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Monday, September 30, 2013

Islamic Outreach XXVI

From an earlier post on this blog:

Pope Francis spoke to the diplomatic corps and amongst other things, said, "Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam."

I followed a link to a list the most horrific terrorist attacks (in terms of casualties)  in history, and here are the top 25:

1      TERRORIST ATTACK                                        POLITICAL MOTIVATION

1.       September 11 attacks                                                Islamism             
2.       2007 Yazidi communities bombings                            Islamism             
3.       1990 massacre of Sri Lankan Police officers             Tamil Separatism             
4.       May 2013 Iraq attacks                                             Islamism               
5.       Cinema Rex fire                                                        Islamism               
6.       Beslan school hostage crisis                                      Islamism             
7.       Air India Flight 182                                                  Sikh Separatism
8.       1983 Beirut barracks bombing                                  Islamism             
9.       1999 Russian apartment bombings                            Islamism               
10.   Pan Am Flight 103                                                   Islamism             
11.   1993 Bombay bombings                                           Islamism             
12.   2001 Angola train attack                                          Angolan nationalism      
13.   1961 MV Dara                                                        Unknown           
14.   1998 United States embassy bombings                     Islamism             
15.   2012 Nigeria attacks                                                Islamism             
16.   2006 Sadr City bombings                                         Islamism             
17.   006 Mumbai train bombings                                      Islamism             
18.   2002 Bali bombings                                                   Islamism             
19.   2007 Baghdad bombings                                           Islamism             
20.   3004 Madrid train bombings                                      Islamism             
21.   2004 Ashura bombings in Iraq                                   Islamism                             
22.   2008 Mumbai attacks                                                Islamism             
23.   UTA Flight 772                                                         Islamism             
24.   Moscow theater hostage crisis                                   Islamism
25.   Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis                       Islamism

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cardinal Burke Loads a Canon


Q & A with Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome
Q. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when recently questioned at a press briefing about the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did in murdering a baby born alive at 23 weeks as compared to the practice of aborting a baby moments before birth, refused to answer. Instead she is reported to have responded: “ As a practicing and respectful Catholic this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.” How are we to react to such a seemingly scandalous statement? Is this a case where Canon 915 might properly be applied? [Editor’s Note:Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those who are “ obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”]

Cardinal Burke
 A. Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied. This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic. This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must — in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family.
What Congresswoman Pelosi is speaking of is not particular confessional beliefs or practices of the Catholic Church. It belongs to the natural moral law which is written on every human heart and which the Catholic Church obviously also teaches: that natural moral law which is so wonderfully illumined for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ by His saving teaching, but most of all by His Passion and death.
To say that these are simply questions of Catholic Faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong. I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life.

Thomas More

Theeeeeey'rrrrrre BACK!!!!!!!!

The last time we heard from the Little Sisters of the Poor (2011), the former President of THE Ohio State was disin' 'em...

Gee attracted a swarm of national criticism in November when he responded to a question about whether schools such as Texas Christian or Boise State should play in the national-championship game if they were undefeated.
After first saying he didn't "know enough about the X's and O's of college football," he went on to say that teams in the Southeastern Conference or Big Ten play a "murderers' row" of opponents, and that "we do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor."

But now the Little Sisters of the Poor are playing hardball with the Affordable Care Act:

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has announced that it is filing the first class-action lawsuit against the HHS mandate on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor. 

“Like all of the Little Sisters, I have vowed to God and the Roman Catholic Church that I will treat all life as valuable, and I have dedicated my life to that work,” said Sister Loraine Marie, a provincial superior. “We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government’s program to provide access to abortion inducing drugs.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stretch Mate Orthopedic Back Stretcher Feast of Blessed Herman of Reichanau, Spetember 25

Things to know about St. Herman:

1) He had spinal bifada.

2) He had a cleft palate.

3) He had cerebral palsy.

4) If he didn't have spinal bifada or cerebral palsy, he might have had Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis or spinal muscular atrophy instead.

5) He is known as Herman the Cripple. 

6) He wrote this....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Islamic Outreach, Part XXV

From an earlier post on this blog:

Pope Francis spoke to the diplomatic corps and amongst other things, said, "Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam."

Officials, who reported Sunday that 68 people had been killed, lowered the toll to 62 on Monday, saying some of the dead had been counted twice. Among those killed were six British citizens; two French; two Canadians; and a well-known Ghanaian poet, Kofi Awoonor.

They "called on all Muslims to leave the shopping center," Israeli businessman Yariv Kedar wrote in an eyewitness account published by the Tel Aviv daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
Other survivors told reporters that those who identified themselves as Muslims were ordered to recite a verse from the Koran, or to name the Prophet Mohammed's mother. Those who could do so were allowed to go; those who failed the test were killed.FYI - Mohammed's mother's name is Golda. Just kidding. It's  Aminah bint Wahb. Here she is at the Mecca Easter Parade:

Wait! There's more!

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide attack on a historic church in northwestern Pakistan killed at least 78 people on Sunday in one of the deadliest attacks on the Christian minority in Pakistan in years.

The attack occurred as worshipers left All Saints Church in the old quarter of the regional capital, Peshawar, after a service on Sunday morning. Up to 600 people had attended and were leaving to receive free food being distributed on the lawn outside when two explosions ripped through the crowd. “As soon as the service finished and the food was being distributed, all of a sudden we heard one explosion, followed by another,” said Azim Ghori, a witness. 

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who arrived in Peshawar on Sunday evening, said that 78 people had been killed, including 34 women and 7 children.

 "A wing of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing," the AP reports, "saying it would continue to target non-Muslims until the United States stopped drone attacks in the country's remote tribal region."

Band Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages Feast of Padre Pio, September 23

 Turns out he was a REAL PERSON!

From the Catholic Saints Calendar at Catholic Online:

 On September 20, 1918, Padre Pio was kneeling in front of a large crucifix when he received the visible marks of the crucifixion, making him the first stigmatized  priest in the history of Church. The doctor who examined Padre Pio could not find any natural cause for the wounds. Upon his death in 1968, the wounds were no longer visible. In fact, there was no scaring and the skin was completely renewed. He had predicted 50 years prior that upon his death the wounds would heal. The wounds of the stigmata were not the only mystical phenomenon experienced by Padre Pio.

The blood from the stigmata had an odor described by many as similar to that of perfume or flowers, and the gift of bilocation was attributed to him. Padre Pio had the ability to read the hearts of the penitents who flocked to him for confession which he heard for ten or twelve hours per day.

Friday, September 20, 2013

American Exceptionalism

Vladimir Putin says America is not "exceptional", but lawyer Clarke Forsythe begs to differ. From his new book, Abuse of Discretion:
The United States is an outlier when it comes to the scope of the abortion “right.” The United States is one of approximately ten nations (of 195) that allow abortion after fourteen weeks of gestation. The others are: Canada, China, Great Britain, North Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Western Australia, and Vietnam. When it comes to allowing abortion for any reason after viability, however, the United States is joined only by Canada, North Korea, and China. The United States got into this situation because after the second round of arguments in Roe and Doe, the Justices abruptly decided to expand the abortion right they were creating to fetal viability—and then beyond. For forty years, this abrupt decision has had profound implications for late-term abortions, live-birth abortions, and women’s health.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Islamic Outreach, Part XXIV

From Catholic World News:

"Pope Francis has sent a personal message to the head of Egypt’s Al Azhar University, calling for “understanding among Christians and Muslims in the world, to build peace and justice.”


 Militants turn Samalout church into mosque

Minya (Upper Egypt), 12 September /MCN/
Militants destroyed large parts of the Evangelical Church in Samalout, converted it into a mosque and held Islamic prayers inside. 
Which doesn't even take into account the party that is the rest of Egypt...

38 Churches completely destroyed, burned and looted
23 Churches attacked and partially damaged
In Addition to the following:
- 58 houses owned by Copts in different burned and looted
- 85 shops owned by Copts
- 16 pharmacies
- 3 hotels (Horus, Susana & Akhnaton)
- 75 cars, buses owned by churches
-6 people killed based on their religious Christian Identity
-7 Coptic people kidnapped in upper Egypt governorates

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ember Alert! Ember Alert!

You may already get Ember Alerts on your Smart Phone, but in case you don't, tomorrow is an Ember Day. Catholic Online says:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora , four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayers and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.

So I will thank God for these critters who have eaten up my parsley plant.

Papal Almoner

We have a new Papal Almoner! Drat! Now I have to find out what an Almoner is/does!

From Father Z:

The new Papal Almoner, His Excellency Most Reverend Konrad Krajewski was consecrated bishop at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica by His Eminence Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, presided as consecrator with the two co-consecrators, Archbishop Piero Marini, President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, and Władysław Ziólek, Bishop emeritus of Łódź. 10 cardinals, 45 bishops, 300 priests were there.

Vatican Insider reports:

Pope Francis, the Pope of the Poor, last week continued his outreach to the poor and needy by appointing a humble Polish priest, Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, as his almoner, that is the one who will give alms or charity to the poor in his name. 

Though his nomination has gone largely unnoticed, it is not a simple bureaucratic appointment. Pope Francis has specifically chosen Mgr. Konrad for this post to which he gives some considerable importance. He chose him because he had come to know, what was already well known throughout the Roman Curia, that for some years now this good priest from Lodz in Poland used to regularly  distribute food to the poor and needy on the streets in the area around the Vatican. 

St. Joseph Church 5th and 6th Grade PSR Class Feast Day of St. Joseph of Cupertino, September 17

We picked St. Joseph of Cupertino as our Patron Saint for the month of September. Why?

DUH! He could FLY! What else do you need???

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Condensed Milk Company of Ireland Feast of St. Ailbhe, September 12

St. Ailbhe is beloved in Ireland, and how could he NOT be? I mean, some consider him  a pre-St. Patrick saint...even though he died 68 years after St. Patrick. His dad abandoned him and King Cronan ordered him killed, but the King's servant left him by a big rock, where he was eventually suckled by a she-wolf. When he became Bishop of Emly an old she-wolf being chased by hunters fled to the bishop, so he took her and her family in. He baptized St. David, Patron Saint of Wales. As he approached death, he boarded " a supernatural ship came and he boarded to learn the secret of his death. After returning from the other world, he went back to Emly (Imlech) to die and be buried."

Wait! There's more! 

There was a church dedicated to Saint Ailbe in the hamlet of Saint Elvis near Solva, Pembroke, Wales, UK, near St David's; it is long in ruins. There is still a shrine to St. Elvis which bears an inscription making the connection between the two variants of the name, and confirming that St. Elvis baptised St. David.

A shrine to St. Elvis!

Monday, September 09, 2013

International Buy a Priest a Beer Day!

This just in from The Catholic Gentleman:

Did you know that this coming Monday, September 9, is International Buy a Priest a Beer Day? On this festive day, faithful Catholics all over the world take their priests out for a beer and get to know them better. It’s a beautiful Catholic tradition that goes back to the time of St. Hopswald of Aleyard, the first man to take his priest out for a beer.

Okay, if you’re getting suspicious by now, there’s a good reason. Buy a Priest a Beer Day is not a real holiday. But I would argue that it should be!

Believe it or not, priests are real people, and they enjoy socializing over good food and drink as much as anyone. They also have a thankless and difficult job, a job that we couldn’t get to heaven without. Priests are the lifeblood of the Church, and they deserve some appreciation.

So with that in mind, I would challenge you to do something concrete to show appreciation to your priest in the month ahead. Yes, it could be taking him out for a beer, or it could be inviting him over to share dinner with your family. Be creative if you want, but give back to your priest somehow, and let him know that his ministry is making a difference.

Of course, your priest may be insanely busy and unable to schedule a time for a lengthier visit. That’s okay. You could offer a rosary or a holy hour for him and his intentions (or better yet, more than one), and let him know that you are regularly praying for him. At the very least, express to him your gratitude, in person or via a note, for his faithful ministry and his answering God’s call to the priesthood.

I fully expect there to be a lot of happy, encouraged priests by the end of the month. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying, “I’m in!” Ready, set, go.

A Reading From the Book of Isaiah

1) Oracle on Damascus:

See, Damascus shall cease to be a city
and become a pile of ruins
2) Her cities shall be forever abandoned,
for flocks to lie in undisturbed.
3) The fortress shall vanish from Ephraim
and dominion from Damascus;
The remnant of Aram shall become like the glory
of the Israelites—
oracle of the LORD of hosts.
4) On that day
The glory of Jacob shall fade,
and his full body shall grow thin
5) Like the reaper’s mere armful of stalks,
when he gathers the standing grain;
Or as when one gleans the ears
in the Valley of Rephaim.
6)  Only gleanings shall be left in it,
as when an olive tree has been beaten—
Two or three olives at the very top,
four or five on its most fruitful branches—
oracle of the LORD, the God of Israel.
7) On that day people shall turn to their maker,
their eyes shall look to the Holy One of Israel.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Ugly Churches, Installment #4

Poor St Gregorius. According the Church, he was "Great". Why did they name this thing after him? 

St. Gregorius, Aachen, Germany
I'm guessing that around back there's a handball game going on.

Check out the crucifix!

Looks like the guy from Terminator 2!

We Salute You, Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan!

The diocese website is rather mum about it's history, other than to say "The Diocese of Grand Rapids was established May 19, 1882 and originally consisted of much of the northern and western parts of the Lower Peninsula. Since 1971 the diocese has been comprised of 11 counties of Western Michigan: Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa.

Before forming it's own diocese, Grand Rapids was part of the diocese of Detroit. It lost ground when the dioceses of Gaylord, Saginaw, and Kalamazoo were formed.

Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Grand Rapids

The first Bishop of Grand Rapids was Henry Richter, who as born in the Duchy of Oldenburg in Germany.
 The diocesan website says Richter ...
December 26, 1916 (1:45 p.m.); St. Mary's Hospital, GR, MI
St. Andrew's Cem., GR, MI
preservation vault, Lima, OH
Mt. Calvary Cem., GR, MI
Resurrection Cern., Wyoming, MI
What? They buried him then dug him up, then put him in a vault, then buried him, then dug him up, then buried him again??? So much for this whole "Rest in peace" thing.

The new bishop was installed in June of this year. is name is The Most Reverend David John Walkowiak, J.C.D. and his slogan is 'HOSTS AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD!"

Shut Up, They Explained

St. Francis Xavier Church, Goa

The leading political figure in Goa, the southwestern Indian state evangelized by St. Francis Xavier, told The New York Times that Catholics are “cultural Hindus.”

Described by the Times as “an affable face of the Hindu right,” Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that “India is a Hindu nation in the cultural sense. A Catholic in Goa is also Hindu culturally, because his practices don’t match with Catholics in Brazil; except in the religious aspect, a Goan Catholic’s way of thinking and practice matches a Hindu’s. So Hindu for me is not a religious term, it is cultural.”

The Global Council of Indian Christians criticized Parrikar’s remarks as “inept.”

Three Things I Learned Today About Ma'loula

1) I it one of only three locations where Western Aramaic is spoken - it's not the language of Christ, but pretty similar.

2) There are two ancient monasteries there. One of them is a Greek Catholic monastery called Mar Sarkis, the other is Greek Orthodox and is called Mar Taqla. Mar Sarkis dates back to around the 5th Century.

3) The Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist Syrian rebel group designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, United States, and other nations, has attacked the historic Christian village of Ma’loula, the Associated Press reported. 

A nun said that “there were reports that the militants threatened villagers with death if they did not convert” to Islam, according to AP.