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

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

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

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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Egypt's Mufti Ali Gomaa: Ban on Swiss Minaret Insults Muslims Around the World

Egypt's Mufti Ali Gomaa is quoted overly reacting against a proposal by Swiss people to ban minarets in Switzerland by a referendum since 2000. Islamic minarets, according to Answers.com are "... tall slender tower attached to a mosque, having one or more projecting balconies from which a muezzin summons the people to prayer."

In the Middle East, minarets are mounted with large speakers that are used calling Muslims to pray five times from dawn 'till the last prayer at night after sundown. During prayer time, echoes from the minarets is heard all over cities and desert wherever people are. In a small area, you can find 5 minarets or more almost every corner of streets. You can just imagine the blasting noise around. Are the Swiss people ready to hear "Allahu Akhbar" shouted 5 times a day within their communities? I doubt it.

Egypt mufti says Swiss minaret ban insults Muslims (Thanks to AFP)

CAIRO — Egypt's Mufti Ali Gomaa denounced a vote to ban new minarets in Switzerland on Sunday as an "insult" to Muslims across the world, while calling on Muslims not to be provoked by the move.

Whereas in the Middle East, Church bells and crosses are banned. Catholic Churches in Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Qatar, Catholic Churches were advised not to put any cross on top of their churches or to mount bells. And Christians are never insulted. We simply abide according to avoid Muslims sensitivities.

A solid majority of Swiss voters chose in a referendum to ban the construction of new minarets, the towers attached to mosques from which the call to prayers is announced.

"This proposal...is not considered just an attack on freedom of beliefs, but also an attempt to insult the feelings of the Muslim community in and outside Switzerland," Gomaa, the Egyptian government's official interpreter of Islamic law, told the state-run news agency MENA.

And Catholic Churches and other Christian communities in the Middle East do not enjoy freedom of worship as much as Muslims living in Christian dominated cities such as Switzerland.

He encouraged Switzerland's 400,000-strong Muslim community to use "dialogue" and legal means to contest the ban, which he described as "provocative behaviour."

Catholics and other Christians are not allowed to encourage Christians to contest government religious decisions in the Middle East.

The rightist Swiss People's Party (SVP) -- Switzerland's biggest party -- had forced the referendum after collecting a mandatory 100,000 signatures from eligible voters within 18 months.

Gomaa also called on Muslims not to be affected "by this provocation," adding that Islam "considers humanity a single family."

In reality, Islam considers Muslims as one humanity and other faiths second.

Egypt is the most populous Arab country and was at the forefront of a backlash against Denmark in 2006 after a Danish newspaper printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed.

Muslims are quick to criticize Western government of their decision to ban minarets but they do not see right within their communities in the Middle East that Christians are treated second class citizens BANNING CHRISTIANS TO PUT UP CROSSES ON TOP OF THEIR CHURCHES not even a bell to ring during Sundays.

At JihadWatch.org, similarly, Susanp's reaction resounds that of my observation:
"That must be why they forbid religious freedom in the KSA but demand it in the U.S. and Europe. I will never understand why we tolerate those *** hypocrites."

Muslims should be thankful they are still allowed to migrate to non-islamic countries considering the security threats they pose, not to mention the endless problems they create with incessant, outrageous demands and fraudulent accusations against their host nations. The indigenous Christians in the Middle East, who were there long before the *** advent of islam and the first *** muslim, are treated like second-class (or worse) citizens but muslims want to invade our countries and impose their *** culture, religion, and political system on us. This is a welcome set-back for islamic imperialism and I don't think less of the Swiss people, I applaud them!

Another reaction from Islamization Watch from BBC:
"[Muslims] are seen as not just resistant to integration, but determined to impose their values on the Christian or post-Christian societies of the West.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quotes Extracted from Iglesia ni Cristo's Official Magazine, Pasugo

I am always amused with the Iglesia ni Cristo ministers who are always neatly wearing Barong Tagalog on TV as a symbol of being Filipinos. They never get tired of telling their viewers in Net25 that it was God and Jesus (as two entities) who (re) built the Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines.

All devout INC members should blindly believe. Out of ignorance perhaps or out of tremendous lack of freedom, their members never dared challenge their ministers for the fear that doing so would tantamount to excommunication and be thrown into fiery furnace in hell “dagat-dagatang apoy sa impiyerno.

Since they do not have any other official teachings available in print (like the Catechism of the Catholic Church available in print and in the internet) except their PASUGO and GOD’S MESSAGE Magazines we are left helpless to where we can extract the official INC teachings where we can start a meaningful discussion. Ask and INC member and they will always instruct you to meet one of their ministers within their temples.

And since they have official magazine, I wish to be precise with what their ministers were teaching within the INC. I have few quotes from their official Pasugo, extracted from a booklet by Mr. Julian Pinzon entitled “Ang Katotohanan tungkol sa Iglesia ni Cristo [The truth about the Iglesia ni Cristo] . In order to make it more interesting, let me do it in a Q&A catechism style and translate Pasugo quotations to English. Patterned from the booklet, the question will be from us but the answers were taken directly from their OFFICIAL MAGAZINE called PASUGO. Please bear with me:

Q: Is it true or false that Felix Manalo founded the Iglesia ni Cristo in 1914?
A: “When was the INK registered in the Philippine Government? It was in July 27, 1914. Truly it was stated in the registry that brother F. Manalo founded the INK.” (Pasugo: August-September 1964, p. 5)

Q: Then who is the legitimate owner of the church founded by Felix Manalo?
A: “If the shift of discussion is who founded (the church), it follows he should also own it, and should come from him all instructions and teachings that should be implemented.” (Pasugo: May 1952, p. 4)

Q: Does anyone have the right to build a church, be him a person like Felix Manalo a man?
A: “There is only one who has the right to build a Church rightly for God. Who should be?—Our Lord Jesus Christ only. Any man—be him an intelligent or moron—has no right to build…” (Pasugo: November 1940, p. 23)

Q: How many Church did Christ build, where in the world it was built?
A: The true Church of Christ is one, this is the Church built by Christ. If there are churches sprouting today claiming be Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo) these are not real but fakes.” (Pasugo: May 1968, p.7)

Q: What’s their source of proof to show that they belong to a Church built by God through Christ?
A: First, all INC believed that Felix Manalo was sent by God to "rebuild" Christ’s Church in the Philippines. Second, only the church’s locales Felix Manalo built and not the Church as a whole. Third, the original Church of Christ from the first century, apostatized, destroyed and was profaned by false prophets. Those disciples of Christ that had completely abandoned the Church leaving it without any witness until Felix Manalo founded it in July 27, 1914.

Q: What was Felix Manalo’s source of rule to distinguish the true from the false Messenger of God?
A: “So that how could we distinguish a Messenger of God from a false messenger of God: It could be distinguished through its teachings according to Chirst. The teachings of the messengers of God are from God, the teachings of the false messengers of God are from his self only (John 7:16-18).” (Pasugo: November 1960, p. 26)

“Whose teachings are taught in the Iglesia ni Cristo? Teachings of God, of Christ and the Apostles which were written in the Holy Scriptures. Felix Manalo has no personal teachings in it.” (Pasugo: November 1959, p. 20)

“And who formulated all the lessons taught by the ministers, in worship, doctrines or propaganda? It was brother Felix Manalo.” (Pasugo: May 1961, p. 4)

“As a fulfillment of all the prophecies, all teachings implemented by the INK Ministers in worship, doctrines, preaching in towns, only it was brother Felix Manalo who drafted and implementing them.” (Pasugo: 1963, p. 27)

“There’s no further proof of truthfulness in the Iglesia ni Cristo. Its persecution is enough proof that the Iglesia ni Cristo is the true Church of Christ. What are the false accusations hurled to Jesus which were damaging? He was not only accused of being possessed, but he was also accused of being insane (John 15:20). If he was persecuted, we will never be excused. The persecution of the Head is felt by the whole body. He is the Head, we are its branches, the church.” (Pasugo, November 1954, p.2)

Q: Quote from above said they were persecuted. Is it true that they are being persecuted and accused of being under the devil just like what was accused of Christ, that was the fulfillment of John 15:20, and John 8:40? LET US SEE!
A: “Whose ministers, therefore are Catholic Priests? They are Ministers of Satan, the Devil.” (Pasugo: December 1965, p. 5)

“Liars and anti-Christ, all those who teach that Jesus is God.” (Pasugo: October 1959, p. 5)

“That’s why the true anti-Christ, are the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church. And the true apostles of the anti-Christ are the Catholics.” (Pasugo: August 1962, p.9)

“The Iglesia ni Cristo held its preaching in the city of Davao. There, Felix Manalo spoke with his ministers. There the speakers preached that the Roman Catholic Church was not built by Christ but the Devil.” (Pasugo: October 1956, p.1)

Q: Is it true, that the original Church of Christ built in Jerusalem has completely disappeared?
A: “We stand in the truth that Christ built only one Church. But when the Iglesia ni Cristo was established in the Philippines, the Church of Christ in Jerusalem ceased to exist.” (Pasugo: August 1971, p. 22)

Q: Is it true that the Church (Catholic) had ceased to exist after the establishment of the Iglesia ni Cristo in the Philippines?
A: “As a matter of fact, today Satan continuously incorporates false teachings in the Catholic Church which in the beginning was the true Church of Christ. The devil is truly wise and canning. He (the devil) didn’t allow a sudden apostacy in the Church built by Christ in the first century.” (Pasugo: April 1966, p. 46)

Q: Which is the true Church Christ built?
A: “The Catholic Church which in the beginning was the true Church of Christ.” (Pasugo: April 1966, p. 46)

Can we expedite Justice in Mindanao's killing fields?

(Photo Source: AP)
Brutally murdered innocent Filipinos were summary executed by a soul-less person who, until now is in hiding. Today, as the development news pours in, there are a total of 57 dead found in Maguindanao (YahooNews.

I don’t feel just sorry for the family of the victims but I grieved for seeing all bodies littering around like dead animals. I just couldn’t hold my tears back seeing all their bodies buried in the same way how suspected farm animals were summary executed and buried in a deep ditch without proper tomb for each to rest.

It’s hard to say a word at this time who could have been behind this senseless killing. Initially, investigators are saying it was all politically motivated. If that’s the case, we can narrow down our list of suspects. Heavily, that of the powerful Ampatuan clan. Today they surrendered to the police (read PhilStar).

Before the ambushed, Ismael Mangudadatu, one of the dead received numerous death threats from an unknown man.

Today, I join the rest of the Filipinos to mourn for the dead. Also, today, President Arroyo declared a National Day of Mourning.

May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unity of the Church


Two great Traditions in One Church! I am missing this wonderful sight. (Photo Source: Boston Theological Institute)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Prime Minister of Kuwait Gives Pope a Quran


I hope the Pope gave him the Arabic translation of the Bible.

Where is your sense of humor?

I thought you might be laughing at this video. Thanks to the sender of this video.

video

Let's denouce terrorism in all its forms.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Patrick Kennedy banned from taking Communion

US Catholic Politician Patrick Kennedy is challenging the authority of his Bishop by supporting US Health Bill which supports abortion. Abortion to the Catholic Church is a grave sin which is considered a "mortal sin". And any practicing Catholic who practices or supports abortion and its forms are chastised by the local Bishops. Refusal to give communion is the most severe form of punishment by refusing them to receive the Holy Body and Blood of Christ which Catholics believed to be the Real Sacred Body of Christ.
(Source: AP News) Kennedy says RI bishop banned him from Communion
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has banned Rep. Patrick Kennedy from receiving Communion, the central sacrament of the church, in Rhode Island because of the congressman's support for abortion rights, Kennedy said in a newspaper interview published Sunday.

The decision by the outspoken prelate, reported on The Providence Journal's Web site, significantly escalates a bitter dispute between Tobin, an ultra orthodox bishop, and Kennedy, a son of the nation's most famous Roman Catholic family.
AP has branded Bishop Tobin to be an "ultra orthodox bishop" when in fact the good bishop is just re-catechizing Kennedy of the grave sin he's espousing. The Catholic Church, whether media dislikes it will always be pro-life and anti-abortion.
"The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion," Kennedy told the paper in an interview conducted Friday.

Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him "that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I've taken as a public official," particularly on abortion.

He declined to say when or how Tobin told him not to take the sacrament. And he declined to say whether he has obeyed the bishop's injunction.

The paper said the bishop's spokesman declined to address the question of whether he had told Kennedy not to receive Communion. But the bishop's office cast doubt on Kennedy's related assertion about instructions to state priests.

"Bishop Tobin has never addressed matters relative to public officials receiving Holy Communion with pastors of the diocese," spokesman Michael K. Guilfoyle told the paper in an e-mailed statement.

Kennedy did not return messages left on his cell phone by The Associated Press, and his staff refused to make the congressman available for comment. Tobin's spokesman told the AP that the bishop would not comment on the issue.

Church law permits Tobin to ban Kennedy from receiving Communion within the Diocese of Providence, which covers Rhode Island, but he cannot stop Kennedy from receiving Communion elsewhere. It was unclear whether bishops overseeing Washington and Massachusetts, where Kennedy's family has a seaside compound, would issue similar bans.
If Patrick Kennedy would come to the Philippines without knowing he's Mr. Kennedy then the priest giving the communion has no right to refuse to give a communion. But if he introduces himself before the presiding priest and tell him that he's a pro-abortion then the priest, has the moral duty not to give him communion even without the directives of a local bishop.
Kennedy could appeal the decision to officials in the Vatican, but the hierarchy of the Catholic church is unlikely to overturn a bishop, said Michael Sean Winters, a church observer and author of "Left At the Altar: How Democrats Lost The Catholics And How Catholics Can Save The Democrats.

"It's really bad theology," said Winters, who opposes abortion. "You're turning the altar rail into a battle field, a political battlefield no less, and it does a disservice to the Eucharist."
Yes, the Vatican would never overturn a bishop's decision and the Church will never bow down to political pressure.
The dispute between the two men began in October when Kennedy in an interview on CNSNews.com criticized the nation's Catholic bishops for threatening to oppose a massive expansion of the nation's health care system unless it included tighter restrictions on federally funded abortion.

Kennedy voted against an amendment to a Democratic health care plan sought by the bishops. But he voted in favor of a health care plan that included the amendment he opposed.

Tobin, the spiritual leader of the nation's most heavily Roman Catholic state, demanded an apology from Kennedy after learning of his remarks and requested a meeting.

"While I greatly respect the Catholic Church and its leaders, like many Rhode Islanders, the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy of the church on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic," Kennedy wrote in a letter to Tobin, agreeing to a sitdown. "I embrace my faith which acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity."

You have made yourself a "less Catholic" by openly opposing to the Church moral teachings. And your immoral position will never give you an edge to be the best Catholic politician in the US.
Their meeting fell apart. While Tobin called it a mutual decision, Kennedy accused Tobin of failing to abide by an agreement to stop discussing the congressman's faith publicly.

Tobin followed up with a biting public letter published in a diocesan newspaper.

"Sorry, you can't chalk it up to an 'imperfect humanity.' Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your Communion with the Church," Tobin wrote.

The good bishop is right.
In subsequent interviews, Tobin said Kennedy should not receive Communion like other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. Still, the bishop stopped short of ordering Kennedy not to receive the sacrament.
It doesn't matter if Kennedy and other pro-abortion "Catholics" are receiving Holy Communion. If they are real Catholics they know the grave consequences of their actions: David Philips explained this grave danger of losing God's blessing if one, like Kennedy would receive the Eucharist unworthily:

"The Bible contains very stern warnings about the way in which we receive the Lord’s Supper. In 1 Cor. 11.28 Paul says that whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

In verse 29 he adds that in so doing such a person eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. then he explains that this is the reason why many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

"...We must always examine ourselves before we come to the Lord’s Table. Although ideally this is done in private devotion it is also the purpose of public exhortation and confession. We are to look at our own sins, not those of others. Paul uses a dramatic and vivid phrase - if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged (v31). We are to sit in judgment of ourselves, being honest about ourselves. If we will not do this, then we actually bring judgment on ourselves."

Muslim Violence Ongoing in Egypt -- Christians Plead For Help

Christians are again persecuted in Egypt leaving many Coptics hurt and abducted. The terrorism began through a rumor that a Copt allegedly raped a Muslim woman. This barbaric attitude received no condemnation from any imam or local leader. Read for yourselves and pray for all persecuted Christians around the world by Muslims.
Article Source: Assyrian International News Agency - Farshoot, Egypt - Since early morning on Saturday, November 21, the Upper Egyptian town of Farshoot, as well as the neighboring villages of Kom Ahmar, Shakiki and Ezbet Waziri, has been the scene of ongoing Muslim mob violence against Coptic Christian inhabitants. The mob looted, vandalized and burnt Coptic property, while Copts hid indoors fearing to venture out. Reuters Cairo reported that a witness said "chaos is overwhelming (in the city)."

The Violence is still going on. There are reports that seven Coptic women have been abducted.

Witnesses said that nearly 3000 angry Muslims have congregated since the early morning in front of the Police Headquarters in Farshoot, in an effort to kidnap Girgis Baroumi while being transported to court to renew his detainment, in order to kill him. Bishop Kirollos said it was agreed with the family of the Muslim girl Yousra to await the Court decision "but they did not wait for that."

Coptic priest Rev. Benjamin Noshi was driving his car when the mob stopped and assaulted him, fracturing his skull. He is currently in hospital.

By the evening most Coptic businesses were looted and burnt. "They are destroying the Coptic economy in these areas," says Wagih Yacoub of Middle Eadt Christian Association.

A witness said that some Coptic families were thrown out of their homes, which were occupied by Muslims.

Although security forces were deployed, they are not taking any action to stop the violence, they are stationed to protect the Farshoot police headquarters after the angry mob pelted it with stones before going in and attacking the officers. Chief Investigating Officer Essam Hany was injured along with others.

Witnesses said that the Police watched the mob but made no arrests and were just dispersing the mob from one street, only for them to appear in the next.

The violence was prompted by reports of sexual abuse of a girl by 21 year-old Copt Guirgis Baroumi, from Kom Ahmar, on Wednesday November 18, 2009. The 12-year-old Muslim girl has been identified as "Yousra." Girgis is detained by the police pending investigations and awaiting results of forensics. Many Copts believe that the rape incident is by Muslims to use it as a pretext to start violence against them.

In an interview with Free Copts, Bishop Kirollos said that the attacks were definitely preplanned and made use of the students from Al-Azhar Institute in Farshoot. He also pointed out to the failing role of the security forces, which disappeared without giving proper justifications, despite several demands by the church to put an end to these grave violations against Christians and their property.

He also added that even if the story of the indecent assault on the Muslim teenager was true, this was purely an individual incident and does not call for an attack on masses of peaceful Christians, who denounced this individual act which does not comply with Christian teachings. "So why the barbaric attacks by the mobs? and why have the security forces not stopped them?"

Talking to Coptic News Bulletin, the Bishop said that after being informed of the accusations of the rape on Wednesday, he has taken the frightened Copts of the villages of Kom Ahmar and Shedid out of the village to safety. "However, Coptic-owned businesses, pharmacies and cars in Farshoot and Ezbet Waziri are completely destroyed," he said.

Rev. Elisha, Pastor of St. Michaels Church in Farshoot described Saturday's violence as "similar to the Tartar Wars, they burnt down shops, pharmacies, broke down doors of homes and terrorized the inhabitants." Commenting on the alleged rape incident, he said that it is doubtful, besides prosecution did not allow anyone to meet with the accused Copt. "The Farshoot investigating officer told me that the Muslim girl was only sure that her attacker wore a black jacket -- nothing more."

"We have never been so frightened and humiliated as Christians in all our lives. The mob made wooden crosses and burnt them in the street," according to one witness. "Our religion, and our Lord were openly insulted."

As no one is venturing into the streets, none of the Coptic inhabitants contacted were able to confirm if there were any losses in human lives, or the number of injured.

Bishop Kirollos held an urgent meeting with all Coptic priests in the region, in view of the gravity of the situation. He gave instructions that no Sunday church services would be held on 11/22/09 fearing for the safety of the Christian congregations.

"If the International Human Rights Organizations around the world keep quiet about what is happening to the Copts in Egypt, then they are of no use, they just use slogans, nothing more," one witness lamented.



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Solemnity of Christ the King

Today is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Calendar of the Church. This day is particularly dedicated to the Kingship of Jesus which was proclaimed by Pope Pius XI summoning the whole Universal Church of Christ to celebrate this day with utmost joy and holiness (Read: EWTN) of which every faithful should be thankful to God and the Church.

Philippines is not a monarchial form of government. Ours is the Presidential form of government just like many Western countries exercising election through the ballots. Ours has a long history of corruption and betrayal and to this day, we’ve ranked almost at the top as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. We as a people failed to united behind a seating president and we distrust our government officials chilling our spines.

I don't hate our present president. I believe we deserve to have her. I don't want to be like Myanmar, or Iran, or Cuba who are suppresing the freedom of their own people. If there is monarch I truly am grateful for is King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan. Unlike most of royal families in the Arab world, King Abdullah has only one wife whom he truly offers his dedication as a loving husband and father to his smart children.
Similarly, Queen Rania on the other hand has crossed the borders of indifference by visiting orphanages, charity houses, convents, children hospices, schools and attended world forums that tackle the protection of environment, equality of rights (though she’s a Muslim by faith), health awareness through responsible parenthood (not safe sex), religious tolerance and many other.

Earthly Kings and Queens like them captured our utmost appreciation and love. And in return, we pledge our utmost loyalty and allegiance to their governance. That's how to live in a monarchial government.

From this idea, I can relate to the Solemnity of Christ the King just as how I truly love the monarchs of Jordan. I feel that by taking Jesus as my King (and Lord), I have ceased to be free except than to love, honor and obey him and pledge my allegiance him alone.

Pope Pius XI’s declaration of the Last Sunday in Ordinary Time as the Feast of Christ the King truly makes all Christians renew their allegiance to his Majesty, correct their lives according to the directives of this loving King, show love and charity to those in need regardless of their color, race, gender, social status, or faith—just seeing Christ in them. The same King who humbly offered his life for the expiation of our sins is asking every Christian to take up his own cross and follow his footsteps.

Today, the Church is asking every Christian to heed Christ’s commandments—to love. A love that doesn’t distinguish colors, race, genders, social status, faiths but simply love—no question asked.

As my gift to Christ my King, I sought his forgiveness through the Sacrament of Penance. Now, I have renewed my allegiance to him and pray that by his constant loving mercy he would keep me safe and my loved ones—through my guardian angel whom I named Joshua.

Hail! Jesus! King of the Universe!

How much is many for INC bloc vote?

The Mythical Iglesia ni Cristo bloc voting has to be exposed for accuracy. How many votes is expected to come from the politically powerful Iglesia ni Cristo bloc voting? According to Philippine Daily Inquirer) "In the 2000 census, the National Statistics Office put the INC membership in the country at 1.8 million or around 2.3 percent of the total population."

So with that, our politicians are ready to get wedded to the church founded by Felix Manalo?

Stop believing in myths. Our politicians are becoming funnier.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pope approves new archbishop for beleaguered Archdiocese of Mosul

(Article Source: Catholic News Agency) VATICAN CITY - Catholics in the war-torn Archdiocese of Mosul, Iraq received good news on Friday when Pope Benedict approved Fr. Emil Shimoun Nona as the new Archbishop of Mosul. The archbishop-elect will replace Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who was kidnapped by militants last February and found dead two weeks later.

The Vatican's press office announced today that the Holy Father “gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Church of Fr. Emil Shimoun Nona.”

Archbishop-elect Nona, 42, was born in Alqosh, Iraq on November 1, 1967. He entered the Chaldean Patriarchal Seminary in 1985 and was ordained priest on January 11, 1991 in Baghdad.

His pastoral experience includes serving as the parochial vicar at Alqosh from 1993 to 1997 and then as pastor until 2000.

After his seven years in the parish, Archbishop-elect Nona was sent to study at the Pontifical Lateran University, where he earned a doctorate in theology. At present he is an official for the Archdiocese of Alqosh and a professor of Anthropology at Babel College. He is also speaks Arabic, Italian, Chaldean and English.

Archbishop-elect Nona will be serving 18,200 lay Catholics, 16 priests, 1 permanent deacon and 10 religious.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pakistan's Blasphemy Law is Hell to Christians

Pakistan’s Blasphemy law has curtailed Christians’ right to assemble and worship just as Muslims living in our cities are enjoying this right. In particular, Catholics are persecuted because of their faith in the Lord and their commitment to spread the Good News of Jesus to those who haven’t heard him. Although Catholics do not engage anymore in openly proselytizing due to the sensitivity of other faiths particularly Islam, our corporal and spiritual works of mercy can for no one can prevent the Holy Spirit. It’s extremist carried out activities have changed much of our shared international laws in aviation, banking, trading, almost every aspect of our lives and open wide our differences and bigotry against moderate Muslims who kept quiet amidst the mounting pressure to condemn extremism in their faith.

Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law is a justification for Muslim dominated country to suppress Christianity which attracts its own believers to shift. Let’s all pray for them and everyone who are persecuted because of their faith in Jesus.
Blasphemy in Pakistan and the European Court’s attack on the crucifix

Rome (
AsiaNews) - Representatives of Justice and Peace in Pakistan today launched their European campaign (France, Holland, Belgium, Germany) from Rome to raise awareness in Church and society of the plight and oppression of minorities in Pakistan, particularly the Christian one, due to the blasphemy law.

AsiaNews has decided to support their struggle. Moreover, from its inception 6 years ago, the promotion of religious freedom has been the cornerstone of our agency.

The Christians of Pakistan are a mere 4 million in a sea of over 160 million Muslims. This small minority of believers therefore is calling for the repeal of the notorious blasphemy law. This law, in force since 1986, legislates for prison or the death penalty for all those who insult the Quran or Muhammad. In these past 23 years nearly a thousand people have been accused of this crime and several hundred have been killed. In recent years, at least 50 Christians have been tortured and eliminated for this crime and many villages and Christian churches destroyed and burned. The latest episode in order of time is Koriyan and Gojra, where thousands of Muslims attacked Christian homes and churches for a false accusation of blasphemy and killed 7 people, including women and children, burning them alive. These killings take place without trial, the result of a rough justice dispensed by angry crowds, incited by their imams or by prison guards, who are complicit in the bigotry or corrupt.

In the dossier AsiaNews (Save Christians and Pakistan from the blasphemy law), also covered in our this month’s edition of our magazine, we can see that this law is actually an tool misused to eliminate political opponents, competitors in business, neighbours and to silence the Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Ahmadis, and even the Shiite Muslim minority. It is actually a time bomb that threatens to explode the entire Pakistani society, dividing these groups one from the other, and betrays the founding ideals from which the country was born in 1948, which excluded any religious discrimination, valuing the contribution of each community.

The blasphemy law, as well as various laws inspired by Sharia law in Pakistan, is a sign of the increasing Islamization of the country which is subjected to military and cultural pressure by the Taliban, which is close to modern imams who preach and teach in teeming madrassas.

Can this campaign suggest something to our Europe? The Italian and European world, engaged in an exhausting war in Afghanistan, are increasingly becoming aware that they cannot win by military might alone, but also need to approach the cultural problem of the relationship between Islam and modernity, Islam and coexistence with other religions and minorities.

A reconciled Pakistan could have a beneficial influence also on the nearby Afghanistan.

This campaign against blasphemy comes just a few days after the curious decision of the European Court for Human Rights which prohibits the display of crucifixes in public schools, because they have been deemed offensive to children of other religions or atheists.

There is a link between these two positions. Not for nothing, years ago a Muslim fundamentalist demanded the same thing from the Italian government. Curiously the empty tolerance of relativists and Islamic fundamentalism tend toward the same conclusion: eliminate all traces of Christian symbols and figures: in Pakistan with the blasphemy law. In Europe with a “blasphemy” against attacks on relativist beliefs.

In both cases, we propose coexistence between identities, without having to force anyone to hide their identity, the guarantee of being able to work with their faith for the advancement of peoples.

We believe a strange connivance between anti-Christian relativism and Islamic fundamentalism is taking place, perhaps motivated by hatred toward the Christian roots and economic interests. How can we otherwise explain the support of several Western countries for the possibility of sharia among Islamic communities in Europe, or their support of a UN resolution, proposed by Islamic nations, for an international blasphemy law. These resolutions, if implemented, could undermine global coexistence.

Once again we must affirm the prophetic value of the speech by Benedict XVI in Regensburg. In it, he asked the religions (fundamentalist Islam) to renounce violence as irrational and contrary to God at the same time he asked the Western world to once again look at God and religion not as an impediment to reason, but as its completion.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Google and Facebook teach Vatican the mysteries of the internet

(Article Source: Telegraph.co.uk): Media experts will join bishops from across Europe to tell them how best to communicate the Catholic Church's message in the 21st century.

Steeped in history, the Church often struggles to explain its outlook and Pope Benedict XVI has in recent months been mired in controversy over remarks about the role condoms can play in halting the spread of Aids and his decision to rehabilitate a Holocaust-denying British bishop.

During a four-day conference which starts on Thursday, representatives from the social network Facebook, the search engine Google, the YouTube video sharing website and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia will explain the importance of "new media" in the lives of young people.

The bishops will also learn how to combat the threat of hacking, with advice from a young hacker from Switzerland and an Interpol expert on cybercrime.

"The world of hackers is a separate, parallel culture that is mostly ignored by the Church but not by fans of information technology," said the Vatican's 'communications ministry', the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, which is organising the gathering.

The conference is the latest in a series of moves by the Pope, who uses an iPod and a laptop computer, to engage with modern technology.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pope targets eliminating hunger as goal for Catholic Church

(Article Source: Catholic News Agency): Rome, Italy.- On Monday Pope Benedict XVI addressed a gathering at the World Summit on Food Security in Rome, calling hunger “the most cruel and concrete sign of poverty” and stating that “the Catholic Church will always be concerned for efforts to defeat hunger.”

Speaking at the United Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome, the Pope addressed food production and the current state of the global economy.

“The international community is currently facing a grave economic and financial crisis. Statistics bear witness to the dramatic growth in the number of people suffering from hunger,” said the Pontiff. This situation is “made worse by the rise in price of foodstuffs, the reduction in economic resources available to the poorest peoples, and their limited access to markets and to food,” he lamented.

However, despite the grave statistics and the fretting of population control advocates, the Holy Father made reference to “the known fact that the world has enough food for all its inhabitants.”

“Indeed,” continued the Pope, “sufficient food is produced on a global scale to satisfy both current demands and those in the foreseeable future. From these data we may deduce that there is no cause-and-effect relationship between population growth and hunger, and this is further demonstrated by the lamentable destruction of foodstuffs for economic gain.”

Pope Benedict also condemned “opulence” and “waste,” saying they are “no longer acceptable when the tragedy of hunger is assuming ever greater proportions.”

Giving his answer to the current debacle, Pope Benedict turned to his recent encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate,” stating, “what is missing is a network of economic institutions capable of guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food and water.”

The Pope highlighted the need for impoverished countries to be given economic initiatives through international trade. “Once they have greater income at their disposal, these countries will be able to advance toward the self-sufficiency that leads to food security,” he said.

In concluding remarks, Pope Benedict said that “the Catholic Church will always be concerned for efforts to defeat hunger,” and that “the Church is committed to support, by word and deed, the action taken in solidarity - planned, responsible and regulated - to which all members of the international community are called to contribute.”

“The Church does not wish to interfere in political decisions: she respects the knowledge gained through scientific study, and decisions arrived at through reason responsibly enlightened by authentically human values, and she supports the effort to eliminate hunger,” the Holy Father said.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Pope Who Made History

Source: Rome Reports Documentary
The Man Who Torn Down the Wall - and Changed History

This moving retrospective on John Paul II follows the story of his life… from his youthful days in Poland to his entry into the priesthood to his long and legendary papacy. Witness highlighted moments that made history and touched millions around the world in this sentimental look at one of the most beloved popes of all time. You can watch the Trailer

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cool Pope Uses Web and Email

Imagine the Pope having his own personal email? For sure he needs a lot of secretaries to read his emails and try to reply to each letter. Sorry guys but the Pope has no personal email. But here's the good news. Even he has no personal email, the Pope uses the internet to get acquainted with Catholics around the world, reading what they wanted to tell about the Holy Father and interacting with them by visiting Vatican's YouTube and Facebook accounts.
Benedict XVI surfs the web and uses email

Vatican City, (Article Source: CNA).- The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, shared this week that the Holy Father has an appreciation for new developments in technology and is comfortable surfing the internet and using email.

During an interview with the program “Studio Aperto” on the Italia 1 TV network, Archbishop Celli added, while the Pope doesn't have a personal email address, he “sends his own personal emails. He does! He has great appreciation for new technology.”

The archbishop explained that while the Pope “cannot respond to the millions of messages that arrive in his inbox,” he is committed to “offering his prayers for all who write to him.”

“The internet is an excellent means of communication,” he continued. “We are seeking to be present where the people are, especially the youth.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Vatican publishes law for Anglicans to join the Catholic Church

This is a Good News for Catholics and Anglicans who are coming back to the fold.
(Article Source: Rome Reports) - The Pope has signed the canon law that would create “Personal Ordinariates” which would pave the way for Anglicans to become Catholics.

The law would allow them to hold on to many of their own customs and traditions.

The document is an Apostolic Constitution called “Anglicanorum Coetibus”, which means “groups of Anglicans.”

The Vatican stresses it does not intend to attract Anglicans by the numbers, rather the new law is in response to bishops, priests and lay people in the Anglican Church who have expressed interest in joining the Catholic Church.

From now on, there could be one or more ordinariates for each Episcopal Conference. For example, there will be one or several in the Unites States, the same would go for Canada and France.

The ordinariates would be established by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s department that studies special situations, like the kind that will deal with married Anglican priests.

One of the most significant rules in the document includes the one which states the Pope will elect one out of three candidates proposed by the governing council to be Ordinary.

As for Anglican bishops who are married, they will only be welcomed as priests, but can be considered ordinaries. In other words, while they will govern their followers they will not govern priests or bishops.

In any case, the ordinary will have the same powers as the bishops of the Catholic dioceses. For example, he would be able to establish a religious order, take part in the Episcopal conference and establish a parish.

But as a rule the ordinary will get help to manage finances from a governing council made up of 6 priests.

As for lay people, only Anglicans who want to be part of the ordinary would be welcomed and would have to submit a request in writing.

The Vatican expects it will take months before the first Anglican Ordinariate is established.

And according to it’s statistics, at least 50 bishops have asked to join the Catholic Church along with their followers.

JMB/MC
--WP

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Eastern and Western Church Split Misunderstood by an Iglesia ni Cristo

Mr. Conrad J. Obligacion (creator and owner of resbak.com, a fiercely anti-Catholic who denied being member of the cult Iglesia ni Cristo (see HERE under the stolen pseudonym 'truthcaster') but defended it staunchly with all his might and strength-assassinating characters of anyone who dared question the position of the Iglesia ni Cristo) has misunderstood history when he said
“The Orthodox church claims to be the “one holy, catholic, apostolic” church… the same title is also being claimed by another paganism based religion, the RCC. So, which is the true “one, holy, catholic, apostolic” church? Well, neither.”
unmindful of what his cult stands for:
(PASUGO Abril 1966, p. 46: Ang Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula ay siyang Iglesia ni Cristo.")”
also unmindful that besides the Iglesia ni Cristo, the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) were also claiming the same title they so claimed—to be Christ’s true church.

Contrary to his personal claims, Wikipedia and other impartial resources available in the internet and in print unanimously confirm that the (Roman) Catholic Church is historically the original Church which Christ had founded on Peter as the first Pope.”

“The History of the Catholic Church is traced by the Church back to apostolic times and thus covers a period of nearly 2,000 years, making it one of the world's oldest institutions. The history of the Church is an integral part of the History of Christianity and the history of Western civilization.”

Mr. Obligacion said further:
“many RCC say the Orthodox church “split” from the RCC. The Orthodox on the other hand say (sic) the RCC is the “confused” one which split from them. But whatever the case maybe, by splitting from each other, neither can claim to be the “one” body of Christ. For by claiming to be the “one holy, apostolic” church would be saying the other one is NOT “holy catholic apostolic”.
But what does history say about the “split” he’s referring to? Not until the 11th Century when Eastern Churches split from the See of Peter in Rome. Neither the Eastern Church nor the Western Church was confused. However, one thing is clear. Mr. Obligacion is very much baffled with his historical information he selectively taken from unknown historical sources (which he didn’t provide us with any link). Or perhaps just as any other bonafide Iglesia ni Cristo minister, he too has very limited personal biased opinionated historical knowledge taken from anti-Catholic Protestant sources that he thought may back up his Iglesia ni Cristo claims.

Going back to the history of the Catholic Church as the only Christian Church from the first century, the Church (which refers to the Catholic Church) has suffered persecution from Jerusalem to Rome (read History of the Catholic Chuch in wikipedia). Among those famous personages who persecuted Christ’s Church (the Catholic Church) was Saul of Tarsus (who later converted and became St. Paul and became one of the pillars of the early Church) and other Jewish leaders. The first century Church systematically defined, formulated Christian teachings influenced by theological apologists such as Pope Clement (the 4th Pope from St. Peter- Western Church), Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr , Augustine of Hippo. Note: These Catholic apologists defended the Church of Christ (not the Iglesia ni Cristo registered and incorporated in the Philippines) from Jewish and pagan persecutors before the Bible we have now (which Mr. Obligacion and the cult of Mr. F. Manalo) was formally compiled exactly into what we have today (when it was not yet reduced during the Reformation by Martin Luther).

Emperor Nero’s fury over Christians in Rome was among the worst persecution which eventually suffered the martyrdom of the two great pillars of the Catholic faith—Sts. Peter and Paul. He desired to wipe out Christianity from the face of the earth, thus the title “anti-Christ” has been credited to him being the fiercest persecutor of Christians. Diocletian and Galerius made another attempt to wipe out Christianity (all Catholics) but they too failed like Nero. The recognition of the Church as the state religion in the entire Roman Empire happened only in 380 A. D.

Now, who split from whom? Let us expose light in the darkness of Mr. Obligacion’s confusion.

The history of the (Roman) Catholic Church has been discussed in World History books. There’s no secret about that. Students from all continents in the world regardless of race and religion discussed every account of the Church as integral part of the History of the Western civilization including ours both positive and negative. Everyone is free to look at it deeper in the light of truth and sound knowledge.

In 325 A.D., the First Council of Nicea was convened. It was the second Church council from among the 21 Councils so far the Catholic Church had from the first Council of Jerusalem. Nicea Council I was convened to defined and uphold the long standing belief of Catholics from Arianism that there is only one God and that this God has three Divine Persons which eventually was called the Holy Trinity. Schisms are not foreign to the Church. Other minor schisms happened even before the Council of Rome (382 A.D.) which canonized the present Catholic Bible List of Books.
Major schism happened the 11th Century. The Eastern Church (Constantinople in Turkey) and Western Church (Rome in Italy) split permanently through a disputed claim over Sicily but since the beginning of the Church, all Councils and other major disputes within local churches looked up to the Roman Church, the See of Peter as the final arbiter in recognition of the Primacy of Peter whom Christ had given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and the authority to bind and loose. The same Peter whom Nero persecuted together with St. Paul, thus erecting huge basilicas dedicated to them. Eventually the West is called the Catholic Church (signifying its universality) and the East is called Orthodox. The word “Roman” was attached as a derogatory term assigned to the Catholic Church by Anglican Protestants so as to put emphasis on the Pope as “evil” and the Papacy being the“anti-Christ” preached by the Seventh-Day Adventists and was copied by the Iglesia ni Cristo (Felix Y. Manalo was once a minister of the Seventh-Day Adventists before he registered his own Corporation Sole at Securities Exchange Commission) which has long been abandoned by the former after they failed to prove its argument (read here). The Iglesia ni Cristo cult has retained the argument and sad to say Mr. Conrad J. Obligacion keeps on parroting.

Today, some Easter Churches reunited with the Universal Church keeping their own distinct apostolic linage according to the Eastern Churches’ traditions. They retained their own habits and used their own liturgical language in Greek, Arabic, Armenian etc. but all recognize the Pope as visible head of the Universal Church of Christ. In fact, the Catholic Church, the original Church of Christ founded by Christ in Jerusalem through St. Peter (which the cult of Felix Manalo even recognized (PASUGO Abril 1966, p. 46: Ang Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula ay siyang Iglesia ni Cristo) has many liturgical rites apart from the usual Latin rite we know and see on TV. Concealed to Mr. Obligacion and the Iglesia ni Cristo members by their Ministers, here is the list of Catholic Rites both practiced in the Western and the Eastern Churches (thanks to HolySpiritInteractive.net).

(1) The Patriarchal Latin Catholic Church – uses the Latin Rite
(2) The Patriarchal Armenian Catholic Church – uses the Armenian Rite founded by Sts. Thaddaeus and Bartholomew
(3) The Patriarchal Coptic Catholic Church – uses the Alexandrian Rite founded by St. Mark
(4) The Ethiopian Catholic Church – uses the Ge-ez Rite
(5) The Patriarchal Antiochian Syrian Maronite Catholic Church – uses the West Syrian Maronite Rite – founded by St. James
(6) The Patriarchal Chaldean Catholic Church – uses the East Syrian Rite
(7) The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church – uses the East Syrian Rite
(8) The Patriarchal Syrian Catholic Church – uses the West Syrian Rite
(9) The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church –uses the West Syrian Rite
(10) The Patriarchal Melkite Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(11) The Italo-Albanian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(12) The Ukrainian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(13) The Ruthenian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(14) The Byzantine Catholic Church USA (Rusyn — Ruthenian — Slovak) – uses the Byzantine Rite
(15) The Romanian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(16) The Greek Catholic Church in Greece – uses the Byzantine Rite
(17) The Greek Catholic Church in former Yugoslavia – uses the Byzantine Rite
(18) The Bulgarian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(19) The Slovak Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(20) The Hungarian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(21) The Russian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(22) The Belarusian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(23) The Albanian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(24) The Georgian Catholic Church – uses the Byzantine Rite
(25) Convert Catholics from Anglican Communion – uses Anglican-Latin Rite


Concerning the name of the Church which should be Christ’s, again Mr. Conrad J. Obligacion used the Iglesia ni Cristo argument that the Church which belongs to Christ must “bear” his name.
“…if the founder of the Church is Christ, they (sic) it is only logical and reasonable to assume that the name of his (Christ) church be named after him, Christ church or Church of Christ. It cannot be Roman Catholic church as those names don’t even appear in the bible where the life and ministry of the Lord is chronicled.”

Most importantly, we should note that Christ NEVER commanded his apostles to name a Church after him. In the same manner, he never commanded his apostles to register a church in the Philippines as “Iglesia ni Cristo”. He NEVER commanded his apostles to designate an “Angel” Felix Manalo in 1914 and the Manalos to OWN a church as a corporation sole, managed and run by the Manalo clan. Rather he warned us of the coming of false prophets (Mt. 7:15-20. The bible warned us that there would be false gospels preached by false prophets and angels, “let them be accursed” said St. Paul (Gal. 1:9. Jesus never left his Church!

This is what Jesus left us. He left us distinct Marks which tell apart the true from the false churches. Only the real Church of Christ which Christ founded (PASUGO Abril 1966, p. 46: Ang Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula ay siyang Iglesia ni Cristo) in Jerusalem has rightfully claim that it is ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC. False churches claiming to be Christ’s like the Iglesia ni Cristo (exclusively written in Filipino) in the Philippines and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have none of these marks except that they use the argument that the original Church of Christ which was the Catholic Church apostatized. The Bible is simply silent on these assertions by these false churches founded by men proclaiming themselves as “last prophets” and “last messengers” or “angels” worthy of allegiance.
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! Gal. 1:9.
The Bible says, Christ is the culmination of everything and that his Church would last till the ends of times. He promised that the gates of hell “will never” prevail and that he will not leave her like orphaned. Therefore we don’t need last prophets and messengers disguising as angels to restore his Church for his Church never apostatized. He warned us of the coming of such false prophets preaching other gospels apart from what was taught by his disciples.

As a matter of fact, the true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church according to historical facts found in wikipedia, encyclopedias, and the PASUGO, the official magazine of the Iglesia ni Cristo, and according to the chronicles of history.
Again, wikipedia says,
“The History of the Catholic Church is traced by the Church back to apostolic times and thus covers a period of nearly 2,000 years, making it one of the world's oldest institutions. The history of the Church is an integral part of the History of Christianity and the history of Western civilization.”

Iglesia ni Cristo members do not celebrate Christmas or the celebration of the birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ the Savior. Here’s Mr. Obligacion’s assertions:

“… the Catholic church was defeated and conquered by paganism. All of the rituals, traditions and practices of the Roman Catholic church (sic) and it’s offspring are based on pagan practices, traditions and rituals. For example, Christmas
In the 4th century CE, Catholicism imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Catholic leaders succeeded in converting large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Catholics.[2]

The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Catholics leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.”

But PASUGO says otherwise:
PASUGO Disyembre 1957, p. 28:
(sinulat ni Emeliano I. Agustin)

"Ang diwa ng Pasko ay kapayapaan;
Nang mundong naglunoy sa lusak ng Buhay;
Mabuting balita sa kinalulugdan;
Pagsilang ni Jesus sa abang sabsaban."
(Patula)

Mr. Obligacion’s intellectual dishonesty proves him unreliable. Again, he failed to give us his sources. Instead of proving the Iglesia ni Cristo set of doctrines, he demonizes Catholic festivities like Christmas to prove him. His accusations are not convincing either.

Here’s the truth. According to Encarta Encyclopedia, Christmas is:
1. Festival celebrating birth of Jesus Christ: a Christian festival marking the birth of Jesus Christ. December 25
2. Christmas period: the period around December 25, or the Christian church season extending from December 24 to January 6
Christmas was taken from the Old English Cristes maesse “mass of Christ’
I don’t understand why Encarta Encyclopedia and other encyclopedias don’t agree with the Iglesia ni Cristo. These sources also believed that Christmas is all about the Birth of the Son of God and not about paganism as Mr. Obligacion is accusing Catholics of. I am certain that Encyclopedias are not all Catholics. The problem lies when anti-Catholics like him failed to see Catholics celebrating the event while the Iglesia ni Cristo and other anti-Catholics celebrate the date. Can you see the huge difference?

Again, here’s the truth. December 25th as a date wasn’t originally a Christian celebration. That’s a fact. December 25th was a pagan celebration of the winter’s solstice. Before the date was replaced by Christian celebration for Christmas, each year beginning in December 17, pagan Romans honor Saturn (god of Agriculture). The celebration was called “Saturnalia” which lasted for 7 days ending on the 25th of December. With this celebration, pagan Romans postponed all business, warfare and exchange gifts with friends and family.

Aside from the Saturnalia festivals, pagan Romans also celebrate Persian god of light called “Mithra” glorifying her for the lengthened daylight. Although the Gospels didn’t specifically mention the date of Christ’s birth, the Catholic Church chose December 25 as the birth of Jesus Christ whom the Bible says “the Light of the World.” Today, Christmas which falls on the 25th of December is a world major Christian celebration of the Birth of Chirst, the Light of the World.
Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun) was also celebrated on this day before it was Christianized (Unconquered Son).

Early Christians risked their lives preaching Christ to pagans. Iglesia ni Cristo Ministers and its members don’t have that zeal of risking their lives to preach Christ to those who haven’t heard the Good News. What a shame!
Now, where is paganism? Those who are against Christ and his Church are trying to demonize Catholic Festivities like Christmas to prove that the Catholic Church is pagan.

Sorry to the members of the Iglesia ni Cristo but Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Unconquered Son, the Light of the World, Son of the Living God.
Which is more important, celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or celebrating the founding anniversary of the Iglesia ni Cristo which Christ has nothing to do with it?

Instead of questioning December 25 as Christmas Day, why not espouse reason in your faith and explain apologetically why you also celebrate July 27 with fanfare and festivities? Did God in the Bible command you to celebrate the founding anniversary of your church in a particular date every 27th day of July?
“…another paganism based religion, the RCC.” –Conrad J. Obligacion (INC member)
“Ang Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula ay siyang Iglesia ni Cristo" - PASUGO Abril 1966, p. 46
Here's what the Iglesia ni Cristo's position about Christmas:

ANG PALAGAY NG IGLESIA NI CRISTO SA PASKO

1. PASUGO Disyembre 1956, p. 34: (sinulat ni Benjamin T. Villalba)
"It strikes people as odd that members of the Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo) do not celebrate Christmas. (ang Iglesia ni Cristo ay tuwirang hindi nagdiriwang ng Pasko ng kapanganakan ni Cristo).

2. PASUGO Disyembre 1957, p. 28: (sinulat ni Emeliano I. Agustin)
"Ang diwa ng Pasko ay kapayapaan;
Nang mundong naglunoy sa lusak ng Buhay;
Mabuting balita sa kinalulugdan;
Pagsilang ni Jesus sa abang sabsaban."
(Patula)
Between Mr. Obligacion vs. Pasugo, I’d choose the official one.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Further Reading: Read Explore Church History

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day is A Christian “All Heroes Day”

Anti-Catholics hated saints including Mary-the very Immaculate Mother of Jesus, the new “Ark of the New Covenant”, the indwelling place of the Incarnate Word who is God made flesh (John 1:1--). For them saints are ‘deities’ that Catholics ‘worship’. They write in their publications that a “genuine Christian” has to get rid of praying to saints for the fear of violating the First Commandments of God “Thou shalt not have other gods besides me” for only ‘God is worthy of our worship’ as God hates idol worshipers.

Among those fiercely anti-Catholic separated Christians are “Born-Again” Christians, the Mormons founded by a self-proclaimed “last prophet” Joseph Smith, members of the Seventh-Day Adventists founded by Helen Gaud White in whose anti-Catholic rhetoric were long been abandoned (read HERE, but copied by Felix Manalo, who was once it’s minister, later founded his own cult, registered and incorporated it as a sole corporation, named it ‘Iglesia ni Cristo’ (registered name in Tagalog—not English “Church of Christ”) according to Roman 16:16
"Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you."
(MGA iglesia ni Cristo—small letter “i” – a common noun, NOT proper noun)” which Mr. Felix Manalo changed to big letter "I" making it as a Proper Noun "Iglesia ni Cristo". After his death of ulcer, the management was transferred to his son Erano, then to Erano's son Eduardo making it as a family business in guise of a ‘church’ heavily espoused with cultic qualities. All churches, that includes church in Rome, in Corinth, Thessalonica, Arabia, Jerusalem, Galilea (not the Corporation sole registered under the Republic of the Philippines.)

Saints are not alien to early Christians from the first centuries. Those who risked their lives, shed their blood and died for the sake of Christ and his Church were revered by early Christians and preserved their tombs with respect and holiness. They looked up to them as our “heroes” who chose death for Christ’s sakes than living under the influence of denying Christ revealed in the Church and in the Scriptures. In fact, the official teachings of the Church regarding the saints found in the Catechism of the Catholic Churchm No. 2683 says
“The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom,41 especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things." Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”
Anti-Catholics do not quote the official teachings for fear that they would be hitting themselves instead.

In Revelations 7---- John saw the “saints” in robes—in white and bright robes, its whiteness being washed in the Blood of the Lamb. These saints prostrated themselves before the throne of the Lamb, who was once slain and now lives forever! These saints, according to John are face-to-face with the “Lamb” Jesus—who became our sacrificial lamb in order that our sins are forgiven—Christ, the perfect offering for the forgiveness of our sins, once and for all.

Praying to saints doesn’t violate the First Commandments of God. In fact, praying to saints augments the mercy and goodness of God we Catholics all should know. Catholics do say “Pray for us” to saints with the belief that while saints prostrate before the throne of God, they too are offering our prayers like sweet incense before the throne—and God, whose power and mercy made them pure and stainless, worthy of seeing him face to face are now friends with God and that they have the privilege of asking favors in behalf of those other Christians (us) still suffering here on earth. In praying to God, we rightfully respond “Have Mercy on us, O Lord” for mercy and salvation comes only from God alone—not the saints for they are NOT gods nor they deemed themselves as such contrary to what anti-Catholics are accusing them of.

Unlike genuine Catholics, anti-Catholics particularly many members of the cult Iglesia ni Cristo have different sense of a ‘church’. For them, a church should have Christ’s name—that’s it! Without his (Christ) name, it ceased to be “Christ’s Church’. Catholics’ idea of a Church is not exclusively for all living Christians. The Church believes, as a Covenant that as a Church, we belong to a family such that we have include those who now intercedes for us in heaven, those suffering in Purgatory and for us living still struggling and being tested.

Wikipedia source says:

The Catholic Church, or Church Universal, is traditionally divided into:

* the Church Militant (Ecclesia Militans), comprising Christians who are living,
* the Church Triumphant (Ecclesia Triumphans), comprising those who are in Heaven, and
* the Church Suffering, a.k.a Church Padecent or Church Penitent (Ecclesia Penitens) or Church Expectant (Ecclesia Expectans), comprising those Christians presently in Purgatory. This last term is used mainly in Roman Catholicism.

These terms are often used in the context of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints; although Christians may be physically separated from each other by the barrier of death, they nonetheless remain united to each other in one Church, and support each other in prayer.

The Latin word militans has a primary meaning of "serving as a soldier, military", but it acquired a secondary meaning of "to struggle, to make an effort", which is the intended sense here. Christians on earth (the Church Militant) are still struggling against sin in order that, when they die, they might go to heaven and be members of the Church Triumphant, those who have triumphed over sin. However, if this struggle is successful, but not completely so, then after death they temporarily become members of the Church Suffering before ultimately joining the Church Triumphant.

The Roman Catholic Church commemorates the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering on two consecutive days: All Saints Day on November 1 (the Church Triumphant), and All Souls Day on November 2 (the Church Suffering).

These terms are not used in the modern Catechism of the Catholic Church, the authoritative collection of the teaching of Roman Catholicism, first published in 1994. Many contemporary Catholics might consider them belonging to another age. However, the teaching these terms represent is precisely restated in paragraph 954 of the Catechism, which quote Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council:

The three states of the Church. "When the Lord comes in glory, and all his angels with him, death will be no more and all things will be subject to him. But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating 'in full light, God himself triune and one, exactly as he is"' (CCC 954)
We, members of the One, Holy, Catholic Apostolic Church, the true Church built by Christ in Jerusalem (Matthew 16) not two, not registered as a corporation sole under the Republic of the Philippines or any other human laws, not owned by a family or a clan, unanimously accepted by historians as the only Church that traces its history back to the times of the Apostles
(“Ang Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula ay siyang Iglesia ni Cristo" [...the Catholic Church from the beginning is the (true) Church of Christ.]" - PASUGO Abril 1966, p. 46 )
should offer our praise and worship to God alone for giving us saints who intercede on our behalf. We should never stop trusting the intercession of the saints- whom Christ called as his friends, of our favors that on this day, we remember them, members of the Church who are now in heaven for sacrificing their lives for the love of Christ and his truth revealed in the Catholic Church.

To all the saints on this day—and Mama Mary, our own Mother, we implore you, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

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