show that I'd love to watch.

Here's a couple of clips to whet your appetite:





Another great documentary on the Vatican was produced by National Geographic several years ago. That can be purchased on Amazon, on the link below:

CBC's The National addresses Bias in its "Voting Compass"

A few days ago, I wrote an article about my feeling that the CBC Voting Compass for the upcoming election is biased.

Tonight, on the CBC National News, they did a story on the voting compass addressing this very issue. They say so far 800,000 people have taken the test. Oddly, the creators of the site maintain that this tool is not meant to show them how to vote, but rather is simply to show them where the parties stand.

During the piece, Ioanna Roumeliotis interviewed some students to see if they were surprised. Many were. Some thought they were Conservative, others thought they were NDP. However, of all the people whose response was different than expected, none turned out to be Conservative. Most of the time, they were told they were Liberal.

After the main report, Peter Mansbridge said the CBC asked party strategists from each party to do the test and evaluate it. He said they will air their response sometime later this week. That should be something to look forward to.

As I mentioned before, the main reason this is concerning to Catholics is that we are obliged to vote for good moral decisions, by attempting to reduce or eliminate things like abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic destruction of any kind, sexual morals, etc. We must also strive to keep a government which promotes the common human good and offers appropriate social services. However, the first category trumps the second.

Parental notification reduces abortions

More here.

Another attack on a Christian Church in Pakistan

Catholic Christians in Pakistan are being persecuted because of the actions of American Terry Jones, a cult-like Protestant pastor, who threatened to burn a Qur'an. It's important to note that Terry Jones didn't actually go through with his plan. A group of 6 or 7 Muslim bandits came to St. Thomas's Church, about 45 km from Islamabad. They threw rocks to damage the church and tried to burn the door down to enter the church. They were also armed, but did not fire their weapons. Many believe this is because there is security nearby and they would have been alerted. Let's pray that this type of nonsensical violence ends.

Article here.

Pope John Paul II's beatification will be a BIG event

Check out this link for more information:

300,000 expected for each public event at beatification of John Paul II : Catholic Culture


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Canada Votes Compass is a SHAM!

The following post does not deal directly with a Catholic issue, but I think it is important nonetheless. Catholics are morally obliged to vote in a certain way and there are some issues which are more important than others. This is the reasoning behind Catholic Answers' Voting Guide for Serious Catholics, for example.

How to vote is especially important to Canadians as there will be a federal election on May 2 of this year. To help everyone decide which party best matches his or her belief system, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada's national and largest broadcaster, has set up a handy site called Canada Votes 2011 Compass. This "compass" is a series of 30 questions to determine the user's best match. Each question has 5 possible responses, for example ranging between "strongly agree" and "strongly disagree", or between "never" and "always".

However, I have a major beef with the survey on the website. In my opinion, it is biased and non-representative. In one particular commercial, George Stroumboulopoulos says "you may be surprised" at the results. I think there is more to his statement than you might think.

Let's analyze the questions a little. First of all, you can give your riding and postal code, which makes me wonder who receives this information once it's completed.

Here are the questions plus my analysis:

1. All Canadian troops should be pulled out of Afghanistan immediately
I doubt anyone would say they want troops to stay IN Afghanistan... Everyone wants them to return home. There is no indication of any possible negative side effect to this action, such as creating an unstable country which breed more terrorists.

2. Canada should increase its military presence in the arctic
Again, I'm sure no one is really that interested in increases military presence anywhere. No downside is shown for this, such as threats to Canadian sovereignty, the possibility of attack from the North, etc. Obviously if you say you are against increase military, that is a strike against the Conservatives.


3. How much should the government spend on military?
Almost the same as 1 & 2. Again, obviously biased against Conservatives. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need military. The question should instead be "How much do you value being protected from terrorists and enemy threats from abroad"


4. When there is an economic problem, government spending usually makes it worse. - agree or disagree
Notice how this question is phrased in the negative? It makes the question more confusing. In order for someone to agree with this statement, they must think government spending does harm. However, anyone who thinks government spending has NO effect or a good effect, will disagree. If it were flipped around and said "When there is an economic problem, government spending usually makes it better." I would say a lot of people would disagree. The way this is phrased is clearly biased to make most people respond that government spending is a good thing. Plus, there is no context or alternatives. Instead it should ask if government spending is BETTER than business spending, because that's comparing it to something else. Anyway who says they disagree that government spending will make it worse would be put closer to Liberal or NDP, and it seems likely that people would vote for that given how it's phrased. In the very least, it should be phrased objectively, such as "What effect does government spending have on economic problems"


5. The federal budget deficit should be reduced, even if it leads to fewer public services
How interesting. All of a sudden, we have context and comparisons. Prior to this, no context was necessary. The question could have simply read "the federal budget deficit should be reduced", but this one actually says what effect that would have. But obviously the secondary clause is added to get people to disagree with the statement and make them lean toward the Liberal or NDP. Also, this could be seen as a direct attack on the Conservative Party. They released a budget which would eliminate the deficit in 5 years. This question is making the case that reducing the deficit will entail eliminating services. Who wrote this question, Jack Layton?


6. Canada should seek closer economic relations with the USA
I don't really have any issues with this question, but something tells me all parties would want this anyway, however it's generally the Conservatives who look for ties with the US. No comment on this one.


7. The environmental damage caused by the Alberta oil sands industry is exaggerated
There is no attempt to hide the bias in this question. Even from a grammatical stand-point, this sentence makes no sense. The damage is exaggerated? By whom? It doesn't say the reports of damage or studies of damage or anything like that, but simply the "damage" has been exaggerated?

But let's assume for a minute it means what we've been led to believe about the oil sands causing environmental damage is simply an exaggeration. Obviously saying you agree would make the system think you are a Conservative. However, I doubt many people would even say this, unless they are a conspiracy theorist. How am I competent to know how much environmental damage is being caused by the oil sands industry? Plus, this question is again biased. An unbiased question would say something like "Do the economic benefits of the Alberta oil sands (e.g. thousands of jobs) outweigh the environmental impact". As it is, there is once again no context. No one likes pollution, so most people would be inclined to say it is not exaggerated.


8. Canada should adopt a carbon tax
This question is more straight-forward. I think most people know where they stand on this issue. It is fairly unbiased because while it doesn't say a carbon tax would increase taxes and make like more expensive, it also doesn't say it will help the environment. So I give this question a pass.


9. Environmental regulation should be stricter even if it leads to consumers having to pay higher prices
This one is also good. On one hand, people want stricter regulations, but they also mention the downside so people can see the benefits and disadvantages


10. How much of a role should the private sector have in health care?
This question is a little misleading. It is phrased in such a way as to make it sound like health care would be run by corporations with maybe some government regulations, and of course corporations are always greedy multinational conglomerates. The private sector would not really have a role in public health care, but would instead be a separate system altogether, sort of like dental health is right now. The question makes it sound like should we get greedy, power-hungry executives to run our health care. What it should ask is if a private health care system should be allowed to run alongside the public one which will not receive public funding and can be used to alleviate strain on the public system.

11. The government should fund daycare instead of giving money directly to parents.
No comment


12. It should be easier to apply for employment insurance
I doubt anyone wants it to be hard to apply for EI. But if you agree, you are moving toward Liberal or NDP. Again, biased I think.


13. Speaking English or French should be a requirement for immigration to Canada.
No comment.

14. How many new immigrants should Canada admit?
I have a feeling those who say fewer will move closer to Conservative and those who say more will be more to the left. However, I'm not sure how this is relevant to this election...


15. How much should be done to accommodate religious minorities in Canada?
I'm sure most people would say the same or more for this question. Who would say we shouldn't accommodate them? But I also think if you say you should accommodate them you would be considered leftist...


16. Violent young offenders should be sentenced as adults
Not too sure about this one either. If you agree, I guess that gets your vote for Conservative. Not sure the effect of this...

17. The long gun registry should be scrapped
Fairly unbiased


18. Possession of marijuana should be a criminal offense
Again, fairly straightforward without bias or interpretation. That's my opinion anyway.


19. The government should make it easier for a woman to get an abortion.
This one, although controversial, will offer good guidelines. I think if you are pro-life you will strongly disagree and if you are pro-abortion, you will agree. So again, I don't see much bias here. One irony though is that although theoretically the Conservatives are usually pro-life, they have not moved much to enact measures to curtail or end abortion. But I'm sure this question will determine if you are more liberal or conservative. Hopefully if the Conservatives get a majority, they will try to curb abortion.

20. Marriage should only be between a man and a woman
Again, this is fairly unbiased and straight-forward. I think most people know where they stand on this issue.


21. If they so wish, terminally ill patients should be able to end their own lives with medical assistance.
I think this question is somewhat biased. It perpetuates the myth that people who end their own lives are competent to make such a decision. Would we ask a question "Should suicidal people be able to end their own lives with medical assistance". Most people of course would say no. Plus, they say "terminally ill patient". Of course, once enacted, this law could not be restricted to that group of people. It would eventually include people who are depressed, have some affliction, etc. Basically doctor-assisted suicide would be legal. None of this is represented in the question.


22. The Senate should be abolished
This seems fairly straight-forward. I have no idea where this would place someone politically.

23. Political parties should no longer receive government funding.
Again, seems unbiased, but I don't have much information on this.


24. Only those who speak both English and French should be appointed to the Supreme Court
Seem unbiased. I guess those who agree would probably be aligning themselves with the Bloc Quebecois (BQ) a bit more.


25. The federal government should have a say when it comes to decisions about culture in Quebec.
Again, looks like a BQ or non-BQ question.

26. Quebec should be formally recognized as a nation in the Constitution
Not sure how this would work out, but it seems like another BQ / non-BQ question.


27. Quebec should become an independent state
Another.


28. Workers should contribute more to their government pension plan (CPP/RRQ) so that it can offer bigger pensions.
This seems to offer pro and con - pro: more pension, con: more contribution. Most of the questions do not offer clarification, so it seems odd that this one does. It shows the benefits of contributing more to CPP, therefore increasing the chance that someone would select it, and be considered NDP or Liberal.

29. How much should wealthier people pay in taxes?
Compare this to the previous question and notice the bias. Seriously, who sits down and says "man, I really wish those wealthy millionaires didn't have to pay as much in taxes. If only their tax rates were lower!" No one ever says that, and the question offers no potential benefit to this, such as rich people actually staying in Canada, investing in Canada, helping Canada grow, hiring workers, etc. Without this context, most people will say "rich" people should pay more or much more in taxes, and thus make them seem more Liberal or NDP.


30. ow much tax should corporations pay?
The only thing more common than bashing rich people is bashing "corporations", you know those blood thirsty organizations which lack any form of morality and use people as slaves to benefit a few rich people who laugh at everyone's misfortune? This question ONCE AGAIN has absolutely no context. Most people, who are not business owners will say corporations should pay way more taxes. Stop taxing us, and tax companies more. Companies earn millions of dollars, but we only earn enough to survive. That's how people think. A more balanced question would look like "How much should corporations pay in taxes, recognizing that the lower their taxes are, the more likely they will remain in Canada, create jobs, and employ more people."


And that's all 30 questions. As you can see, they are all very biased. Unless you are a war-loving, corporate fat-cat, who cares nothing for the plight of innocent people, the system will indicate that you should vote for some leftist party, instead of the Conservatives. These questions are not at all unbiased, but worse is that this whole system is paid for by tax-payers dollars of which the CBC receives 1 billion each year. The only thing I can see this being used as is a tool to convert possible conservative voters into liberal or ndp voters.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pope meets with Manitoba First Nations Chief

Interesting article and photo:

dailygleaner.com - Manitoba chief discusses water needs with Pope

The Irony of Confession Opponents

Most non-Catholics and even some Catholics believe that confession is at best a embarrassing event that Catholics must endure, and at worst a conspiracy set up by the Church to stick its nose in other peoples' business. However, faithful Catholics know the benefits.

Ironically though, not many people seem to have an issue about showing the faces of people who have been arrested for certain crimes. It doesn't even matter if they are convicted or not, they are paraded through the court with multiple cameras zoomed in on their face. At least during confession a person is admitting his guilt, which is more than someone who is simply under arrest.

Once the court case starts, we hear all the gory details of whatever the crime may have been. It's a forced public confession. Yet you will rarely hear anyone say this is outrageous or consider this a ploy by citizens to stick their noses where they don't belong.

Let's compare this to confession. Confession is done in private, there is no video or audio equipment to record the proceedings. A penitent may choose to conceal his identity from the priest or even visit a different church. The Seal of the Confessional ensures that the utmost secrecy is maintained at all times, even if the priest is threatened with death.

Imagine for a minute if a Catholic penitent was treated the same as an accused person in a criminal court. He would be forced to confess in public to everyone around. It would be broadcast on television and radio, etc. How would people react? This would be so much more embarrassing than confession ever could be.

Do we believe that public sins (i.e. crimes) are not as bad as private sins? If we are real Christians, our main objective is to obey the moral law, regardless of the civil law. Therefore, civil law is inferior to moral law. So what happens in a court of law cannot be more serious than what could happen in a confessional.

I believe that if the civil court was as private and anonymous as the confessional, there would in fact be protest in the opposite direction, i.e. people would say we are kept in the dark about what is happening and that the process needs to be made more public. However, on the other hand, confession is seen as a violation of privacy! Seems to me, privacy is only violated if the protester isn't there to see what they are speaking about.

I want to note that perhaps some circumstances, it is necessary to publish the identity of a convicted criminal, and in even rarer circumstances it might be important to broadcast the name of an accused, but generally speaking I do not believe the general public is on a need-to-know basis for these things.

However, the point of my article is not how people should be treated in civil court, but rather the irony of how people feel about it versus the confessional.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Corapi accuser promised to ‘destroy’ priest after being fired: claim"

That's the headline from Life Site News. They are reporting some new information on the Fr. John Corapi situation. Much of it is unspecific, but it offers some new insight. Read the article here.

Allowed to Eat Meat Today

In some places, eating meat is prohibited for Catholics on Fridays during Lent. In other countries, it is an act of penance that many participate in. However, today, though it is Friday, it is not required, because it is the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25, 2011):

Canon 1251 Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless (nisi) they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

While the USCCB mandates abstaining on Fridays during Lent, the CCCB makes it optional.

4th Youngest Bishop head of Eastern Catholic Church

Just 2 weeks ago, I published an article showing the 10 youngest Catholic bishops in the World. Today I received news that the fourth youngest, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, has been elected as the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (sometimes simply referred to as the Ukrainian Catholic Church), or more specifically as Major Archbishop for this particular Catholic Church. The decision was ratified by Pope Benedict earlier today.

For a little perspective, the Ukrainian Catholic Church has over 4 million members worldwide and is in full communion with Rome and the pope, yet maintains a particularly Eastern liturgy. This is the case for 22 Eastern Catholic Churches including this one, and 1 Western Catholic Church (i.e. the Roman Catholic Church or Latin-Rite Catholic Church which comprises about 98% of worldwide Catholics).

Looks like this guy is going places!

Photo Friday: One of the oldest skeletons of a known person

One of the oldest examples of a known skeleton is that of St. Ambrose, which dates to April 4, 397. He was one of the original four Doctors of the Catholic Church and instructed St. Augustine in many spiritual matters. An interesting fact about Ambrose is that he was elected to the position of bishop before he was even baptized. He was a catechumen on the path to baptism. When try to select the next bishop, there was much argument between the orthodox Catholics and Arians, however both groups like Ambrose and he was thus elected. Before officially taking his position, he was baptized and confirmed.

This photo shows the actual skeleton of Ambrose, along with some of his followers. It is over 1600 years old!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Probable election in Spring in Canada

Looks like Canada will be going to the polls sometime in the next several weeks. This happened after the Conservative Government published its budget about an hour ago. The Liberals and Bloc Quebecois said they would vote against it, but that was expected. Although the government tried to cater to some of the demands of the NDP, they ultimately failed, Jack Layton saying it wasn't enough. When the vote is taken, it is quite likely the budget will not pass and parliament will be dissolved and Canadians will head to the polls to elect a new government.

I do think that the NDP and the other parties are being unreasonable, which could work in favour of the Conservatives. The public will realize Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff, and Gilles Duceppes are being too picky and will oppose them. On top of that, the Conservative budget will actually eliminate the deficit of the country in 4-5 years, and has demonstrated the lowest unemployment of all G7 nations.

Hopefully the Conservatives will non only win the next election, but will gain a majority. My hope is contingent on the Conservatives going back to their roots and being not only fiscally conservative, but also socially conservative. They have to restrict abortion at a minimum and eventually eliminate it altogether, they need to end homosexual "marriage", stop human cloning and in-vitro fertilization, and allow freedom of speech. Let's hope we get ever closer to these ideals.

Massive Pro-Choice Rally

Pro-Choice rally in Alaska
This past Saturday, an enormous showing of support for Planned Parenthood took place in Alaska. All told, there were nearly 15 people present! The local CBS Anchorage affiliate covered the huge demonstration, which was held to protest the federal cutting of funding of Planned Parenthood. This kind of thing deserves attention! So many people came out to protest this!

Now, let's compare that to the measly numbers achieved at a pro-life rally. In 2011, the number of people at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. numbered 400,000. However, this was not even covered in most of the mainstream media, and if it was, it was just a side note.

Pro-life rally in Washington, D.C.
I have had my own experience with this strange phenomenon. Every year on Good Friday, there is a Pro-Life rally in St. John's near the hospital. Usually about 300-400 people show up. However, there is also a contingent of about 2 to 5 "pro-choicers". Yet, when the event is covered on the local media, deceptive camera angles and news text give the impression that the numbers are equivalent.

I want to note that this article is something of an exaggeration. I am not trying to imply that all pro-choice rallies get only 15 participants and that pro-life ones all get 400,000 people. I am just showing the hypocrisy of only reporting on pro-choice events or purposely showing them as equal when there are clearly more people at the pro-life rallies.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Father Corapi put on administrative leave

This seems rather shocking, but nothing has been proven in court yet. These are mere allegations, which should not be too surprising given Fr. Corapi's popularity. Let's just hope the media who has ignored this holy priest until now, doesn't turn this into something it's not.

Story here from The Catholic Review Online

Another fall on the reproductive slippery slope

Of course, as usual, this will not be treated as a problem with IVF in general, but rather the fact that there are not enough regulations in the industry or that particular hospital. That's always how our modern society addresses problems, never at the core, but at the application of an evil. Same with contraception and abortion. People use contraception to avoid pregnancy, so when they do get pregnant, they opt for abortion as a backup contraception. Instead of challenging the wisdom of advertising "safe sex", rather than fertile sex within marriage, people will simply say we need to promote safe sex more heavily.

Anyway, I digress. In this case, IVF should be banned because it is morally wrong. Stop arranging deck chairs on the Titanic and find a real solution.

The mother who had another woman's baby by mistake | Mail Online

The Phrase "When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do"`

Did you know that the phrase "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" was coined by St. Ambrose of Milan when dialoging with St. Augustine, his spiritual follower. St. Augustine was asking him about a particular liturgical norm that differed in Milan (as opposed to Rome). Augustine asked his friend Ambrose what he should do, to which Ambrose replied with the famous saying.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cool name, terrible dictator

On Wikipedia today, they said on March 20, 235, a new emperor began his reign over Rome. Unfortunately he was very cruel to Christians are martyred the pope, among others. However, his name struck me as kind of cool - Maximinus Thrax. It almost sounds made up. It's like the combination of a dinosaur and an autobot. Anyway, that's just my random thought for the day.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What will the .xxx domain mean?

In June or July of this year, a new internet domain will emerge - .xxx There are many sides to this debates and its effect on the culture.

I think it might be a good step, but that remains to be seen.

Some of the benefits:
- xxx sites will be contained in a single area, which makes them easy to exclude or block. schools, and people who do not want to go to these sites can simply set their computers to not show xxx domain names

- the sites will be regulated to disallow some of the worst filth on the Internet, such as child pornography.

However, I think the most benefit could be achieved if xxx was the exclusive area for pornographic material. As it is right now, porn sites can set up shop as a .com, .net, .org, .ca, etc. There is really no limit, and thus there is no protection. However, if xxx sites limited themselves to ONLY .xxx, it would be much easier to navigate away from this societal ill.

Some people say that the xxx legitimizes lewd websites. The issue I have with this argument is that the Internet is already inundated with porn, and it lures in victims each day. I doubt the xxx will make it any more prevalent than if they did not create such a domain.

Some people in the porn industry are against this change, believing it will force them into a corner. Obviously a vital part of the porn industry's strategy is to appear mainstream and to be accessible from anywhere. That's what Hugh Hefner did when he invented Playboy. It wanted to make sure it didn't come across as sleaze, but he wanted it to seem respectable. Often, he pictured high-class individuals. He wanted people to believe that viewing pornographic was somehow chic.

If people in the porn industry are against this, it is probably a good thing.

Others are concerned this will amount to censorship. Again, I ask: So what? Society already practices censorship in many ways. Porn is not allowed in schools or public libraries. Consumers should be at least able to clearly know what they are getting involved with and this in no way characterizes censorship. One comment I read the man was scoffing at the idea of "obscenity". I've heard this before. Basically the argument is obscenity is just a matter of personal preference, therefore nothing can be considered obscene because it's just subjective.

This is just a convenient argument to allow filth to be targeted at anyone, anywhere.

If this whole thing is done in the right way, I think it can be beneficial. It can help people make better decisions by disallowing a bombardment of porn at every turn. The xxx domain will serve as a warning sign for no morally upright person to enter.

Only time will tell the effect.

Update on Italian Crucifixes in Schools

Last year, I reported that a European Union judge ordered that Italy remove all crucifixes from school walls in the country after one woman complained about them on behalf of her children. She said they limited her freedom of religion. Anyway, a superior judge has deemed the crucifixes to be legal in the country, and thus they will continue. Keep in mind, this tradition is centuries old. Probably most, if not all, schools were originally established by the Church in Italy and the crucifix is the symbol of our faith. Removing it from classrooms is tantamount to banning national flags!

To read my full article from 2009, click here.

To get the new details, go here:

Vatican welcomes European court decision on classroom crucifixes | USCatholic.org

Friday, March 18, 2011

Canadian Movie Engenders Anti-Catholicism

A Canadian film (along with help from Hungary) is jumping on the familiar bandwagon of spreading anti-Catholicism through media. This time, CTV, Showtime, and other television networks are producing a television mini-series called "The Borgias", starring Jeremy Irons. The film focuses on Pope Alexander VI.

Of course, Alexander VI is generally considered the most immoral pope ever to take the office. Why is it that we have 265 popes to choose from, and you won't hear about any of them except someone like Alexander VI?

So steeped in controversy was Alexander that upon his election to the papacy, the future Pope Leo X, remarked:

Now we are in the power of a wolf, the most rapacious perhaps that this world has ever seen. And if we do not flee, he will inevitably devour us all.

Pope Alexander VI fathered many children, and arranged marriages for them. He also held orgies. He stole money from many people and was complicit in certain murders. Let's just say he wasn't a very good person.

It's also important to note that of the 265 popes we've had so far, only about 10 could be considered deficient in personal holiness. Why then does Hollywood spend millions of dollars portraying just this one bad apple?

Has the Church not suffered enough from generalizations and bad publicity? Why drag the Church through even more mud? It's hard to tell sometimes that there isn't a concerted effort to attack the Church.

This will only serve to give people more ammunition with which to attack the Church. Why resurrect such bad examples?

Can anyone truly imagine Hollywood, or the Canadian film industry doing something similar to another religion? How about a biopic of a greedy, blood-thirsty rabbi? Or maybe an unglamorous portrayal of one of the founders of Islam committing terrible and immoral acts? If someone did, they would probably be charged with a hate crime.

Trust me, you'll never see such films. Why is the Catholic Church society's whipping boy? Another Canadian miniseries was Pillars of the Earth about the building of a cathedral. The bishop was portrayed as a power-hungry opportunist willing to use any means to achieve his goal. Then we have Doubt, the beating-a-dead-horse movie about a priest who sexually abuses boys.

That's not to mention Angels and Demons or the Da Vinci Code. The list just goes on and on.

In fact, can anyone tell me the last time they saw a Catholic priest or member of the hierarchy portrayed in a positive way? In the rare event that an ordained minister is not shown to be absolutely corrupt, he is usually an outsider fighting the corrupt "higher-ups".

This is an all-out assault.

I have no evidence for this, but my suspicion is that the Government of Canada also has a hand in this. That's very typical for Canadian-made movies. I don't want my tax dollars paying for this!

I bet if you asked even Catholics about popes throughout history, most would say something like "well, there were MANY bad popes that did a lot of evil things!". It's almost taken as common knowledge. But like I said earlier, only about 10 popes could be considered personally unholy out of 265. It's important to note that Catholics do not consider popes to be impeccable, meaning unable to sin because of their office.

Note to movie producers: There is already enough anti-Catholicism in Canada. You don't need to promote it!

Dolan Doubts He'll Be Pope, Wants Sex Abuse To Haunt Church : Gothamist

This will be worth watch on CBS's 60 Minutes this Sunday.

Dolan Doubts He'll Be Pope, Wants Sex Abuse To Haunt Church : Gothamist

This needs more media coverage

Archbishop Warns of 'near-genocide' of Iraqi Christians

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone

In the comments, tell me what you do for St. Patrick's Day. You can post anonymously!

Strange IVF story...

Ok, so there's a baby which in this family named Jamie who has a rare disease. A possible cure is to use the stem cells from a sibling's umbilical cord and possibly also bone marrow from this sibling. Problem, they do not have any umbilical cord blood to get the stem cells. So the solution the parents came up with is to do IVF treatment and "create" 5 embryos. Then scientists will determine which one does not have the disease, and implant it into the mother's womb. Once the baby is born, they will retrieve stem cells from its umbilical cord and possibly bone marrow if that doesn't work.

Of course, there are many problems here.

1) The baby is being conceived for the purpose of providing a "cure" for another sibling. This can easily create feelings, outward or subtle, that this newest baby was conceived for "parts". This will be psychologically devastating to this poor child.

2) 4-5 embryos will be killed. These are human beings which will be killed because the family only needs one. They are just getting so many to increase their chances of a good "donor embryo".

3) This sets an ugly precedent. What happens when people start "producing" babies in the lab to provide cures for other people? It's just too disturbing!

Here's the story:

IVF baby will help to treat brave Jamie - Health - Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Cardinal accuses UK government of “anti-Christian foreign policy”

Important article

Cardinal accuses UK government of “anti-Christian foreign policy”: Voice of Russia

How serious is the 'predator priest' problem? We have no idea. - USATODAY.com

This is an article written by the non-Catholic distinguished professor of Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, Philip Jenkins

How serious is the 'predator priest' problem? We have no idea. - USATODAY.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Canada chooses infanticide once again

This is just one more disturbing story coming from Canada's medical community. A little baby boy was born with neurological issues. He required a breathing tube to live. Yet, the London Health Services Centre in Ontario felt he should be just left to die because trachetomies were reserved for more deserving patients. Dr. Frank Pavone, leader of Priests for Life, rescued the baby.

The hospital has released statements saying they disagree with the baby being brought to what they call American "faith-based" hospitals. One doctor said it wasn't in the best interest of the baby. I'm not sure what they thought was best, perhaps for the baby to just die? As for calling the hospital "faith-based", I'm not sure what that means. Is this a real hospital or not? Or are they trying to mock the hospital because it adhere to Catholic medical ethics.

Anyway, I'm glad this happened. It also highlights that pro-life organizations ARE concerned about babies that are born and not just those in the womb. Click below for more details:

Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life Leads Covert Mission to Rescue Baby Joseph

HE is our God.

I've noticed among some people, even some ostensibly devout Catholics, a reluctance to call God "he". They also avoid speaking about the masculinity of Jesus, and refer to the Holy Spirit as "it", rather than using the masculine pronoun. My sense is that this is more common among women.

This even went so far that certain Bible translations chose gender-neutral language over accuracy. This, in turn, became part of many Masses. Here is an example:

Romans 12: 6-8 New International Version

Original

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

New Translation (gender-neutral/inclusive)
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Certain techniques are used to change a text from gender-specific to gender-inclusive: using "you" instead of "he" when referring to God, removing gender-specific words like "Lord", replacing "he" with "God" each time, etc.

There are many problems with this:

1) Bible as Word of God
The Bible is the Word of God, and therefore cannot be changed. There are several strong warnings about doing this in the Bible itself. The goal of translators is not to render the Bible politically correct but to render it accurate. We cannot say God made a mistake. Also, claiming the Bible to be sexist, would be tantamount to calling God sexist, unless you stop believing in the inerrancy of the Scriptures.

2) God reveals himself as a father
God is constantly referred to as "Father" in the Bible, by none other than Jesus himself. By refusing to acknowledge this, we are contradicting Jesus. Consider the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father, who art in heaven"

3) Jesus took on the form of a man at the incarnation
Not as a woman or non-gendered entity. Jesus is a man, therefore it is appropriate to refer to him as such.

4) The priesthood
A related point is the priesthood. A priest shares in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and Christ's maleness is essential to his character, his being. The priest proclaims "this is my body" and at this moment, he is speaking In Persona Christi. He's not just repeating the word's of Christ, but acting in the person of Christ. Christ's maleness is essential to his identity, and therefore the priest who becomes an "alter Christus" must also be male.

5) God has always been referred to as "he"
God is masculine in monotheistic religions, even though many polytheistic and pantheistic religions existed at the time of the Jews and early Christians, which had multiple gods, some of whom they called "she". Jesus could have easily taught that God is feminine or "Mother", but he did not, and this was never the understanding of the Jews. But why? God is masculine, the universe is feminine. The reason is that God sends his grace from outside into the world, just as the male impregnates the female from without. A similar concept is found in the Church. Christ is the bridegroom, and the Church is the bride. Jesus sanctifies and leads the Church as the head, and we receive those graces. Jesus is the head of Church, just as husbands are the heads of the family, and the Church is the Body of Christ.


Peter Kreeft has produced a masterful essay on this topic, which goes into much more depth than my brief overview of the subject here. I suggest you check it out here: Sexual Symbolism


I think ultimately this whole issue once again comes down to obedience. Most of the time, women who advocate for calling God she, it, or a non-specific gender are also advocates for priestesses. Again, please check out Kreeft's essay on this to go more in depth. This article is not on female ordination, but it is important to note that Jesus selected only 12 men, no women. Since that time, only men have been ordained. It belongs to the ordinary Magesterium of the Church and is unchangeable.

On a personal note, I have been duped into this form of gender-inclusivism in my own experience. In the part of the Mass known as the Preface, the following is said:

Priest: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.

Priest: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

I have been accustomed to saying "It is right to give God thanks and praise". I notice now that saying "God" the second time is unusually grammatically. It would be like saying "There's Joe. Joe is walking over here. I hope Joe has the movie." Instead of saying Joe again, you would probably say he." I guess I got used to it after hearing many others using this. At one time the bishop asked me what follows "Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God." and even then I repeated God. It is clearly spelled out in the liturgy to say "he", rather than "God" in this instance.

This, of course, is a minor thing, but the bigger issue is that of disobedience and radial feminism which causes inaccuracy of translations and hostility toward the nature of God.

Santorum "appalled" at JFK church/state comments

Article Here

Herman Cain: 'It's Not Planned Parenthood -- No, It's Planned Genocide'

Article Here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

China needs religious freedom NOW!

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Chinese police block access to funeral for underground bishop

Martyrdom in the Abrahamic Religions

The word "martyr" is often bandied around in common parlance. In the more casual sense, it means someone who makes a sacrifice or is seen as a victim. So if a person is arrested, it may be feared that he will become a "martyr for the cause". Traditionally though, martyrdom means someone who dies for their beliefs.

Over the past few decades, we've heard the term applied to suicide bombers. These people often consider themselves martyrs. These people would not however be considered as such in Christianity. SO how do the three Abrahamic religions differ?

Jews have a similar understanding to martyrdom as Christians do. To Jews, it's a form of Kiddush Hashem or "sanctification of God's name". One of the most well known examples of Jewish martyrdom is found in the books of first and second Maccabees, which is found only in Catholic and Orthodox Bibles. In it, Jews were killed for traditional practices such as not eating pork or circumcising their young males.

Martyrdom took a place of even greater importance within Christianity. Martyrdom was so common in the early days of the Church that Tertullian famously noted that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church". The first individual martyr is said to be St. Stephen who was killed on the orders of St. Paul. Over the centuries there have been hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of martyrs in Christianity.

It is important to note the definition of a martyr. In the Christian tradition it is very restricted. A martyr is one who is killed for his Christian belief after he refused to renounce it, even upon threat of death. Therefore, it automatically excludes:

- those killed during conquest or battle
- those who are killed while performing an evil action
- those who are trying to escape or conceal their identity
- those who renounce their faith
- those who kill others and are then killed
- those who commit suicide
- those killed by accident

There are probably more, but that's all I can think of right now.

In Islam, the meaning of martyrdom (or shahid) has a much broader definition, although not all Muslims agree on it. Muslims can do the following and still be considered martyrs:

- be killed in battle
- be killed in the process of killing others (i.e. infidels)
- be in an accident, such as fire or drowning
- die by disease
- die during childbirth
- die defending property
- die while in a building that collapses
- dies after being attacked by a beast
- dies while being a stranger in a new land

Obviously, the range of possibility for martyrdom in Islam is much greater than it is in Christianity.

Let's take some time today to remember the sacrifice of these great Christian people over the centuries and which continues to this day.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vatican bishop document raises questions - CathNews

The Vatican is sending questionnaires to Australia to determine if the bishops and priests are orthodox and true followers of the faith. However, a lot of people are up in arms about this. Most of the people who are objecting are saying the local bishop should have more power and the pope shouldn't be allowed to "intrude". Are these people even Catholic? Why such animosity toward the pope? I really find this point of view confusing, where people somehow separate the pope and other bishops, the priests from their bishop, and the laity from the "hierarchy". The Church is supposed to be united!

Vatican bishop document raises questions - CathNews

Latest Episode of Catholic Answers Live

Catholic Answers Live airs weekdays from 6-8 ET. Great show! Check out the latest episodes below:

Hour 1
Hour 2

"Leftover" embryos

In another disturbing story from Canada, clinics don't know what to do with frozen embryos that the parents don't want. Keep in mind, these are children. Frozen children. Which the parents have left and abandoned. They are hoping someone else will come and take them and have them implanted in another woman's uterus to allow them to grow. Good luck. Imagine how the child who was conceived will feel if they find out their sibling was left to either die, be used in research, or implanted in another woman they'll never meet. We must get out of this Frankensteinian industry immediately. This is not God's will!

Should couples who've had success with IVF donate 'leftover' embryos? - The Globe and Mail

Exposing LEAF (Women's Legal Education and Action Fund)

The Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, or LEAF, is a blight on the name of Canada and should be shut down permanently. Rather than fight for human rights, this organization promotes pure evil. It's role is to influence court decisions in Canada to best reflect the culture of death. This may all sound rather extreme, but you may change your mind once you hear some of the things LEAF has been involved with, which are proudly published on their website.

1) Murdering Infants is Okay
In its most recent case, LEAF helped push a law which views infanticide as a far less serious crime than murder. If convicted of first-degree murder, a person faces 25 years in prison with the possibility of parole after that time. However, with infanticide, the jail term is a mere 5 years. LEAF defends this law saying that some women are just under a lot of stress after having a child, and therefore it is understandable if they decide to kill this child. Click here to read my more detailed treatment of this case.

2) Destroying Rights of Peaceful Pro-Life Supporters
In multiple court cases, some reaching the Supreme Court, (including R. v. Lewis, R. v. Demers, and Watson v. R; Spratt v. R) LEAF has attempted to ban peaceful demonstrators from being anywhere near abortion death mills. Contrary to popular media portrayal, most demonstrators at abortion mills are peaceful and loving. Usually they stand around praying and never touch anyone entering or leaving the facility. To these protesters, the women are entering a building in which they will kill their baby. The activists not only want the baby to live, but for the mother to avoid years of depression. LEAF wants to squelch any protest of this evil, and destroy freedom of speech.

3) Preventing Help for Gas-Sniffing Woman
This is a very disgusting case (Winnipeg Child and Family Services v. G (D.F.)). An aboriginal woman who was pregnant was getting high with gasoline fumes, thus endangering the life of her child. A judge said she must be involuntarily placed in a facility to prevent her from doing this. LEAF interjected and said that by trying to save the unborn baby's life, it could threaten abortion laws because this child would have to be considered a person. Since paying any attention to the health of this unborn child could affect the "sacrosanct" status of abortion in Canada, LEAF vehemently sought to allow the woman to continue to put her and her baby's health at risk with gasoline sniffing.

4) Ensuring two women were not charged with killing another woman's baby
In this case, Sullivan and Lemay v. The Queen, LEAF once again jumped in to make sure an unborn child was not protected under law. Two midwives were being charged with injuring a mother and killing her unborn children. Once again, LEAF was afraid that charging the midwives with killing an unborn child could give that child rights. In their twisted logic, LEAF felt it was helping the victim by only considering her a victim of these midwives. I doubt the woman feels the same way.

5) Denying Father his rights
In Daigle v. Tremblay (1989), LEAF interceded with the Supreme Court to make sure the father of the Daigle baby had no rights to determine the fate of his child. The father wanted the child to be born, but LEAF made sure he had no voice in the matter. Ironically, the law LEAF cited to further this case was the sex equality provisions of both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Somehow "sex equality" in Canada means the father has absolutely no say in what happens to his child.

6) Denying personhood of unborn child
In Borowski v. The Attorney General for Canada (1989), in which LEAF refers to Mr. Borowski as "anti-choice", LEAF was involved to say that the child in the mother's womb is not a separate person, nor a separate entity, but rather is simply a part of the woman's body. Of course, this completely defies logic. Where an individual is located does not determine his personhood. If put my finger in someone's mouth, that finger does not automatically become part of that person's body. Calling the individual in this case "anti-choice" says a lot about LEAF.

7) Mandated ignoring of babies in trouble
In 1987, LEAF was instrumental in forcing Child Services to not help a child. A mother, who was refusing to have a c-section, was carrying a child which Child Services deemed to be at risk. LEAF interceded to prevent Child Services from helping and insisted that the baby, about to born in mere hours, was not a person and thus not protected.

8) Irony
In 2000, LEAF was involved in defending a gay and lesbian store who were importing obscene material (Little Sisters Book & Art Emporium et al. v Minister of Justice et al.). They said the store should be allowed to continue. Ironically, 18 years prior, LEAF was involved in prosecuting a man for selling pornography in a store (Butler v. Her Majesty the Queen (1992)). They said selling pornography is obscene and therefore should be illegal. I guess according to LEAF, porn stores are bad for society unless they are gay and lesbian porn stores.

Another irony is found with the recent ruling. LEAF said women who kill their babies should only receive 20% the normal sentence (5 years vs. 25 years) because women are under a lot of stress, etc. However, in the La Maison des Femmes (1990) court case, LEAF investigated a sentence of a man which was reduced from second-degree murder to manslaughter. LEAF successfully campaigned to have this man put away for 14 years. So let's get this straight. If a woman kills her baby, that's ok. But if a man kills a woman, he deserves a very stiff sentence.

9) Other
I could go on with more and more examples, but this should be enough. LEAF represents the worst of Canada. They promote death to innocent babies and children, and believe that women have far more rights than men. This evil organization needs to be stopped.

----

Check out the book below on real feminism:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Imagine this Headline in a National Newspaper: Sexual Assault Case in Dallas!

It's all too common to check out the latest news and hear something about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church among the clergy. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how the coverage compares to a city of a comparable size as the number of priests.

The latest estimate is there are about 408,000 priests in the world.

To find a comparable American city, I must find one with about 408,000 men.

I will be extra generous though. Statistics do not usually break down the population by each age, but over 18 and below 18. I will only include 18+, even though few priests are younger than 25. Also, only half the population will be men. So what city matches this?

A good American city that matches the number of men in the Catholic priesthood is Dallas, Texas, the 8th largest city in the states, with a population of 1.2 million. 73.6% of the population is over 18 and 51.4% are male, bringing the total to about 453,000 men.

Now, can you imagine hearing a story across the country of sexual assault in Dallas? How about in another country in the globe? Of course not. Would you possibly hear about cases that occurred 30, 40, even 50 years ago? Again, no.

In the United States each year there are approximately 234,000 cases of sexual assault against people 12 years or older. Over the decades, this could be in the millions. Yet, no one would paint the entire country with the same brush. Not even a city such as Dallas.

Nearly every new case of sexual assault allegedly committed by a priest anywhere in the world is headline news. Maybe it's time for more balance.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Scary...

Number of priests growing worldwide, Vatican reports

Catholic News Agency Article

Japan

Everyone should keep Japan in their prayers. This is the fifth biggest earthquake in recorded history and has been quite devastating. Many dead. It's a good thing Japan was so well prepared for this type of thing.

The Huffington Post, Catholicism, and Angry Comments

The Huffington Post is a well known as a liberal news and blogging site. It was recently purchased by AOL for $315 million, which many analysts felt was far too much. In any event, whenever this popular news source publishes articles on the Catholic Church, they are almost always negative.

So I was surprised to see an article quoted Pope Benedict where he said violence in religion or done in the name of God is the work of the antichrist. The article was straight-forward and did not add any twists or bring up any negatives about the Church. This was indeed a rare event.

I was interested to see how people would react to such an article in the comments. I glanced over some on the first page, and was shocked at the sheer negativity in them. To give you an unbiased sampling, I just randomly thought of some numbers and pages and from there I will take comments. I will also respond to them.

Here are the pre-selected numbers (from 23 pages):
Page 2: comments 3, 8
Page 4: comments 2, 7
Page 9: comments 1, 3
Page 15: comments 2, 5

So here they are (not including responses):

1. (2,3) Swell. Thanks for clearing that one up, Mr. Pope. I'm sure everything will be all peachy-kee­n now that you've figured it all out for us...

2. (2,8) This coming from a Pope who covered for pedophile priests for years? Was a member of the Nazi Youth program. Hmm. I pick door #2, CHENEY. Makes the Koch bros, Karl and Rupert, look like just spoiled brats.
3. (4,2) obviously this is turning a page in the history of the catholic church, but if you read between the lines he is not only condeming the use of religion in promoting violence, but also its past uses. many posts seem to sugest that you dont appreciate the gravity of this, and that perhaps the pope doesnt know the history of his own religion, and if this is so, perhaps you'd prefer if we continualy use religion to wage meaningles­s wars. I prefer to embrace this change in stance, and hope that other religious authoritie­s will support this move. when you look solely to the past than thats where you will live, in the mistakes of yesterday. however, if you embrace past and present as a means to the future, it begins to open up- and this is definately opening up a new future.

4. (4,7) Let's see...ther­e is only one God. You can't count the trinity because all three are only one. I think that's semantics, but I'll let them define their own words.

But, the Antichrist­? Is that another God? No, that would make two gods. You can't put the Antichrist into the Trinity because that would make God good and evil - - but if God were evil, why would I follow him.

I could go around a few more circles, but still won't be able to answer why evil is an equal force in our world, but there is only one God. Maybe the Pope could try to make some sense of that. But, why bother, most Catholice and many others, just accept the story without even trying to think about it.

The Pope desperatel­y wants us to believe this myth, but doesn't bother to make it logical.

Antichrist­, what a crock.


5. (9,1) ...And they're STILL refusing to take responsibi­lities for their actions or own up to their own autonomous behavior. Claiming the Devil did it or the Devil "made me do it" is an affront to reason, and more telling about their moral delusions and ethical ineptitude than anything else these superstiti­ous/supern­aturalist headcases might ever say.

6. (9,3) So the antichrist is here? Isn't that supposed to be big news?

7. (15, 2) My understand­ing the anti christ, wants to be worshiped as a God himself, bowed to, have a Kingdom, to become like God, but the opposite of all that God is. All told this world is not Kingdom, God's world will dwell on earth. We right now are to become light in darkness, till God comes, and the world of ungodly ones, unrighteou­s ones lawless ones, their world will end. Remember the evil one, was cast down here, with 1/3 of his angels. And know God has a family, his children are the image of God, what God's spiritual character is, they are one with God, their father. There also is many anti christ he has many children also. Told do not worry about the anit christ, rather worry more the anti christ does not enter you. I love all pray for all. I love all and pray for all, yes even my enemies I love and pray for.

8. (15, 5) Apparently he missed the chapter in his history book about the crusades. However, I love his ability to improvise. Like Jimi Hendrix, except for wackos.

Comments 1, 2, 5, 8 were clearly negative comments toward the Catholic Church.

#1 simply seems to take a mocking tone of the Pope, without specifying any beefs the user has with it.

#2 says the pope was in the Nazi youth and that he covered for pedophile priests. These two comments are irrelevant to the comments made by the pope at this time and represent the false logic of an "ad hominem" attack, meaning attacking the person rather than the idea. The pope was conscripted into the Nazi youth like all youth in Germany at the time. However, despite a possible penalty of death, the future pope risked his life to abandon his post. He was not directly involved in killing anyone. He and his family hated the Nazis and everything they stood for. As for pedophile priests, the pope has called them filth that must be removed from the Church. He has done a lot to make sure these priests are eliminated from ministry and that children are protected. But no matter what he does, people will continue to use this as an argument against the Church.

#3 seems to somewhat support the church. well at least the user is supporting the pope's comments, but he sees it as a change in policy of the church, implying that waging war used to be a legitimate part of Catholic teaching. this is probably the best of the random comments.

#4 discusses the idea of the anti-christ and basically tries to show that it is a contradiction. however, you could replace his comments about the anti-christ with comments about evil in general and he could use the same argument. he finishes his comments by saying the pope wants people to believe in a "myth", so I'm assuming he is atheist, and then says the idea of the antichrist is a "crock". I prepared an essay a while back about how everything God created was good, but he did not create evil, yet evil does exist. For that essay, click here.

#5 This user says the Church is refusing to take responsibility for unspecified "actions". He says the Church says the Devil made them do it, but no Church official has said that, so I'm not sure what he's referring to. He then claims the Church's teachings are contrary to reason and that it teaches superstition and stuff. Obviously this has nothing to do with the article and as happens many times, this user is just venting his frustration with religion in general under the guise of criticizing the Catholic Church.

#6 This is more of a comical statement.

#7 This is a general comment about the user's view of the antichrist.

#8 This one comments on the crusades. The implication is how could the pope be talking about not using violence if the Catholic Church went to Jerusalem and other places to fight the crusades. Although this may seem like a good point, if you think about it, is has the opposite effect. There were several crusades, the earliest was about a thousand years ago. There must not be many examples of Catholicism being associated with war, if the only example that comes to mind is from a millenium ago. Secondly, most people have a deficient view of the crusades, seeing it as a wholly offensive war, when in fact it was primarily defensive. Europe was being threatened by an Islamic conquest and the Byzantine Emperor requested the assistance of Western Europe to expel them. I agree that some people involved in the crusades were acting contrary to Catholic teaching by killing innocent people or looting areas, but it was not a directive of the Church to do this. You will not find a papal encyclical or pronouncement stating "Kill innocent people and steal their goods".

-------------------------------------

These comments were completely randomly chosen, and certainly not cherry-picked. There were dozens more, some probably much more vitriolic. To see for yourself what I am talking about, go to any news article on the Catholic Church from a main stream news or opinion outlet which allows comments and look at some of them. Often they will express very mean-spirited and nasty opinions which have absolutely nothing to do with the article at hand. Usually they will simply repeat old canards and well-worn ad hominem attacks. If you are Catholic, always try to post a comment presenting the Church in a true light.

3 Parents - 1 Child

Determined to destroy any semblance of ethical behavior, British doctors have pioneered a Frankensteinish procedure which creates embryos with genetic material from three parents. Not exactly like nature intended. The basic premise is that some couples' babies are at risk of having certain genetic illnesses. The scientists remove the risky genes and replace them with the genes from another donor egg. This presents medical, ethical, and moral concerns which cannot be overlooked.

1) Children with no background
What impact will it have on children who are born with genetic material from three parents? What will it be - mom, dad, and genetic mom? Children have a right (a real right, not some politically correct one) to know their parents and to be loved by them. This scenario creates mutant children with no 2 parents, but three parents. Who knows, maybe soon they will pioneer a technique for more than three parents. There is perfect complementarity with male and female, mother and father. Introducing another "parent" into this mix will have unknown and possibly devastating consequences.

Some may object by saying a couple can simply raise a child as their own, but this would be living a lie. This is not the child of two parents, but of three. The psychological issues experienced due to this knowledge is incalculable.

2) Child product of scientist's lab equipment, and not conjugal act of parents
A child has the right to be born in the loving embrace of his parents, not at the hands of a lab technician in a brightly lit room in a petri-dish. Children are not science experiments involving combining multiple eggs and sperm. Does anyone consider the rights of the child in these circumstances, or is it only the rights of the romantic couple that matters.

3) Genes from other animals?
What happens if this technique becomes more common? Will scientists then attempt to push the boundaries even further by introducing animal genes to human genetic makeup? With these crazy experiments, anything is possible. Rarely though does the pride of these "researchers" allow them to consider the possible negative impact of these activities.

4) Other ethical concerns
There are other ethical concerns which must be addressed. The male parent must masturbate to attain sperm. Oftentimes, especially in these types of new reproductive technologies, more embryos than are needed are created. This is of particular concern here because it is likely that more embryos than usual will be created given the uncertainty involved. It also raises issues of who the parents are of the children. Plus, potential long terms impacts of this technology, given that IVF is already very risky and those children are usually born with more issues than usual.


Children have no right to be treated like this. They are human beings and deserve respect!

To read more, please visit the following link:

BBC News - New fertility treatment to be assessed by regulator

Second Volume of Pope Benedict's Book Out Now

Yesterday, Pope Benedict's book has been officially published and is ready to purchase. The book it titled "Jesus of Nazareth" and is the second volume in the series. This second volume specifically concerns "Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection" Definitely should be a great read.

Click below to purchase your copy on Amazon.com

Small errors in Se7en

I just watched the movie Se7en. It's about two investigators (played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) who are on the trail of a killer who murders people according to the seven deadly sins. One small error I noticed was Morgan Freeman contrasted the seven deadly sins with the cardinal virtues. However, the cardinal virtues make up only 4 of the 7 heavenly virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude), the other three are called theological virtues and include faith, hope, and charity.

Another small issue was when the detective described a type of contrition whereby the penitent is sorry for fear of hell. The detective called this "forced attrition". However, I've never come across this term. The term attrition is used however for this meaning, but adding "forced" is not usual. Attrition is also called "Imperfect contrition", which is contrasted with perfect contrition which is being sorry for ones sins out of love of God.

Friday, March 11, 2011

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Founders of Jesuits Canonized This Day in 1622

The founders of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier, were canonized on this day in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. Ignatius died in Rome of Roman Fever in 1556. Francis died in China, also from a fever, at the age of just 46, in 1552. Francis had traveled to India, Japan, China, and the Philippines.






Meat on Fridays During Lent in Canada

In the US, abstinence from meat is mandatory on Fridays of Lent and Ash Wednesday.

In Canada, the rule for meat on Friday is the same for the rest of the year. However, many people believe abstinence from meat was thrown out with Vatican II. Not so. After the Second Vatican Counctil, abstaining from meat could be substituted for another act of penance.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops puts it nicely:

Abstinence. This form of penance needs to be seen as a near cousin of fasting. We may give up meat or other desirable foods on one or two days a week during Lent, especially on Friday, the day of Christ’s saving death on the cross. Our abstinence is another way of sharing in Christ’s work of saving the world.

Throughout the year, every Friday is

day of abstinence from meat, obliging all Catholics who are 14 years or older.

We may also substitute other good actions for abstinence from meat. These could include special acts of charity (visiting the sick or aged, helping those in any need, contributing time or money to a work of charity) or other acts of piety (taking part in a service of worship with others, praying with our family, spending some extra time in personal prayer, especially with God’s holy word in the scriptures).

This is found in section 6 of "Living Lent", which can be found here.

Become a Follower!

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How the liturgy should look

I agree with Michael Voris in this video. An ongoing issue in the Church is the specifics of the liturgy, such as the singing, the homilies, the atmosphere, etc. I think Michael has made some great points in this video. The center of attention must be on Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. Not on the people or the choir or anything else. Michael's message gets quite strongly worded in the second half, perhaps more than I would have been, but overall I think the message is a good one.



Check out Cardinal Ratzinger's great book on the liturgy below:

Feds: Nun pleads guilty to embezzling $850,000

hmm, why is she so happy?
This is similar to a case in St. John's, Newfoundland where an office worker embezzled $500,000 from the archdiocese. This time a nun is implicated in this crime. Apparently the nun stole nearly a million dollars for her own personal use from Iona College, a Catholic school. It makes me wonder what a nun would need all that money for. The crime she has committed carries a maximum possible sentence of $250,000 in fines and up 10 years in prison.

It's sad that a woman who devoted her life to the Church ended up stealing from a Catholic college.

Let's pray for everyone involved here.

Feds: Nun pleads guilty to embezzling $850,000 - CNN.com

10 Youngest Catholic Bishops

Here is a Top 10 List of the Youngest Catholic Bishops in the World

There are about 5100 Catholic bishops in the world if you count those from both the Western (Latin or Roman) Rite of the Church and the Eastern Rites of the Church.

In order to become a Bishop, a man is required to be at least 35 years old and be ordained for at least 5 years. The man must also be very well educated and possess a doctorate or at least a licentiate in philosophy, theology, or canon law. But most of all, a bishop must possess good qualities such as piety, zeal, and love of the faith.

Although those named below are the youngest current bishops serving, they are not the youngest ever. For more on that, go to the bottom of this article.

Of the 5100 bishops in the world, here are the youngest:

[Sorry. No photo available.]10. Charles Joseph Sampa Kasonde
Bishop of Solwezi, Zambia
Age 42.19
Born 14 Dec 1968

9. Xavier Novell Gomá
Bishop of Solsona, Spain
Age 41.84
Born: 20 Apr 1969

8. Bashar Matti Warda
Archbishop of Arbil {Erbil} (Chaldean), Iraq
Age 41.69
Born 15 Jun 1969

7. Vasile Bizău
Auxiliary Bishop of Făgăraş şi Alba Iulia (Romanian), Romania
Born 14 Oct 1969
Age 41.36

6. Stephen Dami Mamza
Bishop of Yola, Nigeria
Age 41.23
Born 30 Nov 1969
[Sorry. No Photo Available.]5. Santo Loku Pio Doggale
Auxiliary Bishop of Juba, Sudan
Age 41.16
Born 28 Dec 1969

4. Sviatoslav Shevchuk 
Auxiliary Bishop of Santa María del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires (Ukrainian), Argentina
Age 40.80
Born 5 May 1970


3. Olivier Michel Marie Schmitthaeusler, M.E.P. 
Bishop Vicar Apostolic of Phnom-Penh, Cambodia
Age 40.66
Born 26 Jun 1970


2. Anselm van der Linde, O. Cist. 
Abbot of Wettingen-Mehrerau, Austria
Age 40.42
Born 24 Sep 1970

and the youngest Catholic bishop in the world is...


Bishop Mihai Cătălin Frăţilă
Auxiliary Bishop of Făgăraş şi Alba Iulia (Romanian), Romania
Age 40.21
Born 10 Dec 1970


In the history of the Church there have been bishops who were under forty, by many years.

For example, in 1932, Raymond Augustine Kearney became the bishop of Brooklyn New York, at the age of 32. He possessed a doctorate in canon law, and had been a priest for about 7 years. He would not however meet the criteria for consecration to the episcopacy today.

Death Penalty for Miscarriage?

That's the absurd title of several articles about Georgia Lawmaker Bobby Franklin who has introduced a new anti-abortion bill. But the title is a little misleading. Don't get me wrong, I think Mr. Franklin is a pretty extreme guy, especially considering some of the bills he has tried to pass.

Anyway, what he is really saying is that abortion should carry the same penalty as murder. He goes on to say that women who have a miscarriage should be investigated to ensure they did not procure an abortion. What this investigation involves and when it is carried out is not specified.

Obviously Mr. Franklin is very pro-life. He is not however saying that all miscarriages should be penalized with the death penalty. He's just saying abortion should be prosecuted as such and he wants to make sure women are not getting abortions and then claiming they just had a miscarriage.

The problem I have with all this is that pro-abortion activists are trying to make Franklin look like a total nut and any time they mention him they say he's trying to make miscarriage a punishable offense, along with abortion. They want us to categorize miscarriages and abortion in the same way. So a legislator who opposes abortion is just as crazy as one that opposes miscarriages.

It seems like in several states, there are bills on the table which would render abortion an illegal activity. The pro-life community is certainly not unianimous when it comes to how cases should be treated. The most common proposal is that the abortion providers would be prosecuted, not the women having an abortion.

You can read more about this representative's proposal by clicking the link below. But also take a look at some of the ridiculous bills he has introduced.

Georgia Lawmaker's Anti-Abortion Proposal Could Punish Women for Miscarriages - FoxNews.com

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Holy Spider Batman!

Latest Episode of Catholic Answers Live

Catholic Answers Live airs weekdays from 6-8 ET. Great show! Check out the latest episodes below:

Hour 1
Hour 2

Pope receives ashes too

Coptic Christians being attacked again in Egypt

In a conflict between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt left 13 dead and 40 injured. The Copts claim that all the dead are Christian, but Muslims say they lost 5 people.

This comes after a church was burned down by Muslim extremists last week. In Egypt, it is extraordinarily difficult to build or repair a church and it takes a presidential decree to do so. This is common in many Muslim countries, however often it's much stricter. In many places, Christians are completely forbidden from building or repairing any existing churches, so people are forced to overfill delapedated churches. In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, churches are banned outright and public Christian worship is forbidden. Ironically the situation in Egypt may not be as bad as it may become. Hosni Mubarak, when he was in power, maintained a secular government. The Copts fear a Muslim government will take over the reigns once hostilities have subsided and make being Christian, which represents 12% of the population, in that country even more difficult.

The protests are occurring in a part of Cairo known as Garbage City, where the mostly Christian residents eek out an existence by sorting through garbage and converting it to money by finding valuables.

Persecution of Christians in Egypt must end. A secular government is the only way to ensure their rights are not completely destroyed. Keep them in your prayers.

For more, go here.

Pope continues to be a trailblazer in using media

Pope Benedict XVI will answer questions on television from the public for a special program by RAI, an Italian station. The three questions will be on Jesus, and the answers will be pre-recorded. It will air on Good Friday at 3pm. This is a papal first. This coincides with Benedict's release of the second volume on his book on the life of Jesus called Jesus of Nazareth. The book recently captured headlines when the pope reiterated the Church's teaching that Jews as a whole are not responsible for deicide.

It's really wonderful that the pope is continuing to embrace new media. The Vatican has a Youtube channel and the Vatican.va website is a giant portal to all things Catholic, which is updated daily in many languages. The pope has continuously pledged for people to use new media to spread evangelization. I think though the pope must be careful to not try too hard to adapt to all media. Quotes, clips, and other forms of media can be distorted or taken out of context. An air of reverence must be maintained.

I think this is a great step overall.

For more on the story, see below:

Pope Benedict to answer Italian TV viewers' questions in papal first | World news | The Guardian

To purchase Benedict's new volume of his book Jesus of Nazareth, click the link below: