Friday, July 31, 2015

German Protestants apologise for Reformation iconoclasm

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

(The Tablet) The German Protestant Church (EKD) has apologised for the widespread destruction of religious images during the Reformation.

“The Protestant Church rejects the destruction of images. Images have long since become an expression of Protestant piety,” Protestant Bishop Petra Bosse-Huber underlined at a meeting of delegations from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the EKD. The clerics met in Hamburg to discuss the word “image” from the Orthodox and Protestant points of view. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and EKD chairman Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm sent greetings and blessings to the Hamburg meeting.

Destroying image was most common in the immediate aftermath of the Reformation. In the first half of the sixteenth century, statues of the Virgin and the saints, stained-glass windows, organs and any objects associated with miracles and the supernatural were removed from Catholic churches and wayside chapels and in many cases destroyed. Switzerland, the Netherlands, England and southern Germany suffered particularly... (continued)


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Scott Walker backtracks on reaction to gay Boy Scout leaders

By Adam B. Lerner

(Politico) Scott Walker stumbled over his own prior comments Wednesday, saying that when he called on the Boy Scouts to reinstate a ban on gay leaders because it “protected children,” he meant the ban protected them from media scrutiny.

“The protection was not a physical protection,” Walker said Wednesday at an event in South Carolina, according to The New York Times. Rather, the Wisconsin governor continued, he was referring to “protecting them from being involved in the very thing you’re talking about right now, the political and media discussion about it, instead of just focusing on what Scouts is about, which is about camping and citizenship and things of that nature.”

The Wisconsin Republican added that, ultimately, whether or not to reinstate the ban is “up to the Boy Scouts.”

The comments came after the Independent Journal Review, in a report Tuesday, quoted Walker as saying he supported the Boy Scouts’ previous membership policy “because it protected children and advanced Scout values...” (continued)


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Medjugorje Restrictions Confirmed by Alleged Visionary Marija Pavlovic

UPDATE from Silvia Bergamin at Mattino Padova (Google translation):
CITTADELLA. In 600 they expected for the entire afternoon, but the Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic in Cittadella has held only a handful of minutes. "My presence in Cittadella has all hell broke loose," he said the woman, "The curia of Padova has warned the organizers to let me pray with you. I decided to meet you anyway. I'm not a visionary, I am a quiet person. I will not disobey the Church, but I think that prayer does not hurt. My journey continues, I come to Medjugorje. I can not pray with you, I can not bear my testimony, but no one can stop me from praying in my heart. "
The words of Marija have raised more than a little disappointment among the hundreds of faithful gathered in Villa Rina to live a moment of reflection and prayer. "It's a shame," the general comment, "Why do Muslims have the right to pray at the Citadel, while Christians not?". The diocese said in a letter the reasons for no: "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith points out that, pending further provisions by the Holy See, the Christian communities - bishops, priests and faithful - are required to observe the already established by the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in the Zadar Declaration of April 10, 1991: "On the basis of investigation up till now it is not possible to say whether it's supernatural apparitions or revelations". It is therefore not allowed to the clergy and faithful of the diocese to participate in any meetings, conferences or public celebrations in which would be taken for granted as to their credibility... " (continued
Original post:

From Guarda Con Me:
As announced, this afternoon held a meeting in Cittadella, province of Padua, with the participation of Marija Pavlovic, visionary of Medjugorje.

Organized by her friend and nurse with the support of local authorities, the intention was to offer a moment of prayer and meditation for all the loyal guests of the council chamber, made available by the town Padua.

The visionary occurred appointment but did not offer its usual testimony, pointing out instead that "I just came to say goodbye, because I had promised my friend.  I received a letter in which I was asked not to attend public meetings".

At this point, considering the information coming from Medjugorje from people you trust, we have to admit that the recent rumors regarding restrictions on the visionaries of the country of Herzegovina, are reliable:  the visionaries no longer have to appear publicly, nor to testify, nor let alone for the appearances, remaining "confined" to their homes...  (continued)


Friday, July 10, 2015

Pope gives hammer and sickle crucifix to Mary

From Andrea Tornielli:

“Mother of the Saviour and our Mother,” Francis prayed, “You, Queen of Bolivia, who from the height of your Shrine in Copacabana attend to the prayers and needs of your children, especially the most poor and abandoned, and protect them: Receive as a gift from the heart of Bolivia and my filial affection the symbols of affection and closeness that – in the name of the Bolivian people – Mr. President Evo Morales Ayma has bestowed on me with cordial and generous affection, on the occasion of this Apostolic Journey, which I entrusted to your solicitous intercession...”


Oklahoma Governor: 10 Commandments Here to Stay

By Christine Niles @ Church Militant:

In a remarkable and rare move, a state governor is defying the order of its highest court. Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma is resisting last week's state Supreme Court ruling holding the Ten Commandments monument an unconstitutional violation of separation of Church and State, and Fallin claims the monument is here to stay — at least for now...

The governor says outright that "the court got it wrong." In a statement Tuesday, Fallin said:
The Ten Commandments monument was built to recognize and honor the historical significance of the Commandments in our state's and nation's systems of laws. The monument was built and maintained with private dollars. It is virtually identical to a monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol which the United States Supreme Court ruled to be permissible.  It is a privately funded tribute to historical events, not a taxpayer funded endorsement of any religion, as some have alleged.
Nevertheless, last week the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Oklahoma's Ten Commandments monument was impermissible. Their decision was deeply disturbing to many in our Legislature, many in the general public, and to me.
Oklahoma is a state where we respect the rule of law, and we will not ignore the state courts or their decisions. However, we are also a state with three co-equal branches of government. At this time, Attorney General Scott Pruitt, with my support, has filed a petition requesting a rehearing of the Ten Commandments case. Additionally, our Legislature has signaled its support for pursuing changes to our state Constitution that will make it clear the Ten Commandments monument is legally permissible. If legislative efforts are successful, the people of Oklahoma will get to vote on the issue. 
During this process, which will involve both legal appeals and potential legislative and constitutional changes, the Ten Commandments monument will remain on the Capitol grounds.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Jindal To Slam Republicans Who Want to ‘Silence’ Pro-Life Base at National Right To Life Convention

Presidential contender Bobby Jindal will deliver the keynote address Thursday at the National Right to Life Convention in New Orleans.

By Dr. Susan Berry

(Breitbart) According to a press release containing some of Jindal’s prepared remarks, the Republican governor of Louisiana – which has been named as the most pro-life state in the nation – will blast the Republican Party “smart guys” for failing to adhere to a commitment to pro-life policies, portraying the pro-life base, instead, as a “distraction.”

“The Republican smart guys in Washington see cultural issues such as protecting life as a side issue and a distraction,” Jindal plans to say. “They urge us to minimize discussions of such things that they fear will alienate voters.”

Referring to Republicans of this mind-set as “spineless,” Jindal will assert, “Hear me on this – we will not hide our lamp under a bushel. If the Republican Party cannot make defending the defenseless into a winning issue, they should just close up shop...” (continued)


Gene therapy restores hearing in deaf mice

(Medical Press) Using gene therapy, researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School have restored hearing in mice with a genetic form of deafness. Their work, published online July 8 by the journal Science Translational Medicine, could pave the way for gene therapy in people with hearing loss caused by genetic mutations.

"Our protocol is not yet ready for clinical trials—we need to tweak it a bit more—but in the not-too-distant future we think it could be developed for therapeutic use in humans," says Jeffrey Holt, PhD, a scientist in the Department of Otolaryngology and F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children's and an associate professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School...

To deliver the healthy gene, the team inserted it into an engineered virus called adeno-associated virus 1, or AAV1, together with a promoter—a genetic sequence that turns the gene on only in certain sensory cells of the inner ear known as hair cells. They then injected the gene-bearing AAV1 into the inner ear, with these findings:
  • In the recessive deafness model, gene therapy with TMC1 restored the ability of to respond to sound—producing a measurable electrical current—and also restored activity in the auditory portion of the brainstem. 
  • Most importantly, the deaf mice regained their ability to hear. To test hearing, the researchers placed the mice in a "startle box" and sounded abrupt, loud tones. "Mice with TMC1 mutations will just sit there, but with gene therapy, they jump as high as a normal mouse," says Holt. (The force of their jump was measured by a plate on the floor underneath them; it was detectable at sounds beginning around 80 decibels.)
  • In the dominant deafness model, gene therapy with a related gene, TMC2, was successful at the cellular and brain level, and partially successful at restoring actual hearing in the startle test...(continued)


Monday, July 6, 2015

O’Reilly: Trump Right About Border Wall, San Francisco Officials ‘Directly Responsible’ for Steinle Murder

By Jeff Poor

(Breitbart) On Monday’s broadcast of “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly took real estate mogul and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s side in the immigration.

O’Reilly said Trump was correct on two calls – the wall on the southern border he had proposed and who was responsible for the death of Kate Steinle, which was the result of murder by an illegal immigrant that had been deported five times.

“So Trump is correct in saying that only a massive wall will stop the chaos and even then drugs and people will get through although not to the extent they do now,” O’Reilly said.

“Apparently Sanchez has seven felony convictions,” he later added. “[He] has been deported five times. Yet, he’s still walking around the streets of San Francisco, this guy. That’s because Mayor Ed Lee and the 11 members of the San Francisco City Supervisors refuse to cooperate with the federal government on criminal aliens.”

“The feds asked the city of San Francisco to keep Sanchez in custody,” O’Reilly continued. “The city refused. Ms. Steinle paid for that irresponsible and unconstitutional decision with her life. San Francisco is a sanctuary city and proud of it. And violent crimes committed by criminal aliens have happened there before. City authorities refuse to say how many because they know it’s a huge scandal, a black mark on the history of San Francisco, the most tolerant of cities. The family of Kate Steinle asking for calm, not vengeance, but ‘Talking Points’ is not as charitable.”


Friday, July 3, 2015

The USA will have its first martyr

From Father Carlos Martins (via Facebook)
"In case you didn’t already know, the USA will have its first martyr. Father Stanley Rother’s death has been accepted by the Theological Panel of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints as a martyrdom, clearing the largest obstacle for his beatification. While normally there is a miracle required for beatification, martyrdom is the ultimate witness and imitation of Jesus Christ. As what the Church calls the “Baptism by Blood”, a martyrdom (death in witness to Christ and because of Him) washes away all sin, even mortal, should the martyr be in such a state at the time of the martrydom.
A diocesan priest from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Fr. Stanley was a hero to the Guatemalan people. When the rebels put him on a death list he fled Guatemala and returned to his native Oklahoma. However, he grew more and more distraught, and felt like he had abandoned his sheep. He returned, knowing that he was probably be shot, like so many others had. That is exactly what happened.

His case now moves on to a panel of cardinals and archbishops, and then on to the Pope. But these are more or less rubber stamps. The tough part of the investigation is now over. In the words of a little bird within the Congregation, “Go ahead and print the holy cards.”

Though 9 years old, there's a great article about his life and death here:

From Day by Day with María:

Please join me and the Church in Oklahoma and Guatemala in praying for the canonization of this faithful priest and martyr:

Heavenly Father,
source of all holiness,
in every generation you raise up
men and women heroic in love and service.

You have blessed your Church
with the life of Stanley Rother,
priest, missionary, and martyr.

Through his prayer, his preaching,
his presence, and his pastoral love,
you revealed Your love and Your presence
with us as Shepherd.

If it be your will,
may he be proclaimed
by the universal church
as martyr and saint,
living now in your presence
and interceding for us all.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Second World War tank and anti-aircraft gun found hidden in basement of villa in Germany

By Melanie Hall, Berlin

(The Telegraph) German soldiers grappled for nine hours with an unusual task: trying to remove a Second World War tank found in the cellar of a villa.

Almost 20 soldiers struggled to remove the tank from a villa on Thursday in a wealthy suburb of Kiel in northern Germany, after police searching the property discovered the tank, a torpedo, an anti-aircraft gun and other weapons in the cellar on Wednesday.

Police raided the home in the town of Heikendorf under instructions from prosecutors, who suspected that the villa's 78-year-old owner held the weaponry illegally under a law controlling the possession of instruments of war.

The army was called in to try to remove the 1943-vintage Panther tank, and struggled for nine hours to tow it out using two modern recovery tanks designed to haul damaged battle tanks off the field.

The soldiers ended up having to build their own wooden ramp in order to free to tank.

Ulrich Burchardi, an army spokesman, described the difficult task of removing the tank without damaging the house as “precision work.”

Prosecutors in Kiel were alerted to the existence of the weapons by the authorities in Berlin, who had previously searched the villa for stolen Nazi art around a month earlier, national newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

But Peter Gramsch, lawyer for the villa’s owner, claimed that the tank and the anti-aircraft gun could no longer fire their weapons and were therefore not breaking any law.

He told the newspaper there was even a note from the responsible district office from 2005 stating that the tank had lost its weapons capability.

Mr Gramsch now wants to take legal action against the seizure and also for compensation for his client.

“I assume that the tank was damaged in the process,“ he said... (continued)


Catholic School Teacher Fired for Same-Sex Marriage Files Federal Lawsuit

(The Cardinal Newman Society) A Catholic school in Macon, Ga., is facing a federal discrimination lawsuit from a former teacher whose employment was terminated in 2014 after the school found that he would be legally marrying his same-sex partner.

“The argument being made in this suit—that a Catholic school’s commitment to upholding Catholic teaching on marriage is discriminatory toward homosexual employees—is a grave threat to Catholic education,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society.

“A Catholic school exists for the very purpose of teaching the faith and forming young people for God,” he continued. “The implication is that our religion itself, rooted in love and true concern for the good of the person and the common good, is discriminatory because it upholds standards of morality and natural law.”

The teacher, Flint Dollar, taught music at Mount de Sales Academy for three years before his termination on May 21, 2014. The Telegraph reported that Dollar informed the school of his upcoming same-sex marriage when he signed the contract for the 2014-2015 term on May 1, 2014.

According to Breitbart, Dollar argued that “he was fired because of his marriage plans and [because] he didn’t comport with the school’s ‘traditional gender stereotypes.’” An investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reportedly determined “that ‘there is reasonable cause to conclude’ that Dollar had been discriminated against based on his sexual orientation.”

“The suit seeks a jury trial, saying that the school acted with malice or reckless indifference to Dollar’s federally protected rights. Dollar seeks back pay, reinstatement to his job, compensation for his emotional pain and suffering, and attorney’s fees,” reports Breitbart.. (continued)


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SSPX Bp. Fellay: “we are on the eve of important events that we cannot yet define”

From via WDTPRS:
Where is the Society today? What are its strong points and its weak points? What future do you foresee for it?

I see a peaceful future. It is a work that has been entrusted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; all we have to do is remain faithful to their will. This Church is the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who remains her head and will not allow her to be destroyed.
The Society’s weaknesses? The risk of separation is serious. Look at the caricature of Tradition that calls itself the “Resistance”, for example: it is a non-Catholic spirit that is almost sectarian. We wish to have nothing to do with it; it is a movement that is withdrawn into itself, with people who think that they are the only good and just men on earth: that is not Catholic. It is an objective, but relative danger. Most of the Society is healthy and will not fall into these illusions. This encourages us to rely upon supernatural means. God will show us what He wants of us; He will speak through circumstances.

The strong points? The living fidelity that bears fruit and shows the world today that the Catholic life, even with all its requirements, is possible. But—another weak point—we are men of our times, and it would be a dream to pretend that we are immunized against the influence of the modern world. To be more precise, we must avoid the caricature of wishing for a Church without wrinkles or stains here below: that is not what the good Lord promised us on this earth. That is not what the “Holy Church” means; it means that she is capable of sanctifying using the means given by Our Lord: the sacraments, the Faith, discipline, religious life, the life of prayer... (continued)