"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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Muslim Demographics: The Islamic Tidal Wave


Are we ready for the "take over"?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Benedict XVI in Czech Republic: “We need credible Christians”

(Article Source: Rome Reports) September 28, 2009 - Czech Republic - On the final day of his trip to the Czech Republic, Benedict XVI visited the tomb of Saint Wencenslaus the patron saint of the country.

The tomb sits at Stara Boleslav Cathedral about 35 kilometers from Prague. Saint Wencenslaus Was a Bohemian King and died as a martyr in the year 935.

After visiting his crypt, the Pope greeted a group of priests who are ill.

Then, he left in the famous Popemobile to an area where he celebrated the most significant ceremony of the trip: a feast in the name of the nations patron saint.

Forty thousand pilgrims were in attendance. Many of the faces in the crowd were young and staked out overnight to attend the ceremony.

During mass, Benedict XVI reminded all Catholics that they too can be saints in their own personal lives.

Benedicto XVI
“Today there is a need for believers with credibility, who are ready to spread in every area of society the Christian principles and ideals by which their action is inspired”


The Pope explained that it is not enough to appear like a good and honest person. He said you need to BE a good and honest person to be like a saint.

During the ceremony some teenagers gave the Pope an album with photos of the types of activities they carry out at their parish and a donation to Africa.

In response, the Pope encouraged them to take their Christian faith seriously.

Benedict XVI
“The Pope asks you to live your faith with joy and enthusiasm; to grow in unity among yourselves and with Christ; to pray and to be diligent in frequenting the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession; to take seriously your Christian formation.”


Among the teens, the Pope recalled last years World Youth Day in Sydney and called on them to attend the summit which will take place in Madrid in 2011.

MC/JMB

Monday, September 28, 2009

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE PHILIPPINE FLOOD VICTIMS

Photo Credit: Thanks to SMH.com
The recent typhoon that hit the Philippine Capital City of Manila has damaged properties and human lives. In this moment of need, I am emploring everyone with goodwill to spare us a little of your time and say a little prayers for the affected families and for the souls of their dead that they may rest in God's peace.

For those who survived this catastrophic disater, I am appealing to you personally to share with us some of your comforts by donating some money or used clothes, can goods, blankets, beddings or anything you think our people need.

Contact Bro. Bo Sanchez of Kerygma Family. This holy man has been so busy preaching but he is also busy doing good works for our suffering kababayans.

Or you can contact GAWAD KALINGA of the Couples for Christ to these places:

1. GK Camacho, Marikina (Bodoy 0917-888-8276)
2. GK Tatalon, Quezon City (Bobby 0918-906-9075)
3. GK Brookside, Quezon City (Rabbi 0906-462-7232)
4. GK Sitio Ruby, Quezon City (Benjie 0906-286-4447)
5. GK Sitio Pajo, Quezon City (Mar 0919-208-8784)
6. GK Selecta, Cainta (Dolphy 0928-604-4632)
7. GK Caliuag, Pasig City (Ryan 0922-859-6453)
8. GK Pinagsama, Taguig City (Raul 0919-229-1416)
9. GK PBA, Pateros City (Cesar 0905-235-7929)

For your cash donations, here are the following ways to transmit :

1. Gawad Kalinga Philippine Peso Current Account 3101 0977 56
BPI EDSA Greenhills

2. Gawad Kalinga US$ Savings Account 3104 0162 34 with Swift code : BOPIPHMM
BPI EDSA Greenhills


(Should you need receipts, please fax your deposit slip to : Delfin Mangona, Operation GK Walang Iwanan at 632-726-7405. Kindly indicate name of donor and contact number.)

3. For donations outside the Philippines, you can choose from the following :

ANCOP USA
You can send your checks to ANCOP USA, PO Box 10095, Torrance, CA 90505.
Or go to www.ancopusa.org if you prefer to do it online via credit card.

AYALA FOUNDATION USA
You can issue checks payable to Ayala Foundation USA with project noted (Gawad Kalinga Ondoy Relief) and send to :

Ayala Foundation USA
255 Shoreline Drive, Suite 428
Redwood City, CA 94065
Tel. no. 1-650-598-3126
Fax No. 1-650-508-8898
Email info@af-usa.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can donate to Ayala Foundation USA via credit card by visiting http://www.af-usa.org/donate_now_form.asp. In "choosing organization to receive the donation", please choose "Gawad Kalinga-Community Infrastructure Program" for now. By tomorrow, September 29, Tuesday Philippine Time, you will be able to choose "Gawad Kalinga-Relief"..

DONATE ONLINE AT http://www.gk1world.com/

Click on "Operation GK Walang Iwanan (Click to Donate) at this website. This facility can accept donations from all over the world.

Daily updates on the needs of affected communities will be posted here so we can respond quickly and appropriately. Thank you for all your prayers and all the efforts in doing as much as you can for the people in need.

Source: Gawad Kalinga


Or respond to a volunteer posted by Palaisip.blogspot:

Ateneo is mobilizing to help deliver flood boots for cleanup. Volunteers and vehicles are needed to deliver them. Please proceed to CERVINI DORMITORY to drop off donations and sign up as volunteers. For cash donations, please deposit to Gawad Kalinga, BPI C/A # 3101-0977-56. Your financial contributio

Pope warns against attempts to marginalize Christianity from public life

Prague, Czech Republic, Sep 27, 2009 / 03:58 pm (CNA).- During a meeting held this Sunday afternoon at the Archdiocese of Prague, Pope Benedict XVI warned members of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Czech Republic that in a country where about half the population claim to be “non-believers,” there is a risk that Christianity will be marginalized from public life.

“Europe continues to undergo many changes. It is hard to believe that only two decades have passed since the collapse of former regimes gave way to a difficult but productive transition towards more participatory political structures,” said the Pope at the beginning of his address.

“During this period,” he continued, “Christians joined together with others of good will in helping to rebuild a just political order, and they continue to engage in dialogue today in order to pave new ways towards mutual understanding, cooperation for peace and the advancement of the common good.”

“Attempts to marginalize the influence of Christianity upon public life, sometimes under the pretext that its teachings are detrimental to the well-being of society, are emerging in new forms,” the Holy Father warned, saying that this phenomenon “gives us pause to reflect.”

“We may ask ourselves: what does the Gospel have to say to the Czech Republic and indeed all of Europe today in a period marked by proliferating world views?”

“Christianity,” Pope Benedict explained, “has much to offer on the practical and ethical level, for the Gospel never ceases to inspire men and women to place themselves at the service of their brothers and sisters. Few would dispute this. Yet those who fix their gaze upon Jesus of Nazareth with eyes of faith know that God offers a deeper reality which is nonetheless inseparable from the ‘economy’ of charity at work in this world: He offers salvation.”

The Holy Father said that Christians must take confidence “in knowing that the Church’s proclamation of salvation in Christ Jesus is ever ancient and ever new, steeped in the wisdom of the past and brimming with hope for the future.”

“As Europe listens to the story of Christianity, she hears her own. Her notions of justice, freedom and social responsibility, together with the cultural and legal institutions established to preserve these ideas and hand them on to future generations, are shaped by her Christian inheritance. Indeed, her memory of the past animates her aspirations for the future,” he added.

Pope Benedict then said that Christians today must open themselves to present realities and affirm “all that is good in society.” They “must have the courage to invite men and women to the radical conversion that ensues upon an encounter with Christ and ushers in a new life of grace.”

“Dear friends, let us ask the Lord to implant within us a spirit of courage to share the timeless saving truths which have shaped, and will continue to shape, the social and cultural progress of this continent,” he concluded.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What is the History of Your Church?

Many Christian denominational Protestant sects and cults claimed that they are the original Christian Church accsusing the orginal Church which Christ founded (the Catholic Church) of being "apostatized". Thanks to the creator and owner of the website Scripture Catholic for sharing us this valuable table.
What is the history of your church? Here's a brief overview:

ChurchYear EstablishedFounderWhere Established
Catholic33Jesus ChristJerusalem
Orthodox1054Schismatic Catholic BishopsConstantinople
Lutheran1517Martin LutherGermany
Anabaptist
1521
Nicholas Storch and Thomas MunzerGermany
Anglican1534Henry VIIIEngland
Mennonites1536Menno SimonsSwitzerland
Calvinist1555John CalvinSwitzerland
Presbyterian1560John KnoxScotland
Congregational1582Robert BrownHolland
Baptist1609John SmythAmsterdam
Dutch Reform1628Michaelis JonesNew York
Congregationalist1648Pilgrims and PuritansMassachusetts
Quakers1649George FoxEngland
Amish1693Jacob AmmanFrance
Freemasons1717Masons from four lodgesLondon
Methodist1739John and Charles WesleyEngland
Unitarian1774Theophilus LindeyLondon
Methodist Episcopal178460 PreachersBaltimore, MD
Episcopalian1789Samuel SeaburyAmerican Colonies
United Brethren1800Philip Otterbein and Martin BoehnMaryland
Disciples of Christ1827Thomas and Alexander CampbellKentucky
Mormons1830Joseph SmithNew York
Methodist Protestant1830MethodistUnited States
Church of Christ1836Warren Stone and Alexander CampbellKentucky
Seventh Day Adventist1844Ellen G. WhiteWashington, NH
Christadelphian (Brethren of Christ)1844John ThomasRichmond, VA
Salvation Army1865William BoothLondon
Holiness1867MethodistUnited States
Jehovah's Witnesses1874Charles Taze RussellPennsylvania
Christian Science1879Mary Baker EddyBoston
Church of God in Christ1895Various churches of GodArkansas
Church of Nazarenec. 1850-1900Various religious bodiesPilot Point, TX
Pentecostal1901Charles F. ParkhamTopeka, KS
Aglipayan1902Gregorio AglipayPhilippines
Assemblies of God1914PentecostalismHot Springs, AZ
Iglesia ni Cristo1914Felix Y. ManaloPhilippines
Four-square Gospel1917Aimee Semple McPhersonLos Angeles, CA
United Church of Christ1961Reformed and CongregationalistPhiladelphia, PA
Calvary Chapel1965Chuck SmithCosta Mesa, CA
United Methodist1968Methodist and United BrethrenDallas, TX
Born-Againc. 1970sVarious religious bodiesUnited States
Harvest Christian1972Greg LaurieRiverside, CA
Saddleback1982Rick WarrenCalifornia
Non-denominationalc. 1990sVariousUnited States

There are still many many Protestant sects mushroomed in the 20th century, not only in the United States but also in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world. In the Philippines alone there are other churches claiming to be Christ's "true" church.

ChurchYear EstablishedFounderWhere Established
Members of Church of God International or Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path)1922Teofilo Ora, Nicolas Perez, Eliseo SorianoPhilippines
Jesus Miracle Crusade1960Wilde E. AlmedaSurigao Sur, Philippines
Jesus is Lord Church1978Eddie VillanuevaPhilippines
True Jesus Church1980Ernesto TorresPhilippines
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name1985Apollo QuiboloyPhilippines
Source: Wikipedia
...and a lot lot more...

Surely, who can deny these historical facts written in the pages of history. Or who can claim catholicity, holiness and apostolicity of their church? Their own founders proved that they are man-made religions claiming to be the original church Christ built. Praise to Jesus Christ!

Manual for New Members of the Iglesia ni Cristo

Since the Iglesia ni Cristo (Manalo) has no official teachings available in print and in the internet, let's consider these information from a website by a member of the cult accurately true and correct:
Source: INCWorld

FOREWORD

Thanks be to God, now you are a member of the Church of Christ! You are welcome to the community of God's chosen people in these last days. Now you are a part of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ--the Church of Christ--with the privilege to serve God and with the earnest hope that on Christ's second coming you shall be among those who will meet Him to receive God's eternal promises.

For you to remain in such graces, you should strive to keep the faith which you received from God once and for all. Let your spiritual life develop while in the Church of Christ. Strengthen your relationship with God by continuing in your praise and worship of Him, by your confidence in what He can do in your life, and by always praying to him. Let your love for god grow by actively participating in Church activities, for doing so you shall increase as well your devotion to your calling.

If there shall arise obstacles and trials in your faith, remember the words of god relayed to you through His messenger of these last days. Remain immovable on what those words stand for, because God awaits you to make such a firm resolve.

What you should do right after baptism

Please see the local secretary who will officially register you as a full fledged member of the Church of Christ.

You shall be assigned a permanent tag listing your name and the number of the district and group you belong to. This tag will be found at the chapel lobby or entrance. Remember your tag number and where it is located. Everytime you attend the worship service, please turn your tag to indicate proof of your attendance. Be careful not to turn somebody else's tag. If the day of the worship service has ended and you have not turned your name tag, it will be presumed that you were absent or you have attended in another locale. Therefore please expect a visit from your overseer who would ask why you were absent or where you attended services. He will remind you and counsel you not to neglect this extremely important duty to god. If perhaps the reason for your absence is that you were sick, it would be better for the overseer to pray for your recovery and anoint you with oil as the Bible teaches. If there were other reasons, like any of life's problems, the overseer would be there to counsel you. You can likewise seek guidance from God through prayer.

The local secretary will give you the name of the overseer assigned to your group. Please see your overseer as soon as possible. He is your closest link to the Administration of the Church. He will preside over the weekly prayer meetings of your group in designated homes of the brethren. Please try not to be absent in such prayer meetings.

Eventually, you will be asked to have the prayer meeting done in your home. You should consider it a blessing, because it shall bring abundant spiritual graces which you need to increase your faith. In such occasions you will also receive significant messages from the Church Administration concerning local activities which you must join.

You should also know the pastor or minister assigned to your locale, as well as brethren comprising the local leadership.

To what organizations of the church of Christ should you belong?

Within the Church, the Administration established organizations to foster closer ties among brethren and to strengthen their faith.

All married brethren should belong to the BUKLOD. Those who are single, aged 18 years or more, are members of the KADIWA. The youth from 13 to 18 years of age are to be included in the Binhi. Whatever organization you shall belong to, please know

Who are the president and officers in your locale;

When the regular meetings of the organization are held in your locale. Oftentimes you will hear announcements after the worship service as to the date and time of the monthly meetings;

What projects and activities are being sponsored by the organization so that you may actively participate in them.

You and the Church Administration

The Church Administration The local church you belong to has a local leadership headed by a minister or worker. The leadership also comprises five head deacons, the presidents of the local organizations, and the local secretary.

The locales of a province (or state, or region, as the case may be) compose a division being supervised by a minister who is entrusted the office of division (or supervising) minister. The division minister is directly responsible to the Executive Minister concerning all Church activities in his division.

The present Executive Minister of the Church of Christ is Brother ERANO G. MANALO. Every locale is divided into districts (each administered by a district leader), which are further subdivided into groups (each supervised by a group leader who may be a deacon or deaconess, or an overseer being groomed for deaconship).

Every group is comprised of several families in the Church and that where you belong. Thus, your closest link to the Church Administration is your group leader, then your district leader, finally the local leadership.

To the brethren mentioned above, please bring any problem regarding your faith and membership, for they are God's instruments in helping you.

Worship Service in the Church Of Christ

Twice a week the Church of Christ holds a congregational service. This is normally done every Thursday and Sunday (some local churches, mostly in the West, have Wednesday or Friday services instead of Thursdays). There are occasions when the Church observes special worship services on days other than Thursdays and Sundays.

You are required to attend these assemblies. The Bible says: "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of Some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)

The Lord God shall expect your presence in the house of worship every worship service day: "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." (John 4:23)

What activities comprise our worship service?

Our worship service begins with congregational singing led by the choir members and ends with the benediction.

This is the order of activities during a regular worship service:

Congregational singing

The sermon

Prayer

Collection of offerings

Doxology

Benediction

You are expected to participate in all these activities during the service. That you may perform them with dedication:

You are supposed to arrive early at the chapel every worship service. You should participate at the very first hymn to be sung by the congregation. Sing with all your heart and soul.

While the sermon or the Study of God's words has not begun yet, be at peace in meditation and silent prayer.

Open your heart during the assembly's prayers, whoever may be leading. Please stand properly and close your eyes all throughout the prayer. Remember that we stand in the presence of God, therefore we should act with extreme reverence. Indicate your participation by responding at proper intervals with "Yes, Father or "Amen."

Follow intently the course of the preaching of the words of God. Strive hard against falling asleep and against other hindrances to receiving the message. The best question you can ask yourself, to guide you during the study, is: "What is God's will that I should be doing?" thus, your efforts will be concentrated at fully understanding the message at hand.
Your contribution must he prepared in advance, so that during the collection you may give it as a voluntary offering and not as something forced on you. Do this act with all your heart and soul.

If you shall happen to attend in another locale, you should obtain a certificate of attendance from the secretariat of said locale. They will ask your name, the locale where you are registered, and the number of the district and group you are assigned to. Please provide the information requested, for these will appear in the certificate of attendance. Do not lose this certificate because you are expected to turn it in to your group leader when he visits you. He will definitely visit you if you are unable to attend the services in your locale. Be joyous about this, for it is a proof of care and interest for your welfare.

During the worship services, as mentioned before, you stand in the presence of God; not as a spectator in a theatre audience but as an active participant-- as a worshipper. You are there to please God for allHis goodness to you and to offer worship. He waits for you to entrust all your troubles and anxieties unto Him; and it is when you worship that He is ever willing to answer all your pleadings.

It is only befitting that you stand in deep reverence before God. Your entire appearance, including your attire, must compliment the holiness and majesty of our God. The finest and most appropriate clothing we possess must be worn when we worship God.

Likewise, when we walk, sit, and stand inside the house of worship, we must be truly dignified. Please follow the instructions of the of the deacons and deaconesses who are charged with orderliness of the occasion.

Avoid any damage to any part of the chapel and do not litter.

Yet, if beyond the physical cleanliness that must be accorded the worship service, should be the spiritual purity, that is, of our lives. Be earnest to achieve a righteous way of living you have been taught, so that the worship you offer shall always be pleasing to God.

Every worship Service must result in the strengthening of your faith. Thus, overtime you attend, you should feel the power of God that will fortify you amidst your weaknesses, comfort you in times of sorrows and miseries, encourage you to overcome all trials and make you endure in your calling.

All these you shall experience when you steadfastly devote yourself in worshipping God and when you fully prepare yourself to receive God's abundant blessings.

How you should obey the teachings you received

As a review of the basic doctrines you have just learned, here is a summary together with the instructions on how to implement them.

About the Bible.

The Church of Christ believes that the words of God are written only in the Bible. Thus, the Bible should be the sole basis of service to God; it comprises the truth and it teaches man how to be saved from punishment on the Day of Judgment.

Therefore, renounce all belief in cathecism books, the Book of Mormon, and books by other religions, because God prohibits it (I Cor. 4:6; Rev. 22:18-19).

Follow steadfastly all teachings from the Bible which you have learned in the Church of Christ.

About God

The Father alone is the true God, the creator of all things.

You should now reject the doctrine of the Trinity; this runs contrary to the Bible. Do not worship images, for these- are not the true God.

You should acknowledge the Father as the only true God. But this is not the extent of how you should recognize Him. Your relationship with him should grow, He should be your rightful Father and friend, and you should walk in His presence daily.

About Christ's state of being

You must discard the idea that Christ is the true God. This is sinful thinking because it is contrary to Bible teaching.

You should also deny the belief that Christ is both true man and true God.

Those who preach that Christ is God use the Bible also. Be not deceived by them because nowhere is it recorded in the Bible in which Christ said that He is the true God. But why do they quote verses from the Bible? They either give those verses a wrong interpretation or they rely on those passages that have been erroneously translated.

Never believe that there is at least one Bible verse (correctly translated) which states that Christ is God. Whoever preaches such is a false teacher (II Cor. 11:3-4).

You must reject the doctrine that there are three persons in one God. The Father is the only true God.

You should, however, acknowledge and worship Christ, recognize Him as our only Mediator with God and the only man who is holy and sinless.

About the true religion.

The prevailing belief that all churches belong to God is false. Christ founded only one Church -the church of Christ. Therefore, you should value the Church because therein you are able to do the kind of service which God shall accept and in which you shall be saved.

About the Church of Christ.

You should always appreciate and assert the significance of the Church in the matter of salvation.

Keep believing that Christ will save the Church of Christ.

Do not let others deceive you when they say that to believe alone in Christ is enough to gain salvation.

About the Church Founded by Christ in the first century.

The first century Church established by Christ went into apostasy. Most of the members were led astray from the truth by the false prophets who arose within the Church with the passing away of the Apostles and the rest, those who remained faithful, were slaughtered by the ravenous wolves.

Those who were forewarned as leaders who would mislead the Church were no other than the Catholic priests. They introduced false beliefs into the Church until it was no more the true Church, until it became the Catholic Church -- a religion vastly different from the Church of Christ recorded in the Bible.

Thus, the Catholic Church is not of Christ and definitely not of God, and there is no salvation in it.

If you are a former Catholic, do not make the sign of the cross anymore. Renounce all Catholic teaching for it is against God's word.

If you used to be a Catholic, remove all images, crosses, crucifixes, and idols,.

Do not listen to mass anymore, neither receive communion.

Do not confess to a priest anymore.

Do not say prayers for the dead and never celebrate "All Saints Day" or any Catholic feast day anymore. Do not participate in any celebration to honor a Catholic saint.

Moreover, remove all superstitions.

About the Church of Christ's emergence from the Philippines.

The Church of Christ that appeared from the Philippines (in the Fat East) during these last days is the fulfillment of the prophecies made by God and Christ. This is the third part of the Church founded by Christ. It arose in these last days after the Church built by Christ in the first century was completely led astray by the false prophets. This Church's later extension into the Far West is equally the realization of God's prophecies in the Bible.

About God's Last Messenger.

God's messenger of these last days is Brother Felix Y. MANALO. He did not establish the Church of Christ, but Christ Himself did that through prophecy.

Brother FELIX Y. MANALO became God's instrument in preaching the gospel of salvation in these last days. He was the first one to proclaim about the Church of Christ in the Philippines. That is why this Church which you joined is of God and of Christ.

Do not ever believe those detractors who claim that it was only Brother Felix Y. MANALO who founded the Church in the Philippines; that this is supposedly the Church of Brother Manalo. Those are simple lies and slanderous statements. Resist being called a member of the Church of Manalo.

Believe instead in the calling of Brother FEIIX Y. MANALO as God's messenger.

About persecutions

You cannot avoid persecutions because your victory over them become foundation for inheriting the kingdom of heaven. You should not give up when you encounter harasments. Instead, pray to God for help so that you may overcome stiff persecutions.

About enduring as a member of the Church of Christ.

You should strive to obey all Church regulations, for doing so, you prove that you are a true member of the Church of Christ. It should never be your motive that you joined because of your patents, spouse, brothers, sisters, friends, employers who are Church members, or out of personal profit,

About renewing your life.

It is not enough just to be in the Church; you must undergo a full renewal of life.

Those members who have turned a new life truly belong to Christ and to God. We should put into practice the commandments we received.

If you used to get drunk or you used to drink liquor or take drugs, you must refrain from any of these acts now. God forbids them.

If you used to gamble, you must know that all forms of gambling are prohibited in the Church of Christ, like: racing, lotteries, card or dice games, slot machines, etc.

If you are involved in an adulterous relationship, you should stop this right away. God forbids adultery.

If you are employed in a dishonest occupation, committing fraud or any illegal acts, this is not allowed. We should live decently and righteously.

You must cease from any vice or sin in your life.

Refrain from swearing or using foul language and do not perform the kind of dances popularized in the world, characterized by provocative and sensuous behavior.

About the worship service.

As previously discussed in a separate section, you must, out of love, always attend the worship service.

To neglect the worship service is considered a serious trespass. From now on never miss attendance, unless you are seriously ill and incapable.

You must not be hindered by your employment or profession or any personal interest, in performing this duty. God should have priority over everything in the world.

When you attend the services in your own locale, do not fail to turn your own name tag (not somebody else's) before you enter the house of worship.

If you shall attend in another locale, do not forget to obtain a certificate of attendance from the Secretaries before you leave.

This certificate must be given promptly to your group leader or secretary so that you will not be placed among the absentees.

About the offering.

The giving of offering or construction in the Church of Christ is not a rule created by the ministers but it is the will of the God. It should not, however, be given like alms for the poor.

Every member of the Church of Christ is responsible to give offerings.

Do this with all your heart, willingly, and joyfully.

The offering should be saved and set aside. Do not offer only what is in excess or whatever is left of the money you earned after spending it for yourself.

As you budget your personal needs, be more concerned about setting aside you offering to God.

It is likewise the duty of the Church of Christ members to perform thanksgiving to God and to bring thanksgiving offerings every end of the year.

We have to prepare our thanksgiving offering for one year. Be like many members of the Church of Christ who save regularly through the Church's system. This is the most convenient method, because without realizing it, we are able to save.

About brotherly love.

The members of the Church of Christ have a very unique relationship. They constitute a brotherhood established by Christ and willed by God.

You should call all members of the Church, including ministers, as your brothers (or sister as the case may be). We treat each other as equals within the Church. Follow Christ's command that we should love one another.

You should avoid doing evil to brethren in the Church.

You should not defraud anyone.

If somehow your brother has wronged you, do not sue him in court. God does not allow this.

Bring all your complaints to the Church Administration, for they shall be the ones to settle and decide.

Anyone who will bring his brother to court or who will refuse reconciliation shall be expelled from the Church.

Brethren who have disputes should settle their differences at once. They are expected to forgive one another.

About miscellaneous prohibitions.

In the Church of Christ, we are forbidden to eat blood (or food using blood as an ingredient) and we are banned from intermarriage with a nonmember.

When preparing or dressing fowls and animals prior to cooking, make sure to pour out the blood.

Is it a sin before God for a Church member to marry a nonmember?

Courting or being engaged with a non-member is already prohibited by God. If you are still single, do not many an unbeliever.

Do not elope just to get married. Be sure to get permission from your parents.

You are also commanded to avoid joining organizations or labor unions whose principles run in conflict with Bible teachings.

About baptism.

Baptism is an act of burying sins; thus after baptism you should walk in the newness of life.

If you have children or will have some in the future, do not have them baptized because that is against God's law.

In the Church of Christ, infants and children who still have innocent minds are never baptized but simply offered to God to dedicate them into His service. In due time, when they reach the right age in which they could be taught and they are able to believe, shall they then be baptized.

While these children are growing up (from 4 to 12 years of age), they are required to attend the children's worship services held once a week (or twice weekly in some locales) at designated times and places.

If you have children whom you want to raise in the Church, have them offered and when it is the proper time, let them attend the youth worship services. When they become of age, with adequate minds to make intelligent choices, let them receive instructions in basic doctrines of the Church so they could be baptized.

About prayer and missionary work.

He who engages in missionary work and knows how to pray properly, eventually becomes stable and strong in faith. These works are both commanded by God and should be valued by all members of the Church of Christ.

Therefore, you should help in the growth of the Church by inviting people to attend the Bible studies and distributing reading materials like pamphlets, leaflets and our magazine,

"God 's Message."

In the church, the Administration organized the Light of Salvation.

This organization is composed of missionary helpers in every locale. You could join this group, to further enhance your participation in the dissemination of faith.

In every aspect of our life, we should walk with our God.

You should learn how to pray in order to effectively communicate with God. You must pray:

Before you eat

Before you leave home for work or school

Upon reaching home from work, school, or any other place

Before you sleep at night

Upon walking up in the morning

When you ask to be forgiven of sins and to be strengthened in your faith; when you need help in your livelihood

And when you plead to be saved from temptations and innumerable troubles in life.

And in every moment, as the need and opportunity may arise.

About being registered.

If your name does not appear in the Church's registry on earth. It does not appear in the registry in heaven (the Book of Life). If you are not listed with the Church, you are not considered a member and therefore you will not be saved on the Day of Judgment.

The following are the occasions when a member may be delisted from the rolls of the Church:

When he is expelled by the Church Administration because of sin.

When he stops attending the worship services and become inactive.

When he leaves his locale without telling the Church, by not obtaining a certificate of transfer

When he obtains a certificate of transfer but he fails to register with the locale he moved to.
Always remember: the moment you are not registered, you are not a member of the Church of Christ anymore, and one who is not a member will not be saved.

About unity.

Unity in the Church is quite significant, because our unity includes God and Christ. It is wrong to destroy this unity. Thus, God discourages factionalism and division in our midst. We become one not only in voting but also most importantly in our services to God.

Show your best efforts to preserve Church unity, for the sake of glorifying God.

Do not attempt to violate Church unity, whether in voting or in other activities, for this is a sin that will lead to expulsion from the Church.

About continuing in our hope. Remain in the Church of Christ, obedient till the end. that you may receive that great hope of those who are in Christ when He comes again.

Continue to come to the worship services, join other Church activities, and endure much sufferings.

Do not withdraw from membership in the Church of Christ, whatever may happen to your life or to this world, so that you may not lose the privilege to inherit God's promises.

May our great God bless you all the days of your life.

Felix Manalo ALONE formulated all these teachings by himself according to his authority as the "Last Messenger". In truth, Christ's Church has never apostatized as he promised "the gates of hell (and the lies of Felix Manalo's Corporation Sole) will never prevail against it [Christ's original Church]" Mt. 16:18. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Mt. 24:35)"

How dare Felix Manalo belie Jesus being untrue to his words!

Pope Benedict XVI Arrival in Praque, Czech Republic



Coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Czech Republic Sept. 27 - 29 at Noon & 8 p.m.

Here you will see major liturgical celebrations taking place at the Vatican and coverage of the journeys of Pope Benedict XVI. CatholicTV offers a same-day broadcast of Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly general audience from the Vatican on Wednesdays (in English). The one-hour multi-lingual audience is also rebroadcast during the week.

Watch it at CatholicTV

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Papacy is unique in global influence, Vatican analyst says ahead of Czech trip

It is so humbling to note that John Allen a well respected journalist reporting on the Catholic Church and the Vatican has to say about the papacy:

Prague, Czech Republic, Sep 25, 2009 / 05:39 am (CNA).- Just days ahead of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Czech Republic, Vatican analyst John Allen is saying in an essay for the Prague Post that the papacy’s social and political influence is one of the most unique and far-reaching in the world today. From the fall of communism to Western-Muslim relations to the AIDS crisis, he says, the Pope is a key international player.

Describing the Catholic Church in “purely empirical, sociological terms,” Allen likens the Catholic Church to a “lone superpower” whose involvement is necessary to address almost any global crisis. The world’s approximately 1.2 billion Catholics are in every “nook and cranny” in the planet and are especially strong in Africa.

The Church’s structure and clear lines of authority make it the “most vertically integrated,” while the Holy See’s diplomatic corps has relations with 177 nations and has observer status with every major international organization, he notes.

“No global leader makes a trip to Italy without calling on the Pope, and usually that meeting draws far greater interest than a similar session with the Italian prime minister,” Allen writes, adding that the Pope is the most-quoted religious leader in the world.

Allen acknowledges that “centuries of secularization” have weakened the Church, especially in Europe where the numbers of priests and nuns have “plummeted” and less than 20 percent of Catholics attend Sunday Mass.

“[T]he church's political weight is so attenuated that it couldn't persuade the European Union to include so much as a generic reference to God in its draft constitutional document,” he points out.

However, Popes who know how to spend their remaining “social capital” can change history, Allen asserts.

To bolster his argument, the Vatican analyst notes Pope John Paul II’s role in ending communism and the joint Vatican-Islamic action in the 1990s which prevented a U.N. population conference in Cairo from recognizing a right to abortion in international law.

Allen also argues that Pope John Paul’s “staunch moral opposition” to the U.S.-led war in Iraq helped average Muslims distinguish between the foreign policy of the Bush administration and broader Western sentiment. In his view, this dampened anti-Christian backlash in Muslim states.

Pope Benedict XVI’s international influence was shown by the attention given to his remarks at Regensburg, which linked Mohammed and violence. Since then, he has made relations with Islam a “top interfaith priority” and there is “considerable evidence” this approach is working, Allen says.

The reaction to the Pope’s comments about condoms and AIDS was also proof of his influence, as was the reaction to his “stumble” in lifting the excommunications of four traditionalist Catholic bishops, including one Holocaust denier, without adequate explanation.

“In short, for good or ill, the Pope still matters,” Allen writes.

“To Catholics, of course, the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, so, even if he couldn't influence a single vote or draw the interest of a single journalist, he would still be a central presence in their faith,” Allen’s Prague Post essay concludes. “Yet the most ardently convinced atheist ought to realize that religion remains an enormously important motivating force in human affairs, and that the pope is the most important religious leader on the planet.”


Pray for the Pope's safety journey to Czech Republic.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kersi of Mumbai Converted to Catholicism

Saints truly intercede for us. Another Catholic convert prompted by the holiness of St. Padre Pio. Kersi Francisco Pio Mistry is a devout good Zoroastrian until he met the future saint which changed his life to Christ.

Article Source: Catholic Online through AsiaNews:
MUMBAI, India – “Thanks to God’s inexplicable mercy I was given the privilege of becoming a good friend of Padre Pio,” said Kersi Francisco Pio Mistry, 71.

Born in a Parsee family, all devout Zoroastrians, Kersi was well taught the sacred text of the Avesta by his mother.

His paternal home, in central Mumbai, stood next to the main temple of the religion of Ahura Mazda. For years, he regularly visited the place, reciting the three daily prayers, bringing himself to the site at dusk to pray silently to God. He would have never thought that one day his prayers would find an answer after a long journey by plane from Mumbai to San Giovanni Rotondo, in Italy

“I heard Padre Pio mentioned for the first time in 1963,” Kersi said. “My German teacher had visited Italy and had come back with a book about him. I had studied in Catholic schools and colleges, but knew nothing about the Christian faith, except for the crucifixes hanging from classroom walls. I also knew that he had died on the cross.”

When the teacher gave him the book about the friar from Pietralcina, Kersi was 25-year-old. When he read it, he was moved. “I could not believe that in our modern world there could be someone like him,” he said. In the meantime, his mother, to whom he was very close, passed away.

Finding Padre Pio, his family situation and the desire to find answers to questions that he directed at God every day in the Mumbai temple led him to leave.

Kersi arrived in Italy in December 1963 and with a group of American friends came to Rome. Later he left for San Giovanni Rotondo.

“I had taken some souvenirs to bring back to India, including a hand-carved 15 centimetres long crucifix. I thought of giving it to Padre Pio,” he said.

When he got to San Giovanni Rotondo, a worn-out Padre Pio would still meet pilgrims every morning walking with the help of two friars.

Kersi got close to him and showed him the crucifix. Padre Pio did not realise that it was gift and was led away leaving the young man with his gift in hand.

Later that morning, a group of friends was able to get a private audience in the monastery with Padre Pio. “At that point, my stubbornness prevailed,” he said. “I pulled out the crucifix and gave it to Padre Pio, asking my friend Jack to tell him about my mother and explain that it was a gift. Padre Pio again looked at me straight in the eyes and smiled a beautiful smile, filled with love, like he was saying, ‘You little rascal!’”

When Kersi returned to San Giovanni Rotondo in 1978 to visit Padre Pio’s tomb, exceptionally he was allowed to visit the cell of the future saint and to his great surprise found that the friar had placed his crucifix on his bed.

Today Kersi calls Padre Pio his ‘Star of Bethlehem’. The three Magi followed the comet to reach Bethlehem; he followed the capuchin friar who became a saint to reach Jesus. Lest we forget, according to Christian tradition, all three Magi were (Persian) Zoroastrians.

“The meeting with Padre Pio (in 1963) made me want to dedicate my life to the service of God,” Kersi said. His path to conversion was troubled though. He asked a priest at Mumbai’s Cathedral of the Holy Name to help him on one condition: “That you do not try to push me towards conversion.”

Six days a week, Kersi went to see the priest to learn about the Christian faith, “but there was one point that I could not believe, namely that God had become man. I understood it in my head but not in my heart.”

Long months of inner battles followed, “but I felt that my search was sincere and one day I felt deep down in my heart that Jesus was the ultimate truth and that the change in my heart had nothing dramatic about it.”

Kersi decided to be baptised on 3 October 1964, then the feast day of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and he wanted Padre Pio to perform the rite because he wanted to tell him about his mother. However, when he arrived in Italy, the friar was too sick.

Thus on 4 October, in a chapel dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi in Rome, the young Indian man from Mumbai became Kersi Francesco Pio Mistry.

In honour of his “good friend” he adopted the names the saint received when he was baptised (Francesco) and took when he undertook his profession of faith (Pio).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

For Those Who Hate the Catholic Church

There's a sincere request from the owner of this beautiful and very informative Catholic apologetical site called "Fish Eaters which requests all who hate the Catholic Church to consider answering some of his questions with all honesty (or click the Index of "Fish Easters").

Ask yourself: why do I hate the Catholic Church? Who taught me what I think I know about the Catholic Church? Is what I was taught true? Have I looked at what the Catholic Church has to say about itself, using official resources such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and papal encyclicals? Could my opinion of the Catholic Church possibly be based on bias, bigotry, bad history, propaganda from the secular media, or the bad priests who get publicity (i.e., the sick, and sickening, ephebophile priests or those certain heretical modernist priests the secular media love to give press to)? Is it fair to judge doctrine by such things? Is any group with human beings in it free from sin and scandal? If I am wrong about the Catholic Church, what does that mean?

Here are some common myths about the Catholic Church:

Wrong: Because Catholics reject the tradition of "sola fide" ("faith alone"), they think they can work their way into Heaven and believe they are saved by works
Wrong: Catholics think the pope does not sin
Wrong: Catholics re-crucify Christ at their Masses (or at least think they do)
Wrong: Catholics think Mary is part of the Godhead and is to be worshipped
Wrong: Catholics worship statues
Wrong: Catholics think they can't pray to God directly but have to go through saints
Wrong: Catholics conjure the dead
Wrong: Catholics believe people can be saved after they die
Wrong: The Catholic Church teaches that one who isn't formally a Catholic is damned to Hell
Wrong: The Crusades are an example of Catholic aggression
Wrong: The Inquisition(s) killed hundreds of thousands of people and targeted Jews
Wrong: Pope Pius XII was "Hitler's Pope" and didn't do a thing to help Jews during WWII
Wrong: The Catholic Church wasn't around until the time of Constantine, a pagan who controlled the Church. The Catholic Church did more than baptize pagan calendar days for the good of Christ, it is pagan in its very roots.


If you believe any of the above myths, I implore you to research. For doctrinal questions, ask the Church what it teaches; it's the only fair thing to do. For historical questions, look at balanced and objective scholarly research from a variety of sources (including Catholic ones).

And as you research, keep in mind the common logical fallacies that are often used in attacks against Catholicism:

Generalization:

"I knew a Catholic/ex-Catholic (or I was a Catholic) who was (mean, a drunk, not holy, didn't like the Church, was superstitious, didn't know the Bible, didn't have a deep relationship with Jesus, etc.), so therefore, the teachings of the Catholic Church are wrong." (Ignores the fact that bad catechesis, misunderstandings, or other shortcomings of a few Catholics do not reflect on what the Catholic Church teaches)

Bifurcation:

"If the Catholic Church doesn't teach that it's faith alone that saves, then it must teach that men are saved by their own works." (Ignores that we teach that we are saved by Grace alone -- a Grace with which we must cooperate through "faith that works in love")

Cum hoc ergo propter hoc:

"Winter Solstice is on 21 December; Christmas is 25 December. Therefore, Christmas is a pagan holiday. (Ignores that fact that there are only 365 days to choose from in a year and that the early Church Fathers had good reasons to choose the date they did. It also ignores that Protestants' "Reformation Day" is celebrated on 31 October, the pagan festival of Samhain.)

Post hoc ergo propter hoc:

"Constantine must have been the real source of the Catholic Church's teachings because after his reign the Church grew tremendously, and before his reign it wasn't as well-known" (Ignores the simple fact that Constantine merely stopped the persecution of Christians with the Edict of Milan and allowed Christianity to spread. It also ignores the writings of the Church Fathers who lived before Constantine -- and who were Catholic.)

Straw man:

"You guys worship statues, and that's evil. Therefore, your religion is Satanic." (Ignores that fact that we don't worship statues)

Meanwhile: The Final Challenge

... and now I challenge each of you who calls on the Name of the Lord to take two hours of your life to listen to theologian and former very anti-Catholic Presbyterian minister, Scott Hahn, and to Rosalind Moss, who was raised Jewish and later became Evangelical. Both are now Catholic; don't you want to know why? Truly, I challenge you to listen and pray and think about what you hear, all with an open heart to God's will. (Listen to the audio here found at the bottom page).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Did the Iglesia ni Cristo copy from the Mormons?

I find this article below very interesting. A similar story is found at Felix Manalo and Mormons which one may think Felix Manalo actually copied his INC structures from the Mormons. If that's true, then the Iglesia ni Cristo's teachings and worship are all combinations of copied doctrines from different sects starting from the heretical teachings of Arius which was condemned at the First Council of Nicea in the year 325 (see list of Church's Ecumenical Councils, 21 all-in-all so far) which Felix Manalo revived in 1914 - 1,589 years later.

After Felix Manalo left the Seventh-Day Adventists, he copied from them the hoax controversy about an inexistent suppposed "title" of the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, the Pope as Vicariui Filii Dei, already abandoned by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in June 2002 but today, the Iglesia ni Cristo (Manalo) haven't abandoned it for the reason that that's the only way they can attract poorly-catechized Catholics to their fold.

Here's the unedited article:

Source: Yahoo!Answers

Fellow lds and copycat iglesia ni cristo members what can you say about this? i got this in a forum and i copied it, i will not edit it even though some are not correct with regards to the lds belief, iglesia ni cristo members what can you say about this:

not sure about this, ako ra sad ni nadunggan...

Felix Manalo studied college in Brigham Young University (I think in Hawaii). It is a big and prestigious college own by the Latter-Day Saints church. But they also accept non-members of the church.

So Manalo studied there but did not become an LDS / Mormon. Then later he founded INC. That's why we see a some similarity of the INC from the LDS.

e.g.
1. Joseph Smith (claimed to be the prophet of LDS) - Felix Manalo (claimed to be prophet/angel of INC)

2. LDS believes that the Apostasy indeed happened -- INC believes that the Apostasy indeed happened

3. LDS through Joseph Smith the church of God was restored back to earth -- INC through Felix Manalo the church of God was restored back to earth

4. LDS has temples -- INC has a temple (but doesn't function similarly to LDS temples)

5. LDS has a Tabernacle --- INC has a Tabernacle (again doesn't function similary to LDS Tabernacle)

6. LDS has a Tablenacle Choir (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) --- INC also has a Tabernacle Choir

I think the one that can't go unnoticed here is that the LDS church believes that the Great Apostasy occurred. Apostasy is when the church of God, that was presided over by the Apostles, was taken from the earth because of persecution by the Romans and death of the Apostles. So when the Apostles died, the church of God ceased to exist on earth. What was continued by the Romans (specifically Constantine) was already the apostate church.

INC believes this too.

For the LDS, Joseph Smith was called to restore the church of God. Restoring the priesthood and "the keys necessary for the salvation of man".

For the INC, Felix Manalo was also called to restore the church of God from the Apostasy.

Did Felix Manalo copy this from the LDS? Maybe, but we don't know. Ang ako lang nabal-an is that he studied in Brigham Young University. A LDS college.


What do you think?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pope ready to announce synod on Middle East for 2010

(Article Source: CBCP see also CNS) VATICAN, Sept. 19, 2009-- Vatican sources said Pope Benedict XVI was preparing to convene a Synod of Bishops for the Middle East to be held in October of 2010, to address the trials and tribulations of the Christian population in the region.

Patriarchs and other representatives from Eastern churches arrived in Rome Sept. 18, and the pope was to meet with them the next day to discuss the initiative, the sources said. An announcement of the synod was expected in coming days.

Pope Benedict has spoken frequently about the pressures faced by Christian and Catholic minorities in the Middle East, particularly in the Holy Land and in Iraq. The synod would provide an opportunity for a much-needed strategizing session at the level of the universal church, one source said.

The Vatican press office would not confirm reports of a Middle East synod, but it released the names of 11patriarchs and other representatives meeting the pope Sept. 19 at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

They included the Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad, Iraq; Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem; the Lebanon-based Maronite patriarch, Cardinal Nasrallah P. Sfeir; and representatives of the Ukrainian, Syro-Malabar, Coptic, Melkite, Syrian, Armenian, Romanian and Syro-Malankar rites.

Last January, Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk, Iraq, and other Iraqi bishops in Rome for their "ad limina" visits asked the pope to convene a special synod for the churches of the Middle East.

Archbishop Sako said the priority topics for such a synod would include the problem of Christians fleeing the Middle East, paying Christian witness in a predominantly Muslim world, relations with Muslims, the role of Christians in civil and political life, lack of full religious freedom and Christians' prospects for the future.

Bishop Maroun Lahham of Tunis, Tunisia, a Jordanian native of Palestinian parentage, told Catholic News Service earlier this year that when the church discusses Asia -- as it did in a 1998 synod for that region -- "it's the Philippines, India, Japan, not the Middle East."

Bishops Lahham, who worked as a priest in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem as well as in the United Arab Emirates, said while the Middle East is technically part of the Asian land mass, "the issues ... were very unlike those" in typically Asian countries.

"We didn't feel (the Asian synod) was meant for us," said the bishop, who was head of the seminary in Beit Jalla, West Bank, at the time. (CNS)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vatican Message to Muslims for Eid Holidays

Message Source: Vatican City



Christians and Muslims:
Together in overcoming poverty


MESSAGE FOR THE END OF RAMADAN

‘Id al-Fitr 1430 H. / 2009 a.d.


Dear Muslim Friends,

1. On the occasion of your feast which concludes the month of Ramadan, I would like to extend my best wishes for peace and joy to you and, through this Message, propose this theme for our reflection: Christians and Muslims: Together in overcoming poverty.

2. This Message of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has become a tradition cherished by us all, which is looked forward to each year and this is certainly a cause for joy. It has become, over the years, an occasion of cordial encounter in many countries between many Christians and Muslims. It often addresses a matter of shared concern, making it therefore conducive to a confident and open exchange. Are not all these elements immediately perceived as signs of friendship among us for which we should thank God?

3. Coming to the theme of this year, the human person in a situation of impoverishment is undoubtedly a subject at the heart of the precepts that, under different beliefs, we all hold dear. The attention, the compassion and the help that we, brothers and sisters in humanity, can offer to those who are poor, helping them to establish their place in the fabric of society, is a living proof of the Love of the Almighty, because it is man as such whom He calls us to love and help, without distinction of affiliation.

We all know that poverty has the power to humiliate and to engender intolerable sufferings; it is often a source of isolation, anger, even hatred and the desire for revenge. It can provoke hostile actions using any available means, even seeking to justify them on religious grounds, or seizing another man’s wealth, together with his peace and security, in the name of an alleged “divine justice”. This is why confronting the phenomena of extremism and violence necessarily implies tackling poverty through the promotion of integral human development that Pope Paul VI defined as the “new name for peace” (Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 1975, n. 76).

In his recent Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate on integral human development in charity and truth, Pope Benedict XVI, taking into consideration the current context of efforts to promote development, underlines the need for a “new humanistic synthesis” (n. 21), which, safeguarding the openness of man to God, gives him his place as the earth’s “centre and summit” (n. 57). A true development, then, must be ordered “to the whole man and to every man” (Populorum Progressio, n. 42).

4. In his talk on the occasion of the World Day for Peace, 1st January 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI distinguished two types of poverty: a poverty to be combated and a poverty to be embraced.

The poverty to be combated is before the eyes of everyone: hunger, lack of clean water, limited medical care and inadequate shelter, insufficient educational and cultural systems, illiteracy, not to mention also the existence of new forms of poverty “…in advanced wealthy societies, there is evidence of marginalization, as well as affective, moral and spiritual poverty…” (Message for the World Day of Peace, 2009, n. 2).

The poverty to be embraced is that of a style of life which is simple and essential, avoiding waste and respecting the environment and the goodness of creation. This poverty can also be, at least at certain times during the year, that of frugality and fasting. It is the poverty which we choose which predisposes us to go beyond ourselves, expanding the heart.

5. As believers, the desire to work together for a just and durable solution to the scourge of poverty certainly also implies reflecting on the grave problems of our time and, when possible, sharing a common commitment to eradicate them. In this regard, the reference to the aspects of poverty linked to the phenomena of globalization of our societies has a spiritual and moral meaning, because all share the vocation to build one human family in which all - individuals, peoples and nations - conduct themselves according to the principles of fraternity and responsibility.

6. A careful study of the complex phenomenon of poverty directs us precisely towards its origin in the lack of respect for the innate dignity of the human person and calls us to a global solidarity, for example through the adoption of a “common ethical code” (John Paul II, Address to The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 27 April 2001, n. 4) whose norms would not only have a conventional character, but also would necessarily be rooted in the natural law written by the Creator in the conscience of every human being (cf. Rom 2, 14-15).

7. It seems that in diverse places of the world we have passed from tolerance to a meeting together, beginning with common lived experience and real shared concerns. This is an important step forward.

In giving everyone the riches of a life of prayer, fasting and charity of one towards the other, is it not possible for dialogue to draw on the living forces of those who are on the journey towards God?

The poor question us, they challenge us, but above all they invite us to cooperate in a noble cause: overcoming poverty!



Happy ‘Id al-Fitr!

Read HERE in Arabic!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CBCP affirms stand against bloc voting

Under the pretence of "church-unity" the Iglesia ni Cristo teaches its followers to vote any candidate being proclaimed by their "little infallible Pope- the Manalo" to ensure that what he says is being promulgated and followed-- no questions ask.

Thanks to the Catholic Church, that she maintains respect of the freedom of each faithful to vote according to his/her God-given conscience. That Catholics should pray, discern and vote candidates that promotes Catholic Social and Moral teachings.

By Dona Pazzibugan
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines-The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has reiterated the Church stance against bloc voting for Catholics in the next elections.

“The Church is not in favor of bloc voting like what others do because our citizens should have the freedom to choose their candidates according to their conscience,” Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo told the Church-run Radio Veritas Tuesday.

“Pro-life” groups within the Church which are opposed to the reproductive health bill now being debated in Congress have been calling for Catholics to vote as a bloc to dissuade lawmakers from passing the legislation.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Young people touched by hope in Palestine thanks to Catholic charity

Bethlehem, West Bank, Sep 7, 2009 / 01:38 am (Catholic News Agency).- Although Bethlehem is partitioned from East Jerusalem by a 25-foot high Israeli wall, behind the massive concrete barrier there are places where charity heals the lives of the poor and disabled. On a recent trip to the area, I discovered that the Pontifical Mission-Jerusalem, is at work in these hardscrabble confines.

Gabi, a project manager for the Pontifical Mission in Palestine, met me in Manger Square just outside of the Church of the Nativity, where Jesus was born some 2,000 years ago. Soon we were joined by Rodolf Saadeh, who also helps coordinate and fund the mission’s numerous charitable efforts in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

These two men endeavored to explain both the great work being done and the needs of the children in the area by taking me on a tour of the places benefiting from the Pontifical Mission, an agency of the Holy See established by Pope Pius XII in 1949 "to make available to every exiled or needy Palestinian the charity of the Pope and of all Catholics of the world," Rodolf explained.

The first stop on our visit was a government-run K-8 school that had clearly seen better days. The teachers and maintenance staff walked us through a classroom that had paint peeling from the walls, desks that were falling apart and water damage due to a bad roof. The school also suffered problems from a sewage system that would periodically back up.

Gabi noted that the Pontifical Mission is helping to provide funding to fix the problems which the school could not, despite being a publicly funded school. The goal, he said, is to provide a good learning environment for the children.

We jumped back into the car and headed toward the Welfare Home for Girls. Rodolf asked me if I noticed how recklessly the Palestinians drove as they sped up and down Bethlehem's hilly streets. "It's because they have nowhere to go. They feel trapped," he offered.

Arriving at the Home for Girls a short time later, I found it to be a house that serves as a refuge and a place for healing. The girls who live there are strangers to a normal life, having been abused or neglected, sometimes by their own families. But away from the torment of their former lives, these teenage girls are able to recover from the trauma they've undergone and build anew.

An architect who volunteers his time and expertise, explained to me that soon the girls will have a new gym in which to exercise, a welcome change to the dilapidated concrete annex they currently have.

By far the most moving encounter during my brief trip to Bethlehem was a stop we made at the Al-Ala'iya School for the Blind. One could sense the love that the school's teachers poured out on their students as they cared for these otherwise neglected blind boys.

Al-Ala'iya has a unique teaching model, with the blind boys being taught by teachers who themselves are blind. After learning how to make brooms, brushes and even weave a rug, these students will have a way to make a living, in spite of their blindness.

One particular young Palestinian, Abadeh Rashed Mutawe, comes from a large family that cannot give him the education he needs. As a shepherd, his father is not home often enough to help raise him, while his illiterate mother is struggling to provide for his three sisters and five brothers, ranging in age from 8 to 30. Blindness also affects Abadeh's three sisters and one of his brothers.

Abadeh attends Al-Ala'iya and receives an education through support from the Pontifical Mission.

As I toured the school, Rodolf explained that the generosity of numerous Catholics has helped to create a place where blind children are treated with dignity and taken beyond the confines of poverty.

The generosity of these boys and their teachers was confirmed as they announced to the class that they would like to give me a gift. "Take anything you want," they said.

The Pontifical Mission operates in conjunction with the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Its website can be found at www.cnewa.org.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ramadan Turning into Month of Jew-Hatred in the Muslim World

Does fasting includes "fasting from hating someone"? Or Muslim's hate for Jews is perpetual that no one can heal? Only Muslims can answer this:

Article Source : InfidelUnite Blog - Muslim governments are taking advantage of the Ramadan TV season to broadcast anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda, some of it reminiscent of the Nazi propaganda that preceded the Holocaust.

With Muslims across the world fasting during the daylight hours and gathering at home for their daily "break of the fast" meal, Arab propaganda ministries take advantage of the large potential audiences for TV shows by broadcasting their top programs, with many shows produced specifically for Ramadan TV watchers. Programs about Israel and the Jewish people are considered top rating draws among Arab media, and each year government-controlled TV stations across the Middle East broadcast programs themed around the supposed treachery committed by Israel or the Jewish people against the Muslims and the world in general.

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors media broadcasts in the Arab world, Iran has this year been broadcasting a Syrian-produced series called "Al-Shatat," which purports to show how Jewish bankers – particularly the Rothschilds – came to dominate international banking, and thereby the world. With Jewish characters uttering lines like "all the nations that have accepted non-Jewish faiths should be destroyed and annihilated," and "we have been granted an unparalleled honor -- to dominate the world, by means of capital, knowledge, politics, by means of killing, or any other ploy," the 30-episode series has been shown in Arab countries throughout the Middle East, including Jordan.

Five anti-Israel shows in Egypt

No fewer than five new series being broadcast on Egyptian TV this year revolve around Israel and the Jews. One called "The Spy Wars" tells the story of Samia Fahmy, an Egyptian who was allegedly recruited by the Mossad, but instead "tricked" the Israelis who tried to recruit her and led them to be arrested by Egypt. Another series, called "My Heart is my Proof," tells the story of Jewish-born Egyptian singer Layla Murad, her rise to stardom, the accusations that she secretly supported Israel, and her subsequent fall from grace in much of the Arab world. Another program, "The Second Gate," tells of a mother whose son is kidnapped and taken to Israel.

Not all Egyptians were happy with the selection of programs. Speaking to Agence France-Presse, a student at Cairo University said that the shows about Israel and Jews were just smokescreens, shown "just to keep us occupied, so we don't have to think about the real problems of unemployment and poverty." Another student said "We can't find an enemy? Let's talk about Israel. We should be focusing on people's problems, poverty... and stop talking about Israel and spies. We need to focus on the real domestic issues."

In an interview, Mahmud Zaki, a media professor who stars in one of the series, said that the programs were designed to keep the Egyptian people's attention on Israel. "In recent times, interest in the Palestinian question has been dwindling on the Arab street. Everything seems like old news on satellite channels and in the papers. There was a move to revive interest in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and re-ignite patriotic feelings," he said.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Punjab, Muslim extremists burn church over alleged blasphemy case

How many such incidents should we hear in Islamic states where Christians are discrimiately accused of "blasphemy" which according to Sharia (Islamic Law) should be put to death. The deafening silence of Islamic countries is very alarming.

Equally, what these Islamic "extremists" who ransacked churches and sacred places for Christians should be condemned. Clearly this is blasphemy!

Sialkot (AsiaNews) - A church burnt by a mob of angry Muslims, who attacked Christians for a new - alleged - case of blasphemy. This is what happened yesterday afternoon in a village in Punjab, Pakistan, where the Christian community was targeted by Islamic extremists.

"The extremists were protesting against the desecration of the Quran by a young Christian from the village" Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, director of the Catholic Churches National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) refers to AsiaNews, "that is why they set fire to the church". The priest, who heard the eye witness accounts of the inhabitants, adds that "the place of worship is used by Catholics and Protestants".

NCJP sources report that yesterday, at about 12:30 local time, a Muslim mob gathered round the village church in Jaithikey, not far from the city of Samberial in the district of Sialkot (Punjab). They first damaged the building, then set it on fire. The extremists also looted two houses adjoining the church.

According to preliminary reports, the real cause of tension is a relationship between a twenty year old Christian, whose name is Fanish, and a Muslim girl. The young man was accused of having "provoked" the girl and "throwing away the Koran [the girl] had in her hands".

"Muslims can not tolerate a Muslim girl falling in love with a Christian," says father Mani, confirming the news of the young man’s arrest this morning by police officers. "The authorities - adds the priest – will not allow access to journalists, to verify the events firsthand".

A statement released by NCJP explains that "The tense situation precipitated following the end of Friday prayers," when a call to action "to give a lesson to the Christians" was launched from the mosque. Following the announcement, at least 35 families left the village for security reasons; others decided to remain in their homes anyway.

The police reached the village, while the crowd of Muslims gathered, wiping themselves up into a frenzy over the - alleged - case of desecration of the Koran. In the evening, the extremists were driven from the homes of Christian villagers, but hundreds remained in the area, under police surveillance.

Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, NCJP national director, Kamran Michael, the Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities and Nelson Azeem, a member of the National Assembly (the parliament of Pakistan) arrived in Samerial and, in close contact with local government and police, are following the evolution of events.

After the attack on Gojra in early August, in which seven people were killed, there is a real risk of a new massacre against the Christian community in the name of the blasphemy law.

Let us continue pray for all Christians who died under Islamic intolerance. As Christ taught us, "give the other cheek as well" and to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors. We should not harbor hatred nor entertain vengeance for vengeance is His. Our religion says we should LOVE for this will distinguish us from the rest.

And for their souls, may they receive their reward for dying in their faith in Christ.

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