Is There Historical Evidence for a Pope?

May 31, 2008

Q. Is there any historical evidence for the Papacy?

A. In the writings of the Early Church Fathers the fact of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome is taken for granted. In 80 A.D. the Corinthian Church kicked out their bishop and/or priest. Appeals were made to Pope Clement I, the fourth Bishop of Rome to settle the matter. And yet, the Apostle St. John was still alive at Ephesus and living a lot closer to Corinth than Rome. Never the less the appeals were made to the Pope because all knew that he had the authority to make a binding decision.

St. Irenaeus, a student of St. Polycarp (a disciple of St. John the Apostle), exhorts all “Christians (to) be united to the Church of Rome in order to maintain the Apostolic Tradition. He then made a list of all the Bishops of Rome up to his time. There is nothing in his writing that sounds like he is trying to be convincing but rather that all Christians take for granted that the Bishop of Rome is the head of the Church.

For 250 years the Roman Emperors tried to destroy Christianity through persecution. In the first 200 years of Christianity, every Pope but one was martyred. So, even the Romans knew that the Bishop of Rome was the head of the Church.

A Roman Emperor’s greatest fear was a rival to the throne. Nevertheless, the emperor Decius (249-251 A.D.) one of the harshest persecutors of the early Christian Church made the following remark:

I would far rather receive news of a rival to the throne than of another bishop of Rome. (Christian History, Issue 27 1990, vol IX, No. 3, p22)

Decius said this after he had executed Pope Fabian in 250 A.D.

Beginning Apologetics by Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham

The Daily Maronite: The Miracle of the WORD

May 31, 2008

The Miracle of the WORD


2000 years ago, God has said His WORD. He said everything He wanted to say in Jesus Christ. He sent His only Son to the world, to save the world. He showed us the power of the Word, the need for the Word (for salvation), and the way everything can be fulfilled through the Word to overcome evil. Do I believe in the power of my word? Do I know how much my word is needed in my community? Where can my word be fulfilled overcoming evil?

The power of the word:
The word has the power to destroy or to build: The word “I hate you” is totally different from the word “I love you”. Each word has a different effect on the person who hears it.
The word has the power to create a certain atmosphere: Swearing at home can create a very tense atmosphere in the family. Speaking calmly can create a peaceful atmosphere at home.

The word has the power to transform those who receive it: Your word can transform despair into hope, desolation into consolation, slavery into freedom, darkness into light, sickness into healing. The centurion asked Jesus to “only say the word and he shall be healed.”

The word has the power to destroy evil: Pope John Paul II has never used weapons to overcome the evil of communism. Rather, he used his word. With his word, he liberated Poland and the Soviet Union collapsed.
The Maronite Patriarch has never used weapons to overcome the evil of the Syrian regime. Rather, he used his word. With his word, he liberated Read the rest of this entry »

Young White Couples

May 31, 2008

First see Christian Lander’s latest offering at Stuff White People Like: “White people in the News, May 30, 2008”


*White people like child-bearing in late 30’s early 40s.
*White people like to be “young” for indefinite periods of time that would otherwise seem arbitrary or at the very best “pushing it”.

The “young couple” in the photo –  her: 30s,  him: 40s.

Bring on the “Hill-billy” jokes if you like, but where I come from a “young couple” is a “young couple” if and when both are under 24/25ish.

Advanced white people understand you should not have children until you are confident you can afford strollers as big as VW Bugs and gentrified homes…  SUPER-Advanced white people understand that it is ideal for your one child to be headed to a liberal arts college for an arts degree right about the time you are ready to collect social security… Not a frightful idea in their mind – the 60s are the new 40s to them.

God bless Viagra & Cialis…

White people, eh? What are ya gonna do?



May 31: Blessed Nicolas Barrè

May 31, 2008

Blessed Nicolas Barrè, 1621 – 1686 Read the rest of this entry »

All Growed Up!: The JP2 Kids Grow Into B16’s Men

May 31, 2008

The world moves in seconds, minutes and days.

The Church moves in years, decades and centuries.

Not for nothing, something like 20% of the episcopate in the US has come of retirement age since B16 ascendency in 2005. If today’s seminarians are the “John-paul-2-kids” tomorrow’s bishops will be “Benedict’s boys”. He is a remarkably healthy 81, 3 years in with a reasonable and realistic chance of more years of his papacy ahead of him than behind him…

I haven’t seen exact numbers, but just for speculation’s sake, in the course of a 7 year period (starting in April 2005) is it reasonable and realistic to believe or suspect that 40% of the bishops serving in 2005 will be retiring? I bet if we ran the numbers that is very possible… So far looking at what the appointments have been… Well I expect the next ten years to be VERY interesting with what will be going on among the men already appointed, and the men who will be appointed.

Everyone get back to me in 2018 for a look back at this discussion – if we can gather at a watering hole, the first round will be on me.

“orthodox” Anglicans

May 30, 2008

In the past 5 years two bitterly opposed camps on issues like scripture and sexuality have rent the fabric of the Episcopal Church (TEC) into two very unequal parts–the liberals having almost complete say and the power of the courts to crush the self proclaimed “orthodox.” At least this is the point of view of the so called “orthodox” Episcopalians/Anglicans, who bleat on and on about their victim status in TEC and in the Anglican Communion. Theologically, as a Catholic, I am on the side of the “orthodox.” Their moral position on homosexuality is the right one. But, I don’t agree entirely that they are either victims or orthodox.

What has happened to TEC since the 2003 ordination of practicing gay bishop is clearly the fault of the “orthodox” who have stood by with hands on hips for decades while their church has been swirling down the toilet. Read the rest of this entry »


May 30, 2008



This Sunday is the Revelation to Joseph Sunday. The truth is revealed to Joseph after doubts concerning his beloved Mary. Joseph was in front of a great Mystery (the Virgin is with child) and a great vocation (to become a father of the Son of the Father in Heaven).

We learn 7 things from Joseph:

1- The Righteous man: Joseph was a righteous man, committed to God’s commandments. He had no fear or shame of his commitment. Joseph is an example to every man: Do not be afraid to be a man of prayer, in union with God, surrendered completely to God’s Will, avoiding evil and doing good.

2- The pure love: Joseph had a pure & honest love towards Mary. His love was not controlling. He respected her. A controlling love leads to despair, illusion, envy, and in some cases to crime. There are many people in this world who are stuck on the road because of their controlling love. They love the other for selfish reasons.

3- No exposure to the public: Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace. It was very easy to Joseph to bring his fiance to the priests where she would be condemned to death. When our partner, our wife, our husband, our girlfriend, our boyfriend, our neighbor, our brother, etc… relapses or fails, sometimes we are too quick to judge. We emphasize his/her sin and we make his/her story the discussion of the day. The Church teaches that talebearing destroys our neighbor’s honor. It is a sin against justice & charity.

4- He planned to dismiss her quietly: Joseph did not surrender to the feeling of being betrayed or to the love of vengeance.

5- The openness & listening to God’s revelation: Joseph was opened to God’s explanation of what was going on. He listened to what the Angel told him in the dream. With his openness, Joseph understood the Mystery of the Virgin and his Vocation.

6- No suspicions: When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. Love believes everything.

7- Welcoming Mary & Jesus: The Angel said to Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to your house.” Joseph welcomed Mary & Jesus in his house. That’s what we can learn from Joseph, to take Mary & Jesus to our hearts, family, life.

A reading from St. Ephrem the Syrian:
Joseph had loved the Son as a child and he served him as a god. He rejoiced in him as he rejoices in the Good One and he feared him as a righteous. How amazing?

Joseph says, “Who gives me this grace that the Son of the almighty be my son. I suspected your mother and planned to dismiss her. I did not know that in her womb was hidden a great treasure that enriched my poverty.

David the King was from my kin and he wore the crown. But I , myself, had been humiliated becoming a carpenter instead of a king. But the crown had been given back to me for I hold the Lord of Lords in my hands. 

May 30: Blessed Carlo Liviero

May 30, 2008

Blessed Carlo Liviero, 1866 – 1932 Read the rest of this entry »

Pope Peter?

May 29, 2008

Q. If Jesus made Peter the Pope or head of the Church on Earth, Peter didn’t seem to know a thing about it. Why would he, in I Peter 5:1, call himself a fellow elder putting himself on the same level of authority as others if he knew he was the POPE?

A. The use of a fraternal term identifying himself with others in a similar office is nothing other than humble courtesy. For instance, when a president or king addresses the populace with, “My fellow citizens…” it is an appeal to unity with them not an admission that he does not know he is the president or king.

In addition to this, the Pope is the Bishop of Rome. In one way this is the same as the bishop of any other diocese in the world. However, the Bishop of Rome has, since the time of Peter, been acknowledged as the seat of the government of the Catholic Church. The Bishop of Rome as the Pope is the highest authority in the Church on Earth as the vicar or prime minister of Christ.

One additional point to be made here is that, Peter certainly did seem to know he had authority over the Church because in the following verses (I Peter 5:2-4) he goes on to instruct his fellow priests and bishops in how to carry out their ministry.

Why Have The Palestinians Been Abandoned By Their Neighbors That Declared War On Israel?

May 29, 2008

That is a question that I have asked for years, and is addressed here:

“The Palestinians are in the refugee camps because the Arab nations want them in refugee camps in order to perpetuate political hatred against Israel”

I have said this for years. To absorb the populations of these camps would have taken the Arab countries that invaded little… It isn’t like they provide social services for their own people… what is a few more?

A little secret that Israelis have learned is that you can grow things in the dessert if you use resources for desalinization, irrigation, and educate people for developing strains of plants and fertilizers. The dessert sun that bakes the Rub’ al Khali (Arabic: الربع الخا) “Empty quarter” of Saudi Arabia (which imports foreign workers like MAD – why not Palestinians?) could have been covered with 100 sq miles of solar cells. They have the oil money to spend on it!

Did they? Why not?

 Does Saudi Arabia build Mosques and fund missionary efforts? Read the rest of this entry »

CTA: Slavery and the Catholic Church

May 29, 2008

Slavery and the Catholic Church

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our Savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of His mercy, He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…
Titus 3:3-5

Once again the Catholic Church is being accused of another grave scandal. Some people claim that the Church before 1890 was either silent or approved of slavery. It is claimed that no Pope condemned slavery until then. According to one modern theologian: “…one can search in vain through the interventions of the Holy See – those of Pius V, Urban VIII and Benedict XIV – for any condemnation of the actual principle of slavery.” [Panzer, p. 2] Other people further claim that the Church changed Her teaching on slavery, so the Church can change Her teachings on other issues too. A recent book, entitled The Popes and Slavery written by Fr. Joel S. Panzer (Alba House, 1996), shows that the Popes did condemn racial slavery as early as 1435. Most of the information below is found in this book.

The issue and history of slavery are quite complex. Throughout history, the Church found Herself among cultures practicing slavery and had to deal with it. An early example is St. Paul’s Epistle to Philemon. St. Paul appears to tolerate slavery, but he also warned slave masters that they too Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Maronite

May 29, 2008



May 29: Saint Orsola Ledóchowska

May 29, 2008

Saint Orsola Ledóchowska, 1865 – 1939 Read the rest of this entry »

The Daily Maronite: My Nephews & Niece

May 28, 2008

My Nephews & Niece


That was yesterday. 

May 28: Blessed Władysław Demski, Martyr Of Poland

May 28, 2008

Blessed Władysław Demski, 1884 – 1940
German death camp Sachsenhausen Read the rest of this entry »

Fishers of Men

May 27, 2008

Fishers of Men

This is a two minute version of the DVD which is about 20 minutes.

The Daily Maronite: The Birth of John is Good News

May 27, 2008


The Birth of John is Good News


THE BIRTH OF JOHN (Luke 1:57-66)

I- When John the Baptist was born, Elizabeth & Zechariah, the neighbors & relatives experienced 3 things:

1- God’s great mercy: For the neighbors & relatives, God’s mercy was great because He blessed the barren woman with a child in her old age. The mercy of God was great for this family.
For Elizabeth & Zechariah, God’s mercy was great not only to their family but also to the whole world, because God’s Promise was fulfilled and the Messiah was close to come.

2- Joy: The neighbors & relatives shared Elizabeth’s joy because she bore a son.
Elizabeth & Zechariah’s joy was greater, especially in the Presence of Mary, whose presence reminded them that the birth of John was a clear sign of the coming of the Messiah.
Read the rest of this entry »

Rock Star Courtney Love Resisted Coerced Abortion, Reports Memoir

May 27, 2008

Rock Star Courtney Love Resisted Coerced Abortion, Reports Memoir

By Michael Baggot

COLUMBUS, OH, May 26, 2008 ( – As debate wages over prohibiting preventing coerced abortion, a new book reveals that renowned rock star Courtney Love resisted pressure to have an abortion.

A new memoir reveals that those closest to Love encouraged her to abort her child with Kurt Cobain, front man of the rock band Nirvana, due to health complications Love’s heroine use was expected to cause her child.

“You’re not telling me to have a [bleep]-ing abortion, are you?’ asked Courtney, her voice rising with her trademark hostile whine. ‘I mean I’m pro-choice, but that doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to tell me to have a [bleep]ing abortion.'” reports former CEO of Warner Bros. Records and Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg in his new book “Bumping Into Geniuses.” Read the rest of this entry »

VOCATIONS TUESDAY: Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP)

May 27, 2008

5 bob to: Traditional Vocations Blog which writes…

Priestly Fraternity of St Peter

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical right, that is, a community of Roman Catholic priests who do not take religious vows, but who work together for a common mission in the world. The mission of the Fraternity is two-fold: first, the formation and sanctification of priests in the cadre of the traditional liturgy of the Roman rite, and secondly, the pastoral deployment of the priests in the service of the Church.

The Fraternity was founded on July 18, 1988 at the Abbey of Hauterive (Switzerland) by a dozen priests and a score of seminarians. Shortly after the Fraternity’s foundation and following upon a request by Cardinal Ratzinger, Bishop Joseph Stimpfle of Augsburg, Germany granted the Fraternity a home Read the rest of this entry »

And Just When You Think Spam Cannot Get Any Sadder

May 26, 2008

In fact it does. I got this today, on Memorial Day of all days:

Dear sir/mrs.
I am Mrs Aminata Sheriff an Iraqi Woman, We are a family of three, My husband and one of my sister are dead in the city as a result of the cold war going on in my country. Before the death of my husband , he deposited huge amount of money with a Bank in Burkina Faso where he had wanted us to go and live till the war is over.
Now that my husband is dead ,I need a business partner who can help me to claim and use the fund he deposited in Africa for business purposes any where .I will like you to keep this proposal as a top secret because of the fear that I might be killed if my Government happens to know about this ,
based on the reason that my late husband was among the Government officials in Iraq. I am away from the city where there no electricity and telephone communication , I was able to send this mail to you through a friend of mine who works in American Soldiers walfare center in Ramadi ,You can only reach me through this E-mail amin********@*****.com
I will be expecting to receive your positive response to my proposal
Thanks for your anticipated help
Mrs Aminata Sheriff.

Pray for folks who put out scams like this.

Regular readers are of course encouraged to use this combox to share news of their own great personal fortunes they learn about via e-mail!

The Unexpected Blessing

May 26, 2008

Theodore Roosevelt – The Finest President This Republic Has Had – On Contraception

May 26, 2008

5 bob to John Jansen – who writes:

By the by, didja know TR also railed against contraception?

When home ties are loosened; when men and women cease to regard a worthy family life, with all its duties fully performed, and all its responsibilities lived up to, as the life best worth living; then evil days for the commonwealth are at hand. There are regions in our land, and classes of our population, where the birth rate has sunk below the death rate. Surely it should need no demonstration to show that wilful sterility is, from the standpoint of the nation, from the standpoint of the human race, the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement; a sin which is the more dreadful exactly in proportion as the men and women guilty thereof are in other respects, in character, and bodily and mental powers, those whom for the sake of the state it would be well to see the fathers and mothers of many healthy children, well brought up in homes made happy by their presence. No man, no woman, can shirk the primary duties of life, whether for love of ease and pleasure, or for any other cause, and retain his or her self-respect.

TR has been my hero since I was 7. I didn’t think it was possible to admire him more. I was wrong.

The Daily Maronite: The Word of God in practice

May 26, 2008

The Word of God in practice

Yesterday, I put into practice the Word of God, the story of Mary’s journey to a town in Judea.

I am convinced that this new experience was the work of the Holy Spirit.
On November 30, I decided to go with another monk to a remote village, in the North. It is a big Christian town. I drove 110 miles. Here, it is like traveling through 5 States. It is like going from Michigan to Alabama, because the country is divided into cultures and sects: We went through the Druze region (state), the Sunni region, the Maronite, the Orthodox, the Sunni again, then the Maronite.

I told my friend not to bring with him food and if someone welcomes us we should stay with him/her. We arrived at noon.

We went imediately to the priest’s house as Mary did. (She entered Zechariah’s house, the priest’s house).

We talked to him. We told him about our vision: A camp for Mission.
He was very open. I went with my Christian friend to downtown. We met a different priest. He insisted to go and visit him. That’s what we wanted to do. We entered his house. His wife was there. We revealed to him our vision. He was very glad. We set up a time for our camp. It will be in July 2006.

His wife prepared a good meal. We had lunch with them. Then, the priest cried in a loud voice: “My house is Blessed.”

I remembered what Elizabeth said to Mary and what the Bible said when the Ark of the covenant stayed for 3 months in Obed’s house.

We were like Mary bringing Jesus to the priest’s house.

We left this town after we had put up a plan for the summer.

posted by Fr. Antonio

We Adore YOU Oh Christ and We Bless YOU

May 25, 2008

I have chaperoned teens from my church to Stubenville San Diego for the past two years. It was a most amazing experience. I saw this priest at our stadium with over 4,000 teens. The room was darkened. He brought in Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist and without a word of instruction, 4000 teenagers fell down upon their knees in worship of Our Lord. Father processed up and down, back and forth down every aisle.The teens spontaneously reached out.

The next morning our bishop said mass for us and our new, young, lawyer, vocations director, Fr. Saroki asked for all the boys who had ever considered the priesthood to stand up. Then he asked for them all to come down in front of the stage. Then everyone in the stadium jumped to their feet and burst into applause and cheers that would rival any winning touchdown!

These young men, no longer alone in their parish, were cheered by their peers!

I saw several going down the aisle right next to me. Then I turned to look around. Every aisle was FILLED and they kept coming for ten or fifteen minutes during which time the applause never stopped. This scene was repeated for the girls who had ever considered religious life. Now I know they won’t all end up in a religious vocation.
But….this was just in one event in California. Surely, the vocation crisis will soon be over.

The Daily Maronite: My Visitation to this world: My Mission

May 25, 2008

My Visitation to this world: My Mission


“Blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:45).

Blessed are you, if you believein God’s promise to you,in His promise to lead you to Holiness, Freedom, Love,in the Mission for which He is preparing you.

Blessed are you if you believed, followed Christ, and remained faithful despite difficulties, doubts, and temptations.Blessed are you if you take advantage of a little moment in which you felt the Presence of God and you followed up this relationship to God with Faith that He would fulfill His Will Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Law and Homosexuality made simple

May 24, 2008

Many educated Catholics know that the Church bases her moral teaching on Natural Law, but few educated after the 60’s know what that means. It all begins with Romans 1:18-21:

“The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse…”

In a Nutshell

  1. Despite our fallen nature, man can by his intelligence can determine right from wrong (though many fail to do so). This is very important in that while moral principles are revealed in scripture, they have a natural basis which allows for a common language for dialogue between believers and non believers. In other words, morality is reasonable and not only a matter of faith. Thus, unlike the Protestants, Catholics can discuss morality without pointing the non-believe to scripture which would be unconvincing.
  2. Moral teaching is discernable from the way we are physically made. That is, it is grounded in biology and common sense (which is less and less common these days, to be sure). Again, this is common ground with non-believers.
  3. A sense of moral good and evil, that is conscience, is written in the hearts of men and therefore imposes moral obligations. Read the rest of this entry »

Petros/Petra vs. Rocky/Rockelle

May 24, 2008

Q. Isn’t the problem, with the Catholic argument that Peter is the Rock of Matthew 16, that the Greek word used by Jesus for the Rock foundation of His Church is petra but the name He uses for Peter is Petros? Doesn’t Petra, meaning a BIG rock refer to Peter’s confession whereas, petros, Jesus’ name for Simon, means small stone.

A. This is a valiant attempt by non-Catholics to explain away Biblical evidence that Jesus founded His Church on Peter. However, it simply is not convincing when one looks at the facts.

First, most scholars believe that Jesus spoke Aramaic. In Aramaic there is only ONE word for rock. Kepha. So what Jesus actually said would have been:

You are Kepha, and on this kepha I will build my Church.

Jesus was not making any distinctions, after all, between Peter and the petra that Christ would build His Church upon. But obviously Peter comes from the Greek word petros. So, of course, one would tend to wonder about the strength of this argument since we now call Simon–Peter and not Kepha. The explanation is simple. There actually are several places in the New Testament where the Aramaic IS used for Simon.

John 1:42
And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas, which, when translated, is Peter.”

1 Corinthians 1:12
What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas “; still another, “I follow Christ.”

1 Corinthians 3:22
whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours,

  • 1 Corinthians 9:5
    Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?
  • Simon’s new name has come down to us as Peter because the Greek translation of the New Testament is the stronger traditional translation used by the Church when translating into Latin and English, and other vernacular languages.
    Second-When the translation of the original Aramaic was made into Greek the word petra which denoted Peter was simply changed by the translator to petros because petra has a feminine ending and petros has the masculine ending. It would not be fitting to call the Prince of the Apostles by a girl’s name like Rockelle. In English we use the name Peter which is a Greek name but if we were to make a strict translation into English it would be Rock or Rocky. A man’s name.

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    Pengzhou Catholic Seminary – Pray For China

    May 24, 2008

    Pengzhou Catholic Seminary

    5 bob to the Western Confucian. Click here to see “before” photo.

    The Daily Maronite: The Announcement to the Virgin Mary

    May 24, 2008

    The Announcement to the Virgin Mary


    After the Announcement to Zechariah, Elizabeth conceived and she kept to herself for five months.On the sixth month, we have a new announcement, this time to the virgin Mary who would become the mother of God.

    What do we learn from the Announcement passage (Luke 1:26-38)?
    I would like to meditate on 4 things:

    1- We have good news: The angel said to Mary: “Rejoice”. Wow. This is good news. “You will conceive and bear a son, Jesus.”When I go to Mass, I Read the rest of this entry »

    To be beatified…

    May 24, 2008


    4 Advance Toward Sainthood

    VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2008 ( Poland, Italy, Lebanon and Germany will each have a native son or daughter proclaimed blessed in the coming days.

    The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced four beatification ceremonies scheduled for May and June.

    Marta Wiecka, a Polish sister of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, will be beatified this Sunday in Lviv, Ukraine. Read the rest of this entry »

    +Kasper, The Anglicans, The Future

    May 24, 2008

    Anglicans must choose between Protestantism and tradition, says Vatican

    I am hoping that with these remarks we are seeing a new +Kasper the Friendly Cardinal…

    That is to say, friendly to those parties looking to unite in communion and love to the Holy See.

    As it stands right now, he and his ilk have been instrumental in discouraging or disparaging talk of accomadation for groups like the Traditional Anglican Communin (TAC) which are outside of the mainstream Anglican communion and wish to be united to Rome. Also the Russian Greek Catholics (Russian Orthodox who have pledged their allegiance to Rome, sometimes by demanding Rome accept their allegiance!) have been denied a bishop of their own, and priests have been turned away and discouraged from unia left and right. We don’t – or so the thinking goes – want to alienate the churches and ecclesial communities from whence these groups hail. Read the rest of this entry »

    The Lost Son

    May 24, 2008

    Roy H. Schoeman is an incredibly insightful author – one of my favorites. He wrote Salvation is From the Jews.

    The thrust of one of his arguments is built from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Chapter 11. He points out that even though many of the Jews who lived during the time of Jesus rejected him as the Messiah, God still did not reject his people. This is something I have always agreed with but I have never been able to articulate it as well as Schoeman does. He points out that even though a stumbling block is placed in front of the Jews it is not so as to make them fall. They have been called into unbelief by God that the Gentiles might partake of their salvation, later they will be grafted back into the tree bringing yet more grace both to themselves and to the Gentiles. I really admire Mr. Schoeman because his argument for the fact is strictly scriptural and leaves practically no room for dispute, while mine has always been theological and leaves plenty of room for dispute.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    The UK’s new missionary work: Gay ye therefore and teach all nations!

    May 23, 2008

    Here I was begining to think that the nation that brought us an empire where the sun never set and the faith of the Sorvereign’s own personally controlled church was spread through the empire had give up on missionary work.

    How wrong I was.

    British Foreign Office to Promote Gay Agenda in Other Countries 

    Would be working to overturn the laws of sovereign states

    By Hilary White

    LONDON, May 22, 2008 ( ) – The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has announced that its embassies will now be collaborating with local homosexual activist organisations in other countries to promote acceptance of homosexuality overseas. The goal, officials said, is to join forces with these groups in attempting to force other countries to implement the full homosexualist political agenda of Read the rest of this entry »

    Mayor Quimby’s Myanmar Relief Efforts

    May 23, 2008

    In the Simpsons “The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XI (#12.1)”(2000) Mayor “Diamond Joe” Quimby – addressing a nervous electorate in the wake of a killer dolphin invasion, magnanimously assures:

    People, please. We’re all frightened and horny, but we can’t let some killer dolphins keep us from living and scoring!

    Apparently Diamond Joe, in real life, would work for the UN:

    UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Sending 220,000 Condoms to Myanmar Survivors

    Also providing portable abortion devices


    By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

    YANGON, May 22, 2008 ( – “The United Nations will send nearly a quarter of a million condoms into cyclone-hit Myanmar to help needy survivors with no access to contraceptives,” a UN official says. Read the rest of this entry »

    Free copy of Contraception, Why Not?

    May 23, 2008

    1 Free copy of Contraception, Why Not

    Author: Smith PhD, Janet E

    Order additional copies to share with family or friends.    

    Contraception: Why Not is a powerful presentation that challenges America to rethink its contraceptive mindset. To help people understand the contraception situation better, One More Soul offers one free copy of this talk to any new customer. Read the rest of this entry »

    The Daily Maronite: To All Friends: Map Yourself

    May 23, 2008

    To All Friends: Map Yourself


    Not only to Maronites but also to my friends: Map yourself. Go to this link:
    It’s easy and simple. Just click on “Subscribe to Map”.
    Thank you 

    Brideshead Revisited: The Garden Breakdown

    May 22, 2008

    Probably the most powerful scene in BR, Julia suffers a temendous prick of conscience which eventually leads to her full conversion of life. In this scene we see a combination of plot elements tumbled together, her Catholic upbringing at the knee of her Irish nanny, the childhood crucifix, the “penny Catechism” of the era, the death of her newborn, her bad marriage, her affair with Charlies–all are ultimately vehicles for communicating the paschal mystery concretely into her own experience. Read the rest of this entry »

    Martin Luther on Scripture

    May 22, 2008

    “We are obliged to yield many things to the Papists (Catholics)–that they possess the Word of God which we received from them, otherwise we should have known nothing at all about it.” Martin Luther–Commentary on St. John, ch. 16

    Historically, the Catholic Church used the authority given to her by Christ to infallibly determine which books would be included in the canon of Sacred Scripture. The canon of scripture was not officially recognized until 400 years after the birth Jesus. To put that in perspective, it has been 400 years since the Pilgrims landed in America. So, for nearly 400 years the Christian Church evangelized the known world. And, all this was done without a complete canonized Bible.

    And, due to the fact that there were no printing presses (until 1440 A.D.) most Churches did not probably even own all four gospels let alone all of the epistles. Even if each church had most of what eventually was canonized as sacred scripture, most people could not read and so faith and the pursuit of holiness could not possibly have been dependent upon personal Bible study. If Martin Luther, born in 1483, had been born 50 years earlier, long before the proliferation of printing presses, his theories of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide would never have gotten any traction.

    The Gospel has always been proclaimed, from the earliest times until now, by those ordained to the Apostolic Succession of the Diciples of Jesus. The celebration of Holy Mass teaches through every word and action about the holiness of God, the sacrifice of Christ and our calling to worship God, repentence, forgiveness of sin and the pursuit of holiness. And, precisely because most of the faithful could not read scripture for themselves, it was read to them at every mass.

    Christian liturgy draws our souls to Christ through all five senses. Because, in addition, to hearing, the faithful see the stories of the Old Testament and the life of Christ depicted in sacred art in the churches. We also smell the incense and best of all touch and taste the Body of Christ in Holy Communion.
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    Wait Till They Hear About This At The Kingdom Hall!

    May 22, 2008

    Tom Ryan and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

    Just kidding, that gentleman is Tom Ryan, a Catholic with some powerful friends!

    Now if that were me in Tom’s place, I would shamelessly Photo-Shop Santa hats on the Cardinal and I and use it as my Christmas card from now until my last Christmas… (Run with it Tom!)

    5 bob to Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

    Archimandrite Robert F. Taft on the unity movement in the CotE

    May 22, 2008

    On January 21st, 2007, Archimandrite Robert Taft visited our parish in San Jose. The talk that he gave was reassuring and helped many in their stance in support of H.G. Mar Bawai Soro. Many of you reading this probably already know of Fr. Taft, who is a learned scholar with many works to his name; at the time, I myself had one of his books in my bookshelf.

    When he weighed in on the situation as it existed in the beginning of 2007, he made it clear that he did not want to be used as a polemical tool in any kind of attack; what he had stated should be left as it is without alteration. I have done my best to faithfully transcribe his words from the video, leaving out just a personal note he had made near the beginning. The video itself can be seen at:

    I am very happy to be with you today because as father said I Read the rest of this entry »

    The Daily Maronite: The Announcement to Zechariah

    May 22, 2008


    The Announcement to Zechariah


    After sin entered the world, the relationship between God & Man was broken. Man began to run from himself. He became afraid, unable to see or comprehend his Creator. He would blame God for his misery, his problems, and the evil in the world.

    God did not leave humanity alone. He began to reveal Himself gradually. The story began with a promise to Abraham: “Leave your country, your kindred and your father’s house for a country which I shall show you; and I shall make you a great nation… and all clans on earth will bless themselves by you.” (Genesis 12:1-3). Read the rest of this entry »

    Attracting Religious Vocations

    May 21, 2008

    As a member of a religion community (the Holy Cross Fathers) that has always attracted a small but steady flow of new seminarians, I can say a couple of things are important to attract vocations:

    1. Flexibility. What enthuses one generation does not so much the next. If a community gets frozen in the thoughts, interests, vocabulary, spirituality, and ministries of one generation only, it is virtually doomed.
    2. Hard work at Vocational Ministry. Youth attract youth. Nobody wants to be left alone. So a steady flow without a hiatus is critical. Read the rest of this entry »

    Abortion Survivor: The Gianna Jessen Story

    May 21, 2008

    Gianna Jessen came into the world as a surprise. Her 17-year-old mother knew she was pregnant. She also knew she didn’t want to be. She underwent an abortion procedure, having toxic saline solution injected into the womb during the third trimester. Read the rest of this entry »

    The Daily Maronite: Snow early November

    May 21, 2008

    Snow early November


    I took this picture just few miles (10 minutes) from the Mediterranean Sea.

    Clarification of Unification by Fr. Dimitri

    May 21, 2008

    Recently, Fr. Dimitri posted in a forum the following response to attempt to clear up some confusion that had been taking place about the union that was just achieved under the guidance of H.G. Mar Bawai Soro. Fr. Dimitri is one of the priests who recently united into the Chaldean Catholic Church. He writes:

    There seems to be more than a little confusion regarding the status of the parishes and their clergies who have supported His Lordship Mar Bawai. Permit me to try to clear up this confusion and set the record straight.

    First, let us recall that Mar Bawai made several promises to us. He promised NOT to try to make us “Roman Catholics.” He promised NOT to start another Church. And he promised to seek unity with both churches of our Church of the East patrimony, the Chaldean Catholic and the Ancient Church of the East.

    We should all acknowledge that he has kept these three promises. His Grace found it prudent to incorporate a diocese, the “Assyrian Catholic and Apostolic Diocese,” to serve his followers. This was not a “church,” but a legal covering.

    Regarding seeking unity, while the Ancient Church of the East has shown great charity and openness towards Mar Bawai and his supporters, (which is appreciated on every level) her leadership was not interested in pursuing unity with the other apostolic Churches at this time. This did not fit the criteria His Grace had set for the Diocese in seeking unity.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    May 21: Saint Rita of Cascia

    May 21, 2008

    Saint Rita of Cascia, 1386 – 1456 Read the rest of this entry »

    May 21: Blessed Manuel Gómez González

    May 21, 2008

    Blessed Manuel Gómez González, 1877 – 1924 Read the rest of this entry »

    The Strange Tale Of Marjoe Gortner

    May 20, 2008

    5 bob to: Earthless

    Wikipedia informs:

    Hugh Marjoe Ross Gortner, generally known as Marjoe Gortner (born January 14, 1944 in Long Beach, California), is a former evangelical minister who first gained a certain fame in the late 1940s and early to mid 1950s when he became the youngest ordained preacher at the age of four, and then outright notoriety in the 1970s when he starred in an Oscar-winning, behind-the-scenes documentary about the lucrative business of Pentecostal preaching. The name “Marjoe” is a combination of the names “Mary” and “Joseph”.

    When Marjoe was three, his father, a second generation evangelical minister, noticed his son’s talent for mimicry and overall fearlessness of strangers and public settings. His parents claimed Marjoe had received a vision from God during a bath and began training him to deliver sermons, complete with dramatic gestures and emphatic lunges. By the time Marjoe was four, his parents arranged for him to perform a marriage ceremony for a film crew from Paramount studios, referring to him as “the youngest ordained minister in history.” Like much in Marjoe’s early life it is hard to say for sure who exactly ordained him, if his father ordained him, or if he was even ordained at all.

    Why Can’t Catholic Priests Get Married?

    May 20, 2008

    To answer this question I am posting a discussion I had in the comments section of Priesthood of all Believers.

    Peter’s style in the comments section was casual/IM…thus, without punctuation or capitalizations. This is normal in those venues and does NOT mean he doesn’t know how to punctuate or capitalize. I didn’t make all of the corrections needed to make his comments and questions formally correct b/c it would have been a lot of work. I thought he had very good and honest questions, representative of the questions many people have so I decided to put them in a post. So, here is our discussion:

    Peter: i think you are dead right about presbyters (being the word translated “priest” in English). that is why some are placed into positions of leadership (like james the just or peter and paul, etc). however, these leadership positions are extensively talked about by paul in timothy and other places. in timothy, paul says that presbyters are to be husbands of but one wife and their kids are to be respectful because if they cant control their family they cant control the church.

    so now tell me, how can a claim be made that presbyters are supposed to be celibate? there is no mandate that presbyters are celibate. in fact, the exact opposite. paul says that they should marry if they cant control their passions.


    You are absolutely correct. There is no Biblical mandate that Priests are to be celibate. In fact, we know since Peter had a mother-in-law that he must have been married, at some point. The normal discipline of priestly celibacy could be changed to allow priests to marry. Celibacy is a discipline in the Latin Rite Catholic Church it is not an unchangeable doctrine or dogma. Eating fish on Fridays, similarly, was a discipline in the Church but it was changed and priestly celibacy might be changed, could be changed, theoretically. But it probably will not be changed any time soon. So disciplines can change but dogma does not change.

    There are many good reasons to keep celibacy but the best is because the celibate Priest most closely models Jesus Christ, who was celibate. He also, stands in Persona Christi in most of the sacraments and since in Heaven there will be no marriage, the priest also models life in the age to come. In the Eastern Orthodox churches and even some non Latin rite Catholic Churches married men are ordained to the priesthood. But the married ones cannot become Bishops. And people in these churches prefer the unmarried priests to the married ones for the obvious reason that an unmarried priest can be married to the Church as he is called to be, and a more available Read the rest of this entry »

    The Daily Maronite: Cedars

    May 20, 2008



    I visited the Cedars. What a beautiful smell. like incense.
    This picture is a gift for Hint’s Feet.