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Sunday, January 31, 2016

HAPPY...OK... Maybe Not Happy....

World Leprosy Day is annually observed around the world on the last Sunday of January. The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a way to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured. 

Leprosy is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind. It is also known as Hansen’s disease, named after Norwegian physician, Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, who debunked the prevailing notion of the time that leprosy was a hereditary disease. He showed that the disease had a bacterial cause instead. For thousands of years, people with leprosy have been stigmatized and considered to be at the extreme margins of the society. The aim of World Leprosy Day is to change this attitude and increase public awareness of the fact that leprosy can now be easily prevented and cured.
The date for World Leprosy Day was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of Indian freedom fighter, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination on January 30, 1948. During his lifetime, Mahatma Gandhi worked tirelessly towards the betterment of people afflicted with leprosy.

I think a better day would be the feast day of Father Damien of Moloka'i - May 10!


Friday, January 29, 2016

We Salute You, Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa!

Well, we WOULD...except you don't have any diocesan history on your webpage. 


 Their Cathedral of the Epiphany, on the other hand, has a nice history page.


In 1867, the first resident pastor came to serve the Catholic community in the parish church which was built five years previously in Sioux City. Until that time, Sioux City was a mission territory.
The Cathedral of the Epiphany was begun in 1891 as St. Mary’s Church. Father Timothy Treacy was the pastor at the time.
On April 5, 1892 , Bishop Hennessy ordained Thomas McCarty to the priesthood. Father McCarty was a member of St. Mary’s Parish and the first young man from Sioux City to become a priest. Several days after his ordination, Father McCarty came to Sioux City and offered his first Mass in the large hall of St. Mary’s School. St. Mary’s School, which was constructed in 1889 at a cost of $30,000, was located on the Southeast corner of 10th and Grandview Streets.
A new church building was planned and was intended to serve the pastoral needs of a growing number of Catholics who lived in the central part of Sioux City . The parish was made up an ethnically diverse group of immigrant parishioners with Irish and Germans being the predominant group. In 1892, a nationwide economic depression threatened the local economy and completion of the building project was postponed.
For a period of nearly 10 years, the members of St. Mary’s Parish worshipped in the basement of the present church building. Once the Diocese of Sioux City was established in 1902, it was decided that St. Mary’s Church would serve as the Cathedral. The church was incomplete at that date, and it was recommended that the upper church also be completed. The building was dedicated as the Cathedral of the Epiphany on Sept. 8, 1904 .

And let's add The Blessed Theresa of Calcutta Church in  Dakota Dunes to our list of ugly churches!


Ut Laetificet Cor - That Maketh Glad the Heart




In the 8th century an oratory was built so pilgrims could pray at the place of St. Benedict’s birth. Monks came to Norcia in the 10th century, and remained in one form or another until 1810, when they were forced to flee under the new laws of the Napolianic Code. The current Benedictine community was founded in Rome on September 3, 1998, without being conditioned by previous historical circumstances. These original monks transferred from Rome to Norcia on December 2, 2000, in the great Jubilee Year, becoming The Benedictine Monks of Norcia. They were charged by Rome to care for the Basilica of San Benedetto (built over the birthplace of St Benedict and St Scholastica) and for the many visiting pilgrims. The Benedictines of Norcia see themselves as humble instruments for the necessary New Evangelization of Europe. As of July 2011 there are nineteen monks living at Norcia, four of which are ordained priests and two novices. The Benedictine Monastery of Norcia is also known as the Benedictine monastery Maria Sedes Sapientiae (“Mary Seat of Wisdom”). In February 2012 the Monastery was canonically established under the supervision of the Abbot Primate in the International Benedictine Confederation.

And NOW...you can order their beer! Delivered to your door step!


All revenue the monastery produces is used to support the work of prayer and evangelical witness at the 1500-year-old monastery in Norcia. Naturally, this includes offering warm hospitality to pilgrims and the poor, who are assured of being welcomed at the monks’ door.


Every purchase of beer helps ensure that the centuries-old Latin chants will be sung daily in those ancient buildings, ever in need of repair, and that future monks and pilgrims will have a place to call home.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene and the Priviledge of White

Prince Albert and Princess Charlene




Yesterday was the Feast of St. Devota, who I never heard of but is the Patroness of Monaco. The King and the Queen burn a boat for the occasion.

Wikipedia explains (and FYI - she isn't mentioned in the Catholic Encyclopedia):


Her cult became important to Monaco and the Grimaldis. Since 1874 it has been the custom that on the evening before her feast day a symbolic fishing boat is brought in procession into Port-Hercule and set alight outside the Église Sainte Dévote. This is followed by a fireworks display that lights up Port-Hercule.


On January 27, Mass is celebrated in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception attended by HSH Prince Albert II and HSH Princess Charlene. It is followed by a Solemn Procession of the Relics, to request protection for the Royal Family and the Principality. Receptions in the Monte Carlo Opera House also take place.Albert II, Prince of Monaco participated in this ceremony. 

 OK. HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!

The Cathedral in Monaco is named after St. Nicholas. I know, because I've been in it. It's where Grace Kelly is buried.


Also in attendance was the new Princess of Monaco, the fabulous Princess Charlene. She and the Prince met with the Pope three weeks ago...and Princess Charlene wore WHITE!


Le privilège du blanc ("the privilege of the white") is a French term used for a tradition whereby certain designated Catholic queens and princesses are permitted to wear a white dress and white mantilla during an audience with the Pope .

The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household sometimes issues special instructions when the privilege may be used, such as during papal audience or Masses at the beginning of a pope's reign.
A Catholic princess or queen retains the privilege at the discretion of the Pope, by which she remains a Catholic in good public standing; or married to another Catholic monarch, or simply granted by the Pope at his dispensation. A Catholic royal may also choose to freely exercise the privilege depending on the importance of occasion, and does not negate her privilege should she choose to wear black at certain points of Papal audiences.


As of 2015, the following women are eligible for the privilege:
  •  HM Queen Sofia of Spain (from her husband's accession in 1975)
  •  HM Queen Paola of the Belgians (from her husband's accession in 1993)
  •  HRH The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (from her husband's accession in 2000)
  • HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco (since 2013)
  • HM The Queen of the Belgians (from her husband's accession in 2013)
  • HM The Queen of Spain (from her husband's accession in 2014)
  •  HRH The Princess of Naples



That Oughta Fix It

 Catholic Culture reports:


At the invitation of Morocco’s government, hundreds of Sunni and Shiite scholars from 120 countries gathered in Marrakesh to consider the plight of non-Muslim minorities in largely Muslim nations.
 
“We in the Kingdom of Morocco will not tolerate the violation of the rights of religious minorities in the name of Islam,” King Mohammed VI stated as the January 25-27 conference began. “I am enabling Christians and Jews to practice their faith and not just as minorities. They even serve in the government.”

Participants in the conference issued the Marrakesh Declaration, which called for “full protection for the rights and liberties to all religious groups in a civilized manner that eschews coercion, bias, and arrogance.”

 Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, was present in Marrakesh and welcomed the declaration.

After the summit, the Cardinal and the King played a little football.

Cardinal McCarrick (in red) and King Mohammed VI

This will be the most effective agreement since the Munich Agreement of 1938


The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

 Why you should always have a Catholic on your staff....someone would have thought it great that the Director of Music is Sister Cecilia.



St. Cecilia, Patron Saint of Musicians



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Reminder...IT'S OPTIONAL!

This CartoonChurch.com cartoon by Dave Walker originally appeared in the Church Times.

How To Become A Priest

 From The Onion:

With the number of Catholic clergymen in the United States waning, those who choose the pious life of the priesthood are presented with many practical and spiritual challenges. Here is a step-by-step guide to becoming a priest:

  • Step 1: Make sure you truly feel summoned to the priesthood rather than simply seduced by its promise of a glamorous life of chastity and contemplation
  • Step 2: Decide whether to follow the path of the priesthood or pursue other key roles within the Church, such as catechist, deacon, or archangel

  • Step 3: Before applying to seminaries, update your highlight reel with your best performances of the seven Holy Sacraments
  • Step 4: Candidates must personally feel the call of God to spend a life in servitude of Him, though you won’t have to prove that or anything
  • Step 5: Take a good, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if your body type really works with a chasuble

  • Step 6: Obtain letters of recommendation from two patron saints of your choice
  • Step 7: Memorize the chart that assigns the amount of times one must repeat certain words in order for their actions to be forgiven
  • Step 8: Seminary diploma is withheld until student defeats the Devil best of three in a game of the Devil’s choosing

  • Step 9: Enjoy hard-earned 10 percent discount at participating Chili’s locations

Islamic Outreach, Part LXXXII

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."

Meanwhile....

Looks like the Anglicans beat us to it!


Clergymen should grow beards to emphasise their holiness to Muslims, the Bishop of London has suggested.
Rt Reverend Richard Chartres said the modern fashion for facial hair should not be the preserve of hispters, but would also be likely to impress those from Eastern cultures where wearing a beard could mark a man out as holy.
He said the desire of the clergy of Tower Hamlets to 'reach out to the culture of the majority of their parishioners can only be applauded'.


He went on to say that David Beckham - who he describes as the 'nearest thing to a secular saint' - has 'stimulated countless imitators'.
One of the priests praised by the Bishop of London, the Rev. Atkinson told The Telegraph he found having a beard had helped provide a connection with many people in his parish, around 85 per cent of whom are Muslim.

Does the beard make you want to become an Anglican, Angry Islamic Guy?
NOOOOOOOO!

Jehovah, Lucifer, and Fox TV

I have been listening to an open course by Yale Professor of History, Dr. Paul Freedman on the early middle ages.


This morning, he was discussing St. Augustine's Confessions and the various heresies that sprung up during the middle ages. Docentism, Arianism, Nestorianism....I found particularly interesting his discussion of the Gnostic beliefs about the Old testament Jehovah. What was He, anyway?

Which brings me to a new T.V. show, entitled "Lucifer". Wikipedia says, "The series focuses on Lucifer Morningstar, "who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell and resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the beauty of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals."

Here's Father Z's take:

Priests and bishops who don’t teach about Hell will probably wind up there.

It is the job of every bishop and priest to keep as many of you as possible out of Hell.

As I have noted before, the greatest accomplishment of the Enemy of our souls is to deceive people that the Enemy doesn’t exist … that there is no Hell … that people can’t go to Hell … that no one is in Hell, … that evil is somehow a necessary component of existence… blah blah blah.

The Devil exists.  Fallen angels re real, personal beings.  There is nothing cute about the Enemy.
Fallen angels hate you with a malice no human can imagine.  They have an intellect that surpasses our mere human faculties in a way that we can’t fathom.   They never tire.  They are relentless.  They are real.  If you don’t believe in the existence of malicious fallen angels, you are in serious risk of joining them in Hell.  This is no joke.


 The Devil and the fallen angels hate you.

They have angelic abilities. They never sleep, never tire, are never distracted, have no need to travel from point a to b, and they never miss what you are up to.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Muisc Hath Charms To Sooth a Savage Breast

 Pope Benedict XVI on music:


Finally, music’s third place of origin is in the encounter with the divine which, from the beginning, is a part of that which defines the human reality. It is this encounter of man with the totally other and the totally great that elicits even more so new ways of expression. As a matter of fact, perhaps it could be said that even in the other two areas – love and death – the divine mystery touches us and, in that sense, it is the fact of being touched by God that constitutes the origin of music, all told. I find it moving to observe how in the Psalms, for example, singing alone does not suffice: appeal is made to all instruments. In this way the hidden music of all creation – its mysterious language – is aroused. With the Psalter, in which the motifs of death and love are also operative, we find ourselves right at the origin of the sacred music of the Church of God. One can say that the quality of music depends upon the purity and the greatness of the encounter with the divine, with the experience of love and of pain. The purer and truer this experience is, the purer and greater also will be the music that is born and develops from it.



Meanwhile:

 While reading a newspaper one day, a musician named Jarbas Agnelli saw a photo of birds sitting on an electrical wire. He cut it out and decided to create a song using the exact location of the birds on the wire as musical notes. This short video demonstrates his musical interpretation of the birds. It was made using the original photo, which ran in one of the largest Brazilian newspapers. The end result is clever and lovely, a fascinating synthesis of art and nature.



Catholics for Obama...ummmm....Trump!




From Time magazine (yes, it still exists!):


Donald Trump sprinkles his stump speeches with profanity. He used to support abortion, and says he’s never sought forgiveness from God for his sins. He memorably referred to communion, the Christian sacrament commemorating Jesus’ last supper, as drinking “the little wine” and eating "the little cracker". The thrice-married mogul calls the Bible his favorite book, but when pressed he couldn’t name his best-loved verse. He says he likes the Old and New Testaments about the same.
This is not the profile of an especially devout man, let alone a presidential candidate cut out to court Christian conservatives.

Father Robert Sirico is quoted in the article and expands on his statement on the Acton Institute PowerBlog:


 
I was recently asked by Time Magazine for my general opinion on Donald Trump, his relation to Catholic ideas and White Evangelicals and any other thoughts I might have. I was briefly quoted in Time. But I thought I would include here the parts of my remarks that were not used in the article as well.
Trump’s moral positions on life and sexual morality stray widely from Catholic moral and social teaching in many respects. I would also think that conservative Catholics would have problems with him especially on abortion.
He certainly did not endear himself to Catholics when he said the pope needed to be scared into action against ISIS especially the way he said it.....

Frankly, I cannot figure out the alleged white-evangelical attraction to Trump. To my ear, he simply is not one of them. He is obviously unfamiliar with the Bible and he does not speak in any evangelical dialect with which I am conversant. I would think that in the end, religious conservatives who haven’t aligned themselves with Trump will find themselves allied behind the alternative Republican option.

Monday, January 25, 2016

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

India's government has given a one-year visa to a Catholic nun who had faced expulsion from the country after serving for 44 years working with lepers, the AsiaNews service reports.

  
Sister Bertilla Capra, a member of the Missionaries of the Immaculate, had been told that she would be required to leave India when her current visa expired. But the government relented and granted her a visa that will be valid until November of this year. She has been told that she will now need to renew her visa each year.

March For Life 2015

From LifeSiteNews:

PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE, January 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Reports continue to come in of busloads of marchers from Midwestern states that were among hundreds of other vehicles stranded now for about 21 hours in a bunched up, seven to 10-mile stretch on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Somerset and Bedford areas from Friday evening into Saturday.
The predicted severe weather was not enough to prevent thousands of pro-life pilgrims from travelling to the 43rd annual March for Life in Washington D.C., nor did it stop the resolve of many to hope that they could fulfill their pro-life commitment and still avoid the worst effects of the storm.
Patience, much prayer, an upbeat attitude and kindness for others have all been part of the still on-going response of the hundreds of pro-life supporters still stranded on the way home at the time of writing.  Priests have even celebrated Mass in the midst of the snowstorm.

The Sunday Formerly Known as Septuagesima

Yesterday was once called SEPTUAGESIMA Sunday. Septuagesima indicates the 70th day before Easter (the 9th Sunday). It's not really mathematical if you try to figure it out, but close enough. Back in the day before Vatican Council 2, the priest would wear a purple chasuble to remind us to prepare for the Lenten season. It also was the last time until Holy Saturday that the Alleluia was sung (or heard at all).  In some places, a burial took place...

One of the most popular was to write the word on a large piece of parchment, and then after Vespers bury it in the churchyard, so that it could be dug up again on Easter Sunday. Our friends from the Fraterity of St Joseph the Guardian in La Londe-les-Maures, France, have posted some pictures of their ritual burial of the Alleluia on their Facebook page, which they very kindly agreed to share with us.

Note the BLACK chasuble!
 Wikipedia reports:


In Divine Worship: The Missal, promulgated by the CDF/CDW commission Anglicanae Traditiones for use in the Ordinariates established under Anglicanorum coetibus beginning in Advent 2015, the season of Pre-Lent is restored. This includes the use of violet, the omission of the Gloria and Alleluias, and collects and other propers appropriate to the season. The readings, however, remain those of the corresponding numbered Sundays of the year.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lambs For Christ

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2016 / 10:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis observed the feast of St. Agnes on Thursday with the time-honored custom of the blessing of lambs, whose wool will be used to make palliums, a vestment worn by metropolitan archbishops which signify their unity with the Church of Rome.
The two small lambs, traditionally less than a year old, were placed in baskets and carried to the Urban VIII Chapel in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace Jan. 21, where they received the Holy Father’s blessing.
St. Agnes, whose name means “lamb” in Latin, was a young girl when she consecrated her virginity to God. Although stories of her martyrdom vary, tradition holds that the beautiful young girl was pursued by various men, whom she refused because of her promise to God.
Feeling slighted, these men then turned her over to Roman authorities, outing her as a Christian. She was then put to death by the sword after refusing to give up her virginity or denounce her faith, at the young age of 12 or 13.


The young saint is buried in the basilica named for her, located on Rome’s Via Nomentana. Since she is mentioned in the Roman Canon, her association with the pallium is an important symbol of unity with the successor of Saint Peter.
During the blessing of the lambs, one lamb wears a white crown symbolizing the saint’s purity, and the other lamb to wear a red crown, emblematic of her martyrdom.
St. Agnes is usually depicted as carrying a lamb in her arms, and she is the patron saint of young girls, engaged couples, and victims of sexual assault.
When the sheep are shorn in the summer, religious sisters will collect the wool and use it to weave the palliums, which are white stoles with six black crosses worn by archbishops to show their unity with the Pope and their apostolic authority. The vestment dates back to at least the fifth century.
After the palliums are woven, they are kept in an urn at the tomb of St. Peter until the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, when they are presented to the archbishops who were newly appointed in the last year.

Visual Aid

I have Two Questions



What? WHAT??? 

Yesterday(January 20) was the feast of St. Sebastian, martyr...
 



Revellers throw turnips at the Jarramplas, a character who wears a devil-like mask and a colourful costume, as he makes his way through the streets while beating his drum during the Jarramplas traditional festival in Piornal, southwestern Spain on Jan. 20, 2016. Even though the exact origins of the festival are not known, various theories exist linking it to the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules; a relation to ceremonies celebrated by the American Indians that were seen by the first conquerors; or to a cattle thief being ridiculed and expelled by his village neighbours. The Jarramplas festival takes place annually to mark Saint Sebastian's Day.


And now a word from our sponsor...


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Islamic Outreach, Part LXXXI

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."


Meanwhile....



New satellite photos confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: the oldest Christian monastery in Iraqhas been reduced to rubble, yet another victim of Islamic State’s relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical.
St Elijah’s monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, including most recently for US troops. In earlier millennia, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches, prayed in the chapel and worshiped at the altar. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of Christ’s name, were carved near the entrance.
This month, a high resolution camera was used to capture images of the site, which were compared with earlier photographs of the same spot.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Distinction Without a Difference

 From Catholic Culture:


Communist authorities forbade Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich to enter the Diocese of Vinh during a recent eight-day visit to Vietnam, UCA News reported.

Cardinal Marx


We demand the Government Committee for Religious Affairs make clear the reason why it refused the visit, [and] in addition, obey the law and respect religious freedom specified by the constitution and laws,” Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop of Vinh said in response.

Vinh, a city of nearly 500,000, is the site of particularly egregious violations of religious liberty, according to the report. 

Maybe the Socialists had him confused with KARL Marx. I mean, they both wrote books called "Das Capital", both of which were critical of capitalism.


Retired archbishop Jan Paul Lenga of Karaganda, Kazakhstan said of him "There was Marx, Karl Marx. And if present Marx says similar things, then there is no real difference.”

 







ee more at: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=27226#sthash.UBlt4xJL.dpuf

I WONDERED What Happened to That Holy Day of Obligation

 Posted, and then realized this is my 1600th post!

Seriously...I vaguely remembered the name because as a kid such things were memorable. Read the whole thing:

From Crux:


A visit by Pope Francis to the Great Synagogue of Rome on Sunday, his first and the third overall by popes, was rich in both symbolism and substance. It offered clear reminders of the dramatic progress in Catholic/Jewish relations over the past 50 years, but also of the tensions that remain.
While expressing deep admiration for Francis and his lifetime commitment to friendship with Jews, leaders of Rome’s Jewish community also laid down an unmistakable challenge to the pontiff to be more outspoken in defense of Israel and against radical Islamic terrorism — not just in Europe, but also in the Jewish homeland.
In terms of the big picture about where things stand today between Jews and Christians, however, a small moment at the beginning seemed to tell the tale best.
When Francis got out of the car that carried him the roughly two miles from the Vatican to the Great Synagogue, his first order of business was to greet a handful of living survivors of the Holocaust and also relatives of a two-year-old boy who was killed during a 1982 assault on the synagogue by Palestinian terrorists.
Those episodes are no laughing matter, and Francis appeared somber and restrained as he began shaking hands. That lasted until he saw an elderly man named Nereo Musante, wearing a fedora and sporting a long beard, who was gazing at the pontiff with an infectious smile.



 Francis lit up and made a beeline for Musante, wrapping his outstretched hand in both of his own and engaging in a brief chat. Nearby microphones picked up most of the exchange.
“Listen, Holy Father, how about putting the [feast of] the circumcision back on the calendar?” Musante said, causing others standing nearby to laugh that he would use the occasion to give the pope unsolicited advice.
“It would be a beautiful thing to do, wouldn’t it?” he persisted.

 From the 13th and 14th centuries, the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord was celebrated on Jan. 1 and was considered a holy day of obligation, when Catholics are required to attend Mass. After the Second Vatican Council, however, Jan. 1 was designated as a feast of Mary, Mother of God, returning to an ancient practice, and the Feast of the Circumcision was more or less forgotten

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Primates are Revolting!



This is a very interesting read from the Washington Post. Read it all.


For the first time, the global organizing body of Anglicans has punished the Episcopal Church, following years of heated debate with the American church over homosexuality, same-sex marriage and the role of women.
The Anglican Communion’s announcement Thursday that it would suspend its U.S. branch for three years from key voting positions was seen as a blow to the Episcopal Church, which allows its clergy to perform same-sex marriages and this summer voted to include the rite in its church laws.
It was also seen as a victory for conservative Anglicans, especially those in Africa,, who for years have been pressing the Anglican Communion to discipline the U.S. body.

This section made me LOL out loud:



“I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society,” Curry, the church’s first African American presiding bishop, told the primates.

But it turns out he is talking about this kind of primate



Not this kind:


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Feast of the Ass, January 14 (Redux)

 I posted this a year ago, but it seems particularly relevant to me currently...

If I hadn't read it, I wouldn't have believed it....

The Feast of the Ass (Latin: Festum Asinorum or asinaria festa, French: Fête de l’âne) was a medieval, Christian feast observed on January 14, celebrating the Flight into Egypt


It was celebrated primarily in France, as a by-product of the Feast of Fools celebrating the donkey-related stories in the Bible, in particular the donkey bearing the Holy Family into Egypt after Jesus‘s birth.

Practices:

A girl with child on a donkey would be led through town to the church, where the donkey would stand beside the altar during the sermon, and the congregation would “hee-haw” their responses to the priest.

Father Z gets in on the fun:

Islamic Outreach, Part LXXX

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."

Meanwhile....


Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) has produced a report which may justify the liberals’ refusal to place the blame for terrorism on “radical Muslim.” After all, a grand total of TWO of the 452 suicide attacks world-wide in 2015 (or 0.44%) were conducted by non-Muslims.


The INSS produces an annual report on suicide bombings. According to the latest figures reported  in the Times of Israel, there were 150 fewer suicide attacks worldwide in 2015 than reported in 2014  (452, down from 592), but those attacks were more deadly: 4,370 people killed in last year’s 452 attacks as compared with 4,400 people murdered in the 592 bombings in 2014. The 2013 figures were lower, 291 suicide bombings causing approximately 3,100 deaths.
ISIS, the group President Obama labeled as the JV team, was certainly varsity when it came to suicide bombings as they are credited with conducting 174 of 2015’s 452 suicide attacks.
 


The terrorists also seem to be getting more inclusive of women. In 2015, 124 women took part in suicide attacks, up 553% from 19 in 2014. And, more than a quarter (28%), at least 35 of the female attackers were children aged eight to eighteen.
The earlier reports did not include the number of bombings by Muslim terrorists vs. other radical groups, but the 2014 report does claim that Sunni Salafist jihadi groups “were responsible for most suicide bombings around the world”:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Man is Known By the Company He Keeps, Part 2

Catholic Culture reports:

In his final state of the union address, President Barack Obama referred to Pope Francis’s speech to Congress in September. Let me just say this,” President Obama said on January 12. “This isn’t a matter of political correctness. This is a matter of understanding just what it is that makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal, it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.” 



He continued:"His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot I’m standing on tonight that “to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place.” When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad, or fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid is called names, that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it what-- telling it like it is, it’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world.