Here is an interesting interview with Catholic Dinesh D'Souza about the reported growth of atheism and the common falacies which are spread by atheists about Christianity. D'Souza's recent book, What's So Great About Christianity is intended to counter the flurry of pro-atheist books that are now on the market. I have heard that it is an incredible defense of the faith. It is currently on the N.Y. Times bestseller list.
Chiesa recently published a very interesting article by Sandro Magister entitled Why Benedict XVI Is So Cautious with the Letter of the 138 Muslims. Although there has not yet been a formal response from Pope Benedict to the letter, there have indeed been responses by Christian groups. One such response which was authored and signed by 300 scholars who were mostly Protestant is summed up by Magister:
"The message lavishes praise upon the letter of the 138. It endorses the letter's contents, or the indication of the love of God and neighbor as the "common word" between Muslims and Christians, Read More...
Gillian Gibbons, 54, was being interrogated at a police station in the capital Khartoum today.
She had been working at one of the city's exclusive British schools for the past three months since giving up her job in Liverpool.
Twenty out of 23 pupils voted for Mohamed, which is also the name of one of the most popular boys in the class.
Mrs Gibbons had wanted to call the bear Faris but was overruled by the children, said a teacher who asked not to be named.
Children were asked to take the teddy home each Read More...
The town of Wittenberg Germany where Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church has undergone enormous changes including what some may call the curse of atheism. From chicagotribune:
"The wooden doors of Castle Church were long ago replaced by ones made of bronze, but what comes as a far greater disappointment to Protestant pilgrims, especially those from America, is that only about 15 percent of Wittenberg's inhabitants identify themselves as Christian.
"Most of the others proudly celebrate their atheism.
"We knew that Christianity had taken a hit during communist times, but to come here, to the land of Luther, and to find so many people outside the church, yes, it was a surprise," admitted Stephen Godsall-Myers, a Lutheran pastor from Pennsylvania.
"The situation is even starker when the pilgrims make their way to the town of Eisleben, Luther's birthplace. There, only 8 percent of the population calls itself Christian.
"What theologians and academics describe as the de-Christianization of Europe began more than a century ago, but in eastern Germany the process was greatly accelerated under the communist rule of the former German Democratic Republic."
Yes, Germany suffered through the devastation of communism--but this cannot account for the domination and speed with which atheism has spread in the historical heart of the Reformation and throughout the entire continent. What Germany suffers from is de-Christianization brought on by the Reformation. It is indeed the Reformation itself that has led to the devastation of faith and the growth Read More...
ITALY TO GIVE TAX CREDITS TO 20 & 30 YEAR-OLDS TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO LEAVE PARENT'S HOME & RAISE BIRTH RATES
Italy--the land with one of the most graying populations in the world--is attempting to kick its 30-somethings out of their parent's homes in order to boost the birth rate. With nearly two-thirds of 30-34 year olds still living at home it seems the country could use a modern day St Francis to rescue it from apostasy and contraceptive driven suicidal sex.
"We want the bamboccioni to move out," Finance Minister Tommaso Padoa Schioppa recently said, using a term that evokes grown babies still attached to mamma's apron strings."
"Now Italy's center-left government is proposing a ¤999 ($1,431) yearly tax credit on rents for people ages 20 to 30, hoping that will encourage young adults to start living on their own and start a family. But experts say the measure, though encouraging, is not enough to undo cultural and economic factors keeping young men and women at home."
"The problem," says Alessandro Rosina, who teaches demography at Catholic University in Milan, "is not just that Italy's birthrate of 1.3 is one of the lowest in Europe, but that is has been stable at that level for too long."
"Young Italians have found a new formula for la dolce vita," writes journalist Beppe Severgnini on his popular blog, "Italians.""
Why would the average Italian 30 year-old leave the nest for a life of sacrifice and committment to one person? It certainly will not happen due to tax credits. Going from momma's apron strings to the government's does not transform boys into men and girls into women. Rather it is only through a return to the Faith and ultimately God's grace that will make man who has been accustomed to living for self, and self alone, awaken to the dire demographic predicament that a once Catholic nation now finds itself in. Nothing on earth --including secularism and socialism -- can match the tranformative powers that Christianity has on men and even nations. Thus only a return to the Faith will prompt the young Italians to take on the role of men and women and fathers and mothers.
Excerpts taken from Christian Science Monitor.
From BBC: Attacks on priests are "a symptom of a fundamental shift towards a culture Read More...
Thanks to Marshall for recommending the following article. By the way, Marshall has decided to pursue the priesthood and to further his cause financially he has designed some very nice products at Zazzle. Please pray for him and remember his designs when Christmas shopping.
Excerpts from Una Voce by Prof. Mattei's Fontgombault: "The Mass, which is the sacred action par excellence, has always been regulated by a rite, which is to say, its ordo, according to the words of Saint Augustine: "totum agendi ordinem, quem universa per orbem servat Ecclesia." With the liturgical reform, the essence of the Sacrament which remains valid and retains its efficacy, did not change, but, according to the expression of Cardinal Ratzinger, a new rite was "fabricated" ex novo.
"The rite, of which the classic definition goes back to Servio (Mos institutus religiosis caeremoniis consecratus), is not in fact the sacred action but the norm which guides the unfolding of this action. It can be defined as the whole of the formulas and practical norms which must be observed in order to accomplish a specific Read More...
Here is a very interesting article from the Times Online about Pope Benedict and his ambitious commitment to reform and liberation of the Latin liturgy. This, despite attempts from many bishops including those in England and Wales to halt the reform. It seems his pontificate is having a tremendous impact on many break-away groups including the conservative Traditional Anglican Communion.
"Two and a half years after the name "Josephum" came booming down from the balcony of St Peter's, making liberal Catholics weep with rage, Pope Benedict XVI is revealing his programme of reform. And it is breathtakingly ambitious.
The 80-year-old Pontiff is planning a purification of the Roman liturgy in which decades of trendy innovations will be swept away. This recovery of the sacred is intended to draw Catholics closer to the Orthodox and ultimately to heal the 1,000 year Great Schism. But it is also designed to attract vast numbers of conservative Anglicans, who will be offered the protection of the Holy Father if they covert en masse.
The liberal cardinals don't like the sound of it at all.
Ever since the shock of Benedict's election, they have been Read More...
THE WAR ON THE CATHOLIC CONSCIENCE--PORTUGUESE GOVERNMENT ISSUES ULTAMATUM TO DOCTORS WHO REFUSE TO PERFORM ABORTIONS
From Rueters: LISBON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Portuguese doctors have rejected a government ultimatum to remove an ethical ban on performing abortions after this deeply Catholic country approved Read More...
"For there is more than one way of sacrificing to the fallen angels" St Augustine
There is no question that the television has contributed to the demise of Western Civilization. Fr. John Hardon, S.J. used to say that the media was engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth. But the media not only detests truth it also assaults us with the promotion and glorification of evil. So much of our complacency and apathy toward sin today stems from voluntarily drinking in the poison that flows from the secular liberal media.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS ORDERED TO REMOVE CRUCIFIXES AT JERUSALEM'S WESTERN WALL & SHARING A CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH MUSLIMS
Now there is a Catholic Church that turns into a mosque. Such a sad site to see those who have personally lost their faith--facilitating and compromising with a religion that is wholly intolerant of Christians and doing so in the name of "religious dialogue".
POPE BENEDICT --THE MOST INDISPENSIBLE MAN OF OUR TIMES & THE CHURCH-- THE MOST INDISPENSIBLE INSTITUTION OF OUR TIMES
A book entitled, Twentieth-Century Catholic Theologians by Fergus Kerr is receiving quite a bit of attention. It was recently reviewed by Spengler of the Asia Times and was also previously reviewed at First Things in May. What I find most interesting is not the book itself but how growing numbers of those who are not Catholic-but who understand the grave threat that radical Islam poses to the West --have begun to look to the Church for answers--and are indeed finding that truth does indeed rest with her.
It seems the growth and spread of Islam and its quest for domination could potentially bring about just the opposite --a resurgence of Catholicism in the West. It would not be the first time that God has used the enemies of His people to chastise them and call them home. Anyway--Here is Spengler's view of the book but more importantly his view of the indispensible nature of Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church to the war on radical Islam:
"To win a gunfight, first you have to bring a gun, and to win a religious war, you had better know something about religion...If we are in a fourth world war, Read More...
We all heard how the King of Saudi Arabia visited the Pope this past week and that the Pope expressed his grief over the discrimination of Christian minorities in Muslim lands. But what most of us do not know is that the two exchanged gifts--Pope Benedict XVI gave the Saudi monarch an old painting of the Vatican while the king's gift to the pontiff was a sword.
Excerpts From newyorksun.com: "As a gift from from a leading Islamic fundamentalist nation, a sword is about as clear a symbol of intolerance as there can be; and indeed, swords are used for public decapitations in Saudi Arabia on Fridays. The U.S. State Department's yearly human rights report cites Saudi Arabia for bigotry toward non-Muslims, including "harassment, abuse, and even killings at the hands of the Muttawa (religious police)."
"The newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said the Vatican hoped the meeting with the Saudi king would produce a frank dialogue Read More...
Take time to watch this music video--pay close attention to the lyrics. The song was voted song of the year by the Quebec public.
From globeandmail.com: "The song – whose title is a play on words that evokes both history and decline – was originally rejected by radio stations when it was released in 2004. Programmers thought its preachy tone praising great-great-grandfathers for clearing the land, and dissing their descendants for selling it off to become civil servants, would not fly with listeners. They thought the song's glorification of great-great-grandmothers with 14 kids, and its contempt for young women who today cover up their “stupidities” by getting an abortion, was definitely not Top 40 material.
"Its lyrics sparked living-room discussions and newspaper Read More...
"If anyone saith that matrimony is not truly and
properly one of the seven sacraments of the evangelic
law, instituted by the Lord ; but that it has been
invented by men in the Church; and that it does not
confer grace; let him be an anathema." Council of
In man's search for religion and truth one would be wise to look for the religion that is a sign of contradiction in this world. (Luke 2:34) The Catholic Church today stands as the only religion that is a sign of contradiction since it is the only voice that consistently condemns all the world's favorite sins and takes the unpopular positions on the hot moral issues of the day. The vitriol that the enemies of Catholicism display is one of the greatest indicators that the Church is effective in its God given mission.
Yet one by one protestant churches have acquiesced to the world's ways. One of the most obviously destructive issues that protestants have conceded on is the acceptance of casual divorce and adulterous remarriage. On this matter, protestant denominations have ceased to follow Jesus' express words about adulterous remarriage...
shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth
adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away
her husband, and be married to another, she
committeth adultery." Mark 10:11-12
How can so many Protestant Churches miss the sinfulness of adulterous remarriage? How can so many churches overlook the clear teaching of Jesus--and permit those who are living in adultery to also act as ministers and leaders of churches? These same churches are also ready and willing to welcome fallen away Catholics who are living in adultery into their churches--with the deception that they are saved--despite their ongoing mortal sin. It is truly a spiritual blindness that has overtaken those who call themselves followers of Christ.
This blindness is the inevitable outcome of the protestant divorce from the the Bride of Christ--the Catholic Church. This divorce cut protestants off from the life of Christ because they have simultaneously rejected the Eucharist--which is Jesus.
"I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." John 6:53
As Fr. John Hardon S.J. used to say: "protestantism is a graceless old testament Christianity". Without grace and the living life of Christ one fails to be a contradiction to the world but instead becomes one with it.
In new book, entitled The New Zealand Family From 1840: A Demographic History, Janet Sceats and her husband of 45 years, Professor Ian Pool, argue society is failing both those would-be mothers and parents who feel guilty about the parenting compromises they were forced to make to maintain careers.
"In many ways New Zealand has failed its families...Family policy instruments and the socio-economic environment, rather than coming to the aid of the family, may be exacerbating the situation and putting undue pressure on households."
So they have rightly concluded that socialistic tools have not worked and have actually harmed families. Beyond that-- here is where the "genius" comes:
"The prime facilitator of these changes has been the contraceptive pill. Apart from allowing couples to postpone Read More...