Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catholic Culture Snippets - St. Peter's Tomb, An Act of Sacrificial Love & "The Way"

Ever want to visit the St. Peter's Tomb beneath St. Peter's Basilica but just can't seem to find the time or the money to do so?  Now, there is a way to visit St. Peter's Tomb without ever leaving your home.  Here is a site where you are able to take a most fascinating virtual tour of St. Peter's Tomb.

Somehow in September I missed the news of this act of selfless sacrificial love and bravery which Brian Wood from Vancouver displayed by sacrificing his own life so that his wife and unborn child may live. From CNA, here is a description of Erin's husband's final act: "unable to avoid the errant SUV, Brian Wood slammed the brakes and swerved his side of the car toward the oncoming vehicle, ensuring his certain death but protecting his wife, pregnant with their first child."

“I think it's pretty obvious … that if it would have been a head-on crash, we both would have been killed instantly, along with our baby,” Erin Wood told NBC's Today Show on September 13. “He definitely saved us. He made that choice, and I'm thankful for that.”

Erin Wood told the Today Show that the final sacrifice made by her husband of five years was in keeping with the way he had lived, “It's not a surprise at all. He was very excited for this baby, and always … incredibly loving towards me, and putting me first.”

His final act of love, she said “breaks my heart, and it also fills me with gratefulness.” Ms. Wood received only a black eye and a relatively minor blow to her head. The unborn child, a boy, was not harmed."

Actors Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez star in the film "The Way".  This looks like it could be good.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christ The King

A week late... Due to craziness such as a health issue with my eye and my traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday & weekend afterward.  While in high school I had the chance to go on a two week long visit to Wales via a student exchange program through my highschool.  It was great fun!  I loved traveling across England & Wales visiting the various castles and churches.  I stayed in a small town called Builth Wells in Wales which had a pretty small Catholic Church called Christ the King Church.  I can remember attending mass in this quaint church on Christ the King Sunday about 16 years ago. I recently searched the internet for a picture of Christ the King Church and finally found it. Here it is:

Here is a prayer I found on CatholicTradition.org honoring Christ the King:

O CHRIST, JESUS, I acknowledge Thee as Universal King.

For Thee all creatures have been made. Do Thou exercise

over me all the rights that Thou hast.

Renew my Baptismal Vows, I renounce Satan,

with all his works and pomps, and I promise to live as a

good Catholic: Especially, do I pledge myself, by all

the means in my power, to bring about the triumph of the

rights of God and of Thy Church.

Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer Thee all my poor actions to obtain

that all hearts may recognize Thy Sacred Royalty, and that thus the

reign of Thy Peace may be established throughout the entire world.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holes in the Condom Debate: What the Pope Really Said

When The L’Osservatore Romano breached an embargo yesterday and decided to go full steam ahead with the release of some partial excerpts of Pope Benedict’s new book, Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and The Signs Of The Times, the media went all a frenzy over comments the Pope made pertaining to the use of condoms.

Needless to say, before his new book has even hit the shelves it has stirred much controversy all across the media. Did the media get “it” right this time? Is this a BIG DEAL or much ado about nothing? Is this Pope Benedict’s personal opinion? If it is his personal opinion, does it depart from Church Teaching? I have read articles from various media sources across the internet including that of both Jimmy Akin and Dr. Janet Smith. Both Akin and Smith have posted very well written articles on the matter and both clarify the pontiffs statements. The media has twisted the Pope’s words (which isn’t that surprising) to fit their own cause of remaking a long held principle of the catholic Church, claiming that the Pope said that the use condoms can be justified in some cases. That is not what he said.

First, I would like to point out that this is an interview book and this is not a Church encyclical or anything of the sort. Second, the Pope can have private opinions which may be wrong, and he even points this out in his book. Jimmy Akin emphasizes that The L’Osservatore Romano did a major disservice to all the public, Catholic or not, by releasing excerpts which fail to show the entire context of Pope Benedict’s statements.

Here is text from the Pope’s book:

Seewald: . . . In Africa you stated that the Church’s traditional teaching has proven to be the only sure way to stop the spread of HIV. Critics, including critics from the Church’s own ranks, object that it is madness to forbid a high-risk population to use condoms.

Benedict: . . . In my remarks I was not making a general statement about the condom issue, but merely said, and this is what caused such great offense, that we cannot solve the problem by distributing condoms. [EMPHASIS ADDED] Much more needs to be done. We must stand close to the people, we must guide and help them; and we must do this both before and after they contract the disease. As a matter of fact, you know, people can get condoms when they want them anyway. But this just goes to show that condoms alone do not resolve the question itself. More needs to happen. Meanwhile, the secular realm itself has developed the so-called ABC Theory: Abstinence-Be Faithful-Condom, where the condom is understood only as a last resort, when the other two points fail to work. This means that the sheer fixation on the condom implies a banalization of sexuality, which, after all, is precisely the dangerous source of the attitude of no longer seeing sexuality as the expression of love, but only a sort of drug that people administer to themselves. This is why the fight against the banalization of sexuality is also a part of the struggle to ensure that sexuality is treated as a positive value and to enable it to have a positive effect on the whole of man’s being.

Jimmy Akin points out that the Pope’s overall argument is that condoms will not solve the problem of AIDS. Akin reiterates this:

1) People can already get condoms, yet it clearly hasn’t solved the problem.

2) The secular realm has proposed the ABC program, where a condom is used only if the first two, truly effective procedures (abstinence and fidelity) have been rejected. Thus even the secular ABC proposal recognizes that condoms are not the unique solution. They don’t work as well as abstinence and fidelity. The first two are better.

3) The fixation on condom use represents a banalization (trivialization) of sexuality that turns the act from being one of love to one of selfishness. For sex to have the positive role it is meant to play, this trivialization of sex—and thus the fixation on condoms—needs to be resisted.

Here is the statement which the media devoured and seized upon:

There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants. But it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality. (EMPHASIS ADDED)

Jimmy Akin points out that Pope Benedict says “may” and not “is”. Then, Pope Benedict goes on to reiterate that “it is not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection. That can really lie only in a humanization of sexuality.”

Janet Smith has posted excerpts from the Pope’s book. I am posting a couple of those excerpts below.

 The Pope stands by his “controversial” remarks that he previously stated on the use of condoms to prevent AIDS: “that we cannot solve the problem by distributing condoms. Much more needs to be done. We must stand close to the people, we must guide and help them; and we must do this both before and after they contract the disease.”

Pope Benedict stated: “I had the chance to visit one of these wards and to speak with the patients. That was the real answer: The Church does more than anyone else, because she does not speak from the tribunal of the newspapers, but helps her brothers and sisters where they are actually suffering. In my remarks I was not making a general statement about the condom issue, but merely said, and this is what caused such great offense, that we cannot solve the problem by distributing condoms. Much more needs to be done. We must stand close to the people, we must guide and help them; and we must do this both before and after they contract the disease.”

Pope Benedict is correct in stating that condoms will not solve the problem of AIDS. Condoms lessen, but do not eliminate, the risk of transmitting HIV, thus they do not make sex truly safe. 
I encourage you to take a look over at The American Catholic where lively chatter has been going on covering the latest controversy.

An interview with the Pope does not change the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding condoms or otherwise.

Cross-Posted at Teresamerica

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Catholic Culture Clash 11-20-10

It's been a long while since I've posted a Catholic Culture Clash post so don't be surprised if I do multiple posts over the next couple of days in order to catchup on the news in our culture.

In Cardinal George's final address, he defends the bishops opposition health reform bill because of abortion being in the law:   

"Our voice was that of the bishops of our country for the past hundred years: in a good society, everyone should be cared for, especially the poor. The goal of basic health care for all continues to be a moral imperative, not yet completely achieved, but it is not now and has not been up to the bishops to decide the means to realize that goal. We have only very cautiously entered into details of public policy, for this is more properly the work of lay people, as it has been in the health care debate. Universal health care can be delivered using many means: everything publicly funded, everything privately funded or a mixture of the two. Any of these solutions could be moral, and it is up to lay people to decide which are the best means to see to it that everyone is cared for.

But once political leaders and health care experts decided to use government subsidized insurance as the vehicle, the means, for providing more universal health care, it was our moral obligation as teachers of the faith to judge whether the means pass moral muster, whether or not the proposed legislation uses public funds to kill those living in their mother’s womb. Consistently, and ever more insistently since the sin and crime of abortion was legalized in the United States, our voice has been that of the bishops of the Catholic Church ever since the first Christians condemned the abortion practices of the ancient Romans. The act is immoral; and the laws that have permitted now fifty million children of our country to be killed in their mother’s womb are also immoral and unjust; the laws are destroying our society."

“We should not fear political isolation; the Church has often been isolated in politics and in diplomacy,” he continued. In a likely reference to the Catholic Health Association and other Catholic supporters of the measure, he added, “We need to be deeply concerned, however, about the wound to the Church’s unity that has been inflicted in this debate and I hope, trusting in the good will of all concerned, that means can be found to restore the seamless garment of ecclesial communion.”

While I fully support Cardinal George and the other bishops reasoning for opposing the health care law I would still be opposing it even if it banned abortion funding because socialism fails, government-run health care fails, and this whole law (minus a few items like banning the ability for insurance companies to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions) is a debacle.  Congress used lies, distortions, and bribes to pass this nightmare of a law.  Plus, our representatives (who really didn't represent the will of the American people) only passed this law so that they can have more power and control over our lives, thereby limiting our freedom and liberties.

From MinistryValues.com: Stephen Ryan has a message for Bishop Robinson who wrote an article on the Huffington Post called  "How Religion is Killing Our Most Vulnerable Youths"  and writes that "An increasingly popular bumper sticker reads, "Guns Don't Kill People -- RELIGION Kills People!" In light of recent events I would add religion kills young people: gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender young people."

This is such nonsense!!  RELIGION DOES NOT KILL PEOPLE!!!  It would be really good if the liberal media stopped distorting the truth about religion.  The liberal media has made it known that they hate traditional Christianity.  Is the liberal media the ones who actually have blood on their hands?

There are promises of pushback from pro-life groups over a late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart who is hoping to expand his abortion business to Iowa and Maryland.  We must stop this state sponsored infanticide!!  God Bless the pro-life groups efforts to stop the murders of innocents.

While speaking on economic growth in the Philippines, former President Bill Clinton made a most remarkable statement: "You have a huge population, which is a positive..."  This is pleasntly suprising.  CatholicCulture goes onto to talk on the subject of planned pregnancies, unintended consequences, and Uncle Sam's bad imagePopulation control is the problem.  In all probability the United States would not be experiencing such a dramatic shortfall in our deficit, debt, and in our funding of social security if we had had another population increase, like occurred during the baby boomer era.   Procreation is one solution which will help fix the problems in the U.S. as well as in third world countries.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul

From The Word Among Us:

Since at least the year 354, this day has been set aside to honor the apostles Peter and Paul. The memory of these great apostles and our reverence for the work of grace in their lives have pierced the hearts of the faithful ever since. Of all the men and women who have ever lived, these two were chosen to be the apostles to the Jews and the Gentiles.

In Peter we see a hot-tempered, unschooled fisherman who became a bold, self-controlled preacher and pastor. Peter was so transformed by the Spirit that he was able to sleep soundly in the face of death! Luke tells us of an incident in which Herod had arrested Peter with the intention of beheading him (Acts 12:1-4). So complete was Peter’s trust in God and his acceptance of God’s plan that, in prison, on what could have been the last night of his life, he was able to sleep like a baby. The angel whom God sent to rescue Peter had to strike him on the side in order to wake him up (12:7)!

At a similar point in his life, Paul is depicted as being poured out as a libation for the Lord (Philippians 2:17). This former Pharisee, who had previously condemned and put to death Jesus’ disciples, was so changed that he could accept his death and offer it to the Lord as an act of worship! He sought neither redress nor vindication, but was willing to offer his very life for the sake of the gospel. When his fate was certain, he remained calm, accepting, and ever-trusting in God’s faithfulness.

God’s power to transform his people is unlimited. Peter and Paul completely surrendered themselves to Jesus so that he could work through them to give birth to his church. When we surrender ourselves as Peter and Paul did, giving God permission to transform us and to use us as he sees fit, great things can happen. Even if the work we are called to do seems little in our own eyes, we should never underestimate its importance to God. Although Peter and Paul brought thousands of people to Christ, we build the kingdom even when we witness to just one person.

God is inviting every one of us to share in the calling of the apostles: to teach, to witness to the gospel, to love with the love of Jesus, to run the race. Let us pray for the church today, that God would give us the grace to be open to his transforming work.

Monday, November 15, 2010

St. Albert the Great

Peter Kreeft: The Cybernetics of Liberalism

This is a very insightful and brilliant article by Peter Kreeft.  He takes the plunge, and explains the mental disorder known as liberalism. 

Cybernetics -- basically, the science of the brain qua computer -- explains much more than we realized. They used to think schizophrenia was due to demons. Then it was bad parenting. Now some think it may be bad brain wiring. They used to think déjà vu ("Hey! I've been here before!") was evidence of reincarnation. Now we know it's a cybernetic mixup that misfiles new perceptions into the brain's old memory banks.

Some are now claiming that homosexuality is cybernetic predestination. The jury is still out on that one, but I have come up with a cybernetic hypothesis about liberalism: It's a brain disorder, a confusion between right and left hemispheres. I have no hard data to prove this, but I think I see some strong clues, a recurring pattern in the symptoms that suggests such a diagnosis. Here are some of those clues.

You Might Be a Liberal If…

Ever since I began teaching philosophy to college students in 1962, I have been puzzled by the fact that some of them actually find Heidegger easier to understand than Aquinas, Kant than Aristotle, Dewey than James, Hegel than Plato. These students do fairly well when tested on the muddy, fuzzy ideological thinkers, but they get a mental block when they try to understand the clear, commonsensical ones. Clearly they cannot fathom clarity, and certainly not certainty. They simply cannot believe that a philosopher can be clear and certain about anything important.

I once read a batch of short critical student book reviews of my nonscholarly little book, Angels and Demons. I expected many diverse criticisms and arguments, but the only one I got, over and over, was a critique of my use of definitions and arguments as such. It was not only skepticism about the applicability of logical thinking to the topic of angels; it was a skepticism (or even more, a loathing and fear) of logical thinking as applied to anything real, especially in theology. They were simply dumbfounded that any sane person could think he could prove anything in theology. Not surprisingly, the most popular majors among such students are communications, sociology, English, and (heaven help us) theology. Never the natural sciences.

A second puzzling phenomenon I find in my students is what C. S. Lewis calls "chronological snobbery:" the view that an idea need not be refuted, just sneered at as unfashionable; that "we are the people, and wisdom will die with us;" that history presents us with a simple "good guys vs. bad guys" scenario -- not intellectually (the wise vs. the foolish) or morally (saints vs. sinners), but chronologically (the "tradition-bound," the "primitive," the "closed," or the "stagnant" vs. the "enlightened," the "nuanced," the "open," or the "dynamic"). They call this "the historical point of view;" I call it dissolving the rock of truth into the sands of time. Truth for them is a process, a river with no origin and no end, that never reaches the sea but always gets wider and truer as it flows on and on.  CONTINUED

Friday, November 12, 2010

Six Insights You Can Learn From Dorothy Day

6 Insights from the Life of Dorothy Day from Province of Saint Joseph on Vimeo.

'Printers Mass' Returning to Pittsburgh?

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
When the Rev. Carmen D'Amico tells people he is pastor of Epiphany parish, some ask if the "Printers' Mass" is still offered at the red brick Romanesque church in Uptown.

The answer is no, not since 1991, but that may change soon in this city where nostalgia for doo-wop music, the Steel Curtain and muscled mill hunks still rules.

Earlier this year, members of the parish worship committee agreed that there's a cushy spot in people's hearts for traditions like a weekly Mass that starts at 2:30 a.m., just after the bars close early Sunday morning.

At parishioners' suggestion, Father D'Amico is going to offer a pre-dawn liturgy at 2:30 a.m. Sunday to see what kind of crowd the special service draws. The church, at Centre Avenue and Washington Place, stands in front of the new Consol Energy Center.

First celebrated on April 30, 1905, the printers' Mass attracted employees from seven daily newspapers who opened the church doors and lit the candles. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph workers wanted to take Communion after finishing their shift at 2 a.m. Pittsburgh Press truck drivers often served on the altar, then began delivering papers at 3 a.m.

With two main daily papers left today, there are far fewer printers, but Father D'Amico hopes to attract local college students who are up late and looking for a quiet alternative to the raucous night life on weekends in some parts of the city. As the administrator of three parishes -- St. Mary of Mercy, Downtown; St. Benedict the Moor, Hill District; and Epiphany -- the priest already ministers to many people.

But he's eager to help a few more, so fliers about the liturgy have been distributed to local colleges.

If enough students turn up, the weekly printers' Mass may be revived. The priest also hopes young people will be interested in organizing an informal coffeehouse before the Mass.

Since 1966, Pittsburgh Catholics have been able to fulfill their Sunday attendance obligation by attending Mass early Saturday evening. But what if you're getting showered and glamorous for that big night out?

Italians -- who enjoy parading in their finest fashions around the piazza on Saturday nights in what's called the passagiata -- understand this dilemma. Especially an Italian night owl like Father D'Amico, who is often up until midnight.

He attended the printers' Mass with his late Aunt Alice Semplice, who regularly dined at 10 p.m. at a Downtown restaurant called Naples, which used to be in the vicinity of BNY Mellon Center. The restaurant stayed open until 2 and she stayed until then. When Father D'Amico accompanied her one evening to the restaurant, he saw local wrestler Bruno Sammartino. That kind of celebrity sighting was a big deal for a teenager from Brookline, the priest recalled.

When the early morning Mass was held, ink-stained printers typically sat in the polished oak pews to pray beside well-dressed Saturday night revelers who decided to get sanctified on their way home. Uniformed police officers, streetcar motormen, firefighters and steelworkers showed up, too. All of them, thanks to Pope Leo XIII, then enjoyed a late Sunday morning slumber. (Before then, church rules required that all Sunday Masses be celebrated between dawn and noon.)

Pope Leo, who granted special permission for the liturgy, died in 1903, but he's alive in parishioners' memories because his marble bust still stands in the church vestibule.

This is a great idea!! My husband and I just might attend the 'Printers Mass'.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembering Our Military on Veterans Day

God Bless those troops who have served and are serving today.  Thank you for both your sacrifice and service to our country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hold Nothing Back by Jesus Culture

Why George W. Bush is Pro-Life

From The Deacon's Bench:
 This is one excerpt from former President George Bush's new book, Decision Points.

The most startling anecdote he shared was the story of his mother's miscarriage during his teenage years, when he says he drove Barbara to the hospital while she held her unborn fetus in a jar.

Bush says he included the story "to show how my mom and I developed a relationship," but admits the jarring experience had a lifelong impact on his political beliefs.

"She says to her teenage kid, 'Here's a fetus,'" the pro-life President recounted to Lauer. "No question it - that affected me - my philosophy that we should respect life...There was a human life, a little brother or sister."

I would say that this must have been a most impressionable experience for him. God Bless former President George W. Bush.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Majesty by Delirious

Silent No More: Debbi Shares Her Abortion Story

H/T Gloria.tv

The Threat that the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, & CAIR Pose to the West

Here is a video of an Orlando mosque being busted, supporting Hamas.  This shows the mosque hosting a Hamas advocate named George Galloway.

Here is an excellent article on the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and CAIR written by Moshe Dann of The American Thinker:

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is one of the most dangerous Islamic groups in the world today, not only because it supports terrorism -- providing political and financial support for its Palestinian branch, Hamas, for example -- but because it is part of a global Islamist network and promotes an ideology that encourages extremism and terrorism.

With branches in seventy countries and linked to major Islamic organizations, the MB has an extensive and well-financed network of educational, social, and cultural institutions which promote a strategic MB plan for Islamic dominance -- not through violence, but integration, becoming part of the national social and political life, and the application of Shariah law. These connections give it access to political power and explain why it and the organizations it supports are courted by governments and NGOs. Jean-Pierre Filiu of the Hudson Institute:

The Muslim Brotherhood ... has for reasons both ideological and tactical tended in recent decades to embrace a more limited conception of jihad combined with missionary activity and organized political struggle.

Hillel Fradkin, director of the Hudson Institute's Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World, notes that the MB, founded in Egypt in 1928, is the source of modern radical Islamic movements and an important part of Muslim communities around the world. The takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas changed the picture. For the first time, the MB had its own territory, a virtual state, and an army. Filiu:

The Brotherhood-offshoot Hamas, which since 2006 has officially ruled over the Gaza strip, is the first Palestinian militia to consistently limit its activities to the territory of pre-1948 Palestine-meaning Israel, the West Bank and Gaza... In the process of consolidating its power, [it] subsequently repressed Gaza's al-Qaeda-inspired groups. Nowadays, al-Qaeda's ongoing conflict with Hamas has become one of the main liabilities to al-Qaeda's propaganda and its efforts to establish itself as the leader of the worldwide jihadist movement.

According to an MB document written in 1991, its role in host countries is a process of settlement called "Civilization-Jihad," which will "eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within" and establish a "global Islamic state." To accomplish this, through mosques and Islamic centers, the MB engages in "coalitions," "absorption," and civic "cooperation," building parallel social, political, and cultural organizations. Its guiding principles are those of Hasan al-Banna, who established the Egyptian MB movement and was closely allied with the Nazis.

The North American Connection

The most comprehensive study of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States is Steven Merley's monograph published by the Hudson Institute (April 2009). He concludes:

[The MB's] extensive history of support for Islamic fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and support for terrorism ... includes ideological, financial, and legal support, particularly for Hamas and other Palestinian terror organizations.

MB affiliate organizations like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- which grew out of the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), a front group fund-raising for Islamic jihad and Hamas terrorist organizations -- are not outgrowths of popular or communal expressions, like Christian and Jewish organizations, but instead are self-appointed representatives, combining a volatile mix of religion and politics. Most MB organizations are funded by Saudis and Gulf States, representing non-American, predominantly Arab Muslims.

With over thirty branches in North America, CAIR presents itself as the largest "Muslim civil rights organization," seeking to "enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." A few years ago, CAIR was included in a list of unindicted co-conspirators alleged by prosecutors to have participated in a conspiracy to funnel money to Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation.

I am for freedom of religion but when a segment or segments of that religion (Islam) turns violent, other nonviolent persons support that violent cause, the religious peoples' main motivation is not to assimilate into American society but is in fact to overthrow the very Foundation of our country by working to change our constitutional principles whether it be by using peaceful means as a front or violent means to impose their discriminatory, misogynistic, and oppressive beliefs on the people who reside in non-Muslim countries then that stated religion is more than a religion.  Segments of the religion of Islam have become more of a political ideology of tyranny and terrorism than a religion.  I do believe that there are Muslims who are peaceful but I believe that Islam has become a political ideology which promotes and authorizes violence in the name of "Allah" moreso than a religion of peace.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

On Baptism, One of God's Magnificent Seven

H/T Catholictv

Early Church Fathers on Baptism

Augustine -- It is this one Spirit who makes it possible for an infant to be regenerated . . . when that infant is brought to baptism; and it is through this one Spirit that the infant so presented is reborn. For it is not written, "Unless a man be born again by the will of his parents" or "by the faith of those presenting him or ministering to him," but, "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit." The water, therefore, manifesting exteriorly the sacrament of grace, and the Spirit effecting interiorly the benefit of grace, both regenerate in one Christ that man who was generated in Adam (Letters 98:2 [A.D. 408]).

Cyprian -- [l]t behooves those to be baptized . . . so that they are prepared, in the lawful and true and only baptism of the holy Church, by divine regeneration, for the kingdom of God . . . because it is written "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (Epistles 72 [73]: 21 [A.D. 252]).
   As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born" (Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]).
  In the saving sacraments, when necessity compels and when God bestows his pardon, divine benefits are bestowed fully upon believers, nor ought anyone be disturbed because the sick are poured upon or sprinkled when they receive the Lord's grace" (Letter to a Certain Magnus 69(76):12 [A.D. 254]).

Origen -- The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of divine sacraments, knew there is in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thoughts on the Deadly Siege at the Catholic Church in Baghdad & Voting

There was a siege at the Our Lady of Deliverance Catholic Church in Baghdad yesterday where at least 52 people were killed. Some Al Qaeda gunmen were holding about 120 Catholic parishioners hostage inside the church. The Iraqi security forces decided to be proactive and try and save the hostages. This is so tragic. Let us keep the wounded, dead, and other survivors in our thoughts and prayers as they cope with this traumatic event and horrible tragedy. In this tumultuous time, may God bring peace to all the survivors in Iraq. Let’s pray that God changes the hearts and souls of the terrorists so that they stop committing violence.

Cardinal-designate Burke has commented on Catholics duty to follow Catholic social teaching with regards to abortion - to advance the pro-family or pro-life agenda - and to vote for pro-life candidates. I believe that as Catholics it is very important that we follow Catholic social teachings and stop harming our souls by supporting intrinsic evils such as abortion and candidates who support the intrinsic evil of abortion. Abortion is murder. We cannot condone abortion (murder) by giving our approval to those political candidates who support the murder of innocents by supporting the legalization of abortion. Abortion is not a matter of choice but rather a matter of life. It is unfortunate that there are quite a few pro-abortion Catholic politicians and many Catholics who abandon their faith by voting for pro-abortion politicians. As a resident of Pennsylvania, I will be voting for Pat Toomey, Tom Corbett, and Tim Murphy who are all pro-life candidates.