"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Saturday, May 28, 2016

UNDERSTANDING THE HISTORY OF VARIOUS SCHISMS IN CHRISTIANITY THAT LED OTHERS TO SEPARATE FROM ROME

Source: CatholicBridge

Thanks to Mark Bonocore for this research work. This site can be accessed from www.2Lungs.com
Year
Event
300’s A.D
At the end of the imperial persecutions of Christianity (c. 313), the universal Church is administered by three major ecclesiastical sees: Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch (in that order of primacy). However, by the mid 300’s, there are already significant differences developing between East and West:
* The Roman Empire splits in two: a Western Roman Empire and an Eastern Roman Empire
* The Roman Rite is used in the West; the Antiochian and Alexandrian Rites are used in the East.
* Unleavened bread is used in the Western Eucharist; leaven bread is used in the East.
* The West begins a process toward an all-celibate clergy, based upon the growing East-West trend of electing only celibate monks as bishops.
* The East begins to view the Roman Emperor as the supreme Church authority; even over the primacy (in however one defines it) of the Bishop of Rome. This is somehow related to the influence of the Arians at the imperial court; and most likely developed as a modified form of the old, pagan Emperor worship.
342
At the height of the Arian struggle, the Council of Sardica acknowledges the supreme ecclesiastical authority of Rome, and gives the Roman bishop the right to judge cases involving episcopal sees. The presiding bishop at this council is St. Athanasius himself, who had previously been restored to his see of Alexandria by the authority of Pope Julius I --an authority that is even recognized by the Arians, then in power at Constantinople. Thus, Sardica merely codified Rome’s Traditional primacy as a matter of imperial law.
365
The pious, young Western Emperor Gratian relinquishes the pagan imperial title of Pontifex Maximus (head of the Roman state religion) --a title retained by Emperor Constantine I and his four immediate “Christian” successors. Emperor Gratian bestows the Pontifex Maximus title on Pope Damasus of Rome, making it clear that Christianity is now the official “state cult” of the Empire.
381
With the Arians defeated, the Council of Constantinople proclaims the Bishop of Constantinople (the imperial bishop) second in status to the Bishop of Rome --a decision which Rome refuses to endorse, calling it unTraditional. Rather, citing Canon 6 of Nicaea, Rome upholds the authority of Alexandria as the Traditional second see, and that of Antioch as the third see. It claims that this order of primacy was established by St. Peter himself. Thus, Constantinople is denied the status of a Christian patriarchate.
With the Council’s decree rejected, Eastern Emperor Theodosius I tries to imitate the policy of Western Emperor Gratian by making St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, the Pontifex Maximus of the Eastern Empire. St. Gregory, however, refuses to accept the title, and soon after resigns the bishopric.
c. 400
The Western Church uses the Athanasian Creed as well as the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds. The East uses only the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds.
Around this time, the imperial court of Constantinople moves to make Jerusalem an honorary patriarchate, a status denied to Jerusalem (aka Aelia) by the Council of Nicaea in 325. Although not one of the three original patriarchates established by St. Peter (i.e., Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch), the universal Church gives its approval to the imperial decree so as to venerate the Holy City where Christ died and rose again.
431
The Council of Ephesus deposes Bishop Nestorius of Constantinople for his heretical teaching that Mary was only the mother of Christ’s human nature, but not of His Divine Personhood. Nestorius’ followers break off from the Church and form communities in the Persian Empire known as the Chaldean church --a Nestorian communion, which later spreads into India, forming the Malabar church as well.
449
The Monophysites, who claim that Christ only had one nature --that of God (as opposed to two natures: God and man) are powerful in the Eastern Church. Gaining the Emperor’s support, the Monophysites triumph over the so-called “Robber Council of Ephesus,” and Monophysism is declared to be orthodox doctrine. Numerous orthodox Eastern bishops are deposed, including Bishop Flavian of Constantinople, and appeal to the Pope of Rome to be restored to their sees.
451
Pope Leo the Great urges the new Emperor, Marcianus, to call the Council of Chalcedon to condemn the decisions of the Robber Council. The Pope’s teaching, called the Tome of Leo, is read at the Council, which proclaimed: “This is the Faith of our fathers! Peter has spoken in the person of Leo.” However, Patriarch Dioscorus of Alexandria refuses to accept the Council’s decision and withdraws, taking the entire Egyptian and Ethiopian delegation with him. Because of this, numerous Monophysite communities in the Middle East break off to form independent bodies. Among them are the Coptic (Egyptian) church, the Abyssinian (Ethiopian) church, the Jacobite (Syrian) church, the Armenian church, and the Syro-Malankar (Indian) church.
With the see of Alexandria plunged into heresy, the Byzantines at the Council of Chalcedon make another attempt to declare the Bishop of Constantinople second in status after the Pope of Rome. However, this innovation, known as Canon 28, is unilaterally rejected by Pope Leo, and struck from the canons of the Council (in both East and West) by Papal decree. Bishop Anatolius of Constantinople writes to Pope Leo to apologize for the attempted innovation. Thus, Constantinople is again denied the status of a patriarchate, and Rome displays its final authority, even over the decrees of Ecumenical Councils.
455
Pope Leo releases an Edit declaring the Bishop of Rome’s authority over the universal Church.
476
The Western Empire falls to Germanic tribes while the Eastern Empire remains intact. The Eastern Emperor is recognized as sole Roman Emperor; and easterners begin to view the West as a bunch of ignorant, uneducated barbarians, whereas they themselves are truly “Roman.”
484
FIRST SCHISM: Acacius, Bishop of Constantinople, persuades Eastern Emperor Zeno to issue the Henoticon (“Act of Union”) to appease the Monophysites --a doctrinal compromise and a contradiction of Chalcedon, which all the Eastern bishops sign. Pope Felix III (II) excommunicates both Acacius as well as the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch --in essence, excommunicating the entire East!
500
Greek begins to replace Latin as the official tongue of the Eastern Empire.
519
Eastern Emperor Justin I, an orthodox Christian, tries to heal the schism, sending a party of Eastern bishops to Rome to confer with Pope Hormisdas. All of these Eastern bishops (including the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and the Bishop of Constantinople) sign the “Libellus Hormisdae,” which clearly defines the primacy of the Roman See based on the Pope’s succession from St. Peter.
526
FIRST SCHISM HEALED when Pope John I travels to Constantinople and obtains a profession of orthodox faith from Emperor Justin I --a significant achievement considering the strength of the Monophysites in the East. Pope John is praised by the Byzantines as the “successor of Peter,” and is called upon to re-crown Justin as emperor --a precedent that will later lay the foundation for the crowning of Charlemagne (i.e., the Pope as “king maker.”)
550
About this time, the imperial court of Constantinople begins a policy of placing Byzantine Greek bishops on the episcopal thrones of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem to guard against the heresy of Monophysism. The native Christians of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine (most of whom are Monophysites) resent this “imperial intrusion,” and call these foreign bishops “Melchites” (a Syrian term, meaning “of the king ”). The Monophysites then appoint their own bishops in Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem; and the East is plagued by all manner of disputes and schisms.
589
The Council of Toledo in Spain adds the “Filioque clause” to the Nicene Creed, but later withdraws it (at the Pope’s request) to appease the East. The West, as well as the Cappadocian fathers of Asia Minor (i.e., St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Gregory Nazianzus), have accepted the clause’s theology since the mid-300’s.
590’s
The Western Church continues the process toward an all-celibate clergy.
600’s
The Greek Church gives an even greater role to the Emperor, calling him the “Christ on Earth” (evidently to compete w/ Islam’s Caliph, “The Defender of the Faith”). The Eastern Church/government begins to pattern itself after the Hughic Kingdom of Israel, with the Emperor possessing an essential Church office.
About this time, the Byzantine Emperor tries to secure the title of “Ecumenical Patriarch” for the Bishop of Constantinople. This would give the Bishop of Constantinople the power and authority to call ecumenical councils; however the Emperor’s request is solemnly denied by Pope Gregory the Great, who calls the title haughty, proud, and unTraditional. Gregory still defends the three-patriarchal system of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch as it was established by St. Peter.
Also about this time, the Monophysite Christians in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria begin to form alliances with the rising power of Islam against their Byzantine (“Melchite”) rivals. The Arab Muslims promise the Monophysite Christians freedom of worship; and, with Monophysite help, the Muslims are able to capture Egypt, Palestine, and part of Syria from the Byzantine Empire.
c. 640
While living in Rome, St. Maximos the Confessor (a native of Constantinople) defends the orthodoxy of the Filioque clause and writes to his Byzantine peers, explaining what the Romans really mean by it.
654
SECOND SCHISM: In a desperate attempt to re-unify his Christian Empire and bring the dissident Christians of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria back into the fold, Emperor Constans II tries to impose the doctrine of Monothelitism (“Christ had only One Will”) on the Empire as a compromise with Monophysism. The heresy is rejected by the West, but temporarily embraced by the Maronite church in Syria and Lebanon.
655
After condemning the heresy of Monothelitism at a synod held in Rome, Pope Martin I is arrested by Byzantine troops and taken to Constantinople, where he is publicly abused by the mob and then exiled to Crimea, dying as a martyr for orthodoxy.
681
SECOND SCHISM HEALED when the Council of Constantinople III condemns Monothelitism, reuniting the Church.
(This council also condemned Pope Honorius for heresy --42 years after the Pope’s death --based on one letter he wrote to the Monothelites, where he seems to have tolerated their views. The Pope’s position in the letter is unclear, however; and Honorius’ condemnation was most likely a Byzantine attempt to marginalize the authority of the Papacy. Rome never declared Honorius a formal heretic, but charged him with negligence for “assisting in the base assertions of the heretics.”)
The Council of Constantinople III also calls Pope Agatho “the head of the Church.”
701
--The legal code of the Quinisext (or Trullian) Council of Constantinople (which, among other secular innovations, dispensed with the Apostolic discipline of sexual continence for married priests) is rejected by the West, but eventually accepted by Pope John VII, who needed Byzantine support against the Lombard invaders of Italy.
Around this time, Rome recognizes Constantinople as a patriarchate. With the two great Eastern sees of Alexandria and Antioch reduced to minor Christian communities by the Muslims, Constantinople remains the only Christian capital in the East.
736
THIRD SCHISM: Pope Gregory III excommunicates the Iconoclasts, infuriating Emperor Leo III, who --evidently influenced by Islamic sensibilities --promoted the heresy.
787
THIRD SCHISM HEALED by the Council of Nicaea II, which condemns the Iconoclasts and restores the use of images in Church worship.
800
Pope Leo III crowns Charlemagne Emperor of the West (i.e., Holy Roman Emperor). This act marks the end of Papal dependence on the Eastern Emperor, but the Pope still refuses Charlemagne’s pressure to include the “Filioque clause” in the Nicene Creed, so as not to alienate the East. The East takes offense at the Pope’s crowning of a “barbarian” as Emperor.
859
Boris I, the Bulgarian Khan, withdraws his acceptance of the primacy of Rome when Pope Adrian II refuses to make Bulgaria a patriarchate. Bulgaria shifts its allegiance to Constantinople -- a Byzantine political coup, since Constantinople needed to “control” the Bulgarians to protect their northern frontier.
865
The Byzantine court sends Sts. Cyril and Methodius into the Balkans to convert the pagan Slavs. Though originally part of the Eastern Empire, this region falls into the Pope of Rome’s Western patriarchate; and Roman Rite missionaries from Germany conflict with the Byzantines, who are adapting the Liturgy into Slavonic, and thus achieving more conversions. To get to the bottom of this conflict, the Pope calls Cyril and Methodius to Rome; and Rome gives its blessing to their ministry. Cyril and Methodius also recognize the universal primacy of the Pope of Rome. Thus, the Slavic Balkan kingdoms embrace the Byzantine Rite as opposed to the Roman Rite --another coup for the court of Constantinople which, as with Bulgaria, needed to establish religious /cultural ties with the Slavs so as to safeguard the Empire’s northern frontier.
867
FOURTH SCHISM: Photius, the brilliant but illegally-elected Patriarch of Constantinople, conflicts with Pope Nicholas I and Pope Adrian II over his election to the see of Constantinople. He challenges the authority of the Papacy, and bashes the “Filioque clause.”
869
FOURTH SCHISM HEALED when Emperor Basil I calls the 6th Council of Constantinople to depose Photius.
886
After being reinstated to the See of Constantinople with Rome’s blessing in 878, Photius conflicts with Pope Stephen V over Papal prerogatives, and is deposed by Emperor Leo VI.
891
Photius dies in communion with Rome.
928
Pope John X tries to bring the Bulgarians back into communion with Rome.
988
Prince Vladimir I of Russia embraces the Byzantine form of Christianity, making it the official religion of the Russian people. He also marries a Byzantine princess.
1020
The West unilaterally adopts the “Filioque clause” into the Nicene Creed.
1025
Pope John XIX refuses the Eastern Emperor’s request to recognize the Patriarch of Constantinople as “Ecumenical Patriarch.”
1050
Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, launches an anti-Latin campaign. He closes all the Latin churches in Constantinople and attacks the “Filioque clause” and Papal authority, claiming that the Pope has no authority to adapt the Creed. His army enters latin Churches in Constantinople and throws Eucharists into the street.
1054
THE FIFTH (GREAT) SCHISM: Differences come to a head as Cardinal Humbertus, Papal legate of Leo IX excommunicates Patriarch Michael Cerularius and all his communicates (something he does without Papal approval, since Pope Leo had died shortly before). The Patriarch, in turn, excommunicates Humbertus and his fellow Papal delegates.
1071
Crushing Byzantine defeat at Manzinkert, Armenia. The Byzantine army is completely destroyed, and the Muslim Turks take Asia Minor and the entire Middle East.
1096
Pressed by the Turks, the Byzantine Emperor turns to the Pope for western aid. He actually just wants mercenary troops, but Pope Urban II launches the First Crusade as an attempt to heal the Schism. Urban also lifts the ban of excommunication on Emperor Alexius I Comnenus.
1100’s
The Maronite church of Syria and Lebanon abandons what’s left of its sympathies for Monothelitism and reestablishes full communion with Rome.
1150
Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus tries, but fails, to conquer Italy so as to reunite the Church on the Byzantine mode
1171
At the order of Emperor Manuel, thousands of Italian merchants (and other Westerners) living in the Byzantine Empire are killed, mutilated, or arrested and held for years in prison.
1180's
Crusader atrocities against Byzantine Christians in Cyprus.
1187
Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelus writes a letter to the Muslim Sultan Saladin congratulating him for successfully recapturing Jerusalem from the Western crusaders.
1188
Emperor Isaac betrays the German army of the Third Crusade. After promising Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa safe passage for his troops through Byzantine dominions on the way to the Holy Land, Isaac uses Turkish mercenaries to ambush and destroy the German army. Informed of his Eastern colleague's treachery, Emperor Frederick sends word to his son Henry in Germany to seek Papal approval for action against the Byzantines. The Pope refuses to give his consent. In the same year (1188) Patriarch Dositheus of Constantinople offers unconditional absolution to any Greek killing a Westerner.
1204
The armies of the Fourth Crusade are persuaded by the Venetians to violently sack Constantinople (their commercial rival). This act of savagery perpetuates hostilities between East and West. At first, the Pope excommunicates the crusaders; but later gives his blessing to the Latin Empire of Constantinople.
1250’s
Roman Catholic missionaries take advantage of the newly-open trade routes of the Mongol Empire, and begin to evangelize central Asia and China. Many Nestorian Christians in these regions re-enter into communion with Rome.
1261
Greeks recapture Constantinople.
1274
FIFTH SCHISM TEMPORARILY HEALED at the Council of Lyons II, called by Pope Gregory X. Soon after, in 1276, Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologos and Pope John XXI affect a reunion of East and West. The East accepts the orthodoxy of Filioque, Unleavened Bread in the Eucharist, and the Western understanding of Purgatory.
1281
SIXTH SCHISM: Temporary reunion is destroyed when Pope Martin IV excommunicates Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologos.
1371
Emperor John V Palaeologus offers to submit to Papal authority in exchange for Western aid against the encroaching Turks.
1439
SIXTH SCHISM HEALED as Emperor John VIII Palaeologos travels to Italy with all four Eastern Patriarchs and submits to Pope Eugene VI. The Act of Union is drafted by the Council of Ferrara-Florence. The East accepts the “Filioque clause” in the form: “From the Father through the Son,” as well as the other Western doctrines approved at Lyons II. Other Eastern churches, such as the Armenians, Jacobites, and some Nestorian bodies re-enter into communion with Rome. This is the beginning of the Eastern Catholic Uniates, which also include Copts, Ethiopians, Maronites, Melchites, Syrians, and Syro-Malankars.
1443
The decisions reached at Ferrara-Florence are bitterly opposed by most of the Byzantine populace and clergy. Partly due to this, the crusade launched by Pope Eugene VI to relieve Constantinople from the surrounding Turks is a dismal failure.
1453
Constantinople falls to the Turks. But, as a touching gesture in the city’s last moments, both Byzantine and Roman Christians receive Holy Communion together in the Church of Hagia Sophia, before facing slavery or death.
1461
The Trebizond Empire (last pocket of the Byzantine Empire) falls to the Turks. The Turks want no contact between Byzantines and the West. They exploit the doctrinal differences, persecuting Western Christians; and naming the Patriarch of Constantinople as head of the Christian community within the Turkish domain (i.e., the bishop of Byzantium finally gets the title of “Ecumenical Patriarch” --from Muslims).
1463
The Greek Orthodox scholar and Roman Catholic Cardinal, Johannes Bessarion, is made Latin Patriarch of Constantinople by Pope Pius II.
1464
A crusade organized by Pope Pius II to rescue Constantinople falls apart before leaving Italy, and Pius dies en route.
1472
SEVENTH SCHISM: The Greek bishops nullify the Ferrara-Florence Act of Union at a synod in Constantinople. Coincidentally (?), in the same year, Grand Duke Ivan III of Moscow marries Zoe Sophia, the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor. Moscow is now considered the “third Rome,” the successor to Constantinople, and the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The prince of Moscow takes the title of Czar (“Caesar”).
1500’s
Protestant churches of the Reformation break off from Rome. The Church of England is established as a supposedly autonomous “Catholic” body.
Also in the 1500’s, Spanish and Portuguese missionaries bring many of the Malabar (Nestorian) and Syro-Malankar (Monophysite) Christians of India back into communion with Rome.
1582
Pope Gregory XIII introduces the new, Gregorian calendar; whereas the East still uses the old Julian calendar. Consequently, East and West celebrate Easter on different dates.
1596
The Union of Brest is formed, as a party of Ukrainian bishops appeals to Rome to be readmitted into communion with the Western Church, while being allowed to retain their specific Eastern Liturgy, theology and discipline.
1667
The Russian Orthodox Church adopts the Athanasian Creed (minus the “Filioque clause.”)
The adoption of the Athanasian Creed is somehow related to the liturgical reforms conducted under Patriarch Nikon of Moscow (1605-81) after Russia recaptured the Ukraine from Poland in 1667. Formerly a metropolitan district under Constantinople, certain conditions had to be met before the Ukraine could accept the leadership of the Moscow Patriarch. To this end, Nikon introduced reforms into the Russian ritual adhering more closely to the original Byzantine Liturgy which, he discovered, had been distorted in the Slavonic translation from Greek. His reforms, however, caused a schism, with most of the Russian clergy refusing to abandon rituals which were followed for centuries. But, at a Russian synod in 1667, the dissenters were declared schismatics.
1646
The Union of Uzhorod is formed, in which another group of Eastern Orthodox clergy and laymen (this time from the Transcarpathian region of what is now Slovakia, Ukraine, and Hungary) also request acceptance into communion with Rome.
1724
After a dispute over patriarchal succession in the Antiochian Orthodox Church, a party of Melchites in Syria seeks to re-enter into communion with Rome. Rome recognizes the Melchite Catholic Patriarch in Damascus.
1780
The Greek Orthodox Church adopts the Athanasian Creed, but drops it soon afterward.
1800’s
The Roman Catholic Church defines both Papal Infallibility and Mary’s Immaculate Conception to be dogmas of the universal Church. Numerous Byzantine-Rite communities in Eastern Europe and the Ukraine enter into communion with Rome, forming the greater part of the Byzantine Catholic Church.
1950
The Pope defines Mary’s Assumption (aka Dormition) as a dogma.
1965
Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagorus of Constantinople meet and nullify the mutual excommunications. Although better relations are established, the East-West Schism continues.
1991
Pope John Paul II works to bring about reunion with the East. He says, “The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are two lungs within the same Body.” ...and how “we must learn to breathe with both lungs.” He also declares that “ignorance of the Eastern Rite is ignorance of the Church.”
1993
John Paul II affects a reunion with the Nestorian Patriarch, welcoming the Nestorians of Syria and Iraq back into communion with Rome after their acceptance of the “Theotokos” dogma. The Nestorian schism of 431 is largely healed; and the Apostolic Christians of Iraq are now called Chaldean Catholics.
1994
A significant number of Anglican communities re-enter into communion with Rome.
2000
March 12th, 2000, at the Vatican in Rome, Pope John Paul II formally asked forgiveness for the various sins committed by the Catholic Church over the last two millennium. In his "Day of Pardon" homily, the Pope confessed:
"... we cannot fail to recognize the infidelities to the Gospel committed by some of our brethren, especially during the second millennium. Let us ask pardon for the divisions which have occurred among Christians, for the violence some have used in the service of the truth and for the distrustful and hostile attitudes sometimes taken towards the followers of other religions."
2001
Pope JP II addresses the Archibishop of Athens and Primate of Greece. He said:
"Clearly there is a need for a liberating process of purification of memory. For the occasions past and present, when sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by action or omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us the forgiveness we beg of Him."
"Some memories are especially painful, and some events of the distant past have left deep wounds in the minds and hearts of people to this day. I am thinking of the disastrous sack of the imperial city of Constantinople, which was for so long the bastion of Christianity in the East. It is tragic that the assailants, who had set out to secure free access for Christians to the Holy Land, turned against their own brothers in the faith. The fact that they were Latin Christians [Roman Catholics] fills Catholics with deep regret. How can we fail to see here the 'mysterium iniquitatis' at work in the human heart? To God alone belongs judgment and, therefore, we entrust the heavy burden of the past to his endless mercy, imploring him to heal the wounds that still cause suffering to the spirit of the Greek people."
JPII and Orthodox

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  32. Why did the Pope have a Kingdom?
  33. Evangelicals becoming Orthodox
  34. Did Catholics force "Mortal Sin" on eastern churches?

DID CATHOLICS DECLARE 'LUCIFER' AS THEIR GOD?

From WIKIPEDIA:

The Exsultet has been the subject of numerous online conspiracy theory videos attempting to show that Catholic practice is actually devil-worship. These conspiracy theories usually show a recording of a deacon chanting the final portions of the Exsultet in Latin, captioned with a purported "translation" of the text into English with these or similar words:

These conspiracy theorists selectively translate, poorly and ungrammatically, everything except the word lucifer ("light-bearer" or "Morning Star"), which is used in 2 Peter 1 and Revelation 2 and 22 as a title for Christ, attempting to use the term as a name for Satan.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anti-Catholics (that includes all various protestant churches, cults, sects) has been using this video below that says "VATICAN DECLARED 'LUCIFER' AS THEIR GOD".

Honestly, there is NOTHING WRONG with that video. What is wrong is that, those DECEIVING PASTORS freaks out with those LATIN words "LUCIFER" that was being read during the EXULTET during the EASTER VIGIL Mass at the Vatican.

LUCIFER in Latin means LIGHT BEARER OR MORNING STAR in English.

Here is the Latin Exultet being read:

Orámus ergo te, Dómine,
ut céreus iste in honórem tui nóminis consecrátus,
ad noctis huius calíginem destruéndam,
indefíciens persevéret.
Et in odórem suavitátis accéptus,
supérnis lumináribus misceátur.
Flammas eius LUCIFER matutínus invéniat:
ille, inquam, lúcifer, qui nescit occásum.
Christus Fílius tuus,
qui, regréssus ab ínferis, humáno géneri serénus illúxit,
et vivit et regnat in sæcula sæculórum.

Deceivers interpret the LATIN EXULTED in English and RETAINS that word "lucifer" to prove that the Catholic Church are "devil worshipers". Consider the English translations of the Exultet.

Therefore, O Lord,
we pray you that this candle,
hallowed to the honor of your name,
may persevere undimmed,
to overcome the darkness of this night.
Receive it as a pleasing fragrance,
and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.
May this flame be found still burning by the MORNING STAR:
the one morning star who never sets,
Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death's domain,
has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
and lives and reigns for ever and ever.




Friday, May 27, 2016

Conversion Story of a Former Iglesia Ni Cristo member to Catholicism, now a Resilient Catholic Defender!

Sean Nathaniel: A Story of Family's Conversion to Catholic Faith that Rooted from Dad’s Smashing of the Virgin Mary’s Image

By: Sean Nathaniel
Source: JesusChristMinistry blog


The sequence of events pertaining to his Dad’s ultimate conversion to Catholicism is still fresh to his memories. Back then, he was eight years old and had no religion, who could not be baptized because he was not at the right age yet based on their doctrine.

Formerly his father was a baptized Catholic but converted to Iglesia ni Cristo, while her mother was a Catholic who was constrained of conversion as their marriage was not sanctioned once without their affiliation to the sect mentioned.

While it is true that they were devoted to their worship services, searching everything inscribed in the Scriptures had not driven him yet considering his age at eight so he just allowed the flow and be tied in with.

Nevertheless, he could sense that his Mom’s association and devotions were simply twisted by somebody’s arm than heartfelt.

One day, his mother turned to be sickly.

Perplexed as he was, his Dad told his Mom to see a doctor for a check up, and so she did.

Back home after her check up, he noticed from his room’s window of his teary-eyed Mom.

At about 5pm coming from the office, his Dad approached his Mom with a kiss on her cheek, offered a snack and conversed.

His Mom desired to have a vacation to see his grandmother as she missed her, which his Dad granted provided that it was only for 6 days.

Out of assertiveness, he was also given the go-ahead to so he joined the 6-day vacation.

It was Monday when they went to his Granny’s place and in high spirits because at last he would get a view of the farm for the first time.

The Philippine president-elect's shocking insult to Catholic bishops

What a disgrace!
Rodrigo Duterte, the Filipino president-elect, who is expected to take office June 30, 2016. Credit: Malacañang Photo Bureau/Public Domain via Wikipedia
Manila, Philippines, May 26, 2016 / 04:25 pm (CNA).- The president-elect of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, recently described the country's bishops as corrupt and “sons of whores” for allegedly resorting to seeking favors from politicians.

During a May 20 press conference, the president-elect described the Catholic Church as “the most hypocritical institution” and insulted the Filipino bishops: “You sons of whores, aren't you ashamed? You ask for so many favors, even from me.”

It is estimated that more than 80% of Filipinos are part of the Catholic Church.

Duterte won 38.5 percent of the vote for president of the Philippines, which was held May 9. While the nation's congress has not yet declared the result official, his lead is unassailable.

Currently mayor of Davao City, Duterte has built his political image as a tough leader. Nicknamed “the Punisher” by Time Magazine, Duterte brought law and order to Davao – known in the '70s and '80s as the murder capital of the country – with drastic measures which included, according to various human rights organizations, allowing death squads to operate.

He has served as mayor of Davao since 1988, except a three-year period when he was term-limited, and another three-year period when he served as vice mayor, while his daughter Sara was mayor.

During the election campaign, the Church in the Philippines expressed its opposition to several of Duterte's proposals, such as re-instituting the death penalty.

PDI OPINION: Duterte’s unfair tactics and lies against Roman Catholic bishops

BULLSEYE!

Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:10 AM May 25th, 2016

These are presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s false charges and unfair tactics against the bishops of the Catholic Church whenever they humbly assert their moral duty and their magisterium, as apostles of God, like when they opposed his plan to reimpose the death penalty (this time, by hanging, at that):
1. Ad hominem. Attack the honor, character and integrity of the Catholic Church and its bishops.
He alleges he was a victim of sexual abuse by a priest 50 years ago when he was 10. (His father, former governor of Davao, apparently ignored it or did not believe it because until recently, Duterte did not talk about the actions taken by his prominent family in response—if what he claims is true).
Some bishops received vehicles and financial support from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (They returned the vehicles to the government during a Senate inquiry, as an act of spiritual detachment to material things, despite their great need for mobility and accessibility, considering their multifarious field pastoral work to serve millions of Catholics in far-flung areas).
By virtue of the constitutional doctrine of “separation of Church and state,” the Church is “absolutely” prohibited from collaborating with and receiving assistance from government for its social action programs that benefit the poor and the oppressed. (According to many Supreme Court decisions, the Constitution allows “collaboration” between Church and state to promote the general welfare, and the matter of the Church receiving reasonable support from the state does not violate the separation doctrine.
That the Church is the “most hypocritical institution” in the Philippines. (Duterte, of course, skirts the issues on his unexplained wealth in BPI, his dubious SALNs, the inconsistencies, if not lies, in his speeches [his positions on issues change from time to time, depending on his audience], his secret meetings with Chinese officials and the Sultan of Brunei during the campaign, his allegation about poverty and lack of campaign funds [belied by his TV and radio political ads worth millions of pesos] his secret big-time financiers from mining, rice-trading and other business sectors, and his many other claims that amounted to gross dishonesty, irresponsibility and hypocrisy).
2. Diversionary tactic. Ignore the main arguments. (The United Nations and its agencies urge member-states to reject death penalty as a policy. The Second Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Convention prohibits death penalty since the 1970s. The current international norm rejects death penalty, except for a few states—e.g., United States, China, Singapore). Divert instead the attention of the public to irrelevant or collateral issues.
Sometimes I am tempted to conclude that Duterte’s very close, if not fanatical, association with top-ranking communist leaders and his deep ideological indoctrination to communism since the 1960s up to now have turned him into an atheist, the “religion” of hardcore communists.
Whenever I listen to Duterte, I always get the feeling that his mind is not only agitated by hate and overblown ego but also closed to reason and differing opinions, and that he listens only to himself and his alter egos, and that he believes his own lies.
—MANUEL J. LASERNA JR., former professor of law, Far Eastern University, partner, Laserna Cueva-Mercader Law Offices, Las Piñas City


Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/94893/dutertes-unfair-tactics-and-lies-against-roman-catholic-bishops#ixzz49osX8YH3
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Catholic Church better at retaining faithful than other churches, study finds

Source: CatholicSay
May 24, 2016


The Church has the highest retention rate of any denomination, but the lowest rate of conversions

English and Welsh Catholicism in 2016 is a religion mainly of cradle Catholics, according to a new study.

The report finds that 3.8m people in England and Wales identify as Catholic, while 6.2m say they were raised Catholic.

This means Catholics have the strongest retention rate of any Christian denomination in England and Wales – 55.8 per cent of cradle Catholics still identify as Catholic. But the Church also has the lowest rate of conversions: only 7.7 per cent.

The figures come in the first report issued by the Catholic Research Forum, a new initiative of the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary’s University. The forum aims to provide “academically rigorous and pastorally useful" research.

The report, authored by the centre’s director Dr Stephen Bullivant, is based on data from the British Social Attitudes survey (BSA).

Bullivant told the Catholic Herald: “However depressing our retention stats are, they’re actually the strongest of the main denominations. To put it a bit crudely, it’s a “losing game" for everyone, but we’re doing something less catastrophic than others."

It offers a statistical picture of Catholicism broken down by region, age, ethnicity, frequency of Mass attendance and several other categories. It also provides a broader account of religion in England and Wales, showing that the fastest-growing churches are those outside the Anglican Communion or the Catholic Church, and that nearly half the population (48.5 per cent) say they have “no religion".

According to the report, the Catholic population has remained steady over the last 30 years, and is now 8.3 per cent. By contrast, the proportion of the population identifying as Anglican has slipped from 44.5 per cent in 1983 to 19 per cent in 2014.

A common theory is that this is down to immigration. The report finds that, according to the BSA’s categories, there are more people of “Black (African origin)" among the Catholic population than among the general population. The same goes for “Asian (other)", a category which includes Filipinos and Vietnamese.

Q&A: What is the Catholic Church’s official position on Freemasonry? Are Catholics free to become Freemasons?


Source: Catholic Say

Full Question

What is the Catholic Church’s official position on Freemasonry? Are Catholics free to become Freemasons?

Answer

Freemasonry is incompatible with the Catholic faith. Freemasonry teaches a naturalistic religion that espouses indifferentism, the position that a person can be equally pleasing to God while remaining in any religion.

Masonry is a parallel religion to Christianity. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states, “Freemasonry displays all the elements of religion, and as such it becomes a rival to the religion of the Gospel. It includes temples and altars, prayers, a moral code, worship, vestments, feast days, the promise of reward or punishment in the afterlife, a hierarchy, and initiation and burial rites.”

Masonry is also a secret society. Its initiates subscribe to secret blood oaths that are contrary to Christian morals. The prospective Mason swears that if he ever reveals the secrets of Masonry – secrets which are trivial and already well-known – he wills to be subject to self-mutilation or to gruesome execution. (Most Masons, admittedly, never would dream of carrying out these punishments on themselves or on an errant member).

Historically, one of Masonry’s primary objectives has been the destruction of the Catholic Church; this is especially true of Freemasonry as it has existed in certain European countries. In the United States, Freemasonry is often little more than a social club, but it still espouses a naturalistic religion that contradicts orthodox Christianity. (Those interested in joining a men’s club should consider the Knights of Columbus instead.)

The Church has imposed the penalty of excommunication on Catholics who become Freemasons. The penalty of excommunication for joining the Masonic Lodge was explicit in the 1917 code of canon law (canon 2335), and it is implicit in the 1983 code (canon 1374).

Because the revised code of canon law is not explicit on this point, some drew the mistaken conclusion that the Church’s prohibition of Freemasonry had been dropped. As a result of this confusion, shortly before the 1983 code was promulgated, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement indicating that the penalty was still in force. This statement was dated November 26, 1983 and may be found in Origins 13/27 (Nov. 15, 1983), 450.

Monday, May 23, 2016

MY LOYALTY TO A LEADER ENDS WHERE MY LOYALTY TO MY FAITH IN GOD AND OBEDIENCE TO HIS CHURCH AUTHORITIES BEGINS


When told about Quiboloy's hurt feelings when Duterte seems to ease out the pastor during the selection of his Cabinet members, Duterte blurterd: "I am sorry. My loyalty to my friend ends where my loyalty to my country begins." (Read HERE)
 
As a Catholic, I too will say "I AM SORRY MR DUTERTE. MY LOYALTY TO MY PRESIDENT ENDS WHERE MY LOYALTY TO MY FAITH IN GOD AND HIS CHURCH BEGINS."

Revealing his deep-seated grudges against the Catholic Church during his interview with ABS-CBN News Sunday, Mr. Duterte lambasted the Catholic Church as the "MOST HYPOCRITICAL INSTITUTION" after enumerating what he says the sins of the Catholic Church. I could only shook my head in disbelief.  What  a disgrace. And what would Catholic priests and bishops from the Visayas and Mindanao who defended his unbecoming behavior would say in response?  And what would CFD's (Catholic Faith Defenders) response to his venomous attack against the Church as an institution and her ordained priests and bishops?  I can only surmise.  Is this the kind of 'CHANGE' we Catholic Filipinos are expecting from him? Did we vote for him so as to attack us the next day?

Here are his rantings:
  • He belittle the power of the Catholic Bishops as he considers his win as a clear referendum between him and the Catholic Church. 
  • He boasts that although the bishops issued a Pastoral Letter "not to vote" for him (but the Bishops didn't name names), still he won among Catholics.
  • He assumes his authority over Catholics with their bishops "iilan lang kayo!"
  • He was "molested" by a Catholic priest according to him of which he laments because the priest already died 20 years ago and this is what he wants to start a fight against the Catholic priests and bishops.
  • He wants to lecture Catholic bishops and priests of the sins of the Catholic Church since "institution of papacy" began.
  • He dares he can drop names of bishops and priests who have fathered illegitimate children and that this is the "explosion" in the Catholic as a church.
  • He wants a debate with any of the Catholic Bishops!
  • Catholic bishops and priests are humans (still that's what we Catholics thought of our bishops and priests) prone to sin. And that this sin of clandestine priests will ultimately cause them "all fall down".
  • The Catholic Church is just a "show" (pageantry).
  • He curses Catholic bishops and priests living in "luxurious lifestyles" allegedly coming from politicians.
  • Catholic bishops and priests who are soliciting donations from him, now barking at him.
  • He believes in God but not in religion.
  • He rejects Catholic rituals!
  • He doesn't believe someone (like sinful human Catholic priests) could take away sins.  He said, priests / bishops aren't Gods (and we Catholic also believed that but they're given the authority to 'bind and loose')
As a Catholic 'faith defender', I cannot be silent on this matter. it's time to role up our sleeves once again and let's go back to prayer, fasting, sacrifice and action! RISE UP CATHOLICS!

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News
Posted at May 22 2016 01:20 PM

Duterte calls Catholic Church 'most hypocritical institution'

Warning: Video contains offensive language.



(2nd UPDATE) OLD GRUDGES. Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday dubbed the Catholic Church as the "most hypocritical institution" as he lambasted its bishops for supposedly attempting to erode public support for him before the May 9 elections.

Duterte told reporters in Davao City that the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) released a pastoral letter a few days before the elections in a bid to dissuade the electorate from voting for him.

Despite this, Duterte said he still won the presidential elections, which he described as a "public referendum" between him and the bishops. The long-time mayor of Davao City has a 6.2 million lead over administration candidate, Mar Roxas, going into the official canvassing of the results by Congress this week. Three of his four rivals have conceded.

"They campaigned against me, everybody was saying 'Do not vote for Duterte.' Fine. I said, let this election be a referendum between me and the Catholic Church... Sabi ko, this will be a referendum kung sinong tama sa atin. Look, were you able to stop me? Iilan lang kayong mga obispo diyan," he said.

In an apparent reference to Duterte, the CBCP on May 1 urged the public to reject a "morally reprehensible" candidate who has shown "scant regard" for the rights of others and the teachings of the Church.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

SOLEMNITY SUNDAY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY!

A traditional diagram that explains in simple terms about the Blessed Trinity
Islam's mistaken view on Trinity say that we, Catholics invented the Holy Trinity by making Allah (God), Isa (Jesus) and Mariam (Mary /Mariam) as equal with that ONE GODHEAD (see Wikipedia).

The doctrine of the Holy Trinity makes Christianity UNIQUE among all the religions in the world. It kept Christianity INTACT and DIVIDED. And it produced various dissenting groups among the Protestants and different dissenting groups keep on multiplying but not populating in numbers.

What is the HOLY TRINITY? Where is it in the Bible? And why it is THE GOD we know and we worship?

Here is from Catholic Education Resource Center written by a Jesuit priest, Rev. Fr. John a. Hardon, S.J.

The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the most fundamental of our faith. On it everything else depends and from it everything else derives. Hence the Churchs constant concern to safeguard the revealed truth that God is One in nature and Three in Persons.

In order to do some justice to this sublime subject, we shall look only briefly at the heretical positions that at various periods of the Church's history challenged the revealed Trinitarian faith. Our principal intention is to see in sequence the development of the doctrine, with emphasis on how the Church's authority has contributed to the progress in understanding the plurality of persons in the one true God.

There is also great value in seeing some of the implications of the doctrine for our personal and social lives, since the mystery was most extensively revealed by Christ during the same discourse at the Last Supper when He taught us the "New Commandment" by which we are to love one another as He has been loving us.


Trinitarian Heresies

There is a certain logic in the adversative positions assumed by those who called into question one or another aspect of the Trinity. Not surprisingly the human mind has wrestled with what God revealed about Himself in His inner Trinitarian existence. And depending on the willingness to recognize its limitations, the intellect has been enlightened by what God says about His mysterious being.

Thus we have, on the one hand, such extensive treatises as St. Augustine's De Trinitate that show how perfectly compatible is the mystery of the Triune God with the deepest reaches of human intelligence. Indeed, the better the Trinity is understood, the more the human mind expands its horizons and the better it understands the world that the Trinity has created.

At the same time, we have the spectacle of another phenomenon. Minds that are not fully docile to the faith have, in greater or less measure, resisted the unquestioning acceptance of the Trinity. From apostolic times to the present, they have struggled with themselves and in their misguided effort to "explain" the mystery have only rationalized their own ideas of what the mystery should be.

For the sake of convenience, we can capsulize the leading anti-Trinitarian teachings of Christian history. Although given here somewhat chronologically, they are all very current because one or another, or a combination of several, may be found in contemporary writings in nominally Christian sources. There is no such thing as an antiquated doctrinal error, as correspondingly there is no such thing as an entirely new heresy. Error has its own remarkable consistency.


Monarchianism

By the end of the first century, certain Judaizing Christians lapsed into a pre-Christian notion of God. According to them God is simply unipersonal. Such were the Corinthians and the Ebionites.

Within the next hundred years these theories were systemized into what has since become known as Monarchianism, i.e., monos = one + archein = to rule, which postulates only one person in God. In practice, however, Monarchianism affected certain positions regarding the nature and person of Christ; and these were the ones that finally had to be countered by the Church's Magisterium.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

'GETTING TO KNOW THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO': PANLILITO AT PANLILINLANG — GAWAIN NG KADILIMAN


Ano nga ba talaga? Iglesia Ni Cristo o Church of Christ? O pareho?

Alam niyo ba ang mga paniki ay ang bukod tanging mammals na may pakpak at karaniwa’y nakikitang lumilipad pagsapit ng takipsilim hanggang sa magbubukang-liwayway.

Ang mga paniki ay HINDI IBON. Katulad din sila ng ibang mga mammals na may buhok at hindi balahibo. Nanganganak at hindi nangingitlog tulad ng mga ibon maliban sa Monotreme na nangingitlog.

Ngunit sa mga taong hindi pa nakakakita ng paniki sa kanilang buhay, sa biglang tingin, habang sila’y lumilipad sa kadiliman, pagkakamalan nga naman silang mga ibon.

Dahil sa totoo lang, ang akala ng ilan, ang LAHAT NG LUMILIPAD ay ibon. Nakakalito! Nakakalinlang! Hindi ba?

Kaya ginamit ko ang paghahambing na ito ay sapagkat MARAMING MGA Kristiano ang NABULID sa ganitong PAGKALITO kaya’t NALINLANG. Akala nila tunay na Iglesia, iyon pala ay huwad.

Gawain po kasi ni Satanas ang panlilito para makapanlinlang.

Aminin po natin na NAPAKARAMI pang mga Katoliko ang SALAT na SALAT pa sa KAALAMAN tungkol sa pananampalataya.  Kaya't ito ay SINASAMANTALA ng mga bulaang mangangaral upang manlito at manlilang.

Maraming mga Katoliko na ang UMANIB sa samahang ITINATAG ni FELIX MANALO (na dating Katoliko rin) noong taong 1914 sa pag-aakalang ang ‘IGLESIA NI CRISTO®’ na KANIYANG TATAG ay ang “tunay” raw na Iglesiang itinatag ni Cristo.

PANLILINLANG SA PAMAMAGITAN NG WIKA

Thursday, May 19, 2016

BISHOP ENRIQUE V. MACARAEG, NEW BISHOP OF TARLAC

THE COAT OF ARMS OF BISHOP ENRIQUE V. MACARAEG, BISHOP OF TARLAC

The right side of the seal refers to the personal life story and mission of the new bishop.

The red upper part refers to Lingayen Gulf rendered in such color by the blood of Filipino soldiers who died there during the Second World War. It also refers to the courage of Pangasinense Catholics who have braved many religious and political upheavals but have remained steadfast through centuries. There is flash of lightning across the red signifying Malasiqui from which town the Macaraeg family hail from. Lasi in Pangasinan means lightning and Malasiqui means a place of intense lightning. A bishop from the land of intense lightning is a sign that the Gospel is no longer just a flash of lightning. The light of the Gospel has stayed on in Malasiqui and now has produced its first bishop son.

The green lower part refers to the vast fertile plains of Pangasinan where crops of various kinds grow but this vast fertile soil has also given rise to many Pangasinense heroes and illustrious men of the Church and the bishop now joins the ranks of the fruitful harvest from the fertile soil. The Dominican cross on the lower middle left refers to the UST Central Seminary while opposite it is the Marian symbol referring the Mary Help of Christians High School Seminary where the bishop underwent formation for the priesthood.

The left side of the seal refers to the Diocese of Tarlac.

The cudgel and the two arrows refer to San Sebastian, the patron of the Cathedral and the diocese. On orders of Diocletian, Sebastian was made a target practice for archery and his body was riddled with arrows almost like an urchin. Finally Sebastian was beaten to death with clubs and his remains thrown into the sewers.

The motto of the bishop is Vivere Christus Est taken from the letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 1:21. His life mission may be summarized in these simple verses:

My life is Jesus Christ
My love is Christ the Lord
My mission is Him alone
Jesus Christ is all for me.

Fullness of life from him
True peace and joy in him
We begin and end in him
Christ is my love, my only love!

AP: Philadelphia’s Pink Sisters have prayed nonstop for 100 years

December 28, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — For more than 100 years, the cloistered nuns known as the Pink Sisters have worked in shifts to ensure nonstop prayer in Philadelphia’s Chapel of Divine Love.

Now, to address their shrinking numbers and ensure their prayers continue for another century, the Roman Catholic Holy Spirit Adoration sisters have begun quietly reaching out, seeking to grow their order while carefully maintaining their secluded life.

In the last year, they hung a banner outside their chapel and convent as a way to let other people know about their daily public Masses. They’ve granted more interviews with news reporters. And they have begun inviting Catholic women’s organizations and schools to speak to the sisters — with all conversations taking place through the grille in the convent visiting room, of course.

There’s even a subtle recruitment flier hanging just inside the front door of the chapel. It encourages visitors to ask themselves three questions: Do you love Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? Do you realize the power of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament? Is Jesus calling you to say “yes” to a life of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament?

“We rarely reached out for vocation promotion before the centennial. But now we want young ladies to see how beautiful the life is and how truer the joy when it is without the trappings of material things,” said Sister Maria Clarissa, 55. “We do our part in addressing these challenges, but at the same time, we leave it to the Lord. He’s the one who calls.”

The order was founded in Holland in 1896 with a focus on the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the consecrated bread they uphold as the body and blood of Christ. The rose-hued habits are meant to symbolize the joy the sisters feel honoring the Holy Spirit.

In 1915, nine of the original sisters left the motherhouse and came to Philadelphia, where they were invited to open the order’s second convent.

Today there are about 420 Holy Spirit Adoration sisters living in 22 convents in 12 countries. There are three other US convents — in St. Louis; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Lincoln, Nebraska.

It may come as a surprise to some that a group of 20 nuns live a contemplative, secluded life not far from Philadelphia’s famed museums, historic landmarks and government. The sisters leave the cloister only for emergencies, such as medical appointments. When they do venture out, the sisters wear gray so as not to draw too much attention to themselves.

It is a selfless life, focused on offering intercessory prayers on behalf of people they will never meet living in places they will never see. They pray most of the day, together and individually in shifts before the Blessed Sacrament, generally waking up at 5:15 a.m. to prepare for the first daily service, going to bed after the 8 p.m. final prayers.

All the sisters have jobs. Some craft Mass cards and rosaries, the sales of which support the convent. Other sisters respond to letters and answer the phones. Some callers are lonely; others are suicidal. Just listening, the sisters say, seems to make a difference.

The sisters get one hour of free time and one hour of recreation each day. They are allowed visits from family and friends three times a year.

Sister Mary Angelica, 55, said she wants people who have lost touch with their faith to know there is always someone praying for them, “no matter what their need may be.”

The sisters follow current events, but the newspapers they receive don’t include the sports or entertainment sections.

“We try to be as simple as possible so we can focus on the Lord,” explained Mary Angelica. “We are simple in everything, even meals — though on special occasions, we have ice cream.”

Monday, May 16, 2016

Muslims Impose New Law On Christians: ‘If You Reject Islam And Accept Christ As Your Savior, We Will Force Your Children To Worship Allah’

By Ted on November 9, 2015


The Islamic nation of Iraq is imposing a new law on Christians: if you reject Islam and accept Christ as your Savior, then your children will be forced to be Muslim. According to one report:

An Iraqi law that forces children of Christian converts to be legally recognized as Muslims will lead to Christianity’s extinction, says Bishop Rabban al-Qas.

Al-Qas, the senior Catholic Bishop in the Dohuk area of Iraqi Kurdistan, has spoken out against the Iraqi parliament’s rejection of an amendment to a law that forces children who have one parent who converted from Islam to be automatically considered a Muslim upon birth.

The Bishop asserts that the law discriminates against Christians and other religious minorities and doesn’t give the child the ability to eventually choose his or her own faith. The changing of one’s religious affiliation can be a difficult task considering accusations of apostasy, a serious offense under Islamic law, are generally hurled around when someone converts.

Christian legislators proposed an amendment to the law that would have given children the ability to choose their religious affiliation once they reach the age of 18, which prevents them from automatically being labeled as a Muslim against their will.

Although the measure received backing from members of a number of political parties and religious groups, the measure failed miserably when it came time for a vote. Only 51 members voted in favor of the amendment, while 137 members voted against it.

Al-Qas recently spoke with Asia News and explained that the parliament’s failure to amend the law will have serious “repercussions in Kurdistan,” which has not yet been affected by the legislation.

“Once it was possible to change religion at the age of 18,” al-Qas explained. “Now that is outlawed. This is a serious decision by the government in Baghdad behind which one finds fanatical groups and extremist groups that did their utmost to ensure that parliament would reject the amendment.”

With the rise of the barbaric Islamic State terrorist organization having driven hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities from their homes and out of the country, al-Qas feels that the law that imposes Islam on children of converts only further promotes the idea that non-Muslims are not welcome in Iraq.

“We are facing a genocide in a country that knows only death and liberticidal laws,” al-Qas asserted, adding that there is “neither freedom nor respect” in Iraq.

Al-Qas, who along with his priests provide humanitarian support to Christian refugees from Mosul who have been pushed out of their homes by IS, added that the law only encourages the remaining Christians to leave the country. He said the law will accelerate the process of Christianity’s extinction from the biblical region.

“It is not just a political project. There are also traces of an Islam that wants to eliminate minorities — a faith that prevents you from coming back or change if you are Muslim. If you change your religion, it will be forever. Such a mentality has nothing that is human,” al-Qas asserted. “Not only have they taken homes and property from Christians, but now they also want to take their willpower, hope, freedom of religion and freedom to choose for the future.”

Earlier in the week, Canon Andrew White, who was the only Anglican vicar in Iraq before he fled the country after his life was threatened by IS, told Christian Today that the persecution being faced by Iraqi Christians today is the worst ordeal Christians in Iraq have ever had to endure.

“The big question is, will there be Christians in the Middle East in five years?” White wondered. “Christianity will probably survive. It has been through so much. But this is the hardest thing it has been through.”

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