Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat! The Heresy of Protestantism

"What do Protestant and Halloween have in common? Much more than you think."

Of Saints and Souls and Earthly Woes: “Viva Cristo Rey!”


By Fr. Gordon J. MacRae

(These Stone Walls) ...Patron saints really are advocates in Heaven, but the story is bigger than that. To have patron saints means something deeper than just hoping to share in the graces for which they suffered. It means to be in a relationship with them as fellow travelers. They can advocate not only for us, but for the souls of those we entrust to their intercession. In the Presence of God, they are more like a lens for us, and not dispensers of grace in their own right. The Protestant critique that Catholics “pray to saints” has it all wrong.

To be in a relationship with patron saints means much more than just waiting for their help in times of need. I have learned a few humbling things this year about the dynamics of a relationship with Saints Maximilian Kolbe and Padre Pio. I have tried to consciously cope with painful things the way they did, and over time they opened my eyes about what it means to have their advocacy. It’s an advocacy I would not need if I were even remotely like them. It’s an advocacy I need very much, and can no longer live without.

I don’t think we choose the saints who will be our patrons and advocates in Heaven. I think they choose us. In ways both subtle and profound, they interject their presence in our lives. I came into this prison over 18 years ago knowing little to nothing of Saints Maximilian Kolbe and Padre Pio. But in multiple posts on These Stone Walls I’ve written of how they made their presence here known. And in that process, I’ve learned a lot about why they’re now in my life. It is not because they look upon me and see their own paths. It’s because they look upon me and see how much and how easily I stray from their paths.

One day earlier this month, I discovered something about the intervention of these saints that is at the same time humbling and deeply consoling. It’s consoling because it affirms for me that these modern saints have made themselves a part of what I must bear each day. It’s humbling because that fact requires shedding all my notions that their intercession means a rescue from the crosses I’d just as soon not carry... (continued)


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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disney To Buy Lucasfilm For $4.05 Billion

(credit: Todd Anderson/Disney via Getty Images)
BURBANK (CBSLA.com) — The Walt Disney Company has agreed to buy Lucasfilm Ltd., which includes the Star Wars franchise, for $4.05 billion in cash and stock from George Lucas, it was announced Tuesday.

The deal includes a tentative 2015 release date of Stars Wars Episode 7, along with the possibility of growing the franchise with more feature films.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement.

Current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, will become President and report to Walt Disney Chairman Alan Horn.

“This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value,” Iger said.

The company said Kennedy will serve as the brand manager for Stars Wars, as well as the executive producer on the upcoming film.

“It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm, George Lucas said. “I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Lucas will be serving as creative consultant on Stars Wars Episode 7, Disney said.

The Star Wars movies have earned a total of $4.4 billion worldwide.

Matt Krantz, markets reporter for USA Today told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that Disney is going all-out, and this deal is the latest and largest example.

“It actually is its fourth-largest acquisition ever, and that’s saying a lot for this company, which bought Pixar in 2006 for over $7 billion and Marvel in 2009 for almost $4 billion,” said Krantz.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Radio Replies Second Volume: Greek Orthodox Church

By Father Rumble and Father Carty - celledoor.com

1254. What is the Greek Orthodox Church?

There are some 16 different Orthodox Churches existing independently of one another. After the first really definite break with Rome when Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, left the Catholic Church in the ninth century, the Eastern Church followed in the path of all schismatical Churches, splitting up into further divisions. Eight of these separate sections of Orthodoxy have their own Patriarchs, namely, Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Bulgaria, Rumania, Russia, and Servia. The others lack definite rule. The term "Greek Orthodox Church" is popularly applied to any or all of these Churches; but strictly speaking it should be reserved for that section of Orthodoxy which acknowledges the Patriarch of Constantinople. This is really one of the smaller sections, for the Bulgarians, Rumanians, Russians and others of Slav nationality, are Greeks in no sense of the word. But it is clear that there is no one united Orthodox Church at all, any more than there is one united form of Protestantism. However, since the schismatic Orthodox Churches began with the rebellion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople against Rome in the ninth century, we can allude to all the Orthodox Churches as belonging to the Greek Schism.

1255. Was the Christian Church governed from the beginning with the Bishop of Rome as supreme and infallible head, or by a Council of Bishops?

The Church from the very beginning was governed by the Bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, all the other Bishops being in union with and subject to the universal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. At times the Bishops met together in Councils for more important deliberations, and the decisions of these Councils were acknowledged as binding provided they were approved and sanctioned by the Bishop of Rome as supreme head of the Church.

1256. Did the Patriarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church at any stage after the death of Christ recognize the Pope as supreme and infallible head of the Church?

We cannot speak of the "Patriarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church" prior to the Greek Schism commenced by Photius in 867 A.D. Until then there were simply Patriarchs of Constantinople, presiding there and subject to the Pope. Dr. Orchard, when a Congregationalist, wrote, "An examination of the circumstances of the Great Schism shows that the Eastern Church did then repudiate a supremacy which it had previously been in the habit of conceding to the Roman Patriarchate." The First Council of Constantinople in 381, which only Eastern Bishops attended, demanded that the Bishop of Constantinople should rank next after the Bishop of Rome, and before the Bishops of Alexandria and Antioch. The Council of Chalcedon in 451, attended by the Eastern Bishops, ended its discussion with the unanimous cry, "Peter has spoken by Leo," when the Pope's decision was given. A century and a half later Pope Gregory I could still write, "Who doubts that the Church of Constantinople is subject to the Apostolic See?" No one then doubted it; and no one disputed it until Photius came along in 867 to plunge the East into schism. The Patriarch of Constantinople, and all the Eastern Bishops signed the formula of Hormisdas, who was Pope from 514 to 523. That formula contained these words, "We follow the Apostolic See in everything and teach all its laws. I hope to be in that one Communion taught by the Apostolic See in which is the whole, real, and perfect solidity of the Christian religion." Dean Milman writes, "Before the end of the third century the lineal descent of Rome's Bishops from St. Peter was unhesitatingly claimed and obsequiously admitted by the Christian world."

1257. What reasons led to the breakaway of the Greeks?

The reasons were chiefly political. According to the most recent research work of Jugie, Grumel, Amann, and Dvronik, the schism commenced by Photius in 867 would never have happened had it not been for political rivalry concerning jurisdiction over Bulgaria. In 861 the Bulgarians were converted by missionaries from Constantinople. In 866 Pope Nicholas I appointed Bishops for the Bulgarians in order to bring them under the jurisdiction of the Latin Patriarchate of the West rather than have them under the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The motive to maintain Rome's political authority over Constantinople was not absent, and from this point of view the move was a grave political mistake. The Greeks resented it, and Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, wrote a reprehensible letter to the Pope in 867 in which he condemned the Catholic Church, and made various charges against her even from the doctrinal point of view. The undeniable provocation did not justify his doing this.

The Pope excommunicated Photius, who retaliated by excommunicating the Pope, and the schism commenced. Photius made peace with Pope John VIII, and was duly recognized as Patriarch of Constantinople; and the reconciliation endured so long as Photius lived. But trouble had been set on foot; and intermittent difficulties with Rome continued until 1054 when Michael Cerularius, the then Patriarch of Constantinople, renewed the break with Rome, moved by sheer ambition to be universal Patriarch over the whole Church. He won the Emperor to his side by appealing to national pride in the political importance of Constantinople. From that time on, no Patriarch of Constantinople has sought confirmation of his appointment from Rome, nor submitted to the jurisdiction of the Pope. Greek Delegates to the Second Council of Lyons in 1274, and again at the Council of Florence in 1439, admitted that they should do so, and return to unity with Rome. But on each occasion on their return to the East their admissions were repudiated through national interests. So the Greek Churches continue in their schismatical state. Political quarrels and personal antagonisms, with faults on both sides, were the original cause of the schism, not dogmatic differences. But from a doctrinal point of view, the Eastern Churches are gradually drifting from orthodoxy, and yielding to the inroads of modernist influences.

1258. I have been told that Greek priests have power to consecrate the Eucharist.

Priests of the Greek Orthodox Churches have valid Orders, and when they offer the Sacrifice of the Mass, they consecrate validly.

1259. As the Greeks are schismatics and heretics also, how can you admit their Orders while denying Anglican Orders?

The Greek Orthodox Churches are separated from the Catholic Church by schism, or division from its authority; and also by heresy, insofar as they refuse to admit certain Catholic dogmatic teachings. But these things do not necessarily affect the question of Orders. If, after leaving the Catholic Church, such ecclesiastical bodies retain the correct form of ordination, and administer the Sacrament of Holy Orders with the right intention, then the priests will be truly ordained, even though in a schismatical and heretical Church. This is the case with the Orthodox Greeks. And since Greek priests are truly ordained, they cannot be reordained should they seek admission to the Catholic Church. Even in the Anglican Church, after its separation from Rome by Henry VIII, in 1534, the ordinations continued to be correct for the first sixteen years, until 1550. But in 1550, during the reign of Edward VI, the form for ordination was altered, and the intention of ordaining priests in the Catholic sense of the word was repudiated. From then on, Anglican Orders have been simply invalid, and converted clergymen from the Anglican Church must remain either as Catholic laymen, or be ordained as Catholic priests without any allowance being made for their previous ordination as ministers in the Church of England.

1260. If a married Greek priest became a Roman Catholic, would he be allowed to officiate as a priest and still live with his wife?

He could not do so if he adopted the Latin rite. But he could do so if, as would probably happen, he joined one of the Uniate Greek Churches which retain their Greek customs and Liturgy even while subject to the Pope.

1261. Do the Greek Churches believe that Christ is really present in the Eucharist? If so, do they celebrate a valid Mass?

The Greek Churches believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist; and since their priests have valid Orders, they possess the power of consecrating the Blessed Eucharist in the true sense of the word. The Sacrifice of the Mass in Greek Churches is, therefore, every bit as valid as the Mass in the Catholic Church, even though it is not celebrated in Latin.

1262. May a Catholic hear Mass, then, in a Greek Church?

He may do so in a Uniate Greek Church, but not in any of the schismatical Orthodox Churches. Those Churches are not part of the Catholic Church, but are in a state of schism and of protest against the authority of Christ in His true Church. Churches separated from the unity of the Catholic Church are not according to the will of Christ, who demands that His followers should form one flock under one shepherd. No Catholic therefore may take part in, or sanction in any way, the services of the Greek Orthodox Churches.

1263. I have heard that, when a Catholic priest is not available, Catholics may receive the Sacraments from Greek Orthodox priests. Is that consistent?

When no Catholic priest is available, the Catholic Church permits a dying Catholic to receive one Sacrament only from a Greek priest, and that is the Sacrament of Confession. The very law of the Catholic Church forbidding participation in Greek rites during life is to preserve a Catholic from danger of schism, and within the true Church, for the sake of his very salvation. And if, at the hour of death, that salvation can be the better secured by the reception of absolution from a Greek priest rather than go without such absolution, the Church wisely and mercifully permits it. But, as is clear, this exception avails only in the case of extreme necessity, when no Catholic priest is available, and on condition that the Catholic merely accepts absolution from the Greek priest as a priest, and in no way approving his position as a schismatic.

1264. In what doctrines do the Greek Orthodox Churches differ from the Roman Catholic Church?

They differ on many essential points, although they are much nearer to Catholicism than they are to Protestantism, insofar as they retain the bulk of original Christian doctrine, and a valid priesthood. They acknowledge the doctrine of the Trinity, but deny that the Holy Ghost proceeds from both Father and Son. They deny the supremacy and infallibility of the Pope; the right of the Church to baptize by pouring the water instead of by completely immersing the subject; the right to give Communion under one kind only; the Catholic doctrine of the particular and general judgments; also the Catholic doctrine on the nature of purgatory, although they admit the existence of purgatory. While believing that Mary was quite sinless, and maintaining a great devotion to her as the Mother of God, they deny the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. This, however, is a more recent denial. The Greek Churches believed in the Immaculate Conception until the advent of Protestantism. Under pressure of Protestant opinion they wavered without denying it. The denial came when the Pope defined the doctrine in 1854, but merely because they were opposed to the Pope and wished to manifest their opposition. They have nothing against the doctrine in itself. The Greeks also differ from Rome concerning the nature of original sin, and of justification. These are the chief differences, some of them rendering the Greek Churches heretical as well as schismatical.

1265. I belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, and regard my religion as identical with the Roman Catholic except for the fact that you acknowledge the Pope as head, while we acknowledge the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Even were that true, you are confronted with a great problem. Christ declared definitely that His Church would be one fold under one shepherd. And your duty would be to inquire as to the relative merits of the Pope and of the Patriarch of Jerusalem in their claims to be head of the Church. Both cannot be. But, as a matter of fact, you cannot speak of one Greek Orthodox Church with the Patriarch of Jerusalem as its head. The Rev. C. J. MacGillivray, in his book, "Through the East to Rome," 1931, says that, as an Anglican clergyman, he spent some years in the East amongst the Greeks and Syrians, working for the reunion of Greeks and Anglicans. He found it impossible, and in the end became a Catholic. On page 91 of his book he writes: "To begin with, there is no such thing as the 'Orthodox Church.' There is a group of some 15 or 16 independent Churches, recognizing no common authority, but loosely connected as being all 'Orthodox.' And again, if you leave out Russia, the whole number of the Orthodox is exceedingly small; and the Russian Church was only held together by the power of the State. Compared to the Roman Catholic Church the so-called Orthodox Church is just a collection of fossilized and moribund fragments of what was once a great and living Church. Indeed it seems to me to be a great object lesson in the disastrous consequences of abandoning the rock on which the Church of Christ was built. The Orthodox Church has ceased to be a living teacher. It is incapable of any sort of development, or of that constant advance in thought and undying vitality which are characteristic of the Roman Catholic Church. It is not, indeed, carried about with every wind of doctrine like the Protestant Churches. It has, in the main, kept the old Faith, but only at the cost of ceasing to think. On all the vital questions which have been discussed, and in many cases settled in the West, it neither has, nor can have anything to say." Such is the impression formed from first-hand knowledge by the Rev. C. J. MacGillivray during his sojourn amongst Eastern Christians as an Anglican clergyman. You cannot, therefore, speak of the Greek Church as one Church; and not all the groups comprising it acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Jerusalem by any means.

1266. Even though in schism, the Greek Orthodox Church is at least an Apostolic Church.

That cannot be admitted. The word "Apostolic" in general signifies the identity of a present Church with the Church of the Apostles. This identity can be either adequate or inadequate. Adequate apostolicity is present when a Church of today has not only the same doctrine and worship, and the same episcopal constitution, but also the same uninterrupted and lawfully transmitted jurisdiction or authority. Without this latter requirement, any vestiges of apostolicity are inadequate, and useless as a mark of identification. The chief thing, therefore, is the continued juridical succession of apostolic authority. Now this element precisely is missing from the Greek Orthodox Church. By the mere fact of being in schism, apostolic authority is forfeited. In addition, the Greek Church has not preserved the Faith intact in many points. The Greek Church cannot therefore be called apostolic in the technical sense of that word.

1267. Do you deny the Greek Church to be truly Catholic?

Yes. By Catholic we mean a given Church, i.e., one united Church, which remains everywhere essentially the same, and inherits the commission of Christ to teach all nations as a right, exercising that right by constantly propagating itself in continual expansion. Now, in the first place, there is no one Greek Orthodox Church. For example, there is no authoritative bond of union between the Greek Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Russia, Servia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Estonia, etc. Moreover, these Greek Churches are not even conscious of a Divine commission to teach all nations. They consent to be national in their outlook, and show no sign of the expansive power which seeks to propagate itself amongst all peoples. The Greeks declare the Latins to have fallen into schism, yet make no effort to convert them back to "Orthodoxy." Is it not significant that, while no Latins ever followed the Patriarch of Constantinople, many in the East, including many Patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria, remained in Communion with Rome after the schisms of Photius and Cerularius? It is impossible to regard the Greek Orthodox Churches as Catholic in the true sense of the word.

1268. Since Greek Orthodoxy is so near to Roman Catholicism, why change from one to the other?

The mere fact that they are not identical is sufficient reason for a change from Greek Orthodoxy to Catholicism. It is necessary to be subject to the right authority. Obedience is the very heart of religion. We went from God by disobedience; the road back is by obedience. And the authority of the Pope is that of Christ. Of him Christ said, "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me." Lk 10:16. Again, Christ said, "If a man will not hear the Church, let him be as the heathen." Mt 18:17. Our Lord could never have commanded men to obey two conflicting authorities. That would spell chaos. The very reasons the Greeks urge for not becoming Catholics show that they do not really believe their Churches to be as near to Catholicism as they pretend. Moreover, Greek priests are getting more and more into the habit of fraternizing with Protestants in common services. But no Greek Orthodox priest would be allowed to participate in any Catholic rites. The Greeks acknowledge a bond with definitely heretical Churches; but they have no real bond with the Catholic Church. They are outside Catholic unity.

Link:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rogue monkey finally caught in Florida



By Miles Doran

(CBS News) ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. The monkey that has evaded Florida wildlife officials for more than three years has been caught.

Wildlife officials nabbed the monkey Wednesday afternoon after a five-hour stakeout near a wooded area in a south St. Petersburg neighborhood.

"We concealed ourselves in the area," said Baryl Martin, spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, "and we waited for the monkey to approach."

Then the monkey was shot with a tranquilizer dart.

Martin, along with wildlife trapper Vernon Yates and a veterinarian, waited for the effects of the tranquilizer to set in. But the monkey made a run for it.

"When we got closer it tried to evade us," Martin said. "We chased it about 50 to 100 yards."

The trio briefly chased the monkey through the woods before Yates grabbed it with his hand and a catch pole.
"He settled down quite a bit after we got our hands on him," Martin said.

The monkey was placed in a cage and taken to an area veterinarian's office for evaluation and testing.

The Rhesus Macaque achieved notoriety in the Tampa Bay area after repeatedly managing to elude wildlife officials since 2009. The chase, which spanned at least three counties, has been chronicled by local and national media.

About a year ago, the monkey seemed to find a new home in a wooded area in south St. Petersburg where protective neighbors fed him bananas and refused to give up his location to authorities.

Attempts to capture the monkey were escalated two weeks ago after the monkey scratched and bit a resident of the neighborhood. Traps with bananas were set, but the monkey managed to steal the bananas without getting caught.

"In some ways I'll give him credit," Yates told CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman last week. "He knows not to get up into power lines. He'll run to a road, he stops and looks both ways for traffic before he runs across it. This is one of the most intelligent monkeys that I think I have ever seen."

Link:

Time for the sheep to say thank you to a shepherd


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Bishop Ricken: "your own soul" is "in jeopardy" if you vote for someone in favor of these positions

DIOCESE OF GREEN BAY

P.O. Box 23825 • Green Bay, WI 54305-3825 • 920-272-8194 • FAX 920-435-1330

OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

October 24, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

AN IMPORTANT MOMENT

It is almost time to vote and to make our choices for president and other political offices both local and national.

You have often heard it said that this is a turning point in our country’s history and I could not agree more.

The Church is not a political organism, but as you hopefully have learned in the US Bishops Faithful Citizenship material (which we have made widely available to you in the parishes, in the Compass and on-line), the Church has the responsibility to speak out regarding moral issues, especially on those issues that impact the “common good” and the “dignity of the human person.”

I would like to review some of the principles to keep in mind as you approach the voting booth to complete your ballot. The first is the set of non-negotiables. These are areas that are “intrinsically evil” and cannot be supported by anyone who is a believer in God or the common good or the dignity of the human person.

They are:

1. abortion
2. euthanasia
3. embryonic stem cell research
4. human cloning
5. homosexual “marriage”

These are intrinsically evil. “A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals.” Intrinsically evil actions are those which have an evil object. In other words, an act is evil by its very nature and to choose an action of this type puts one in grave moral danger.

But what does this have to do with the election? Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally “complicit” with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.

The other position to keep in mind is the protection of religious liberty. The recent aggressive moves by the government to impose the HHS mandate, especially the move to redefine religion so that religion is confined more and more to the four walls of the Church, is a dangerous precedent. This will certainly hurt the many health care services to the poor given by our Catholic hospitals. Our Catholic hospitals in the Diocese give millions of dollars per year in donated services to the poor. In the new plan, only Catholic people can be treated by Catholic institutions.

It has never been our mission to be exclusive of those who are not of our faith. This mandate also places Catholic business owners in a very precarious position in that they, too, will have to pay for those medical “services” which violate Catholic teaching. This has never been the American way and now these moves and others by the present government, will significantly alter and marginalize the role of religious institutions in our society.

These positions are indicators of a broader societal disposition to remove God from the public square and from any relation to society whatever. It is precisely religion and the free exercise thereof which has made this country great in the past. Many people in our Diocese are presently without work. Our Catholic Charities is serving more and more people who are unemployed or under employed and can barely keep up with the demands. Work is so critical to the family and to the sense of human dignity. An economy which does the most for the common good is an economy that works and provides people gainful employment for the country’s citizens. A government that works pays its bills and models for citizens what it means to be responsible and contributive.

Let us pray for the electorate and let’s take action, that we may vote for good and moral leaders for this great country which will only remain great, if she continues to be and to do the good.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend David L. Ricken, DD, JCL

Bishop of Green Bay

Link:

Trophy Justice: The Monsignor William Lynn Case


By Father Gordon J. MacRae

A bizarre twist in the case of Philadelphia Msgr. William Lynn raises a troubling specter of wrongful conviction and trophy justice for some accused priests.

It’s NOT always sunny in Philadelphia. The story of the imprisonment of Monsignor William Lynn darkens a gathering cloud of injustice over a city called America’s Cradle of Liberty. It’s a story of “trophy justice,” an ominous term for anyone concerned with due process and freedom from tyranny.

Trophy justice skirts the fine line between prosecution and persecution. It’s the sort of “justice” that can evolve when a defendant’s prosecution doesn’t just right a perceived wrong, but also helps enhance a prosecutor’s career, or public profile, or ego. The term describes what the now disgraced and disbarred rogue prosecutor, Mike Nifong tried to inflict upon three young college students as I wrote in “Sex, Lies, and Videotape: Lessons from a Duke University Sex Scandal.”

The lesson was lost on Philadelphia. The conviction and imprisonment of Monsignor William Lynn on a single count of child endangerment may well be a case of trophy justice. It remains a gross debasement of due process...

Now comes Ralph Cipriano, a veteran reporter who in the 1990s was religion reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was recruited by The Beasley Firm to blog about the case of “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. William J. Lynn, et al.” Mr. Cipriano is one of 30 journalists accredited by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office to cover this important case. The result is the Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog. The title of Ralph Cipriano’s September 17 post on that blog leaves nothing to the imagination:

Defense: Secret Polygraph Test Indicates Father Avery Never Assaulted 10-Year-Old Altar Boy, So Monsignor Lynn Was Convicted of a Crime That Never Happened...”


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Barbara Walters Explains How the Debates Changed Mitt Romney's Image

From Rush Limbaugh:

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Interesting yesterday on The View on ABC, Barbara Walters talking about Mitt Romney and the three presidential debates, and Barbara Walters is explaining here to the audience of The View why Romney did well, why Romney won the debates.  Barbara Walters is explaining the impact that Romney had and why his debate strategy worked.  Now, I want you to understand something as you listen to this.  As irritating as it might be to you, you go into that debate on Monday night, and the partisans have made up their minds.  There's nothing that can happen in that debate, for example, to make you change your mind, vote for Obama, there's nothing.


By the same token, there's nothing gonna happen in that debate to make a committed Obama voter change his or her mind.  Who's left?  Well, these people that are amazingly undecided, can't pull the trigger, don't know what to do, undecided for a whole host of reasons. That's the target audience, and a lot of them, we're told, were women.  So you have to keep that in mind when you listen here, because I would venture to say that the target audience that Romney was aiming for in that debate Monday night was the people that watch The View.  I want you to listen to her and listen to her audience reaction.

WALTERS:  Before these debates, the general impression of Romney was that he wasn't too smart, and that he was very stiff, and that if he happened to be elected president, it would be a disaster.  Now, you know, I don't give my opinions here.  What you have after these three debates is that people feel, whether they want to vote for him or not, that this is a qualified man, this is an intelligent man, and this is a man who we now don't describe as stiff and totally out of touch.  What is the most important thing for Romney is that he's a different person seen by the public now than he was before the three debates.

AUDIENCE: (applause)

RUSH:  I'm looking at the face of the Official Program Observer, Mr. Snerdley, who's got a deep frown on his face.  Why are you frowning at me?  Yes, that was ribald applause.  But I find this fascinating.  I knew people thought Romney was stiff, but I didn't know people thought he was dumb.  That is an albatross around the Republican Party's neck ever since Bush.  I mean, that accusation that Bush was a dumb hick cowboy and so forth because of the way he spoke and the deer-in-the-headlight eyes during TV appearances and press conferences, and they used that to great effect.  Because Bush is not that at all.  He's not stupid. He's not dumb. It's ridiculous.  But it stuck, particularly with a lot of moderates and leftists.  And now apparently Barbara Walters said a lot of people thought the same thing about Romney -- stiff and out of touch, not very smart -- and he's overcome all that.  In these three debates, he's overcome it all.

This is profound.  What she's also saying and didn't say, that what we knew about Romney was what Obama was telling us about Romney via Obama's TV ads.  And what she's saying here is, we saw a Romney that bears no resemblance to what we were told he was by the Obama campaign.  And the audience on The View, believe me, was the target audience for the Romney camp in that debate Monday night, people that watch this show, people like them, and they all applauded Barbara Wawa there.  I just throw this out to you because it's all part of the mix.  Here is Pat Caddell.  This is last night on Cavuto on Fox, and Cavuto asked him about the last debate.  He wants to know, did it change anything?


CADDELL:  If Obama does not get the traditional presidential incumbent bounce at the beginning of the week, it's Katie, bar the door.  This is Romney's election to lose and until October 3rd he was losing it.  Now he's back into it.  Look what's happening in the states like Pennsylvania, Minnesota, states that have had no money.  If I told you two weeks before the election in 2008 that Indiana and North Carolina would go for Barack Obama, you would have said I was crazy.  This is on the verge of tipping. We're somewhere between '80 and '04 and right now if the president didn't get what he shoulda gotten last night, uh-oh.

RUSH:  Well, he didn't.  He didn't get a bounce out of that debate on Monday night.  It was probably zero impact for either of them.  It's the last debate, it happened, it's gone, nobody's reacting to it one way or the other.  There was some strident reaction during the debate, shortly thereafter, but the overall consensus was that Romney did what he had to do, did it in spades, didn't get hurt. Obama didn't help himself, so Caddell says it's over.  And Caddell is right.  You go look at where Obama is spending time.  These are states that he was supposed to have owned and wrapped up.

The biggest thing that's working against Barack Obama right now, and I say this over and over again to make the point, you cannot simply examine Obama within the context of this campaign to understand where Obama is with the American people.  You gotta go back all the way to the campaign of 2008 and the first couple, three months of his regime.  That's the Obama that everybody's comparing to, is the 2008 Obama, who was Mr. Perfect, who was Mr. Messiah, who was gonna heal the planet, lower the sea levels, cure all the ills, get rid of partisanship, get rid of racism, the world is gonna love us, and look what he's become.  He has become exactly what he ran against in 2008.

He's become nothing but a mudslinger. He's nothing but a down-and-dirty typical politician, throwing mud, throwing dirt, desperate to hang on, not telling people the truth about things.  He is the exact opposite of the way he was presented in 2008.  He's the exact opposite of the way he portrayed himself in 2008.  If you want to have an understanding of how people who voted for Obama eagerly in 2008 are looking at him this year, you have to include their frame of reference for the guy.  And their frame of reference is not just these three debates.

Their frame of reference starts with a campaign in 2007 all the way into 2008 and the election.  And even the first couple, three months with the stimulus bill, Porkulus, shovel-ready jobs, all this great stuff was gonna happen.  None of it has.  He's not the person anybody thought that he was and it's been nothing but downhill.  Plus there's no record to run on. He's got nothing that's happened that he can say, "You want four more years of this?"  That's why he is in big trouble in all of these states that should have been automatics, just given incumbency.
END TRANSCRIPT

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Texas Attorney General: International Vote Monitors Subject to Criminal Prosecution for Violating State Law

VIENNA/AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - International election monitors took a dim view on Wednesday of Texas' threat to prosecute them if they observe voting in the state a bit too closely on November 6.

The exchange pitted the Vienna-based human rights watchdog Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who warned the OSCE not to interfere with polling in state elections.

"The threat of criminal sanctions against OSCE/ODIHR observers is unacceptable," Janez Lenarcic, director of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) monitoring arm, said in a statement.

"The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections."

Abbott told Reuters on Wednesday that he is considering legal action against the group if it doesn't concede that it will follow the state's laws.

"They act like they may not be subject to Texas law and our goal all along is to make clear to them that when they're in Texas, they're subject to Texas law, and we're not giving them an exemption," he said.

Abbott is skeptical about why the group wants to look at elections in Texas.

"Our concern is that this isn't some benign observation but something intended to be far more prying and maybe even an attempt to suppress voter integrity," he said.

In a letter on Tuesday to the Warsaw-based ODIHR, Abbott had noted that OSCE representatives were not authorized by Texas law to enter a polling place.

"It may be a criminal offense for OSCE's representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place's entrance. Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE's representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law," he added.

He cited reports that OSCE monitors had met with organizations challenging voter identification laws. Texas' voter ID law was blocked earlier this year by a federal court, and Abbott has said he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The OSCE may be entitled to its opinions about Voter ID laws, but your opinion is legally irrelevant in the United States, where the Supreme Court has already determined that Voter ID laws are constitutional," Abbott wrote.

Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade also wrote to the United Nations-affiliated OSCE/ODIHR on Tuesday, saying that it's key for Texans to understand that the organization has no jurisdiction over the state.

Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry tweeted on Tuesday: ‏"No UN monitors/inspectors will be part of any TX election process; I commend @TXsecofstate for swift action to clarify issue."

The 56-member OSCE routinely sends monitors to elections and noted November's elections would be the sixth U.S. vote that ODIHR has observed "without incident" since 2002.

For next month's elections it has a core team of 13 experts from 10 OSCE countries based in Washington and 44 long-term observers deployed across the country, it said.

Lenarcic had shared his "grave concern" about the threat of Texas prosecutions with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the OSCE said.

"Our observers are required to remain strictly impartial and not to intervene in the voting process in any way," Lenarcic said. "They are in the United States to observe these elections, not to interfere in them."

(Reporting By Michael Shields and Corrie MacLaggan; Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols and Jim Forsyth)

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North Korean army minister 'executed with mortar round'

A North Korean army minister was executed with a mortar round for reportedly drinking and carousing during the official mourning period after Kim Jong-il's death.

North Korean army minister 'executed with mortar round'
Mortar Photo: ALAMY
By , Tokyo 

(The Telegraph) Kim Chol, vice minister of the army, was taken into custody earlier this year on the orders of Kim Jong-un, who assumed the leadership after the death of his father in December.

On the orders of Kim Jong-un to leave "no trace of him behind, down to his hair," according to South Korean media, Kim Chol was forced to stand on a spot that had been zeroed in for a mortar round and "obliterated."

The execution of Kim Chol is just one example of a purge of members of the North Korean military or party who threatened the fledgling regime of Kim Jong-un.

So far this year, 14 senior officials have fallen victim to the purges, according to intelligence data provided to Yoon Sang-hyun, a member of the South Korean Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee..

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Magician Rich Ferguson Scares People With His Head Drop Trick


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David Letterman: Obama’s kind of lying about this GM bankruptcy thing, huh?

Woah, he's lost Letterman.  My theory is that some elite liberals have taken a good look at Mitt Romney, his background, education, personal and past moderate governing history, lifestyle, and have concluded, "He's not so bad. He's not so different from us after all."   Similar to the statement from George Soros from six months ago. 

And they also don't appreciate being lied to.

From Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters via Ed Morrissey at HotAir:
Alternate headline: Even Late Night Comedy Shows Must Interview Obama Off the Record. Noel Sheppard picks up David Letterman’s belated realization that Barack Obama — one of his favorite guests — has misrepresented Mitt Romney’s position on GM and the auto bailout for months.  Letterman tells MSNBCs Rachel Maddow that he finds it disappointing when a challenger proves to be more honest than an incumbent President:

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: Here’s what upset me last night, this playing fast and loose with facts. And the President Obama cites the op-ed piece that Romney wrote about Detroit, “Let them go bankrupt, let them go bankrupt,” and last night he brings it up again. “Oh, no, Governor, you said let them go bankrupt, blah blah blah, let them go bankrupt.” And Mitt said, “No, no, check the thing, check the thing, check the thing.”
Now, I don’t care whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you want your president to be telling the truth; you want the contender to be lying. And so what we found out today or soon thereafter that, in fact, the President Obama was not telling the truth about what was excerpted from that op-ed piece. I felt discouraged.
RACHEL MADDOW: Because the “Let Detroit go bankrupt” headline you feel like was inappropriate?
LETTERMAN: Well, the fact the President is invoking it and swearing that he was right and that Romney was wrong and I thought, well, he’s the president of course he’s right. Well, it turned out no, he was taking liberties with that.
If you want your President to be telling the truth, then it’s time for a new President.  And when a Democrat has lost David Letterman, and when Letterman tells people that the Republican was more honest than the Democrat, that is going to leave a big mark on Obama’s efforts to woo low-information voters, the very people Obama is trying to woo with his appearances on Entertainment Tonight, the late-night comedy shows, and MTV.
 
Who knows?  Maybe Jay Leno will ask Obama a couple of tough questions tonight about his misrepresentations in the debates, and his personal attacks on Mitt Romney for the last several months.  Pretty soon, the only safe interview for Obama will be on Sesame Street with Big Bird … and he’ll still insist on quote approval first.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bishops in Uruguay Excommunicate Lawmakers Who Legalized Abortion

By Steven Ertelt

(LifeNews.com) Catholic bishops in the small nation of Uruguay, which will soon become only the second in South America to legalize abortion, have excommunicated members of Congress who voted to do so.

Bishop Heriberto Bodeant, secretary for the Uruguayan bishops’ conference, said the lawmakers essentially excommunicated themselves by voting for abortion.

“Automatic excommunication is for those who collaborate in the execution of an abortion in a direct way,” he said. “If a Catholic votes…with the manifest intention that he thinks the Church is wrong about this, he separates himself from the communion of the Church.”

“Excommunication means you are not in communion with the ecclesial community to which you openly claim to belong by doing something that puts you outside communion, and therefore you cannot participate in the Eucharist,” he added.

The Uruguay Congress approved the law and it now awaits President Jose Mujica’s signature, though he voiced support for the measure while it was under consideration. Deputy Pablo Abdala of the opposition National Party vowed to promote a popular referendum to overturn the law, assuming Mijica allows it to become law...

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Rasmussen: R 50% O 46%

"The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 50% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns the vote from 46%. One percent (1%) prefers some other candidate, and two percent (2%) are undecided.

Other than brief convention bounces, this is the first time either candidate has led by more than three points in months."

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Male beluga whale mimics human speech


SAN DIEGO (AP) — It could be the muffled sound of singing in the shower or that sing-songy indecipherable voice from the Muppets' Swedish Chef.

Surprisingly, scientists said the audio they captured was a whale imitating people. In fact, the whale song sounded so eerily human that divers initially thought it was a human voice.

Handlers at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego heard mumbling in 1984 coming from a tank containing whales and dolphins that sounded like two people chatting far away.

It wasn't until one day, after a diver surfaced from the tank and asked, "Who told me to get out?" did researchers realize the garble came from a captive male Beluga whale. For several years, they recorded its spontaneous sounds while it was underwater and when it surfaced.

An acoustic analysis revealed the human-like sounds were several octaves lower than typical whale calls. The research was published online Monday in Current Biology.

Scientists think the whale's close proximity to people allowed it to listen to and mimic human conversation. It did so by changing the pressure in its nasal cavities. After four years of copying people, it went back to sounding like a whale, emitting high-pitched noises. It died five years ago.

Dolphins and parrots have been taught to mimic the patterns of human speech, but it's rare for an animal to do it spontaneously.

The study is not the first time a whale has sounded human. Scientists who have studied sounds of white whales in the wild sometimes heard what sounded like shouting children. Caretakers at the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada previously said they heard one of the white whales say its name.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Dan Rather Implies Ohio GOP Could Steal the Election



By Charlie Spiering

(Beltway Confidential) Former CBS newsman Dan Rather warned Facebook fans of his show on axs.tv that Mitt Romney could conceivably take Ohio, particularly since the state is controlled by Republicans.

“Keep in mind: The whole upper tier of Ohio state government is in the hands of the GOP now,” Rather explained in a Facebook post this morning. “In very close voting they have the power to influence what votes are counted and how.”

Rather warned, “Remember Ohio, Bush v. Kerry in 2004 and Florida, Bush v. Gore in 2000.”

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vatican II Turns Fifty – Part II: Catholics and Culture Collide


From Fr. Gordon J. MacRae at These Stone Walls:
Even today, after “Marking Thirty Years of Priesthood,” I am able to look back on that story and see many subtle ways in which my defiance of the authority of dissenters attempting to impose their open rebellion against Tradition came back to haunt my priesthood. I was branded “an angry conservative.”

It was ironic, and could not possibly have been further from the truth at that time in my life. I grew up as a liberal Boston Irish Democrat in a family leaning so far to the left I thought they might topple. Even today, I am the only member of my family who does not dismiss the Catholic Church as a quaint anachronism in modern culture, a throwback to the Middle Ages that the world is slowly shedding to pave the way for true social progress. We were “Kennedy Catholics,” which today I know meant that being Catholic was something we wore around our necks, but penetrated no deeper.

When I entered religious life in 1974, my family thought I had gone insane. By the time I commenced graduate studies in theology, I was sold almost completely on the whole movement of the left, and the basic premise that the Church cannot move the modern world without fully accommodating the modern world.
I remember the round of enthusiastic applause from much (but not all) of the seminary student body when I described in 1979 – to the nodding approval of faculty – that Humanae Vitae might be one of the last gasps of a Church in the throes of death, clinging to an era long past while ignoring the needs of human nature. “Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego coqnosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.” (Psalm 51: 3).

That was my own dark wood of error, and those woods were dark indeed. My wake-up call was the incident involving Pope John Paul II and our seminary rector and faculty that I described in “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” What I learned about myself from that sordid story is that to be a good Catholic dissenter of the elitist left required that I also be a good follower, that I cease to think for myself and draw my own conclusions, that I accept without question an agenda of rebellion against authority imposed by others who would do my thinking for me. That agenda required me to commit to a version of Church and priesthood in which the Magisterium is a supremely obscene word to which I must never again refer or defer.
I could not be such a follower, and still can’t. In those days, our sponsoring dioceses assigned us to a seminary to which we had no choice but to attend. Academically, I excelled and that seemed all that mattered – that, and whether I would continue to toe the liberal line, falling into place with an intellectual refutation of Tradition when called upon.

I parted ways with that set of expectations when I witnessed a small group of seminarians from the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska being taunted by some of my East Coast leftist peers one evening as they gathered to pray the rosary together in the seminary chapel. Such open displays of spiritual tradition were simply not done at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in the 1970s.

The next day, they and their traditionalism were placed on trial in a class in fundamental theology. It was to be a sort of lynching, but light finally dawned on Marblehead (at least, on my own marble head). I wasn’t having it, and came to their defense. I was branded a dissenter from the left, a traitor to the liberal cause... (continued)

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Michael Voris: Let the Persecution Begin


By Michael Voris

(ChurchMilitant.TV) Hello everyone and welcome to The Vortex where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed. I’m Michael Voris.

Everything wrong with the Church throughout the world today is summed up in the fiasco that was the Al Smith dinner in New York last night - the event where public enemy number one of Christ and His Holy Roman Catholic Church got to use and abuse the bride of Christ all under the watchful and supporting eye of a prince of the Church.

In the remaining couple of days before the lead up, some intrepid researchers did a little investigating - only to discover that a number of muckety-mucks who comprise the board of directors of the Al Smith foundation which sponsors the dinner are big-time Obama worshipers.

For example, exceedingly wealthy real estate developer John Zuccotti, who helped the hapless anti-Church Catholic Joe Biden when he ran for president a few years back.

John Zuccotti has all the admiration of the money people in NYC. He mingles with the in crowd.

Then there is Robert Wright who was the grand pooba of the television network NBC for nearly 20 years right up until five years ago. That’s quite an impressive resume, that one job alone.

Next is Peter Kiernan III, a former Goldman-Sachs moneyman and investment banker who has piloted many many projects that have assets into the billions.

And of course, we can’t leave out Al Smith IV, the chairman of the Foundation.

Federal Election Commission records he has showered donations on every pro-abortion democrat New York has offered up: Charles Schumer, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, even the notorious Congressman Jerry Nadler who has never missed chance to support the executions of pre-born babies in every congressional vote that has come up.

All these guys bankrolled by Al Smith IV. You wonder what his great grandfather who the event is named after would think of him.

But see, Catholic associations cozying up to and hopping in bed with rich or influential people is nothing new in America. We see it in the Knights of Columbus who refuse to expel from their midst pro-abortion and pro same-sex marriage Catholic politicians from their midst... hiding behind the canard that the bishops don’t do anything about them.. so the KofC doesn’t have the right.

Total garbage that by the way.

And of course... there is Notre Dame and the filthy rich board of trustees there... a large number of whom are big-time Chicago democratic machine operatives who are of course all in the tank for Obama and his child-murdering policies. They were the ones who orchestrated the entire May 2009 insult to the Mother of God by bringing Obama to campus to not just speak, but drape him in honors, complete with the seal of the university of the Mother of God.

But when you turn to the situation of the Al Smith dinner, you are especially revolted.

This is nothing more than a sellout of the faith presided over by a Cardinal of the Church, Timothy Dolan, who is touted as some kind of conservative wonderman.

He has cooperated in this insult to the faith with these moneychangers... who are big time Obama cheerleaders. His Eminence has openly declared in an Wall Street Journal article that he and other bishops failed miserably to teach the faith and defend the Church in the area of sexual morality.

He and other bishops are constantly droning on about the need to re-establish a Catholic identity. You don’t establish a Catholic identity by selling out the faith for your own personal popularity and to hob nob with a bunch of wall street moguls who spend their efforts and money to ensure that enemies of the faith keep getting elected.

Cardinal Dolan is a priest who has a duty to catechize and teach these men and others like them the faith that they either never got taught properly and or simply rejected... whichever the case.

If they won’t listen, then he needs to shake the dust from his feet... the words of the Master... not mine. But he has not only not done that, he has acquiesced to their bringing in Obama and refused the pleas of tens of thousands of faithful Catholics to rescind the invitation.

He has ignored the sheep and opened the front door for the wolf... complete red carpet and all. And here is why we say... this Al Smith Dinner is a microcosm of all that is wrong in the Church.

The faithful are ignored... the wicked are elevated and mingled with and supported... and the leaders are the most culpable of all. Since the Church is quite obviously in dire need of cleansing... and since those who are charged with keeping Her pure will not do the job... then Our Lord Himself will have to sweep them aside and do it Himself.

Often when the Church has been in need of purification... Our Lord has permitted persecution to ensue. Can anyone look around at the Church today and say she is not in need of massive purification.

Bring it on. We should be happy to be victims for the Faith. Let the persecution begin!

GOD Love you,

I’m Michael Voris

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Catholics for Obama

From The Remnant

Jesus Christ was not a sissy


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Clinton: I Thought Obama 'Was Going to Cry'

By DANIEL HALPER

(The Weekly Standard) At a campaign event for Barack Obama's reelection campaign, Bill Clinton said that Mitt Romney's argument "is true, we're not fixed":



"Governor Romney's argument is, we're not fixed, so fire him and put me in," said Clinton. "It is true we're not fixed. When President Obama looked into the eyes of that man who said in the debate, I had so much hope four years ago and I don't now, I thought he was going to cry. Because he knows that it's not fixed."

UPDATE: A Romney spokesman comments: "We agree with former President Bill Clinton.  The economy has not been fixed under President Barack Obama.  Today, more than 23 million Americans are struggling for work, poverty has increased and food stamps are at record levels.  Mitt Romney believes we can do better by creating 12 million new jobs with higher take-home pay, cutting spending to put our nation on course for a balanced budget, and actually fixing our economy."

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Confirmed: Bishop Williamson is set to be expelled from the SSPX by Bishop Fellay


From Stephen Heiner, Bishop Williamson's former newsletter editor:
It is confirmed that Bishop Fellay has ordered Bishop Williamson to shut down dinoscopus.org, end Eleison Comments, make "public apology" for the harm he has caused to the SSPX and the Church by publishing Eleison Comments, and commit to making "reparation" for the remainder of his days.  Failure to comply with these conditions (interestingly, there is no parsing of "required" and "desirable") in toto would result in his expulsion on or around one week from today's date: the 23rd of October, 2012...
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Katharine Jefferts Schori Takes Action Against the Episcopal Bishop and Diocese of South Carolina

From Kendall Harmon at the Episcopal Church blog TitusOneNine:

"On Monday, October 15, 2012, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina was notified by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, that on September 18, 2012 the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had certified his abandonment of The Episcopal Church. This action by The Episcopal Church triggered two pre-existing corporate resolutions of the Diocese, which simultaneously disaffiliated the Diocese from The Episcopal Church and called a Special Convention. That Convention will be held at St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, on Saturday, November 17, 2012..."

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Pope Benedict: God can make a rich man use his wealth for good


By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the wealthy in light of the Gospel of the rich man. The Holy Father said that while it is difficult for a rich man to enter into heaven, it is not impossible. In fact, the Pope said, "God can conquer the heart of a person who has many possessions and move him to solidarity and sharing with the needy, with the poor, to enter into the logic of the gift."

The Pope said that while the rich man in the Gospel faithfully observed the commandments, he had not yet discovered "true happiness." The Holy Father also highlighted that, as many wealthy people do, the rich man "thinks that he might be able to 'buy' eternal life in some way, perhaps by observing some special commandment."

Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI continued, while admiring the rich man's desire, also understood his weakness was the attachment to riches, therefore, inviting him to give everything to the poor. Contemplating on the St. Clements reflection of the Gospel, the Pope said that the rich aren't condemned but must only learn to use their wealth and obtain life.

"The Church’s history is full of examples of rich people who used their possessions in an evangelical way, achieving sanctity. We need only think of St. Francis, St. Elizabeth or St. Charles Borromeo," he said.

After the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father called attention to the beatification of Frederick Bachstein and 13 Brothers of the Order of the Friars Minor, saying that "they remind us that believing in Christ also means suffering with him and for him."

The Holy Father concluded his address invoking God's blessing on the faithful, saying that he hoped during this Year of Faith the faith may "have the courage to ask the Lord what more can we do, especially for the poor, the lonely, the sick and the suffering, so as to be witnesses and heirs to the eternal life God promises."

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Debate - Bad Lip Reading

Crowley: Obama's Teleprompter Substitute

By Nidra Poller

(American Thinker) We can now fairly assume that both Democrat and Republican analysts concluded that President Obama's weak performance in the first presidential debate could be attributed to the absence of a teleprompter. The president's reputation -- earned or unearned -- as a golden orator cannot be upheld without this prop. So, to level the playing field -- as he is fond of saying -- he was provided with a flesh and blood teleprompter in the shape of Candy Crowley for the second debate...

Crowley intervened from the very first exchange, like a mother prompting her little boy who forgot his spiel or maybe doesn't want to brag about his accomplishments. The pattern was set: each candidate would give his answer to the (elementary) question, Candy would call on Barack and throw him some talking points, he would take the cue and do a little performance, and when Mitt Romney tried to do his rebuttal Candy would say that's enough, let's go to the next question...


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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Do Aborted Babies Go To Heaven?

By Ann Barnhardt at Barnhardt.biz

It is getting progressively harder and harder for me to leave the house. Not because I'm threatened or under surveillance or anything like that. It's because every situation or conversation I enter, or even just OVERHEAR or OBSERVE, is potential fodder for this bizarre website. It's as if I am eavesdropping on and then plagiarizing the world or something.

(Pause for moment of scruple-driven angst.)

Aaaaannnnddd......I'm over it.

So, I found myself in a discussion, the base of which was the question of what happens to babies who are killed in abortion. Do they go to heaven?

The answer is NO, they do not.

If you are recoiling in disgust and red-faced rage at this point, I would urge you to humble yourself and receive instruction, as this is a nuanced yet incredibly important bit of theology - and a lesson in logic. When you're done reading it, I guarantee you will have learned something. If you are Catholic, you will see how shallow and inadequate your catechisis has been, and if you are Protestant you will see how much you are missing.

1. The Church teaches and has taught from day one that baptism is essential for salvation. This comes straight from Our Lord Himself:
He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.
Mark 16:16
This is repeated throughout the four Gospels and in the epistles. Baptism, baptism, baptism. Go forth and BAPTIZE. Don't just talk. BAPTIZE everyone you possibly can. With water. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. In fact, baptism is so non-negotiably essential that ANYONE can baptize - even a non-Christian. As long as the baptism is with water, and the form is correct, meaning in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit), then an atheist could baptize. A musloid could baptize. A Jew could baptize. A Hindu could baptize.

(*The notable and particularly relevant caveat to this is if the baptizer says the right words, but consciously means something completely different by the words "Father", "Son" and "Holy Ghost". I'm talking about the cult of Mormonism here. Did you know that Mormons teach and believe that God the Father is one of many "gods" who came from another planet and just happens to be the "god" of this particular planet, and that "God the Son" was once a non-divine mortal man, and that satan was his brother, and that the man they call "Jesus" at some point achieved divinity and was made the god of this world? Further, Mormons teach that when they die that they will also become gods and be given their own "celestial kingdoms" to rule? Mormons also teach that the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost are two completely separate and distinct beings. 

Bottom line: Mormons are NOT, NOT, NOT Christians and Mitt Romney is NOT, NOT, NOT a Christian. Does that piss you off? Wow. I SO don't care. It is the truth. Deal with it. 

Oh, and for the record, Obama is not baptized either. One of the huge selling points of Jeremiah Wright's Trinity "church" is the fact that he DOES NOT baptize muslims. Thus, muslims who are engaging in the war tactic of KITHMAN, that is pretending to be non-muslim while infiltrating a culture for stealth jihad, flock to Wright's "church" because they can pose as Christians while avoiding the sacrament of Baptism. If you don't believe me, just call Trinity and ask them yourself. Their number is (773) 962-5650. Be polite. 

Not that this election is real, and not that the First American Republic still exists, but I do think that it is VERY interesting and telling that NEITHER candidate is Christian, which would be a first, and is certainly apropos.)
 
2. What is heaven? Heaven is nothing less than indwelling INSIDE the Trinity, contemplating the Trinity for all eternity. This is hard to understand from the "outside", but we know that this is the case from the words of Our Lord Himself:
That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me, and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
John 17:21
This is called "the Beatific Vision", which could perhaps be simplistically stated as "seeing and contemplating God from the inside."

3. Who DESERVES the Beatific Vision as a mere corollary to their existence? Nobody. Not even the Angels. The Angels had to choose to serve God even before the creation of the world. They were created by God, and then shown the plan of Salvation History before the Big Bang (Let There Be Light). Those who chose to serve God were granted the Beatific Vision. Those who chose not to serve God, specifically the Second Person, the Divine Man, Whom they resented as being "beneath them", were cast out of heaven, never having seen the Beatific Vision, and never to see it. Satan and demons are real.

Even the Blessed Virgin Mary doesn't DESERVE the Beatific Vision merely as a corollary to her existence. She says so in her Magnificat:
And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because He hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear Him.  
Luke 1:46-50
Given these realities, does an unborn baby DESERVE the Beatific Vision? The answer is obviously "no".
4. But an unborn baby (Or even a born and yet unbaptized baby) has committed no sin. Their fate can't be hell. So where do they go? The answer is, they go to a "place" (for lack of a better word) called Limbo, specifically The Limbo of the Innocents. There is another Limbo called the Limbo of the Fathers which was filled with the righteous people who died on earth before Christ opened the gates of heaven on Calvary. The Limbo of the Fathers no longer exists - Christ emptied it while He was in the tomb.

At this point many are screaming, "BUT THAT ISN'T IN THE BIBLE!"

Oh, yes it is. If you bother to READ IT. And again, from the lips of Our Lord, no less:
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell.
Luke 16:22
Abraham's Bosom is NOT the Beatific Vision. When Our Lord spoke these words, the Gates of Heaven were yet closed because He had not yet opened them. Abraham's Bosom was the Limbo of the Fathers.
The proof for the Limbo of the Innocents actually comes from the very first scripture I quoted above:
He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.
Mark 16:16
Read that VERY carefully. Note that the second phrase does NOT tie non-baptism to condemnation. Condemnation (hell) is for those who reject Christ, but the baptismal state is left open. Note that in the first phrase that baptism is only tied to the Beatific Vision. What does this tell us? It tells us first that a person MUST be baptized in order to reach the Beatific Vision. It also tells us that those who die unbaptized and yet without any sin (which can only mean babies, both pre-born and born, and children who have not reached the age of reason, and therefore cannot be guilty of sin) DO NOT GO TO THE HELL OF THE DAMNED.

Makes sense, huh? And remember, NOBODY deserves the Beatific Vision.

So, the "place" these innocent yet unbaptized babies and children go is the Limbo of the Innocents. The Limbo of the Innocents is a "place" wherein these souls experience MAXIMUM NATURAL HAPPINESS, but do not experience the SUPERNATURAL happiness of the Beatific Vision.

Let's think about this. Maximum natural happiness. Guys, you have never, ever experienced anything even close to maximum natural happiness. In fact, if you were given the gift of five seconds of maximum natural happiness, I'll bet that you would swear up and down that you had just seen heaven and that there is no way that there could be anything better. You would be wrong. Heaven, the Beatific Vision, is so far above Limbo that Limbo is considered to be at the edge of hell by comparison, simply because it is outside the Beatific Vision. But it is still better than anything you have ever experienced.

5. Now, we have to answer the question, "Why can't unbaptized babies go straight to heaven?"
It is a great question, with a great answer. On the surface it sounds "unfair" that a baby, especially a baby that was murdered in cold blood by its own mother, couldn't go straight to heaven, especially when we consider the fact that the mother could sacramentally confess her sin and die in a state of grace and achieve the Beatific Vision herself.

Boo! Not fair, the critics say.

Again, let's think this through. WHAT IF all aborted babies went straight to heaven? How would the logical truth table from that false premise play out?

Well, if all aborted babies are GUARANTEED heaven, but a born person who lives to the age of reason runs the risk of living a life wherein they reject Christ and end up in hell, wouldn't it be an act of charity and mercy for every mother everywhere to abort every child they conceive so that the child will absolutely, positively spend all of eternity enjoying the Beatific Vision?

Let's put a context to it. Let's say a poor woman who lives in an urban slum gets pregnant. She looks around and sees a terrible environment. She knows that her child will be raised fatherless. She knows that the odds of her child escaping the grasp of the gangs and the Marxist overlords are very slim. What should she do? If all aborted babies go to heaven, then the young mother should kill the child in utero, thus guaranteeing her child heaven and sparing it the risk of life in this world and thus the high risk of being lost to hell. In fact, it would be selfish and uncharitable for her NOT to abort the child....

Do you see what happens when we try to form a logical truth table off of a false premise? We end up with abortion as a charitable act of mercy. And satan SQUEALS with delight.

6. Now the question must be answered, "Why SHOULD the young mother allow her child to be born even with the high risk of the child eventually being lost to hell?"

The answer comes from Lesson Number One in the Catechism:

Q: Why did God make you? 

A: God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.
 
Every person is made by God with the desired end of the Beatific Vision. If the mother aborts the baby, the baby can never see the Beatific Vision, which is what God created the child for, and nothing less. In order to achieve the Beatific Vision, a person must be born and baptized, and die in a state of grace. Because remember, NOBODY deserves the Beatific Vision. Nobody.

No matter how long the odds seem, that baby is born with the Beatific Vision within grasp. Human beings CAN NEVER deprive a child of that chance.
And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible.  
Matthew 19:26
7. What about miscarriages?

True miscarriages and stillbirths are God's will, and remember, those babies, like the aborted babies, are granted maximum natural happiness in the Limbo of the Innocents. We must trust God in these matters. It is possible that God in His omniscience and Divine Providence allows miscarriages and stillbirths in order to bring about the best possible outcome for the child. This is a very difficult idea to face, but again, it comes straight from Our Lord Himself:
The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of Him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born.
Matthew 26:24
It would have been better for Judas Iscariot to have been miscarried because then he would have the maximum natural happiness of the Limbo of the Innocents. Instead, Judas betrayed Our Lord, doubted His mercy and never sought forgiveness and instead committed suicide, thus choosing the hell of the damned for all eternity.

But remember, ONLY GOD can make that call. No man can ever, ever play God and induce miscarriage, which is to say MURDER a pre-born child.

8. Why have I never heard anything about any of this up until now?

First, if you are Catholic and under the age of 60 or so, it is because the Church has been infiltrated by Marxist-homosexualists tasked with destroying the Church from the inside. Their father, satan, wants to convince as many people as possible that abortion is "morally neutral" or "contingent on the circumstances".

Beyond that, satan actually does want people to believe that aborted babies go to heaven so that eventually he can convince people that abortion can be a MORAL GOOD. Satan gets two things out of this. He maximizes the number of people who murder their own children and then DO NOT REPENT, thus dying in mortal sin and going to hell. The second thing satan achieves is keeping as many human beings from achieving that which he himself rejected and RAGES against: The Beatific Vision. Satan is willing to compromise and cut his losses. He'll take the baby going to the Limbo of the Innocents, never seeing the Beatific Vision PLUS the damnation of the unrepentant mother AND the damnation of the apostate priests, nuns and clergy who told the woman that her abortion wasn't a sin because "the baby is in heaven."

If you are Protestant, it is because Protestantism is intrinsically stupid and insipid. That's it. Superfun Rockband church. Jimmy Swaggart. Brain dead Methodist "we're just here to keep up appearances". Don't believe me? Okay. Ask your pastor on Sunday if aborted babies go to heaven, and after reading this, stand back and bask in the bumbling ignorance of his (or her, shudder) answer. Yep. You can almost visualize it right now, can't you?

UPDATELimbo Citations

By Ann Barnhardt

This is just excellent. I'll pick out just a few of the 24 reasons. Do read the whole thing.

Source Link HERE.
24 Reasons Why Not To Reject Limbo 
John Vennari
Limbo is in the news. A new document from Rome's International Theological Commission [ITC], released on April 20, states that Catholics may virtually ignore the teaching on limbo and may have "many reasons for hope" for the salvation of unbaptized infants.
Practically every major newspaper carried the story. Headlines such as "Vatican Abolishes Limbo;" "Vatican Report Rejects Limbo;" and "Concept of Limbo Now Assigned to Oblivion" appeared throughout the world.
Yet despite this latest study, many intend to hold to the conventional teaching that the souls of infants who die before Baptism do not attain Heaven, because they have not obtained the remission of Original Sin that only Baptism provides. They go to Limbo, a place of natural happiness wherein they suffer no pain of punishment since they are guilty of no personal sin.
Listed below are 24 of the chief reasons why I, and thousands of Catholics the world over, will not reject the Catholic doctrine of Limbo:
1. Because Pope Pius VI, in a formal magisterial decree, denounced the rejection of Limbo as "false, rash, slanderous to Catholic schools";
2. Because the ITC's study on Limbo is neither a papal document, nor a magisterial document, but a modern theological exercise that does not bind the conscience of Catholics in any way;
4. Because it is an unchangeable article of Faith, taught infallibly by the Second Council of Lyons and the Council of Florence that the souls of those who depart this life in the state of original sin are excluded from the Beatific Vision;
5. Because Pope Sixtus V taught in a 1588 Constitution that victims of abortion, being deprived of Baptism, are "excluded from Beatific Vision," which is one of the reasons Sixtus V denounced abortion as a heinous crime;
7. Because to reject Limbo strengthens the implicit denial of Original Sin, a chief error of our age;
http://www.catholicessentials.net/limbo.htm 
I. The Limbo of the Fathers - A place and state of rest wherein the souls of the just who died before Christ's ascension were detained until he opened Heaven to them; referred to as "Abraham's Bosom" (Luke xvi,22) and "Paradise" (Luke xxiii, 43) and notably in Eph. IV, 9 and I Peter iii, 18-20.
II. The Limbo of Children - It is of faith that all, children and adults, who leave this world without the Baptism of water, blood or desire and therefore in original sin are excluded from the Vision of God in Heaven. The great majority of theologians teach that such children and unbaptized adults free from grievous actual sin, enjoy eternally a state of perfect natural happiness, knowing and loving God by use of their natural powers. This place and state is commonly called Limbo. (Definition from A Catholic Dictionary, 1951)
References in Scripture:
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell" Luke 16:22
"Now that He ascended, what is it, but because He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth" Ephesians 4:9
"Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that He might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison: Which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noe, when the ark was a building: wherein a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water." 1 Peter 3:18-20
"And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when Thou shalt come into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with Me in paradise" Luke 23:42-43
Church Teaching:
"Moreover as Christ was true and perfect man, He of course was capable of dying. Now man dies when the soul is separated from the body. When, therefore, we say that Jesus died, we mean that His soul was disunited from His body. We do not admit, however, that the Divinity was separated from His body. On the contrary, we firmly believe and profess that when His soul was dissociated from His body, His Divinity continued always united both to His body in the sepulchre and to His soul in limbo. It became the Son of God to die, that, through death, He might destroy him who had the empire of death that is the devil, and might deliver them, who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to servitude." Catechism of Council of Trent, The Creed, Article IV
"Q: What are we taught in the Fifth Article: He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead? A: The Fifth Article of the Creed teaches us that the Soul of Jesus Christ, on being separated from His Body, descended to the Limbo of the holy Fathers, and that on the third day it became united once more to His Body, never to be parted from it again". Catechism of St. Pope Pius X, The Fifth Article of the Creed
"The fourth and final reason is that Christ might free the just who were in hell [or Limbo]. For as Christ wished to suffer death to deliver the living from death, so also He would descend into hell to deliver those who were there". Also, "The reason they were there in hell [i.e., Limbo] is original sin which they had contracted from Adam, and from which as members of the human race they could not be delivered except by Christ. Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas, The Creed, The Fifth Article, Reasons for Christ's Descent
"The limbo of the Fathers and the limbo of children, without any doubt, differ as to the quality of punishment or reward. For children have no hope of the blessed life, as the Fathers in limbo had, in whom, moreover, shone forth the light of faith and grace. But as regards their situation, there is reason to believe that the place of both is the same; except that the limbo of the Fathers is placed higher than the limbo of children, just as we have stated in reference to limbo and hell." Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas, Whether the limbo of children is the same as the limbo of the Fathers?
"Suarez, for example, ignoring Bellarmine's protest, continued to teach what Catharinus had taught -- that unbaptized children will not only enjoy perfect natural happiness, but that they will rise with immortal bodies at the last day and have the renovated earth for their happy abode (De vit. et penat., ix, sect. vi, n. 4); and, without insisting on such details, the great majority of Catholic theologians have continued to maintain the general doctrine that the children's limbo is a state of perfect natural happiness, just the same as it would have been if God had not established the present supernatural order" 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, Limbo Summary
Contrary to what some Catholics have come to believe today, the doctrine of Limbo is mentioned in Scripture (albeit by a different name) and as we can see above, has been taught century to century by the Catholic Church. To deny its existence is not Catholic.
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