"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

Monday, December 4, 2017

Is There an Official Catholic Position on Islam?

William Kilpatrick
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2016

[Catholic Thing] Like most Americans, I didn’t know a great deal about Islam prior to 9/11. So, for a while anyway, I accepted the formula that “Islam” means “peace.”

That’s what President Bush and other world leaders assured us, and they also insisted that the 9/11 terrorists represented only a tiny minority of Muslims. The most compelling argument for me, however, was that the Catholic Church seemed to hold the same view – that Islam was a religion of peace.

The linchpin of that positive assessment of Islam was the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate. The section on the Church’s relationship with Muslims states that Muslims “adore the one God,” “revere Jesus,” “honor Mary,” and “value the moral life.” Their religion, in other words, was just like ours.

If that was the case, then it stood to reason that Islam, like Catholicism, was a peaceful religion and that terrorists, therefore, misunderstood their own faith.

Given that the West understood very little about Islam at the time, and given that Nostra Aetate paints Islam in a positive light, it’s understandable that Catholics circa 2001 would accept the notion that “Islam means peace.”

It’s amazing, however, that, fifteen years later, many still do. Since 9/11, a great deal of evidence has accumulated to suggest that Islam is not a peaceful religion and was never intended to be. The evidence can be found in abundance in the texts and teachings of Islam, in the pages of history, and also in the streaming headlines that run across the bottom of your TV screen.

Still, there’s Nostra Aetate to contend with. Some Catholics take it as holy writ – the Church’s final and definitive word on the religion of Islam. Ever since Vatican II, it has served to limit rather than expand knowledge about Islam. As far as some Catholics are concerned, the Church has spoken (through Nostra Aetate) on the subject of Islam, and there’s nothing more to say.

This seems to be the position, for example, of Msgr. Stuart Swetland, the president of Donnelly College, who recently asserted that those who deny the peaceful nature of Islam are “at odds with the magisterial teachings on what authentic Islam is.”


But it appears now that the much-cited “magisterial teachings” on Islam were never intended to be definitive. Nostra Aetate seems to have been meant primarily as a gesture of outreach to non-Christians. The preface to the document makes it clear that its concern is chiefly with “what men have in common and what draws them to fellowship.” Even a casual reading of the documents reveals that the Council Fathers were aiming at fellowship, not doctrinal precision.

Some of the sharpest criticism of Nostra Aetate comes from Pope Benedict. In an October 2012 essay for L’Osservatore Romano, Benedict wrote of a “weakness” in Nostra Aetate: “It speaks of religion solely in a positive way, and it disregards the sick and distorted forms of religion.” Was he thinking of Nostra Aetate’s one-sidedly positive assessment of Islam and its corresponding lack of caution? For the sake of fellowship, had the Council fathers decided to ignore the darker side of the Muslim faith?

It seems likely that this is what Benedict had in mind when he spoke of a “weakness” in the document. A few months earlier, Vatican Cardinal Walter Brandmuller was quoted as saying that Nostra Aetate does “not have a binding doctrinal content.” Since he is the co-author (with Vatican Bishop Agostino Marchetto) of a book titled Pope Benedict XVI’s Keys for Interpreting Vatican II, it is probable that Benedict shares that view.

The trouble with Nostra Aetate is that it leaves us with an incomplete picture of Islam. Underneath the surface similarities between Islam and Christianity noted in that document, there is a vast gulf. Catholics whose only familiarity with Islamic beliefs comes from Nostra Aetate or the Catechism of the Catholic Church would never know that Islam is built upon a specific and often vehement rejection of almost all the main doctrines of the Christian revelation – the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Their religion, in short, is not “just like ours.”

It’s refreshing, then, that slowly but surely Church authorities are taking a more realistic view of the document. The most recent indication of that change of mind is a statement by Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the Secretary of the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei. “Nostra Aetate,” he told a German Newspaper, “does not have any dogmatic authority, and thus one cannot demand from anyone to recognize this declaration as being dogmatic.” As far as I know, no one has contradicted him on the point.

This is good news. The fiction that Nostra Aetate obliges Catholics to believe in the peaceful nature of Islam has done quite a bit of harm – primarily by giving Catholics a false sense of security about the threat from Islam. Now that it is being put in its proper perspective, the way is open for Catholics to think more realistically about the faith founded by Muhammad. One place to start is to put to rest the notion that the word “Islam” means “peace.” It means “submission.”

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Pope Francis Apostolic Travel to Myanmar and Bangladesh






Catholic Herald:Victims’ group apologises to priest after abuse claims dropped

(Getty image)
Fr Joseph Jiang sued the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests after abuse claims against him were dismissed

[Catholic Herald] The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has issued an apology to the Archdiocese of St Louis and two of its priests, Father Joseph Jiang and the late Mgr Joseph D. Pins, admitting allegations against them were false.

“The SNAP defendants never want to see anyone falsely accused of a crime. Admittedly, false reports of clergy sexual abuse do occur,” the group said.

“The SNAP defendants have no personal knowledge as to the complaints against Father Joseph Jiang and acknowledge that all matters and claims against Father Jiang have either been dismissed or adjudicated in favor of Father Jiang,” it said.

“SNAP acknowledges that false claims of clergy sexual abuse injure those clerics falsely accused and the Roman Catholic Church,” the apology added.



The apology was issued as part of a settlement with SNAP in a defamation lawsuit filed by Father Jiang in 2015, according to the archdiocese.

Mgr Pins died of cancer June 17, 2015. Ordained in 1970, he had been rector of the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis for 13 years at the time of his death.

The priest had been mentioned in a civil lawsuit that accused the archdiocese and St Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson of supposedly covering up for a priest accused in 2012, wrongly as it turned out, of molesting a teenage girl. The suit claimed the archbishop and Mgr Pins ignored requests to reassign the priest.

Father Jiang was associate pastor at the cathedral basilica when allegations arose that he had molested a 15-year-old girl who attended Mass there with her family.

A judge dismissed the criminal case against Fr Jiang in 2013 because prosecutors could not show the priest was ever alone with the girl at her home, where the alleged abuse supposedly took place. In 2014, Father Jiang was arrested and charged with molesting a young boy, but a year later, that charge also was dropped.

To clear his name, Fr Jiang filed a defamation lawsuit in 2015 against the boy’s parents and SNAP, “contending that the boy had been coached to falsely accuse an innocent man,” according to court records. The lawsuit also accused SNAP of carrying out a “shameless smear campaign” that “destroyed the life of a promising young man and priest.”

As part of the settlement of the suit, SNAP issued the apology.

“SNAP apologizes,” it said, “for any false or inaccurate statements related to the complaints against Father Joseph Jiang that it or its representatives made which in any way disparaged Fr Joseph Jiang, Archbishop Robert Carlson, Mgr Joseph D. Pins and the Archdiocese of St Louis.”

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Engr. Rafael Riorito O. Estorque's Article on Panoncillo (INC™) vs Cartujano (Catholic) Debate

7 VERSUS 1 – 1 IS THE WINNER? 
By Engr. Rafael Riorito O. Estorque

If we watch the debate, Mr. Cartujano admitted he was not able to provide a magazine xerox or answer the question of Mr. Panoncillo about the pasugo issue. Mr. Panoncilo was referring to page 11 of the book, Answering Iglesia ni Cristo. What about the SEVEN QUESTIONS asked by Mr. Cartujano? Can Mr. Panoncillo admit that he was not able to answer these since he gave irrelevant answers? INC members will surely say their minister gave correct answers. Yet, if we analyze the questions, was Mr. Panoncillo able to answer them?

1. Did Mr. Panoncillo provide a 3rd century manuscript with the words “MONOGENES HUIOS”? Mr. Cartujano showed a 3rd century manuscript with the words, "MONOGENES THEOS" through the projector during his first cross examination. Did Mr. Panoncillo show any 3rd century manuscript with the words “MONOGENES HUIOS”? NONE. What did Mr. Panoncillo do? He read the Jerusalem Bible (English translation) and his only answer was,"HINDI KUMO LUMA ANG MANUSCRIPTS AY YUN NA TAMA". Mr. Panoncillo did not show any book during the debate which stated the statement of textual scholars that support, “HINDI KUMO LUMA ANG MANUSCRIPTS AY YUN NA TAMA,” particularly John 1:18.

2. When Mr. Cartujano asked Mr Panoncillo about the Syntax of John 1:1c, "kai theos en ho logos", if it is common for a definite nominative predicate noun preceding a finite verb to be without the article. Was Mr. Panoncillo able to answer this? Only the ignorant will say this was answered by Mr. Panoncillo. What did he do? He just read the Tagalog translation of John 1:1. Is this the answer to the question of Mr. Cartujano? Why did Mr. Cartujano ask this? INC ministers often use John 1:1c because theos has no article in the 3rd clause of John 1:1c and it functions as an adjective!

3. Mr. Cartujano asked Mr. Panoncillo where he can read the word-for-word “SI JESUS AY HINDI DIYOS” in the Bible, since he also asked Mr. Cartujano the word-for-word that JESUS says “I AM THE TRUE GOD.” Was Mr. Panoncillo able to provide a verse? What was his answer? Mr. Panoncillo said, "You must prove that, not me.." See?

I heard the answer of Mr. Cartujano during the debate when he was asked where in the Bible you can read JESUS SAID, "I AM THE TRUE GOD."

Mr. Cartujano’s answer was Christ will not say that since the Jews forbid this according to the Jerusalem Talmud. He added what Christ said in John 8:54 that His Father gave him glory and in Hebrews 1:8, he was glorified by the Father and called "GOD".

4. When Mr. Cartujano asked Mr. Panoncillo if we look at the Original Manuscript like Codex Sinaiticus if Mark 16 is until 20 or only 8 verses, this was not answered by Mr. Panoncillo. What did he do? Mr. Panoncillo answered, "SANA AY NAGREKLAMO NA ANG PARI MO". And he referred to the hiligaynon translation and remarked.

5. Mr. Cartujano asked Mr. Panoncillo to refute Granville sharp in Titus 2:13 and he was asked by Mr. Cartujano to explain it grammatically that the person here refers to two persons and not just one. Was Mr. Panoncillo able to explain this? What did he do? Mr. Panoncillo said, "HINDI SA LAHAT NG PAGKAKATAON AY GRAMMAR!"

6. When Hebrews 1:8 was tackled, Mr. Cartujano asked Mr. Panoncillo, if he agreed to the translation, “Your throne, O God”. The answer of Mr. Panoncillo is the right translation is “God is your throne”. Likewise, he mentioned Psalms 45:6, so Mr. Cartujano asked him since Psalms was originally written in Hebrew. He was asked by Mr. Cartujano to explain the accentuation in the Masoretic text where there should be a pause between “throne” and “God”. Mr. Panoncillo answered, "HINDI ITO PANAHON NG PAGPAPALIWANAG".

7. Mr. Cartujano asked about the use of verse in the Old Testament because Mr. Panoncillo said some verses have a similar line, “Is there a God Beside me?”He was asked by Mr. Cartujano the meaning of the Hebrew word, “Yotzrei-fesel”. This was not answered by Mr. Panoncillo. The next statement of God was “Is there a God Beside me?” Since Mr. Panoncillo gave irrelevant answers, this was repeated by Mr. Cartujano. What is the meaning of “yotzrei-fesel?” He failed to give an answer.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Catholic Herald: Houses of Parliament lit up in red for persecuted Christians

by Madeleine Teahan posted Thursday, 24 Nov 2016 for Catholic Herald

The Houses of Parliament lit up in red to commemorate persecuted Christians last year
Buildings across the country were lit up to mark 'Red Wednesday'

The Houses of Parliament, churches, cathedrals, synagogues and universities were lit up in red yesterday to highlight the plight of persecuted religious minorities abroad.

The event – Red Wednesday – was organised by Aid to the Church in Need. Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, London Routemaster buses and Bolton town hall were also lit up in red to commemorate the persecuted.

On his Twitter account yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “In Communion this morning, we prayed for all victims of religious violence around the world – and for governments too. Peace between faiths means a shared commitment to love, truth and human dignity. May Christ give us grace to set an example. On #RedWednesday we must call on politicians to never use faith to motivate violence.”

He later posted a picture of Lambeth Palace floodlit in red, with the caption: “Lambeth Palace lit up for #RedWednesday tonight in solidarity with all those persecuted for their faith.”

Westminster Cathedral (Photo: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)
At 6pm yesterday evening, Westminster Cathedral hosted a prayer service with Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II of the Syriac Orthodox Church, based in Damascus, Syria, Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri Ameer of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre, Dublin, and Dr Sarah Bernstein, director-general of the Jerusalem Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations, Israel.

Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II (Photo: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)
Bishop Angaelos, Britain’s Coptic Orthodox leader, released a video message of solidarity with persecuted Christians. Speaking outside the Coptic Cathedral of Saint George he said: “Today this Red Wednesday we stand in solidarity with all those who suffer. Christians of the Middle East, people of other religions all around the world, people of no religion who are compelled in whatever way. Today we stand in solidarity and say to you we stand by your side, we understand the burdens you carry, we will do more than just speak. We pray for you, we speak for you, we continue to raise awareness of your plight.”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

NCR: Kidnapped by the Vatican?

A Catholic Priest's Incredible Story of Life with the Pope
By Kathy Schiffer via National Catholic Register

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim, “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara,” 1862. (via Wikimedia Commons)
I got my first taste of anti-Catholicism at an early age. I was perhaps 10 years old when two bullies in the neighborhood, their religious bigotry evident even at that young age, reported with a sneer how the Pope had kidnapped young Jewish boys, tearing them away from their frantic parents and imprisoning them in the Vatican.

The story was not true, or was at least incomplete; but it's been told again and again, fueling outrage among some Protestant communities against the Catholic Church. David Kertzer, author of the 1997 best-seller The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, made this claim in his book and in a recent interview:

For centuries in Italy, small Jewish children were regularly taken from their parents based on claims of secret baptisms by Christians, and outside of the Jewish community, no one seemed to care.

Could this eye-popping story be true? Were Jewish children routinely stolen from their parents for indoctrination in the Catholic faith, as Kertzer seems to claim?

The Mortara Story

A 6-year-old Jewish boy, Edgardo Mortara, was indeed taken from his parents and raised inside the Vatican walls – a situation which is inconceivable in light of modern laws and the emphasis placed by contemporary society upon parental rights. Now, there are two films in the works about the Mortara case – including one by Steven Spielberg.

But the untold details should help to quash the outrage which the story has engendered on both sides of the Atlantic, especially in the Jewish community. In 2005, acclaimed Italian journalist Vittorio Messori, author of The Ratzinger Report, an interview with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and Crossing the Threshold of Hope, a book-length interview with Pope John Paul II, tackled the complex story. A 2017 English-language translation of Messori's book, Kidnapped by the Vatican? The Unpublished Memoirs of Edgardo Mortara, casts new light on the case.

There's a new Foreword to the book by Roy Schoeman, a Catholic convert from Judaism and author of the book Salvation Is From the Jews. Schoeman explains the issue at heart in the Mortara controversy. The case sits at the crossroads of the greatest social transformation of modern times: from a fundamentally religious view of the world to a fundamentally materialistic one. One's worldview will influence one's perspective on whether the laws of the Papal States requiring baptized Catholics to be raised in the faith are, in fact, just laws. “What if,” Schoeman asks,

...the teaching of the Catholic Church is true? What if, once created, the human person lives for all eternity, and the nature of that eternity – whether perfect bliss or unending misery – is dependent on the sacraments and on the person's moral formation? Then should not the same principle that gives the state the right to intervene for the physical welfare of the child give the state the right, perhaps even the duty, to intervene for the eternal welfare of the child as well?

The book's author, Vittorio Messori, has accurately reported on the history of the Edgardo Mortara case, explaining that in the Papal States, laws which were generally accepted at the time mandated that Mortara – who was surreptitiously baptized by a household servant as an infant when death seemed imminent – be raised in the faith. Edgardo was satisfied to live behind the Vatican's sturdy walls, where he came to understand not only his own Jewish faith, but also the Catholic faith which grew from that Judaic root. Happy in his new life and firm in his Catholic faith, Edgardo Mortara went on to become a Catholic priest.

Messori quotes from Mortara's own testimony:

When I was adopted by Pius IX, the whole world shouted that I was a victim, a martyr of the Jesuits. But in spite of all this, I, most grateful to Divine Providence, which had led me to the true Family of Christ, was living happily at Saint Peter in Chains, and in my humble person the law of the Church was in effect, despite Emperor Napoleon III, Cavour, and some other great men of this earth. What is left of all that? Only the heroic “non possumus” (“we cannot”) of the great Pope of the Immaculate Conception.

Pope Pius IX, for his part, had no regret about his role in raising the young Edgardo Mortara as a Catholic. Despite strong opposition from politicians, the media, and the Jewish community, the Holy Father remained steadfast in his belief that he had done the right thing. Years later, he said in a public forum,

“What we did for that boy, We had the right and the duty to do. And if the opportunity presented itself, We would do it again.”

The Wide-Ranging Consequences of the Mortara Case

In the 18th century, the outcry regarding Edgardo Mortara's adoption was an important factor in bringing about the end of the Papal States.

In the present era, the case is being used as an argument against the canonization of Pius IX, who was beatified in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

And the story has attracted the attention of Hollywood, with both director Steven Spielberg and now-disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein working on separate film projects to tell the story from a secular perspective.

Spielberg's studio, Dreamworks Pictures, had begun production on a feature-length film titled “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.” Spielberg's attention was diverted, however, and production was delayed when Spielberg became involved in directing “The Post,” which is scheduled to open in theaters in January 2018. When the “Mortara” project resumes, the role of Pius IX will be played by stage actor Mark Rylance; but Spielberg's team has not yet finalized their search for an actor to play the role of young Edgardo.

Will Hollywood Get It Right?

Will the Hollywood productions capture the nuances of the case, reporting on Mortara's happiness at being given the opportunity to learn the Gospel story while growing up inside the Vatican's walls? Will Spielberg's work reflect upon the eighteenth-century cultural norms mandating that a baptized Christian be raised in the faith?

No – the storyline relies on David Kertzer's accusatory 1997 best-seller; and that anti-Catholic bias is likely to color both Spielberg's and Weinstein's productions.

Fr. George Rutler, pastor of St. Michael's Church in New York and a trusted Catholic author, acknowledged that ambiguities regarding the Mortara case will remain; but the measured commentary of Vittorio Messori and the unprecedented publication of Fr. Mortara's own diaries put the whole emotional dilemma into a clearer light.

Messori's Kidnapped by the Vatican? will help Catholic readers to prepare themselves for the shortsighted and inflammatory criticisms which will surely come, once the story reaches the big screen.

Friday, November 17, 2017

RAPPLER: Pope Francis on Lamborghini gift: Better to auction off

The Lamborghini Huracan sports car, which boasts a 610 metric horsepower, is blessed by the pontiff, who bent to scrawl his signature on its gleaming bonnet before sending it off to Sotheby's auction house

@afp
Published 11:06 PM, November 15, 2017
Updated 11:49 PM, November 15, 2017

SUPERCAR. This handout photo taken on November 15, 2017 at the Vatican and released by the Vatican press office, Osservatore Romano shows Pope Francis signing a Lamborghini Huracan received as a gift as Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali looks on. Handout / OSSERVATORE ROMANO / AFP

VATICAN CITY, Holy See – Lamborghini gave Pope Francis a personalized white supercar on Wednesday, but he put it up for auction to raise money for charity rather than give up his trademark popemobile.

The Huracan sports car, which boasts a 610 metric horsepower, was blessed by the pontiff, who bent to scrawl his signature on its gleaming bonnet before it was sent off to Sotheby's auction house.

The supercar usually goes for around 200,000 euros ($237,000), but this model – featuring gold stripes and gold-rimmed wing mirrors in homage to the pope's gold-tipped stole – is expected to beat that.

The money raised will go to four charitable projects, including one aimed at rebuilding the homes and churches of persecuted Christians in the Nineveh Plains in Iraq.

The Lamborghini will also help fund an Italian association helping victims of human trafficking and prostitution rings, as well as two organizations active in Africa aimed at supporting vulnerable women and children.

It is not the first time the Argentine has received a high-speed gift: in 2014 he was given a Harley Davidson motorbike and jacket, both of which he auctioned off for charity.

The famously humble pontiff is more of a fan of buses.

He opted to ride one the day after his election in 2013 instead of taking a limousine, and regularly used them in his homeland Argentina instead of taxis.

The pope, who loves to be close to the people, has stuck doggedly to using his open-topped popemobile to move through the crowds at masses at both the Vatican and on foreign trips, despite security fears.

He has stayed faithful to the white all-terrain vehicles with bubble tops despite an accident in Colombia this year in which he lost his balance while it was moving and ended up with a black eye.

Historically, popes moved around on a "sedia gestatoria", a ceremonial red silk-covered throne which was carried on shoulders until the 20th century, when it was swapped for the popemobile. – Rappler.com

Catholic Herald: Houses of Parliament to be lit up in red for persecuted Christians

The Parliament building will be lit up along with at least 10 cathedrals for #RedWednesday

The towers of the Houses of Parliament (AP)
Catholic Herald - The Houses of Parliament in Westminster will be lit up in red for #RedWednesday next week in honour of the world’s persecuted Christians and all those who suffer for peacefully held beliefs.

John Bercow MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and Lord Fowler, Speaker of the House of Lords, agreed to the initiative after being lobbied by parliamentarians, many of whom had been contacted by constituents.

Among those calling for Parliament to turn red was Trevor Harrison, from Sevenoaks, who wrote to his MP, Sir Michael Fallon.

He said he contacted his MP after attending an event in Parliament organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief – itself a supporter of #RedWednesday.

Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which is organising #Red Wednesday together with Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Mr Harrison said: “Turning Parliament red is a wonderful way to get the message about religious freedom to as wide an audience as possible.”

“We all need to get behind #RedWednesday – we need to stand together against violence carried out in the name of religion – we need to speak up about regimes which persecute people of faith.”

This will be the second year running that Parliament will turn red for #RedWednesday.

So far this year, at least 10 cathedrals across the UK have pledged to go red including London’s Westminster Cathedral and others in Ayr, Edinburgh, Paisley, Birmingham, Norwich, Wrexham, Derry and Armagh.

In total, nearly 50 public buildings are expected to get behind #RedWednesday – schools, colleges and churches including London’s Anglican St Martin-in-the-Fields and All Souls, Langham Place.

There will be a week of vigils and other events across the country from November 19 to 26.

At 6pm on November 22 a solidarity service will take place outside Westminster Cathedral, with talks, witness testimonies, a video message by MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, music and speeches by Coptic Orthodox Bishop Angaelos, Neville Kyrke-Smith, national director of Aid to the Church in Need (UK), and Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Throughout the day, a traditional London red bus emblazoned with #RedWednesday slogans will be criss-crossing the capital, stopping at London landmarks.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

INC™-1914 has only 2.3 Million follower?

Bragging they have more than 10 million followers, the Iglesia Ni Cristo®-1914 couldn't hide the fact that they only have more than a million die-hard supporters who are ready to defend their disobedient Executive Minister who kicked-out his own mother and siblings from the INC™-1914 founded by their grandfather Felix Y. Manalo.
"The Catholic Church in the Philippines counts at least 80,304,061 followers or 80% of the entire Philippine population, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. Also in the millions is the home-grown Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) which has about 2.3 Filipinos followers." [Source: Rappler]

When both religious institutions were criticized by Rappler, their journalists get two different reaction. From the Catholic Church, there were no vicious threats against their writers. In fact, their criticisms were all respected. Ironically, this “church” that boasts on its historic “return” (daw) to Rome (PASUGO God's Message February 2014, p. 7), the INC™-1914, its administration and their supporters did the unthinkable dipping their group to a cult-like religion.
"We weren't spared. We were attacked relentlessly and accused of being biased. We were targets of calls for a boycott. But we persisted."

Thursday, November 9, 2017

May bago nang 'Jesus' ang mga INC™-1914 sa katauhan ni Felix Y. Manalo

Hindi nakapagtataka kung bakit ang turing ng mga kaanib ng INC™-1914 kay Felix Manalo at kahalintulad ni Cristo Jesus ay sapagkat ito ang kanilang paulit-ulit na ikinakabit sa pangalan ng kanilang 'huling sugo' sa kanilang mga pangangaral, maging sa pananalita o sa imprenta.


PASUGO Hulyo 1965, p. 12:

“Parehong-pareho ang espiritu ni Cristo sa diwa ni Kapatid na Felix Manalo sa pamamaraan ng pagdadala ng tungkuling tinanggap sa Dios."

PASUGO Mayo 1964, p. 1:

“Inihandog ng Dios ang kanyang sarili sa kanyang huling sugo upang dumiyos sa kanya. Samakatuwid, ang tanging may Dios na huling araw na ito'y ang huling sugo -- si Kapatid na Felix Manalo."

JUAN 10:16 - SI FELIX MANALO ANG TINUTUKOY NA PASTOR

PASUGO Mayo 1961, p. 22:
“Papaano magiging kawan o Iglesia ni Cristo itong mga tupa ni Jesus na nagmumula sa Pilipinas, hindi naman naparito si Cristo noong 1914? Ang sabi ni Jesus, Juan 10:16, 'magkakaroon sila ng isang Pastor'. Sino itong isang Pastor ng Iglesia na lilitaw sa Pilipinas? Ang pinagsabihan ng Dios: 'Huwag kang matakot, sapagkat ako'y sumasaiyo: (Isaias 43:5).

“Sino itong pastor ng Iglesiang lilitaw sa Pilipinas? Ito ang huling tinatawag o sugo na kasama ng Dios. Ito ang Kapatid na Felix Manalo. Noong sabihin ni Cristo na siya'y mayroon pang ibang mga tupa na wala sa kulungan at sila'y gagawing isang kawan at magkakaroon ng isang pastor, noon pa'y mayroon na siyang karapatan."

VS.


JUAN 10:16 - SI CRISTO ANG TINUTUKOY NA PASTOR

SULO pahina 58:

“Itinuturo din ng Iglesia Katolika na ang Papa ang siyang "Kataas-taasang Pastor". (Question 169). Ito ay salungat din sa turo ni Jesus at ng mga Apostol, sapagkat sinabi ni Cristo: "Ako ang tanging Pastor" (Juan 10:16)".

REFUTING IGLESIA NI CRISTO®-1914: DID JESUS DENY HIS DEITY IN JOHN 14:28?


Jesus Christ took away his being God and became humble (Philippians 2:5-8).

"You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross."(Philippians 2:5-8)

Jesus came here not to give glory to Himself but to the Father.

He is not like many people who give glory only to themselves.

"Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God."(John 8:54)

Another New Testament scholar used by INC ministers to twist the truth in John 10:30 is the Book of D.A. Carson on “The Gospel According to John.”

Now, will Parba, Ventilacion and other INC Ministers still accept the statement of D.A. Carson?

"At a popular level, this clause is often cited, out of context, by modern arians who renew the controversy from the early centuries that is connected with the name of Arius. In the clause before us, the father is greater that I cannot be taken to mean that Jesus is not God, or that he is a lesser God; the historical context of Jewish monotheism forbids the latter, and the immediate literary context renders the former irrelevant" (The Gospel According to John by D.A. Carson, Page 507)

I just want to quote the comment of a highly respected Christian Scholar, Norman Geisler.

"The Father is greater than the son by office, but not by nature, since both are God. Just as an earthly father is equally human with, but holds a higher office than, his son, even so the Father and the Son in the trinity are equal in essence, but different in function. "(The Big Book of Bible Difficulties, Page 420)

When INC Ministers defended their wrong interpretation of John 1:1, they gathered what the scholar Dr. Daniel Wallace said.

Now, will Parba, Ventilacion and other INC Ministers still accept the statement of Dr. Daniel Wallace?

"In this context, it is obvious that Jesus is speaking with reference to his office, not his person. That is, the Father has great rank, but the Son is no less deity than is the Father. "(Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics by Daniel Wallace, Page 111)


Thursday, October 12, 2017

LifeSite News: Massive turnout for rosary crusade in Poland. Liberals furious

WARSAW, Poland, October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Hundreds of thousands of Polish Catholics encircled their country with prayer Saturday, imploring Our Lady’s intervention to save Poland and the world.

As Catholics lined the country’s 2,000-mile border for the “Rosary at the Borders,” progressives and compatible media deemed the national prayer gathering “controversial,” xenophobic, Islamophobic, or “not” representative of the Catholic Church.

“Poland Catholics hold controversial prayer day on borders,” the BBC’s headline said of the event.

Rafał Pankowski, head of the Warsaw multicultural understanding advocacy group Never Again, told the Associated Press, “The whole concept of doing it on the borders reinforces the ethno-religious, xenophobic model of national identity.”

Krzysztof Luft, a former member of Poland’s largest opposition party, the liberal Civic Platform, tweeted, “Ridiculing Christianity on mass scale. They treat religion as a tool for keeping the backwardness in Polish backwater.”

“Rosary to the Borders” was organized by lay Catholics and sanctioned by Church leaders in Poland, with some 320 churches from 22 dioceses participating in roughly 4,000 locations along Poland’s border with Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia and the Baltic Sea.

More than 90 percent of Poland’s 38 million citizens are Roman Catholic.

The Catholic prime minister of Poland endorsed the rosary event as well. Beata Szydlo tweeted, "I greet all the participants."


View image on Twitter



Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, a spokesman for the Polish Bishops’ Conference, said it was the second largest prayer event in Europe after the 2016 World Youth Day. The New York Times reported, however, that final participation numbers were still being tabulated.

Airport chapels, considered gateways to the country, were prayer sites for Catholics as well, the AP said, and Polish soldiers stationed in Afghanistan prayed at Bagram Airfield there.

The prayer positions for the rosary event also included fishing boats at sea as well as kayaks and sailboats forming chains on Polish rivers, according to a report from Agence France-Presse.

“During the prayer, I was at the Chopin airport in Warsaw,” Father Rytel-Andrianik said, “and there were so many people that they were pouring out of the chapel.”

“This was an initiative started by lay people, which makes it even more extraordinary,” he continued. “Millions of people prayed the rosary together. This exceeded the boldest expectations of the organizers.”

Churches taking part kicked the prayer event off with a talk and celebration of Mass before Catholics headed to the border to pray the rosary.

The “Rosary at the Borders” took significance from the Our Lady of Fatima apparitions, scheduled on the first Saturday of the month during the 100th anniversary year of Our Lady’s appearance to the three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal.

Poland’s national Catholic prayer event also coincided with the feast of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on the October 7 anniversary of the 1571 naval victory of the Holy League Battle over the Ottoman Empire navy at the Battle of Lepanto.

The rosary is closely tied to the Lepanto victory, due to Pope Saint Pius V’s call for the faithful to pray the rosary for victory.

Some participants’ comments about Europe keeping its Christian roots or stemming the tide of Islam were framed in the media to paint the “Rosary to the Borders” as nationalistic or “Fears of Islam.”

“Let’s pray for other nations of Europe and the world to understand that we need to return to the Christian roots of European culture if we want Europe to remain Europe,” Krakow Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said at Mass on Saturday.

“It’s a really serious thing for us,” Basia Sibinska told AP. “We want to pray for peace, we want to pray for our safety. Of course, everyone comes here with a different motivation. But the most important thing is to create something like a circle of a prayer alongside the entire border, intense and passionate.”

Poland and Hungary have refused to take migrants under a quota system established by the European Union, causing controversy and threatening the two countries’ membership in the EU.

Concerns over the secularization in Europe, however, exist independent of the current migration crisis and its various implications.

The Times report said of the rosary prayer event that “Polish Catholics clutching rosary beads” had gathered for “for a mass demonstration” and called Poland “a nation moving increasingly to the right.”

Villanova University theologian Massimo Faggioli used Twitter to criticize what he termed using the rosary from “anti-immigrant use.”

“Using the Virgin Mary as a human shield and the Rosary as a weapon against Islam is not exactly my kind of thing,” he tweeted, and, “using the Rosary as a weapon against Islam is not ‘the Catholic Church.’”

Organizers had told LifeSiteNews the goal of the Rosary to the Border event was to follow Our Lady’s call at Fatima to pray the rosary for the rescue of the world.

“The Rosary to the Borders is not a crusade because we don’t want to fight with anyone,” said Maciej Bodasiński. “It is a giant commotion for, not against, something. We firmly follow her command, and we will pray at the borders of our country, going out in prayer and witness to the whole world, so that the Mercy of God is not confined to any border.”

Father Alexander Lucie-Smith, moral theologian and consulting editor for the Catholic Herald, said in a blog post that praying the rosary is not controversial, and it is our best weapon against evil.

Father Lucie-Smith noted that Poland has a different history that other European nations such as Britain, having been “wiped off the map on several occasions” in recent history.

“If the Poles seem more attached to national sovereignty than most, who can blame them?” he asked. “Their sovereignty has been much disputed. Moreover, the question of Polish nationhood is deeply connected to the Catholic faith. Both in matters of ethnicity and religion, the Poles have been steadfast in resisting Russification. Can you blame them?”

He also said the Poles are entitled to make their own choices in the matter of admitting migrants, and to pray for the salvation of Poland and the world was “admirable. The Polish example should spur others to do the same.”

Regarding the Battle of Lepanto connection, Father Lucie-Smith said marking the anniversary does not denote negativity toward another country, but it celebrates the liberation of those who were subjected to the despotic regime, including Christian galley slaves, making this something to celebrate.

He pointed out as well how praying for victory in war “has long been the Christian way” whether at Lepanto, during World War II, as well as up to and including the Nigerian bishops urging people today to pray the rosary in the face of Boko Haram, “which is completely in keeping with Catholic tradition.”

“Controversial? I don’t think so,” Father Lucie-Smith wrote. “Catholics have been doing these things for centuries.”

“Let’s hope we continue doing them for centuries to come,” he said. “As the website of the organizers of the Polish event reminds us, “the rosary is a powerful weapon against evil.” Let’s keep on using it!”

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Catholic Herald: The Filipino bishops are standing up against Duterte. We should applaud them

This is what makes me prouder as a member of the TRUE CHURCH OF CHRIST!


The president's war on drugs is clearly illegal. The Church has to take a stand

The War on Drugs, presently being fought in the Philippines by President Duterte and his death squads, has now entered a new phase, as the New York Times reports. The Church has offered to give sanctuary and protection to those police officers who wish to act as whistle-blowers, and who have evidence of illegal actions by their colleagues.

As the chairman of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, explains in a pastoral letter: “Law enforcers have come forward confidentially to us, their spiritual leaders, to seek sanctuary, succour and protection. They have expressed their desire to come out in the open about their participation in extrajudicial killings and summary executions. Their consciences are troubling them.”

Quite a lot is at stake in this matter. Here are a few observations.

First of all, the government, in embarking on a clearly illegal course of action, has issued a challenge to the credibility of the Church. If the Church were to say nothing about this, then it really could not claim to be an evangelical witness on this or indeed any other matter. The Church has to speak out, or be seen to fail. One cannot watch a spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions (including that of several children) and say nothing. So, the current pastoral letter and the intervention it represents is not just the correct thing for the Church to do, it is the only thing or the Church to do.

As the New York Times reports, the Church is a powerful body in the Philippines, and has a history of taking on dysfunctional governments and winning. Again, this is an important role for the Church, and one it must fulfil in all countries were governments are chronically inefficient and corrupt and where civil society is weak. This too is part of the mission of the Church and its proclamation that a better society is possible.

The fact that the police are beginning to see the folly of Duterte’s war on drugs is highly significant. They are the ones who have to put the strategy, if it can be called that, into action. They must be aware of the potential for blowback. Not only do they risk being the targets of the drug gangs, they also risk, if indeed have not already lost, the confidence of the public. Their credibility as upholders of legality is already severely compromised. Hence the desire by some of them to reverse the current policy. It is hard to see how the President can continue in his war if he does not have the backing of the police. And if his much-vaunted war on drugs fails, what then?

Finally, all Catholics need to reflect. We are against drug taking, but is Duterte’s way the best way to minimise the harm done by drugs? Faced with the damage caused by drugs, should we turn to the moral evil of extrajudicial killings in order to overcome it? Or should we try something new? There must be a better way of dealing with this scourge. We could perhaps learn from the way we have dealt with tobacco and alcohol, where the attempt to minimise the harms done by both has been remarkably successful, without resorting to outlawing consumption or adopting illegal means to fight them.

Meanwhile, the Filipino bishops are to be commended for standing up for the rule of law, and for trying their best to support those who wish to bring the current anarchy in the Philippines to an end.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Catholic Herald: Protestantism’s biggest problem: on whose authority do we interpret the scriptures?

Source: Catholic Herald

In the end, private interpretation isn't enough

On Saturday I joined a group of Anglican and Methodists in our village to walk around its familiar landmarks offering prayers. We started at the (pre-Reformation) Anglican church, moved on to the war memorial, then to the village school, thence to our popular local pub. A Methodist lady whom I know well told me sotto voce that she wasn’t going to join in praying for the pub to flourish. I remembered that Methodists forswear alcohol. Sotto voce I responded, “But what about Jesus’s first miracle at the marriage feast of Cana?” She replied, half-resigned, half-humorous: “Why do people always bring up Cana!”

Why indeed? It was not only Jesus’s first recorded miracle and a heavenly blessing on matrimony; it was also a sign of God’s lavish generosity and of the complete trust Our Lady had in her Son’s divine powers. The deeper question is: on whose authority do we interpret the Scriptures; John Wesley’s or the Church? To be fair to Wesley and as the Methodist lady and myself agreed, he was condemning the “demon drink” of his day rather than inventing a dogma. Yet at some stage in the spiritual life of a thoughtful Christian the question must arise: “Is private interpretation enough?”

These thoughts are prompted by my reading From Atheism to Catholicism: Nine Converts Explain their Journey Home” published by EWTN with a foreword by Marcus Grodi. I have only read two chapters so far, the first by John L Barger, whose Catholic wife gently nudged him out of his atheistic complacency, and the second by Holly Ordway, an American professor of English literature. Barger admitted that after discovering the Church to be right in so many areas (such as her opposition to abortion) and “seeing the virtues that blossom in those who follow Her teachings, I found it impossible to believe her to be the proud, mendacious caricature presented by Her enemies.”

Ordway, whom I interviewed for a blog I wrote in November 2014 after the publication of her own conversion story, Not God’s Type, explained that her love for the great Christian poets such as John Donne, Gerard Manley Hopkins and TS Eliot helped to prepare the imaginative ground for her eventual conversion, As she observes here, one might disagree with them (alongside prose writers such as CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien) “but you can’t call them stupid or uneducated!”

Ordway, not unlike Derya Little, who moved from Islam to atheism, then to evangelical Christianity and from there to the Church and whom I blogged about recently, moved from atheism to the Episcopalian Church in the US and thence to Catholicism, over the issue of authority: whom can one trust over a particular interpretation of the Bible?

Walking around our village with my fellow Christians we were all aware that beyond our own denominational disagreements we are in a tiny minority amid a sea of indifference and wholesale rejection of Christianity. In my 2014 interview with Ordway, she told me: “We need to ask: why has atheism become so entrenched in modern culture? What are the false ideas that have taken root in this culture that are bearing such poisoned fruit?” She sees her task as “harnessing the imagination to communicate truth” in a world where “people simply don’t connect with the language of Christianity.”

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