Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Belfast bakery discriminated by refusing gay cake order, court rules

By Ian Graham

BELFAST (Reuters) - A Northern Ireland bakery owned by devout Christians who refused to bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan was found guilty of discrimination in Belfast on Tuesday and fined.

The case has become heavily politicized in Northern Ireland with members of the province's largest political party, the Democratic Unionist Party, proposing the introduction of a Conscience Clause Bill to allow the withholding of services on grounds of religious belief.

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, a member of the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, welcomed the judgment as "a good result for equality".

Gay rights activist Gareth Lee took Ashers Baking Company in Belfast to court in a civil action after it canceled his order for a cake with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage" on it. The case was funded by the British province's Equality Commission.

The firm initially accepted the order but later contacted Lee to cancel it and refund his money. Lee told a court hearing over three days in March that the bakery's refusal made him feel "unworthy" and "a lesser person".

Speaking outside the court just before the judgment on Tuesday, bakery owner Daniel McArthur said: "We happily serve everyone but we cannot promote a cause that goes against what the Bible says about marriage."

In her judgment, District Judge Isobel Brownlie said that while the defendants had a right to religious beliefs "they are limited as to how they manifest them".

For it to be otherwise "would be to allow religious belief to dictate what the law is," she added.

The court found that Ashers had discriminated against Lee on the grounds of his sexual orientation as well as his political beliefs and ordered the bakery to pay £500 ($776).


Monday, May 18, 2015

Bishop: Catholics Should Abstain from Yoga

By SBrinkmann

(Women of Grace) The recently retired Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, sent a letter to our ministry in which he advised Catholics to steer clear of yoga because of its basis in Hinduism and to take up other methods of exercise that don’t place the faith in unnecessary danger.

Even though many people claim to use yoga as an exercise regime, Bishop Bruskewitz warns that yoga’s background is much more complicated than that because it has “the intention to strengthen and expand human consciousness and the rational and mind level of the person who engages in Yoga.”

He correctly points out that yoga originated in, and is an important part of, various forms of the Hindu religion which is, in the Catholic perspective, “a pagan religion based on heathen beliefs and false doctrine of revelation involving such things as transmigration of souls, and so forth..." (continued)


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Jim Harbaugh's Missionary Pilgrimage

By Steve Schrader, Detroit Free Press

And why is Jim Harbaugh tweeting from Peru? Is he doing a satellite Michigan football camp there, too?

No, he's on his annual missionary pilgrimage to help the Santisimo Sacramento Catholic parish in the village of Piura, a poverty-stricken town 600 miles north of Lima.

It's something Harbaugh has done since 2009. Last year's eight-day trip was documented by Comcast Sports Network Bay Area for an hourlong special: "Peruball: Jim Harbaugh in South America."

"You can pretty much help someone from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed," Harbaugh told Comcast then. "It's beyond rewarding; it's a chance to do something..."


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Vatican recognizes state of Palestine in new treaty


VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty.
The treaty, which was finalized Wednesday but still has to be signed, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes an official diplomatic recognition.

"Yes, it's a recognition that the state exists," said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to visit Pope Francis on Saturday before the canonization of two new saints from the Holy Land a day later.

The Vatican has been referring unofficially to the state of Palestine for at least a year.

During Pope Francis' 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican's official program referred to Abbas as the president of the "state of Palestine." In the Vatican's latest yearbook, the Palestinian ambassador to the Holy See is listed as representing "Palestine (state of)."

The Vatican's foreign minister, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, acknowledged the change in status, given that the treaty was initially inked with the PLO and is now being finalized with the "state of Palestine." But he said the shift was simply in line with the Holy See's position.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Sunset on Mars

(Jet Propulsion Laboratory) NASA's Curiosity Mars rover recorded this view of the sun setting at the close of the mission's 956th Martian day, or sol (April 15, 2015), from the rover's location in Gale Crater.

This was the first sunset observed in color by Curiosity. The image comes from the left-eye camera of the rover's Mast Camera (Mastcam)...


Why owning a cat could damage your SIGHT: Exposure 'to felines increases risk of glaucoma' - but having a dog guards against the disease

  • People diagnosed with glaucoma found to have 'significantly higher levels' of an allergic antibody to cats and cockroaches 
  • Raise possibility the immune system plays a role in the eye disease 
  • Second-leading cause of blindness globally and is caused by a build-up of pressure in the eyeball, triggering damage to the optic nerve or retina 

(Daily Mail) Owning a cat can increase a person's risk of developing the eye disease glaucoma, experts have warned.

In contrast, however, having a pet dog could protect against the disease, which can cause blindness.

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, discovered those people diagnosed with glaucoma had 'significantly higher levels' of immunoglobulin E.

This is a type of allergic antibody produced by the body in response to cats and cockroaches.

Levels of the allergic antibody are elevated in those people who suffer hay fever and asthma.

Researchers said their findings raise the possibility that the immune system plays a role in glaucoma.

The condition is the second-leading cause of blindness across the world.

Often affecting both eyes, it develops when fluid, which is constantly produced by the eye, cannot drain properly and pressure builds up in the eyeball.

The pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve - which connects the eye to the brain - and the nerve fibres from the retina.

As part of the study, experts examined data from 1,678 people, aged in their 50s and 60s.

Each volunteer underwent an allergy test for dust mites, cats, dogs, cockroaches and rodents, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Around five per cent of those taking part were diagnosed as having the eye disease.

Of those, 14.3 per cent had significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin E, to cats and 19.1 per cent to cockroaches.

That was compared with 10 per cent in non-glaucoma patients.

Levels associated with dogs were elevated in just six per cent of glaucoma patients, compared with nine per cent of those without the eye disease.

The report stated: 'Participants with glaucoma had significantly higher odds of sensitisation to the cockroach and cat allergens compared to those without glaucoma.'

The authors suggest that the difference in cat and cockroach allergens and those of dogs may have different effects because dogs spend more time outdoors.

The study was published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pope Francis met the Harlem Globetrotters and it was magical

 L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP

From Avery Stone at USA Today:

On Wednesday, Pope Francis met the Harlem Globetrotters in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The team named the Pope an honorary Globetrotter, and even gave him his own jersey.

The players also taught the 78-year-old to spin a basketball. All in all, it was a magical interaction.


Conan: The 2016 Presidential Race Movie

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

States could force Catholic priests to perform same-sex ‘marriages’ or lose legal status: Justice Scalia

By Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2015, (LifeSiteNews.com) – If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex “marriage” is a constitutional right, one justice has said that the government could force clergy of all denominations to perform gay “weddings” or lose the ability to officiate any state-sanctioned marriage.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that will decide whether the Constitution forbids states from upholding marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Among the exchanges, Justice Antonin Scalia repeatedly noted that if the High Court finds same-sex "marriage" is a constitutional right, then priests, ministers, rabbis, and imams will be required to perform such ceremonies – regardless of their religious beliefs – or face state penalties.
Justice Scalia repeatedly suggested that once a constitutional right to marry by same-sex couples was enshrined by the court, a member of the clergy could not be given civil marriage powers by the state unless he agreed to perform any and all marriages that the nation legally recognizes.

"Every state allows ministers to marry people, and their marriages are effective under state law,” Scalia said. “That will not be the case if, indeed, we hold, as a constitutional matter, that the state must marry two men."

As it stands, most clergy serve a dual role, celebrating church nuptials but also signing legal documents allowing the state to legally recognize that marriage. But if they refuse to conduct same-sex rituals, government officials may strip clergy of their state legal standing, rendering their marriages legally invalid in the eyes of the state government.

He said he was reticent to give the power to compel someone to violate his conscience to the State. “I'm concerned about the wisdom of this court imposing through the Constitution a requirement of action which is unpalatable to many of our citizens for religious reasons," Scalia said. He noted that most religious denominations "are not likely to change their view about what marriage consists of."

Justice Scalia noted the key difference between state laws, which can make exceptions for religious beliefs, and finding a right to gay "marriage" in the Constitution, which would allow no exceptions.

"Were the states to [redefine marriage] by law, they could make exceptions to what is required for same-sex marriage, who has to honor it, and so forth. But once it's made a matter of constitutional law...is it conceivable that a minister who is authorized by the state to conduct marriage can decline to marry two men? Is it conceivable that that would be allowed?"

His question was rebuffed by some of the court's liberal justices, who pointed to the "free exercise of religion" clause in the Bill of Rights – but it was not answered.

Unsatisfied, Justice Scalia continued to explain that same-sex "marriage" bans in the states "are laws. They are not constitutional requirements. If you let the states [redefine marriage], you can make a [religious] exception. The state can say, 'Yes, two men can marry — but ministers who do not believe in same-sex marriage will still be authorized to conduct marriages on behalf of the state.' You can’t do that once it is a constitutional proscription."

A devout Roman Catholic, Scalia said that no religious exception can be allowed for a constitutional right. A minister "is not given the state’s power, unless he agrees to use that power in accordance with the Constitution. You can’t appoint people who will then go ahead and violate the Constitution.”

"I don't see how you could possibly allow that minister to say, 'I will only marry a man and a woman. I will not marry two men,'" Scalia said.

“I don't see any answer to that,” the justice said. “I really don't."

He also drew a subtle but clear attention to the fact that the ultimate impact would be to favor liberal denominations, like the Episcopal Church, over traditional ones like the Roman Catholic Church. "You could have ministers who conduct real marriages that are civilly enforceable at the National Cathedral, but not at St. Matthew's downtown, because that minister refuses to marry two men, and therefore, cannot be given the state power to make a real state marriage.”
  The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes told Fox News' Bret Baier that a ruling in favor of same-sex "marriage" would leave religious liberties vulnerable.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Todd Starnes it’s now “open season on Americans who refuse to bow to the government’s redefinition of marriage.”

Many Christian leaders are concerned that if the Supreme Court finds same-sex "marriage" a constitutional right, they will be forced to disobey federal law – and, like the civil rights protesters of the 1960s, accept the legal consequences that follow.

Such a scenario is not new. In 2014, two Christian ministers who own an Idaho wedding chapel were told they had to either perform same-sex "weddings" or face a 180-day jail sentence and a $1,000 a day fine. The ministers sued and won, this time.

"The other side insisted this would never happen – that pastors would not have to perform same-sex marriages,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco said. “The reality is it’s already happening.”


Judas and Hell

The Vortex

(Church Militant) Monday, we showed the voice of Scripture on Judas being in Hell; yesterday we showed constant witness of the Fathers of the Church.

Today: the witness of the saints in approved private revelation, and specifically, the Church-approved revelations of God the Father to St. Catherine of Siena.

In her famous Dialogue, St. Catherine reveals the following that was told to her by God the Father:
So the despair of Judas displeased Me more and was a greater insult to My Son than his betrayal had been. Therefore, such as these are reproved for this false judgment of considering their sin to be greater than My mercy, and for this they are punished with the demons and tortured eternally with them.
Notice again the sin of Judas betraying Our Blessed Lord is not the one for which he is damned, but the despair of God’s mercy. But whatever the sin, he is damned.

From Scriptures, from Doctors and Fathers of the Church, from Church-approved private revelations of the saints — nowhere in 2000 years is there a voice in the Church declaring that Judas was saved.
And if you include Church-approved private revelations as credible sources, then there is actually a three-fold revelation of Judas being damned from each of the Persons of the Blessed Trinity: God the Father to St. Catherine; God the Son as related by the Gospel writers; and the Holy Spirit as revealed to St. Peter and recounted through inspiration in the Acts of the Apostles. Add to this the deep reflection and meditations by Popes, Doctors, and Fathers, and it is simply UN-Catholic to try and hold that Judas was saved.

And as to the objection that the Church does not teach that Judas is damned as part of official teaching — that’s a pointless objection. There are many things the Church holds that are not part of declared dogmatic teaching. Something doesn’t have to be officially declared to be true; it’s just that whatever is declared definitively is true.

Moreover, we should never look to the Church to declare anything definitively that does not bear directly on our salvation. The declaring of someone as being damned does not bear on your or my salvation.

And switching gears here to the question of private revelation, it can never contradict official Church teaching. This is one of the ways that so many fraudulent apparitions are discovered. Our Lady, or whoever the supposed vision is of, says some oddball thing, or in other cases simply never seems to say anything related to Church teaching. It’s one of the biggest reasons for totally dismissing the supposed revelations of Our Lady of Medjugorje.

Having allegedly appeared every day now for over 30 years — including many multiple appearances in the same day to some of the various seers — this means if that apparition is true, that Our Lady has appeared more than 12,000 times, day after day, with no end in sight.

In all those appearances (more than 12,000) she has never, ever —  not once — breathed a word about the worldwide slaughter of over one billion children in the womb. She has never said a word about the evil of sodomy and its quickly growing acceptance by even many Catholics. She has never breathed a word about the increase in sin, homosexuality in the clergy and so forth.

But according to the visionaries, she has said things like the differences in world religions don’t matter to God.

That is a fake apparition, regardless of how many people who have gone their have felt about it. Feelings do not make something true. The truth makes something true. The supposed visions at Medjugorje are the perfect apparition for a Church drowning in feel-good emotions. They appeal to Catholics on an emotional level, not an intellectual level, that is to say, an authentically spiritual level.

This is a fake private revelation, especially when you consider that nothing has really been revealed.

But in cases like real apparitions and private revelations such as that of God the Father to St. Catherine of Siena, not only is nothing revealed contrary to Church teaching or tradition — it all agrees with and supports already-existing tradition and teaching.

When it comes to the question of Judas, there can be no private revelation revealing he is saved because such a private revelation would stand in contradiction to close to 2000 years of well-grounded (including Scripture) belief that he is damned.

Even the early fourth-century saint of the East Ephraim said, "Judas was the treasurer of his poison [referring to Satan]; And although Satan’s form is hidden, in Judas he is totally visible. Though Satan’s history is a long one, it is summed up in the Iscariot."

The Holy Spirit inspired the prophets a thousand years before Our Lord to speak of this; Our Blessed Lord Himself spoke of this; the first Pope spoke of it; later Popes spoke of it; the Early Fathers spoke of it; later Doctors of the Church spoke of it; the saints down through the ages spoke it; private revelation spoke of it.

And of it there can be no doubt: Judas is damned.

But the effort to “say it isn’t so” still continues, with feeble attempts to deny it. One in particular has created much much confusion in people’s minds in understanding some fundamental truths of the Faith. It is the subject of tomorrow’s Vortex, and it is the attempt to say Judas had to betray Jesus in order for us to be redeemed. Not a word of truth to that.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Pope (Benedict) condemns the climate change prophets of doom (2007)


Pope Benedict XVI(Daily Mail) Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.

The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.

The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.

His remarks will be made in his annual message for World Peace Day on January 1, but they were released as delegates from all over the world convened on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali for UN climate change talks.

The 80-year-old Pope said the world needed to care for the environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants was given a greater priority than that of mankind.
"Humanity today is rightly concerned about the ecological balance of tomorrow," he said in the message entitled "The Human Family, A Community of Peace".

"It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances.

polar bears "If the protection of the environment involves costs, they should be justly distributed, taking due account of the different levels of development of various countries and the need for solidarity with future generations.

"Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken."

Efforts to protect the environment should seek "agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances", the Pope said.
He added that to further the cause of world peace it was sensible for nations to "choose the path of dialogue rather than the path of unilateral decisions" in how to cooperate responsibly on conserving the planet.

The Pope's message is traditionally sent to heads of government and international organisations.
His remarks reveal that while the Pope acknowledges that problems may be associated with unbridled development and climate change, he believes the case against global warming to be over-hyped.

A broad consensus is developing among the world's scientific community over the evils of climate change.

But there is also an intransigent body of scientific opinion which continues to insist that industrial emissions are not to blame for the phenomenon.

Such scientists point out that fluctuations in the earth's temperature are normal and can often be caused by waves of heat generated by the sun. Other critics of environmentalism have compared the movement to a burgeoning industry in its own right.

In the spring, the Vatican hosted a conference on climate change that was welcomed by environmentalists.

But senior cardinals close to the Vatican have since expressed doubts about a movement which has been likened by critics to be just as dogmatic in its assumptions as any religion.

In October, the Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, caused an outcry when he noted that the atmospheric temperature of Mars had risen by 0.5 degrees celsius.

"The industrial-military complex up on Mars can't be blamed for that," he said in a criticism of Australian scientists who had claimed that carbon emissions would force temperatures on earth to rise by almost five degrees by 2070 unless drastic solutions were enforced.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Presbyterian Pastor: “I Love Planned Parenthood.” Calls Abortion Business a “Ministry”

By Carole Novielli

(LifeNews.com) The president of the largest chain of abortion clinics in the United States is thanking “Faith Leaders” for standing with them.

In a tweet by Planned Parenthood president, Cecile Richards, recently released she states, “So grateful to the many faith leaders who stand with Planned Parenthood and our patients. http://ppact.io/1IIU4QF Thank you, @awkukla!”

Cecile Richards Planned Parenthood Faith Leaders

@awkukla is Andrew Kukla, who describes himself as a , “Presby minister, love philosophy and Kierkegaard in particular, dad of four young kids, and I live in Boise, ID,” on his twitter page. The link takes you to a post written by the Presbyterian pastor which calls what Planned Parenthood does “a ministry“.

He titled the blog post, “I (heart) Planned Parenthood.” Hard to believe? Read for yourself:

“I heart Planned Parenthood. I love these people who do not care what others will label them or say about them or even say to them. They care too much about people and too much about life to let hate and ignorance hold them back. As a Christian I am called to grace, forgiveness, mercy… and building up of those who life has torn down. And from all I learned today, some of the greatest practitioners of that are the people working at Planned Parenthood. So I say it proudly: I love Planned Parenthood. I love the people that are Planned Parenthood. I love their ministry”.

Planned Parenthood has proudly posted about this this Pastor on a blog they entitled, “Pastor loves Planned Parenthood.”

The blog makes it clear that the Rev. Andrew Kukla loves the killer of unborn children and some women like 24 year-old Tonya Reaves who was left to bleed for 5 hours after her abortion.
And, why does the delusional Rev. Kukla “love” Planned Parenthood? For “fighting for life.”

“What I love is the dedicated staff of people who are doing the ministry of caring for people. Fighting for people. Fighting for life,” he writes.
He then calls Planned Parenthood “resurrection workers.”
“I walked out of a meeting this morning at a Planned Parenthood office/clinic and saw a lone protestor holding a sign that said, “They kill babies here.” I have a lot of thoughts about that sign but I will restrain myself. Here is what I thought that is most relevant: This is resurrection work. No, not the sign carrier. The people I love at Planned Parenthood. They are resurrection workers.”
Rev. Andrew Kukla is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church Boise, Idaho.


Despite that the Word of God is full of scriptures against the killing of the innocent, this Pastor supports Planned Parenthood. Even more ironic, is that one of his recent blog posts was entitled, ““Cherry Picking” Scripture.” This man will have to answer to God for what he is doing.

In the words of our Lord Jesus Christ from Matthew 18, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Unfortunately, this heretic pastor and church is not alone.

I recently blogged about a Presbyterian Church in Louisiana which opened their doors to Planned Parenthood for support- read that post here. In addition, I also exposed the Planned Parenthood clergy letters encouraging abortion – shameful. Read that here.

LifeNews Note: Carole Novielli is the author of the blog Saynsumthn, where this article originally appeared.


This mega McDonald's bill came to $890

By Katie Little

(CNBC) Spending $10 at McDonald's will buy a fast food feast. Shelling out $890.80? That will get you a "Big Max."

That is how much Moshe Tamssot's bill came to after he tested out the limits of McDonald's new customizable sandwich platform called Create Your Taste. The restaurant adjusted the triple-digit price to merely $24.89 due to what Tamssot said was a pricing bug in the system in a recent YouTube video documenting the meat feat.

The 3.8 pound burger, piled high with dozens of toppings, including multiple types of cheese and condiments, takes the meaning of loaded to a new level.

"That's as big as we could make it without it falling apart," says one employee who brings the monstrosity to Tamssot's table, with the rest of the burger on a side tray. The worker then snaps a photo of the mega burger.

While Tamssot did not have to fork over close to a grand for a burger, the shenanigan could inspire copycats to out-burger him.

"In this test, customers are able to customize their order as they wish," said McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb in an email.

"[S]ome people like to go big or go home when it comes to their burgers," McComb added.

Create Your Taste is now available in about 30 restaurants in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Georgia, Missouri and Pennsylvania. The chain plans to expand the customizable sandwich platform to more locations in the U.S.


Archbishop Blase Cupich allows non-Catholic Governor to receive Holy Communion

By Michael Voris

CHICAGO, April 24, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com)—Eyewitness reports as well as television footage clearly prove that Illinois governor Bruce Rauner received Holy Communion at Cardinal George's funeral Mass at Holy Name Cathedral on Thursday, April 23.

Therefore, what appears to be a grave violation of Canon 844 has been committed. Present at the Mass was Chicago's new archbishop Blase Cupich.

In addition to the violation of canon law, the question is being asked: Was a sacrilege committed on the new archbishop's watch?

According to canon law, since the governor is a non-Catholic, he is unable to be given Holy Communion unless a number of conditions are all met:
  1. Foremost, there must be a grave and urgent need, usually understood to mean danger of death.
  2. The governor must demonstrate Catholic faith in the Real Presence.
  3. He must be duly disposed, and not conscious of any grave sin.
As for the matter of sacrilege, it is understood to mean to treat that which is holy in an unholy manner. Unfaithful reception or administering of Holy Communion is a sacrilege. So a number of questions arise:

Did the archdiocese of Chicago, while extending an invitation to the governor to attend the funeral, perform its minimal duty to prevent any sacrilege by informing the governor's office that Holy Communion is reserved for Catholics in the state of grace?

Was political favor shown to the governor in the dismissing of canon law?

The USCCB has issued a clear directive on the matter of non-Catholics receiving Holy Communion. The directive states in part, "Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion" (emphasis added).

So the question remains: Is Archbishop Cupich disregarding the directives of his brother bishops?

In November 2014, newly appointed Archbishop Cupich created a controversy in the Catholic world when he was interviewed by CBS's Face the Nation. Cupich was asked point blank if he would give Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. He ducked the question by saying he didn't want the issue to come up at the communion rail.

(Answer at 3:30)

Cupich's appointment was disappointing to many faithful Catholics owing to his more politically progressive stands on issues like illegal immigration and global warming. In a move that stunned many faithful Catholics in Spokane, Washington, he forbade any of his priests from participating in pro-life prayer rallies, especially those in front of abortion chambers.

This newest scandal of not properly safeguarding the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege is only heightening the concern of faithful Catholics.


Muslim Delegation Visits Shroud of Turin

Imam says linen cloth believed to be the burial shroud of Jesus invites us to be "brothers"

L'Osservatore Romano via Aleteia

TURIN — “We decided to come as a sign, to say that we are citizens of this country and city. The Shroud draws Christians and Muslims, and in a world marked by division, it invites us to be brothers.”

This message of peace and dialogue came Wednesday from a group of Muslims who visited the Holy Shroud of Turin now on display at northern Italian city’s Cathedral. The delegation included the President of the League of Imams and Preachers of Mosques in Italy, Mohamed Bahreddine, and the spokesman for the Intercultural Center Mecca, Amir Younes.

“We need to be strong and say ‘no’ to every form of violence and terrorism, and ‘yes’ to coexistence: today we truly need this,” the delegation explained, recalling that “representatives of the Church always attend our celebrations at the end of Ramadan.”

Bahreddine described the moments passed before the Shroud as “a journey in time and history, in which we saw the figure of Jesus in the vision of our Christian brothers,” ANSA reported.

“There is something here that touches one’s soul,” added Younes, “and when this happens it is because one is in the realm of religion. We have looked on it as a moment that brings people together towards peace, a moment which we need very much today; and this is what we hope will also happen in our own regions, where war is waged for nothing.”

“I am pleased about participation,” commented Don Augusto Negri, director and chairman of the Diocesan Centre for Christian-Islamic dialogue. It signals “a desire for integration and acceptance of religious and cultural differences.”

Translation from the Italian by Diane Montagna of Aleteia’s English edition.

sources: L'Osservatore Romano 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dog Vomit Expansion

By Ann Barnhardt @ Barnhardt.biz

1.  I tickles me to no end that this dialogue is not only possible, but probable:

Person One:  So, what was it that finally convicted you of the truth and caused you to revert/convert to Catholicism?

Person Two:  Dog vomit.  The thing about the dogs eating their own vomit.  Totally.

2.  So I posted 2 Peter 2 in the post below, which ends with Peter recalling Proverbs 26:11:
As a dog that returneth to his vomit, so is the fool that repeateth his folly.

Sicut canis qui revertitur ad vomitum suum, sic imprudens qui iterat stultitiam suam.

Now, the story of how that came up is this: I am currently reading “Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori”, which I cannot recommend with sufficient strength, and I found myself earlier this week reading “Sermon XLI, On the Abuse of Divine Mercy”.  Ever so slightly relevant to the current goings-on, eh?  “Oooh.  This should be interesting,” I thought to myself.  Indeed.  Allow me to quote from Section 2, emphases mine:
“When you intend to commit sin, who, I ask, promises you mercy from God?  Certainly God does not promise it.  It is the devil that promises it, that you may lose God and be damned.  “Beware”, says St. John Chrysostom, “never to attend to that dog who promises the mercy of God.”  If, beloved sinners, you have hitherto offended God, hope and tremble: if you desire to give up sin, and if you detest it, hope; because God promises pardon to all who repent of the evil they have done.  But if you intend to continue in your sinful course, tremble lest God should wait no longer for you, but cast you into hell.  Why does God wait for sinners?  Is it that they may continue to insult Him?  No; He waits for them that they may renounce sin, and that He may thus have pity on them, and forgive them.  “Therefore the Lord waiteth, that He may have mercy on you” -Isaiah 30:18. But when He sees that the time which he gave them to weep over their past iniquities is spent in multiplying their sins, He begins to inflict chastisement, and He cuts them off in the state of sin, that, by dying, they may cease to offend Him.  Then He calls against them the very time He had given them for repentance. “He hath called against me the time” -Lamentations 1:15.  “The very time”, says St. Gregory, “comes to judge.”
It was pointed out to me that when Chrysostom uses the pejorative “that dog”, it is far from random name calling.  He is referencing the “dog that returneth to his vomit” from Proverbs 26 and 2 Peter 2.

The dog that eats his own vomit; the sow that was washed who returns to wallow in mud mingled with her own feces, that is “mire”, is the unrepentant sinner who has no intention of STOPPING THE SINFUL ACTIVITY.

One more block quote from section 5 of St. Alphonsus’ sermon:
St. Bernard says that the confidence which sinners have in God’s goodness, when they commit sin, procures for them not a blessing, but a malediction from the Lord.  O deceitful hope, which sends so many Christians to hell!  They do not hope for the pardon of sins of which they repent; but they hope that though they continue to sin, God will have mercy upon them; and thus they make the mercy of God serve as a motive for continuing to offend Him.
Pray the Rosary, most especially the Sorrowful Mysteries, the First Sorrowful Mystery being The Agony of Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The fruit of this mystery is SORROW FOR SIN, which is the utterly critical and essential prerequisite for His Mercy and forgiveness.  Beg Him to know what every single one of your sins are, and for you to feel a portion of the agony at your sins that He bore in the Garden, such that you may be animated to STOP DOING THE SINFUL ACTIVITY.

Here is my recording of the Sorrowful Mysteries in Latin with the Litany of Loreto and the text file, specifically for the crushing of and in reparation for the Heresy of Modernism. 

I hope this helps.


Tennessee Ernie Ford - 16 Tons

Navy Chaplain Censored: ‘Don’t pray in the name of Jesus’

Lt. Cmdr. Wes Modder (Courtesy Liberty Institute)


(Fox News) A Navy chaplain who faces the end of a stellar 19-year career because of his faith-based views on marriage and human sexuality was told by a base commander to refrain from offering a prayer in the name of Jesus, according to attorneys representing the chaplain.

That allegation was tucked away in an 18-page letter written to the commander of Navy Region Southeast by Liberty Institute attorneys representing Chaplain Wesley Modder. Liberty Institute is a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases.
Liberty Institute asserts that Chaplain Modder’s fate could have a significant impact on every Christian military chaplain.
The letter included the results of Liberty Institute’s investigation of allegations levied against the chaplain by Captain John Fahs.

I’ll tackle that newest allegation later – but first here’s a recap of what I believe to be the LGBT-inspired witch hunt against Chaplain Modder:

Last December, an openly gay officer at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in South Carolina, took offense at Modder’s take on homosexuality. The chaplain, who is endorsed by the Assemblies of God, was accused of discrimination and failing to show tolerance and respect – among other things.

Just a few months earlier, Modder’s commander had called him the “best of the best” and a consummate professional leader.” But now he’s on the verge of being kicked out of the military.
“After our investigation, it is clear that the facts and law are on Chaplain Modder’s side,” Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry said. “He has done nothing more than provide ministerial services in accordance with the precepts of his faith – which is completely consistent with Navy rules and federal law.”

Their letter is a point by point repudiation of the allegations against the highly respected chaplain – a man who once led chaplains who ministered to Navy SEALs.

“We believe the Navy will exonerate Chaplain Modder and restore him to continue his true calling of ministering to sailors and Marines as he has done for the past 15 years,” Berry said.

Liberty Institute maintains that Modder’s private counseling on issues involving human sexuality and same-sex marriage were consistent with the beliefs of his endorsing agency – the Assemblies of God.

“As a result of honoring the tenets of his endorsing denomination, he now faces the loss of his employment and removal from the Navy,” Liberty Institute wrote.

While Chaplain Modder specifically denies accusations that he used inappropriate language or gestures, he does admit to providing answers to questions from a Biblical world view.

“On occasion and only when asked, he expressed his sincerely held religious belief that sexual acts outside of marriage are contrary to biblical teaching; homosexual conduct is contrary to biblical teaching and homosexual orientation or temptation as distinct from conduct is not a sin,” Liberty Institute wrote.

They also reminded the Navy that Department of Defense regulations allow Chaplain Modder to hold religious beliefs.

“Navy chaplains are never required to compromise the standards of their religious organization, but are required to perform in a pluralistic environment,” they wrote.

That brings me back to the moment when Chaplain Modder was told he could not pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Liberty Institute alleges it happened shortly after Modder assumed chaplaincy responsibilities at the training command. He was asked to deliver an invocation at a ceremony.

As he was walking to the lectern, Fahs is alleged to have told him to deep-six the Jesus talk – “counsel that Chaplain Modder accepted and with which he complied.”

Chaplain Modder’s fate could have a significant impact on every Christian military chaplain, asserts Liberty Institute.

Taking action, they argue, “Would send a dangerous message that other chaplains who share his beliefs – the vast majority of military chaplains – may also suffer adverse personnel actions and would have a profound chilling effect on any chaplain who seeks to provide biblical care.”

And if the Navy silences chaplains – they could certainly silence sailors.

“If the Navy can remove a chaplain who expresses his religious beliefs, then service members who share those beliefs will believe that they, too, are unwelcome in the Navy,” Liberty Institute wrote.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

For One Priest, A Fate Worse Than Dying in Prison

By Ryan A. MacDonald

(These Stone Walls) I am grateful for this additional opportunity to clarify for the readers of These Stone Walls the legal and canonical paths ahead for wrongly imprisoned priest, Father Gordon MacRae. There is in fact another appeal currently being researched by counsel, but my understanding is that it is a long shot. However, that seems to be the nature of Habeas Corpus law...

....Six months later in December, 2000, Mr. Leo Demers, a long time friend of Father MacRae and a production executive at the PBS-Boston flagship station, WGBH, also sought a meeting with Bishop McCormack triggered by the interest of PBS Frontline in the MacRae case. Mr. Demers wrote in a sworn affidavit:
“The meeting with Bishop McCormack began with him saying, ‘Understand, none of this is to leave this office. I believe Father MacRae is not guilty and his accusers likely lied. There is nothing I can do to change the verdict.’”
In a subsequent statement, Mr. Demers revealed a verbatim log of this meeting that explained more clearly the Bishop’s concerns. What follows is one of many entries quoting Bishop John McCormack:
“ I do not want this to leave this office because I have struggles with some people within the Chancery office that are not consistent with my thoughts, but I firmly believe that Father MacRae is innocent and should not be in prison.”
The promises of legal assistance never materialized. Father MacRae was given hopes for an investigation and appeal, but over the next several years he just faced a cruel stringing along with promise after promise of assistance that never came... (continued)


N.Y. Judge Grants Legal Rights To 2 Research Chimps

By Krishnadev Calamur

(NPR) A New York judge has granted two research chimps the writ of habeas corpus — a move that allows them to challenge their detention.

The decision, says Science magazine, effectively recognizes chimps as legal persons, marking the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been given that right.

The order, dated April 20, requires Stony Brook University to appear in court and provide a legally sufficient reason for keeping the two chimps, Hercules and Leo. A hearing is scheduled for May 6.

The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), the group that filed the case on behalf of the chimps, said in a statement it believed that Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe's order "implicitly determined that Hercules and Leo are 'persons.' "

But Richard Cupp, a law professor at Pepperdine University who opposes personhood for animals, told Science, "It would be quite surprising if the judge intended to make a momentous substantive finding that chimpanzees are legal persons if the judge has not yet heard the other side's arguments."
The Nonhuman Rights Project filed a suit on behalf of the two chimps in the Supreme Court of Suffolk County in December 2013, but that court refused to issues a writ of habeas corpus, and its appellate division dismissed the suit. The group appealed to the New York County Supreme Court in Manhattan, which ruled Monday in the case.

As we have previously reported, New York courts declined to extend habeas corpus to two other chimps, Tommy and Kiko. The Nonhuman Rights Project has appealed those decisions. Here's more background from Science:
"The case began as a salvo of lawsuits filed by NhRP in December of 2013. The group claimed that four New York chimpanzees — Hercules and Leo at Stony Brook, and two others on private property — were too cognitively and emotionally complex to be held in captivity and should be relocated to an established chimpanzee sanctuary. NhRP petitioned three lower court judges with a writ of habeas corpus, which is traditionally used to prevent people from being unlawfully imprisoned. By granting the writ, the judges would have implicitly acknowledged that chimpanzees were legal people too — a first step in freeing them.
"The judges quickly struck down each case, however, and NhRP has been appealing ever since. Today's decision is the group's first major victory."
Member station WAMU's Diane Rehm Show devoted a show last year to legal rights for animals. You can listen to that show here.


Sunday, April 19, 2015


(Telegraph) An image of the planet Mercury produced by Nasa's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (or MESSENGER) probe. These colors are not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather the colours enhance the chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences between the rocks that make up Mercury's surface, according to Nasa. The MESSENGER spacecraft that made surprising discoveries of ice and other materials on Mercury will make a crash landing into the planet around April 30, scientists said. 

Picture: REUTERS/NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington


Tennessee Ernie Ford - Shotgun Boogie

Thursday, April 16, 2015

German Cardinal Lashes Out Against New Catholic Proposals

By Edward Pentin

(Newsmax) A German cardinal has lambasted fellow church leaders who support admitting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to Holy Communion, calling them heretics who are putting the unity of the Catholic Church at risk.

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, a former head of the Vatican’s commission for historical sciences, told LifeSite News Tuesday that those who support such a change are “irresponsible” and “in contradiction to the teaching of the church.”

This is the first time that a cardinal has openly voiced what a number of senior figures have said privately that those promoting such admission are teaching heresy and are no longer Catholic.

Brandmüller was responding to a proposal, put forward last year by fellow German Cardinal Walter Kasper, for remarried Catholic divorcees to receive Holy Communion after a period of penance.

The church has always forbidden such a practice on the grounds it would undermine Jesus explicit teaching that marriage is indissoluble, and that a person who divorces and “remarries” commits adultery.

The church teaches that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can only be admitted to communion if they have obtained an annulment of their first, sacramental marriages, or abstain from sexual relations with their new partners and live as "brother and sister."

Kasper’s proposal, the subject of a church synod on the family, has therefore caused much hand-wringing in the church, with a number of cardinals publicly at loggerheads over the issue.

The church’s pastoral practice “cannot stand in opposition to binding doctrine nor simply ignore it,” Brandmüller said. “A change of the teaching, of the dogma, is unthinkable. Who nevertheless consciously does it, or insistently demands it, is a heretic — even if he wears the Roman purple...” (continued)


Rick Santorum: I would not attend a gay wedding