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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
- Tomorrow, the nation that claims that its citizens are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" will officially recognize the Source of their life and liberty with the 57th National Day of Prayer (NDP).
"America trusts in the abiding power of prayer and asks for the wisdom to discern God's will in times of joy and of trial," stated President George W. Bush in his official proclamation of the day. "As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we recognize our dependence on the Almighty, we thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, and we put our country's future in His hands."
The National Day of Prayer was established in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman and is normally observed on the first Thursday of May.
Bush encouraged citizens to use the day to thank God for the freedoms and blessings they have received and to ask "for God's continued guidance, comfort, and protection."
The annual NDP is meant to "reaffirm the role of prayer in our society," added Bush.
Jim Caviezel, the star of the blockbuster film The Passion of the Christ, told an interviewer that he had been challenged by a friend who was not pro-life to live up to his professed pro-life convictions and adopt a disabled child. The friend told Caviezel that if he did that, then he would change to the pro-life position. When Caviezel and his wife, Kerri, went to China to adopt not one, but eventually two orphans suffering from brain tumours, the friend reneged on the deal. Caviezel, however, said, "It didn't matter to me because the joy that we had from (Bo) - he's like our own." That is quite different than this 'professor' who advocates killing disabled babies.
The couple's first child, Bo, had been abandoned on a train, grew up in an orphanage until he was five and was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The Caviezels nursed Bo through his surgeries and he remains today at the centre of the family.
"We took the harder road," the actor said. "That is what faith is to me; it's action. It's the Samaritan. It's not the one who says he is; it's the one who does - and does without bringing attention to himself. I'm saying this because I want to encourage other people."
Handsome and a compelling actor, Jim Caviezel has taken leading roles in a number of mainstream feature films - The Thin Red Line and the Count of Monte Christo being the best known. But it is his role as the suffering Jesus in the Passion of the Christ that he has become best known for.
Caviezel spoke to an interviewer with the Christophers, a Christian leadership organisation that runs the Christopher Closeup radio, television and internet features. He spoke of the impact of his faith on his career and of the effect on others that his playing the part of Christ has had.
About the adoption of his children, Caviezel was frank about his feelings, saying the challenge "completely terrified" him at first. "Yes, you do feel fear, you do feel scared but you have no idea the blessings that you have coming to you if you just take a chance on faith."
On the evening of April 30, 1973, Richard Nixon addressed the nation live from the Oval Office in an attempt to manage the growing Watergate scandal. It was a difficult speech for Nixon: He announced the resignations of three administration officials, including Attorney General Richard Kleindienst — but Nixon nonetheless tried to sound optimistic. As he approached the end of his speech, Nixon noted that he had "exactly 1,361 days remaining" in his term and wanted them "to be the best days in America's history." "Tonight," he continued, "I ask for your prayers to help me in everything that I do throughout the days of my presidency." Then came the magic words: "God bless America and God bless each and every one of you." Especially if Hillary or Obama wins in 08! LOL
A U.S. Senator who claims that crisis pregnancy centers mislead women on abortion risks and alternatives has reintroduced a bill on Capitol Hill that would place additional regulations on the agencies. What hypocrisy...pro-aborts try to portray themselves as 'pro-choice'. I refuse to use that term because they aren't...they want as many abortions as possible and they don't want women to have an alternative.
Introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, the bill, called the "Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act" would establish rules to prohibit deceptive advertising.
Abortion centers across the country have long accused pregnancy centers of false advertising, claims that center operators vehemently deny.
One of the accusations includes listing the centers under the heading of abortion services in phone directories. So? It's an excellent way to let people know there are alternatives.
“This is the same old tired ranting from the abortion lobby," Tom Glessner, an attorney with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, told LifeNews.com.
He said abortion advocates "get hysterical about the effective work of pro-life agencies that are taking away business (and money) from them by providing alternatives to abortion." They must find the "culture of death" more profitable.
My sincerest apologies to Cardinal Egan.
In his public rebuke to Rudy Giuliani for improperly receiving Communion during Pope Benedict's visit to New York, Cardinal Edward Egan raised two subtle but very interesting points. First, the cardinal says that Giuliani should not receive the Eucharist because of his support for legal abortion; he does not base his argument on Giuliani's irregular marital status. Second, the cardinal reveals that he had reached a quiet agreement with Giuliani. The former New York mayor violated that agreement-- apparently for his own political purposes. I'm not sure how this helps Rudy politically, but I do know how discouraging it is to many faithful Catholics to see a public supporter of abortion, who also calls himself Catholic, receive communion. Not to mention that it is a sacrilege.
But before discussing those rather subtle aspects of Cardinal Egan's message, let's begin with the obvious. Cardinal Egan deserves praise and thanks for his public statement, in which he shows himself to be a leader, a teacher, and a pastor of souls.
By emphasizing the gravity of support for the legalized killing of the unborn, the cardinal takes a strong stand in defense of human life. Since Giuliani is not currently a candidate for political office, the cardinal's statement cannot be misinterpreted as a partisan gesture. Rather, he is using an opportunity to instruct the faithful.
At the same time, the cardinal is protecting the Church from further scandal. And as a pastor he is showing his concern for Giuliani, who is endangering his own soul by receiving the Eucharist improperly. The cardinal's message should not be lost on countless other Catholics who are receiving Communion while in a state of serious sin; in that respect, too, his is a valuable pastoral statement.
In all these respects, Cardinal Egan's statement stands in stark contrast to the official silence from Washington's Archbishop Donald Wuerl after several prominent pro-abortion Catholics-- most notably Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy-- received Communion during the papal Mass in that city. Although these prominent politicians had indicated beforehand that they planned to receive the Eucharist, the archbishop made no statement to discourage them or to indicate to the public that they would be receiving Communion in violation of Church law. A spokesman for the US bishops' conference issued only a lame statement: "People go to church and people go to Communion if they feel in their heart they are prepared to receive Communion.” Very lame indeed...People like Pelosi, Kerry and Kennedy know very well that they shouldn't receive, but they don't care about the sacrilege, or the scandal.
American Catholic has more information
This is the pope whose job was to implement the historic Council of Trent. If we think recent popes have had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after that historic council more than four centuries ago.
During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet. The family of God had been shaken by corruption, by the Reformation, by the constant threat of Turkish invasion and by the bloody bickering of the young nation-states. In 1545 a previous pope convened the Council of Trent in an attempt to deal with all these pressing problems. Off and on over 18 years, the Church Fathers discussed, condemned, affirmed and decided upon a course of action. The Council closed in 1563.
Pius V was elected in 1566 and was charged with the task of implementing the sweeping reforms called for by the Council. He ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests. He published a new missal, a new breviary, a new catechism and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes for the young. Pius zealously enforced legislation against abuses in the Church. He patiently served the sick and the poor by building hospitals, providing food for the hungry and giving money customarily used for the papal banquets to poor Roman converts. His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit led to the custom of the pope wearing a white cassock.
In striving to reform both Church and state, Pius encountered vehement opposition from England's Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor Maximilian II. Problems in France and in the Netherlands also hindered Pius's hopes for a Europe united against the Turks. Only at the last minute was he able to organize a fleet which won a decisive victory in the Gulf of Lepanto, off Greece, on October 7, 1571.
Pius's ceaseless papal quest for a renewal of the Church was grounded in his personal life as a Dominican friar. He spent long hours with his God in prayer, fasted rigorously, deprived himself of many customary papal luxuries and faithfully observed the Dominican Rule and its spirit.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Leading pro-life Democrat Nat Hentoff wrote a national editorial on Tuesday saying he had considered supporting Barack Obama for president. That was until he investigated Obama's record on abortion and found that the Illinois lawmaker essentially supported infanticide.
"I was once strongly inclined to vote for Barack Obama for president (assuming he won his party's nomination)," Hentoff said in the column.
"But then I learned Obama's voting record on abortion," he added.
Hentoff explained how he is a non-religious pro-life advocate who bases his views on the protections the Constitution affords human life. Having voted for pro-abortion candidates in the past based on other political issues, his decision to not back Obama is significant.
"I admire much of Obama's record," Hentoff continues, "but on abortion, Obama is an extremist." Actually, it's pretty close between him and Hillary.
Hentoff rattles off several problematic positions and actions -- Obama opposed the Supreme Court's upholding the ban on partial-birth abortions and opposes notifying parents when their teen daughters are considering an abortion.
As a state legislator in Illinois, Obama worked overtime to defeat the Born Alive Infant Protection Act -- a bill to make sure babies who survived botched abortions are given proper medical care and not left to die. It's one thing to pretend an unborn baby isn't a life, but allowing a newborn to die is an abomination.
"I have reported on several of those cases when, before the abortion was completed, an alive infant was suddenly in the room. It was disposed of as a horrified nurse who was not necessarily pro-life followed the doctors' orders to put the baby in a pail or otherwise get rid of the child," he explained.
The bill Obama opposed would have prevented that from happening.
The last straw for Hentoff in deciding against voting for Obama came when Obama called a teenager having a baby in an unplanned pregnancy a "punishment."
Catholics also shouldn't support Obama:
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
Now, animals (laws passed) and plants (under consideration) have more rights than unborn babies.
The nation that liberalized its abortion laws in 2002 is now giving unprecedented protection to animal and plant life.
In an effort to respect the needs of "social species," How about respecting the needs of" babies"? the Swiss parliament passed legislation last week that threatens its citizens with punishment for not providing various animals a fit environment in which they can interact and flourish. How about providing babies a fit environment in which they intract and flourish?
Enjoying the most extensive protection under the new laws, dogs proved to be the Swiss parliament's best friend. Prospective dog owners will now be required to complete a course in canine treatment that will include both theoretical and practical elements.
Due to concern over recent studies suggesting the pain experienced by fish, anglers are now subjected to a preparatory course on humane fishing.
The new laws will also dictate how farmers treat their livestock and even stipulates the proper treatment of rhinoceroses.
"The aim is not only to ensure treatment of animals appropriate to each species, but also to decrease the risk of attacks by dangerous dogs. Inappropriate treatment could lead to behavioural disorders," explained Hans Wyss, head of the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office.
In addition to tending to the animal kingdom, the Swiss government has also been busy wrestling with how best to treat the nation's plants.
The Swiss federal government's ethics committee on non-human biotechnology has been working to determine what kind of research respects "plant dignity" enough to be eligible for government funding.
"Plant dignity" considerations stem from the 2004 Gene Technology Law's requirement to take "the dignity of creatures" into account during any research. plant dignity? I'm gonna be sick...they're fine with killing babies, but they consider laws to protect plants?
Would you want this guy teaching your kids? Granted, they are college age, but that is also an umpressionable time of life.
Arizona State University is coming under fire for inviting controversial infanticide advocate Peter Singer to speak on campus. The Princeton professor will reportedly receive $20,000 for the speech, where the audience will not be allowed to question him on his anti-newborn views.
Singer promoted the notion as early as 1984 that parents of disabled newborns be allowed to kill the baby shortly after birth. In some cases, he says newborns with disabilities should absolutely be killed. I didn't think there was anything as demonic and revolting as abortion, but I stand corrected...
He expanded on the idea with the publication of his book Should the Baby Live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants a year later.
The Phoenix New Times indicates Arizona State University is flying Singer in for a speech next week, but instead of promoting euthanasia, Singer will talk about "conscientious food choices" in a lecture titled, "The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter."
Ironically, the talk will focus on five principles for making conscientious food choices, including the principles that "inflicting unnecessary suffering on animals is wrong" and that "preserving life and health" is more important than other concerns.
In a flier promoting the event, ASU makes no mention of Singer's pro-infanticide views, preferring to highlight how he is "actively involved in several humanitarian organizations worldwide."
Noted bioethicist Wesley Smith, a California-based author and attorney, says there's apparently good money in promoting the death and destruction of human beings.
"Pushing death pays," he said in response to the lecture. "Recall Jack Kevorkian was paid $50,000 to speak at the University of Florida."
"But Singer hasn't actually murdered anyone, so he gets a paltry $20,000," he said sarcastically. "Perhaps if he acted on his culture of death convictions he could give himself a raise."
Smith said the lecture would be less offensive if attendees could confront Singer about his controversial views. What do you expect? He can't possibly defend killing infants...why would he take questions?
The Vatican has dismissed a French newspaper report suggesting that Pope Benedict XVI is suffering from poor health. "Certainly the pope is a man of 81 years, but he is well and is carrying out all his tasks, as everyone can see on live TV," Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said April 26. Father Lombardi said the newspaper report was all the more surprising because it came immediately after the pope's successful six-day trip to the United States. "This was a demanding visit, long and tiring, in which he carried out all his commitments brilliantly without giving the slightest indication of uncertainty and without having to modify or reduce his program at all," Father Lombardi said. An article published April 25 in Le Figaro said the pope looked fatigued at times during his U.S. visit. It's no secret, the newspaper said, that the pope has a "fragile heart."
American Catholic has more information.
The value Catherine makes central in her short life and which sounds clearly and consistently through her experience is complete surrender to Christ. What is most impressive about her is that she learns to view her surrender to her Lord as a goal to be reached through time.
She was the 23rd child of Jacopo and Lapa Benincasa and grew up as an intelligent, cheerful and intensely religious person. Catherine disappointed her mother by cutting off her hair as a protest against being overly encouraged to improve her appearance in order to attract a husband. Her father ordered her to be left in peace and she was given a room of her own for prayer and meditation.
She entered the Dominican Third Order at 18 and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer and austerity. Gradually a group of followers gathered around her—men and women, priests and religious. An active public apostolate grew out of her contemplative life. Her letters, mostly for spiritual instruction and encouragement of her followers, began to take more and more note of public affairs. Opposition and slander resulted from her mixing fearlessly with the world and speaking with the candor and authority of one completely committed to Christ. She was cleared of all charges at the Dominican General Chapter of 1374.
Her public influence reached great heights because of her evident holiness, her membership in the Dominican Third Order, and the deep impression she made on the pope. She worked tirelessly for the crusade against the Turks and for peace between Florence and the pope
In 1378, the Great Schism began, splitting the allegiance of Christendom between two, then three, popes and putting even saints on opposing sides. Catherine spent the last two years of her life in Rome, in prayer and pleading on behalf of the cause of Urban VI and the unity of the Church. She offered herself as a victim for the Church in its agony. She died surrounded by her "children."
Catherine ranks high among the mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. In 1970 Paul VI named her and Teresa of Avila as doctors of the Church. In recent years, it has been suggested that she (among other possibilities) should be named patron of the Internet. Her spiritual testament is found in The Dialogue.
Though she lived her life in a faith experience and spirituality far different from that of our own time, Catherine of Siena stands as a companion with us on the Christian journey in her undivided effort to invite the Lord to take flesh in her own life. Events which might make us wince or chuckle or even yawn fill her biographies: a mystical experience at six, childhood betrothal to Christ, stories of harsh asceticism, her frequent ecstatic visions. Still, Catherine lived in an age which did not know the rapid change of twenty-first-century mobile America. The value of her life for us today lies in her recognition of holiness as a goal to be sought over the course of a lifetime.
Catherine's book Dialogue contains four treatises—her testament of faith to the spiritual world. She wrote, "No one should judge that he has greater perfection because he performs great penances and gives himself in excess to the staying of the body than he who does less, inasmuch as neither virtue nor merit consists therein; for otherwise he would be an evil case, who for some legitimate reason was unable to do actual penance. Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true discretion without which the soul is worth nothing."
Cardinal Egan rebukes pro-abortion Catholic politicians
“The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God. Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind. Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion. I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding.”
HT Tim Drake on Pope 2008
Posted by Leticia at 4/28/2008
Every evening, at 10:30, the Frati Cappuccini will be gathered to the grave of the blessed Padre Pio to recite the Rosary according to the intentions of all those people that ask to be remembered in the prayer. At that time, this, your application, will be deposed on the grave.
If you find possible, anywhere you find to yourself, spiritually unite to us with the Holy Rosary.
Please click the above link to complete the online form. The "send" button is at the lower left of the form
HT A Catholic Mom in Hawaii
Posted by Leticia
Monday, April 28, 2008
To hear the Associated Press put it in a recent analysis (the liberal media bias is apparent), John McCain has such an uphill battle against Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton that the news service makes it appear either pro-abortion Democrat will likely win. However, a closer look at the numbers shows McCain doing leading in botch matchups. Good...McCain will be a better President than either Hillary or Obama.
In our March 26 analysis, state polling data showed McCain with a 268-191 electoral vote lead with 79 electoral votes undecided.
Now, McCain leads, but by a smaller 259-211 margin with 68 electoral votes undecided.
As in the previous analysis, McCain captures most of the traditionally Republican southern, Midwestern and western states.
However, Obama has built a new lead in Colorado he's cut into McCain's lead in North Carolina and Ohio, two states that have recently been in play in the Democratic primary and have seen Obama making numerous appearances. The numbers will likely shift back to McCain in the coming months.
In fact, merely putting North Carolina into the McCain column, without giving McCain wins in the tossup states of Michigan, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, gives McCain enough electoral college votes to capture the presidency.
Obama has also picked up support in Michigan, where a three point McCain lead has turned into a two point deficit; he's increased his Minnesota lead to double digits from the low single digits; and he's widened his lead in Washington.
On the other hand, McCain now holds a five percent lead in Nevada after trailing four percent in the previous analysis, he now leads by three percent in New Hampshire after trailing Obama by two last time, and he's built a six point lead in New Mexico and an eight percent lead in Virginia.
When matched against Clinton, McCain had a strong 281-177 advantage last time giving him enough electoral votes to win the presidency, but he now holds a narrow 248-228 lead.
The map looks similar to the Obama comparison but Clinton, who made a comeback in Pennsylvania to defeat Obama there recently, has seen her numbers move up across the country.
Whereas McCain held leads in battleground states like Florida and Ohio before, they are now tossups. The same is true for Missouri, Iowa, Oregon and Wisconsin.
In the aftermath of the U.S. visit by Pope Benedict XVI, traditional Catholics are asking a troublesome question: Did pro-choice politicians receiving Communion at the papal Masses indicate the pope had softened on the abortion question? The answer is no. On the contrary, it reflected disobedience to Benedict by the archbishops of New York and Washington.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. John Kerry, Christopher Dodd and Edward M. Kennedy received Communion at Nationals Park in Washington, as did former mayor Rudolph Giuliani at Yankee Stadium in New York. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, invited them. Given choice seats, they took Communion as a matter of course.
Vatican sources say the pope has not retreated from his long-held position that pro-choice politicians should be deprived of Communion, but the decisions in Washington and New York were not his. The effect was to dull the pope's messages of faith, obligation and compassion. In his Yankee Stadium homily, he talked of "authority" and "obedience" -- acknowledging that "these are not easy words to speak nowadays." They surely are not for four former presidential candidates and two princes of the church, representing Catholics who defy their faith's doctrine on abortion.
Benedict's position was unequivocal when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Asked in 2004 whether Kerry, as the Democratic presidential nominee, should be allowed to take Communion, he replied, "The minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it." So did his opinion change?...the answer is no. So why did the Pope allow them to receive? Here is Novak's assessment:
Benedict did not reiterate that position in Washington and New York, because a pope traveling abroad is influenced by the stance of local church authorities. American bishops are divided. Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis leads those who believe pro-choice politicians cannot receive Communion. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Wuerl's predecessor as archbishop of Washington, took the opposite position. Blessed with charm and political finesse, McCarrick was not about to clash with his archdiocese's most famous parishioners.
Wuerl is considered less political than McCarrick, but he is hardly less averse to colliding with powerful laymen. He could have simply not invited the pro-choice politicians to a Mass where there was no room for the vast majority of Catholics who wanted to attend. The five pro-choice Catholics took Communion from the hand of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the pope's representative to the United States as apostolic delegate.
In New York, Giuliani receiving Communion was even more remarkable. Unlike Pelosi and Kennedy, who attend Mass regularly, the former mayor says he goes to church only "occasionally," usually for holidays or funerals. Abortion aside, Giuliani's third marriage would make him ineligible for Communion because his second marriage was not annulled by the church. But Cardinal Egan is no more apt than Cardinal McCarrick was to offend the powerful, and Giuliani was invited to the Mass.
Too bad politics plays such a big role in this. It would have given a HUGE boost to many Catholics if he had denied them communion.
Too bad some of our Bishops and Cardinals are more afraid of 'offending' someone than they are concerned with saving souls.
He wore steel rimmed glasses and had hair to the middle of his back. The fringe on his buck-skinned jacket bounced as he walked.
At least that was the way I was accustomed to seeing Mike as he bopped around town. It was just a few years after Woodstock, and we were all taken with hippie culture. It seemed so free, so new, so exciting.
But that day at the entrance of the mall, I scarcely recognized him. His hair was cut and his clothing conventional. He was passing out tracts and spoke to me of the Holy Spirit. I scratched my head and vaguely remembered some talk about the Holy Spirit in confirmation class. But I had to admit that I really did not know much about this third person of the Blessed Trinity.
This is quite common among Christians. We can get a glimpse of the tenderness and strength of God the Father thanks to Michelangelo’s magnificent Sistine ceiling. And baby Jesus in the manger, the Savior hanging on the Cross — these are images we can easily visualize. But Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost? Somehow, we can’t feel quite the same way about a dove as we do about a child on its mother’s lap. And then what does this “Spirit” do? The Father creates, the Son saves, but the Spirit?
Jesus calls Him the “Paraclete” as He prepares the disciples for His departure (John 14:15-21). Frankly, this does not help us much — unless, of course, we get a bit of explanation. This word means “Advocate.” It is the word for lawyer or attorney in Spanish and other languages. There may be lots of jokes about lawyers, but when you are in trouble with the law, having a good lawyer is no laughing matter. That’s the role of the Holy Spirit — He is our defense attorney.
American Catholic has more information.
Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel.
As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania where he was entrusted with a vicariate. The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island in the New Hebrides, promising to return in six months. The interval lasted five years.
Meanwhile he struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit and endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death, his body cut to pieces.
Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
"Judge not, and you will not be judged"
"Don't worry about the speck in your neighbor's eye...worry about the plank in your own."
"Let the one who is without sin throw the first stone."
Secondly, Although people can tend to be judgemental, It is Miley who "set the bar" for herself. When you present yourself as a Christian, people expect more from you. When someone is a Christian and decides to follow Christ, they should also follow his commandments. I think this would be covered under
"thou shall not commit adultery."
Here's how Jesus explained it in Matthew 5:28
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Thirdly, it is not judgemental when you are discriminating in avoiding anything/anyone that could present a temptation or lead to sin, if only sinful thoughts.
In short, I think I will follow a little advice my mother gave me: "avoid people, places or things that could lead to sin."
cross-posted on Catholic Media Review
Your comments welcome!
Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate: Diocese of Toledo Makes Novena Booklet Available: "Novena to the Holy Spirit - Pentecost in Our Time"
In a Sunday interview, pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama defended his opposition to a ban on partial-birth abortions. Though he wasn't in Congress at the time it voted on the ban, he said he would have supported it had it contained a health exception. Bill Clinton said the same thing when he was in office and Congress sent him a partial birth abortion ban. The 'health exception' is just a loophole to provide a way around the ban.
However, doctors and medical groups readily acknowledge that the three-day-long abortion procedure -- involving the killing of an unborn baby halfway through the birthing process - never helps women medically. They've said that several times. But it sure does hurt women.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Obama said, "On an issue like partial birth abortion, I strongly believe that the state can properly restrict late-term abortions. I have said so repeatedly. All I've said is we should have a provision to protect the health of the mother, and many of the bills that came before me didn't have that."
In addition to providing no medical benefit for women, pro-life groups oppose a health exception because they typically allow virtually all abortions to remain legal.
In this case, the health exception, which the Supreme Court ruled was not required in the federal partial-birth abortion ban, would have gutted the legislation.
Obama also claimed pro-life advocates only brought the partial-birth abortion ban forward only to "polarize" the abortion debate.
I sometimes write for other websites, like MecatorNet and Catholic Exchange, where I have just published an article on the Holy Father's visit with youth at Dunwoodie, NY.
I have been married to Francisco for 16 years, and am homeschooling three lovely daughters, Gabriela, 14, Isabella 10, and Christina, age 6 who has Down syndrome. It was she who inspired my writing, to spread the joy which these special children bring to a family. I look forward to posting here and working with Christine, a wonderful Catholic woman and writer.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Final approval of the miracle would clear the way for the beatification of the Cardinal Newman, a towering figure in English Catholicism in the 19th century.
Peter Jennings, press secretary to the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory for the cause of Cardinal Newman, announced on April 24 that the postulator for the cause, Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, had authorized him to reveal that medical consultants in Rome had certified that the cure of Jack Sullivan, a Catholic deacon from Massachusetts, could not be attributed to natural causes.
The apparently miraculous healing of Sullivan from a debilitating spinal ailment--which took place on the feast of the Assumption, August 15, 2001-- will now be studied by theologians for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. If the theologians give their approval, the case will go to the full Congregation for approval.
Comedian Damon Wayans's controversial new YouTube video featuring a camp superhero called "Abortion Man" violently "rescuing" a woman from pregnancy has focused public attention upon male mistreatment of women and the personhood of the unborn child.
Wayans's video depicts "Abortion Man" "aiding" a women's father by punching his impregnated wife's abdomen until the injured child pops out of her womb into the air and falls several feet away.
While some think Wayans's video is crude and offensive, others suspect it could be a satiric attack on abortion. Doesn't matter to me...there is nothing humorous or satiric about abortion.
"Abortion Man is an indictment against drive-by fathers. It hyperbolizes coerced abortions," wrote pro-life author Jill Stanek after receiving reader responses to her previous WorldNetDaily.com coverage of the video.
"I mean honestly, imagine someone who favors abortion watching that sketch. It makes THEM look like vermin. It makes me, a pro-lifer, feel good because I would never do that in the name of 'choice' or 'freedom,' responded one reader to Stanek's initial column.
No matter what Wayans's intent in making the video was, the "Abortion Man" clip has raised on-going moral and legal questions about assault against pregnant women.
Recent highly publicized instances of attacks against mothers, such as the Laci Peterson case, sparked federal and state legislation seeking to acknowledge that two victims are involved in such assaults. Yes there are...the baby is a life, but the pro-aborts try to ignore that fact.
I will not post the YouTube here. If you want to see it, it is here.
American Catholic has more information.
Central America can claim its first saint with the July 30 canonization of Pedro de Betancur by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City. Known as the "St. Francis of the Americas," Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala.
Calling the new saint an “outstanding example” of Christian mercy, the Holy Father noted that St. Pedro practiced mercy “heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.” Speaking to the estimated 500,000 Guatemalans in attendance, the Holy Father spoke of the social ills that plague the country today and of the need for change.
“Let us think of the children and young people who are homeless or deprived of an education; of abandoned women with their many needs; of the hordes of social outcasts who live in the cities; of the victims of organized crime, of prostitution or of drugs; of the sick who are neglected and the elderly who live in loneliness,” he said in his homily during the three-hour liturgy.
Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro was a shepherd until age 24, when he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he got to Guatemala City the following year. When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line which the Franciscans had established.
Soon, Pedro enrolled in the local Jesuit college in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material; he withdrew from school. In 1655 he joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he opened a hospital for the convalescent poor; a shelter for the homeless and a school for the poor soon followed. Not wanting to neglect the rich of Guatemala City, Pedro began walking through their part of town ringing a bell and inviting them to repent.
Other men came to share in Pedro's work. Soon they became the Bethlehemite Congregation, which went on to earn official papal approval after Pedro's death.
He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve posadas procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries.Pedro was beatified in 1980.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Yesterday, Rep. Chris Smith introduced the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act, H.R. 5910, to ban the creation of part-human, part-animal hybrid beings. The legislation is timely as researchers are already tinkering with human-animal hybrid technologies. British scientists are actively perfecting the hybrid technique How do you 'perfect' an abomination? On April 1, 2008 the BBC reported that, "Scientists at Newcastle University have created part-human, part-animal hybrid embryos for the first time in the UK."
The Act places a ban on the creation, transfer, or transportation of a human-animal hybrid. Human-animal hybrids are defined as:
1) A human embryo into which animal cells are introduced, making its humanity uncertain.
2a) An embryo created by fertilizing a human egg with non-human sperm.
2b) An embryo created by fertilizing a non-human egg with human sperm.
3a) An embryo created by introducing a non-human nucleus into a human egg.
3b) An embryo created by introducing a human nucleus into a non-human egg.
4) An embryo containing mixed sets of chromosomes from both a human and animal.
5) An animal with human reproductive organs.
6) An animal with a whole or predominantly human brain.
The matter is not only of interest to pro-life advocates. Environmental activists and those concerned for public health also have reasons to seek a ban on such experimentation.
From a public health standpoint, a backgrounder on the legislation points out that "The world has recently experienced an increase in infections emerging from animal populations that threaten human health. Human-animal hybrids present an optimal opportunity for genetic transfer that could increase the risk for transmission of both human and animal diseases, such as Bird Flu and SARS." As if the human/hybrid weren't bad enough...
Environmental advocates have also pointed out that genetically modified hybrids could have a devastating effect on the natural environments of native animal populations. The introduction of human genetics could lead to hybrids with superior abilities who could "out-compete" the native populations, causing unforeseen problems to the ecosystem.
A leading pro-life U.S. senator has responded to comments pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made during the most recent presidential debate. Obama compared Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to a terrorist his knows in an attempt to defend his relationship.
During last week's presidential debate between Obama and Hillary Clinton, Obama was asked a question about his friendship with William Ayers, a member of a group responsible for bombing government buildings.
"He's never apologized for that," moderator George Stephanopolis told Obama.
Obama explained that his friendship with Ayers shouldn't be construed as implying he endorsed the terrorist-like tactics Ayers used to drive home his political point.
Then, the Illinois senator brought up a pro-life colleague to apparently make the point that he's friends with other people who take "extreme" positions or would use terrorist tactics.
"The fact is, is that I'm also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who during his campaign once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions," Obama said.
"Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn's statements? Because I certainly don't agree with those either," he added.
On Friday, Coburn told The Hill, a Congressional newspaper, that he thinks Obama made a mistake in comparing his pro-life views with a terrorist and that it was "absolutely not" a fair comparison. No it's not..Coburn respects life, terrorists don't.
Coburn said he still considers Obama “one of my friends, and we've talked.”
“Everybody makes gaffes. Period," he added.
Yesterday evening in the Vatican, the Pope attended a concert marking the third anniversary of his election to the Pontificate, offered in his honour by Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Italian Republic,.
The Giuseppe Verdi symphony orchestra and choir of Milan conducted, respectively, by Oleg Caetani and Erina Gambarini, played pieces by Luciano Berio, Johannes Brahms and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The Pope followed the concert from the central passage of the Paul VI Hall where he was seated next to President Napolitano, and his elder brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger.
At the end of the concert, Benedict XVI thanked the Italian president for the concert in which, he said, "I discern a further sign of the great affection the Italian people nurture for the Pope".
Having extended his gratitude to the choir and the orchestra, the Holy Father encouraged the Giuseppe Verdi Foundation "to continue the prestigious artistic and cultural journey they have begun, which, I am aware, is also enhanced by their commitment to use music to mitigate situations of human difficulty, such as in hospitals and prisons".
The Pope then went on to refer to "the spiritual value of the art of music which, in a special way, is called to infuse hope into the human soul, marked and sometimes injured by its earthly condition. There is a profound and mysterious relationship between music and hope, between song and eternal life", he said. "It is no coincidence that Christian tradition shows the spirits of the blessed as they sing in chorus, captivated and enraptured by the beauty of God. But true art, like prayer, is not foreign to everyday reality, rather it calls us to 'irrigate' that reality, to make it sprout that it may bring forth fruits of goodness and peace.
Rep. Dale E. Kildee (D-Mich.), a Catholic congressman who endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) for president, told Cybercast News Service Wednesday that despite Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) failure to capture Catholic voters in the Pennsylvania primary, the majority of Catholics will vote for the Democratic candidate in the general election, whether it's Obama or Clinton.
According to the exit poll of the Pennsylvania primary, church-going Democrats picked Clinton over Obama on Tuesday, with Catholic voters especially lining up behind Clinton.
Among all Democratic primary voters who said they attend church weekly, Clinton beat Obama 61 percent to 39 percent. Among Catholics who attend church weekly, she beat him 74 percent to 26 percent.
This represents a dramatic shift from the Feb. 19 Democratic primary in Wisconsin, where Obama defeated Clinton 58 percent to 41 percent. In that state, Obama defeated Clinton 55 percent to 44 percent among Democratic voters who attend church weekly.
Clinton did win in Wisconsin among Catholic voters who attend church weekly, but by a much smaller margin (53 percent) than the 74 percent she took in Pennsylvania.
The shift is significant because Catholic Democrats in northern states have been a key swing vote in recent presidential elections.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:
Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass in the church that Padre Pio made famous. The body of the Capuchin friar, who died in 1968, was then placed on display in a glass coffin.
Padre Pio gained worldwide fame during his lifetime as a confessor and a stigmatist. Thousands of pilgrims flocked to San Giovanni Rotondo to meet him and ask favors, recognizing his reputation as a miracle worker. He remains one of the most popular saints of the 20th century; about 300,000 people attended his canonization in June 2002.
His body was exhumed on March 3, and discovered to be in excellent condition. You can see from the picture that he appears to be nearly incorrupt. Embalmers have since prepared the remains for public viewing. Already 750,000 people have made reservations to venerate St. Pio's remains through the remainder of this year.
American Catholic has more information.
Most of what we know about Mark comes directly from the New Testament. He is usually identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12. (When Peter escaped from prison, he went to the home of Mark's mother.)
Paul and Barnabas took him along on the first missionary journey, but for some reason Mark returned alone to Jerusalem. It is evident, from Paul's refusal to let Mark accompany him on the second journey despite Barnabas's insistence, that Mark had displeased Paul. Later, Paul asks Mark to visit him in prison so we may assume the trouble did not last long.
The oldest and the shortest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus' rejection by humanity while being God's triumphant envoy. Probably written for Gentile converts in Rome—after the death of Peter and Paul sometime between A.D. 60 and 70—Mark's Gospel is the gradual manifestation of a "scandal": a crucified Messiah.
Evidently a friend of Mark (Peter called him "my son"), Peter is only one of the Gospel sources, others being the Church in Jerusalem (Jewish roots) and the Church at Antioch (largely Gentile).
Like one other Gospel writer, Luke, Mark was not one of the 12 apostles. We cannot be certain whether he knew Jesus personally. Some scholars feel that the evangelist is speaking of himself when describing the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane: "Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked" (Mark 14:51-52).
Others hold Mark to be the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Venice, famous for the Piazza San Marco, claims Mark as its patron saint; the large basilica there is believed to contain his remains.
A winged lion is Mark's symbol. The lion derives from Mark's description of John the Baptist as a "voice of one crying out in the desert" (Mark 1:3), which artists compared to a roaring lion. The wings come from the application of Ezekiel's vision of four winged creatures (Ezekiel, chapter one) to the evangelists.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
After refusing to introduce two abortion restricting bills to a special session on a natural gas pipeline on Wednesday because of fears that the bills would not likely succeed, Governor Sarah Palin expressed her willingness to bring the legislation to separate sessions.
House Bill 301 would forbid partial birth abortions, while House Bill 364 would require parental consent for women under 17 seeking abortion.
Senate President Lyda Green called on Palin to incorporate the two bills into the pipeline special session after the bills failed to pass the House.
Palin argued that Green should have used her position to support the two bills before they died at the end of the regular legislative session on April 13.
"Senate President Green did not exhaust every possible option during the regular session to move the legislation," said Palin.
"As you are aware, I fully support these bills."
"Alaskans know I am pro-life and have never wavered in my belief in the sanctity of every human life. These issues are so important they shouldn't be diluted with oil and gas deliberations," added Palin.
My blog partner Leticia also blogged about Palin on her blog
McCain picks Conservative Pro-Lifer Sarah Palin !!
Warning: graphic descriptions
The act of aborting an individual is usually hidden in some Planned Parenthood office. To support their lies. A few doctors have physically seen the procedure done. A few others have seen the killings after the whole baby has left the uterus. Some truly grisly sights have been discovered in waste dumpsters. Not many of us really know exactly what goes on behind those closed doors. We therefore need to prepare.
Father Frank Pavone (Priests for Life) has posted two videos to YouTube and that explains exactly what happens during an abortion. It’s very convenient that the mother never sees the actual abortion. The abortionist many times has an ultrasound picture of the procedure and watches it take place, but never allows the mother to see it.That might reveal the 'tissue mass' lie and that it is a human life. Most times, the abortionist has to ‘feel’ his way around the uterus without sight as to where the baby is.
Most abortions fall into either of two categories: a Suction Curetage usually done during the 1st semester, and a D&E (Dilation and Extraction), during the 2nd semester. With the Suction Curetage, a cannula (hollow tube) is used by the abortionist who runs a vacuum pump attached to it. The baby is continually prodded until it breaks into small enough pieces to be sucked through the cannula.
After the abortionist believes he has sucked all the parts of the baby out of the uterus, a sharp curette is pushed into the uterus to scrape away any parts of the procedure that are left. If the baby is small enough, she/he goes though the tube intact.
For the D&E, the “E” stands for extraction. And because the baby is much larger, it has to be extracted in parts. Forceps are used to grab anything it can grip--probably any extremities of the child first. Usually the abortionist cannot see what he’s grabbing. Without direct sight, the extremities are physically separated (ripped) from the body.
Next is the head, which is the largest part. To be able to fit through the mother, the head is usually perforated and its contents emptied. It is usually crushed if big enough. Typically it is brought out in fragments. How do you perforate something you can’t directly see?
There are “Yellow Page” ads for abortions of babies 26 and 28 weeks old. D&E abortions have been performed on babies 32 weeks and older. Per Father Pavone, “If we’re going to talk about abortion in this country, let’s make sure we know what we’re talking about…”.
Florida lawmakers are now debating whether to adopt a specialty license plate with the inscription “I Believe”; the design includes a Christian cross and a stained-glass window. The ACLU of Florida is opposed to the license plate. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Edward Bullard.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue took on the ACLU:
“This is not a church and state issue—it is a choice issue. No one can obtain an ‘I Believe’ license plate without purchasing it for an additional fee, and no one must buy it. Florida already allows many specialty license plates expressing all kinds of sentiments and beliefs, so to deny Christians the right to adopt a plate which expresses their convictions is to sanction discrimination. Moreover, the ACLU, as usual, is being hypocritical.
“In the 1980s and 1990s, the ACLU chapters in Louisiana and Pennsylvania opposed laws which limited the size of vulgarities on bumper stickers. For example, words that described bodily functions, women’s body parts and sex acts were only allowed if the lettering was in small print; the ACLU objected to this condition. As I pointed out in my book, Twilight of Liberty: The Legacy of the ACLU, the head of the Pittsburgh chapter at the time offered the following advice to motorists caught behind a car with a vulgar bumper sticker: ‘You can look at traffic, the trees, the cars around you.’ So the ACLU will defend a vulgar license plate, but fight a Christian one....perfect example of what they do to this country.
“The ACLU should take some of its own medicine: Those motorists who are offended by the Christian cross and an ‘I Believe’ specialty license plate should stare at the trees. As for Rep. Kelly Skidmore, a Catholic who opposes the license plate because ‘I don’t want to see the Star of David next. I don’t want to see a Torah next,’ she needs to get over it. Censorship of the public expression of religion is un-American.” Yep...the 1st amendment guarantees us freedom of religion.
"Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven has written a book that contradicts biblical teaching by suggesting that Jesus might have been fathered by a Roman soldier who raped Mary. What trash.
An Amsterdam publishing house said Wednesday it will publish the Dutch filmmaker's biography of Jesus, "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait," in September.
Verhoeven is best known as the director of blockbuster films including "Basic Instinct" and "RoboCop," but he is also a member of "Jesus Seminar," a group of scholars and authors that seeks to establish historical facts about Jesus. Facts? Is that what you call this garbage?
Marianna Sterk of the publishing house J.M. Meulenhoff said the book includes several ideas that run contrary to Christian faith, including the suggestion that Jesus could be the son of a Roman soldier who raped Mary during a Jewish uprising against Roman rule in 4 B.C.
The book also claims that Judas Iscariot was not responsible for Jesus' betrayal, she said. Nothing like trying to re-write history, huh?
The movie director's claims were greeted with some skepticism among those who have dedicated their careers to studying the life of Jesus. One issue is that there is very little information about the life of Jesus outside of the Gospels. The Gospels as understood by Christians for nearly 2,000 years do not support Verhoeven's ideas.
William Portier, a professor of religious studies at the University of Dayton, in Ohio, said the Jesus Seminar is known for making provocative claims, but "they are real scholars — you have to deal with them." No I don't...I know lies when I see them.
However, he said Verhoeven's ideas sounded "pretty out there." Yeah..they're right out there in the gutter.
Hey Paul...stick to your other fiction...and stop trying to re-write our faith.
American Catholic has more information.
If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life.
Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a Franciscan friar of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor.
As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. Once, during a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers.
He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions.
He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A woman whose abortion experience adversely impacted her family has started a new web site to minister to family members who need hope and healing following an abortion. While post-abortions groups focus mostly on the women having abortions, and sometimes the fathers, family members are often forgotten.
Fredenburg became pregnant at 18 and an abortion she now regrets. Most women do regret them.
"I thought abortion would erase the pregnancy," she told LifeNews.com. "I thought I could move on with my life. I was wrong."
Fredenburg was able to deal with her abortion grief with the help of a professional counselor, family and friends.
During the grieving process, Fredenburg discovered her family had been negatively impacted be her abortion decision.
Drawing from this experience, Fredenburg is breaking new ground with the launch of the Abortion Changes You outreach that connects those touched by abortion with support resources.
AbortionChangesYou.com is more than a Web site for people who have experienced abortion, she tells LifeNews.com. It's a safe online environment where visitors can participate in interactive content, explore the experiences of others and type in a ZIP code to connect with local resources.
"Just as each person's story is unique, every person moves through the process of healing differently," Fredenburg said of women and family members who experience abortion.
"The Web site allows visitors to privately explore the voices of men, women, grandparents, other family members and friends who have been touched by abortion," she said.
She said the web site also offers ways to begin the healing process for those stuck in confusion and grief.
The web site and program behind it help women and family members build a support system, explore emotions, identify unhealthy behaviors, and space to anonymously share stories, artwork, poetry, and songs.
Fredenburg says the program is non-political and non-religious so people of all backgrounds can be helped. True...you don't have to be religious to care about life.
"It is my hope that this Web site will assist men and women as they seek to make sense of their abortion or the abortion of someone close to them," Fredenburg says.
Three singing priests are set to become unlikely chart stars after signing a £1 million record deal with the label behind Britney Spears and Bruce Springsteen.
Fathers Eugene O'Hagan, Martin O'Hagan and David Delargy make a somewhat unusual boyband, but executives at record giant Sony BMG have every faith in their talents.
They are set to release a debut album under the name The Priests which will include parts of the Latin Mass, the traditional Catholic hymns, Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus, and a selection of opera classics.
The trio - dubbed 'Father Ted meets Westlife' - travelled from their parishes in the diocese of Down and Connor, Northern Ireland, today to sign their record contract on the steps of Westminster Cathedral in London.
Uniquely, it contains a clause specifying that they will not be required to undertake any promotional duties which interfere with their day jobs, or participate in any activity which conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Nick Raphael, the Sony BMG executive who signed them, explained: "They are not giving up their proper jobs and we will have to work to their schedules. Obviously they won't be available for TV appearances on Sunday mornings."
The Priests' album is due for release in November - in time for the Christmas market - and proceeds will be put towards local charities.
Rescuers scoured the waters off Brazil's southern Atlantic Coast yesterday looking for a Roman Catholic priest who disappeared after floating into the sky strapped to hundreds of helium-filled party balloons.
Rev. Adelir Antonio di Carli lifted off from the port city of Paranagua Sunday wearing a helmet, aluminum thermal flight suit, waterproof coveralls and parachute in a bid to break a record for the longest time in flight with party balloons.
He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials. A cluster of balloons was found last night, floating in the sea off Brazil's Santa Catarina state.
"Given his physical condition and the equipment he was carrying, I would say there is an 80 per cent chance he is still alive," said Johnny Coelho, of the Penha Fire Department.
The article by Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, originally printed in L'Osservatore Romano, examines the historical record of Catholic practice, concluding that the early Church quickly developed the practice in which lay people Communion on the tongue while kneeling. Only ordained ministers were allowed to touch the consecrated Host with their hands.
By the 6th century, Bishop Schneider writes, the Church had formed a consensus that Communion should be received on the tongue, of reverence for the Eucharistic Lord. Pope Gregory the Great chastised priests who resisted that consensus, and it was become an "almost universal practice" in the early Church, the author says.
Kneeling to receive Communion was also a pattern established early in Church history, Bishop Schneider reports. That posture, too, was seen as a means of expressing reverence for Jesus in the Eucharist, and "the most typical gesture of adoration is the biblical one of kneeling."
By administering Communion on the tongue, priests were able to foster greater devotion to the Eucharist; Bishop Schneider remarks that that form is "an impressive sign of the profession of faith the in the Real Presence."
He adds the argument that this form of distributing Communion can prevent accidents. The author cites St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who exhorted priests to use extra caution "so that no even a crumb of the Lord's Body could fall to the ground."
I went back to receiving on the tongue a couple of years ago. I feel it is only right to show reverance to the Body of Christ. I recently volunteered to help set up for and assist at Mass at a local nursing home once a month. Because we have a fairly small room, and the room is filled with walkers and wheelchairs, I receive in the hand there because that is more practical there. I have to admit it feels odd to me after receiving on the tongue every week.