Saturday, December 29, 2012

Another Manifesto on Communion in the Hand

From Carol at The Tenth Crusade:

This article, written by David Gray, rebuts an apparent attempt by Voris to promote the reception of Eucharist by tongue.

Boy, the claws really come out when a Catholic tries to spread a deeper respect for the Eucharist.

The discussion always takes on a preternatural if the demons are summoned from every corner of the earth.  It never fails to get creepy and weird.  And, from sources that can surprise you.

David (on Facebook) said while he appreciates people who promote reception of the Eucharist by mouth, he's sick and tired of it because it makes people who receive by hand feel demonized.

I'll bet you know what Carol has to say about the people who feel demonized when they are reminded that their manhandling of the Eucharist is leaving particles of the Divinity of Christ on the floor, onto shoes, where He is carried out into dog poo?

Cry me a river.

David claims it is not about whether Christ is dropped onto the floor, but rather, it is about how holy the people feel about themselves as they paw the Eucharist.  It is about the reverence as you do it, he says.

I'm not sure how much success I had explaining to him that the feelings of the Deity involved in the interaction are excluded from his hypothesis, but I offered to God a valiant effort.

I learned a lot of things from a Fr. John Higgins I'm willing to bet you never heard before.

He first tried to tell me that the Church teaches that the Divinity of Christ is not in the substance of particles that fall from the Eucharist.  Only a whole piece of bread has the substance of Christ's Divinity.  The rest is dust.   Worthless dust.   He told me folks like us who believe that the Divinity of Christ is in pieces that break off of the Eucharist are like the people who worry about the fumes of the 'wine'.

He switched up the story a bit when he realized he wasn't talking to your average Catholic idiot when I asked him why, if the Church taught that Christ's Divinity was not in particles broken off of the Host, why then would they provide a Corporal and other linens which are, according to protocol, handled as if they carried particles of Christ's Divinity?   He said the Church teaches the Divinity of Christ is only in particles broken by the priest but not in particles that break off in the Communion lines.

When I asked him why the Romans would then use a paten for the distribution of the Eucharist which is only permitted by mouth, he got the big violins out.     Poor Fr. Higgins, the victim of a modernist vicious woman who simply will not listen to her superior.    He and all the Bishops and the Pope touch the Eucharist with their hands and receive standing up.   Why, Pope John Paul even gave him the Eucharist in his hands.   The paten is just for people who receive on the tongue because they are irreverent, fumble and drop the Eucharist.

He and others in the thread divulged several more of their screwball ideas, but you get the gist.

A number of pathetic sappy sorts with misplaced empathy chimed in.  Poor Fr. Higgins.  Stupid, insane woman with a filthy mouth that is a source of sin.  Blasphemer.  Shame on me for being disrespectful to Fr. Higgings (crumpled in the corner with his wounded self-esteem).   I am a modernist.  Others claimed I was a RadTrad (the use of which I explained is a perverse insult to the communion of the faithful who practice a Rite approved by the Church).  A heretic.  I need a team of psychiatrists and an exorcist.

The poor, poor lambs.

I was on my best behavior until Fr. Higgins chimed in again with more news.  The Altar rail is/was only for keeping wild animals out of the Sanctuary.   Whilst I did have the fortitude not to say what I wanted to say, i.e., it is a crying shame they don't have a gate like that at the seminary admissions office - it got a bit ugly... (continued)


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Professor says Pope should be executed for ‘premeditated mass murder’

By Oliver Darcy

( A professor in Austria accused the Catholic Pope of “premeditated mass murder” in a blog post this year, writing he deserves to be executed for his adherence to the Church’s stance on contraception.

An Austrian professor argued the Pope should be sentenced to death for his opposition to the use of contraception.

Richard Parncutt, who is a professor of systematic musicology at the University of Graz, also suggested in the October post that most of Vatican’s high level advisors ought also to face the death penalty.

“[T]he Pope and perhaps some of his closest advisers should be sentenced to death,” he wrote.

“I am talking about the current Pope, because his continuing refusal to make a significant change to the church’s position on contraception will certainly result in millions of further unnecessary deaths from AIDS in the future.”

Catholic doctrine holds that the use of contraception is a mortal sin and discourages the use of condoms, which many believe could significantly prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa.

Parncutt maintains in his column that otherwise he has “always been opposed to the death penalty,” classifying the punishment as “barbaric” and “racist.”

“Even mass murderers should not be executed,” he wrote before making a special exception for the Pope because of the mass casualties he says have been caused by the doctrine.

In the same opinion piece, Parncutt also accuses the Catholic Church’s “racist” because many of those who affected by AID are on the African continent.

“Those dying from AIDS are predominantly black,” he wrote.

Campus Reform could not reach Parncutt or a spokesperson for the University of Graz for comment in time for.

In the column, Parncutt extended his support for the death penalty to influential skeptics of man-made global warming.

“They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of people,” Parncutt alleges. “We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate.”

In July, he created an online petition to apply a “global wealth tax” to the globe’s wealthiest one-percent.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Linus Van Pelt Lesson on Translation Accuracy

By Ann Barnhardt at

That really is a sweet little clip. The child who voiced Linus had such a quintessentially warm American accent, even down to the little lisp. Magic in a bottle - from the voices to the soundtrack. It was made in 1965 and stands as a marker of the end of the Christian American culture, only recognized now in retrospect.

But, a nit to pick, and a great lesson for all in how important an accurate translation of the Bible is. Most Bibles today read Luke 2:14 as:

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men."

The last clause is totally wrong, and was mangled intentionally and with malice.

The Vulgate Latin, which is St. Jerome's inspired synthesis of the original source texts triple cross-referenced against each other in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew in preparation for the eventual setting of the canon of scripture at the Council of Carthage in 397 AD, reads thusly:

"...gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis"

In English, in the Douay-Rheims translation this reads:

Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.

These are two completely different ideas. Radically different. The bad, modern translation has peace and goodwill together as co-subjects, as unqualified universals: "peace, goodwill TOWARD men". The accurate translation clearly has goodwill not as the COMPOUND SUBJECT along with peace, but as the QUALIFIER. To men OF GOOD WILL. Good will isn't the subject, it is the OBJECT OF THE PREPOSITION.

The Peace of Our Lord is a massively qualified, and extremely rare and precious thing. When the priest says at Mass, "Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum" (The peace of the Lord be always with you), he isn't just saying "nice things" as filler. This is a profound and precious prayer.

Why would God, in His Perfect Justice, wish good will towards those men who are at war with Him, and thus His Church? Is not the Second Person, God Incarnate in the Manger in Bethlehem, the Judge of mankind? Is not the Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes He who will sort the sheep from the goats? Is He not the One who is come to sift the wheat from the chaff? Did He not say:

"Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword."

Oh, but if we are under attack by Communist-homosexualist infiltrators, and we want God reduced to an abstract philosophical construct, an "I'm okay, you're okay" joke of a deity, an effete, toothless "idea" that is merely an excuse for neo-pagan self-worship and narcissistic performance opportunities, then, by all means, mangle and rearrange the Word of God. As the infiltrators tell their victims, "It doesn't really matter what the original texts said - all that matters is what today's translation says to you . . . "

Luke 2:14 is a quick, easy way to check the veracity of any translation of the Bible. Break yours out and check right now. And then, when you find it incorrectly translated, as you almost certainly will, ask yourself what other verses have been mangled. And then ask yourself what you're missing in the seven books that Luther removed. Uh-oh.

Then, just GET A DOUAY-RHEIMS and use the Church's authoritative English translation without fear or worry that you are reading Communist-homosexualist agitprop.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Gabriel's Message - Sting

White Christmas - Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra

Mele Kalikimaka - Bing Crosby with The Andrews Sisters and Vic Schoen

I Saw Three Ships - Sting

Silver Bells - Dean Martin

Little Drummer Boy - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI pardons ex-butler who stole, leaked documents

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI granted his former butler a Christmas pardon Saturday, forgiving him in person during a jailhouse meeting for stealing and leaking his private papers in one of the gravest Vatican security breaches in recent times.

After the 15-minute meeting, Paolo Gabriele was freed and returned to his Vatican City apartment where he lives with his wife and three children. The Vatican said he couldn't continue living or working in the Vatican, but said it would find him housing and a job elsewhere soon.

"This is a paternal gesture toward someone with whom the pope for many years shared daily life," according to a statement from the Vatican secretariat of state...


Friday, December 21, 2012

When Christmas Was Banned in Massachusetts

By Kevin Seamus Hasson

(The Wall Street Journal) Does it sometimes seem as if the Christmas wars—namely the battle between secularists and believers over how and where Christmas and Hanukkah (not to mention other faiths' holidays) should be recognized—have been around forever? If so, you're not far off. The opening shots of the war, at least in America, were fired in Plymouth Colony itself. And after nearly 400 years, it's past time we learned our lesson and ceased hostilities.

Both factions still make the same fundamental mistake the Pilgrims did in Plymouth Colony. In Plymouth, culture was served up in one simple, strong flavor: Pilgrim. The Pilgrims were in charge and they knew it. Dissidents, and they were few, were not allowed to voice their dissent, let alone protest.

The contrast between October and December 1621 in Plymouth is a telling illustration of culture Pilgrim-style. In October, the Pilgrims held what has come to be called the First Thanksgiving. It lasted several days, featuring marksmanship and other contests in addition to good food. In short, it was about as communal and festive as the Pilgrims could ever be. Two months later, however, on "the day called Christmas Day," their leader, Governor William Bradford, recorded in his journal that he "called them out to work."

That was normal. For the Pilgrims, Dec. 25 was a day just like any other. Christmas, they thought, was a "papist" invention. Unlike their feast days, they couldn't find it in the Bible, so they wouldn't celebrate it. The previous year, they had spent their first Christmas in Plymouth splitting lumber.

But a year later not everyone agreed. Some newly arrived colonists objected that "it went against their consciences to work" on Christmas. So Bradford grudgingly excused them "till they were better informed" and led the wiser, more veteran colonists away to work. Returning at noon, however, he was horrified to discover the newcomers "in the street at play, openly" engaged in various sports.

In other words, the newcomers were doing exactly what the Pilgrims had done two months earlier. But this was different. This was no Pilgrim-proclaimed holiday. This was that dangerous innovation—Christ's Mass.
The governor knew what he had to do. He confiscated their sports equipment, telling them that if they insisted on celebrating Christmas as a "matter of devotion" they could do so privately at home, "but there should be no gaming or reveling in the streets." It was no isolated tantrum. A generation later, the colony formally outlawed Christmas for 22 years.

The double standard was blatant. Only two months before they suppressed the Christmas revelers, the Pilgrims had held their own "gaming and reveling" for Thanksgiving. They knew well that it's only natural for people to want to celebrate special times together. A holiday spent in enforced privacy is not much of a holiday at all.

Suppressing the Christmas revelers was obviously a cruel thing to do. But here we are, nearly 400 years later, still debating whether to allow religious holidays out in public or, God forbid, on public property. Some alarmists fear public display of any faith tradition but their own. Others seek to paper over the nation's diversity of traditions by insisting on a homogenized, religion-free culture. (If they had lived in Plymouth Colony, no doubt their answer to Christmas would have been to ban Thanksgiving, too.)

All the alarmists agree on this much, though: Others' holiday celebrations are tolerable only in private, and never in the public square—a vintage 1621 solution. "Ah, but you see," they all say, "religion in public is uniquely divisive. That's why the Constitution restricts it."

Nonsense. Elsewhere in the world, people fight and even slaughter each other over ethnic differences at least as much as they do over religious ones. And our Constitution bars government ethnic preferences just as stringently as it does religious ones. Yet our courts are not clogged with English-Americans seeking to enjoin St. Patrick's Day parades. It's obvious that municipal embrace and even sponsorship of them is not a harbinger of ethnic cleansing to come. It's simply government acknowledgment of one of many ethnic elements in our culture.

There's no reason—constitutional or otherwise—why governments cannot do the same and welcome public displays of menorahs, Christmas trees, nativity scenes and the like as simply some of the many religious elements in our culture.

Four hundred years is plenty long enough. Let's climb out of the 17th century and call a halt to the Christmas wars.

Mr. Hasson is the founder of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the author of "The Right to be Wrong: Ending the Culture War Over Religion in America" (Image, 2012), from which this is adapted.

h/t Dr. Italy

Showtime Greenlights Vatican Drama Pilot From Paul Attanasio, Ridley Scott To Direct

(Deadline Hollywood) In Showtime’s first pilot order for 2013, the pay cable network has greenlighted a high-profile drama from Oscar nominees Paul Attanasio and Ridley Scott. Titled The Vatican, the project is described as a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics  set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Said to evoke The Sopranos and Upstairs Downstairs, the series will explore the relationships and rivalries as well as the mysteries and miracles behind one of the world’s most hidden institutions. 

Paul AttanasioThe Vatican, produced by Sony Pictures TV in association with Showtime and Scott Free, has been a passion project for House executive producer Attanasio, who has been working on it for a couple of years. His script started heating up at Showtime a few weeks ago, forcing Attanasio to pull out of the Rake series adaptation starring Greg Kinnear, which Sony TV was shopping. The pay cable network then proceeded with attaching an A-list director before giving the project a green light. I hear a quartet of top feature directors circled the drama, with Ridley Scott ultimately signing on for what will be his pilot directing debut. CAA-repped Attanasio and WME-repped Scott executive produce with Scott Free’s David Zucker (The Good Wife).


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pope's Article in Financial Times: A Time for Christians to Engage With the World

"The Birth of Christ Challenges us to Reassess our Priorities, Our Values, Our Very Way of Life"

By Pope Benedict XVI

The following is the full text of the article written by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI which appeared in the Financial Times. 

* * *

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 20, 2012 ( "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God," was the response of Jesus when asked about paying taxes. His questioners, of course, were laying a trap for him. They wanted to force him to take sides in the highly charged political debate about Roman rule in the land of Israel. Yet there was more at stake here: if Jesus really was the long-awaited Messiah, then surely he would oppose the Roman overlords. So the question was calculated to expose him either as a threat to the regime, or as a fraud.

Jesus' answer deftly moves the argument to a higher plane, gently cautioning against both the politicization of religion and the deification of temporal power, along with the relentless pursuit of wealth. His audience needed to be reminded that the Messiah was not Caesar, and Caesar was not God. The kingdom that Jesus came to establish was of an altogether higher order. As he told Pontius Pilate: "My kingship is not of this world."

The Christmas stories in the New Testament are intended to convey a similar message. Jesus was born during a "census of the whole world" ordered by Caesar Augustus, the emperor renowned for bringing the Pax Romana to all the lands under Roman rule. Yet this infant, born in an obscure and far-flung corner of the empire, was to offer the world a far greater peace, truly universal in scope and transcending all limitations of space and time.

Jesus is presented to us as King David’s heir, but the liberation he brought to his people was not about holding hostile armies at bay; it was about conquering sin and death forever.

The birth of Christ challenges us to reassess our priorities, our values, our very way of life. While Christmas is undoubtedly a time of great joy, it is also an occasion for deep reflection, even an examination of conscience. At the end of a year that has meant economic hardship for many, what can we learn from the humility, the poverty, the simplicity of the crib scene?

Christmas can be the time in which we learn to read the Gospel, to get to know Jesus not only as the child in the manger, but as the one in whom we recognize that God made man. It is in the Gospel that Christians find inspiration for their daily lives and their involvement in worldly affairs – be it in the Houses of Parliament or the stock exchange. Christians should not shun the world; they should engage with it. But their involvement in politics and economics should transcend every form of ideology.

Christians fight poverty out of a recognition of the supreme dignity of every human being, created in God’s image and destined for eternal life. They work for more equitable sharing of the earth's resources out of a belief that – as stewards of God’s creation – we have a duty to care for the weakest and most vulnerable. Christians oppose greed and exploitation out of a conviction that generosity and selfless love, as taught and lived by Jesus of Nazareth, are the way that leads to fullness of life. The belief in the transcendent destiny of every human being gives urgency to the task of promoting peace and justice for all.

Because these goals are shared by so many, much fruitful co-operation is possible between Christians and others. Yet Christians render to Caesar only what belongs to Caesar, not what belongs to God. Christians have at times throughout history been unable to comply with demands made by Caesar. From the emperor cult of ancient Rome to the totalitarian regimes of the past century, Caesar has tried to take the place of God.
When Christians refuse to bow down before the false gods proposed today, it is not because of an antiquated worldview. Rather, it is because they are free from the constraints of ideology and inspired by such a noble vision of human destiny that they cannot collude with anything that undermines it.

In Italy, many crib scenes feature the ruins of ancient Roman buildings in the background. This shows that the birth of the child Jesus marks the end of the old order, the pagan world, in which Caesar’s claims went virtually unchallenged. Now there is a new king, who relies not on the force of arms, but on the power of love.

He brings hope to all those who, like himself, live on the margins of society. He brings hope to all who are vulnerable to the changing fortunes of a precarious world. From the manger, Christ calls us to live as citizens of his heavenly kingdom, a kingdom that all people of goodwill can help to build here on earth.

The writer is the Bishop of Rome and author of ‘Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives'
--- --- ---

On the NET:

For the original publication of the article, go to:


Mass Hysteria

Mexico's ethnic Maya unmoved by 2012 'Armageddon' hysteria 

* End of a 5,125-year cycle in Maya Long Calendar
* Majority of today's Maya people are Roman Catholic

By Alexandra Alper

IZAMAL, Mexico, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Thousands of mystics, New Age dreamers and fans of pre-Hispanic culture have been drawn to Mexico in hopes of witnessing great things when the day in an old Maya calendar dubbed "the end of the world" dawns on Friday.

But many of today's ethnic Maya cannot understand the fuss. Mostly Christian, they have looked on in wonder at the influx of foreign tourists to ancient cities in southern Mexico and Central America whose heyday passed hundreds of years ago.

"We don't believe it," said Socorro Poot, 41, a housewife and mother of three in Holca, a village about 25 miles (40 km) from Chichen Itza. "Nobody knows the day and the hour. Only God knows."
For students of ancient Mesoamerican time-keeping, Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle in the Maya Long Calendar, an event one leading U.S. scholar said in the 1960s could be interpreted as a kind of Armageddon for the Maya.

Academics and astronomers say too much weight was given to the words and have sought to allay fears the end is nigh.

But over the past few decades, fed by popular culture, Friday became seen by some western followers of alternative religions as a day on which momentous change could occur.

"It's a psychosis, a fad," said psychologist Vera Rodriguez, 29, a Mexican of Maya descent living in Izamal, Yucatan state, near the center of the 2012 festivities, the site of Chichen Itza. "I think it's bad for our society and our culture."

Behind Rodriguez, her two children played in a living room decorated with Christmas trees and Santa Claus figurines.

Mexico's government forecast around 50 million tourists from home and abroad would visit southern Mexico in 2012. Up to 200,000 are expected to descend on Chichen Itza on Friday.

"It's a date for doing business, but for me it's just like any other day," said drinks vendor Julian Nohuicab, 34, an ethnic Maya working in the ruins of the ancient city of Coba in Quintana Roo state, not far from the beach resort of Cancun.

Watching busloads of white-haired pensioners and dreadlocked backpackers pile into their heartland, Maya old and young roll their eyes at the suggestion the world will end.

"We don't believe it," said Socorro Poot, 41, a housewife and mother of three in Holca, a village about 25 miles (40 km) from Chichen Itza. "Nobody knows the day and the hour. Only God knows."


Tracing its origins to the end of the 4th millennium BC, the ancient Mesoamerican civilization of the Maya reached its peak between A.D. 250 and 900 when they ruled over large swathes of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize.

Famed for developing hieroglyphic writing and an advanced astronomical system, the Maya then began a slow decline, but pockets of the civilization continued to flourish until they were finally subjugated by the Spanish in the 17th century.

Today, ethnic Maya are believed to number at least 7 million in Mexico, Guatemala and other parts of Central America.

The vast majority are nominally Roman Catholics, though many still uphold elements and rites of their old beliefs. According to a 2000 Mexican census, there were also a few hundred Jews and handful of Buddhists among the Maya.

Tales of human sacrifice, pioneering architectural feats and an interest in the stars burnished the Maya's supernatural reputation. So too, say experts, has the misguided notion that the Maya died out with the arrival of the conquistadors.

"That idea that they disappeared culturally back in the deep past is one of these things that feeds into this idea that they are mysterious, that they are otherworldly," said David Stuart, a Maya expert at the University of Texas.

The reality is that many Maya live in rural areas where water can be scarce, communications poor and education patchy.

Even as some shrug their shoulders at the awe and reverence December 21 has inspired, others worry it has become a free meal ticket for sharp-witted businessmen.

"There's the legend and there's the reality," said Yolanda Cornelio, 21, a tourism official in the city of Merida, whose mother speaks Maya at home. "Some people take the legend and abuse it, using it to make money. There's a lot of con artists."

With scores of old Maya ruins, temples and monuments dotting the landscape between southern Mexico and Central America, locals have plenty of opportunities to impress foreign visitors.

One of the most popular attractions lies in a leafy grove near the crumbling pyramids of Coba, where a large stone tablet records the Maya creation date of August 13, 3114 BC - quite literally the cornerstone of the 2012 phenomenon.

"This is a very powerful, sacred place," said Jonathan Ellerby, 39, a writer from Canada. "I feel something energetic, emotional, and I feel I'm in the right place. I really do."


Question of the Day: Prenuptial Agreements?

From Our Sunday Visitor:

Prenuptial Agreements?

Q. Sometimes when couples marry they sign a prenuptial agreement. What is the Catholic Church’s official position on prenuptial agreements?

W.M., via e-mail

A. Here is a reply from Father Francis Hoffman, J.C.D.:

The Church has no official position on prenuptial agreements. However, the Church teaches that marriage is indissoluble, which means the couple is married “until death do us part.” If a prenuptial agreement signals that the spouses do not regard marriage as indissoluble, that is a bad sign, and potentially grounds for declaration of nullity. Marriage is forever.


Trendy Catholics

"The clock is ticking on the Church of Nice. It won't be long now."


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In Sin and Error Pining: Christmas in an Unholy Land

By Fr. Gordon J. MacRae

Though I grew up on the North Shore of Boston, I lived for several years in Albuquerque, New Mexico. To prepare for Christmas, people in the Old Town district and other neighborhoods would place lit vigil candles in hundreds of small, sand-filled brown paper bags to encircle their homes, line their driveways, and often even adorn their flat adobe roofs. These vigil lights – called “Candelarias” – were displayed throughout the neighborhoods by the thousands, and their collective effect was a beautiful and breathtaking vigil for the birth of Christ. On Christmas Eve, families and friends from all over would crowd into their cars for a solemn drive through Old Town Albuquerque to view the Candelarias.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, even inside this prison, or at least my small corner of it. As the annual bipolar express into Christmas depression commences all around me, the walls of this cell have become covered with Christmas cards sent by TSW readers. The cards are beautiful and a stark contrast to the bleak place they now adorn.

The collective effect has transformed this captive world in sin and error pining into one of expectant hope, and the strangest thing has happened. As Christmas draws nearer, prisoners – few of whom receive many cards and some none at all – keep coming to this cell to look at the growing numbers of faith-filled cards. “How does one person know so many people?” one asked. “No,” another corrected him. “How does one person know so many GOOD people?” Pornchai loves to give tours of our cards, and tells the other prisoners that we have never even met most of the senders. He explains that they are TSW readers who think of us and pray for us – “including you,” Pornchai tells them – as we spend another Christmas here. It reminds me so much of the vigil of the Candelarias. You should take some pride in this, for it was you who provided the lights that draw them...

You can take pride in the fact that many of the cards you have sent to me and to Pornchai now serve a solemn purpose in an unholy land. They are the Candelarias that summon the alienated and alone to the Christ Child.

I’m about to mark my 19th Christmas in such an exile, living in punishment for crimes that never took place. For Pornchai, it’s his 21st Christmas in prison. But one thing is clear. Not all who dwell in this unholy land are without hope for redemption. When Jonathan finally left this prison last year at Christmas, when his daughter was one year old, he handed me a note as he was going out the door. It was one of the nicest Christmas gifts I or any priest could ever receive:
“I will always remember all the ways that I could count on you. You never take anything from anyone, but please take this: You were a better father to some of us in prison than any of our own fathers ever were in freedom.”
I don’t know that what Jonathan wrote was entirely accurate. I have a hard time measuring such things, but I got another note recently that literally knocked me on my . . . umm, priestly posterior. It was from my friend, Alberto Ramos about whom I wrote in “Why You Must Never Give Up Hope for Another Human Being...”  (continued)


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christ's Meaningless Words

By Michael Voris

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

Picking up with yesterday’s theme .. the heresy of Protestantism has spawned the destruction of a nation.

The calculus is really very simple .. because Protestantism distorts the truth of Christ .. it will result in the perversion of morality .. which when played out over sufficient time ..will bring about the ruin of a nation.

Now .. case in point .. just one central point. A protestant pastor and I had a brief passing encounter at a radio station a couple of years ago. During our short encounter .. he made reference to my Catholicism and then said .. well what matters is that we all agree on the essentials.

Not having really heard that before .. I asked what he meant. His answer was revelatory indeed because it revealed a mindset of the very snake lying all coiled up under the Protestant table.

Listen to his answer. He said .. well , we shouldn’t waste time fussing over the nonessentials.

“What non-essentials?”, I asked, having never even thought that some points of Catholic doctrine were non-essential .. or even Protestant doctrine for that point. I think Martin Luther and John Calvin would take exception to this descendant of theirs would be referring to parts or some of their teachings as “non-essential”.

His response was nothing less than flat out stupid. He proposed that what Jesus said about divorce and remarriage was a “non-essential”. Imagine this for a moment.

Stop what you’re doing for five seconds and consider the full import here .. five seconds ..

[ five second countdown ]

Did your consideration carry you to the logical conclusions which must follow from his beliefs?

First .. God said a non-essential thing. Second, if he says ONE non-essential thing, how many more did He say? And if He did say more than one, how many MORE? And if he does utter non-essentials, how can we know which ones? Who determines which ones are non-essential? What’s the criteria for determining.

And on a philosophical note – why would the all perfect knowing Being blabber out nonessential things? What would be the point?

This whole stupid line of discussion is the direct result of the Protestant heresy .. and it has VERY REAL effects. It misleads souls in their ability to make moral choices .. moral choices that will determine their eternal destinies.

This farcical notion that some teachings of Almighty God’s are non-essential is the final destination of Protestantism .. because having declared that the Church He personally established is non-essential .. then how could they NOT arrive at the place they have come to now .. that other things He declared are non-essential.

I was in a 3 hour discussion this weekend with a young man who attends a Baptist congregation. When I asked him why he goes there, he said, he likes the way the preacher preaches.

A while later, he willingly offered up something that was decidedly non-Baptist and when I noted that his Baptist preacher wouldn’t agree with that, he said he doesn’t REALLY consider himself a Baptist.

When I asked him what he thought of Calvinism .. he scoffed and said he had bigger problems with Calvinism than he did with Catholicism. So when we got into a deeper discussion .. on a more philosophical level than theological .. but surely with theological consequences .. it became clear he was just making up his own religion.

Now to be fair .. he wasn’t saying that others had to believe his line of reasoning .. but he was giving his line of reasoning equal footing with any other religion .. especially Catholicism since that was the focus of our talk .. some Catholic doctrines.

At the end of the day .. for him .. it boiled down to the simple point that HE has the final say so in interpreting Scripture, teachings, and so forth. Interpretation of the word of God belongs to him and him alone FOR HIM - in short .. theological relativism.

And in the Protestant world .. of course it does. What Protestant can tell another Protestant that his opinion is wrong – based on what? In the Protestant heresy, there is no final arbiter of the truth, no final interpreter and for wimpy Catholics to refuse to talk about this or refuse to accept this horror and even more to challenge it is disgraceful.

It’s beyond disgraceful – it will be a point of shame for them when they stand before the judgment seat of God. God is truth and He desires and commands that truth be preached.

Protestantism is a heresy because .. like all heresies .. it distorts truth ever so subtly and prevents those who fall in its pit from reaching the fullness of the truth.

And that there Catholics who are not only aware of this perversion but attempt to silence by intimidation and insult and invective other Catholics who speak from GENUINE charity for the souls of those infected with heresy is perhaps one of the greatest failings of the past fifty years.

This false ecumenism .. the promotion or tolerance of religious parity has reigned down moral terror on this nation and many other nations.

Since so many of these religions offer competing and contradicting views of God .. truth .. morality .. how can they all be worthy of consideration? How can they all be viewed as equal or equally worthy?

They can’t. You cannot have one religion saying the words of Our Lord on the question of divorce and remarriage are non-essential and another saying they must be understood literally and lived by.

You can’t have one religion saying murdering children in the womb is a viable alternative .. however perhaps regrettable, while another says it is an unspeakable crime.

Likewise with so-called same-sex marriage .. In Vitro Fertilization .. contraception.

Yet we have Catholics .. CATHOLICS howling whenever these discrepancies and contradictions are pointed out.

They have drunk the koolaid of the religious relativism because they have a misplaced sense of compassion .. they are driven by their feelings and have switched off their intellects.

They have as horrible a sense and understanding of GOD Himself as the Protestant heresy that they have no problems with.

While this is understandable .. owing to the fact that the catechesis huge numbers of Catholics have received and still get pumped into them from clergy and religious has been essentially Protestant at its core .. that alone is not enough to let lukewarm Catholics off the hook.

They have eyes. They have ears. They can see parishes being closed down by the thousands .. vocations at a point of crisis .. family members leaving the faith in hordes.

And these objective realities demand an honest .. an intellectually honest evaluation.

Any Catholic who steps back and takes a level-headed honest look at where the Church is right now .. must conclude that the Protestant heresy has infected the Church to a tremendous degree .. much like Arianism did in the fourth century .. and a massive falling away from the faith has resulted.

This heresy must be fought against and the wimpy response of “don’t hurt people’s feelings” has to be taken on defeated as well. The Church on earth isn’t called the Church Militant for nothing.

GOD Love you,

I’m Michael Voris


Monday, December 17, 2012

Activists protest Pope Benedict XVI's comment on gay marriage

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Activists angered by Pope Benedict XVI's recent comment about gay marriage have held a small protest in St. Peter's Square during the pontiff's weekly address there.

The protesters carried signs in several languages, including ones saying: "Marriage for All" and "Homophobia (equals) death."

An Associated Press journalist saw police quickly seize placards from four of the protesters who entered the square Sunday as pilgrims and tourists were watching the pope appear at his studio window.

In his annual peace message released by the Vatican on Friday, the pontiff called gay marriage, and abortion, threats to peace.

The organizers of the protest issued a statement saying: "Gay unions don't harm peace. Weapons do."


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Package Addressed to Indiana Jones Leaves U. of C. in a 'World of Mystery'

Indiana Jones Package CHICAGO — A package addressed to Indiana Jones left the University of Chicago in a "world of mystery" Thursday, even after the school's plea for clues bull-whipped the Internet into high gear.According to the UChicago College Admissions Tumblr site, the most plausible explanation, but "least exciting," is that someone purchased the package from a replica-maker on eBay and dropped it off at the university.The university's admissions office received the package — addressed to Henry Walton Jones Jr.  — Wednesday. The staff didn’t notice anything strange, even though the crinkled brown paper was stuck with fake stamps.
Indiana Jones Package

“We gave it to one of our students thinking it was mistakenly sent to us and said, ‘Fnd out who this professor is,’” said Grace Chapin, senior admissions counselor. “They came back laughing to us and said, ‘This is for Indiana Jones'... [We] opened it and were in a world of mystery from there.”

Inside the package, the staff found a weathered journal modeled after that of fictional U. of C. professor Abner Ravenwood, ol’ Indy’s mentor.

The velvet-spined book was filled with photos, postcards and fake paper money, all “mostly, but not completely handmade,” according to the U. of C. Tumblr site.

Indiana Jones Package

“You touch it, and it feels like its been on a shelf for many years,” Chapin said. “It feels like an old book. It’s not like someone just went to Barnes and Noble and bought a journal and put some stuff in it.”

The office asked for help from “nerdly social media sites,” even going so far as to set up an email account for the mystery.

Chapin said there has been an outpouring of ideas but few answers.

Indiana Jones Package

Lucasfilm denied the item was a promotional gimmick for the "Indiana Jones" franchise, according to the Tumblr.

Others have suggested the package is part of an online alternate reality game, and the typos on the package — like a misspelling of “Illinois” —  are clues.

Or maybe the mail is a work of “abandoned art.”

“There’s this movement in art where you leave art in places and don’t take credit for it and leave it for people to enjoy,” Chapin said.

After the package’s viral life dies down, visitors to the university can still enjoy it.

“Whether or not we figure out what it is, we’ll have the special collection take it and put it in the archives,” Chapin said.

Something the archaeology professor himself might have enjoyed


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Eleven Anglican Sisters to be received into the Catholic Church

The Sisters intend to follow the Rule of St Benedict (Photo: Fr James Bradley)
The Sisters intend to follow the Rule of St Benedict (Photo: Fr James Bradley)

By Mark Greaves

(Catholic Herald) Eleven Anglican Sisters will be received into the Catholic Church via the ordinariate, it emerged this week.

The Sisters, from the Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage, Oxfordshire, will be received into the Church by Mgr Keith Newton, leader of the ordinariate in England and Wales, on New Year’s Day.

The group, which ranges in age from 45 to 83, includes the mother superior of the community and a Sister who was once a minister in the Church of England. Three are in their 80s.

Next year they will stay for six weeks at a Benedictine convent. After that, they do not know where they will live and they have no endowments to keep them afloat financially.

Mother Winsome said: “We’ve got an uncertain future. But we are doing this because we truly believe this is God’s call. The Bible is full of people called to step out in faith not knowing where they were going or how they will be provided for and that truly is the situation we are following.”

The community, inspired by the Oxford Movement and founded in 1848, streams its daily offices live on its website and offers retreats and meditations online.

Mother Winsome, in a letter to friends and associates, said Sisters had been coming to speak to her privately about joining the ordinariate since 2009. Once there was a “critical mass”, and after gaining permission from each Sister, she raised the subject with the community.

The decision by 11 of the Sisters, she said, had been reached “after constant prayer and in discussion with spiritual advisers”.

They will leave 30 or so members behind in Wantage. Mother Winsome said they had wanted to stay at the convent, with Anglican and Catholic Sisters worshipping together, though with “appropriate Eucharistic provision”. That way, she said, they could carry on caring for Sisters who were elderly and frail.

But she wrote: “After considerable discussion with the authorities of the Church of England and the ordinariate, it has become clear that this would not be possible.”

The 11 Sisters, she wrote, “are in the main, but not exclusively, the able bodied members who provide the work and management to keep the Community going, so, since the ordinariate community do have to relocate, considerable time has been spent and will continue to be devoted to ensure that the remaining members of CSMV will be well cared for: spiritually, physically, emotionally as well as financially.”

Mother Winsome said the Sisters were likely to return to Wantage as guests until they found a permanent home.

The community, which will be called the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, will be joined by one of the three Walsingham Sisters received into the Church before the ordinariate was first launched. They are intending to follow the Rule of St Benedict.

Sister Patricia Ann, who used to be a minister in the Church of England, said in a statement that she was not the first Anglican woman priest to “lay down” her ordination within the Anglican Church.

Mgr Newton, the ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, said the Community of St Mary the Virgin had been “at the heart of the Church of England’s religious life” since it was founded.
He said: “The contribution of the community to the life of the Anglican Communion has been significant, not least through the community’s care for those marginalised by society in Britain, and also in India and South Africa.

“Those formed in the tradition of the Oxford Movement cannot help but be moved to respond to Pope Benedict’s generous invitation to Anglicans. The sisters have always prayed for the unity of Christians with the See of Peter, now this is to become a reality for them by means of the ordinariate. We are truly grateful for their faith, courage, and resolve.”

In a statement Mother Winsome said: “We believe that the Holy Father’s offer is a prophetic gesture which brings to a happy conclusion the prayers of generations of Anglicans and Catholics who have sought a way forward for Christian unity. The future of our community is a fulfilment of its origins, and as part of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham we will continue with many of our customs and traditions, whilst also seeking to grow in Christ through our relationship with the wider Church.”


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Are Non-Catholics Saved? - The Vortex With Michael Voris

So you want to surrender on Sodomite Marriage?

Domenico Beccafumi (Domenico di Giovanni di Pace). 1486 - 1551
Saint Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata 1513-5

From Ann Barnhardt:

Saint Catherine of Siena, a religious mystic of the 14th century, relays words of Our Lord Jesus Christ about the vice against nature, which contaminated part of the clergy in her time. Referring to sacred ministers, He says: "They not only fail from resisting this frailty [of fallen human nature] . . . but do even worse as they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid, having dimmed the light of their understanding, they do not recognize the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures have chosen as their lords. For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that, for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the judgment of My Divine Justice, which could no longer bear them. . . . It is disagreeable to the demons, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being committed. It is true that it is the demon who hits the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demon leaves."



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Strange Thing Jesus Said to a Paralyzed Man – Another Insight from Pope Benedict’s New Book

By Msgr. Charles Pope

The Gospel from Monday the second week of Advent is the gospel of the paralyzed man who is lowered through the roof. It is presented to us in Advent because, among the many prophecies about the Messiah, would be that the lame would walk. But the Gospel also helps us to focus on Jesus’ central mission for us, and it is very provocatively expressed in this Gospel.

The Gospel passage contains a rather peculiar and somewhat awkward moment. Jesus looks at a paralyzed man and says to him,  As for you, your sins are forgiven (Lk 5:20). What a strange thing to say to a paralyzed man.

The Pharisees and scribes of course are all worked up for other reasons, but their reason is not ours, we know that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. Let us stay focused on the strange thing to say to a paralyzed man, your sins are forgiven you.

One of us modern folk might be tempted to tap Jesus on the shoulder and say, “Ah excuse me, Lord, this man is paralyzed, his problem is paralysis, that’s what he needs healing for.”

Of course Jesus is not blind or unintelligent, knows this. But looking at a paralyzed man he does not see the paralysis as his most serious problem. The man has a far more serious problem, his sin.

Now most of us, who live in the world, have the world’s priorities, and we do not think like this. The Lord sees something more serious than paralysis, and we think, “What can be more serious than paralysis?!”But not as man sees, does God see. For God, the most serious problem we have is our sin. But again, we don’t think like this, and even being told we should think like this, we still don’t think like this.

For most of us, influenced by the flesh, are far more devastated by the loss of our physical health, or the loss of money, or the loss of a job, or some large worldly asset, than we are by the fact that we have sin. Threaten our physical health and well-being, or one of our larger physical assets, and we’re on our knees begging God for help. Yet most human beings have far less concern for their spiritual well-being. More often than not we are not nearly so devastated by sin that can deprive us of eternal life, as we are devastated by the loss of our health or some worldly thing.

Even many of us who have some sense of the spiritual life struggle with this obtuseness, and misplaced sense of priorities. Even in our so-called spiritual life, our prayers are often dominated by concerns that God will fix our health, improve or finances, get us a job, etc. It is not wrong to pray for these things, and we should. But honestly how often do we pray to be freed of our sins, do we really and earnestly pray to grow in holiness and to be prepared to see God face-to-face? Sometimes it almost sounds as if we are asking God to make this world more comfortable and we’ll just stay here forever. This attitude is an affront to the truer Gifts God is offering.

And so it is that Jesus, looking at a paralyzed man, says to him, your sins are forgiven. In so doing he addresses the man’s most serious problem first. Only secondarily does he speak to the man’s paralysis, which he almost seems to have overlooked in comparison to the issue of sin.

We have much to learn hear about how God sees, and what really are the most crucial issues in our life.

Joseph and Mary were told to call the child “Jesus,” for he would save his people from their sins. Of this fact Pope Benedict speaks in his latest book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives:

Joseph is entrusted with a further task: “Mary will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).… On the one hand, a lofty theological task is assigned to the child, for only God can forgive sins. So this child is immediately associated with God, directly linked with God’s holy and saving power. On the other hand, though, this definition of the Messiah’s mission could appear disappointing. The prevailing expectations of salvation were primarily focused upon Israel’s concrete sufferings–on the reestablishment of the kingdom of David, on Israel’s freedom and independence, and naturally that included material prosperity for this largely impoverished people. The promise of forgiveness of sins seems both too little and too much: too much, because it trespasses upon God’s exclusive sphere; too little, because there seems to be no thought of Israel’s concrete suffering or its true need for salvation.

Pope Benedict then cites this same story of the paralytic and says,
Jesus responded [to the presence of the paralyzed man] in a way that was quite contrary to the expectation of the bearers and the sick man himself, saying: “My son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5). This was the last thing anyone was expecting this was the last thing they were concerned about.

The Pope concludes:
Man is a relational being. And if his first, fundamental relationship is disturbed–his relationship with God–then nothing else can be truly in order. This is where the priority lies in Jesus’ message and ministry: before all else he wants to point man toward the essence of his malady.

Yes, God sees things rather differently than we do. There is much to consider the fact that Jesus says paralyzed man your sins are forgiven you.


Archbishop Gomez says Advent is a 'season of Mary'

By Kevin J. Jones

.- Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles is describing Advent as “a season of Mary” and a time for Catholics to “turn to Mary in a new way.”

“We have to take Mary into our homes. Into our lives. We need to love her and learn from her as our mother. She was a perfect daughter of God, so we can learn from her how to act as God’s sons and daughters,” the archbishop said in his Dec. 7 column for The Tidings newspaper.

Two major Marian holy days are celebrated in December: the Dec. 8 Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which honors Mary being conceived without sin, and the Dec. 12 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which commemorates the appearance of Mary to St. Juan Diego in 16th-century Mexico.

“In my mind, there is a deep connection between these two feast days,” Archbishop Gomez said.

“In God’s plan of salvation, Mary was conceived without original sin to announce the world’s ‘new creation’ in the coming of Jesus,” he said. “Many centuries later, in the apparition at Tepeyac, God was sending Mary to announce the coming of Jesus to the ‘new world’ of the Americas.”

The archbishop said Mary’s life is filled with “silence and hiddenness.” Major events in her life like the Annunciation and the Visitation were “off the radar” and no one “was there to see them or record them.”
In this, he saw a lesson for those who “lead quiet lives.”

“The good that we do will only be seen and known by the small circles of those closest to us – in our families and neighborhoods; in the places where we work,” he said. “Like Mary, we can live as children of God – filling our days with quiet acts of faithfulness. Carrying out our daily duties with love and care for others. Sharing our joy and love for Jesus in simple and natural ways.”

The archbishop recommended that Catholics try to set aside time every day to think about the Virgin Mary or to look at a picture of her... (continued)


Same-Sex "Marriage" Plans for England

Churches Speak Out Against Proposal

LONDON, DEC. 11, 2012 ( The British government is expected to soon announce its plans to introduce legislation to legalize same-sex "marriage." In recent days the debate over the issue has heated up.

In Scotland, Bishop Joseph Devine of the Diocese of Motherwell, sent a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron expressing his strong disapproval of introducing same-sex "marriage."

According to a report in Sunday’s Scotsman newspaper he accused Cameron of being “out of his depth” and suggested he is “devoid of moral competence.”

The article also reported that Bishop Devine said that Cameron is responsible for a political culture in which “words mean nothing” and is guilty of using “graceless … offensive” language when dealing with clerical affairs.

The Church of England has also expressed firm opposition to the idea of same-sex "marriage."

“It is important to be clear that insistence on the traditional understanding of marriage is not knee-jerk resistance to change but is based on a conviction that the consequences of change will not be beneficial for society as a whole,” the Dec. 7 statement by the Church of England said.

Marriage between a man and a woman is unique, the statement explained. Unique in that it “embodies the underlying, objective, distinctiveness of men and women.”

“This distinctiveness and complementarity are seen most explicitly in the biological union of man and woman which potentially brings to the relationship the fruitfulness of procreation,” the statement continued.

“To remove from the definition of marriage this essential complementarity is to lose any social institution in which sexual difference is explicitly acknowledged.”

A number of reports in the English media also point to deep divisions within Cameron’s Conservative Party over the issue.

According to the BBC more than 100 members of Parliament from Cameron’s own party are expected to oppose the legislation. The proposal is likely to be introduced into Parliament early next year.


The Little Drummer Boy - Bing Crosby

Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa Claus Will Punch You in the Mouth, Fool.

By Ann Barnhardt @

Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas, who died on December 6, AD 343. Saint Nicholas is well-known by his Dutch moniker, "Santa Claus". Don't be fooled by the crass, commercialized image. Saint Nicholas was a stone-cold butt-kicker for Christ and His Church.

Early in the Fourth Century, there was a terrible heresy in the Church put forth by a very persuasive man named Arius. Arius contended that Christ was not fully divine, but a creature, created by the Father. This heresy was threatening to schism the Church. (Back then everyone understood the truth that any schism whatsoever was totally and completely evil and thus unacceptable - the Church is ONE. Christ has ONE Bride, not a harem. There is ONE Truth. Not multiple "truths". As soon as you start saying that there are "multiple truths", what you have done is denied Truth Itself, of which there is only ONE.)

So, the First Council of Nicea was called in AD 325 to hash this out and put the Arian heresy down once and for all. Arius was at the Council, of course, and was called upon to defend his position on the inferiority of Christ. Being a bishop, Nikolaos of Myra (in present-day Turkey) was naturally in attendance. Arius' nonsensical, destructive and insulting lying contentions about Our Lord became too much for Bishop Nikolaos, who stood up and proceeded to haul off and go all Manny Pacquiao on Arius with a left jab directly to Arius' piehole.

Everyone was alarmed by Bishop Nikolaos' righteous beatdown of Arius, and he was immediately summarily stripped of his bishopric. In those days, the two things that designated a man a Christian bishop were a personal copy of the Gospels and a pallium, which is like a stole. Now you may taken aback by the "personal copy of the Gospels" thing. Well, of course! How could a bishop NOT have the Gospels? But you must remember that the printing press wasn't invented until AD 1439. Before that, if you wanted a book, it had to be written out BY HAND. And what were you going to write on? Try vellum. Every piece of vellum had to be harvested from an animal and made. So you see, for a man to have a personal copy of any written text was a HUGE, and frankly EXPENSIVE, deal. So, poor Nikolaos was stripped of his Gospel and his pallium AND thrown in the hoosegow.

Now here is where it gets really good.

While Nikolaos was in the clink, he received a visit from both Our Lord and the Virgin Mary. Jesus asked Nikolaos, "Why are you here?" And Nikolaos replied, "Because I love You, my Lord and my God." At this, Jesus then presented Nikolaos with his copy of the Gospels, and Mary put his pallium back on him, thus restoring his rank as a bishop. When Nikolaos was discovered sitting calmly in his cell, still under guard, with his Gospel and his pallium, which the other bishops had locked away themselves far from Niklaos' prison cell, Nikolaos was released, welcomed back by his brother bishops, and rejoined the Council. The heresy of Arianism was struck down once and for all, and the Nicene Creed (which we still recite at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today) was authored.

The anti-Arian part is this:

". . . Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum,
(And [I believe] in one Lord Jesus Christ)
Filium Dei Unigenitum,
(the only begotten Son of God)
Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula.
(And born of the Father, before all ages.)
Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine,
(God of God: Light of Light:)
Deum verum de Deo vero,
(true God of true God)
Genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri
(Begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father)
Per quem omnia facta sunt."
(by Whom all things were made.)
I post this because it speaks directly to our question of love and defense of Truth and defense of those we love. Arius was attacking Christ and His Church with his heresy just as viciously as if he had been leading an army - and Nikolaos stepped into the breach to defend his Beloved. PHYSICALLY. The reason Nikolaos stepped in was because Arius was attacking CHRIST, and His Bride, the Church, which is made up of Niklaos' fellow human beings - whose immortal souls were being put at risk by Arius. We are in no way taught by Christ to stand by and watch as our loved ones are attacked. The miracle in Nikolaos' cell is proof of this. Nikolaos did the right thing by going all Pacquiao on Arius and dropping him on his heretical keister before God and everyone.

"Why are you here?"

"Because I love You, my Lord and my God."

Go Santa.
(The top image I saw today over at . EXCELLENT!! The bottom image is from antiquity depicting the beautiful and inspiring left jab.)


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fr. George Rutler: A Wider Kind of Insanity

By Father George Rutler

When people “rush” Christmas, they pay an oblique tribute to the Advent mysteries, because they want something to celebrate, and in the darkening days of the year they know that celebration has something to do with light. If only they paid attention to what Christ shows about those mysteries of death, judgment, heaven and hell, they’d have a much better celebration. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled” (John 15:11).

The second mystery of Advent is God’s judgment: His design for the world and how we fit into His plan. We shall be accountable to Him in the “particular judgment” when we die, for what we have done with the gift of life He has given us. This will not be like facing a judge in court. It will be like facing one’s spouse after a long separation and reaching out. There can only be an embrace if there is love. St. John Chrysostom said that in the moment of judgment, Christ will ask only: “How much did you love?” If the temporal world was created out of eternity by God’s love, we can fit into that eternity only if love is the passport.

The essence of divine justice, then, consists in how one reciprocates the love that gives life. “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully” (Proverbs 28:5). That is easier said than done, for how can the Lord’s justice be understood in part, let alone “fully”? And yet, the answer is clear. The Lord’s justice, which is the way He designs the world and all its motions and our participation in it, is beautiful, true, and good, and while we may not easily define beauty, truth and goodness, we know their result: joy.

Insanity is the inability to make right judgment. There is more insanity than we realize. The local police once gave me a special code number to call if I saw anyone in our neighborhood behaving strangely, and I told them that if I obliged them, their telephone would be ringing off the hook. But there is a wider kind of insanity, and it is life lived contrary to God’s will. It is the source of sadness, and nothing is more insane than to be sad while being alive.

There are many reasons for sorrow in “this valley of tears,” but such sorrow is not despair. The cynic may say that the light at the end of the tunnel is an approaching train, but the saints know that the light is Christ Himself. As the judge who is righteous and true, He says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).


Episcopal Church liturgy for blessing same-gender relationships begins provisional use

(Episcopal News Service) In the final debate before General Convention approved a provisional church liturgy to bless the lifelong relationships of same-gender couples, Episcopal Diocese of Chicago Deputy Ian Hallas, 22, spoke about his sister, Louisa, and her civil union.

“The love that she shares with her partner is unconditional and speaks to the ideal relationships all of us should strive to have,” he told the House of Deputies on July 10 in Indianapolis. “I often get asked by churchgoers and nonchurchgoers why I am a part of this body. The reason I return is for my sister. I seek to assure that she not only has the same rites as myself but also the same privileges.”

The new rite, “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant,” was authorized for use with diocesan episcopal permission beginning Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent.

On Dec. 29, Louisa Hallas, 25, and Clare Kemock, 30, will have their union blessed at their home parish of Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. The couple, engaged for just over a year, met working backstage at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Kemock is a costume designer; Hallas now works as administrative assistant for the Chicago diocese’s director of ministries...

“Because we’re a church who learns as we pray and our theology develops through our experiences of worship, we’ll learn more about what it means to bless the relationships of same-sex couples through our experience of these liturgies,” Meyers said. “So the commission will be developing a process of review and will want to learn from clergy and couples and congregations who are using these materials, and there may well be some refinements to the material...”