"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 29, 2010

Feast of the Archangels

Photo Source: EWTN
St. Michael, St. Gabriel, & St. Raphael
ARCHANGELS

The Sacred Scriptures have revealed the proper names of only three Angels, all of whom belong to the Choir of the Archangels. The names are well known to all, namely: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael. Ancient apocryphal literature of the Old Testament contains several other names of Archangels in addition to the three just mentioned. Like the sources themselves, these other names are spurious. Names like Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jeremiel are not found in the canonical books of Sacred Scripture, but in the apocryphal book of Enoch, fourth book of Esdras, and in rabbinical literature. The Church does not permit proper names of Angels that are not found in the canonical books of the Bible. All such names that were taken from apocryphal writings were rejected under Pope Zachary, in 745. There must have been danger of serious abuses in this regard during that century, because a similar step was taken in a synod held at Aix-la-Chapelle in 789. Read more here...)

CatholicTV® Network Launches Online Community

Social Networking Site Gives Catholics a New Way to Connect; Includes Personal Profiles, Photos, Forums and Blogs

WATERTOWN, MA--(CatholicTV Marketwire - September 28, 2010) - Pardon us, Aaron Sorkin. Excuse us Mark Zuckerberg. Move over Facebook. Forget about the hit movie "The Social Network," Catholics now have a new reason to hit the "like" button. CatholicTV® Network is proud to announce the launch of a unique new online social networking community for Catholics at http://www.icatholic.com/.

Under the tagline, "I am Catholic, We are the Church," the iCatholic.com community allows visitors to establish a personal profile, upload images and videos as well as initiate and participate in discussions and forums. Users will be able to interact 24/7.

"This is a place where young and young-at-heart Catholics can go to discuss their Faith and questions about their Faith," said Father Robert Reed, CatholicTV President. "We're coming to where you live. We're making sure we stay on the cutting edge of technology."

The iCatholic.com social community is the first of its kind. Members of this new online community will be able to suggest content for the monthly digital magazine, as well as be part of an exciting television series coming soon to the CatholicTV® Network.

The magazine and social community are just the latest in a string of technological innovations CatholicTV has announced this year as it continues its mission of attracting the next generation of U.S. Catholics.

Earlier this year, CatholicTV added numerous 3D shows to its over-the-air and online lineup, many of which were featured by Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central's Emmy-Award winning program, The Colbert Report.

About CatholicTV

Founded in 1955, CatholicTV is a national broadcast television network streaming a live feed 24 hours a day at http://www.catholictv.com/Home.aspx. Heeding Pope Benedict XVI's call to greater utilize the power of television and new media, CatholicTV Network offers a wide range of programs aimed at children and adults. From uplifting advice shows to international news, game shows to travel, CatholicTV has something for everyone. Based in Watertown, MA outside of Boston, CatholicTV is the fastest growing, religion-based network in the nation. For access to CatholicTV programs, go to CatholicTV.com or download the CatholicTV mobile app for iPhone or iPad.

Help bring CatholicTV to your area and home, visit: http://www.catholictv.com/Helpus.aspx.

Oh to Be Catholic

Jun 20th, 2010 | By Tom Riello from Called to Communion

Yesterday two Reformed Christians announced that they had decided to convert to the Catholic Church. It reminded me of my own conversion.

Becoming Catholic or in my case coming back home to the Church is so hard to explain to those who find such horror when they look in the face of the Church. They just do not get it, for whatever reason. For me being Catholic is so rich, so lively. I think of cannoli and ravioli, and red wine, laughter, piazzas, feast days, families (indeed large ones) all held together by the love of the living God made known in the face of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit.

Being Catholic is sitting in the family room, praying the Rosary, as your three year old hits his eleven year old brother or one child prays his decade a bit faster. It’s daily mass, sitting with the young and old, who have a simple faith. They really believe that God is there, yes, the Lord of the Universe is there.

It is the 24/7 365 Adoration Chapel, that is even scheduled with the faithful during the Easter Triduum, as men just getting off their shift — still in their work clothes — come to spend an hour before Him who holds all things together. It is the mom, with her six kids at home, who takes that precious hour, when she could go shop or grab some coffee, and sits at the feet of the Master, her Lord, much like Mary of old. It is the old couple, who can barely walk, with shriveled bodies, who come to have some time with the Lord. It is the man, who has buried three kids and then his wife, who in the midst of it all clings to his Lord. It is the mom who, after losing her daughter and then her son, finds consolation for her heart in the Virgin at the Cross who hears the words, “and a sword will pierce your soul.” It is the man watching his father die an agonizing death who sees in this suffering the sufferings of Christ, that nothing, not even the last moments, are wasted, but in some way through this, all things will be made new. It is witnessing the man receive for his last bit of food not the bread of this world, but the bread of the angels. Oh to be Catholic…

Faith and Reason in the Context of Conversion

Jul 26th, 2010 | By Tim A. Troutman | Category: Blog Posts
The following is a guest post written by Devin Rose. Devin is a 32-year-old software engineer and lay apologist who blogs at St. Joseph’s Vanguard. He and his wife, Katie, live in Austin with their four children.

After years as a devout atheist, I converted to Evangelical Protestantism in February of 2000 and was baptized at a Southern Baptist church. One year later I became Catholic. I would like to use my own (double) conversion to examine the role that faith and reason played in discovering the Catholic Church.

CONVERSION
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I initially turned to Christ from atheism out of sheer desperation: I was clinically depressed, suffering from an anxiety disorder with panic attacks and agoraphobia. My atheism offered nothing but black despair. Christianity seemed to offer more, so I “gave it a try.” Since I had been brought up to believe in a kind of scientism, which holds that the natural sciences are the lone authoritative source for forming one’s worldview, the idea of believing in God, much less a God who became man, seemed irrational. Nonetheless, I realized that I had nothing to lose, since all my own efforts to solve my problems had failed. I reasoned that if God was real, He would help me. If He did not exist, then trying to believe in Him would do nothing, and I would be no worse off than I already was.

I suppressed the many atheistic beliefs which I “knew” were true, and tried to believe in God. I began praying a simple prayer each day: “God, you know I have never believed in you, but I am in trouble and need help. If you are real, then please help me.” I also started reading an old King James version of the Bible that my cousins had given me when I was ten years old. Amazingly, over the next few months, my disordered anxieties improved somewhat, and I began to feel something (that must have been the grace of God) drawing me to read more, pray more, and to try to believe more.

Happily, I had several good friends who were Evangelical Protestant Christians, and around this time they took me under their wing. I had a ton of questions, especially about how Christians could reconcile the theory of evolution with their beliefs, and my friends had answers. I started going to their Baptist church and learning more about the Christian Faith. After a few more months, I was baptized and quickly became an Evangelical of Evangelicals. Just as I had been a fervent atheist, I now became a fervent Protestant. I accepted the (NIV) Bible I was given by my new-found brothers in Christ and off I went! Bible studies, accountability groups, frequent church attendance (with requisite note-taking in the margins of my Bible during the sermon), praise and worship, serving the poor and needy–I was living a new life in Christ, and it felt great.

I didn’t realize at the time that I was absorbing a specifically Evangelical Protestant understanding of the Christian Faith–not purely Reformed or Anglican or Lutheran or Methodist or Anabaptist, but some parts of all of them mixed together. However, after six months of being a Christian, I started noticing the fact that there were lots of other churches and realized that there were significant differences in the beliefs of Christian denominations. Previously, as an atheist, I knew at some level that these differences must exist, but all types of Christians were so far from where I was at the time that their internal differences seemed unimportant. Now that I was a Christian, those differences began to matter.

I was taught that Jesus Christ was God and that the sixty-six book Bible was God’s inerrant Word, and I believed it with all my heart. Unwittingly, I had also accepted en masse all of the other standard Protestant doctrines. Yet even with the same Bible and these fundamental doctrines like sola Scriptura and sola Fide as common ground, we Protestants managed to find substantial disagreement on a host of important issues, so much so that split after split after split had divided Protestantism into thousands of splinters. Something struck me as very wrong about that, especially given Christ’s clear statements in John 17 that we all be perfectly one, as He and the Father are one.

Around this same time, I learned that Catholics had seventy-three books in their Bibles. I assumed that they must have added books to the Bible, since I had already accepted the claim that Catholics “contradicted Scripture” in many ways, adding extra man-made traditions onto God’s Word. But, I soon began asking how, exactly, I knew that the Bible was composed of the particular sixty-six books that I was given. I asked the canon question and at first was blithely confident that I would find the answer from my Protestant friends. But their answers weren’t convincing–in fact, most of them hadn’t even considered the question. So I turned to the internet to find what I knew must be solid Protestant arguments for the canon. Much to my chagrin, the answers I found there were weak as well, and I began to grow uneasy.

The “answers” that Protestant apologists gave to the canon question often focused on pointing out the historical testimony that was in favor of the Protestant canon as reasons for believing it to be true. But though there is some historical testimony in favor of the Protestant canon, there is at least as much testimony for the Catholic one. (Not to mention the fact that the Eastern Orthodox Churches also accept the deuterocanonical books.) If the canon had been universally agreed upon in the Church by the early second century, perhaps it could give one certainty that that particular canon was obviously the true one, but that simply didn’t happen. Instead, for over three centuries different canonical lists were proposed and discussed in the long and winding road of the Church’s discernment of the canon. The ambiguous historical testimony regarding the formation of the canon cannot provide conscience-binding certainty for any of the different canons accepted today by the major Christian groups. I realized that my belief in the Protestant canon could not be maintained without making an ad hoc claim that God protected the Church from erring as she determined which books belong to the canon, but did not protect from error anything else the Church did.

But I had already put my faith in God, accepting that He had communicated infallibly to us through these sixty-six books, so what was I to do? One possibility was to simply claim that “I believed” that the Protestant canon was the true one and use that as my starting theological assumption. Some of my Evangelical friends opted for this route. I would thus avoid the ad hoc logical fallacy. But this attempt to salvage the position just traded out one offense against reason for a worse one: the error of presuppositionalism.1 Presuppositionalism is the idea that every worldview or position is based on theological assumptions and that the only way to find the truth is by choosing the right presuppositions. It is a form of philosophical skepticism which doubts the ability of the human intellect to ascertain truth. If I accepted presuppositionalism, I knew that I would then have no argument to make against a Catholic who claimed his starting point was the seventy-three book Bible or the infallible Church, or against the Mormon who claimed the Book of Mormon as his theological assumption.

So far, I didn’t see a way of reasonably believing in the Protestant canon and in the inerrancy of its books, but what if I simply gave up the belief in inerrancy? I would then entirely avoid the fallacies of the first position and side-step Catholic arguments for the canon on the basis of infallibility. Perhaps it is reasonable to believe that, instead of inerrant Scriptures, God gave Christians a loose set of writings to act as a guide and touchstone, which were to be discussed and prayed about in community, and though this could not give certainty that any given doctrine is true, it could, with the Spirit’s help, get us “close enough” to the truth so that we could live lives pleasing to God?

This position does not have an ad hoc fallacy or a presuppositionalist stance, since it lacks the belief that God can and did work infallibly through fallible human beings. Nonetheless, it has problems. For one thing, it isn’t reasonable that God would leave us in such a state of darkness with regard to His revelation. If He protected nothing from error, then the deposit of faith that Christ gave to the Apostles could have been corrupted almost immediately. In fact, this is the position held by the Jesus Seminar and scholars like Bart Ehrmann, who have created their own theories of what “Jesus really taught” to fit the subset of historical writings they deem authoritative. If one denies God’s protection of the truth from error, the possibility of handed-down divine revelation is completely lost. Instead of being able to look to the living Church as the authority to be trusted, one must choose which members of the academy to follow, and hope that the chosen scholars are trustworthy.

I found myself at a cross-roads: I could either jettison my nascent faith or find a more reasonable ground for my faith. Only two options seemed left to me: either God protected one Christian denomination’s teachings from error, or He did not. I was not yet ready to abandon my new faith by giving up on the possibility that God made sure we could know the truth, even two thousand years after Christ, so I decided to explore the option that God did indeed protect some Church from error.

The two “denominations” that had the hubris to even claim such protection were the Mormons and the Catholics.2 And the Mormons never seemed credible to me, whether as an atheist or an Evangelical Protestant, so my attention turned to the institution which I had already learned to dread and mistrust: the Catholic Church.

I read the writings of the Church Fathers and grew even more uneasy. Whether their teachings squared with those of the Catholic Church I did not yet know enough to confirm, but one thing I did know was that their beliefs differed significantly from my Baptist faith. For instance, the Fathers’ unanimous belief in baptismal regeneration was undeniable and disturbing because it meant that either that doctrine was true (and my symbolic-only baptismal doctrine was false) or that the Church fell into serious error in her teachings almost immediately.3 As I investigated more doctrines which divide Catholics and Protestants, I found that the Fathers’ writings strongly favored the Catholic positions. For every one quote that could possibly be construed as supporting uniquely-Protestant teachings, twenty more existed that were utterly incompatible with Protestantism.

After a significant period of study and prayer, I became Catholic. Why? Because I already had placed my faith in Christ and had faith that He could and did work infallibly through fallible human beings (in the sixty-six books of the Bible I accepted at the time). “So what’s to stop Him from working infallibly through fallible human beings in other matters of the Faith? Or perhaps even in all matters of faith?” I couldn’t see anything unreasonable about that, and accepting the Catholic Church’s claim of infallibility resolved the ad hoc rationale I had accepted as a Protestant that He worked infallibly in sixty-six specific instances but in no others. (Well, to be more accurate, that He had done so sixty-seven times: in the sixty-six inspired books plus the decision about which books those were).

Reflecting back on my double conversion, I now realize that I came to faith in Jesus Christ outside of full communion with the Catholic Church, which was only possible because God is so gracious that even schisms cannot thwart His desire for all men to come to know Him in truth. Only after prayer and study did I come to realize that there were flaws in the reasoning supporting my Protestant beliefs. I knew that God would not require me to believe something that contradicted reason. From reading John 17, I also knew that God wanted us to be in unity. But the principle of sola Scriptura was incapable of achieving this unity for Protestantism, so something was wrong: either sola Scriptura was false, or God had given us a deficient means to reach unity in the fullness of the truth.

Even before I knew Him, God gave me reason to see that my life without Him was empty and purposeless. He brought me to a place of despair so that I would be humbled enough to recognize my need for Him. After becoming a Christian, He again showed me through various reasons that the Catholic Church was all that she claimed to be. None of this, of course, was done without tremendous outpourings of grace. God gave us a great gift in His Church by making it both beautifully faithful as well as eminently reasonable. If either piece were missing, it would be immeasurably more difficult to discover her. But God in His wisdom has shown us that just as grace builds upon nature, so faith builds upon reason and does not eradicate it or make it unnecessary. Pope Benedict recently devoted a Wednesday audience to St. Thomas Aquinas and explained that “the trust St. Thomas placed in both ways to knowledge—faith and reason—can be traced to his conviction that both come from the single wellspring of all truth, the divine Logos, which is at work in the area of both creation and redemption”4 The truth in its fullness can be found in the Church and the good news is that it can be known by the most brilliant philosopher and the most simple manual laborer alike. Let us continue to pray for and work toward unity in the truth.

Episode 14 – A Presuppositional Apologist Becomes Catholic

Episode 14 – A Presuppositional Apologist Becomes Catholic

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Catholics and Orthodox report promising progress in latest round of unity talks

Photo Source: The Orthodox Church

Austria Reuters- Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians reported promising progress on Friday in talks on overcoming their Great Schism of 1054 and bringing the two largest denominations in Christianity back to full communion. Experts meeting in Vienna this week agreed the two could eventually become “sister churches” that recognize the Roman pope as their titular head but retain many church structures, liturgy and customs that developed over the past millennium.

The delegation heads for the international commission for Catholic-Orthodox dialogue stressed that unity was still far off, but their upbeat report reflected growing cooperation between Rome and the Orthodox churches traditionally centred in Russia, Greece, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

“There are no clouds of mistrust between our two churches,” Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon told a news conference. “If we continue like that, God will find a way to overcome all the difficulties that remain.” Archbishop Kurt Koch, the top Vatican official for Christian unity, said the joint dialogue must continue “intensively” so that “we see each other fully as sister churches.”

(Photo: Pope Benedict XVI (L) with
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the
Sistine Chapel, October 18, 2008/
Osservatore Romano)
The rapprochement of the Catholic and Orthodox churches must be the slowest “big story” on the religion beat. About 30 theologians meet in a joint Catholic-Orthodox commission about once every year or so to see how far they have come in reassessing Christian history so that the Great Schism can be laid to rest and the two churches can move forward to full communion. These talks produced their first joint declaration back in 1982 and have had ups and downs since then. The push towards unity has clearly gained momentum since Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill took office on February, 2009. The goal is still far off – hey, they have 1,000 years of division to get over — but they’re getting close enough now that an agreement now looks increasingly possible.

Kirill and Pope Benedict are both conservative theologians keen to work together to have Christianity’s voice heard in Europe, a continent they both think should return to its Christian roots. They’ve met in the past, including when Kirill visited Benedict at the Vatican in his former role as “foreign minister” of the Russian church. They haven’t yet held a summit meeting, so to speak, but religion reporters in Europe keep waiting for signs they will finally set a date for their first top-level talks. The Russians aren’t the only Orthodox in the game, but their size gives them a kind of veto power that has to be considered in this equation. The Vatican has good relations with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul and the new Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej has invited the pope to Belgrade.

Given the long-term importance of these talks for Christianity’s two largest denominations, our busy Vienna bureau chief Boris Groendahl agreed to trek out to the city’s suburbs to cover a news conference with the two delegation leaders and Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. You can read his full report on the news conference here.

Boris sent me such long verbatim excerpts from the news conference that I wanted to post them here to give an idea of how the Catholic and Orthodox theologians imagine that this long process towards unity might develop. There’s no guarantee, of course, that they will eventually reach full communion. But the two sides already broke the ice back in 2007 when their meeting in Ravenna, Italy produced an agreement in which both sides recognised the Bishop of Rome as the traditionally most senior bishop in Christianity. They made further progress last year in Cyprus. The intensity of the work involved and the upbeat tone of the delegation heads’ comments today says even this slowest of religion stories is moving ahead in interesting ways.

Here are excerpts from what Archbishop Kurt Koch, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, and Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon had to say. Koch spoke in German (my translation here) and John spoke in English.

Metropolitan John of Pergamon: “There are no clouds of mistrust between our two churches. Our predecessors and especially the leaders of our churches both on the Catholic and the Orthodox side have prepared a way for a friendly and brotherly discussion. I must assure you that this spirit prevailed in our discussions. And therefore I wish to assure that if we continue like that, God will find a way to overcome all the difficulties that remain, and bring our two churches – the most ancient churches, the churches that share the same ecumenical past, the same traditions, the same sense of the church — to bring us to full community.”

Archbishop Karl Koch quoted Pope John Paul’s comment about the two churches being the two lungs of Christianity and said they had to practise breathing together. “This is a difficult but necessary theme because we lived together in diversity but also in unity in the first millennium, but a second millennium in which we grew apart lies between us.

“Pope Benedict XVI already said in his famous lecture in Graz in 1976 that we cannot expect more from the Orthodox than what was practised in the first millennium. So the basic discussion is about how these churches lived in the first millennium and how we can find a new (common) path today. This discussion needs the necessary free space (‘Freiraum’) and it needs patience. .. I know some people can be impatient but patience is an expression of love. People know from personal experience what it means when two people in a marriage drift apart — we have 1,000 years to work through. We must and we want to take new paths because Jesus gave us the mission to live together.”

In the Q&A session, Koch said: “I think there is certainly a recognition that in the early days of the church, there was a practice or an order of things in which Rome had a special role, a primary role. We still have to speak about what that meant and implied. Ravenna was the great recognition that there must be a protos, a first one, at all levels — at the level of the local church, of the region and on the universal level. Now we are at the universal level and we’re looking more closely what this protos at this level looked like at that time. This is something new.

Metropolitan John: “We are still studying the first millennium, we have not reached a conclusion yet. But the main and most important thing we have discovered in the discussions is that what we decided in Ravenna seems to be confirmed by the history of the first millennium.”

“In other words there in the first millennium there was a recognition of the special role that the Bishop of Rome played in the church. There was also the fact that the Bishop of Rome did not operate without consultation with other bishops in his own area as well as universal. So we are discovering that in history and this is an important aspect.

The Church of Russia was absent from Ravenna for reasons that had nothing to do with our dialogue. That didn’t leave Ravenna because of the dialogue. What we decided in Ravenna was already prepared by previous meetings in which the Russian Church participated also. Therefore essentially there is no problem … On the whole the basic ideas of Ravenna are accepted by all the orthodox churches.

Asked which model of unity the talks used, Archbishop Koch said: “That will be the big question for the future. First we started with each church describing its vision on unity. The Catholic and the Orthodox visions probably won’t be the same. We saw the questions we will have to discuss — papal primacy and synodality. The Catholic Church has a strong primacy (of the pope) but probably has not developed synodality as much as the Orthodox Church. The strength of the Orthodox Church is its synodality, but the doctrine of primacy is not that strong. We will be able to enrich each other. The basic principle of ecumenism is the exchange of gifts. The first step is to tell each other individually how we imagine unity would look like. For the Catholic Church, of course, unity without the Bishop of Rome is unimaginable. That’s because the issue of the Bishop of Rome is not just an organisational question, but also a theological one. The dialogue about just how this unity should be shaped must be continued intensively. Unity means that we see each other fully as sister churches. Just like the (Catholic) church in Vienna is the sister church of the church in Basel, the Orthodox Church will be a sister church for us.

“I think the pope himself in thinking in this direction. He’s said to the Anglicans who want to come back that they would be able to keep their tradition and celebrate their liturgy. So he’s said himself that there should be diversity. That will be the second step. It’s far too early (‘Zukunftsmusik’) to ask each other how we can do this together.”

Metropolitan John: “I’m in full agreement with what Archbishop Koch said. The model will emerge in the future. We don’t operate with a preconceived model. It will be the result of a certain … I would say — I won’t call it reformation , that is too strong — but adaptation from both sides. What the Orthodox must strengthen is their universal unity and also their conception of primacy. And perhaps the Catholic side must strengthen more the dimension of synodality. If those two things happen the result will come close to a conception of a church which is united in its basic structure in the right way.

“Of course we have to be united in faith too. There are certain fundamental things which have to be clarified in maters of faith. The rest can be left to diversity. There are customs, liturgical customs and other customs, that can be left to each church freely to arrange. As far as the Orthdox council is concerned we recognize that autocephaly is a problem, especially when it is associated with nationalistic aspects. But I am glad to say that we’re making good progress towards a pan-Orthodox council and we hope that very soon we will be able to invoke such a council…

“The next meeting will depend on the progress we make on this subject that we are discussing now. It looks as if we are going to have a slight change of our subject, namely to make the historical material focus on theological questions more. This will require another period of preparation by subcomittees and debate — that is probably a period of one year. We hope that in two years’ time we can convene again as a plenary commission. But this will depend on the progress we make.”

Archbishop Koch: “Today and tomorrow we will continue discussing our future work. This dialogue can be fruitful for the reality of living together. The more we recognise each other as sister churches and live in unity, the more that surely will have its effect on daily life. With the Orthodox churches, we share almost everything in terms of faith but we have a different culture because of the division we experienced in the past millennium. With the churches of the Reformation, we don’t have that much in common in faith matters but we have the same culture. Cultural differences can play a role that don’t exist on the theological level. Here’s where we need to meet each other directly. We used to have a strange feeling about Russians because we never sat down with one and drank a glass of vodka. Learning depends on meeting each other.”

(Photo: St. Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral in Vienna, 7 July 2010/Lisi Niesner)
A journalist asked if there would be a joint “Vienna document” like there was a joint statement after the 2007 Ravenna meeting. “I think that’s unrealistic,” Archbishop Koch said. “The right time will come. There will certainly be a communique, but paper is patient.”

The theologians planned two church services to end their week, a Catholic Mass in St. Stephen’s Cathedral on Saturday evening and a Divine Liturgy in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity on Sunday.

Sacraments Bring Us Life

"The sacraments are veins that flow with life. At every stage of our spiritual journey, they bring us life: supernatural life, the life of grace, which makes us holy."

— from The Power of the Sacraments

"Catholicism is the Religion most attacked, more than Islam"

Bernard-Henri Lévy
"The French thinker addressed in this interview with ABC issues such as the expulsion of Romanian Roma in their country, the role of religion, attacks on the Catholic Church and the necessary restructuring of the left."

Read the translated article from Spanish to English or you want to read the unedited article in Spanish.

Britain could have an Ordinariate by new year

By Anna Arco from Catholic Herald UK

High Mass for All Saints, celebrated at Pusey House last year Photo: The Revd James Bradley

Britain could have an Ordinariate by the end of the year, it emerged today.

Sources say that the Rt Rev Keith Newton, the flying bishop of Richborough and the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, the flying Bishop of Ebbsfleet will take up the special canonical structure, which allows groups of Anglicans to come into full Communion with Rome without losing their Anglican identity, before the end of the calendar year.

Groups of Anglicans are already forming across the country in preparation for joining an ordinariate, according to the blog of the retired Bishop of Richborough, the Rt Rev Edwin Barnes.

In his October pastoral letter, Bishop Burnham wrote that ordinariate groups would likely be small congregations of thirty or so people.

Traditionally-minded Anglican clergy from the South of England were gathering at a Sacred Synod in Westminster today to discuss the future direction of the Church of England. The meeting was called by the Rt Rev John Ford, the Anglican Bishop of Plymouth. He invited the signatories of a 2008 open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, which expressed reservations over women bishops.

The meeting was being held only days after Pope Benedict told Catholic bishops in England and Wales and Scotland to see the offer made in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus as a “prophetic gesture”.

The apostolic constitution was a topic discussed at the Synod, according to Bishop Burnham.

In a statement Bishop Burnham said that Anglicanorum coetibus offered “Anglo-Catholics the way to full communion with the Catholic Church for which they worked and prayed for at least a century and it is a way in which they will be ‘united and not absorbed’.”

He said that discussions were under way about how the “vision of the Apostolic Constitution” could be implemented” and said the first people to take up the initiative would require vision and courage.

He quoted Pope Benedict’s speech to the bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, saying the Holy Father set his offer to Anglicans “firmly within the developing ecumenical dialogue” and said it was an “an exciting initiative for those for whom the vision of Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) of corporate union has shaped their thinking over recent years”.

The issue, he said, was “the ministry of the Pope himself, as the successor of St Peter. Anglicans who accept that ministry as it is presently exercised will want to respond warmly to the Apostolic Constitution”. He said: “Those who do not accept the ministry of the Pope or would want to see that ministry in different ways will not feel able to accept Anglicanorum Coetibus.”

Bishop Burnham added: “The decision to respond to the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution is not dependent on the decisions of the General Synod or on any particular issue of church order. The initiative should be judged on its own merit. It will require courage, and vision on the part of those who accept the invitation, particularly amongst the first to respond.

“Although there are few practical details at present in the public forum, discussions have already been taking place as to how the vision of the Apostolic Constitution can be implemented. It is expected that the first groups will be small congregations, energetically committed to mission and evangelism and serving the neighbourhood in which they are set.”

In the pastoral letter, the third in series about the ordinariate, Bishop Burnham described two reasons for taking up the offer made in Anglicanorum coetibus and said that it taking up the offer was not a matter to be considered lightly.

He wrote: “Joining the Ordinariate is not a matter to be considered lightly. Clergy who do so put their stipends and pensions, their homes and their security at risk. In some cases the response of laity will be so enthusiastic that whole congregations might be able to move together, with their parish priest. In most cases, the Ordinariate groups will be church-planting new congregations, congregations of perhaps only thirty or so people to start with, but thirty enthusiasts nonetheless.

“Such congregations of activists will probably grow rapidly, but there, of course, lies another risk. There are many clergy and laity who would love to possess the courage for this pioneering venture but they simply do not. Not everyone is at heart a risk-all pioneer. Not everyone can be: we all have real responsibilities to families to balance against the radical demand of the Gospel.”

There is some speculation that October 9, the feast of Blessed John Henry Newman, Britain’s most prominent Anglican convert to Catholicism, could be the date on which an ordinariate will be announced.

Pope Benedict XVI announced the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in November 2009. It came as a response to requests from prominent Anglo-Catholics and offered a new canonical structure, similar to military dioceses called personal ordinariates in order to allow groups of Anglicans to enter into communion with Rome without losing their Anglican identity. The personal ordinariate covers a geographical area but has its own leadership and answers to the Pope.

Bishop Alan Hopes, an auxiliary of Westminster Archdiocese and Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham are in charge of the Bishops’ conference commission dealing with Anglicans wanting to take up the ordinariate.

"Christian Day" Parade in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran but wait...

Christians in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran held their respective "Christian Day" Parade while police watch... wait...

While Christians experienced continued PERSECUTION in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan and in many other Islamic states, Muslims living in the United States of America LAVISHLY celebrated this year's "American Muslim Day" with a "show of force" blocking every street while they performed "al-salat" or prayer (see the story here).


The same people professing the faith are persecuting Christians and non-Muslims, not only in Saudi Arabia but any place in the world where Muslims are majority.

No Christian can do this overly politicizied Islamization of the West.  Not even to DISPLAY a cross or his/her Bible in public in Saudi Arabia can be allowed. Houses of worship in secret were raided. Those who were caught were subjected to humiliation and were deported JUST BECAUSE they were CHRISTIANS.  If these Muslims enjoying the beauty of Democracy would rally its own people for RECIPROCITY then maybe they would stop accusing those critical of Islam as "islamophobes".

And the same people professing the same faith wanted to dominate the world expressing their intention in a "free world" of democracy.

Photo Source: wethepeople
Are they willing to give what they are asking from us?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Iglesia ni Cristo Member says: "I AM NOT ME!"

Mr. Conrad J. Obligacion is definitely saying the truth that HE IS LYING again for the Nth times!

He is complaining that HE IS NOT README and that I am LYING.

For the sake of OBJECTIVE TRUTH neither he PROVED any!

Mr. Obligacion said:
Gay prostitute blogger confuses resbak and readme

My gay prostitute friend and blog adversary catholicdefender2000 is again mistaking me for another blogger readme. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against Brother readme, in fact I like and follow his blog. But for the sake of the truth let me state here: I am not the blogger readme.

First, IF I am his REAL "friend" then he would properly address me like a gentleman. However his SARCASM couldn't hide his PERSONAL negative feelings against me. I never remember insulting him. I really don't understand why he's so personal in attacking me?

On the other hand I have nothing personal against Mr. Conrad J. Obligacion, an Iglesia ni Cristo bonafide member. I cannot fault him for behaving like someone who has no God-- a pagan if you will. I cannot blame him for his AD HOMINEM arguments either. I believe this is how he should be. This is how he was CATECHIZED in his cult and this is how HE IS PAID by the Iglesia ni Cristo as a Minister. Can a man cultivate wheat from thornbushes? I can only respond to his rantings by counter-acting against his lies by exposing a MORE OBJECTIVE TRUTH over his PERSONAL view on "truth."

Please understand that Mr. Ogligacion, a diehard defender of the Iglesia ni Cristo has numerous ALIASES so that NO ONE could TRACE him. It's one of his DECEPTION TACTICS.

His DISHONESTY many of which I had exposed earlier in my post Ang Panlilinlang ni CONRAD J. OBLIGACION kaanib ng Iglesia ni Cristo® is quite shocking.  It's hard to believe someone who claims to be in the "real church" can do that.

Though he considers me as his PERSONAL ENEMY, I DON'T consider him as such. Mr. Conrad wasn't my enemy by birth. I see him as someone who really needs our understanding. He is NOT ranting for nothing.

But his disproportionate BIGOTRY and extreme HATRED against all Catholics and those DEFENDING the FAITH makes him rants uncontrollable like a rider who lost control of his own horse. His ANTI-CATHOLIC agenda makes him a first-class ATTACKER doing anything so as to destroy what he perceives as INC "enemies".

He is professionally WELL TRAINED in that field. No doubt, he is "TRUE BLOODED Iglesia ni Cristo Member" said a blogger who observed his un-Christian behavior (if INC were considered Christians for denying the Divinity of Christ).

But HERE'S THE TRUTH: Mr. Conrad J. Obligacion was a STALKER. Secretly he's follwing me on Twitter. He tried adding me in Facebook but I declined since I doubted his real intentions.

Mr. Obligacion is a STEALER. He's a ROBBER. He's a LIAR and a DECEIVER. The reason why I accused him as such is because he STEALS NAMES, he ROBS IDENTITIES, he posts bogus ACCOUNTS to LIE and to DECEIVE many.

I can only praise his gut in exposing his TRUE SELF. At least we can HAVE a CLEAR GLIMPSE of how MEMBERS of this cult VIOLENTLY ATTACK anyone who questions their doctrines.

This is how he EXPECTED to be. As I have said earlier, can a man HARVEST WHEAT from THORNBUSHES?

Whether he is resbak, readme, cedric_amalon, c_amalon, geoff, catholicivatan, jay_manalo, inc_defender etc, it doesn't matter. Neither he proved me wrong nor he proved he ISN'T readme. Neither the OWNER of README blog says WHO HE REALLY IS.

The Ang Dating Daan have ONCE exposed ACCURATELY the fake "truthcaster" and his REAL NAME, they could be also saying the truth by claiming "RESBAK" and "README" are ONE and the same. (read HERE) they could be saying the TRUTH about the IDENTITY of CONRAD alias RESBAK and README at webupon.com/web-takl:

Jake Astudillo Says:
January 29th, 2010 at 12:41 am
That Wikipedia thing is a product of the editing of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members who live there.

Conrad J. Obligacion who stole the TruthCaster monicker and who calls himself “ReadMe” and Resbak attempted to re-write the whole of the bio of Bro. Eliseo Soriano in Wikipedia and made it entirely negative.

Obviously, they are being protected by Moriori of Wikipedia.

The real TruthCaster is Preacher Soriano. He has a program in this name in which for years he tried to propagate the words of God. Obligacion has nothing to do with truth but falsehood.

After stealing his name, Obligacion attempts to re-package the evangelist as an evil person, heavily associating the word, RAPE, to Soriano.

Now, who is more confused, a certain Conrad Obligacion who CANNOT even PROVED his identity over that of readme OR this ADD member who once had discovered "truthcaster's" real name?!

Let hisreaders discover that!

Conrad Obligacion said....

And now my resbak to this obvious disinformation campaign by the gay prostitute catholicdefender2000 let me enlighten my readers on who he really is. Mr catholicdefender2000 is not other that catholicivatan who went by the alisas losav. He used to own http://catholicivatan.blogspot.com which he uses to lambaste the INC. Once he was exposed as a gay prostitute, he decided to separate his real identity by creating two blogs, one in which he tries to potray himself as a upstanding gentle hearted catholic adherent http://kawkayan.blogspot.com and another, to spew invectives and lies against the INC as catholicdefender2000 http://catholicdefender2000.blogspot.com.

I am starting to believe that some dogs do bite their own tails. Mr. Obligacion is denying something only to CONFIRM something.

So he is trying to PAINT his image like someone who is GREATER than the subject of discussion here. He is trying to STEAL the attention to HIMSELF.

The subject we've been critical with is about FELIX MANALO's self proclamation and the IGLESIA NI CRISTO's claims as the "true" Church which Christ built from the First Century.

What we are defending here is against INC's venomous ATTACK on the Church, the Pope, the Saints, and all Catholic teachings. I think our readers have sensed that because not all readers are as "dim-witted" as the author of resbak.

The topic here IS NOT about RESBAK or CONRAD OBLIGACION. So please stop thinking that there is any existing "disinformation campaign" about HIM (???) No! Sorry but Catholic Defenders are NOT interested in him at all. He is being talked about kasi UMEEPAL siya.

Contrary to what he accuses me of, here's the truth and you can verify it:

NO ONE had accused me of STEALING his/her personal identity nor anyone COMPLAINED about my behavior in the Internet.

I WASN'T even BANNED from any forums elsewhere nor anyone ACCUSED me of misbehaving in forums. I don't have known enemies and security threats in any of my Social Network accounts UNTIL Mr. OBLIGACION came and MESSED it up ALL.

I never stalked, I never stolen names, I never pretended to be someone else except me.

I never been interested to personal attacks, not even any member of the Iglesia ni Cristo for that matter.

I never been into maliciously attacking anyone's sexual preferences, nor had I ridiculed anyone just because of his/her personality.

I never created any bogus websites or blogs that bears anyone's names except that I freely posted my REAL photo and name in my blogs.

On the contrary, my ACCUSER Mr. Conrad J. Obligacion DONE them ALL!

So who is interested in WHO?

Following me on Twitter and Facebook wouldn't be so normal for a "straight" man. So who is "gay"? His readers may have gotten some clues here. Thanks to his tactlessness.

Rather he SHOULD be explaining something to his READERS why he's compulsive in STALKING at me.

On the other hand, it's highly PROBABLE that his SEXUAL INSECURITIES being homophobic reveals his suppressed sexual gay fantasies or perhaps his sexual insecurities makes him uncomfortable with sexual issues on homosexuals is quite REVEALING. His sexual insecurities is telling us that his SEXUAL PREFERENCES is deeply hidden in his homophobic discomfort behavior and his RANTINGS surfaces it out. Quite interesting though.

Now, from the mouth of the horse came out the truth. He said that I "...used to own http://catholicivatan.blogspot.com...".  Not until when HE STOLE it from me!

No matter how many blogs I wanted to create, it's none of his business. But having one but full of bigotry and hatred and misinformation, posting anti-Catholic biased articles, using STOLEN blogs while COWARDLY HIDING his real identity is DISGUSTING, very UNBECOMING, extremely UNPROFESSIONAL, UNETHICAL, IMMORAL, DISRESPECTFUL unworthy of anyone's trust, belief, sympathy or respect on that matter.

And before he accuses me of  "...spew[ing] invectives and lies against the INC", he has to admit that he LIED again.

Which of my posts had I lied? I have PROVIDED all needed resources with links and books and even INC's own official magazine called PASUGO with date of publication and pages.

So where did I LIE Mr. Minister Obligacion?

According to him, "once a LIAR will always a LIAR."
Conrad Obligacaion said...

In any case, I’ve proven him to be a liar many times over and so I have the least interest at what he’s currently doing right now. All I know is that once a liar, always a liar and this has been proven again by the gay prostitute, catholicdefender2000.

INDEED! 

I feel redeemed again. 
That's proven of you; a HABITUAL LIAR, a DECEIVER and a CHEATER!

You are NOT who you you are.  You pretended to be YOU.  Thanks to their rival for the exposition of who CONRAD OBLIGACION was at Now Public.

And again he LIED in this forum and DENIED being a member of the cult Iglesia ni Cristo:

"I don’t have any affiliation from the INC Administration nor NET25. Never had and probably never will. If you have issues with them, then please take it up with them."
So that he REAPS what he sow.  In the same FORUM, here's what his ENEMIES say about this habitial liar and a deceiver Conrad Obligacion:

peter panlilio (not verified) said...
Hey truthcaster-wanna be!

You will always be a wanna-be, very gay! Gay! Gay! Gay! Imagine using a name and title that is not yours.

TJ-011 (not verified) said...
Shame on you Conrad "Truth Distorter" Obligacion

truthoriented said...
You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery.


So this Truthcaster just opened up a site?


Oh, of all name, why he picked up resbak as a domain, which in Tagalog means to avenge. This Conrad Obligacion's heart is filled with envy, revenge and vile.

marlyna (not verified) said...
people who are desperate for revenge can do just about anything in order to hurt their target.
i think this is your intention in writing this.


you see, your expose could have been credible if you have shown some real proofs and evidences. more so, will be credible if you tell the readers who you really are, but of course, you will not do that because you are not telling the truth, hiding by fake name!

Ryoma Echizen (not verified) said...
MISS OBLIGACION holds no credibility as a writer. He's not a man biblically speaking. Even his name reveals what kind of person he is.

Resbak is a well-known INC blogger among Catholic/Christian blogsite owners. Actually, we can easily know the INC members who comments on blogs and different internet articles. INC members have dirty mouth. They malign and attack people who are exposing Iglesia Ni Cristo. INC members attack, create blogs, steal usernames, malign people and fabricate lies to all non-INC members.


(Resbak is a tagalog street word for revenge - good job in picking an alias, it totally reflects the INC spirit of payback time)

Cenon Bibe said...

NAKAKITA po kasi TAYO ng ILANG NAGLALAKIHANG PROBLEMA sa BLOG ni TRUTHCASTER.


Una po, HINDI PO NAGPAKILALA si TRUTHCASTER.


SINABI lang po roon na ang AUTHOR niyon ay "filipino male blogging out of the SF bay area. i’m blogging about my current interest mainly religion, history, tech, news!


"Currently on assignment and based in Munich, Germany!"


WALA pong KONKRETONG PAGPAPAKILALA.


Ano po yon? IKINAHIHIYA ba ni TRUTHCASTER ang SARILI NIYANG BLOG?


Kung IKINAHIHIYA ni TRUTHCASTER ang KANYANG BLOG ay MAYROON naman pong MALINAW na DAHILAN: MARAMI po (o baka KARAMIHAN) ng NILALAMAN ng KANYANG BLOG ay PANINIRA LANG sa IGLESIA KATOLIKA o sa SIMBAHANG KATOLIKO.


...HINDI po MALAYANG MAKAPAG-RE-REACT o MAKASASAGOT ang mga GUSTONG MAG-KOMENTO.


MERON pong CENSORSHIP at PINIPILI LANG ang mga REAKSYON, KOMENTO at PUNA.


Sa PAGKAKAUNAWA KO po, ang NAGSI-CENSOR LANG ay yung MARAMI ang ITINATAGO.


May sinabi po si TRUTHCASTER sa ATIN na ang hindi lang daw niya pinalulusot ay ang mga "kabastusan."


...Dahil po sa mga iyan ay MASASABI NATIN na WALANG KREDEBILIDAD ang BLOG ni TRUTHCASTER at HINDI NARARAPAT na BIGYAN ng SERYOSONG PANSIN.


...So, SALAMAT na lang, TRUTHCASTER pero MARAMING SERYOSONG BLOG na PUWEDE NATING PAG-AKSAYAHAN ng PANAHON at HINDI KASAMA sa mga IYON ang BLOG MO.


SORRY na lang.


PERSONALLY, MARAHIL kung MAKAKAHANAP KA ng TAPANG na ILAGAY ang PANGALAN MO sa BLOG MO ay BAKA MABAGO PA ang ISIP KO.


Hammers of Heretics said...

A certain INC blogger who own the website resbak.com has a hobby of attacking the Catholic Church and its doctrines. He claims he has proof that the Catholic Church is not Apostolic.


...I was surprised that I found NO PROOF of his claims at all! What surprised me more is that instead of presenting facts, he just added more accusations to the Church. Is this how the INC proves something?


...To tell you, MR. INC the truth, YOU ARGUMENTS STINK. None of it even suggest a hint of a break from the apostolic succession of the Catholic Church.
Now, we have proven that, "once a liar, always a liar." And should I say a "PROSTITUTE" of the DECEIVER himself will always be a prostitute of the darkness.

The TIDE is turning toward CATHOLICISM

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  • Catholic Communications Such As Catholic Radio & Catholic Web Sites & Blogs Have Increased Profoundly
  • A Deep Interest In Mary Is Being Witnessed Across The World
  • Interest In The Eucharist & Eucharistic Adoration Is On The Rise
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Roman Catholic school could be handed over to a mosque after number of RC pupils falls to 'five or six'

Facing closure: The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic primary may be run by a mosque after the number of pupils following the Christian faith plummeted
Blackburn, Lancashire, Daily Mail - A Roman Catholic primary school could become the first in the country to be run by a mosque after a dramatic rise in the number of Muslim pupils, it emerged today
Church bosses want to close Sacred Heart RC Primary School, in Blackburn, Lancashire, because the number of Catholic students has plummeted from 91 per cent to just three per cent in a decade.
In what would be the first case of its kind in Britain, the primary would be handed over to another organisation to run - most likely the local Tauheedul mosque - and re-opened with a new name.

Around 95 per cent of the school's 200 pupils are of Asian origin. Many do not speak English as their first language and the majority follow the Islamic faith.

The Diocese of Salford has told Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council that it no longer believes it is “appropriate” for the church to be in charge.
According to a report presented to the council's executive, the school, which sits in a predominantly Asian populated area of the town, has been struggling to recruit a permanent headteacher because of rules imposed by the church that the head must follow the Catholic faith.
The board of governors also made a decision to resign en masse because they believed they were not an accurate reflection of the local community.
Geraldine Bradbury, director of education at the Diocese, said population shifts meant there were only “five or six” Catholic pupils left at the school.
'We have never experienced a change to this extent before,' she said. 'We want to make sure that the educational needs of the community are met.
'We would not be serving the local community by insisting that we run the school. It brings things like having a Catholic headteacher and devoting 10 per cent of the timetable to RE. It would be very wrong of us to insist on putting a school community through that.'

Read more: Daily Mail.co.uk

The People behind the Ground Zero Mosque

You might be wondering who are these people behind the "PUSH" in building the "Ground Zero Mosque". Here is a viable information from 60 Minutes.

Read American Catholic's article on the much heated debate. .

The Ground Zero Mosque and Religious Freedom, Part Three

In my previous posts on this topic (Part One and Part Two) and the comments contained therein, one of the things which I feel is missing in this discussion is a dialog about the humanity of Muslims. Are Muslims human? Do Muslims have a religious sense? Do Muslims desire for truth, beauty and goodness? In stead of writing about this, I am going to show you. Watch this entire 60 Minutes program and judge it. It is simply amazing. Let us dialog about it in the comments.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Egyptian Coptic Church Accused of Stockpiling Weapons

It must be noted that Egyptian Copts as all non-Muslims in the Islamic world ~ live under a second class status. Under laws based on the Shari'a they are limited in all areas of society. This is not an aberration ~ orchestrated by a few radicals ~ this is the norm.

By Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) -- A new wave of defamation by Islamists against Coptic Pope Shenouda III and the Coptic Church is seen by many observers as a serious provocation to sectarian violence against the Copts, and the possibility of Egypt being dragged into civil war.


Egyptian woman stands near the remains
of a burned motorcycle after attacks on
Christian homes in the village of Bahjora,
Qena province, about 40 miles
(64 kilometers) from the famous ancient
ruins of Luxor, Egypt, Saturday,
Jan. 9, 2010, (Photo source: IslamizationWatch
On September 15, Qatar-owned Al-Jezirah TV broadcast a program called Without Limits, presented by moderator Ahmad Mansour, who hosted the Islamist Dr. Selim el-Awah, former Secretary-General of the World Council of Muslim Scholars, which has stunned and enraged Copts inside and outside of Egypt. "El-Awah is simply threatening Copts that the forthcoming chaos after Mubarak dies will see mass violence against the Copts," says Magdy Khalil, Coptic activist and head of Middle East Freedom Forum.

The program alleged the Church has its own militia and hides weapons and ammunition in monasteries and churches, preparing for a war "against the Muslims." el-Awah said that "Israel is in the heart of the Coptic Cause," and the Church gets weapons from Israel. He cited as evidence an incident in mid-August, in which the son of a priest in Port Said, Mr. Joseph El-Gabalawy, was falsely accused of importing weapons from Israel. Although he was cleared of charges and released, as the imported goods were children's fireworks from China and did not belong to him, he is still detained by State Security.

The television program also charged the Church of concealing Muslim converts to Christianity, besides abducting and torturing Christian converts to Islam. Out of the thousands of Christian woman who converted to Islam, willingly or unwillingly, el-Awah mentioned only two wives of priests whom he claimed converted to Islam and consequently were imprisoned in monasteries, Wafa Constantine and Mary Abdallah. Speaking on the latest crisis over Camelia Shehata, about whom Muslims fabricated rumors of her conversion to Islam, he said that she never converted to Islam and was handed over by State Security to her two married sisters (AINA 11-1-2015).

The nearly two-hour program went on to accuse the Coptic Church of being a "State within the Egyptian State," allegedly taking advantage of the weakness of the present regime, behaving as if it is above the law. The Church was also accused of making an "inheritance" deal with the regime to support President Mubarak's son in succeeding his father as president in exchange for benefits.

Selim el-Awah said that ever since Pope Shenouda came out of detention, having been banished to a desert monastery by the late President Sadat in 1981 and released by President Mubarak in 1982, there has been "scientific preparation" to demand the division of Egypt into a Muslim State and a Coptic secular State"

He warned that if the status of the Church remains as such, the "country will burn" and called on Muslims to go out in demonstrations as the "only answer left to counteract the strength of the Church." He said "If they go out to the streets, who can control them?"

"For the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel," says Magdy Khalil, "someone has accused the Coptic Church of stockpiling weapons from Israel as a prelude to waging war on Muslims, claiming that Israel is at the heart of the Coptic issue."

In response to the seriousness of the accusations, the Church aired a program on its own TV channel, Agape, denying all allegations and accusing Al-Jezirah of being hostile towards Egypt. It discussed the whereabouts of the two priests' wives, who had marital problems but never converted to Islam. "Constantine chose to remain in a monastery and Abdallah lives in a house alone with her children paid by the church," said Father Abdelmassih Baseet.

In a Middle East Freedom Forum press release on September 20, Magdy Khalil said that what Dr. Selim el-Awah said "amounts to incitement to murder and ethnic cleansing of a minority, which are crimes in Egyptian and international law" and if Al-Awah's words of hate and incitement are overlooked by the Egyptian government, "this would mean that they are partners in these crimes." The Forum invited national lawyers, Muslims and Christians, to join its campaign for the prosecution of Dr. el-Awah for crimes of incitement.

Dr. Naguib Gobrail, legal counselor to the Coptic Church and president of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations, presented on September 20 a memorandum to the Prosecutor General against Dr. Selim el-Awah and Al-Jezirah's Egyptian moderator Ahmad Mansour, accusing both men of propagating lies which would affect social peace and harm national security. The memo went on to say that they accused the Church of storing weapons and Christians of "high treason," since these weapons would "normally be used against the State and their Muslim brethren," a claim, if true, would subject 15 million Christians to the charge of high treason, which carries the death penalty.

Coptic attorney Mamdouh Nakhla, head of AL-Kalema Centre for Human Rights, told Freecopts the TV program included reference to a terrorist plan for several massacres to be committed against the Copts. "el-Awah said that the simple Coptic citizen will be the real victim of those massacres, while the Coptic clergy will hide in the monasteries," said Nakhla. "Such remarks should not be ignored and el-Awah should be questioned about the facts and what information he knows about those plans." He added that he will present a complaint to the prosecutor general against el-Awah and Al-Jezirah Channel for spreading unfounded lies that could provoke incitement against the Church and the Copts.

The Egyptian media has accused el-Awah of claiming the Church is storing weapons without having any evidence. Al-Jezirah was accused by renowned writer Salah Issah, editor of Cairo Daily, of not adhering to the Press Charter, which prohibits covering anything that would cause sectarian strife, stressing the network has committed professional errors.

Observers see that el-Awah statements of September 15, coming only two days after the call of the banned Front of Al-Azhar Scholars, on September 13, to boycott Coptic businesses, professionals and schools, only confirms that there is secret coordination between the Islamist religious groups, "who have one thing in mind, which is to burn the homeland," say Muslim thinker Ayman Abdel Rassol. He added that weapons are stored in mosques, especially in upper Egypt. Abdel Rassol called for the prosecution of Dr. el-Awah for crimes of incitement.

A Muslim demonstration is called for Friday September 24, in Alexandria demanding the disposal of Pope Shenouda III.

Khalil recollects similar circumstances taking place at the end of the seventies when rumors circulated about a plan by Pope Shenouda to establish a Coptic state in the Upper Egyptian Province of Assiut, and about the storage of weapons in monasteries, "those rumors were justifications for a series of attacks against the Copts over decades," he said.

He believes that this dangerous talk by Dr. el-Awah is an introduction to the destruction of the Copts in the event of a the outbreak of chaos in Egypt after Mubarak's death. "It will not be like what happened in the seventies, but it could evolve to become like the Armenian genocide that occurred in Turkey in 1915," said Khalil.

God's Great Mercy

God sent his Son into the world to save us and to redeem us from sin. Knowing that we would sin, he gave us a sacrament to forgive sin.

-from The Power of the Sacrament

Archbishop Wuerl named US contact for Anglican groups seeking to become Catholic

Washington D.C.,(CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl will guide the incorporation of interested Anglican groups into the Catholic Church in the United States under the apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus,” a Vatican congregation has announced.


Archbishop Wuerl of Washington
kisses the ring of Pope Benedict XVI
as a sign of respect and obedience.
(Photo Source: Splendor of the Church)
 The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has named the archbishop as its delegate in this position, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reports. Archbishop Wuerl also heads the U.S. bishops’ ad hoc committee that is assisting the CDF in implementing the apostolic constitution, which Pope Benedict XVI issued in November 2009.

“Anglicanorum Coetibus” is intended to provide for the establishment of personal ordinariates for Anglican groups who seek to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church as a group.

An ordinariate is a special type of jurisdiction under church law. It is a canonical structure similar to a diocese that covers the area of a bishops’ conference. The Anglican ordinariate allows Anglicans to be part of the Catholic Church while maintaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgy.

Other members of the ad hoc committee are Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas and Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts.

The committee is assisted by Fr. Scott Hurd. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1993, joined the Catholic Church in 1996, and was ordained a Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Washington in 2000.

Fr. Hurd will assist Archbishop Wuerl and will be a liaison to the USCCB.

The two tasks of the ad hoc committee are to facilitate the implementation of “Anglicanorum Coetibus” in the U.S. and to assess the level of interest in an Anglican Ordinariate in the United States.

The USCCB says that interested Anglicans are asked to contact Archbishop Wuerl through the Archdiocese of Washington.

Prominent atheist says Catholicism is least tolerated religion in Europe

Madrid, Spain, (CNA).- Bernard-Henri Lévy, a well-known atheist associated with what is considered to be the European left, said in an interview that Catholicism is by far the most attacked religion in Europe. The prominent intellectual also noted it was unfortunate that so many injustices are committed against Benedict XVI.

“The Pope’s voice is extremely important,” Levy told Spanish newspaper ABC this week. “And we are very unjust to this Pope. I am not Catholic, but I think there is prejudice and especially major anti-clericalism that is taking on enormous proportions in Europe.”

“In France there is much talk about the desecrations of Jewish and Muslim cemeteries, but nobody knows that the tombs of Catholics are continually desecrated,” he added. “There is a sort of anti-clericalism in France that is not healthy at all. We have the right to criticize religions, but the most attacked religion today is the Catholic religion.”

Levy said he supports the construction of the mosque at Ground Zero and is opposed to the use of burkas, but he said Catholicism suffers more attacks than Islam. “Muslims are defended in the intellectual world, but Catholics much less,” he underscored.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

UK Papal Trip: A Very Touching Moments

Photo Source: whisperintheloggia.blogspot

Still UK Muslims Wanted to Kill the Pope

I really cannot understand why extremist and Muslim activists can freely chant "Death to the Pope" in UK while quickly condemn anyone who exercizes his/her freedom to say "Death to Muslims", not even the halted "Burn the Quran" spared the lives of innocent victims in Islamic states around the world.

Choudary should be lectured on the historical facts why such Crusades did occur in history. Let me say this. It was because Muslims drove Christians out from the Middle East and spared no one until the sack of Jerusalem. Muslims attacked Christian pilgrims that prompted Christians to protect the Holy Land from "moors".

Of course there were abuses that happened but the late Servant of God Pope John Paul II had apologized for all the mistakes we as a Church did in the past. (Read Crusades from Wikipedia).

Now, it's HIGH TIDE for Muslims to apologized too.
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Islam Meets Catholicism as Muslim Protesters Call for Death of Pope Benedict
by Lisa Graas from newsrealblog:


Though the Crusades were fought centuries ago and are rarely, if ever, mentioned in Catholic classrooms, Muslims today who want Jihad continue to flaunt them in vengeful tones and wallow in hatred for Catholicism. So it was when Pope Benedict XVI visited the United Kingdom and was met on his itinerary by a group of angry Islamists urging for his death and calling him “responsible” for the Crusades.

Muslim demonstrators shouted “Pope Benedict, you will pay, Islam is on its way”, “Sharia is on its way”, “Justice is on its way” (a lot is coming our way, it seems) and threatened that Sharia would be “declared” against all who insult Muhammad. They shouted to the Pope, “Watch your back,” swore that he will “burn in hell” and claimed that he “deserves the death penalty.”

Watch the video here.
Anjem Choudary, who helped lead the protests, is the chief spokesman for Al-Muhajiroun, a fundamentalist Muslim organization based in England that was ostensibly “disbanded.” Choudary and fellow protester Abu Rayah, both participated in the burning of the American flag on the steps of the U.S. Embassy in London on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

"After a short speech by an MAC spokesman, Abu Rayah, explaining that while they were “not against one hillbilly trying to burn the Koran, we are against the constitution that attacks Muslims every day”, the US flag was set alight. Some 50 protesters chanted: “Democracy, you will burn.”

"At the far end of the square, a very different spectacle was taking place. Under a wooden pavilion bearing the inscription “Peace is the price we pay for love”, in the British Memorial Garden grown after 9/11, a steady stream of people came to lay flowers and wreaths. Some were from the families of the 67 British people killed nine years ago. Others, such as John Watts, came to pay respects. Now 60, he lost his wife shortly after the towers fell: 11 September 2001 was his last wedding anniversary. His memories of it, like those of so many with no direct connection to the attack, are overwhelmed by what happened that day."
Ambassadors of genuine peace in the world, no matter their creed or station in life, are not recognized as such by those who hold to the core teachings of Islam, a so-called “religion of peace“, where “peace” is defined as living in “submission“.

The “meeting” of Pope Benedict XVI and Anjem Choudary on the streets of London, though the Pope was apparently oblivious to it, is most noteworthy because in it we see the personification of the two largest religions that are contradictory at their core. On the one hand, we have the Pope who stands as “Vicarius Christi“, the “Vicar of Christ” or “servant overseer” of Christianity to 1.147 billion Catholics in the world. To them, the Pope is the representative of the core teachings of the Christian Faith which are, if nothing else, peaceful in nature. On the other hand, Anjem Choudary is rightly characterized as one who both knows and professes the core teachings of Islam, a religion that recently surpassed Catholicism in membership and claims about 1.27 billion members worldwide.

Though all Muslims do not hold to Choudary’s views, only the blind or ignorant could sincerely claim that he misunderstands what Islam teaches. At the same time, though all Catholics do not hold strictly to the catechism, it is clear to all but the blind or ignorant that it, at minimum, professes a peaceful message and one that the Pope consistently promulgates as the Bishop of Rome.

Since devout Muslims refuse to forget the Crusades and are shouting death threats to the Pope, perhaps it is time to bring this chapter of Catholic/Muslim history back into the Catholic classroom. Catholic students may do well to understand what the Crusades were really about from Catholic history, not the revised version currently popular thanks to leftist apologists for Islam. We have not forgotten, as a Church, that the Crusades were defensive wars in response to Muslim atrocities which occurred after Islamists conquered what had been Christian lands. If Muslims refuse to forget the Crusades and want to continue stabbing forks into that wound, neither should we forget what they were really about.

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