Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts tagged Pope Benedict

Setting the Record Straight II-
CNN Criticizes ‘Lavish’ Archbishop Residences

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CNN Versus the Catholic Church

-dedicated to Saint John Paul II, whose first feast day as a Catholic Saint is celebrated today!

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Sociology 101

Slide1

Status Symbols

Like it or not, status and the symbols associated with status play crucial roles in society.

  • Wealth in the form of cars, houses and fine clothing  elicits respect in a commercial society.
  • Battle scars, medals and rank elicit respect in a military society.
  • Publications in erudite journals reflect status in an academic society.

Status and symbols of status stand for our achievements and testify to the credentials we have acquired.  They are often earned and are often very meaningful.

Symbols of Respect

Symbols of status are not only earned, but are also given as signs of respect to those whom we revere and to whom we are grateful.

  • A gold watch might be given to a faithful employee upon retirement.
  • A bouquet of roses is be given to a sweetheart or to a mother.

    19Pope06-533

    Pope Benedict celebrated Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City

  • Magnificent buildings are constructed for societal institutions–
    the World Trade Center was a symbol of America’s flourishing economy,
    the monuments of Washington, D.C. reflect our respect for government,
    European Cathedrals testify to Christian Europe’s devotion to God and to Faith,
    and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City reflects the reverence New York Catholics had for their Faith in 1858 when it was built.

So in effect, lavish symbols do not reflect decadence in the person holding the symbol, but often reflect the respect that society has awarded to the authority represented, or to the person representing that authority.

CNN Attacks Catholic Symbols of Respect

Archbishop's Residence adjacent to St. Patrick's Cathedral Think Pope Benedict stayed here?

Archbishop’s Residence adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Could Pope Benedict have stayed here?

This brings us to a recent CNN article which upbraided several Catholic Archbishops for the lavishness of their residences, implying that the Archbishops were decadent individuals because of where they lived.

First on the list to be criticized by CNN was the residence of the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Dolan, the previous President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)– the top authority of the Catholic Church in the United States.  This is the man who represented the Catholic Church in America as he challenged President Obama over the Contraceptive and Abortion Mandate that was added to ObamaCare in 2012.

Apparently CNN would like to see this Archbishop/Cardinal/President of the USCCB demoted to less impressive living quarters. CNN complains that Cardinal Dolan shares the rectory pictured above with 3 other priests.  This is the rectory that housed Archbishop Fulton Sheen in the 1950’s, New York’s Archishop who’s sermons routinely drew 6,000 people to St. Patrick’s and whose television appearances competed with Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra.  On Good Friday, his sermons were broadcast outdoors to the thousands standing outside St. Patrick’s.  Cardinal Dolan today has comparable national and international visibility, meets routinely with political figures and celebrities, and has to plan the visits of religious leaders, including Pope Francis.

CNN would like Cardinal Dolan to run these operations from residence humbler than the rectory pictured above.

Cardinal Dolan’s Living Quarters

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CNN would like Cardinal Dolan demoted to less impressive living quarters

If we listened to CNN and tried to demote Cardinal Dolan from his residence adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, what should be done with that residence, which was built by Catholics for the Archbishop in 1858, and is now a national historic landmark?

Shall we demolish it and put up a tent?
That won’t work, the value of Manhattan real estate is so high that the value of the lone tent could be criticized as lavish!

Shall we make the Cardinal live in the suburbs in Queens, schlepping through the subways to get to his Cathedral each morning?
CNN might like that; less time for the Archbishop to celebrate Mass, teach morality and train/ordain priests!

If we did banish the Cardinal’s living quarters to humbler suburbs, what is to be done with the land that had housed his demolished rectory residence?
Open a soup kitchen? That won’t work- not many homeless on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, across the street from Rockefeller Center.

Perhaps we should adopt the ex-mayor of Madison, Wisconsin’s suggestion, who proposed replacing Madison’s Catholic Cathedral with a shopping mall and parking ramp when it was destroyed by arson.
A Saks Fifth Avenue branch might be the New York City equivalent?
CNN might like that!

Why is CNN Attacking the Catholic Church, Anyway?

Slide1Why is CNN attacking the Church?

Because Ted Turner is the founder and owner of CNN.
Ted Turner hates the Catholic Church, openly opposes the Ten Commandments (he makes particular mention of the commanment relating to adultery), makes a habit of mocking religious people, and has openly mocked Pope John Paul II, who is now a saint. Today, October 22, 2014,  the Catholic Church celebrates the first feast day of Saint John Paul II.

The following passage is from CNN’s tribute to Turner which was published on the occasion of his 75th birthday:

“He revised the Ten Commandments, which he considered outdated, coming up instead with his Eleven Voluntary Initiatives, which he printed on cards small enough to carry in a wallet. He tossed out the commandments that struck him as outdated — a host of the “thou shalt nots,” particularly the one banning adultery. “People have had a lot of fun breaking that one. I know I did.”

(Ted Turner is)… a man who has been married and divorced three times and keeps four girlfriends in a “loose” weekly rotation,  believes people are meant to find a lifetime soul mate. He thinks he still has time to find his.”

Aside from being passionately anti-Catholic, Ted Turner is also one of the world’s richest men, and one of the most overtly anti-Catholic promoters of eugenic population control.

So it comes as little surprise that Ted Turner likes to attack the Catholic Church.

So Where Does Ted Turner Live?

One might think, based on CNN’s criticism ofArchbishops’ residences, and based on Ted Turner’s self-description as “environmentalist and pioneer in sustainability,” that Ted Turner might occupy modest living quarters.
But no, he does not.Slide1

The man who attacks the residences of Catholic Archbishops as being “lavish” has more than 20 “major” residences himself. His residences are routinely featured in architectural magazines.

Ted Turner is the second largest individual landholder in North America, and brags on his website that he owns over 2 million acres of personal and ranch land.
Ted Turner is a billionaire worth more than 2 billion dollars.

Ted Turner is about as lavish as a human being can get.  Mr. Lavish personified, in fact.

Why Would Mr. Lavish Criticize Archbishops’ Residences Which Are So Much Humbler Than His Own?Slide1

So when it comes to CNN criticism of Archbishops and their residences, it becomes pretty clear that CNN is just making feeble attempts to demote the Catholic Church and to reduce the moral sway the Church holds in the world.

Despite the efforts of CNN and the liberal media, the Catholic Church and the Ten Commandments continue to command respect and are widely acknowledged for the moral authority they rightfully represent.

No matter how many plush residences Ted Turner  builds for himself, no matter how many millions of acres and billions of dollars he owns, and no matter how many times he suggest that Catholic Archbishops should move into hovels or tents, Ted Turner will never command the respect, nor be acknowledged as the moral authority that he so clearly envies in the Archbishops of the Catholic Church.

Ted Turner’s Revision of the Ten Commandments

Slide1Richard Branson, business magnate and friend of Ted Turner, describes Ted Turner’s philosophy like this:

“I wrote recently about staying with Ted Turner for a few days at his stunning estate in Florida. Was struck by his incredible wit and passion for life, and we got talking about his philosophy for living life to the full.

“The rules/commandments we live by were written some two thousand years ago. Rules shouldn’t be written in stone. They should be updated with time. Here are Ted Turners 11 voluntary initiatives:”

Ted Turner’s Voluntary Initiatives (Syte’s) Translation of Initiative
1. I promise to care for planet earth and all living things thereon, especially my fellow human beings. 1. My definition of “caring” will include eliminating all unwanted human beings by abortion or by euthanasia.
2. I promise to treat all persons everywhere with dignity, respect and friendliness. 2. I am SO naive that I even plan to treat ISIS with friendliness.  I am sure that my friendliness will dissuade them from  beheading my fellow Americans and journalists.
3. I promise to have no more than one or two children. 3. I will kill all the rest of my children, eitner as embryos with contraception, or as fetuses with abortion.  But actually, no! Too late for me.  I already have five children.  These rules are actually only for other people, not for me.
4. I promise to use my best efforts to help save what is left of our natural world in its undisturbed state and to restore degraded areas. 4. As the second largest landowner in the nation, I will keep most of those undisturbed areas for myself.
5. I promise to use as little of our non-renewable resources as possible. 5. Please don’t ask me how operating more than 20 principal residences for one person fits into using as few resources as possible.
6. I promise to minimize my use of toxic chemicals, pesticides and other poisons and to encourage others to do the same. 6. Fortunately, surrounded by millions of acres, nobody will see what I am doing to get rid of the scorpions and other pests on my numerous ranches which are featured in Architectural Digest.
7. I promise to contribute to those less fortunate, to help them become self-sufficient and enjoy the benefits of a decent life including clean air, and water, adequate food, health care, housing, education and individual rights. 7. My biggest charity is the United Nations Foundation, to which I gave $1Billion.  As Chairman of the Board of this Foundation, I am donating to something I head and control myself.  In essence, I am my own favorite charity. My UN foundation furthers “empowering women and girls,” a buzz phrase for global abortion. I don’t give a hoot about the rights of unborn human beings.
8. I reject the use of force, in particular military force, and I support United Nations arbitration of international disputes. 8. I will repel ISIS with my niceness and my friendliness in place of force.  And the whole world will have to listen to the United Nations Foundation, in which I am conveniently at the helm.  In essence, international disputes should be solved by rich and powerful people like me.
9. I support doing everything we can to reduce the dangers from nuclear biological or chemical weapons and ultimately the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction. 9. By disarming America I will let the bad guys of the world be the only ones with weapons of mass destruction. Isn’t that a brilliant idea?  Then I will ask ISIS nicely not to use their weapons of mass destruction on me.  Islamic ISIS is really likely to approve of me and my promiscuous lifestyle.
10. I support the United Nations and its efforts to improve the conditions of the planet. 10. As chairman of the board of the United Nations Foundation, I will get to define what is an improvement for the planet and what is not. I’m not power-hungry; I just want to rule the planet!
11. I support clean renewable energy, and a rapid move to eliminate carbon emissions. 11. Since carbon emissions are directly proportional to degree of civilization, this means I advocate reducing prosperity and power in today’s leading nations.  And who should have power instead? Why me, of course, through the United Nations.

Ted Turner Talks Summarizing Why CNN Criticizes the Residences of Catholic Archbishops

  • Ted Turmer, founder and owner of CNN, hates the 10 Commandments and hates the Catholic Church.
  • Ted Turner has even suggested replacing the 10 Commandments with 11 Initiatives of his own.
  • Ted Turner clearly resents the teachings and the moral authority of the Catholic Church and of her Archbishops, and would like to replace religious authorities with the United Nations, where he himself has status.
  • This is why Ted Turner routinely attacks the symbols of respect which the world awards to the Catholic Church.
  • Ted would like to be less biased in his bellicose attacks toward religion, but Catholicism is his favorite target due to the size of it’s membership, high degree of organization ( hence attacking Archbishops) and global influence.ROSARY IS 'FAVORITE PRAYER' OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

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Saint John Paul II, Pray for us!

 

The Rosary, Saint John Paul’s favorite prayer:

Free downloadable mobile PDF – How to Pray the Rosary.

 

 

 

Questions from Michael- What’s So Great About Catholicism?- Why Does God Permit Misery and Evil?

Using the contact me link at the top of my webpage, Mike sent me the following question:

Hello, miss.  I’d like to ask you some questions, if I may.  Why do you assume a person has a political agenda when he or she comments on the church?  Are religion and politics intertwined?  Did God say they are?  
It’s my personal belief that politics are disgusting, for the most part, and relating the church to politics soils the church in every way.  Politicians are paid to lie, but of course the church doesn’t lie, does it?
Reading your opinion on matters, I took from you that anyone who even questions the Catholic religion is a hate speaker.  Am I wrong?  Right?
And the truth that you so passionately speak of, which I do appreciate, for not many people believe in anything anymore- how do you claim that your beliefs are the truest?  You have no proof, you have nothing that says truth besides what a group of men said was true thousands of years ago.  

Slide1Finally, one last thing, a thing that no theologian or Christian believer has EVER been able to answer- why does God let children be raped and/or killed?  Why does God let wars happen so frequently and so willingly?  Why does God let supposed “Christians” murder homosexuals and set aflame the very cross they pretend to worship?  Why does God let groups of happy teenagers die in car accidents and leave their parents and families to grieve for the rest of their natural lives?  Why does God let hearts die of grief?  Will hearts be healed only if they give themselves to Him?  If not, are ordinary, decent people left to rot in sadness if they don’t believe? Why does God let darkness overcome the lives of happy people?  Why does God leave people abandoned and ill?  Why does God let people abuse animals?  Why does God let children be hit, abused and used, treated like garbage, burned, whipped, starved, etc..
Why does God just let things go as if there’s nothing wrong with you, me and the entire world?
Why does everyone just say free will and God will judge?  It seems like you do a whole lot of judging on your own. God is supposed to be GOOD.  I don’t know a damn person worth knowing who wouldn’t take their own lives before allowing any of those sad things to happen.

I know I didn’t make my questions easy to answer, being that they are mostly in paragraph form, but if you’re a true Christian, I’d imagine you’d take the time to answer it all, honestly, as a human being.

Syte Answers

Dear Mike,

You have asked so many questions, the reply could fill books!

Some Humor

Before I start with the serious reply, I have to inject some humor provided by my husband over coffee this morning.  As I told him of your questions, Rolf suggested I answer your last question first, regarding why God permits evil.  Explaining that, he said, would clarify some of your subsequent questions on the existence of politics and politicians!

The Questions

Jesus, Apostes, Scripture, Handing the Keys to Peter

Jesus, Apostes, Scripture, Handing the Keys to Peter

But back to your questions, in the order in which you asked them.  Thank you for your interest, and I will make a stab at answering you.
Let me also say that I am not the expert, just one Catholic who loves Christ and loves my Church.
If you want better expert answers, you should talk to a good Catholic priest and look at some good Catholic books/media.
Contact me again via my contact form if you want suggestions, and mention the city you live in if you want suggestions for resources.

Politics and Religion

Mike, you claim that I assume that a person commenting on the church has a political agenda.   I often do assume that, because I live in Madison, WI, where politics and religion are very intertwined, and where very liberal (“progressive”) politicians and media do routinely misrepresent and attack the Catholic Church unfairly.  Defending my Church against the media in Madison and against hateful people, including the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, who attack my Church both publicly and in discussion forums with name calling and lies, was the initial reason why I started my blog. One of the first categories created in my blog was “Don’t Diss My Church.”
I don’t know where you are from, but perhaps you have noticed that prejudice against the Catholic Church is the last acceptable prejudice, and seems to be fair game for ridicule and misrepresentation, especially by media and on university campuses nationwide?

Church_StatePolitics and religion ARE actually very intertwined, whether we like it or not.
Politicians make laws – are we allowed to kill, are we allowed to steal, are we allowed to perform abortions, how much of our paycheck are politicians entitled to take in taxes?
Religion addresses what is right and wrong- from the perspective of what God has informed us, like the Ten Commandments, and also from the perspective of Reason, which is why we have an institution of experts in philosophy and ethics, called the Church, to help us determine what is right and what is wrong in every age.
So our beliefs on what is right and wrong, in a democracy, determine what laws we pass, and religion and politics become inextricably intertwined, whether we like it or not.

Religion is Power

Politics also becomes intertwined with religion because politicians recognize that Religion is Power, and they do their best to stamp it out. History books are filled with the persecutions of religious people, and numerous despots have tried to eradicate religion, because religious people try to tell the politicians what is right and what is wrong, and to limit what politicians can do.  Religion also gives people the courage to do what you suggested– to risk their lives to correct injustices, knowing that the power of God is behind them and that one righteous man can change history.
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Even Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous atheist, just acknowledged that Pope Francis is dangerous because “We don’t want nice men in the Vatican.”  Nice men like Pope John Paul II and President Reagan can topple political empires.  John Paul II and President Reagan did  just that with the Soviet Union, dissolving the empire without war. ( Time Magazine’s Holy Alliance.)
David, from the Biblical account of David and Goliath, was also a “nice man” who brought down the Philistine army.  An illustration for all of us of what a principled conscience combined with courage can accomplish.

Religion in the World Today

The Pope often holds more sway in global politics than Presidents and Dictators do, as evidenced by Pope Francis’ taking on of President Obama during the  recent Syria crisis.  The Pope has no army, no nukes, 135 Swiss Guards, and who just won against the Obama Administration?  Pope Francis.  One minute we were about to bomb Syria, the next minute Secretary of State Kerry makes a gaffe, Putin positions himself as a savior, and the Syrian crisis is over!  (One very cool thing about God is his wickedly keen sense of humor.)

Swiss Guards

Vatican Swiss Guards

What does the Pope have that President Obama does not have? Moral authority, the ability to request prayer from 1 billion people, and the ear of God.
Wait, don’t we all have the ear of God?  Doesn’t President Obama have the ear of God?
Not according to Richard Dawkins, the world’s most famous atheist, who claims that President Obama is an atheist.
And even if Richard Dawkins were to be wrong, if President Obama is not praying for something that is good, he will get no Divine assistance.

The threat that religions hold for politics is still evident in the United States today, as we citizens try to tell our politicians in Washington to be honest and responsible, and as Washington tries to muzzle the voice of the Catholic Church (the most centralized and organized of the Christian opposition) to restrict the religious freedoms of Christians.  Christians who oppose paying for the agonizing dismemberment of  a million infants in the womb each year.  Dismemberment in the womb is no different from the grisly drawing and quartering of tyrants in England, legal until 1867.  The fact that the infants cannot scream in the womb does not diminish the pain or grisliness of abortion.

Those Christians who have moral objections to abortion have now lost their religious freedom in the U.S., since the government has unilaterally decreed (without input from citizens) that abortion will be included in ObamaCare, which is universally required.  The original ObamaCare bill, when first passed, did NOT include abortion.  Abortion, in the form of the HHS (contraception and abortifacient) Mandate, was added later, unilaterally, by left wing politicians, against he wishes of 72% of the American population, who oppose the funding of abortions through any federally run health plan.

Your Judgements

85422-quot_what_truth_truth_unchanging_law_truths_mine_yours_quot_pontius_pilate_jesus_john_18_381-300x229

What is Truth?

You stated some extreme judgements, which it’s tempting to agree with when I’m feeling emotional, but I must point out that they are exaggerated.
Not all politicians lie.
Not all members of the Church tell the truth.
All human groups include a variety of members, good, bad and in-between.
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I do NOT claim that anyone who questions the Catholic religion is a hate speaker.  If questions are polite, as yours are, I welcome them. If “questions” involves ridicule and calling the Church primitive and medieval, as they often do in Madison, WI, I do claim that reflects a certain degree of hatred.  Does anybody in 2013, particularly “tolerant” liberals in “tolerant” Madison, call women, blacks, native Americans, the Dalai Lama, gays, or anybody else “primitive and medieval?”
That same modern tolerance (in the absence of a double standard) should be extended to the Church founded by Jesus Christ, which represents the largest religion on earth, upon whose principles the legal systems of Western civilization have been based, and which has provided a successful voluntary framework for global charity, healthcare and education for two thousand years, way before feeble secular attempts at charity systems such as ObamaCare were proposed.
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Aside:  If President Obama were not so busy trying to stamp out religion, the very charity that he is trying to provide through ObamaCare would continue to be provided by the churches of America.  Now, the ability of churches to do charity work is being shackled by government regulation, and Christian hospitals, adoption agencies and universities are being crippled by government regulations which violate the religious freedoms of Christians in the United States.

Which Religion is the Truest?

Regarding my assumption that my beliefs are the truest, as a product of the American university system, I have spent many years questioning Catholic Church teachings myself, and after much research and homework, I have been persuaded that the Catholic Church has very convincing arguments for her teachings, more convincing than any other set of beliefs I have encountered.  You might look at a short You Tube video where a young man in search for truth came to the same conclusion as I have- so convinced that he’s studying to become a Catholic priest, in order to spread the Good News.  The You Tube’s only 5 minutes long and is pretty interesting and convincing:

Church Teaching and Truth

Your statement questioning truth based on “what a group of men said was true thousands of years ago” is oversimplified.
In politics, the equivalent would be to discard the Constitution of the U.S. Because it was  “what a group of men said was true two hundred years ago.”
For millennia people, including Pontius Pilate, have been asking the question “What is Truth?” 
It is admirable that you are also asking that question today.

Slide1The truth of what the Catholic Church teaches today is based on many things, including first of all the Divinity of Jesus Christ, which would distinguish Him from “a group of men.”  The Divinity of Jesus Christ can be confirmed by each and every one of us by beginning a relationship of prayer with Him.  Everyone who has asked God for faith and who pours out their heart to God (as you did to me, on the devastating injustices in this world), gets help and gets a reply.  Not a booming voice from heaven which caters to our every demand.  But a loving fatherly response that is less noticeable than a breeze and that sends peace (and solutions) to our hearts.
Faith is based on interaction and a positive response.  The testimony of billions of people is not wrong. 82% of Americans pray and say that God answers their prayers, and 47% of Americans pray daily.

If you take the time and trouble to research and learn about the Church, you will realize that the teachings of the Catholic Church are also based on a tremendous amount of reason, logic, history, and success stories, not to mention scientifically inexplicable miracles that have been documented by scientists who are not Catholics at all. God is the inventor of reason, logic, and truth, so it is not surprising that His teaching is reasonable, logical and true.

Using the Same Standards – It’s Only Fair

You do not presume to dismiss all of science or all of history as “what a group of men said was true,” and so you should not dismiss all of religion, either.
If you accept the testimony of men in history books and in science labs, you must accept the testimony of men in religion. Despite the fact that some historians spin the truth, and some scientists forge their results, we can still come up with a consensus based on numbers of reports and numbers of witnesses.
If you accept the existence of George Washington, Alexander the Great, or the Pharoahs of Egypt, you should accept the existence of Jesus Christ, and the 2,000 year treasury of testimony on the work of His Church.
The historical record of Christ and His Divinity is every bit as real and well-documented as the historical record of any other individual.

Slide1

CAESAR AUGUSTUS

 JESUS CHRIST

 FOUNDER OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

 FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY

 FIRST EMPEROR

 SON OF GOD

 44 BC – 14 AD  4 BC – 29 AD
 SOURCES: Caesar Augustus Autobiography,Nicolaus of Damascus SOURCES: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,
Paul (-the Bible), Tacitus, Seutonius,
Pliny the Younger, Josephus
STATUS: Universally Accepted Historical Figure  STATUS: Existence Frequently Questioned

 

Since media in 2013 is not inclined to respect religion with all its prohibitions on selfishness and the seeking of pleasure first, you have to do the work of investigating religion yourself.
It’s not as hard to do as you imagine, because the head guy, God, has infinite time and will lead you when asked.  That’s the definition of prayer:  “God, give me Faith, and lead me to your Truth.”
You can also talk to people of faith, you can talk to experts (priests), and you can read books.

It is true that some people make mistakes in defining God and defining what is right and what is wrong, and there will be some inconsistencies in what different religions teach.  But that is true of science and of history, too, and you have to dig for the details if you are interested.  Many Christian religions have some degree or some piece of the Truth, and as Christ said, you will know them by their fruits.

Descent of the Holy Spirit- Nérac, France

Descent of the Holy Spirit
St. Nicolas Church, Nérac, France

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What Fruits Do We Look For?

We look for charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. These are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and you will find these where you find Christ.

The Evidence

For me, the fact that one man, Jesus Christ, was able to establish a religion based on love two thousand years ago, which thrives today, which is the largest religion on earth (Christianity), which caters equally to all of mankind with missionary work both materially and spiritually, regardless of politics, and which has saintly leaders like our recent 3 Popes, one of whom brought down the Soviet Union, is pretty impressive.  It impresses me more than any other human institution- the U.S. Government, the Smithsonian Institution, NASA, Universities, or MicroSoft.

The philosophy brought by Christ, of devoting one’s life to redeem those in pain with one’s own service, suffering and mercy, to the point of death on a cross, is more than a human philosophy.  It’s a superhuman Divine example of love.  I find this love so compelling that I feel compelled, in my own imperfect way, to join in the effort.

And in terms of choosing which Christian religion to follow, I look at the fruits.  The largest, most centralized, poised to respond globally to human events and tragedies, and responsible for the largest portion of charity work on earth, is the Catholic Church.  It’s open to all, free of charge, available in every nation on earth, and now headed by Pope Francis, who is reaching out lovingly to atheists and calling himself a sinner. I know of no other religion as all-encompassing and as loving as the Catholic Church.

Other Christian Faiths

With all due respect and love for other Christian religions, I believe they hold a great portion of the Truth, but sometimes neglect to cover some basic human spiritual needs, which the Catholic Church is able to cover.Christian faiths

Protestantism focuses very heavily on the Bible, which, although wonderful for us educated Europeans/Americans, actually neglects the masses of humanity who are illiterate and who need the liturgy/art/statuary that the Catholic Church has provided for milennia to learn about Jesus Christ.
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Protestant critics of the Catholic Church sometimes forget the fact that before the Protestant Reformation, which was, incidentally, at the same time as the invention of the printing press, ownership of individual Bibles was not humanly possible for every household. Bibles were transcribed by hand with quill pens, paper was not available, and parchment was made of animal skin.
One Bible would require the skins of flocks of animals.   One single copy of the Bible took the work of an entire monastery scriptorium  for a year.  By modern standards, using the average American wage, that would correspond to  $1.5 million in salaries alone.  One Bible would cost, by modern standards, 2 to 3 million dollars.  It was only the dedication of celibate monks devoted to lives of poverty that made any copies of the Bible available at all.

Slide1

Scripture Only?

Between historical illiteracy of populations throughout history and the lack of availability of Bibles, the Catholic Church had to summarize, simplify and deliver Christ’s teachings to people, much as teachers simplify and deliver knowledge to students today.
Today, about 1 billion people on earth continue to be illiterate.  The Catholic Church continues to cater to this poorest 20% of the earth’s population.

Many Christian religions also allow divorce, which deprives children of one parent, and destroys their hope and optimism for their own future marriages and families. The family is the primary source of the sacrificial love and nurturing which is essential for the formation of a happy and productive human being.  Both parents play a crucial role in the raising of children.  Divorcebrokenfamily deprives children in a very fundamental way. The Catholic Church focuses on repairing marriages instead of dissolving marriages at the first sign of trouble.  This farsighted wisdom benefits not only the children, but also benefits women who are not left to struggle as single mothers, and men, who are not left struggling to support two households financially for the rest of their lives.  Saving marriages is  a win-win-win strategy, and divorce is a lose-lose-lose strategy.

Many Christian faiths allow contraception.  Predicted by Pope Paul VI in 1968 in the encyclical Humanae Vitae (On Human Life), the damaging effects of 50 years of contraception on our society are now being realized, as we lack young people to support our society, to look after the elderly, and to pay the taxes.   Those are just the material effects of 50 years of contraception.  The spiritual effects of eradicating untold millions of tiny human beings and of encouraging men and women to view each other as objects to be used, and the resulting babies as objects to be aborted, are equally alarming.  The Catholic Church realized and taught these things, and all this misery could have been averted from the start.

130602-holyhour-hmed-3p.photoblog600

The Eucharist

Finally, and most important of all, many Christian faiths do not provide the physical Presence of Christ for their members.
For anybody who loves Christ and the philosophy He taught, His physical Presence (John 6:50-70), instituted by Him at the Last Supper (Matthew 26:26) and available to all Catholics in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, is as essential to relationship with God as the presence of a human being is essential to relationship with a human being.

Why Does God Permit Evil?

Your last question is the biggest one- which as you say, no theologian has been able to answer:  Why does God permit evil?
BTW, the list of evils you mention shows that you have a compassionate and loving heart.
You are already ahead of many people when it comes to getting closer to God.
According to Pope Francis, “Atheists who do good are saved.

The reason everybody says “free will” when you ask why evil is permitted, is that we can see that free will exists in the world.  It’s part of the way that God created the world. We can watch everyone around us exercise their free will, no matter what we tell them, no matter what authority  tries to order them.  And the vast majority of evils that you could cite are the result of some person’s poor exercise of their free will.

Let’s ask the question another way: what if we had no free will?
If we had no free will, the world would function like a computer or like an Energizer bunny, wound up and performing only the tasks that its creator specified.
There is a world of difference between an Energizer bunny and a real bunny (created by God).
There is a beauty and a warmth and a capacity for love in the way the world was created to include free will, that would be cold and absent if God had created us to be automatons incapable of free will.  Without free will, there can be no love.  Love is a choice, and love is the most beautiful thing in the world.
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I can’t do much better than that, when it comes to explaining evil.
You could try reading Why Does God Permit Evil? for a better explanation of the question of evil.

10-25-st-benedict-crucifix-silver-finish-josephs-studio-roman-4073-7-800x800

St. Benedict Crucifix

“A Damn Person Worth Knowing”

You say “I don’t know a damn person worth knowing who wouldn’t take their own lives before allowing any of those sad things to happen.”
Well, what do you think Jesus Christ did?
True, He did not come to eradicate free will, turn us into Energizer bunnies, and eliminate the possibility of love.
But He did something better- in love, He came here to give us His Divine example of sacrificial love, to give us His eternal Presence in the Eucharist, and to give us the other Sacraments (very roughly translated as magical spiritual energy pills) to help us make our way through this difficult maze of good and evil on earth.

Jesus Christ, although definitely not a “damn person,” is very well worth knowing.
Personally!

A Game Changer

One thing that non-believers forget, is that the concept of eternal life alters everything completely.
The length of our lives here on earth are negligible when compared with eternity.
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Religion, and God, the author if religion, promise us the paradise that you are asking for here on earth— but that paradise is delayed, and will be enjoyed for eternity.
Incidentally, there are plenty of rewards enjoyed here in earthly life by the faithful, as well. Not all rewards are delayed. Living a virtuous life has it’s earthly rewards as well, among them love, family and stability.
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Most people, religious or not, understand the concept of “no pain, no gain.”
If athletic or intellectual training (which includes sacrifice and pain) is worth the future rewards, then so is earthly life worth enduring, considering the future rewards in both the present and the after-life.

That’s part of the reason why despots are so terrified of religion and why religion has so much power.  Religion is the ultimate game-changer.
Religion holds out a promise that enables ordinary people to make heroic sacrifices for good, which any atheist in his/her right mind would never make.
Religion gives hope and courage in the face of adversity.
And aside from the philosophical attitude adjustment advantages that religion provides, it actually provides ordinary people with an ally that dwarfs the most powerful people on earth.  It puts God in everybody’s corner.

Adam, Eve and the Serpent Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Adam, Eve and the Serpent
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

The Choice

Finally,before we attack God for permitting evil to exist here on earth, let’s remember that evil was not part of the initial plan.
Every single one of us has used our free will to make some selfish choices in our lifetimes which hurt others.  How can we expect God to exercise mercy towards us, while eradicating sinners who have committed sins that might be larger than ours?  Where should God draw the line?   If He drew a line, which side of the line would we be on?  So before condemning God for exercising mercy for bigger sinners, we should tread carefully, be thankful for the mercy that was shown to us, and be willing to forgive the trespasses of others as we want our trespasses forgiven.

The Lesser Evil

You may also notice that it is often in times of devastating injustice that people turn to God for No-Atheists-in-Foxholes-9780849919985help, and receive it. Much like a parent who lets the middle-schooler exercise free will and sustain a few injuries mis-using their bicycle, God permits bad choices to be made, allows evil to occur, and then turns that evil to a good purpose.  When evil causes people to turn to God for help, people set themselves on a path toward eternal happiness, not just temporary short-sighted happiness, followed by misery, which most temporary impulsive pleasures lead us to.

The horror of evil on earth might alert us to the greater horror of misery in eternity.  When God allows evil on earth, could He be choosing the lesser of evils, temporary evil over eternal evil?

Either You Believe or You Don’t

Ultimately, either you believe in God or you don’t.
Either the Universe, the Grand Canyon and the beauty of nature are accidental and came out of nowhere, or God created them.
And if you do believe in God, then that God is Someone who is wise and powerful enough to create a universe, yet still cares enough about us to interact with us personally with prayer.  We might cut Him some slack and allow that maybe His intellect has a better plan than our intellect can come up with.
We understand the plan of God about as well as the newborn Prince George, who was Christened last week, understands his future status as King of England.

May God Bless You, Mike

Mike – I hope my thoughts have given you some insight into the questions you had about my beliefs.
I will pray for you in your search for Reason and Truth, as I hope that you will pray for me.
May God bless you, Mike, and may St. Michael the Archangel guide and protect you!

Syte

 Appendix: The Will, The Church, and Human Imperfection

Pope Benedict:  the Will Obscures Perception of Our Responsibility to Our Neighbor:

pope_benedict_xvi_7

Pope Benedict

Even if such values as solidarity, commitment to one’s neighbour and responsibility towards the poor and suffering are largely uncontroversial, still the motivation is often lacking for individuals and large sectors of society to practise renunciation and make sacrifices. Perception and will do not necessarily go hand in hand. In defending personal interests, the will obscures perception, and perception thus weakened is unable to stiffen the will. In this sense, some quite fundamental questions emerge from this crisis: where is the light that is capable of illuminating our perception not merely with general ideas, but with concrete imperatives? Where is the force that draws the will upwards? These are questions that must be answered by our proclamation of the Gospel, by the new evangelization, so that message may become event, so that proclamation may lead to life.

How can we address Pope Benedict’s concerns?   If we all made use of the teachings and sacraments offered by the Church, we could tame our Wills, and devote ourselves to the service of fellow human beings to the point of sainthood.  If more of us did that, how much more Evil would be vanquished in the world?
Unfortunately, even those of us who do not reject the teachings of the Church outright, often do not succeed in implementing Christ’s teachings very well in our lives.
We should have the humility of Pope Francis, who admits that he is a sinner, and we should keep trying to seek truth and to live it with love.

The Church, Imperfections and All

Those interested in Truth and in Charity (love) should recognize the Catholic Church’s role as curator of all that Christ brought to the world-  first of all, Himself, available to each human being throughout history in the Eucharist.  Also, scripture, history, tradition, wisdom, the example of saints, and priests who come to us in an unbroken, direct line of ordination from the Apostles.

Members of the Catholic Church may not be perfect, any more than the Apostles were perfect.
If honest, members of all other Churches and all other organizations will admit they are not perfect.
But just at a doctor who smokes can still give you good advice on your health, or a prof who makes some mistakes can still teach you mathematics, or a President who is not perfect can still defend the Constitution of the United States, the Catholic Church, staffed with imperfect people, can still hold and administer the treasury of riches left to us by Jesus Christ.

Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed

 

The News is Abuzz

Pope-Francis-GETTYThe news is abuzz with articles quoting Pope Francis’ Wednesday homily, in which he said that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists:

Old News is Good News

This news is not really new, and is only news to those who have been mis-informed about the Catholic faith:

Old News: Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1260:

Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

Old News: Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, November 30, 2005:

 

Pope Benedict XVI.

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Pope Benedict quoted St. Augustine, saying that those who, prompted by love, strive for peace are predestined by God to be citizens of Jerusalem (to be saved).

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Old News: Pope John Paul the Great, General Audience, September 9, 1998:JP2 Scan 1

 Normally, “it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their own consciences that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize of acknowledge him at their Saviour.

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The Real News

The real news here is that most of the world misunderstands Catholicism, and we Catholics need to get the REAL message out, with love.
That was Pope Francis’ point.

Slide1So What’s the Point of Being Catholic?

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If there is salvation outside the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church has so many “difficult” rules some people don’t want to follow, what’s the point of becoming Catholic? After all, you can do whatever you want, and still be saved!
No, not really.  You have to do good to be saved, and to find peace. And defining and doing good on your own is like reinventing the wheel.  Possible, but not easy.
Despite the possibility of salvation outside the Catholic Church, salvation inside the Catholic Church is much easier.  That was Christ’s point in coming to live among us, to teach us the ground rules and to leave us some help.

.When faced with a difficult and monumental task like getting through life, you can “wing it,” or you can check the instruction manual.
Your choice.

Some accurate information on Catholicism:

Some  Catholic perspective articles
on this website:

 

The Catholic Church is the repository of grace and wisdom left to us by Jesus Christ.
The Catholic Church makes our job of attaining salvation (and of experiencing peace in this life) a LOT easier.
A billion people today have this figured out; Catholics.
They want to share the Good News: the New Evangelization

Good Reminder

This is a good reminder of the fact that all groups of people include good people.
And that Christian-hating atheists, like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), are a minority, who represent only 0.1 %, or only 1 out of 1,000 atheists.
The vast majority of atheists are nice people who not only tolerate us Christians, but who even appreciate the more secular elements of our holidays, like Easter and Christmas.

FreedomFromReligionFoundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Diss My Church

0r

Misinformation and Why it Sticks

Satan, commonly known as the Adversary
Satan, commonly known as the Adversary

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Crawling Out of the Woodwork

Adversaries are crawling out of the woodwork already, anxious to damage the Catholic Church.
After all, the Pope has just resigned, and we are in the middle of Lent, a season when Christian-haters and Catholic haters always ramp up their Church-bashing each year.
A very busy time for the Adversary.

 

Slide1On the morning of the day Pope Benedict retired, February 28, 2013, an article entitled The New Inquisition appeared in the online news publication globalpost, together with a cluster of similar false attacks on the Catholic Church:

Slide1Barrage of Lies

These articles represent barrage of lies so overwhelming that it’s hard to know where to begin untangling them.
Here are the falsehoods implied in the headlines alone:

  • LOOMING INQUISITION- There is no “inquisition.” A doctrinal correction is not an Inquisition. A doctrinal correction is more like your teacher correcting your homework.
  • FRACTURED- The Catholic Church is no more fractured than any other institution in society, including the United States.  The whole world is pretty split between liberals and conservatives, so why should the Catholic Church be any exception?
  • TARGETING NUNS- The Vatican is not targeting US nuns; the Vatican simply made a doctrinal correction, as it does to all errant groups.
  • INQUISITION- The original “inquisition” has been grossly misrepresented by opponents of the Church.
  • SEX ABUSE- Despite very regrettable instances of sex abuse in the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church still has a lower frequency of sex abuse than any other societal group, including household members at home, public school staff and doctors.  The only reason the Church is in the news is that again, the liberal media and Church adversaries welcome any opportunity to criticize the Church.  In actual fact, every city in the United States has more child abusers released onto the streets by their own City than any Bishop or Diocese has ever released.
  • THEOLOGIAN HANS KUNG- “Theologian” Hans Kung is not a faithful Catholic, but a Church adversary and heretic. A typical quotation from Hans Kung,on the occasion of Pope John Paul the Great’s beatification:
    • John Paul II is universally praised as someone who fought for peace and human rights. But his preaching to the outside world was in total contrast with the way he ran the church from inside, with an authoritarian pontificate which suppressed the rights of both women and theologians.
  • NUNS HELPING MIGRANTS- The “Social Justice” for which dissident nuns advocate is a screen designed to camouflage their departure from Church teachings on more important moral teachings like abortion, marriage and religious freedom.  Focusing on how “nice” the dissidents are, or on what good deeds they are capable of is irrelevant to the fact that they have abandoned numerous Church teachings, as well as their vows of obedience.  If soldiers in the military or employees of Microsoft should tried similar stunts, public opposition to organization policies, court maritial or firing would be the expected result.  The Catholic Church is much more tolerant than that.  Some “Inquisition!”
  • FATHER DAN WARD- Father Daniel Ward is a canon lawyer who helped two Benedictine nuns who rescinded their vows publicly to transfer the previously Benedictine property to themselves.    Hmmm… how’s that vow of poverty working out for those two ladies who still call themselves “Benedictine women” and “Sisters” after retracting their vows?
  • SOCIAL JUSTICE- a buzz word invented by dissident nuns who ought to acknowledge instead that they have departed from Catholic Church teaching. Substituting service for immigrants and union workers does not let these nuns off the hook on abortion and marriage issues, which are even more important than immigrant and union worker problems.

Don’t have time or space here to do all these subjects justice, but there’s a blog article in the pipeline entitled Today’s Catholic Nuns: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  Stay tuned, article coming soon…

Why are liberals so anxious to damage the Catholic Church?

Why are liberals so anxious to damage the Catholic Church?
Because the Catholic Church is the largest and most organized opponent to the radical immoral “it feels good so let’s do it”  liberalization of the United States and of the world.

And why did globalpost launch the attack now?
Because those who fear the moral standards represented by the Catholic Church seem to think that the Church might be more vulnerable at this moment, as our Pope departs.

Some adversaries are clueless when it comes to Jesus’ promise: And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.- Matthew 16:18

Slide1

P.S. – Why Misinformation Sticks

An Association for Pyschological Science publication clarifies why misinformation sticks:

The main reason that misinformation is sticky, according to the researchers, is that rejecting information actually requires cognitive effort. Weighing the plausibility and the source of a message is cognitively more difficult than simply accepting that the message is true – it requires additional motivational and cognitive resources. If the topic isn’t very important to you or you have other things on your mind, misinformation is more likely to take hold.

 

Pope Benedict

No comments

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict’s announcement of his resignation:

May God bless and protect Pope Benedict, whom we love.
Thanks be to God for giving us this Pope!
The Vicar of Christ has spoken.
We wait in faith and in trust for his successor to be chosen.

JEZU UFAM TOBIE 3

Jesus, I Trust in You!

Lithuanian Rosary Prayers…

December 8, 2012
Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(See Also, back by more popular demand, free Lithuanian Rosary mp3s, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 12-8-16)

Back by Popular Demand, More on Lithuanian Rosary Prayers:

Some rosary fans have requested individual recordings for each of the prayers.
The previous post on Lithuanian Rosary Prayers included all prayers on one recording.
The individual recordings provided here will facilitate repetition of one prayer at a time for practice.
Click on each link to listen to the prayer in Lithuanian.

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS, Lithuanian

 POPE BENEDICT XVI

THE OUR FATHER, Lithuanian

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GOD THE FATHER – Cima da Conegliano

  THE HAIL MARY, Lithuanian

OUR LADY OF GRACE at San Giovanni Rotondo
-Padre Pio’s favorite

THE GLORY BE, Lithuanian

Sanctuary Ceiling
Holy Redeemer Church, Madison, WI

  THE APOSTLES CREED, Lithuanian

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The Synaxis of the holy and the most praiseworthy Twelve Apostles
14th Century

  THE HAIL HOLY QUEEN, Lithuanian

The Coronation of Mary
Vatican Museums

 

  ONE DECADE OF THE ROSARY, Lithuanian

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For Lithuanian prayer texts, as well as names of the Mysteries of the Rosary in Lithuanian, see the previous Lithuanian Rosary post.

More Coming Soon: Instructions on How to Pray the Rosary…

Join Rosary for the Bishop and/or see World Participation Map.

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The No Religious Freedom Mandate

and

The President Can Issue Unilateral Mandates Mandate

and

The Let’s Sneak Abortion into ObamaCare While Nobody’s Looking Mandate

Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York, President of the USCCB

The recent conflict, which erupted between President Obama and the Catholic Church in March 2012, over Obama’s insertion of a “Contraceptive Mandate” into ObamaCare, has raised a number of important questions.

We will explore below, how this actually represented an attempt by the Obama administration to sneak in control measures over the American population into previously passed legislation, while using the age-old distraction tactics practiced by movie villains and by villains in real life.

Background

  • When in previous American history has a President included new mandates (dictates, as in dictatorship) into legislation that has already been passed?
  • When in previous American history has an administration required all Americans to purchase a product, which is controlled by the federal government?
  • When in previous American history has a President violated, by issuing his own mandate, the mandate of the First Amendment which states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ?

What does the Obama Administration Want?

The Obama Administration clearly wants a federal health care system, ObamaCare.
They also clearly support abortion.
They have a record of promoting gay “rights,” for example in the military.
Clearly, the Obama Administration has a radical liberal agenda.

But there’s an obstacle.
It’s called democracy.
America is mostly conservative (Gallup 2012: 40% Conservative, 30% moderate, and 21% liberal).  Gallup: Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S.
So voting, or democracy, will not work in furthering the Obama administration’s radical agenda.

However, establishing the right of a President to mandate stuff would work much better.  That way, you don’t have to mess with getting the people’s approval.

So President Obama wants to exert more control over American citizens.
He wants to establish the right to issue mandates unopposed.
He wants to issue mandates favoring his favorite causes; government health care, abortion and gay “rights” are included.
Who stands in his way?
Christians.  (80% of America)
Which Christian denomination has the most members in the U.S.?
Catholics.
Which Chirstian denomination has the biggest national organization/communication network in place?
Catholics.

So What’s the Battle Plan?

If you could issue a mandate, while creating a diversion so nobody notices it, and weaken your biggest opponent in the process, wouldn’t that be a brilliant plan?
Yes, and that is exactly what the Obama administration has attempted.

You issue a mandate that forces U.S. Citizens to do something.

Pick something that would weaken your biggest opponent; something that will weaken Catholics.
Something that will either make them surrender their beliefs to comply, or close most of their largest institutions if they cannot comply .
AND, find something on which the Church is divided, so there is confusion in the ranks when the attack occurs.
Yes, we have it!
Require that the Catholic Church pays for Contraception.
What a brilliant plan; that covers all the bases.

For good measure, make sure you catch them unprepared.
Invite them into the White House, assure them that their rights and liberties are foremost in your agenda, and send them home satisfied that they do not have to prepare for a fight.  That way, when your announcement comes, it will be a surprise attack and they will not be prepared.

The Distraction Tactics

  • By introducing contraception, you divert discussion to an inflammatory side issue.
  • By attacking conservative political pundits who discuss the issue publicly, you distract the American public from the real issues: Presidential proclamations (mandates) and violations of religious freedom.

How Obama Implemented the Plan

This is exactly what happened.

President Obama invited the President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to the White House, assured USCCB President/now Cardinal Dolan that he will respect the rights of Catholic institutions, and invited President Dolan to relay the message to all the other bishops.  The Wall Street Journal interview in which Cardinal Dolan describes the November 2011 Oval Office meeting included the following excerpt:

“I [Cardinal Dolan] said, ‘I’ve heard you say, first of all, that you have immense regard for the work of the Catholic Church in the United States in health care, education and charity. . . . I have heard you say that you are not going to let the administration do anything to impede that work and . . . that you take the protection of the rights of conscience with the utmost seriousness. . . . Does that accurately sum up our conversation?’ [Mr. Obama] said, ‘You bet it does.'”

The archbishop asked for permission to relay the message to the other bishops. “You don’t have my permission, you’ve got my request,” the president replied.

Cardinal Dolan

Then the axe fell at the end of January, when President Obama declared that the contraception mandates would remain in place and no religious exemptions would be granted to the Catholic Church.

Details of the deception can be found in the Wall Street Journal Interview and in the FOX video Interview of Cardinal Dolan.  Of course, the Cardinal refrains from calling the President a liar and shows utmost respect for the office of the Presidency.  But the interviews expose the facts, which we can evaluate ourselves and determine whether intentional deception was part of the plan.

Imagine inviting the head of the Catholic Church to the Oval Office 3 months in advance of issuing the Contraception Mandate, and assuring him, and inviting him to inform all United States Bishops that President Obama is very serious about the protection of the rights of conscience of Catholics, then issuing mandates violating those rights.  That took some premeditated planning.

A Double Standard

The Amish have an exemption to ObamaCare

Religious exemptions have been granted to various groups on various issues at President Obama’s discretion; exemptions to Native Americans to kill eagles for religious ceremonies (for which the U.S. government facilitates and stores feathers and eagle body parts at taxpayer expense), as well as exemptions for Amish (as well as Muslims and Christian Scientists) from ObamaCare

Further Villainy

After Cardinal Dolan and the Catholic Bishops stood up to the President’s Contraceptive Mandate, President Obama pretended to compromise, by requiring the insurance company to pay for the free contraceptives, and claiming that the Catholic Institutions will not have to pay for the free contraceptives (and abortifacients and sterilizations) which violate the moral beliefs of Catholics. (See how abortion got snuck in there, oh, so subtly!)

"We Inside Yet?"

  • Never mind that most Catholic Institutions are self-insured or employ Catholic insurance companies, so Catholics are still being forced to pay for immoral services.
  • Never mind that Obama did not even speak with the head of the US Catholic Church, Cardinal Dolan, before making this final pronouncement.
  • Never mind that President Obama has surrounded himself with “Catholics” in name only in an effort to legitimize his proclamations (Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius and Sister Carol Keehan, who have all publicly opposed the Catholic Church’s teachings and policies and are better described as dissidents, not Catholics).

President Obama has challenged the chain of command in the Catholic Church, by choosing to communicate with hand-picked dissidents, then pretending that his has Catholic support.  Separation of Church and State?  Obama reorganized the chain of command in the Catholic Church!

Summarizing the Attack.

O.K.
So the President managed to issue his dictatorial command.
He managed to dictate what the Catholic Church must do against their conscience.
With a double standard that was not applied to Native Americans or to Amish.

He also managed to divert the issue from Presidential dictatorial powers and from violation of freedom of religion by the President to national discussion of a topic that is controversial in the United States; a topic on which more Americans are likely to agree with the President, but which actually has nothing to do with the dictatorial and freedom of religion issues at hand.

The final blow was to attack a popular national conservative spokesman, Rush Limbaugh, when he ridiculed the need for exaggerated quantities of birth control on college campuses.  This attack has now morphed into a serious attempt by the left to get Rush Limbaugh’s voice off the airwaves.  Wouldn’t that be nice for the President?  What about freedom of the press?  Hey, the White House can blast the first amendment simultaneously  on TWO counts; religious freedom and freedom of speech!

More discussion of the national liberal attack on Rush Limbaugh at Knights in Shining Armor.

The Main Point Was Almost Lost

Lost Point

Meanwhile, the main point was almost lost.

The President of the United States has issued a proclamation in opposition to his previous promises to Congress (promising Stupak that abortion would not be included in ObamaCare, and that an Executive Order would be issued to that effect).

  • A proclamation that controls what the largest Church in the US (28% of U.S. citizens belong) must do against it’s conscience.

Americans are not Stupid

President Obama overstepped his authority, and miscalculated on several fronts.
He miscalculated the courage of the American Bishops.
He miscalculated the gullibility of the American people.
He miscalculated the cost of his bluff.

The American Bishops did not back down, but dug in, in defense of religious freedom in America.  Jews and Baptists and many others have joined them.  Obama has singlehandedly managed to achieve a unification of Judeo-Christian believers, which we have struggled to accomplish with decades of ecumenical efforts.  Now, Rabbis stand up before Senate panels and defend the religious freedom of Catholics.

The American people are jumping ship as well.  The Wall Street Journal indicates that Obama has gone too far for most moderates who supported him in the last election.  His dictatorial disregard for the religious freedom of Catholics, combined with his cavalier delusional palling around with Russians in front of hot mics in defiance of his electorate, followed by jocular references to the embarrassing mic incident, have been just too much.  Peggy Noonan writes, in an article entitled Not-So-Smooth Operator –  –  “the level of dislike for the president has ratched up sharply the past few months… and it’s his fault, too.”

The cost of Obama’s bluff can also be calculated in dollar terms; some estimate $100 billion costs to the US associated with the closing of Catholic hospitals; others estimate  higher.  The Fiscal Times writes : “it would create a disaster for the delivery of health care in the country, and rapidly escalate the public costs of health care.

So, Catholics vs. Obamacare is NOT About Birth Control

There is also the cost of reigniting the cultural wars.
John Leo of The Fiscal Times writes:

The mainstream press keeps telling us that the struggle of Catholics vs. ObamaCare is about birth control.  This is partly ineptitude, partly an effort to depict the controversy as irrelevant, since Catholics use contraceptives at almost the same rate as the general population.  And, consciously or not, this ordinary bit of journalistic malpractice pins an anti-contraceptive label on Republicans in an election year.

Leo also discusses Jean Bethke Elshtain’s theories on  establishment pressure, called “liberal monism:”
Liberal monism
refers to the fact that those who talk the most about diversity and pluralism are often the most willing to mandate that all private and religious institutions conform to one ideological framework, theirs.

Why Would an American President Intentionally Sow Division in the Nation?

Some shocking new theories are surfacing to explain President Obama’s agenda.
Obama does not seem to adhere to the American Dream of our Founding Fathers.
He does not seem to adhere to the Dream of Martin Luther King, Jr., of a society which does not judge by the color of the skin but by the content of the character, and in which the sons of former slaves and slave-owners can sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

Dinesh D’Souza, the President of the King’s College in New York, an Indian born in Mumbai who came to America and profited from the American Dream, proposes a theory that Barak Obama does not adhere to the American Dream, nor to Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream,  and not even to American liberalism, which seeks to take money from rich Americans and redistribute to poorer Americans, but adheres instead to a concept many Americans are not familiar with, anti-colonialism.

Anti-colonialism is an angry attitude found in some places across the globe, in which America’s success is viewed not as a product of America’s moral and religious hard work ethic, but as a product of imperial exploitation of other nations.  An exploitation by America which needs to be reversed and to be “atoned for” at any cost. An attitude fueled more frequently by envy, than by fact.  A philosophy that seeks to take America down a few pegs, not build her up.

An anti-colonial President would not have America’s best interests at heart, but would be more devoted to taking America down a few pegs.  A President who would serve as Judge, Jury and Executioner of the American people.  A President who would gladly violate his oath of office to defend the Constitution, because he has “higher” loyalties.  A president who is a traitor.  A President who does not adhere to an absolute morality.  A President who believes that the ends justify the means, and any means toward humbling America is justifiable.

Whether there is any truth to D’Souza’s theories about Barak Obama’s destructive agenda for our nation, we can examine for ourselves by reading Obama’s autobiography, Dreams From My Father, and by watching D’Souza’s movie, 2016, produced by the producer of Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park and Brave Heart, and which will be released in June, 2012.  The trailer for the movie, followed by a 12-minute background presentation by Dinesh D’Souza has been viewed by almost 1 million people on You Tube already.

Time will tell, and President Obama’s actions will tell, whether there can be even a shred of truth in D’Souza’s claims.

The Triple Mandate

Speculations on Barak Obama’s motivations for Issuing what is now commonly known as the Contraception Mandate aside, it is important to realize that whatever the motivations, the contraception mandate is actually a triple mandate, and is much more important than simply a contraception mandate.

Obama’s Mandate is actually the:
No Religious Freedom Mandate
and
The President Can Issue Unilateral Mandates Mandate
and
The Let’s Sneak Abortion into ObamaCare While Nobody’s Looking Mandate

This Mandate Cannot Stand

Whether this Triple Mandate is taken down by the Supreme Court decision to be released in June on the Constitutionality of ObamaCare, or whether this mandate is considered separately by the Supreme Court under religious freedom violation considerations, or whether the November 2012 election removes President Obama from office and replaces him with someone who will steer us in a different direction, the Triple Mandate cannot stand.

If it does, we are in the U.S.S.R. We have opened the doors wide for communism under which the State has most power,  in the place of democracy, under which the individual has most power:
The government will tax and hold all the money.
The government will decide who can have money and how much and when.
The government will decide who can have health care and who cannot.
There will be little free enterprise.There will be lots of black market.
There will be little religious freedom.
Churches will be marginalized.
Religion will be eliminated from education
Conservative thought will be declared bigoted and illegal.
Mandating (dictating) will determine what we can and cannot do.
Mothers will probably be required to work outside the home.
Children will probably be required to attend school, like in Germany today.
Schools will probably be required to teach mandatory radical liberalism.
Home schooling will probably be outlawed.
Children will probably be encouraged/required to report on parents who stray from the compulsory New Order.

Ridiculous?

It’s happened more than once during the past 100 years.
My parents lived through it.
Pope Benedict lived through it.
My grandparents were sent to Siberia for 20 years under the USSR.

People can recognize the signs, and the Contraception Mandate is certainly a big one.

What makes you think that the US is immune to despots who want to eliminate democracy and freedom, and who want to control our nation, instead of being accountable to it’s people, as the Constitution was designed to ensure?

Could the fact that 47% of America already pays no federal tax and many live off government handouts, be part of a devious plan calculated purposely to ensure the dependence (and the votes) of numerous people on radical government

Next Step

Obama has already taken the next step today.

Remember the division of powers in the U.S. Constitution which sets up a system of “checks and balances,” and prevents one branch of the government from exercising too much power?  The balance between the Executive Branch, the Legislature and the Judiciary that we all learned about in grammar school?

Previoiusly, Obama, the Executive, commandeered the Legislature’s approval for ObamaCare in 2009 by lying to Stupak and “stealing” the votes of the legislature with false promises.

Today Obama called the Supreme Court “unelected,” and warned them against striking down the health law.  This constitutes an attempt to control the Judiciary.

Evidently, what we now have is   Obama: Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, Rolled Into One.

The Founding Fathers must be rolling in their graves.

The Solution:

Read
Pray
Vote

Holy Wisdom Monastery

4 comments

Our Lady of Good Counsel

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Doug Erickson of the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) recently contacted me for a “faithful Catholic” view of Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton.
His article can be found at Holy Wisdom Monastery provides church services for disaffected local Catholics.

Doug’s WSJ article discusses the membership and philosophy of the Holy Wisdom group in some detail, but relegates input from real Catholics, including from the Diocese of Madison (quoting space limitations), to a last paragraph entitled “detractors.”

For the sake of accuracy, the Diocese’s complete statement and my complete statement to the WSJ are provided here:

Diocese of Madison’s clarification: click here for PDF statement.

My complete statement:

Doug’s Questions:

About 335 people are members of the weekly Sunday congregation at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, a community of Benedictine sisters. More than half are estimated to be disaffected Catholics who’ve left parishes in the Madison diocese over disagreements with Catholic Church doctrine in general or Bishop Morlino specifically.

The service is called a “Sunday Assembly with Eucharist.” It used to be a Catholic Mass, and still is structured like one, but the sisters are no longer under the jurisdiction of the diocese (as of 2006). Consequently, it is an ecumenical service where women preach and distribute the communion bread and wine. The language is “inclusive,” with no gender-specific references to God. Same-sex relationships are celebrated and same-sex marriage advocated.

1.) Have you heard of the service and, if so, what are your thoughts about it?
2.) Many of the people who worship there still call themselves Catholics, despite disagreeing with the Church on issues such as birth control, abortion, same-sex marriage and female priests. In your opinion, are they Catholics? Why or why not?
3.) As someone who supports the bishop and Church doctrine in general, does it bother you when hear about parishioners who leave their parishes for these types of reasons?

Benedictines of Middleton

Thanks, Doug, for your questions.  I welcome the opportunity to answer them.

The faithful Catholics of Madison who are aware of the existence of the community you mention, Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, are aware that it has departed from the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Bishop Morlino and Pope Benedict graciously granted the nuns’ petition to abandon their Catholic identity in 2006, and wished them well in their ecumenical efforts.  They are no longer Catholic Benedictine sisters.  One of their three members is Presbyterian, and they are no longer a Catholic religious order.  Perhaps a more appropriate name for them would be Ecumenical Women of Madison to avoid confusion. continue reading…

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What is Truth?

Does Truth Matter?

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Scala Sancta, the Holy Steps


The Scala Sancta (the Holy Steps)

Last Saturday I had the incredible privilege of climbing the Scala Sancta in Rome reverently on my knees, and of standing near the place Christ must have stood when Pontius Pilate first asked Christ “What is truth?,”[1] then solemnly declined to condemn Him, ceremonially washing his hands of guilt[2].

Feeling that same floor under my feet, kneeling on those steps where the Passion of Christ occurred, and contemplating how St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, located Pontius Pilate’s Praetorium steps and transferred them from Jerusalem to Rome, I was filled with an even deeper sense of connection to the reality of our Christian beliefs, and of the importance of acknowledging the conversation that took place on those steps, located now at one of the holiest places in the world.  Non est in toto sanctior orbe locus;” There is not in the whole world a more holy place.

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Truth


What is Truth?


Truth does exist, truth does matter, and even our world’s great secular leaders, including Pontius Pilate, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, instinctively cared about and respected truth, not to mention every parent who instinctively insists on truth from their children.  Christ willingly DIED for truth, because truth is so important.

Truth is most often defined as the state of being in accord with fact or reality.  It is clear to most of us that humans, while young, must learn certain facts or realities about life in order to negotiate the world safely and effectively, and in order to become functional adults who are responsible for the perpetuation of our society. continue reading…

The ultra-“progressive” and Christophobic tide of the media may be turning!

Daniel Henninger, wrote an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled Popes, Atheists and Freedom, which voices the  sentiment that “secularists should recognize that the pope’s fight is their fight.” Henninger goes on to describe the crucial role of Popes John Paul II and Benedict in the defense of freedom, and quotes the second volume of George Weigel’s biography of Pope John Paul II, The End and the Beginning, in which Weigel analyzes the archives of several former Communist intelligence services.

Daniel Henninger

Henninger goes on to conclude:

It has been odd in recent years to see prominent atheists make so much effort to diminish Judeo-Christian belief. In the modern world, and certainly in the U.S. from the Pilgrims onward to the Bill of Rights, religious practice has been bound up in the idea—now the principle—of individual freedom. I don’t think secularist arguments alone for individual freedoms have sufficient strength and fiber to stand against their current opposition.

Before Christmas Henninger had indicated that the country is moving to the right in an article entitled Holiday Optimism, Limited Edition.

Conservative is the new liberal!

Praise be to God!

Daniel Henninger’s video statement:

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