"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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Who are the Palestinians we had supported?

When Israel's offensive attack in Gaza that killed hundreds and misplaced thousands, the world seemed so united that rallies in major cities filled the major streets.

In Muslim countries, fund raising booths were erected and posters were found almost every corner of the cities and leading newspapers printed uncensored photos of dead and wounded children being carried by their grieving parents to show the world how "barbaric" are the Israelites.

That was when we thought we are fighting for Palestine and the Palestinians themselves. Have we been wrong in supporting them?

(All walks of life for Palestine! Will they still stand for Palestinians fighting against Palestinians?)

But here's the twist. Today 6 Palestinians died after Palestinians ruthlessly fired their rifles against their fellow Palestinians, the same people we have shared our thoughts and our efforts:

QALQILIYA, West Bank – Forces loyal to the moderate Palestinian president stormed a Hamas hideout in the West Bank and set off a fierce gunbattle that left six dead Sunday, the worst violence since the factions fought a pitched battle over Gaza two years ago.
Militants lobbed grenades and fired automatic weapons to push back the raid in a two-story building in Qalqiliya, a West Bank town known for its strong Hamas presence. That drew dozens of President Mahmoud Abbas' forces to the hideout.

When it was over, pools of blood, tear gas canisters and hundreds of spent shell casings littered the floor. Walls were partly burned down during the battle.

Qalqiliya, which elected a Hamas mayor in 2005, was tense Sunday. Women gathered near the scene heaped insults on policemen. Sporadic gunfire erupted in other areas of town, and police said the shots came from Hamas loyalists targeting officers, though there were no reports of injuries.

The two factions have made intermittent attempts to reconcile since Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, leaving rival Fatah in control of only the West Bank. But Sunday's bloodshed showed just how little progress has been made.

The split has complicated Mideast peace efforts because the Palestinians cannot negotiate with Israel in a single voice and Hamas refuses to recognize the Jewish state.

Abbas has backed Washington's peace efforts, and the raid underscored his determination to rein in militants as part of his obligations under the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan. Last week, Abbas met at the White House with President Barack Obama and renewed a pledge to crack down on militants and honor other commitments under the road map.

The U.S. has been training Abbas' elite forces to help him affirm his control of the West Bank and prepare for eventual statehood. Many of the security men involved in the shootout had undergone U.S.-supervised training in Jordan, police said.

Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rdeneh said going after militants is key to one day setting up a Palestinian state.

"To build our country and our state, we need to have one authority, one gun, one law," he said." (Read more in Yahoo!News)

When we talk of Palestine and the Palestinians, we should understand the Political factions such that Hamas never recognizes the legitimacy of the Presidency of Abu Mazen who happen to belong to the Fatah Movement.

The USA, UE, and other states consider Hamas (in Palestine which is linked to Hezbollah in Jordan) as "terrorist" groups which is supported by Iran according to PressTV.

As the rift divided Palestinians more deeply, the world suddenly realized who are the Palestinians they have been fighting for?

"Tens of thousands of backers of Hamas and other militant groups marched in several places in Gaza City, protesting the raid and calling Abbas a "collaborator" with Israel. Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the Hamas military wing, threatened "tough and harsh reprisal."

This is a serious threat from Palestinians against Palestinians in Palestine. Had not Hamas ignited the Israeli Government to offensive attack after they fired rockets into Israel itself?

I feel ashamed I had supported people unworthy of it.

INC says The True Church of Christ is the Catholic Church

This is what I’ve got from a username LapuLapu Post No.624 in a forum dedicated to Filipino Apologetics (Catholic Forum). I haven’t verified its truthfulness however if these quoted pages from Iglesia ni Cristo’s Official Magazine are inaccurate I wish to have a scanned copy to prove its inaccuracies. In the meantime let’s assume these are true quotations from Iglesia ni Cristo's Official Magazine as they have been unwittingly published such truthfulness intentionally or by coincidence.
And I quote:

Pasugo Magasin, April 1955 pp. 36.
“The truth – the church built by Christ is the true church. There can be no other else. It began in Jerusalem.”

Pasugo Magasin, September – October 1988 pp. 14.
“The Church of Christ that started in the Philippines will reach the West.”

(Note the contradictory statements. The former Pasugo Magazine states that the church built by Christ began in Jerusalem and the latter states that it started in the Philippines. )

Pasugo Magasin, March – April 1984 pp. 14.
“Christ, therefore, is the foumder of his church, the true church. Hence, a church established by any other founder means a bogus or false church.”

Pasugo Magasin, May 1997 pp. 11.
“Way back on July 27, 1914, the Church of Christ was registered with the Philippine government. The registration papers state among other things that Brother Felix Y. Manalo is the founder of the Iglesia ni Cristo.”

( Note the contradictory statements of the two magazines. It explicitly means that the Iglesia ni Cristo is a bogus church. )

Pasugo Magasin, July – August 1988 pp. 6.
“Even secular history shows a direct time link between the Catholic Church and the Apostles, leading to the conclusion that the true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church.”

4th SFC Qatar National Conference

The only Christian Church (a Catholic Church)Parish allowed by the Government of Qatar in Doha is very much alive through the efforts of the Parish Priest and other Franciscan Missionaries actively sustaining the Catholic faith living in the Kingdom from different countries. CFC-SFC Community is one of the most active church group in the parish that fosters Christian Brotherhood, faith understanding, faith experience renewal, spiritual assistance, faith encounter, reach out and prayer life back to the lives of all the faithfuls.

May God bless these young people who have been animated by the Spirit of God to proclaim his message through prayers and good works.

May 28-29, 2009 4th SFC QNC Poster from Bro. Erwin Cabrera

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Mother Church!

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia) Today, the Catholic Church is celebrating its Birthday. Biblically, on Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit came down to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Jesus' Mother) and the remaining disciples in the form of tongues of fire, that St. Peter spoke with boldness about the Lord Jesus Christ adding some more than 3,000 new Christians in Jerusalem on that day where everyone, "Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs" (Acts 2:1-11) could understand St. Peter's speech.

To all Catholics, Happy Birthday. May the Holy Spirit's gifts be upon you in your love ones' lives always.

God bless everyone!

A Headless Saudi Hang on "a Cross"

In a desire to warn people from committing heinous crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and arm smuggling, a Saudi man was sentenced to death by cutting off his head and was placed on a cross. Reuters.

Is it a coincidence or it's sending a message to Christians in Saudi Arabia?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Filipinos are Slaves according to Hamid Dabashi?

"The Islam of a young Iraqi woman immigrae cleaning houses in Sweden to feed her children is seriously different from the Islam of the Khaleiji Billionaires Haram parading in the Aveneta in Rome along with their Filipino Slaves with their mobile phones..." (Fast Forward until 7:52)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Suspected Al Qaeda, Taliban Militants Destroy Pakistan Church, Christians Say

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- Suspected Muslim militants with links to the terror groups Al Qaeda and the Taliban attacked a historic church in northwestern Pakistan and burned Bibles and other Christian books, but police are reluctant to investigate the case and detain suspects, Christians said Tuesday, May 26.

The destruction of the St. George Grecian Church was discovered by workers renovating the building, said the church's pastor Ijaz Masih in a statement distributed by rights group International Christian Concern (ICC).

Masih said that shortly after he presided over a Sunday service, workers “were shocked when they arrived” in the morning of May 12, “and found the church's cross broken in pieces, the altar demolished and partially burned, Bibles and hymnbooks burned and torn apart, and the pews reduced to ashes.”

He said attackers also ransacked bathrooms and cemented over a plaque inscribed with the names of the donors responsible for the original construction of the building.

ICC quoted local Christians as saying they were “astounded” that the attackers could sneak into the church and vandalize it without being noticed by anyone in the neighborhood. “They are especially concerned because the church is located within a military zone and thus is considered to be in a very secure location.”

Ijaz said he had started as the pastor of St. George Church two years ago, and that the Christians in Bannu Cantt had been living peacefully with their Muslim neighbors. He believes the attack was carried out by “radical Muslims linked to the Taliban or Al Qaeda with the goal of provoking a clash between local Christians and Muslims.”

A Christian advocacy group in Pakistan, the Center for Legal Aid, Assistance, and Settlement (CLAAS), said that although police have registered the attack, “they are not investigating it as they would if the attack had been on a mosque.” There was no immediate comment from police, although the government has pledged to crackdown on Islamic extremists.

ICC Advocacy Director Jeremy Sewall told Worthy News in a statement that his group has urged Christians to "Please pray for the members of St. George, that God would give them courage in the midst of this frightening situation.”

Sewall said the attack comes amid concerns that that “Muslim radicals continue to operate with impunity in Pakistan," despite a recent military offensive against Taliban militant positions in areas such as the Swat Valley in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), some 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Islamabad, the capital.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stop ignoring Islam's antisemitic doctrine

USA - New York Daily - "These were people who were eager to bring death to the Jews and the Jewish community." Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Snyder provided this apt characterization of the four converts to Islam whose plans to bomb a Bronx synagogue and a Jewish community center were thwarted.

Richard Williams, uncle of the arrested plotter Onta "Hamza" Williams, lamented that his nephew, a Baptist who converted to Islam, "…wasn't raised this way. All this happened when he became a Muslim in prison." Indeed, Warith Deen Umar, a Muslim chaplain who worked for 25 years in the New York State prisons and was considered a highly influential cleric, reportedly boasted that this vast incarceration system was, "...the perfect recruitment and training ground for radicalism and the Islamic religion." During his chaplaincy, Umar also repeatedly gave sermons fomenting Jew hatred, witnessed by prison staff.

But beyond all this, the obvious question persists - although dutifully avoided by our learned religious, media and political elites in this sorry age of Islamic correctness: What Islamic teachings might these American Muslim converts have learned, whether in prison, or elsewhere, which caused them to target their American Jewish neighbors, specifically, for mass killing? Simply put, it is impossible to comprehend this ugly phenomenon without understanding the core, mainstream Islamic theology - still unreformed and unrepentant - which has inspired hatred of Jews since the advent of Islam?

For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, has served as the academic shrine - much as Mecca is the religious shrine - of the global Muslim community. Al Azhar University and its mosque represent the pinnacle of Islamic religious education.

A front page New York Times story published Saturday Jan. 10, 2009, included extracts from the Friday sermon (the day before) at Al Azhar mosque by Egyptian-government appointed cleric Sheik Eid Abdel Hamid Youssef. Referencing well-established antisemitic motifs from the Koran (citations provided, below), Sheikh Youssef intoned:

"Muslim brothers, God has inflicted the Muslim nation with a people whom God has become angry at [Koran 1:7] and whom he cursed [Koran 5:78] so he made monkeys and pigs [Koran 5:60] out of them. They killed prophets and messengers [Koran 2:61/3:112] and sowed corruption on Earth. [Koran 5:33/5:64] They are the most evil on Earth. [Koran 5:62 /63]"

In authoritative classical and modern Koranic interpretations, the Koran's central antisemitic theme - its eternal curse for "prophet killing" and violating Allah's commands - is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60 and 5:78, which describe the Jews' transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or simply apes (i.e. verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been "...cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary's son" (5:78). The Muslim prophet Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith (sacred collections of Muhammad's words and deeds). Read more...

China Blocked Vatican Pope's Message in the Internet

ROME (AsiaNews - Photo Credit: Sean Sprague) – The Day of Prayer for the Church in China passed almost unnoticed in many diocese of the Peoples Republic. In Hebei, where there are strict controls, the faithful of the underground community couldn’t even hold masses because of the lack of priests.

In his 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics Benedict XVI had launched the idea of a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China (see here), to be held each May 24th the feast of Mary Help of Christians, who is particularly venerated in the Marian Sanctuary of Sheshan, a few kilometres distance from Shanghai. The Pope’s intention is that through prayer unity may grow within the Church in China, as well as its bond with St Peter’s Successor.

The Sheshan Sanctuary, a site of pilgrimage for over a century, is the ideal place given that draws Catholics from the Official and Underground Church. But since the Pope instituted the day of prayer it has become increasingly difficult for Catholics to access Sheshan.

This year, like the previous year, police enforced strict traffic rules for the entire Month of May and diocese advised the faithful against making the pilgrimage to Sheshan. This year even the diocese of Shanghai – the only diocese with unlimited access – promoted the pilgrimage for May 23rd, but in a very subdued manner, without even advertising it. In the years beforehand, up to 20 thousand pilgrims visited the sanctuary. To date only a few thousand have arrived... Read more at Catholic Online

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Conversion Story of an Iglesia ni Cristo

Among the reasons why a former Catholic converts to the Iglesia ni Cristo is because of the Catholic Church's doctrine on Trinity. They say it's "unbiblical" and was invented but of course they are not. And besides their Ministros are not telling us the whole truth, instead they use their own ignorance to lead other ignorant Catholics like a blind leading a blind.

The Divinity of Christ was long been believed by early Christians. It's biblical! From the time of the original 12 Apostles, Jesus was perceived to be as such ever since. If we go back to the reason why he was condemned by the Jewish High Priest was because he was found guilty of "deeming to be God"- a blasphemy which is punishable by death alone.

Did Christ recant or correct his accusers if he knew he wasn't God himself?
The answer was a big NO. Jesus who knew who he was accepted death rather than denying his true self.

What the Catholic Church did was to simply AFFIRMED this truth against those who deny it. That in the year 325 A.D. the Council of Nicea was convened. This laid to rest the influence of Arianism who denied his divinity and is now revived by the anti-Christ.

Catholic Converts (you can listen to converts here) stories ranges from a simple to a more dramatic story that led them to the Truth of the Catholic Church, it's liturgical beauty and it's perpetual existence from the time of the Apostles to this day and onwards.

It is undeniable that the Catholic Church IS the original Church which Christ founded and not even an inch can the Iglesia ni Cristo match those historical facts written in volumes.

Here is a conversion story of a certain Ka Joven, a former Catholic as he's claiming who abandoned Christ's original Church and joined the cult of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Just like Ka Joven, their founder Felix Manalo was baptized in the Catholic Church, named "Felix" in his baptismal records which he retained all throughout his life and was never baptized in his cult.

Despite the abundant biblical evidences about the Divinity of Christ (see Christology), they selectively quote few biblical passages that confirms only one aspect of his true self and that is his humanity. Although what they knew about Christ is doctrinally acceptable to all Christians and the Catholic Church it doesn't negate Him being in the Divine state.

So far, as I have challenged many Iglesia ni Cristo members, they CANNOT provide not a single verse that says Jesus is "NOT" God simply because they cannot find it there.

And most certainly NO ONE cannot deny something which doesn't exist. That's absurd!

This convert's story is simple, nothing spiritual in substance. He doubted the Trinity and so he became an Iglesia ni Cristo. While reading notice the words "Iglesia ni Cristo", why he's not translating it to English as he's writing in the English language? Why he's keeping the "Tagalog" name? Use your common sense:

"When I graduated from the University of Sto. Tomas, I thought I knew religion well enough to parry questions from anyone and wiggle out any issue brought to me. I had two friends, Rufino Coronel and Perlas Caramat, members of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Both of them invited me to attend worship services but I always declined.

After graduation from college, I taught in a public school in Manila. In the summer of 1972, I graduated from Far Eastern University in Business and Finance. I worked during the day and studied at night for a Master's degree in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines. Expressing my gratitude for God's blessings, I made it a point to always attend Mass on Sundays and even everyday during the Misa de Gallo at the university chapel in observance of Christmas.

On July 31, 1976, I came to the United States hoping for a better life and opportunity. I tried to preserve my Catholic faith although I no longer believed in confession and in the infallibility of the Pope. I felt that confession to a priest was a futile exercise in reconciling myself to my Maker and I considered the infallibility of the Pope as a mundane display of arrogance. Later, I began to question the rest of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

He no longer believed in the "infallibility of the Pope" but he absolutely believed in the infallibility of Erano Manalo as his "little pope". Perhaps, he thought that the Pope was infallible when in fact the Pope's infallibility is only in matters of faith and morals, not his personal aspect. (see Infallibility of the Church)
In September 1982, I went home to the Philippines to visit my wife and my parents. I was terribly shocked when my sister-in-law, Marlene, told me that Boying became an Iglesia ni Cristo member. I wanted to talk to him but I never had the chance because he was always away from home, being a navy serviceman.

When I returned to the United States, I went to Chicago to visit my older brother, Manong Tante and his family. During my stay with them, for some strange reason, we ended up talking about the true nature of Christ and the Trinity. We toyed with the idea that Christ is not God. Our discussions led me to search for a deeper understanding of the topic for I became totally lost!

On January 2, 1983, my wife joined me here in the United States and, shortly after, I was blessed with my children, Patrick and Abigail. Boying sent me a videotape of the debate between Brother Jose Ventilacion of the
Iglesia ni Cristo and Pastor Andrian Anderson of the Worldwide Apostolic Ministries of Jesus Christ. I watched Brother Ventilacion defend the doctrines of the Iglesia ni Cristo with ease to the final verse.

On December 31, 1994, I decided not to go to church anymore. Almost a year before this, I had already sent letters to my family informing them that I was no longer a Catholic. I knew this meant a struggle toward the unknown and the uncertain but I was ready to investigate other churches.

One Sunday morning, my son, Patrick, and I attended a worship service in a church in Farmington, Connecticut. We found out the following week that it, too, believed in the Trinity. So we ruled out this church.
Although the Iglesia ni Cristo was way down my list of the 17 churches I planned to investigate, I called Boying to inquire where I could find an Iglesia ni Cristo house of worship without revealing my intention.

This was also the first time we talked about our disagreements in matters of religion. The locale of Long Island City in New York is about a two-hour drive from my home, not including the normal traffic situation in the heart of the city of New York.

I thought about the logic in exchanging the convenience of attending Mass at a chapel just a stone's throw away from our house with several hundreds of miles of traveling just to attend the
Iglesia ni Cristo worship service. We were faced with an entirely unique situation that involved our time and current work schedules, along with our children's academic schedules, and other commitments that were already arranged at that time.

When the St. Dunstan Church bells rang across the street from my house that Sunday morning on January 22, 1995, I, together with my wife, my children, and my mother-in-law, were about to leave for Long Island City, New York for our first worship service in the
Iglesia ni Cristo. We prayed to the Lord God to guide us through with our decision. During the worship service, we were impressed by how the members conducted themselves throughout the service. It was the most solemn and fulfilling event we had ever experienced in our lives.

The lesson was very appropriate and inviting. Brother Felix Lim, Jr, asking questions and reading the answers from the Bible, delivered a very spiritual sermon.

On that day, we decided to undergo Bible Study on the doctrines of the
Iglesia ni Cristo. After proving our sincerity to become members of the Church, we were scheduled to be baptized on December 2, 1995.

As we waited for that day, I received news on November 27, 1995 that our house in the Philippines was destroyed by fire. This tragedy was a test of our faith. We decided to stay for our baptism instead of being with our parents in their trying times. It was a decision compelling us to bear the pains and the thought of our parent's plight because we believed that, at that time, our baptism into the true religion was the most important thing.

We were able to pull through this test along with the persecutions that followed. There were six in my household who were baptized on that day in Long Island City, aside from myself - my wife, Mila, my mother-in-law, Ana Rabanal, Annabelle Cauile, Edwin Rabanal, and Julian Rabanal.

After I withdrew my children from their Catechism classes and membership in the parish choir, the director of religious education in our parish, Mr. Ivan Hawk, challenged me to a discussion. Just like Boying, I was waiting, armed with a list of topics that I wanted him to explain.

Unfortunately, our meeting never materialized because Mr. Hawk was transferred to New Hampshire for another assignment. Our friends and acquaintances no longer saw us attending Christmas parties as we had been used to. Consequently, we experienced persecutions from them and from those who are close to our hearts. It was not easy - the road sometimes is too difficult to tread.

We are now registered in the extension of Norwich, Connecticut. My wife, who has been very supportive in all the decisions we both made, is a deaconess and also serves in the secretariat. Patrick and Abigail are both in the choir. I am blessed with the office of second head deacon.

We are all active in our respective duties and very thankful to God that we were called into the true Church.
Despite the worries and trials we experience in this life, we remain strong in our faith and pray earnestly to the Father in heaven that He continue granting us the grace to serve Him until the very end.

There is a reason why the Iglesia ni Cristo cannot be translated independently to English language as "Church of Christ." The simplest explanation to this is because the "Iglesia ni Cristo" and the "Church of Christ" are two distinct registered trademark protected by the Republic of the Philippines and that when you say "Iglesia ni Cristo" it refers to a sect founded and registered by Felix Manalo as a Corporation Sole and when you say "Church of Christ" we refer to a sect founded and registered by Helen G. White, an American.

What kind of a powerful God would be willing to limit the name of his "church" to tagalog language and would face a legal problem if it's translated to the English language? Think about it. Isn't all languages belong to God? Where is it's universal characteristic? Isn't God wills everyone to be saved without racial or lingual restrictions? Dito pa lang hindi ka pa ba magtataka?

They called themselves "Iglesia"? Did God commanded his new "church" members to call themselves "Iglesia" (which means church from the Spanish word Iglesia or Yglesia?) Where can we find that in the Bible? At this point you must be thinking.

Ka Joven said "We prayed to the Lord God to guide us through with our decision."

Have you noticed the words "Lord God" and that they prayed to him? Would it mean another thing if they would pray to the "Lord Jesus" to guide them through their decision? If they do, then they're worshipping two Lords: One Lord God and one Lord Jesus a man (only). Have you noticed the complexity of this new Gospel preached by a fallible Felix Manalo?

Didn't Ka Joven thought of considering the pages of history and how history had judged its founder Felix Manalo about his sexual minconducts while preaching he's the "Last Messenger"?

Maybe Ka Joven failed to see the similarity of his church' founder to that of the LDS Joseph Smith? Both claimed to re-established Christ's Church to its pristine beauty and both claimed to have a mandate to re-establish it.

The only difference? One claimed to be the "LAST PROPHET" while the other one claimed to be the "LAST MESSENGER (Angel)".

Palestinian Muslims Desecrated Christian Tombs

By: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu from IsraelNN (Photo Credit: Final Conflict Blog: Palestinian Authority Muslims went on a rampage Sunday and desecrated 70 Christian graves two weeks after the pope praised efforts for a new PA state and tried to appease Muslim anger over previous disputes between the two religions.

The vandals smashed gravestones and knocked metal and stone crosses off graves in the village of Jiffna, near Ramallah, home to approximately 900 Christians and 700 Muslims. Greek Orthodox Church official George Abdo told Reuters the head and hand of a statue of Madonna also was severed.

The Palestine News Network, which claims to be comprised of independent journalists, did not report the incident but instead told its readers about a Muslim-Christian meeting in Shechem to discuss bias during Pope [Benedict] XVI's visit. It said that the focus of the talks was the status of Jerusalem and efforts "to keep the optimal model of peaceful coexistence and tolerance between religions, particularly between Muslims and Christians."

Sunday’s anti-Christian attack follows years of harassment from Muslims that has escalated a lengthy exodus of Christians from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The areas enjoyed strong economies from 1967, when Israel took over administration of the areas following the Six-Day War, until 2000, when PA terrorists launched the Oslo War, also known as the Second Intifada.

However, the PA and foreign news agencies have blamed Israel for harsh economic conditions that have chased away Christians. Reuters told its readers that “[Arab] officials say many Christians have emigrated in recent decades. Most cite economic hardships under Israeli occupation, though some also voice fears of less tolerant forms of Islam growing among Palestinians.”

The news agency also quoted Issa Kassissieh, an advisor to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as saying that the attack was "an isolated act against Christian symbols” and that "Palestinian Christians and Muslims have always lived in harmony in the Holy Land.”

However, the area has a history of attacks. Two months ago, a fire caused damage to a Coptic Christian church near Ramallah in what may have been arson.

PA terrorists in Kalkilya three years ago set fire to the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) headquarters...

Pope's Affection to Catholics in China

Cassino (AsiaNews - Photo Credit: Sabinerebecca) Before reciting the Regina Caeli today Benedict XVI’s “thoughts” went to the people of China and his “affection” to the Catholics of China. This is how the pontiff marked the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, launched by him with the 2007 Letter to China’s Catholics, which takes place each year on May 24th, the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, which is celebrated in a special way in the Marian Sanctuary of Sheshan in the foothills of Shanghai.

“Today May 24th – he said – the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Help of Christians - who is venerated with great devotion in the Sanctuary of Sheshan Shangahi - , the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China is celebrate. My thoughts go to all the people of China, In particular I greet with great affection the Catholics in China, and I urge them on this day to renew their communion of faith in Christ and fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter. May our common prayer obtain a spreading of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that unity between all Christians, the Catholicity and universality of the Church be ever deeper and more visible”.

Today’s Regina Caeli was proclaimed from Cassino (intoned and sung by the pope), beneath the Benedictine Abbey of Montescassino, where the pope travelled for a visit and where he celebrated mass marking the feast of Our Lord’s Ascension. During his homily the Pope underlined the contribution of Benedictine monasticism to the dignity of prayer, in the lectio divina, and to work. Before the marina prayer he underlined the “wealth” and “power of the peace of Christ”. “Saint Benedict was a great witness of this – he said – because he gathered it into his existence and saw it fruitfully multiply through works of authentic spiritual and cultural renewal. This is why, on the entrance to the Abbey of Montecassino, indeed on the entrance to every Benedictine monastery, the word “PAX” is emblazoned as a motto: the monastic community is indeed called to live according to this peace, which is the greatest gift of Easter”.

Then he recalled his recent journey to the Holy Land – a land filled with tensions – Benedict XVI highlighted that “peace is firstly a gift from God, and therefore its strength lies in prayer”... Read more...

(2008 Prayers for Sheshan, China)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bomb Rips Off a Catholic Cathedral in Kathmandu, Nepal

Dhobigahat (AsiaNews) – “This incident has greatly shocked whole catholic community”, is the immediate reaction of Fr. Shilas Bogati, who was leading morning prayer when a bomb exploded in the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kathmandu. An eyewitness has confirmed that the devise was planted by a middle aged women, dressed in black. When the “strange women” left the Church the bomb exploded.

Fr. Bogati was leading the congregation in the absence of the parish priest Fr. George who is aboard in India. Anthony Sharma, Apostolic Vicar for Nepal, is also abroad. “About seven months back – continues the priest - we had a telephone threat saying to stop all Christian activities and institutions, otherwise we will have serious consequences”. He recounts that at the time they did not take the threats seriously even though they had been warned by police. The group behind the episode is the Nepal Defence Army, a movement linked to Hindu fundamentalism.

Meanwhile information is emerging regarding the victims of the blast. Celeste Joseph, a 15 year old student and 30 year old Deepa Patrik, both Catholic; the first died from the impact of the explosion, the second died later in hospital from serious injury. At the time of the attack – 8.45 local time – only moments before the beginning of morning service – there were between 350 and 450 people.

The Nepal Defence Army, planted the bomb in a pressure coke laden with explosive and controller by a timer. The bomb was placed right in the heart of the cathedral to obtain maximum damage. Currently there are dozens of injured being treated for their wounds, three of whom are in serious conditions. Among these brother Rakesh, who directs a Catholic Institute... Read more...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Add the Pope in Facebook

On May 24 the Pope2You Vatican Social website will go LIVE where you can interact with the Pope in Facebook. It includes the Pope's personal profile according to Vatican Officials the Vatican YouTube, a Wiki for additional knowledge and official information coming directly from the the Pope and the Vatican.

Since there are a lot of venomous anti-Catholics out there filled with evil hatred against Christ and His Church who love to circulate lies from the truth of the Church, it's better to consult first what the Church official teachings and stand on modern issues we are encountering today. Good that we have something to interact with the Church and the Pope.

Now we don't have any excuses to be ignorant. Let those who still live in the darkness of ignorance find this website helpful in their search for the Truth of the Church.

How many is less?

Thanks to YouTube user bosesnimanalo, sorry for the hatred incitements and the insults this video may contain. This is not a Catholic video upload but its contents are highly informative.

How many are the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo? They won't say their official number of adherents but from his own words, their leader Erano Manalo says it substantially.

Hold on to Christ's Promise!

"After nine years of investigation, Ireland’s Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse has published its findings. More than 30,000 children, most of them delinquents, passed through one or more of Ireland’s Catholic-run institutions from the 1920s through the 1980s." A shocking news I've extracted from Catholic Online.

Who could do such crimes to innocent children when all these children have to do was to trust those "men in holy robes." Perhaps as their Catholic parents were very much affected by these shameful acts of priests in error, we, Catholics should share our deepest sympathy to victims and their families, they need our support and our prayers very badly.

As Catholics, are we supposed to abandon the Church of Christ just because these things are happening? No, we should not. Evil can never overpower God's goodness for Christ had triumphed over death which is the greatest effect of our fallen nature.

We should welcome such humiliation for it makes us humble in the eyes of God. This news is not a waste because for sure from this, God would still raise up some saintly people as we witness great men and women who offered their lives for the sake of Christ and his Church.

The sin of the few cannot be greater than the saintly examples of the late Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and many saints who have simply chosen to be behind the spotlight of our praise.

We, as Catholics should sincerely ask forgiveness for our brethren's mistakes and encourage our brothers and sisters to hold on to Christ's words that no matter what happens, in the past, today nor in the future, he will always be with his Church for he promised "the gates of Hell will never prevail against his Church." And we believe in Christ, and his words, and his promise, then we should not be swayed by the sins of the few rather magnify the greatness of God in the saintly examples of silent monks and nuns praying inside their convents, adoring Christ in the Eucharist, and offering prayers for the whole Church.

Some misguided anti-Catholics and gifted people with abundant ignorance chose to highlight the sins of some members of the Church to bring down the whole Church down. Still some people would love to highlights Cardinals and priests who have admittedly committed grave sins but they can't deny the absolute truth of Christ that any evil cannot and will not prevail against Christ true Church just as one Judas cannot postpone the plan of Salvation by our God.

These anti-Catholics highlight darkness (as they have darkness in their souls) but we chose the light to guide our path to righteousness and truth.

Hold on to Christ's promise, His Church will always be His and those fake churches founded by self-proclaiming prophets and angels will always go down in history as such. And my message to those who love to throw us our own dirt, "Let the those who have no sin cast the very first stone."

Well at least we must be thankful that those Cardinals and priest who abused children (and some fathered children) NEVER claimed to be angels or prophets. They're just simply workers-- and not rapists and sexual perverts under the guise of angels or God's Last Messengers."

Testimony: The Untold Story of Pope John Paul II

This is a very powerful 90 minute film highlighting the colorful ups and downs in the life of a saintly man, God Servant Pope John Paul II. Read more at Movie Trailer

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Gone are the days when our Catholic missionaries have to travel through on foot crossing steep mountains and hot deserts preaching the Words of God relying only to their conviction that God has sent them to meet Christ in foreign lands through preaching and example. Our saints are the very witness of the harshness of such a missionary demands of Christ "preaching to all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (see Mt. 28).

According to our Catholic Catechism, all baptized Christians are missionaries. Not necessarily traveling to foreign lands. A Catholic can be a missionary to his own family example. He can be a missionary to his friends in school and in sports. He can be missionary to his business partners, to his subordinates, and to everyone he may meet everyday.

As witnesses to Christ and his mission, we need not to hitch in every bus with a Bible and a "donation envelop" asking "love offerings" to passengers, nor we shout on top of our lungs in market places. Our being missionaries is right there when we are doing very ordinary things we use to do everyday.

Today, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI is asking every Christian Catholic to be missionaries right inside our own rooms. With the latest digital technologies we so love to have, we can spread the Good News to those we may encounter in the web. Just as what I love to do, I use my blog to convey the good message of Jesus, leading men and women to his truth through his One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which he established in Jerusalem to St. Peter.

To some, they use the internet to destroy others and to spread lies but we, as Catholics can beat the Devil by doing the opposite. Let's sow love and forgiveness and show them the difference between our loving concern for others through examples.

We can always be assured by the Holy Father that God has willed it that in our day, we are provided with these technology to build his Kingdom for his praise, glory and honor.

Here is the Holy Father's message for this years' 43rd World Day of Communication Pontifical Council for Social Communications, with a theme of "New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship." Thanks to Catholic Online for providing us the text of the Holy Father's message.

May 24, 2009, Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In anticipation of the forthcoming World Communications Day, I would like to address to you some reflections on the theme chosen for this year - New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship. The new digital technologies are, indeed, bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships. These changes are particularly evident among those young people who have grown up with the new technologies and are at home in a digital world that often seems quite foreign to those of us who, as adults, have had to learn to understand and appreciate the opportunities it has to offer for communications.

In this year’s message, I am conscious of those who constitute the so-called digital generation and I would like to share with them, in particular, some ideas concerning the extraordinary potential of the new technologies, if they are used to promote human understanding and solidarity. These technologies are truly a gift to humanity and we must endeavor to ensure that the benefits they offer are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

The accessibility of mobile telephones and computers, combined with the global reach and penetration of the internet, has opened up a range of means of communication that permit the almost instantaneous communication of words and images across enormous distances and to some of the most isolated corners of the world; something that would have been unthinkable for previous generations.

Young people, in particular, have grasped the enormous capacity of the new media to foster connectedness, communication and understanding between individuals and communities, and they are turning to them as means of communicating with existing friends, of meeting new friends, of forming communities and networks, of seeking information and news, and of sharing their ideas and opinions.

Many benefits flow from this new culture of communication: families are able to maintain contact across great distances; students and researchers have more immediate and easier access to documents, sources and scientific discoveries, hence they can work collaboratively from different locations; moreover, the interactive nature of many of the new media facilitates more dynamic forms of learning and communication, thereby contributing to social progress.

While the speed with which the new technologies have evolved in terms of their efficiency and reliability is rightly a source of wonder, their popularity with users should not surprise us, as they respond to a fundamental desire of people to communicate and to relate to each other. This desire for communication and friendship is rooted in our very nature as human beings and cannot be adequately understood as a response to technical innovations.

In the light of the biblical message, it should be seen primarily as a reflection of our participation in the communicative and unifying Love of God, who desires to make of all humanity one family. When we find ourselves drawn towards other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God’s call - a call that is imprinted in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of God, the God of communication and communion.

The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic and enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others. In reality, when we open ourselves to others, we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming more fully human. Loving is, in fact, what we are designed for by our Creator. Naturally, I am not talking about fleeting, shallow relationships, I am talking about the real love that is at the very heart of Jesus’ moral teaching: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" and "You must love your neighbor as yourself" (cf. Mk 12:30-31).

In this light, reflecting on the significance of the new technologies, it is important to focus not just on their undoubted capacity to foster contact between people, but on the quality of the content that is put into circulation using these means. I would encourage all people of good will who are active in the emerging environment of digital communication to commit themselves to promoting a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship.

Those who are active in the production and dissemination of new media content, therefore, should strive to respect the dignity and worth of the human person. If the new technologies are to serve the good of individuals and of society, all users will avoid the sharing of words and images that are degrading of human beings, that promote hatred and intolerance, that debase the goodness and intimacy of human sexuality or that exploit the weak and vulnerable.

The new technologies have also opened the way for dialogue between people from different countries, cultures and religions. The new digital arena, the so-called cyberspace, allows them to encounter and to know each other’s traditions and values. Such encounters, if they are to be fruitful, require honest and appropriate forms of expression together with attentive and respectful listening.

The dialogue must be rooted in a genuine and mutual searching for truth if it is to realize its potential to promote growth in understanding and tolerance. Life is not just a succession of events or experiences: it is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived by those who see us merely as consumers in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth.

The concept of friendship has enjoyed a renewed prominence in the vocabulary of the new digital social networks that have emerged in the last few years. The concept is one of the noblest achievements of human culture. It is in and through our friendships that we grow and develop as humans. For this reason, true friendship has always been seen as one of the greatest goods any human person can experience. We should be careful, therefore, never to trivialize the concept or the experience of friendship. It would be sad if our desire to sustain and develop on-line friendships were to be at the cost of our availability to engage with our families, our neighbours and those we meet in the daily reality of our places of work, education and recreation. If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development.

Friendship is a great human good, but it would be emptied of its ultimate value if it were to be understood as an end in itself. Friends should support and encourage each other in developing their gifts and talents and in putting them at the service of the human community. In this context, it is gratifying to note the emergence of new digital networks that seek to promote human solidarity, peace and justice, human rights and respect for human life and the good of creation. These networks can facilitate forms of co-operation between people from different geographical and cultural contexts that enable them to deepen their common humanity and their sense of shared responsibility for the good of all.

We must, therefore, strive to ensure that the digital world, where such networks can be established, is a world that is truly open to all. It would be a tragedy for the future of humanity if the new instruments of communication, which permit the sharing of knowledge and information in a more rapid and effective manner, were not made accessible to those who are already economically and socially marginalized, or if it should contribute only to increasing the gap separating the poor from the new networks that are developing at the service of human socialization and information.

I would like to conclude this message by addressing myself, in particular, to young Catholic believers: to encourage them to bring the witness of their faith to the digital world. Dear Brothers and Sisters, I ask you to introduce into the culture of this new environment of communications and information technology the values on which you have built your lives. In the early life of the Church, the great Apostles and their disciples brought the Good News of Jesus to the Greek and Roman world.

Just as, at that time, a fruitful evangelization required that careful attention be given to understanding the culture and customs of those pagan peoples so that the truth of the gospel would touch their hearts and minds, so also today, the proclamation of Christ in the world of new technologies requires a profound knowledge of this world if the technologies are to serve our mission adequately. It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this "digital continent".

Be sure to announce the Gospel to your contemporaries with enthusiasm. You know their fears and their hopes, their aspirations and their disappointments: the greatest gift you can give to them is to share with them the "Good News" of a God who became man, who suffered, died and rose again to save all people. Human hearts are yearning for a world where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion. Our faith can respond to these expectations: may you become its heralds! The Pope accompanies you with his prayers and his blessing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


ROME (Chiesa; thanks to Catholic Online) – Eurabia, a portmanteau of "Europe" and "Arabia," is a political neologism referring to Europe becoming subsumed by the Arab World, because of European leaders betrayal and/or continued immigration and high birth rates of Muslims in Europe. (Photo here and Video here)

The term was publicized by the writer Bat Ye'or, especially in her 2005 book Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, referring to joint Euro-Arab domestic and foreign policies which she characterizes as anti-American and anti-Zionist.

One of the most indisputable results of Benedict XVI's trip to the Holy Land was the improvement in relations with Islam. The three days he spent in Jordan, and then, in Jerusalem, the visit to the Dome of the Mosque, spread an image among the Muslim general public – to an extent never before seen – of a pope as a friend, surrounded by Islamic leaders happy to welcome him and work together with him for the good of the human family.

But just as indisputable is the distance between this image and the harsh reality of the facts. Not only in countries under Muslim regimes, but also where the followers of Mohammed are in the minority, for example in Europe.

In 2002, the scholar Bat Ye'or, a British citizen born in Egypt and a specialist in the history of the Christian and Jewish minorities in Muslim countries – called the "dhimmi" – coined the term "Eurabia" to describe the fate toward which Europe is moving. It is a fate of submission to Islam, of "dhimmitude."

Oriana Fallaci used the word "Eurabia" in her writings, and gave it worldwide resonance. On August 1, 2005, Benedict XVI received Fallaci in a private audience at Castel Gandolfo. She rejected dialogue with Islam; he was in favor of it, and still is. But they agreed – as Fallaci later said – in identifying the "self-hatred" that Europe demonstrates, its spiritual vacuum, its loss of identity, precisely when the immigrants of Islamic faith are increasing within it.

Holland is an extraordinary test case. It is the country in which individual license is the most extensive – to the point of permitting euthanasia on children – in which the Christian identity is most faded, in which the Moslem presence is growing most boldly.

Here, multiculturalism is the rule. But the exceptions are dramatic: from the killing of the anti-Islamist political leader Pim Fortuyn to the persecution of the Somali dissident Ayaan Hirsi Ali to the murder of the director Theo Van Gogh, condemned to death for his film "Submission" (watch the film here), a denunciation of the crimes of Muslim theocracy. Fortuyn's successor, Geert Wilders, has lived under 24-hour police protection for six years. Read more in Catholic Online...
Photo Credit: Atlas Shrugs

By their Fruit, you will Know them!

This article was taken from Answers.com; (Thanks to Phillip Garcia for the photo):

One incident between the two groups transpired on April 18, 2005 when they clashed inside a Jollibee outlet in Apalit town during an apparent unauthorized religious debate. Local police on orders of the town mayor went to the restaurant and tried to stop the holding of the debate for lack of a mayor's permit. Apalit Mayor Tirso Lacanilao had instructed the town's chief of police to transfer the venue of the debate either at the ADD convention center or at the INC chapel in an effort to prevent any trouble. ADD leaders, however, insisted on pushing through with the debate telling the police that "hindi naman magkakagulo (there will be no trouble)." Shortly after that, a free-for-all erupted when shouting and cursing from an ADD follower identified, as "Mataro" led to a free-for-all, .

On April 27, 2008, Mataro, who was the host of UNTV program, was shot dead by two unknown assailants in San Simon, Pampanga. MCGI members have accused the INC of being behind the murder as Mataro's TV program, "D'Xman" (short for "The Ex-Manalista"), was critical of the Iglesia ni Cristo doctrines. Murder charges were filed against the principal suspects in the killing. Nickson Icao and Felizardo "Ka Zaldy" Lumagham, both of Macabebe, Pampanga and who claim to be members of INC, were charged before the San Fernando prosecutors office.

More shocking and unbelievable stories can be found posted in ADD blogs and some critics of the cult completely supported with newspaper clippings (try google.com). The management of the Iglesia ni Cristo seem to condone those evil practices within its members. In fact, there was no official statement coming from their church to which they confirm nor deny the authenticity of those members involved in criminal acts done in the name of the Iglesia ni Cristo.

Since the beginning of the Iglesia ni Cristo when its name was still called Iglesia ni Kristo, the Catholic Church was its target attacking every doctrine and practices it has. As an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventists, most of their anti-Catholic attacks were borrowed or completely copied from them.

As member of the true Church of Christ which is the Catholic Church according to their Pasugo I am compelled to defend this Church that the Lord had established. Christ himself from the lies of Felix Manalo and his Iglesia ni Cristo. I have chosen to post a fair share of my Catholic knowledge of my Catholic faith in the light of the Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition which was taught in the Magisterium. I have never personally attacked members of the Iglesia ni Cristo nor I have engaged myself in any manner that reflects not my Catholic faith. I maintained objectivity in my honest quest for knowledge. All my concern does not in anyway harm any family of any member of the Iglesia ni Cristo, nor I demean any individual, their families or their friends in that respect. My objective purpose is to join the resounding voices of those courageous authors of Wikipedia, Let's Examine Iglesia ni Cristo, Catholic Answers, Got Questions, About Iglesia ni Cristo, Freedom of Mind, The Rock, Flagspot, The Bereans, Britannica, UK Apologetics, Encyclopedia.com and a lot more, no more than questioning a historical man who have built a church and named it Iglesia ni Cristo.

What do they have to prove that the true Church of Christ which they admit it's the Catholic Church completely apostatized? So far, we have heard nothing from them except that you have to watch their TV program for an answer or they would invite you to pay a visit to one of their temples which is impractical for people living miles and miles away from the Philippines. They have no published official teaching nor do they have official website that everybody can examine their beliefs up-close even to those living in remote areas. Ang pagkaalam ko hindi nagtatangi ang Dios, malayo o malapit.

What a pity! Indeed they're a cult!

Why are they considered a cult?

A cult by definition is "a religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader." In this case, Felix Manalo is defended by Iglesia ni Cristo members over the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

What are the characteristics of a cult?

According to CSJ a cult should be fall on these categories:
  1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
  2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  3. Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
  4. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
  5. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
  6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
  7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
  8. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
  9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
  10. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
  11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  12. The group is preoccupied with making money.
  13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
  14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
  15. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
Let Us Reason Ministries have more ample categories how we can spot a cult:

Still a better one from this site. A cult is:
  1. Devaluation of the Bible.
  2. Devaluation of the nature of God.
  3. Denial of the Trinity.
  4. Devaluation of the Person of Christ.
  5. Devaluation of the life and work of Christ.
  6. Non-biblical teachings about the Holy Spirit.
  7. Exalted view of human nature.
  8. False basis of salvation.
  9. Non-biblical teachings about the after-life.
  10. Demonic activity denied or overemphasized.
  11. Deceptive recruiting practices.
  12. Dynamic and authoritarian leadership.
  13. Elitism.
  14. Cultic vocabulary.
  15. Alienation from family and friends.
  16. Legalism.
  17. Induced fatigue.
  18. Anti-intellectual.
  19. Thought stopping.
  20. No professional clergy.
  21. Doctrine in flux/ false prophesies.
  22. Financial exploitation.
  23. Mind control.

And before your eyes, by their fruits you will know what kind of people they are.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How Notre Dame Drifted Away from the Catholic Church

Today, to the disgust and apparent surprise of many Catholic bishops and laity, the University of Notre Dame, once the pride of Catholic intellectual life in America, will behave in a very un-Catholic way by honoring, as commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, POTUS Barack Obama, one of America's most extreme advocates of abortion.

This surprise is hard to understand. The old Latin proverb nemo repente turpissimus can be translated as "nobody becomes very evil overnight." Even Judas served a lengthy apprenticeship as an embezzler before moving on to greater betrayals. In a similar manner, I contend that the invitation to Obama was merely a milestone of a drift away from the Catholic Church that Notre Dame started decades ago.

How it Happened? Read more in Americanthinker.com.

Where are the real American Catholics?

US President Barack Obama is a good public speaker and I agree on that. He's been a good bridge connector as I know and that factor alone swept him to the White House I guess. But trying to appease everyone there is one thing he did so terrible when he favored those who terminate unwanted pregnancy through legal abortion. The Catholic Church stand on this issue has never been changed and this issue is non-negotiable but some priests and cold Catholic Bishops were asleep or have been busy with their personal lives when their own President have accepted an invitation to grace a Commencement Exercises at Notre Dame University, a Catholic University in Indiana. Adding insult to injury is when this same man whose moral principles are directly contracditory to Catholic social and moral teachings would be confered with Honorary Doctorate approved by no more than Catholic Board of Directors in that same Catholic University-- or is it should I say ex-Catholic University. that university shouldn't use the word "Catholic" anymore. It is a shame to the rest of the Universal Church to have such a university that sells it's moral principle over politicians!!!

What a shame, isn't it?

To those who stood to this Gospel principle, may God bless you but don't worry, there are other good Catholics around the world who pray for you and for your inefficient bishoops. Thanks to Catholic Online: These Bishops and Priests deserves the least of our respect.

Below is the letter of Ms. Jennifer Hartline who is a Catholic Army wife and stay-at-home mother of three precious kids who writes frequently on topics of Catholic faith and daily living. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.
To the Bishops, Priests and Deacons of the United States I respectfully say:

“Gentlemen, please LOOK UP! Your flock is being scattered and devoured by the wolf! We need you to rise up, raise your voice, and start teaching the orthodox truth of the Catholic faith, and to instruct your parishioners that these truths are not optional nor are they negotiable! You are our Shepherds and we are in dire need of strong leadership. I am tired of seeing so-called Catholic politicians and public figures flaunting their Catholic heritage while at the same time supporting and lobbying for the destruction of preborn children, the government sanctioned “right” to kill the child in the womb, or the disabled, the elderly and the sick.

I am so tired of prominent, educated Catholics misleading the faithful in matters of Church teaching, paving the way for so many to follow them down the road of supporting the aforementioned so-called Catholic public figures, all in the name of “the common good.” The common good will never be fully achieved until all human life is held sacred and protected from the moment of conception until natural death, and those who propose to seek the common good without requiring that this first truth, this cornerstone be secured are deluding themselves and leading countless others astray.

Why are we not hearing from you? There are a few reliable, clear voices courageously speaking the truth, and to those fearless leaders I say THANK YOU! We would be even more lost in this dark haze without the light of holy men like Bishop Joseph Naumann, Bishop Joseph Martino, Francis Cardinal George, Fr. Frank Pavone, and others (including Catholic Online’s own Deacon Keith Fournier) who publicly proclaim the real truth and confront the error being portrayed as authentic Catholicism.

Catholics are largely responsible for electing the most committed pro-death politician in America to the White House. That is our great disgrace! Where were you last year when your faithful were rallying to the support of a man who has no regard for the sanctity of human life, who feels no need to even protect a child who had the audacity to survive the attempt on his/her life, who proudly proclaimed that his first act as President would be to sign into law the most outrageously LIFE-threatening legislation in history (FOCA)? Now, whether this lethal bill is ever fully introduced, it is being implemented piecemeal and the culture of death is on the march!

Where are you now that this same President has nominated Governor Kathleen Sebelius to the Health and Human Services Department, flaunting her Catholic religion to lend credibility to his mission of advancing the culture of death? It is demeaning and insulting to our true and holy faith, and all of you should be loudly opposing and denouncing this nomination and reminding the Governor and all the faithful that our commitment to protecting human life cannot remain just a private belief. We must live out in public what we claim to believe in private, or our beliefs are meaningless and our faith is dead!

In the absence of your voice, the United States is being led to believe that the Catholic Church will abide by its members deciding for themselves which teachings must be lived and followed and even what those teachings actually teach!

I beg you, for the sake of our Church and Her glorious faith, and for the sake of our souls, to break your silence! Proclaim the truth again, boldly and without exception. Require those who profess to be Catholic to actually live their faith in truth and in deed, and when they refuse, let them face the consequences!

It is time for the followers of Christ to show their loyalty to Him again to our nation and to the world. We cannot serve God and the Church and serve the agenda of moral relativism and death at the same time.

There will be many who do not want to hear you proclaim the truth or require them to heed and obey. They have forgotten the cost, the sacrifice required to follow Jesus. Their faith has been watered-down and confused by cleverly-phrased arguments that cater to their self-centered desires for a false “freedom” and the illusion of control. They have lost the conviction of their true faith -- they do not see how distorted and empty it has all become.

They are your sheep, wandering around in the darkness, following the loudest voice they hear, and too often, it is not YOUR voice!

Please hear us crying out for you to lead us! Take courage! I would rather be part of the Church our Holy Father has envisioned – smaller in number, but more faithful – than continue to see the Church in America divided and apathetic.

Be assured of our prayers and our gratitude for your faithful service. May God pour out His grace upon us again and refresh us with His love, and strengthen our faith to withstand the tests of our time. May we, the Catholic Church of the United States of America, boldly and unapologetically proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, that by His cross and resurrection we are set free from sin and death, and may we unequivocally declare that all human life is sacred and made in His image, and so work tirelessly to ensure the protection of all human beings, whether small and preborn, or aged, or sick, or disabled, whether friend or adversary.

Christ is with you, our dear Shepherds…lead us on!”

Photo Credit: Politicallyright Blog

Monday, May 18, 2009

Religious Freedom Under Threat

By Father John Flynn, LC ROME, May. 10, 2009 (Zenit.org through Catholic.net).- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom continues to show that religious freedom is a human right under fire, but changes have come about and they are not all negative.

Though Myanmar and Venezuela have a worsening record when it comes to religious freedom, India is showing signs of improvement.

On May 1 the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its annual report, together with its recommendations about which countries should be denominated as "countries of particular concern," or CPCs.

This is the 10th report by the commission since it was set up by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

The CPC countries named by the USCIRF are: Myanmar, China, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

The recommendations made by the USCIRF go to the State Department, where a decision is made about how many of the nations on the USCIRF list will actually be declared CPCs.

The current State Department list of CPC countries is made up of eight of the nations recommended by the USCIRF: Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan.

The commission also announced a "Watch List" of countries whose behavior calls for close monitoring due to the extent of violations of religious freedom. The 2009 list is made up of: Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Venezuela.

The report has detailed information on the countries in the CPC and Watch List categories. Myanmar, the report affirmed, has one of the world‘s worst human rights records, and religious freedom has diminished in the last year. The military regime severely restricts religious practice and monitors the activity of all religious organizations, the commission noted.

An estimated 136 Buddhist monks remain in prison, awaiting trials, according to the report, and monasteries remain closed or function in a limited capacity. As well, ethnic minority Christians and Muslims continue to encounter difficulties.

In China, according to the commission, "there has been no improvement in the religious freedom situation and, in fact, there has been a marked deterioration in the past year, particularly in Tibetan Buddhist and Uighur Muslim areas."

Egregious violations

"The Chinese government continues to engage in systematic and egregious violations of the freedom of religion or belief, with religious activities tightly controlled and some religious adherents detained, imprisoned, fined, beaten and harassed," the report stated.

The commission also commented that the repression of many religious groups intensified prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Turning to the Middle East the report said that in Iran, "official rhetoric and government policy resulted in a deterioration in conditions for nearly all non-Shi‘a religious groups."

Government policy endorses the violation of religious freedom, including detention, torture and executions based on the religion of the accused, the commission alleged.

The report also drew attention to the situation in Iraq, where it said, "The government continues to commit and tolerate severe abuses of freedom of religion or belief."

Turning to Saudi Arabia, the report acknowledged that King Abdullah has allowed some limited reform measures, as well as promoting interreligious dialogue. Nevertheless, the government still bans all forms of public religious expression other than that of the government‘s own interpretation of one school of Sunni Islam.

In addition, the commission accused Saudi authorities of supporting on the international level groups that promote "an extremist ideology, including in some cases, violence toward non-Muslims and disfavored Muslims."

In Egypt, the report continued, there are serious problems of discrimination, intolerance, and other human rights violations against members of religious minorities. Serious religious freedom violations continue to affect Coptic Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Baha‘is, as well as members of minority Muslim communities, the commission accused.

Moreover, the report argued that the government has not taken sufficient steps to halt the repression and discrimination against religious believers, or to punish those responsible for violence or other severe violations of religious freedom. Read more...

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