31 August, 2013

Francis reboots Vatican system with new Secretary of State | National Catholic Reporter

Francis reboots Vatican system with new Secretary of State | National Catholic Reporter

Eleven Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures, by Ella Frances Sanders

Eleven Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures, by Ella Frances Sanders

Exit Bertone, enter Parolin - Vatican Insider

Exit Bertone, enter Parolin - Vatican Insider

Pope’s appointment of Parolin welcomed by diplomats and churchmen alike - Vatican Insider

Pope’s appointment of Parolin welcomed by diplomats and churchmen alike - Vatican Insider

CNS STORY: Pope denounces 'multiplication of massacres,' atrocities in Syria

CNS STORY: Pope denounces 'multiplication of massacres,' atrocities in Syria

CNS STORY: Western church leaders warn against intervention in Syria

CNS STORY: Western church leaders warn against intervention in Syria

30 August, 2013

Aggie Catholics: Catholics and the Bible

Aggie Catholics: Catholics and the Bible

Against Symbolic Killing » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

Against Symbolic Killing » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

Oh, Canada: Enshrining religious discrimination in law » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

Oh, Canada: Enshrining religious discrimination in law » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog

One Great Big War: David Brooks of the New York Times opines on the pan-Arab civil war and the threat it poses to world peace.

One Great Big War - NYTimes.com

Trudeau says he will defend Quebec's open society - Politics - CBC News

This is the first intelligent thing that Trudeau has offered since his ascension to the leadership of the Liberal Party. At least he's chosen an excellent issue to defend: the individual's right to freedom of religion. It's a lot better than his other proposed initiative to legalize pot smoking!

Trudeau says he will defend Quebec's open society - Politics - CBC News

28 August, 2013

Secularism: How the PQ have it all wrong

Secularism: How the PQ have it all wrong



At the recent meeting of the youth wing of the Parti Quebecois, Mme. Pauline Marois announced her government's intention to introduce a ‘Charter of Quebec Values’ intended to enshrine into law the concepts and value around which Quebec will prosper and unite in the 21st century. Prominent among these values is ‘secularism’, a foundational principle of all Western democracies which mandates the separation of church and state. Unfortunately for all concerned, this initiative is rooted in a non-democratic and oppressive understanding of this concept which will serve to weaken the very sense of cultural and political identity that Marois is trying to stimulate.


Secularism is founded upon three essential elements: a) freedom of conscience and belief, b) equality of religious choice, and c) the neutrality of public authorities in religious convictions. Nations traditionally express this in two different ways. Canada, as with most Western democracies, has practiced a ‘liberal/open’ mode of secularism in which the state interprets these principles in a manner that reflects the rights of the individual to express their convictions in the public square without undue hindrance from state authorities. ‘Republican’ secularism on the other hand defines ‘neutrality’ as a mandate to prohibit public expressions of belief – creating a desolate, naked public square where personal equality is created by denying everyone the same right of expression.


To use a sartorial analogy, republican secularism forces everyone to dress the same a la the Chinese during the Cultural Revolution whereas liberal/open secularism would be represented by the full range of western fashion. In both cases everyone is equal in that they are fully clothed but only one permits the full flowering of human creativity and personal expression while the other imposes a false appearance of equality at the expense of personal liberty of belief.


Neither of these modes can function entirely without some legitimate restriction and any state is within its rights to prohibit any act that is deemed to be illegal or harmful. For example, laws prohibiting the practice of animal or human sacrifice are moral and proper irrespective of a practitioner’s religious creed or convictions. Similarly any law that does not respect the rights of individuals to belief (so long as they are not attempting to impose it on others) is equally offensive to the dignity of all citizens. It is not proper or right that a state concerned with the full and free rights of its citizens should impose such a draconian and disrespectful false equality as is threatened by the Quebec Charter of Values. Such an act does not reflect the values or traditions of either that province or our country as a whole because it fails to reflect the actual mode of secularism that has proven to be effective in a modern liberal democracy.


What Joseph Bottum Wants - NYTimes.com - Ross Douthat responds

What Joseph Bottum Wants - NYTimes.com

Getting Off the Slippery Slope to Religious Persecution - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

Getting Off the Slippery Slope to Religious Persecution - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

Obama Administration Considers Military Action: Pray for the Christians of Syria and Pray for Peace - International - Catholic Online

Obama Administration Considers Military Action: Pray for the Christians of Syria and Pray for Peace - International - Catholic Online

Groundbreaking: The Last Warning to the Pope's Electors - understanding the framing of issues facing the Church which resulted in the election of Pope Francis

Groundbreaking: The Last Warning to the Pope's Electors

Sophistry Slouching Toward Apostasy: Response to the Commonweal Essay of Joseph Bottum - U.s. - Catholic Online

Sophistry Slouching Toward Apostasy: Response to the Commonweal Essay of Joseph Bottum - U.s. - Catholic Online

The God Conspiracy: A Confirmed Agnostic Probes the Mind of a Devout Catholic

Magic City Morning Star: The God Conspiracy: A Confirmed Agnostic Probes the Mind of a Devout Catholic

Ex-Quebec premier says English media ‘pathetic’ in coverage of PQ plan | Toronto Star

Ex-Quebec premier says English media ‘pathetic’ in coverage of PQ plan | Toronto Star

Atheism a creed that needs the same religious protections of Christianity and Islam: Ontario Human Rights Tribunal | National Post

Atheism a creed that needs the same religious protections of Christianity and Islam: Ontario Human Rights Tribunal | National Post

Column: Quebec’s values are hard things to pin down

Column: Quebec’s values are hard things to pin down

An American makes the pope's lineup; Christians in Syria and Egypt | National Catholic Reporter

An American makes the pope's lineup; Christians in Syria and Egypt | National Catholic Reporter

Cardinal Pell Offers Religious Liberty Suggestions | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Here are the four basic points that Cardinal Pell notes to demonstrate what religious freedom means in practice:


"1. Freedom of religion is not just freedom to go to church on Sundays or pray at home. It also means being free to act on your beliefs in the public square, to speak about them and seek to persuade others. It means not being coerced or bullied into silence by speech‐control and equality laws or by accusations of “Homophobe!” “Discrimination!” “Anti‐Choice!” or “I’m offended!”

"2. Freedom of religion means being free to provide services that are consistent with the beliefs of the sponsoring religion. Neither the government nor anyone else has the right to say to religious agencies “we like your work with vulnerable women; we just need you to offer them abortion as well”; or “we really like your schools, but we can’t allow you to teach that marriage between a man and a woman is better or truer than other expressions of love and sexuality”. Our agencies are there for everyone without discrimination, but provide distinctive teachings and operations. In a wealthy, sophisticated country like Australia, leaving space for religious agencies should not be difficult.

"3. Religious freedom means being able to employ at least a critical mass of employees who support the ethos of the sponsoring religion. All Catholic works are first and foremost works of religion. Our hospitals, schools, universities, welfare agencies, services for the refugees, the disabled and the homeless are established because this is what our faith in Christ the Lord impels us to do. The good people happy to help us in these works as staff or volunteers do not all need to share the faith, but they need to be happy to support it and work within it. It is also essential that a preference can be exercised for people who are actively committed to the religious convictions at the heart of these services. It is not enough for just the CEO or the religion teacher to be Catholic. It is not unjust discrimination to prefer committed Catholics to staff Catholic services, but it is coercion to attempt to interfere in or restrict our freedom to do so. No one would dream of suggesting that (for example) the ALP must employ some activist members of the Liberal Party.

"4. Religious freedom and government funding. The secular state is religiously neutral and has no mandate to exclude religion, especially when a large majority of the population are Christians or followers of other major religions. Church members also pay taxes. Substantial levels of government funding are no reason to prohibit religious schools, hospitals and welfare agencies from offering services compatible with their beliefs; no sufficient reason to coerce them to act against their principles. The separation of church and state provides important protections for religious communities against the intrusions of governments. In a free society like our own, different groups have a right to make distinctive offerings, provided they are not damaging the common good. We need to foster a tolerant pluralism, not intolerant secularism."

Cardinal Pell Offers Religious Liberty Suggestions | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

27 August, 2013

What are chemical weapons and how do they work? | CTV News

With the West seemingly on the edge of a new military action in Syria, this article from the CTV New site is timely to read. If we are going to involve ourselves in a war because these horrible weapons have been used on the civilian population as a means of 'cleansing' people of one religion  from an area (as happened in the former Yugoslavian republics) it's important to understand why such weapons are banned in the first place.

What are chemical weapons and how do they work? | CTV News

Recognizing sin, accepting mercy is key to salvation, pope says

Recognizing sin, accepting mercy is key to salvation, pope says

Majority of Quebecers support proposed bill banning religious clothing: poll | CTV News

Majority of Quebecers support proposed bill banning religious clothing: poll | CTV News

Pope's Vision for Restructuring the Church

Pope’s Vision for Restructuring the Church

25 August, 2013

No Choice: An interesting review of Canada's Pro-Life movement written from a Pro-Choice perspective (?). H/T to Suzanne at Big Blue Wave

"NO CHOICE: Abortion rights, long considered sacrosanct in Canada, are suddenly up for debate. Is this the start of a new culture war?"

BY ANDREA BENNETT AND KIM FU

No Choice

23 August, 2013

A Conservative Catholic Now Backs Same-Sex Marriage - NYTimes.com

A Conservative Catholic Now Backs Same-Sex Marriage - NYTimes.com

Ten Thousand Places: More Important Than Priests (Hurray!)

Ten Thousand Places: More Important Than Priests (Hurray!)

NASA video shows comet plunging into sun - Technology & Science - CBC News

NASA video shows comet plunging into sun - Technology & Science - CBC News

Pope will consecrate world to Immaculate Heart of Mary : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Pope will consecrate world to Immaculate Heart of Mary : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Telling Africa's story; the Coptic Kristallnacht; latest Dall'Oglio rumors | National Catholic Reporter

Telling Africa's story; the Coptic Kristallnacht; latest Dall'Oglio rumors | National Catholic Reporter

Q&A: Quebec's religious garb debate intensifies - Canada - CBC News

Q&A: Quebec's religious garb debate intensifies - Canada - CBC News

Report: Benedict XVI Resigned After ‘Mystical Experience’ | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Report: Benedict XVI Resigned After ‘Mystical Experience’ | Daily News | NCRegister.com

20 August, 2013

Maybe religious adherents should tatoo their sacred image somewhere exposed on their body. Would the Quebec government demand it be removed before allowing us into the public square?

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/20/turbans-kippas-and-crucifixes-could-be-banned-in-quebec-public-institutions-under-pq-proposal-report-says/

This is horrible! Talk about an example of the corrosive effects of the 'culture of death'.

Every Pope from Paul VI to Francis have decried the corrosive effect that the 'culture of death' and 'imperial personal autonomy' were having on Western culture. This is just another in a horribly long line of ill effects and events that flowed from the good intentions of post-modern liberal secularism since the 1960's.

People seem to be forgetting that for a society to remain health and vibrant requires a common culture rooted in charity and temperance. Such selfish and ill-spirited will as expressed by this anonymous letter writer fails to meet even the most basic of standards. What s/he wrote may not be a crime... but it such as hell is wrong.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/08/20/autistic-boy-family-receives-euthanize-letter-ontario-newscastle.html

15 August, 2013

New York cardinal warns of rampant 'disposable culture' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

New York cardinal warns of rampant 'disposable culture' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Pope Francis to Consecrate the World to Mary’s Immaculate Heart


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oct. 13 as part of the Marian Day celebration that will involve the iconic statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima.

“The Holy Father strongly desires that the Marian Day may have present, as a special sign, one of the most significant Marian icons for Christians throughout the world, and, for that reason, we thought of the beloved original statue of Our Lady of Fatima,” wrote Cardinal Rino Fisichella.

Cardinal Fisichella, who serves as president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, made his remarks in a letter to Bishop Antonio Marto of Leiria-Fatima.
According to the Portuguese shrine’s website, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima will leave for Rome on the morning of Oct. 12 and return on the afternoon of Oct. 13. The statue normally resides in the shrine’s Little Chapel of Apparitions.



Read more: click on the link below



http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-to-consecrate-the-world-to-marys-immaculate-heart?

14 August, 2013

Judge tells couple they can't name their son 'Messiah'


If Latinos can call their kids Jesus and Muslims theirs Muhammad, what legal basis exists that could justify this court decision? It seems patented silly. In poor taste but just silly nonetheless. Yet in Québec the government presumes the same right to tell parents what they can (or better said cannot) name their children for years.

What do you think? Should the government have the right to control the names parents choose for their children? Feel free to comment with your opinions.

Pope Francis and the Catholic Way of Dialogue | Crisis Magazine

Pope Francis and the Catholic Way of Dialogue | Crisis Magazine

'Where the rubber hits the road' is hitting the road in September! New Pastoral Assignments announced for the Pembroke Diocese

Bishop Michael Mulhall, Bishop of Pembroke announced on Monday that I'm being transferred from my current assignment as pastor of St. Anne's Parish in Mattawa, Ontario to take up the same position on the Quebec side of the Diocese... in Chapeau (St. Alphonsus), Sheenboro (St. Paul the Hermit), and St. Joseph's (St. Joseph's) effective September 12th, 2013.

This will be a bit of a home coming for me as I have twice before served in Chapeau (as both assistant and pastor) and already love the people and place. I look forward to renewing many old acquaintances there just as I do with those good folk I know from Sheen and St. Joseph's.

Moving is the reality of life for all parish priests and this is far from
St. Anne's Church - Mattawa
being the first time I've changed parishes over the past 25 years. Still as much as I look forward to returning to the Upper Pontiac, it is always sad to say good-bye to a place such as Mattawa. Typical of communities in Northern Ontario, they displayed a warm and open heart to me over the past 7+ years, welcoming me into their lives both communal and personal in both good and bad times. Through it all I grew deeper in love with such good folks and I will miss living in their presence. I am further pleased that I am passing along the reins there to Fr. Mitchell Beachey, a man of noted pastoral sensitivity and compassion and doctrinally sound priest. Fr. Mitch, aside from his parish responsibilities is the diocesan liturgical director and once or twice a year celebrates mass in its extra-ordinary form, assisted by the Latin choristers from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Barry's Bay, Ontario. Hopefully he will continue the same practice after his move to Mattawa.


So, in four weeks time 'WTRHTR' will hit the road itself as it journey's to 'la belle province' once again. Doubtless there will be enough material there to inspire comment and debate going here for years to come. Aggressive secularism is the challenge of the day there more than anywhere else in the country, championed by a provincial government intent of expanding the 'culture of death' and the denigration of religious rights across the province.

I'm looking forward to the journey! It will be fun!!
Sanctuary of St. Alphonsus Church - Chapeau, QC

Marriage Redefined: ‘Monogamish,’ ‘Throuple’ and ‘Wedlease’ | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Marriage Redefined: ‘Monogamish,’ ‘Throuple’ and ‘Wedlease’ | Daily News | NCRegister.com

08 August, 2013

Mars rover Curiosity celebrates 1 year on Red Planet - CNN.com

Mars rover Curiosity celebrates 1 year on Red Planet - CNN.com

Religion and the American Republic > Publications > National Affairs

Religion and the American Republic > Publications > National Affairs

Is Pope Francis Really Pro-Life? |Blogs | NCRegister.com

Is Pope Francis Really Pro-Life? |Blogs | NCRegister.com

Really, is Pope Francis...a communist? - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

Really, is Pope Francis...a communist? - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

Repent! Convert! Two Words that Need to Be Rediscovered. « Archdiocese of Washington

Repent! Convert! Two Words that Need to Be Rediscovered. « Archdiocese of Washington

A little summer fun: A Country Bear Hoe-Down!!

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