Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’

by Father Frederick William Faber

If we hated sin as we ought to hate it, purely, keenly, manfully, we should do more penance, we should inflict more self-punishment, we should sorrow for our sins more abidingly.

Then, again, the crowning disloyalty to God is heresy. It is the sin of sins, the most loathsome of things which God looks down upon in this malignant world. Yet how little do we understand of its excessive hatefulness! It is the polluting of God’s truth, which is the worst of all impurities.

Yet how light we make of it! We look at it, and are calm. We touch it and do not shudder. We mix with it, and have no fear. We see it touch holy things, and we have no sense of sacrilege. We breathe its odor, and show no signs of detestation or disgust.

Some of us affect its friendship; and some even extenuate its guilt. We do not love God enough to be angry for His glory. We do not love men enough to be charitably truthful for their souls.

Having lost the touch, the taste, the sight, and all the senses of heavenly-mindedness, we can dwell amidst this odious plague, in imperturbable tranquillity, reconciled to its foulness, not without some boastful professions of liberal admiration, perhaps even with a solicitous show of tolerant sympathies.

Why are we so far below the old saints, and even the modern apostles of these latter times, in the abundance of our conversations? Because we have not the antique sternness? We want the old Church-spirit, the old ecclesiastical genius. Our charity is untruthful, because it is not severe; and it is unpersuasive, because it is untruthful.
We lack devotion to truth as truth, as God’s truth. Our zeal for souls is puny, because we have no zeal for God’s honor. We act as if God were complimented by conversions, instead of trembling souls rescued by a stretch of mercy.

We tell men half the truth, the half that best suits our own pusillanimity and their conceit; and then we wonder that so few are converted, and that of those few so many apostatize.
We are so weak as to be surprised that our half- truth has not succeeded so well as God’s whole truth.

Where there is no hatred of heresy, there is no holiness.

A man, who might be an apostle, becomes a fester in the Church for the want of this righteous abomination. We need St. Michael to put new hearts into us in these days of universal heresy.

But devotion to the Precious Blood, with its hymning of the Church and its blazoning of the Sacraments will give us Michael’s heart and the craft to use Michael’s sword. Who ever drew his sword with nobler haste, or used his victory more tenderly, than that brave archangel, whose war-cry was All for God?

The Precious Blood is His Blood, who is especially Uncreated Truth. It is His Blood who came with His truth to redeem souls.

Hence love of souls is another grace, which comes from the spirit of devotion to the Precious Blood. I wish “the love of souls” were words that were not so shortly said. They mean so much that we should linger over them, in order to imbibe their sweetness, perhaps also their medicinal bitterness as well.

A volume would hardly say all that wants saying upon this matter. In all ages of the Church a zeal for souls is a most necessary grace; and this is hardly an age in which it is less necessary than usual.

Alas! It is a rare gift, incredibly rare, rare even amongst us priests, and a gift unfortunately dishonored more than most gifts by base counterfeits and discreditable impostures.

Of all things that can be named, the love of souls is perhaps the most distinctively Catholic. It seems to be a supernatural sense, belonging only to the Church.

There are several classes of saints, classes divided from each other by wide discrepancies of grace, and a dissimilitude, almost an incompatibility, of gifts. Yet the love of souls is an instinct common to all saints of whatever class.

It is a grace, which implies the accompaniment of the greatest number of graces and the exercise of the greatest number of virtues. It is the grace which irreligious people most dislike; for it is a grace which is peculiarly obnoxious to the worldly.

It is a gift also, which requires an unusually fine spiritual discernment; for it is always and everywhere the harmony of enthusiasm and discretion. Natural activity, vulgar emulation, the bustle of benevolence, the love of praise, the habit of meddling. The over-estimate of our own abilities, the hot-headedness of unripe fervor, the obstinacy of peculiar views, the endless foolishnesses of indocile originality — all these things prepare so many delusions for the soul, and so multiply them by combining in varieties, that the gift of counsel and the virtue of prudence, as well as the cool audacity of an apostle, are needed for the exercise of this love of souls.

It is also a very laborious grace, wearing the spirit, fatiguing the mind, disappointing the heart.

This is the reason why in so many persons it is a short-lived grace. It is a part of almost everybody’s fervor, while it is part of the perseverance of very few. It is a grace which never grows old, never has the feelings of age, or the repose of age, or the slowness of age.

Hence many men cast it aside as a thing which belongs to youth, as if it were a process to be gone through, and then there was an end of it. The soul of an apostle is always youthful. It was mature in its young prudence; and it is impetuous in its grey-haired zeal.

– Taken from The Precious Blood, Chapter VI “The Devotion To The Precious Blood”, by Frederick William Faber, originally published by Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., Publishers to the Holy See with a Dedication by Fr. Faber dated 1860 on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

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The Reverend Donald Minchew does not look like a man caught in the eye of a religious, political and spiritual storm. He is pink, smiley, 63, very chatty and smells comfortingly of tobacco. He is also a widower who enjoys watching the TV sitcom Rev, lives with his four grown-up sons (‘they somehow never left home’) and takes his turn to cook dinner. On his desk is a copy of Private Eye, a chocolate bunny and a flowery Easter card.

But he hit the headlines last week for defecting from his Church of England parish (of nearly two decades) to the Catholic Church just up the road — and publicly declaring that he felt like the Prodigal Son returning home. Father Donald Minchew, 63, is leaving St Michael’s & All Angels Church, and the Church of England, to become a priest at the Catholic Church across the road He criticised the ‘pap and banality’ promoted by the Church of England, described it as ‘a bit like a buffet, where you can pick and choose which commandments and doctrines you follow’ and complained it was telling people like himself — believers in traditional values who didn’t agree with the ordination of women and countless other innovations — to ‘sod off’. His sudden move, 36 years after he was ordained into the C of E and just 18 months before he was due to start drawing his £11,500-a-year pension, was dramatic enough. But, like the Pied Piper, he also took 70 members — nearly half — of his loyal congregation at St Michael and All Angels parish church in Croydon with him, leaving the General Synod of the Church of England reeling. Today, in his new office in the bowels of the red-brick St Mary’s Catholic Church five minutes round the corner, I am hoping to find out what caused a man who has dedicated his entire life to the Anglican Church to take such a radical decision. What made his flock follow with barely a backward glance? Happily, he is very keen to tell me, in great detail More…Kate Upton’s bad ‘habits’ infuriate Catholic church as swimwear model dons ‘nun-kini’ in The Three Stooges ‘Drunken’ Texas man, 21, ‘caught urinating on the Alamo’ ‘The job of a priest is to assist people in finding God. That’s all I ever wanted to do. I never wanted to be a bishop or an archdeacon. I just wanted to be a parish priest working with people. But every five minutes, ever since I was ordained, everything was changing in the Anglican Church. We’ve lived through all the revisions of the Prayer Book. ‘Then we had the Alternative Service Book, and Common Worship, and the hymn books . . . and women priests, and now women bishops. It was all meant to make us relevant and modern and bring more people into church. Instead, it failed spectacularly. Each innovation marked a steady haemorrhage in congregation numbers.’ Salvation came in the form of the Ordinariate, a body set up by the Pope for disaffected Anglicans to join the Church of Rome easily and quickly. It has already attracted thousands of Anglican worshippers and dozens of clergy from all over the country who have already crossed over to Rome. It sounds simple, but for Donald there was a lot at stake. Not just his spiritual home and life’s vocation but more prosaically, his pension and his home — the vicarage round the corner which he shares with his sons comes with the job. He has to leave in June. ‘I’ve been living there for 17-and-a-half years. I know all the neighbours — they’re my friends. They say divorce, death and moving house are the greatest traumas in life — and death’s pretty bloody final, as John Cleese once said.

But, perverse as it sounds, I’ve always had complete and utter trust in God, so I try not to worry too much about it — something will turn up. ‘I know it will. I trust it will. It always has — all my life.’ Almost half the congregation of St Michael’s and All Angels has followed its vicar and converted to Catholicism Donald Minchew was born in Donegal, Ireland, into a staunchly Presbyterian family. His mother was the daughter of the sexton of the church — but his father was married to someone else. ‘He promised to marry her, but he never did,’ he says. Instead, she moved to England, got a job as a hospital cook and put Donald and his elder brother Noel (‘same father, whoever he was!’) into care until she married a very understanding (and atheist) Royal Marine who reunited the family. Donald’s epiphany came when he was ten years old. ‘I knew this was what God was calling me to do and I never wavered. I said to my parish priest I want to be ordained. And he said, Donald, if God wants it to happen, it will.’ And it did, in 1976, after jobs in shoe shops and factories and four years at theological college in Wales. ‘Things were just about beginning to change in the Anglican Church back then — legislation for women priests was being discussed — but we didn’t think it would ever get off the ground. But it did and it never stopped. ‘You know what they say about some turbulent marriages? You hate each other but you can’t live without each other? Well a lot of us in the Church of England have that sort of relationship. We’d learned to live with it — until it all got a bit too much.’ It was last November — after nearly a year of handwringing, agonising and (presumably quite lively) discussions with the four sons who rarely went to church and would soon be homeless if he decided to go — that he made his big announcement in church. Father Minchew has taken around 70 parishioners from St Michael’s and All Angels Church (pictured) to the Catholic Church across the road ‘I put it off and put it off for three months. Then one Sunday at the end of November I did it. ‘I’m not the world’s most tactful man — I shoot from the hip. But I really wanted to get it right — I was worried people might think I was abandoning them. I was so nervous and emotional that I can’t really remember much of what I said, but I do remember saying: “I’m not abandoning you. I am leading you — and this is the pathway that I believe with all my heart we have to follow.”‘ His flock were ‘surprised and astonished’, but barely wavered. ‘Immediately after the service, at least 20 people came up to me and said: “Sign me up Father, I’m coming too.”‘ Four months later, 70 of them — and his sons (‘this whole thing has galvanised them’) — had joined him. There are certain practicalities to switching sides. He must attend a series of lectures and tutorials and his followers have to have a period of instruction in the essentials of the Catholic faith. And, er, what about the vow of celibacy? ‘The rule is, if you’re married now, you can be ordained with a wife. But if you haven’t got one, you can’t nip out and get one.’ And is that a big deal? I’m off: Father Minchew is heading across the road to St Mary’s Catholic Church ‘How do I put this gently? I’m at the age where all I want at night is a cup of cocoa. Everybody makes a great deal about celibacy and says it’s so hard. But it’s part of the discipline you accept.

We’ve forgotten about discipline and obedience in the Anglican Church.’ Donald predicts that if the General Synod votes in favour of women bishops in July, many more will follow him, all over the country. Many congregants share Donald’s concerns. Others just want to worship in a church where the congregation is huge and thriving rather than thin, failing and increasingly side-lined. Donald insists he isn’t homesick for his old church down the road (though, he says wistfully, ‘it is a very beautiful church’), but he must find it all rather strange. Instead of being ‘the big wheel’ in his parish, he is now the lowest of the low. He is not ordained in the Catholic Church, has no robes, no job title, no authority. ‘But I love it,’ he says. ‘I finally know where I am. I am not on shifting sand. For the first time in 30 years, I know what my Church believes in.’ And finally, what’s been the reaction of the Anglican Church? ‘The bishop of Southwark and the Archdeacon of Croydon have both been wonderfully supportive to me.’ And others? ‘I couldn’t possibly comment,’ he says with a twinkle.

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Amidst so many allegations on the issue of the alleged  involvement of the Catholic Church with the Nazi movement during the war, it is refreshing to know that more and more factual evidence are emerging throughout Europe in defense of the Catholic Church and her efforts to save Jews and fight Nazism. 
The Vatican has taken up the canonisation Cause of a British nun who helped to hide scores of Jews from the Nazis during the Second World War. A file on Mother Riccarda Beauchamp Hambrough , who was a member of the Bridgettines, nicknamed ‘the hot cross bun nuns’, has been sent to the Vatican to be studied by historians and theologians. Her Cause for sainthood was opened in July 2010 by the Diocese of Rome along with that of Sister Katherine Flanagan, marking the first phase of the investigations.

In a significant development, the Causes of both women, who have the status of Servants of God, have together been sent to the Holy See’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints, marking a quick and early step forward in the long road to becoming saints. If it is concluded that the pair lived lives of “heroic virtue”, the Pope will declare the London-born nuns to be “Venerable” and the search will begin for two miracles to first declare them Blessed and then as saints.

Both nuns belonged to a revived order of Bridgettine Sisters nicknamed “the hot cross bun nuns” because of the distinctive crosses covering the tops of their wimples.

Mother Riccarda helped to save the lives of about 60 Jews by hiding them from the Nazis in her Rome convent, the Casa di Santa Brigida. She born in 1887 and was baptised in St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Brighton, at the age of four years after her parents converted to the Catholic faith.

Fr Ray Blake, the parish priest of St Mary’s, has welcomed the progress of her Cause. “I think it is fantastic,” he said “We are celebrating our 150th anniversary of the opening of the church this year and we can add that to our celebrations.” He added: “Here in Brighton we are following her cause with great enthusiasm and see her very much as our local saint. “When I tell people at Mass that her Cause is going forward I’m sure that they will be overjoyed.”

While Mother Riccarda spent most of her life in Rome, eventually becoming the head of the order, Sister Katherine was at the forefront of efforts to open Bridgettine convents around the world some 400 years after the Reformation nearly wiped out the order. Judith Whitehead, a niece of Sister Katherine, said she was astonished that the first phase had concluded so quickly.

“I am surprised that it has moved to the next stage in my lifetime,” said Mrs Whitehead, 73, of Shaftesbury, Dorset, who had given evidence to the initial Rome inquiry.“I thought that the progression of looking into her life would take about 10 years,” she said. “It is amazing to have someone in your family who was so revered by everybody … the Bridgettines obviously think that she is going to become a saint.”

Fr Simon Henry, the parish priest of St Gregory’s Church, Earlsfield, south London, where Sister Katherine was baptised, said: “To have a possible saint from the parish is wonderful.”

Born Florence Catherine in Clerkenwell in 1892, Sister Katherine trained as a dressmaker before she left the family home for Rome at 19 years with the aim of becoming a nun.

She went on to become the first prioress of new convents in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire; Lugano, Switzerland; and Vadstena, Sweden – where she died in 1941.

A year after Sister Katherine joined, the future Mother Riccarda – born Madaleina Catherine – also journeyed to Rome.

Because of her ability and intelligence she soon became deputy of the Order, called the Most Holy Saviour of St Bridget, and remained at the mother house in the Italian capital.

When the Nazis took control in Rome in 1943, and began to round-up the Jews of Rome for deportation to Auschwitz, Mother Riccarda risked her own life by smuggling fugitives into her convent.

Some Jews who gave evidence to the initial inquiry spoke of Mother Riccarda’s kindness, saying they nicknamed her “Mama”.

She died in Rome in 1966 at the age of 79 years

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When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, President Barack Obama has received much flack for his recent policy stand. The president effectively “reversed” U.S. policy on the matter, siding with the Palestinians on return to the pre-1967 borders, much to the chagrin of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Obama shortly after, and conservative ideologues across the United States. For decades, Israel has been considered America’s closest ally in the Middle East, in spite of occasional clashes between the CIA and the Mussad, along with Israeli spies apprehended in the United States. This close relationship between our two governments has led to the sharing of vital intelligence information and untold billions of dollars in American foreign aid to the Israeli government. The alliance has been more than political. At times it has taken on a religious fervor. American Evangelicals have for decades supported Israel unconditionally. This is because of the purely Evangelical Protestant belief system called Dispensational Theology.

To summarize, Dispensationalism is the doctrine that God has two “chosen peoples” not one. His first chosen people are the Jews and this relationship to them is codified in the Old Testament. Therefore the Jewish people should have their home in the promised land of the Old Testament and should be permitted to occupy all of it (because God wills it) and rebuild their ancient civilization, including their religious temple for sacrificial purposes. God’s second chosen people are the Christians, which is codified by the New Testament, who live within the spiritual entity called “the church” and this is entirely separate to the nation-state of Israel. The job of the church in these latter times, according to Dispensationalism, is to peach the gospel and support the nation-state of Israel. Since preaching the gospel and supporting the nation-state of Israel are virtually synonymous, according to Dispensationalism, they are really one in the same purpose. So as far as Evangelical Protestants are concerned, a good Jew migrates to Israel, while a good Christian supports him. This is God’s plan for the latter times, as far as contemporary Evangelical Protestantism teaches today. For Christians, the motive is to await the “rapture” and Second Coming of Christ. For Dispensationalism teaches that once all the Jews have finally migrated back to the nation-state of Israel, settled all the land, and rebuilt their temple, then Jesus Christ will return to “rapture” the church and usher in the End Times. This is why Evangelical televangelists can be seen every Sunday morning expressing their unwavering support for the Zionist state and proclaiming that failure to do so is tantamount to a lack of Christian faith. 

The Evangelical position on many doctrines clash with Catholic teaching, and in this case, the Evangelical doctrine of Dispensationalism is so much at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church that no Catholic can subscribe to it in good faith, and any political belief that might even remotely relate to it must be questioned. To build political policy based on a religious heresy is to set nations up for war, and it looks like that is exactly what has happened with America’s unwavering support of Israel to the point of virtually giving them a blank check to do whatever they want.

Two political entities are at work here.

The first political entity is Zionism, and the second is the Republican Party. Neither has the best interest of Evangelical Christians in mind, but both use the Evangelical doctrine of Dispensationalism to their advantage. Zionism is a worldwide political movement. Zionism and Judaism are not the same. Judaism is just a religion. While as Zionism is the political mindset that Jews (both religious and non-religious) should have the right to retake their ancestral homeland and rebuild the glory that once was Zion (ancient Israel). Zionists have been at work to accomplish this goal for about a hundred years, and initially this was against the teachings of their most prominent Jewish rabbis, who had always previously taught that the promised Messiah must come first. The bulk of their dreams were realized in 1948 when Israel was declared a “Jewish nation.” Prior to that, Jews living in the region, were at peace with their Arab neighbors. Conflicts between Jews and Muslims were minimal and insignificant. After the creation of the State of Israel, immediate war followed. Israel has been in a state of perpetual war ever since with no end in sight. A few Jewish rabbis have remained faithful to their ancient teachings regarding the Messiah and their ancestral homeland, and they say the reason why Israel is in a state of perpetual war is because Zionists have thwarted the will of God. They say God does not want the Jewish people to retake their ancestral homeland until AFTER the Messiah comes, and that the Messiah will lead them back to their ancestral homeland without conflict and strife. These Jewish rabbis say the reason why the nation-state of Israel suffers so much conflict today is because it does not have the blessing of God and that Jews in the region should work toward dismantling the “Jewish state” in favor of creating a secular state that is more hospitable to Jews, Muslims and Christians. Of course these few remaining faithful rabbis are virtually ignored by the Zionists, who rely heavily on American support in the Republican Party.

The second political entity of the Republican Party is heavily supported by the oil industry, freemasons and Western globalists. To understand this relationship we need to understand just a bit about “peak oil.” When it comes to the Republican Party it all comes back to money. You see “peak oil” is defined as the time when consumption of oil matches and surpasses the amount of oil that can be extracted from oil reserves. This is not to say the oil reserves are exhausted — far from it. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that these oil reserves are not “fossil fuels” but are in actuality a byproduct of continental plate tectonics. Thus oil may very well be a renewable energy. However, in spite of that, it can only be extracted from the earth so fast, due to limitations in technology. That being said, the United States hit it’s “peak oil” production for American soil back in the 1970s. This is when we heavily shifted to foreign oil consumption, and it is also why we refuse to explore new oil reserves in Alaska. We are saving Alaskan oil reserves for when we hit the worldwide “peak oil” production. When that happens, gasoline will quickly jump to $10/gallon and our politicians hope our Alaskan oil reserves will keep our military operational while the world seeks another source of energy. In the mean time, we hope to exhaust everyone else’s oil reserves. The only problem here is that Russia, Europe and China are competing with us on this. Our close alliance with Europe causes us to help each other in opposition to Russia and China. This explains our foreign policy in the Middle East. It really is all about oil. You see, our corporations in the United States and Europe try to make business deals with Middle Eastern regimes. If they cooperate with us, we make them rich. If they decide to do business with Russia or China instead, we send in CIA operatives to stir up a revolution against that regime. If it works, we deal with the new regime that takes over. If it doesn’t work, then we send in our military under the pretense of “fighting terrorism” and “defending democracy.” We erect a new regime using our military and then cut oil deals with them. It really has little to do with either terrorism or democracy. But it does have everything to do with positioning ourselves for the coming worldwide “peak oil” economy. Now don’t blame the Republicans for this entirely. The Democratic Party plays this game too, as is evidenced by the actions of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s and President Barack Obama today. However, the Republicans are the architects to be sure, as they are mostly aligned with the oil companies. The Bush father-son presidential duo is a perfect example of this. Now if you want to understand American foreign policy in the Middle East, you only need to look at the list of nations we have intervened in either covertly or militarily. For example; Syria is now guilty of all the same human rights violations as Libya, yet it is Libya we bomb with our NATO partners. Why is this? The answer is simple. Syria produces almost nothing in regards to oil, but Libya supplies large quantities of oil to Europe. So the United States helps Europe secure it’s oil supply by helping to orchestrate regime change in Libya, meanwhile Syria slaughters it’s own people left and right, for the exact same reasons as Libya, while the United States does nothing. Again, oil is the reason. Syria doesn’t produce hardly any oil and doesn’t sell a drop to Europe or America anyway. So strategically speaking, it’s useless. Now, all that being said, where does Israel fit into all of this. For nearly four decades Israeli geologists have been telling the United States that a vast oil reserve lies somewhere deep beneath Israeli soil. The massive level of geologic activity in this region seems to confirm this. We know for certain there are large deposits of natural gas in Israel, based on historical accounts of “fireballs” erupting from the Temple Mount when the Jews tried to rebuild the Temple under the reign of Caesar Julian (the apostate) back in the 4th century AD. Where there is natural gas, oil usually follows. Likewise, the Israeli geologists swear it’s there, but getting to it is the trick. We are told Israel may actually have the largest oil reserve in the entire Middle East, and so you can begin to see why American politicians, particularly the Republican Party, back Israel unconditionally. However, when it comes to politics, oil is the last thing American politicians want to talk about. It doesn’t look good you see, when certain groups of Muslim and Christian Arabs are being forced out of their homeland so Israeli Zionists can plunder their land and potential oil reserves. So both the Zionists and the Republican Party turn to religious fervor among Evangelicals, promoting their Dispensationalist theology for the purpose of supporting the Israeli government unconditionally.

The Zionists in Israel know the cat is out of the bag as far as the international community is concerned. They’ve lost the support of the world a long time ago. Only the United States remains as the sole stalwart of Israeli supremacy in the region. The Israeli government has played the race card for decades now, claiming that were it not for the Israeli government, the Jews in the Holy Land would have been driven into the sea. Historical analysis tells a completely different story though. Because Jews lived in peace with their Arab neighbors in the Holy Land for decades prior to 1948. It was only after 1948, when Israel declared independence as a “Jewish state” that Arab forces sought to drive them into the sea. It’s a classic example of cause and effect. The cause was Israeli Zionist independence, the effect was Arab rage against the Israeli Zionists. It was not the other way around. Now, thanks to decades if Israeli actions against Palestinian Arabs, what they say may actually be true. If the Arab Muslims ever do get the upper hand again, they may very well drive the Jews into the sea. This is not because Arabs inherently hate Jews, as many Zionists would like us to believe, but because they have for decades been rallied against the Israeli government and everything the Zionist state represents. Prior to 1948 the Arabs were relatively pacified in the Middle East. After 1948 extremists have been able to rally Arab Muslims into a frenzy that threatens to become a regional caliphate.

So now what?

We know what the Zionists and the Republican Party want. The Republican Party believes there is oil beneath Israel, and they will support Israel unconditionally so long as they believe that. We know the Zionists just want to rebuild their ancestral homeland for idealogical reasons. What we don’t know is if the Israeli Zionists are lying to the Republicans by giving them bogus geological data. We don’t know if oil really exists there or not. Even if it does exist, we have to ask ourselves if our unconditional support of Israel justifies the Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian Arabs (both Muslims and Christians). The United States government has already demonstrated that it doesn’t give a rat’s tail about Christians in the Middle East, and would gladly sacrifice them for access to Arab oil. This is evidenced by the plight of Christians in Iraq and Egypt right now. America caused the regime change in Iraq under G.W. Bush, while it supported the regime change in Egypt under Barack Obama. In both cases, Christians are now being subjected to a bloodbath, while American and European corporations are securing their oil deals.

The position of the Vatican has consistently been one of Christian charity. Regardless of the “peak oil” situation, Western nations should act according to their Christian heritage, by dealing with the Israel-Palestinian problem with fairness and objectivity. This is why the Vatican supports the two-state solution. While it was initially supported by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (to their credit), the only point of contention has been the borders of this proposed division. The question remains as to whether the CIA had been working with terrorists in Israel to insure this agreement never really took place, and thus give the Zionists reason to take more land away from the Palestinian Arabs. That would be consistent with CIA actions in Egypt, Libya, and other Arab nations. We know that the United States would throw Israel under the bus just as soon as they cut an oil deal with the Palestinian Arabs. Maybe this explains Obama’s recent actions of “switching sides” to favor the Palestinians’ call for a return to the pre-1967 borders. There is no way to know what is really going on in the Whitehouse on this. I suspect the Whitehouse is growing impatient, however, on Israel’s claim to a massive oil production that has not yet materialized.

What we as Catholic Americans should know is that we absolutely cannot trust our own government on this issue. Case in point, we were assured by the G.W. Bush administration that Christians would be safe in Iraq under American occupation and an Iraqi democracy. The opposite has proved to be true. We were given the same assurances by the Obama administration in regards to Egypt. Again, we were lied to. So when it comes to foreign policy in the Middle East, about the only thing Catholics (indeed all Christians) can really trust is the policy of the Vatican.

The Vatican’s position is that in the name of Christian charity to both parties, there must be a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and this solution must be brokered soon. The issue of the borders will be settled by the parties involved, but naturally there is going to have to be some Israeli concession on illegal Jewish settlements. I’m not sure Obama’s call to the pre-1967 borders is the right solution, but I do think he is trying to swing the pendulum in the other direction to compensate for previous American policy favoring Israel. One thing this does signal is that the Whitehouse will support whatever land for peace deal the disputing parties can agree on. That, ironically, puts the Whitehouse more in line with the Vatican’s position than anything previously seen over the last four decades. Now readers of this blog know ‘The Catholic Knight’ is no fan of Obama, but regular readers should also know I always try to give credit where credit is due. On this one, I think Obama is leaning in the right direction, though his proposed pre-1967 solution is probably unrealistic.

This article was originally published here by the Catholic Knight.

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Faint they may be one by one, but at least they are various, and are drawn from many times and countries, and thereby serve to illustrate each other, and form a body of proof. Thus St. Clement, in the name of the Church of Rome, writes a letter to the Corinthians, when they were without a bishop; St. Ignatius of Antioch addresses the Roman Church, and it only out of the Churches to which he writes, as “the Church which has the first seat in the place of the country of the Romans;” St. Polycarp of Smyrna betakes himself to the Bishop of Rome on the question of Easter; the heretic Marcion, excommunicated in Pontus, betakes himself to Rome; Soter, Bishop of Rome, sends alms, according to the custom of his Church, to the Churches throughout the empire, and, in the words of Eusebius, “affectionately exhorted those who came to Rome, as a father his children;” the Montanists from Phrygia come to Rome to gain the countenance of its Bishop; Praxeas, from Africa, attempts the like, and for a while is successful; St. Victor, Bishop of Rome, threatens to excommunicate the Asian Churches; St. Irenaeus speaks of Rome as “the greatest Church, the most ancient, the most consplicuous, and founded and established by Peter and Paul,” appeals to its tradition, not in contrast indeed, but in preference to that of other Churches, and declares that  “in this Church, every Church, that is, the faithful from every side must meet” or ” agree together, propter potiorem principalitatem.”

“O Church, happy in its position,” says Tertullian, “into which the Apostles poured out, together with their blood, their whole doctrine.” The presbyters of St. Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, complain of his doctrine to St. Dionysius of Rome; the latter expostulates with him, and he explains.

The Emperor Aurelian leaves  “to the Bishops of Italy and of Rome” the decision, whether or not Paul of Samosata shall be dispossessed of the see-house at Antioch; St. Cyprian speaks of Rome as  “the See of Peter and the principal Church, whence the unity of the priesthood took its rise, . . whose faith has been commended by the Apostles, to whom faithlessness can have no access;”

St. Stephen refuses to receive St. Cyprian’s deputation, and separates himself from various Churches of the East; Fortunatus and Felix, deposed by St. Cyprian, have recourse to Rome; Basilides, deposed in Spain, betakes himself to Rome, and gains the ear of St. Stephen. Whatever objections may be made to this or that particular fact, and I do not think any valid ones can be raised, still, on the whole, I consider that a cumulative argument…that the writers of the fourth and fifth centuries fearlessly assert, or frankly allow, that the prerogatives of Roman were derived from apostolic times, and that because it was the See of Saint Peter.

St Augustine: “Many Things Keep Me in the Catholic Church”

For in the Catholic Church, not to speak of the purest wisdom, to the knowledge of which a few spiritual, men attain in this life, so as to know it, in the scantiest measure, indeed, because they are but men, still without any uncertainty (since the rest of the multitude derive their entire security not from acuteness of intellect, but from simplicity of faith) – not to speak of this wisdom, which you do not believe to be in the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate. And so, lastly, does the name itself of Catholic, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house. Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should, though from the slowness of our understanding, or the small attainment of our life, the truth may not yet fully disclose itself. But with you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me, the promise of truth is the only thing that comes into play. Now if the truth is so clearly proved as to leave no possibility of doubt, it must be set before all the things that keep me in the Catholic Church; but if there is only a promise without any fulfillment, no one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion.

St. Augustine [A.D. 354-430]

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Contemporary Catholics are repeatedly reminded of the horrors committed during the Crusades. The news media and the press make a point of constantly pounding into the Catholic conscience the grievous faults the Church has committed throughout history. That the Crusades were started to defend the holy places that had been desecrated is not mentioned.

The Inquisition is something that every ignorant schoolboy is familiar with. But all they know is that it was horrible and was initiated by the Roman Catholic Church. Then came the Galileo case: Clearly the Church—fearing that scientific discoveries would sap her intellectual and moral authoritarianism—condemned a man who had dared challenge her views based on ignorance and superstition. What about the wars waged against so-called heretics, people who happen to have “different opinions,” and therefore were simply exercising their right to think for themselves? Everyone knows (even those who do not drink cocktails) the one named “bloody Mary.” That the last Catholic queen of England simply tried to reinstate the Faith that had been prevalent in England for centuries is not mentioned. Her reign was very short, but the long one of her half-sister, Elizabeth, who ruthlessly destroyed the Catholic Faith in the Island of Saints, is not branded as cruel.

But the list of sins committed by the Church is not yet finished. What about her attacks on the Albigenses in southern France, and her condemnation and burning at the stake of Jan Huss in Bohemia? A Jewish student of mine openly declared in the classroom that it would have been better for the world if Catholicism—in essence, Christ Himself—had never existed. The story of the Catholic Church, we are repeatedly told, is a dark one, and it is only proper for her to apologize.

Many non-Catholics (and even some so-called Catholics) make no distinction between the Church, the Holy Bride of Christ—without blemish and without stain—and what Jacques Maritain aptly calls “le personnel de l’Eglise” (the staff of the Church, the members of the Church)—many of whom are sinners indeed. There were great sinners in the Old Testament. There were great sinners in the New. There are sinners in every religious community. Judas was one of the privileged twelve, and he was a traitor. If we keep the same proportion, we can assume that today there are plenty of Judases in the Church occupying important positions.

It is an upsetting fact. But recall the words of Christ: “The gates of hell shall not prevail.” The very misery and betrayal of many members of the clergy and many members of the Church, far from shaking our faith, should force us to put our hope in the Savior of the world and His Holy Mother. Dark as the sky might be, the divine message keeps all its joyful validity. In the apocalypse, St. John tells us that the closer we come to the second coming of Christ, the more fearful will be the attacks of the evil one because he knows he is running out of time.

More important for our topic is to examine how this misplaced bad conscience affected the bishops’ draft on women that kept them busy for months in the 1980s. A number of women were invited to share with their excellencies their innumerable grievances against the Roman Catholic Church. It turned out to be a real avalanche of reproaches and recriminations dating back to the very beginning of the Church. Their excellencies were told that the Church has discriminated against half of her children, namely women. Their important contributions to the life of the Church were either not acknowledged, treated as insignificant, or taken for granted. They were meant to be servants. As a result, they felt alienated; the clergy was adopting a patronizing attitude toward them, as if they were immature and unintelligent. They did not feel “at home” in the Church; their concerns and sufferings were treated as trivial. They were always put in the background and treated as inferior. They were “only” women. The machos were in command. Women were never given the dignity that is their right as human persons. Their equality with men was denied.

The very language of the Church expressed this denigration: Man is constantly referred to; women are not mentioned. (Clearly feminists ignore the fact that the word “man” can mean anybody belonging to the human race or the male sex. Such a problem does not exist in Latin, where there is a clear distinction between homo and vir. This is something that any woman knew until the enlightened 20th century.) Worst of all, women were denied one sacrament that is the unique privilege of men: holy orders. Clearly they are considered unworthy of this honor. Why should girls be denied to serve at the altar? Bishops clearly had fallen into a grave sin of sexism.

The rhetoric of the most fanatical feminists makes one believe that the seven capital sins were minor by comparison. The Church was clearly sexist and should not only apologize to women, but repair this crying injustice. Serious reforms are called for. The moment has come for women to claim their rights; to be officially recognized, to be on the same level with men; to be granted the same privileges and the same power in the Church. They had suffered patiently for centuries, and enough is enough.

Every single meeting between bishops and women was a repetition of the previous one. Cowed and intimidated by being put on the hot seat and by this passionate jeremiad they sheepishly listened to, bishops—accustomed as they were to being treated with respect—actually lost their footing. They developed a bad conscience toward all these afflicted sheep so neglected by the Church that claims to be a Church of love. The feminist rhetoric convinced them that the Church had gravely sinned against the female sex for the last 2,000 years, compelling them to acknowledge the validity of these searing criticisms and promise to correct the injustices. Obviously, the Church, being slow-moving, could not be expected to satisfy all their demands. One of them, however, should be attended to urgently: reform of liturgical language, and that merely as a first step—a modest promise of more reforms to come. The re-writing of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was clearly the call of the Kairos. It should be given top priority. This was a Herculean task that was to keep some “experts” so busy for months on end that they had no time left for other duties.

In the meantime, the devil was having a field day laughing at the stupidity of men. While keeping several ecclesiastics glued to this gigantic task, he saw—with diabolical delight—that in the very same diocese satanic attacks against the purity of young men were being launched by some members of the clergy. Clearly the local bishop was too busy to pay attention to these secondary concerns: The revision of the Catechism had to be completed as soon as possible. The bishops—plagued with a misplaced bad conscience—either paid no attention to the horrors that were being perpetrated by priests, willingly ignored the gravity of the problem, or turned to secular help (or just put a Band-Aid on a festering wound by sending the culprits to another diocese).

We know the rest of the story: By the beginning of the 21st century, the scandal had reached such proportions that it made headlines in the secular press. It started in the diocese where “inclusive language” was a top priority. Diocese after diocese was engaged in lawsuits that brought some of them to utter bankruptcy: Churches were closed, Catholic schools could no longer be financed. Church property was sold. The devil had won. The Catechism was “purged” of its “sexism.” But—and this is the enchanting irony of the whole thing—the work done was rejected by the Church.

The devil’s wile had succeeded beyond expectation. The bishops’ bad consciences had totally blinded them from their primary duty: to save their sheep from ravenous wolves. All this came out five years ago with the force of a moral tsunami. I wonder how many shepherds today realize that their misplaced bad consciences might be responsible for their collective failure to extinguish the fire of impurity raging among some of their priests. Humanly speaking, the damage is irreparable. But “all things are possible with God,” and we know that the Church will survive even though the price for many might be martyrdom. She has always sung the praise of those who have washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb. This is the history of the Church. This is why she will always conquer in spite of the mediocrity and treason of some of her shepherds.

Excerpt from original article The Devil’s Distraction: A Misplaced Bad Conscience by Alice Von Hildebrand

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A well-meaning brother in Christ posted a comment for me refuting the claim of the Catholic Church to be an Apostolic Church. The answer to the question here is not straightforward but it is, by all means, provable. Were all early Christian Catholics?

Here is the comment I got:

The reason history can only record a Catholic Church and not others is because all other faiths had went underground and many were slaughtered including the Nazarenes […]

First of all it is important to clarify that the fact that any movement, religion or society becomes ‘underground’ does not prevent historistorians to trace them or document their existence. The Catholic Church itself was persecuted and had to go ‘underground’ during the Roman Empire, and in spite of this, we have records that indeed the Church already existed during that period. My response to this question, however,  is that no-one is denying that others existed, at least I am not. The point here is whether or not it is possible  to demonstrate that the Catholic Church is the Church that was initially led by Peter and the other Apostles.

 I have posted some examples of early writings here, where the Apostles, as well as their disciples, refer to what they called sects, which they considered not to be true Christians, since they did not embrace the teachings of the Apostles ( who held the true teachings of the Lord, 1- because they heard it first hand, 2- because they were guided by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth Who they received at Pentecost).

If we look at history, there are numerous examples of breakages in Christianity, from the very early days this problem has existed. However, those churches were not proto-protestants, they were regarded as sects and not considered to be loyal to the Gospels. For this reason they  didn’t resist  time, and died out…

Refuting the Apostolic heritage of the Roman Catholic Church is something of a hard task; even very reputable historians throughout the centuries have not denied the fact that the Roman Catholic & Apostolic Church can be traced back to Peter, having Peter himself as our first overseer* – a word which in greek means episcopos, the root word for bishop in English.

“Why are you searching heavenward in search of my keys? Do you not understand, Jesus said, ‘I gave them to Peter. They are indeed the keys of heaven, but they are not found in heaven for I left them on earth.’” This is Jesus talking, “‘Peter’s mouth is my mouth, his tongue is my key case, his keys are my keys. They are an office.’” (Martin Luther, 1531)

Here is an excellent source for those who want to investigate further: Apostolic Succession of the Catholic Church

‘Catholic’ as an ecclesiastical word

Ignatius of Antioch – A disciple of the Apostle John

A letter written by Ignatius of Antioch to Christians in Smyrna[10] around 106 AD is the earliest surviving witness to the use of the term Catholic Church (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8). By Catholic Church Ignatius designated the universal church. Ignatius considered that certain heretics of his time, who disavowed that Jesus was a material being who actually suffered and died, saying instead that “he only seemed to suffer” (Smyrnaeans, 2), were not really Christians.[11] The term is also used in the Martyrdom of Polycarp in 155 and in the Muratorian fragment, about 177 .

Cyril of Jerusalem

Cyril of Jerusalem (circa 315-386 AD), venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion, urged those he was instructing in the Christian faith: “If ever thou art sojourning in cities, inquire not simply where the Lord’s House is (for the other sects of the profane also attempt to call their own dens “houses of the Lord”), nor merely where the Church is, but where is the Catholic Church. For this is the peculiar name of this holy Church, the mother of us all, which is the spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God” (Catechetical Lectures, XVIII, 26).[12]

Theodosius I

The term Catholic Christians entered Roman Imperial law when Theodosius I, Emperor from 379 to 395, reserved that name for adherents of “that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff (Pope) Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria …as for the others, since in our judgement they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches.” This law of 27 February 380 was included in Book 16 of the Codex Theodosianus.[13] It established Catholic Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Augustine of Hippo

The use of the term Catholic to distinguish the “true” church from heretical groups is found also in Augustine who wrote:

“In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15-19), down to the present episcopate (in Rome; here Augustine refers to the Petrine succession of the Pope).
“And so, lastly, does the very name of “Catholic”, which, not without reason, amid so many heresies, the Church has thus retained; so that, though all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when a stranger asks where the Catholic Church meets, no heretic will venture to point to his own chapel or house.
“Such then in number and importance are the precious ties belonging to the Christian name which keep a believer in the Catholic Church, as it is right they should … With you, where there is none of these things to attract or keep me… No one shall move me from the faith which binds my mind with ties so many and so strong to the Christian religion… For my part, I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.”
— St. Augustine (354–430 AD): Against the Epistle of Manichaeus called Fundamental, chapter 4: Proofs of the Catholic Faith.[14]

St Vincent of Lerins

A contemporary of Augustine, St. Vincent of Lerins, wrote in 434 AD (under the pseudonym Peregrinus) a work known as the Commonitoria (“Memoranda”). While insisting that, like the human body, church doctrine develops while truly keeping its identity (sections 54-59, chapter XXIII), he stated: “In the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense ‘catholic,’ which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors” (section 6, end of chapter II) .

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And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:(Ephesians 4:11-12)

Pope Benedict XVI leads a consistory to canonize five new saints

 Most non-Catholics  wonder why the Catholic Church is structured the way it is, as they question the clergy’s authority or whether priests and bishops are necessary at all.  Obviously, this is not the view of the majority of traditional Catholics, but it would be foolish to assume that all Catholics understand what are the basis for how the Church is organized. Some people are not sure about the diferences between the structural model adopted by most Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church.     

The Catholic Church has preserved what is called the Fidei Depositum, or the ‘Deposit of Faith’ ( 1 Timothy 2:5-7 and 2 Tim 1:14, NAB) that Jesus passed on orally to his Apostles – as was his command to perpetuate the liturgical ritual brought about this supernatural wonder. Along with his instructions, Jesus imparte to the Twelve his own authority to teach and preach:    

“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:18-19).   

Therefore, Apostolic bishops such as Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna were all successors of the chosen Twelve through the laying of hands (1 Tim 4:14). They inherited this same authority to proclaim the Gospel and guard the authentic repository of doctrine after the Apostles had died and which has been passed on to the present days.    

 11Command and teach these things. 12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you (1 Tim 4:10-14).   

Below are some additional Scriptural references that might shed some light onto these questions, and help us understand why the Catholic Church  keeps the tradition of  the Apostolic Succession:     

20“For,” said Peter, “it is written in the book of Psalms, ” ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’[b] and,” ‘May another take his place of leadership.[c] 21Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”     

 23So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:20-26)     

The above is a reference to the appointment a new apostle to  succeed Judas, who, as we know,  died after he had betrayed Jesus. Then we also have references as to the role of the apostles as careers of the Christian community:     

6We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, 7but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. (1Thessalonians 2:6-7)     


28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.[a] Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. ( Acts 20:28)     

 1Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer,[a] he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. 8Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. (1 Timothy 3:1-8)     

10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.  (Ephesians 4:10-12)     

[a] The word overseers is a translation of the lexic Episcopos, the Greek root for Bishops.

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The Book of Gospel on the Altar

The notion of Catholicism being a non-Christian and non-Bible based religion has been around for some time and, I believe, it has persisted not because of a ‘sinister’ conspiracy against the Catholic Faith, but simply because there is a lack of understanding about Catholicism in general.  

The Christian reverent towards the Scriptures may not be as extreme as the Islamic approach (where in some places a mere newspaper can’t even be thrown out if it has a quotation of Mohammed on it) but in a different way, Christian reverent to the Scripture is also very solemn and profound. All Christians agree that the Bible is a collection of books written over a period of time of more than a thousand years; and that these writings were inspired by God, and that God Himself protected the transmission of the original writings from error, as well as their translations. Although Christians agree on this, there are two approaches through which they express this shared view: Fundamentalism and the Historical-critical approach.  


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Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know – the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million elementary and high school students everyday at the cost to that Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. The graduates go on to university studies at the rate of 92%. The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students.
The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people – not just Catholics – in the United States today. But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.
Let me give you some figures that Catholics should know and remember.  For example:
  •  12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner;
  • 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church,
  • 41.8% of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior;
  • 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed.
  • 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia.
  • 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not just a Catholic problem.
A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.
The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been weeded out by now.
Walk with your shoulders high and your head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental entity in the United States today. Then remember what Jeremiah said:
‘Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls’.
Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions. Be proud that you’re a Catholic.
This post consist of  excerpts of an article written by Sam Miller, prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman.

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