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Showing posts from January, 2011

‘I’m worried that others aren’t worried’ - a Mid East expert offers his thoughts on Egypt

Here is an interview taken from the Jerusalem Post in which Barry Rubin , director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal talks about the upheaval in Egypt. ‘I’m worried that others aren’t worried’

Thousands of inmates escape jails in Egypt turmoil - CTV News

It almost seems like a slow motion replay of the scenes we saw when Iraq was 'liberated'. I pray that it does not end up being a complete repetition. 10% of all the goods shipped by sea passes through the Suez Canal. If this country devolves into sectarian and religious violence it will have a horrific impact on the world economy. Just look at what's happening to the price of oil. Since most of the middle eastern oil travels through the canal, it could trigger a panic rise in price which will snuff out the start of the global recovery. Thousands of inmates escape jails in Egypt turmoil - CTV News

Q&A: The reality of exorcism for Canadian Catholics | Holy Post | National Post

“The devil likes to be an object of curiosity and sensationalism, and I don’t want to give him any more attention than he deserves,” a Calgary bishop announced in a statement several years ago. His headline-grabbing remarks came after it was revealed that a Canadian was among 120 priests set to attend a month-long course at the world’s only formal school for exorcists at the Vatican. Since then, the archdiocese of Ottawa, which has one official exorcist on hand, has reported seeing an average of four major exorcisms per year over the past five years, and a Quebec Catholic priest said last fall that he has performed roughly a dozen exorcisms since he was ordained nearly five years ago. Indeed, exorcisms have been carried out in Canada for generations — albeit quietly, and in relatively small numbers as compared to countries such as Italy, where the belief in demons is more widespread. In 1999, the centuries-old rite was updated in the Vatican’s 1614 manual on exorcism, Of

Comments on the discrimination against Christians in Europe

A story is told of a young businessman sharing a compartment on a train with an elderly gentleman. When he noticed that the old fellow was quietly and intently praying with his rosary in his hand, the young man chided him for his 'superstition' and told him that science had rendered the beliefs of religion irrelevant. “How did you come to discover that?” the old gentleman asked. His companion didn't really know how to answer the question fully right then and there, so he offered to send him a few texts and public lecture notes on the subject for his enlightenment. “What's your address?' he asked “I'll send you the material via the Post Office.” The old lad rummaged in his coat pocket and produced a tattered business card which read ' Louis Pasteur, Paris Institute of Scientific Research .' Louis Pasteur was the nineteenth-century giant of microbiology who proved the germ-theory of disease and invented the rabies vaccine. His humility certainly didn&

Avoid ‘misuse of sex’ in marriage, Canadian bishops warn | Holy Post | National Post

I have only one problem with this letter from the Bishops. They have again published something that is putatively addressed to the laity, (in this case, married couples) but they employ language that's beyond their understanding. It makes excellent use of theological language to express the nuance and finesse of this teaching but this renders it almost incomprehensible to anyone without training in theology. Until the Bishops learn how to present their message using the parlance of everyday life, comprehensible to the majority of Catholics, they're wasting their time and resources as few can take advantage of what they offer. They must come to understand that people are bushed when they get to that point in their day when they would be free to read such a document. They're too tired to slog their way through the dense theological language that the letter is written with. The Bishops have forgotten that the Catholics that they are addressing, lack the catechetical training

Bucking the social media trend

Bucking the social media trend - by Cristina Alarcon The pitfalls of using social media for business purposes. Something tells me that 2011 will see a plethora of business-boosting innovations, not the least of which entails marketing—“putting yourself out there” and increasing visibility. Although this can be accomplished in a myriad of ways, more and more organizations are turning to the virtual world of social networking. And while some of us dawdle with our “still-underconstruction-webpage”, others are up and running on Facebook and launching iPhone applications so customers can stay in touch. And why not?  After all, the virtual world seems a great way to reach out, and best of all, advertising is free—at least on Facebook. And yet everything comes with a price. If there is anything about Facebook that makes me cringe, it’s that “open-for-all” Wall. It’s really great when people post kindly wishes, but can you imagine complaints about your services being plastered all

Let's hope this never comes to pass!

Man found in underwear, handcuffed to pole in B.C. - CTV News

Just in case you thought you were having a bad day! Man found in underwear, handcuffed to pole in B.C. - CTV News

Intimidation prompts cancellation of weekly Mass on Spanish campus

Another tidbit of evidence of this rising tide of hostility to voices of faith. PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT claiming that this is the situation for all Christians. What I am saying is that there is a growth in the number of such incidents within Europe and now beginning in North America. Pope B16 recently said that Christians were the single most persecuted group in the world these days. Given the slaughter that has been occurring in the Middle East, Asia and Africa at the hands of Muslim extremists and the intimidation proffered believers in Europe, it would seem that he stands on solid ground with this assertion. JPII called the 20th century the century of martyrs. B16 is right to point out that the beginning of the 21st has not seen any improvement - if anything, the times are worse now than even a few years ago. "Father, forgive them" Should Christians be worried? Should we be surprised at this ominous trend? If we believe the Bible, the answer is clearly 'no&

Newfoundland archdiocese says $500,000 gone

These poor priests! First they suffer the indignities heaped upon them by the misdeeds of some of their brothers, now those funds that they've been able to save from civil settlements have been stolen, most likely by someone who was involved in the administration of their pension fund. I post this not to insult the other victims of these predators, nor to comment upon their compensation won from dioceses. I post it only because this story highlights that good, faithful and hard working priests have also suffered due to no fault of their own. These priests are not unique. They are (sadly) representative of the situation that the majority of Canadian priests confront today. Metro - Newfoundland archdiocese says $500,000 gone

The end of the Fantastic Four? - The Globe and Mail

Another icon of my youth falls to the wave of change that mark our times. So, what are they going to be called now? The Terrific Trio? The end of the Fantastic Four? - The Globe and Mail

Why inflation is on the radar screen - The Globe and Mail

Y ou cannot double the money supply (as the US and most western countries did during the recession) without there being serious consequences. I fear that the US will not aggressively address this scourge, seeing inflation as a means of reducing the real value of its debts to foreign lenders. If they follow that path, we will probably see a return to the inflationary cycles of the 1960-80's. I really hope that I am wrong, but I fear interest rates will eventually rise to try to wring inflation out of the system, as that has proven to be the only effective way of beating it in the past. Why inflation is on the radar screen - The Globe and Mail

Miraculous Legacy: JPII's biographer comments on the Pope's impending beatification

The Tablet - Miraculous legacy

Oath of Fidelity: An answer for STG

Small Town Guy, a regular contributor here asked me to post a copy of the oath that a Roman Catholic priest must swear prior to his ordination. There are many false or previous (pre-Vatican II) versions of this oath which include commitments to fight Protestantism, modernism, etc. that are used to slander the Church in the eyes of some evangelical circles. I thought it appropriate to take the opportunity of his request to post the actual text itself. As always, your comments are welcome. PROFESSION OF FAITH:   I, N., with firm faith believe and profess everything that is contained in the Symbol of faith: namely: I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our sal

Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Q & A: Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Columnist contrasts popularity of John Paul II with image of Benedict XVI

Pick Your Pope!   Pope B16 OR Pope JPII Thank God for both!!! Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Columnist contrasts popularity of John Paul II with image of Benedict XVI

Will the Earth Have Two Suns by 2012? - TIME NewsFeed

Will the Earth Have Two Suns by 2012? - TIME NewsFeed

Big pro-life/pro-choice projects planned for Friday January 21st

January 21st is the anniversary of Roe v Wade in the USA. It is a day in which NARAL is calling for actual and virtual demonstrations supporting abortion legislation. It's no surprise that the Pro-Life camp is calling for bloggers to post in response to such demonstrations or comments. I know that there are regular posters here who are ardent and articulate voices for either camp. I hope that all of you will indeed offer your voices on Facebook, Twitter, (I don't 'tweet') here and elsewhere on Friday. Whether you support a woman's right to choose or the right to life of the fetus, we all need to do are part to help engender some societal consideration of the life/choice issues.  I would rather lose a debate to a better argument than give free reign to facile solutions to these complicated questions. I hope, that irrespective of your convictions, you feel the same. Meet you here or out there on the 21st.

In 1997 Letter, Vatican Warned Irish Bishops on Abuse Policy -

Here's a typical NYT series of events. The first story yesterday screams that the Vatican told Irish Bishops not to report abusers to the Police... today we find out that there is nothing that actually says that in the letter. What's more, the author was confusing Church (canonical) law with civil law. That's what led to this story today (not nearly as prominent mind you but at least its there) in which they pull back on their more sensational and salacious allegations. It's enough to make one wish that the NYT would hire a religion editor to vet their news stories about the sex abuse scandals. In 1997 Letter, Vatican Warned Irish Bishops on Abuse Policy -

Catholic Priests - in persona Christi

Freedom Through Truth: Catholic Priests - in persona Christi

Bishop Fred Henry responds to the recent Saskatchewan Court decision regarding the religious rights of civil servants

Wrong Ruling on Same-sex Marriage by Bishop Fred Henry (Calgary) Regrettably both the Calgary Herald editorial and the Saskatchewan Appeal Court got it wrong re marriage commissioners. Religious belief is intertwined with our nation’s history, the spirit of the founding fathers and mothers of our nation, our national anthem, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms  which begins “Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.” Immediately, the Charter proceeds to list our fundamental freedoms. The first one is the freedom of conscience and religion. The second is freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression. Only after, not before,  asserting our fundamental freedoms, does the Charter begin to spell out rights - first democratic rights, then mobility rights, followed by legal rights, then equality rights , etc. Freedom of conscience and of religion. is a primary and inalienable right of the human person; wh

Islamic Genocide of Christians in Iraq: "religiously motivated people who engaged their victims in theological conversations about Islam" - Atlas Shrugs

This article is very difficult to read. Its message chills my soul. The photos break my heart. When bloggers such as me post that Islamists pose a grave danger to Christians today in the Middle East... as they will soon be a grave danger to Christians in the west, we are called extremists who exaggerate the situation. This news report and accompanying pictures of the recent slaughter of Christians in Iraq is the reality for Christians in the Middle East right now. And it is not just happening there. A simple google or Youtube search offers many examples of the flexing of 'Muslim muscle' in Europe, Africa and throughout Asia. I find the Paris videos showing Islamists occupying public streets, blocking traffic with mass public prayer events - with the Gendarmes impotently looking on - severely outnumbered by the crowd that confronted them most disquieting. Demographically speaking ( and as expressed in their respective immigration policies) Quebec follows what happens in Europe

9 Reasons Pope John Paul II mattered – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs

9 Reasons Pope John Paul II mattered – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs

Signs of the Arizona Tragedy: An illustration of the new communications world

This is a cross post to Michael Brandon's ' Freedom Through Truth ' Blog. Aside from the elegant way in which he virtually brings us into very Church where today's funeral mass for the youngest of the Tucson victims was held, what he wrote inspired me to stop ponder this.  Through the medium of the internet, I (and by extension anyone who reads this note and visits Michael's blog) am virtually and immediately connected to events thousands of kilometers away. In fact, were it not for this medium, neither Michael or I would ever have even heard of each other - meeting as we did through the blogosphere, this very medium If the medium is the message, then might my meeting with Micheal  be meaningful - as Marshall McLuhan might muse upon? Any 'McLuhanites' out there with enough machismo and mental measure to explain the meaning of Michael's morning? Freedom Through Truth: Signs of the Arizona Tragedy

Abby Johnson reveals details of pro-life turnaround and Catholic conversion :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Abby Johnson was an employee of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion service provider in the USA. Her insights and revelations as to the inner workings and politics of that organization would be a 'must read' for any pro-lifer in the US, and probably Canada too. Abby Johnson reveals details of pro-life turnaround and Catholic conversion :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Hubble photos of the stars, in light of discovery of new black hole

Just a little something in case you could use to lift your spirits today. The grandeur and beauty of these pictures help to focus one's thoughts on the glory of creation! Hubble photos of the stars, in light of discovery of new black hole

Subsidiarity and Human Dignity | Feature | Articles

Subsidiarity : " (in the Roman Catholic Church) a principle of social doctrine that all social bodies exist for the sake of the individual so that what individuals are able to do, society should not take over, and what small societies can do, larger societies should not take over ." ( A concept that seems to be getting lost as big government intrudes more and more into personal rights and freedoms. It reminds me of the lessons of the book ' Small is Beautiful ' ( E. F. Schumacher) in which he argues that true freedom and development must respect the initiatives and efforts of the smallest units in society. He uses a wonderful analogy to make his argument. He tells the story of three tailors who were all located on the same block. The first one put a sign on his business that read " Best Tailor in the State ". The second then put one up that read " Best Tailor in the Country ". The thi

Reaffirming Catholic Identity By George Weigel

Reaffirming Catholic Identity By George Weigel

Opting out of marrying same-sex couples unconstitutional: Sask. court | Posted | National Post

  This is exactly what the Canadian Bishops said would happen once we opened the door to same sex marriages. First, it will be those who are exclusively civil officers of marriage that will be forced to perform same-sex ceremonies. Soon the courts will be asked to force the Churches to do the same. We are headed to a European style of marriage ceremony. I predict that soon clergy will soon begin to renounce their civil license to marry and couples will then go through two ceremonies: one civil for the State and (if desired) a religious ceremony to solemnize the union. Maybe this is a good thing? What do you think? Opting out of marrying same-sex couples unconstitutional: Sask. court | Posted | National Post

Tiny broken hearts « Friar Rick's Blog

Add to this article the news that in excess of 40% of all pregnancies in New York end with an abortion, and it becomes clear just how rooted the 'culture of death' has become in our western society. These stories do not discourage believers, but it does add to our conviction that we must redouble our efforts to help people come to see that in the opinion of Christians (as supported by science and genetics - it's not often we can claim science on our side!) that life begins at conception and deserves the protection of human rights. I point out too that this type of story should bring feminists into the pro-life camp as once again we see gender selection working against the birth of females in favor of males. We need only look to the demographic horror that has unfolded in China where its 'one child only' policy has led to a dramatic unbalancing of the gender of their population with way too many males and not enough females. We DO NOT want to walk that path as it

Religion and Representation -

A NYT columnist (Charles M. Blow) writes about the generational difference between his personal faith convictions and those of his son. It is an instructive vignette that helps to shed light on a process that is only now really making its presence felt: that the Gen X'ers and after are shedding the personalist conception of a god concerned with their welfare. It makes for interesting reading. Religion and Representation -

Join the Webcast: Insider blows whistle on abortion industry’s horrible secrets

Although this will be an American broadcast, there are parallels here in Canada so this might be a worthy event to watch. Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Join the Webcast: Insider blows whistle on abortion industry’s horrible secrets
For all those who keep asking why theists don't believe in Thor... here's the trailer for a movie about this mythical super hero. Personally, I'm looking forward to the release of 'The Green Hornet'!

UK warns aviation industry of possible al Qaeda attack

Please God, let this not come to pass! Good St. Christopher, pray for us. Keep those souls who travel to their destinations safely. UK warns aviation industry of possible al Qaeda attack

Bickering only serves the adversaries of the Body of Christ... especially in these dangerous times

There continues to be an enlightening and educational exchange of ecclesiology between 'Small Town Guy', 'Paul' and 'Cliff', the latest in a recent cross-post (Scripture Sola). Cliff posted the following today: "There is one thing that is quite evident amongst all our disagreements, and that is we need to strengthen, clarify and unify the Christian position. The Church, both Protestant and Catholic is under siege by the enemy. We cannot let our emotions run rampant and abandon reason. We need to remember there are faithful, dedicated, sanctified believers in every tradition. Respect and understanding of each other must be priority. After all it is "love" that will prevail. 1 cor 13."    I was moved by his comment when taken in light of some recent posts and cross posts here about the slaughter of Christians in various corners of the Muslim world to offer the following. I would be most interested in your thoughts on the topic. Cliff: You

Father Raymond J. de Souza: Christians may need to start fighting back | Holy Post | National Post

I kind of agree and disagree with Fr. Raymond on this one. Yes, if we are speaking of the clash of cultures on an institutional level, then Christians must do everything within their power to preserve their rights and freedoms. BUT... and it's a BIG but, I still believe that anything that might lead to further escalation of the violence should be avoided. Christian militias are not the answer to Muslim extremists. (I know that Fr. Raymond didn't call for them, but it could be taken as an implied conclusion.) The Christian message of peaceful co-existence is. We must demand that countries where these crimes are taking place prosecute the offenders to the full extent of the law. The days when faith was a reason for killing others should be relegated to the distant past in every corner of the globe. Fr. Tim Father Raymond J. de Souza: Christians may need to start fighting back | Holy Post | National Post

Why Are Believers So Hostile Toward Atheists?

AlterNet: Why Are Believers So Hostile Toward Atheists?

Know thy enemy: Firing blanks at the wrong 'enemy'

What is an atheist? Most people would say that an atheist is one who believes there is no God... but they would be mistaken. A person who believes that God does not exist is an anti-theist, not an atheist. An atheist is properly described who does not believe that God exists. The difference is hard for believers to comprehend but it is an essential difference. An anti-theist has made a decision of 'faith'. He states definitively that he 'believes' that God does not exist. An atheist makes no such decision but simply asserts that he does not believe in the existence of God. Many atheists are anti-theists, but one need not necessarily be an anti-theist to be an atheist. Most of the articles that have been directed at 'atheists', which attribute to them a 'belief' that God does not exist ends up offending many who bristle at the allegation that they 'believe' anything about God. “Atheism is no more a 'belief' than not collecting stamps i