It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pope Says Homosexuals Destroy Themselves

In his most powerful statements to date on issues involving sexual morality, Pope Benedict XVI said homosexuals end up destroying themselves so the Church has a duty to speak out on moral issues that affect the very spiritual and physical lives of man.

"In seeking to emancipate himself from his body (from the 'biological sphere'), [man] ends up by destroying himself," the pope told cardinals, archbishops, bishops and members of the Roman Curia last week in a traditional meeting overlooked by most of the world's press. "Against those who say that 'the Church should not involve herself in these matters,' we can only respond: does man not concern us too? The church and believers must raise their voices to defend man, the creature who, in the inseparable unity of body and spirit, is the image of God."

The pope also lamented low birth rates in Europe, saying couples no longer seem to want children. This fact, he said, has "penetrated my soul."

read full story here

Poland Declares Solidarity With Tridentine Mass

We are with you, Holy Father!

Declaration on the use of the Traditional Liturgy

In light of ever more frequent statements of close associates of the Holy Father, who confirm his intention of restoring the right and freedom of use of the traditional liturgy in the Latin rite, as faithful laymen of the Roman Catholic Church we wish to express our hope and gratitude.

We would also like to affirm our solidarity with the Pope, mindful that for many years prior to taking up his seat as the Apostolic Successor of Saint Peter, he took up efforts to ensure that reverent liturgical forms passed on in a long tradition and confirmed officially by Saint Pius [V] "according to the rites and customs of the Roman Church" (Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum, Pope St. Pius V, July 14th 1570) were preserved so as to "hand on this treasure for the Church of today and tomorrow" (Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, addressing liturgical conference, held over 22 to 24 July 2001, convened under the patronage of the Abbey of Fontgombault).

We understand the expected promotion of the traditional liturgy, otherwise termed the classical Roman rite, to involve the affirmation of the principle which is mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ratified by the Servant of God Pope John Paul II, which quotes the words of the Second Vatican Council: "that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognized rites to be of equal right and dignity, and that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way." (CCC, 1203; Sacrosanctum Concilium, 4). The then-Cardinal Ratzinger also reminded us of this principle, stating that "the Council ordered a reform of the liturgical books, but it did not prohibit the former books." (Ten Years of the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger).

Everything indicates that today we are progressing towards solutions which will bring these words into full daylight.

3. We dearly thank the Holy Father for all his gestures of understanding, openness, and respect regarding "the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition".

These gestures underscore and continue the line of action of John Paul II, who appealed to the Bishops and those exercising a pastoral ministry in the Church twenty years ago for "measures to guarantee respect for [the] rightful aspirations" expressed by "all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition" (John Paul II, motu proprio Ecclesia Dei, 5 c).

Mindful of all the difficulties and cares which are associated with the service of the shepherds of the Church, we expect that the regulations annouced by the Holy See will also serve to break the specific order of intolerance, which hinders the crucial internal unity in the Church. (See: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, God and the World).

4. Moreover, we hope that the response to this endeavor by Benedict XVI in the current discourse within the Church will include "every effort to avoid expressions, judgments and actions which do not represent with truth and fairness" the condition of those Catholics who are tied to the traditional liturgy (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, 4).

We also hope that the granting of full rights of the use of the liturgy of Saint Pius V will improve the prospects of healing the rift which also took place in this context in 1988 and which lasts until this day, and for which, perhaps, "men of both sides were to blame" (Vatican Council II, Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, 3), partly due to the marginalization, within the Church, of "certain truths and certain values of the Christian faith" which "are no longer lived and loved" (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Speaking as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, addressing the National Conference of Chilean Bishops in Santiago). Let us pray that this wound be healed and that all Catholics who are already united by faith in the same dogmas will henceforth be able to enjoy the visible communion of the life of the Church.

5. In these days of expectation we therefore wish to join those voices of support and gratitude, which are already being directed toward the Holy Father by public figures in the Christian community, and we willingly hereby declare our support and gratitude to the Holy Father Benedict XVI for his will to remove the practical discrimination of the traditional liturgy, which has served throughout the ages as a worthy instrument for the sanctification of many and as a great monument of our spiritual culture.



Przemysław Alexandrowicz, senator

Prof. Jacek Bartyzel, political scientist

Dr Sławomir Cenckiewicz, historian

Prof. Jan Dzięgielewski, historian

Marcin Gugulski, journalist

Lech Jęczmyk, translator

Marek Jurek, Marshall of the Sejm (Speaker of the Parliament)

Bogusław Kiernicki, president of the Fundacja Św. Benedykta (St. Benedict Foundation)

Wojciech Kilar, composer

Aleksander Kopiński, historian and literary critic, editor of "Fronda"

Dr Jacek Kowalski, art historian, singer

Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk, historian

Jan Filip Libicki, MP (Member of Parliament)

Marcin Libicki, MEP (Member of the European Parliament)

Paweł Lisicki, writer

Prof. Roman Michałowski, historian

Andrzej Mikosz, lawyer

Dr Paweł Milcarek, philosopher and journalist, editor in chief of "Christianitas"

Paweł Nowacki, deputy director of TVP1, author of documentaries

Dr Justyn Piskorski, university teacher

Ewa Polak-Pałkiewicz, journalist

Tomasz Raczkiewicz, artist of the Poznan Opera

Prof. Marcin Sompoliński, conductor, Akademia Muzyczna in Poznan

Dr Piotr Sosiński, lawyer

Konrad Szymański, MEP

Prof. Kazimierz Świrydowicz, mathematician

Dr Tomasz P. Terlikowski, philosopher, journalist at Polskapresse

Jacek Tomczak, MP

Prof. Piotr Tryjanowski, biologist

Artur Zawisza, MP

original text
translation source

Friday, December 29, 2006

Media Reports Rise in Traditional Latin Mass


(KTVI) -- Catholic churches around the country are seeing a return to a more traditional way of prayer. Traditional Latin masses, which were banned for almost two decades, are now becoming a popular alternative to English masses for younger families...

see news video here

Why Global Warming is GOOD

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Based on everything I've read so far, it would seem to me that global warming is not only a natural process of earth's temperature cycles, but it actually is a very GOOD thing for human beings all around. Ancient records indicate that the early middle ages saw extremely warm global temperatures. This time period was marked by improvements in agriculture, the advance of civilization and improvement in the overall quality of life across the social-economic spectrum. The later middle ages saw what some scientists call "the little ice age" in which global temperatures dropped, and with it came the advance of glaciers into northern Europe. What accompanied this time was what many people refer to as "the dark ages," when agriculture was impeded by falling temperatures and unfavorable weather conditions. This resulted in the retreat of civilization, massive starvation and the spread of disease. The so-called "little ice age" lasted from the 13th through 18th centuries, with periodic highs and lows, on average much lower in temperature than what we see today. This period ended with the rise of the industrial revolution, though modern science seems to be discovering that global temperature change has more to do with astronomical cycles in solar events, and not necessarily anything humanity has done (or is doing).

The bottom line is this. Global warming is a good thing. Human history indicates an overall increase in the quality of life whenever global temperatures rise, and a decrease whenever they fall. Yet increasingly global politics seems to base environmental policy more and more on outdated pseudo-science, rather than hard scientific evidence. More and more politicians base their positions on the scare tactics of doomsday prophets (like former Vice President Al Gore), than on the empirical evidence of real scientific research. WHY? I suppose we could speculate on this all we want. But I think the most likely answer can be found by looking into the policies these doomsday politicians want to impose on the people. Most of them consist of higher taxes, bigger government, and curtailing economic freedom. Has the new environmental scare become a vehicle for the rebirth of global socialism? I leave that for my readers to decide.

related story:
http://catholicknight.blogspot.com/2006/12/science-discovers-real-cause-of-global.html

Amendment 2 -- ROUND 2

From the Missouri Conference of Catholic Bishops (MCC)...
SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION ON HUMAN CLONING FUNDING?

Your calls, letters and e-mails opposing taxpayer funding for human cloning and other unethical life science experiments are having their effect. Governor Matt Blunt has announced that he may call a special session to run concurrent with the regular session, which convenes January 3, 2007, to consider legislation to sell assets of the state student loan fund to provide funding for various life science projects on state college campuses.

By calling this unheard of special session concurrent with the regular legislative session, Governor Blunt is seeking to head off the growing opposition to state funding for unethical life sciences experiments by moving quickly before the public's voice is heard.

The governor wants the legislature to approve the selling of $350 million in assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) for the construction of life science facilities at Missouri public universities. There are three basic reasons why this is a very bad idea.

1. Passage of Amendment 2 has robbed the legislature of the ability to make distinctions between life science research that is ethically acceptable, such as research with adult stem cells, and unethical experiments that involve human cloning or the destruction of human embryos. Consequently, if the legislature approves the MOHELA sale, the life science facilities developed will have to be open for both ethical and unethical life science ventures: human cloning and research that destroys early human life.

2. MOHELA' s mission is to provide affordable low-interest loans to college students. These loans are badly needed. The University of Missouri, for example, has the highest tuition of any Big 12 school. Part of its historic mission is to provide access to higher education to a wide sector of Missouri citizens. Selling the MOHELA assets makes higher education less accessible to Missouri families.

3. MOHELA's assets have been built up by the customers it serves - college students paying off loans for attendance at both public and private universities like St. Louis University and Rockhurst University in Kansas City. In fact, a disproportionate amount of the loans extended by MOHELA are to students at Missouri's Catholic colleges and university. However, the sale proceeds will only be used to assist state universities. The private universities that helped to build the wealth of MOHELA will receive no benefits from the MOHELA sale, and, in fact, will be harmed because their students will have fewer options to obtain financial assistance.

Thus, for many Catholic families in Missouri, this is triple hit on their moral values, their pocketbooks and their hopes for a quality Catholic education for their children. First, the moneys they have paid into MOHELA will be used for human cloning and other unethical research which destroys innocent human lives. Second, it will cost these families more to send their children to college. And third, the assets of MOHELA, which come from their hard-earned dollars, will be sold only for the benefit of public higher education, which will put Catholic colleges and universities at
a greater disadvantage as they seek to attract students, quality teachers and community support.

Some may argue that the November 7, 2006 election gives a mandate for funding embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. But Amendment 2 passed by about 50,000 votes out of over 2 million votes cast. This certainly does not constitute a mandate. Supporters of Amendment 2 spent over $30 for each vote cast in favor of the amendment. Normally, the legislature supports funding of projects for which there is a reasonable level of consensus. Furthermore, there are plenty of programs that are
under-funded at this time. Many low-income parents, for example, lost their Medicaid health coverage in 2005 because of a severe state budget shortfall. Yet the governor's proposal would give speculative life science experiments priority over providing basic health care to the poor, the elderly, veterans and low-income working families.

Some suggest that life science research must go forward for the economic progress of our state. But no economic "progress" can justify the taking of any human life. If the research is valid and ethical, it will win the public's approval in the market and move forward. Why should this particular business - biotech - be singled out for special treatment and taxpayer money? Missouri should not establish a government subsidized life science industry.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:

Don't let up now! Your calls, letters and e-mails are beginning to have an impact, but more constituent pressure is needed!

* Contact your State Senator and State Representative immediately (see hyper-linked rosters at the end of this ActionGram. Note: Complete legislator information will not be available until January 3, 2007);

* Pass this ActionGram on to friends and neighbors and encourage them to contact their state lawmakers;

* Post this ActionGram in church, parish and Knights of Columbus halls, Catholic schools and other places where it will be seen.

* Have the following message placed in the Sunday bulletin.

MOHELA sale will fund human cloning! The state legislature will soon consider the sale of $350 million in assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) for the construction of life science buildings at public universities. The Missouri Catholic Conference asks citizens to urge their state lawmakers to oppose the MOHELA sale. The MOHELA sale is poor public policy for the following three reasons: 1. The proceeds from the MOHELA sale can be used for unethical life sciences and human cloning;

2. The MOHELA sale will transfer money normally used to provide loan assistance to college students to the construction of life science buildings on the public university campuses; and 3. Even though a disproportionate amount of the MOHELA assets come from loan applications from Catholic college students, Catholic colleges and universities such as St. Louis University and Rockhurst University will realize no benefit from the MOHELA sale - all the money will be used for construction at public (not private) colleges and universities.


* Report back to the MCC on what your legislators are saying. Contact us at mocatholic@mocatholic.org or call toll-free at 1-800-456-1679.

ROSTER OF STATE SENATORS: http://www.senate.mo.gov/06info/senalpha.htm

ROSTER OF STATE REPRESENTATIVES:
http://www.house.state.mo.us/default.aspx?info=/bills071/member/memmail.htm

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Iran Tries To Pull Vatican Into Nuclear Showdown

The president of Iran has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI regarding the United Nation’s decision to impose sanction on the country – the latest in a series of contacts with Christianity by the conservative Muslim country.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter via his Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to Pope Benedict on Wednesday about the U.N. Security Council’s decision to enact sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, reported The Associated Press. The Vatican did not release details about the letter, but Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said the focus was on the Security Council’s vote to approve sanctions against Tehran.

The United Nations Security Council on Christmas Eve decided to impose a set of sanctions against Iran in response to its uranium-enrichment activities. For months the Council negotiated with Tehran about its nuclear program. Countries including the United States are concern Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at making nuclear weapons, which Iran claims is for producing energy.

The Vatican emphasized that Pope Benedict’s brief meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister was apolitical.

The Pope “reaffirmed the role that the Holy See intends to carry out for world peace, not as a political authority but as a religious and moral one…so that people’s problems will always be solved in dialogue, mutual understanding and peace,” said a Vatican statement...

read full story here

Science Discovers Real Cause of Global Warming

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 22, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The general warming of global temperatures in recent decades appears to mostly be the result of a regular, sunspot induced climate cycle that has been occurring roughly every 1500 years for at least the past one million years. Climate physicist S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, discussed the substantial evidence for their new book "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years," at a Hudson Institute book forum in Washington, D.C. last month.

The book is said to make a very powerful case that the current climate trends we are currently seeing are in fact part of a product of a solar-linked cycle that creates harmless naturally warmer conditions approximately every 1500 years....

read full story here

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

PROOF: Liberal Catholicism Doesn't Work!

'Renovated' Catholicism attracts few tenants

Kelly Patrick
National Post


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

With interest in spirituality on the rise and church attendance in a freefall, a week-long National Post series considers the state of Canadian Christianity and whether the way forward may in fact be the way backward.

Picture, if you can, a Roman Catholic renegade.

If the image you summon is that of a portly white man in a plaid shirt, a man who hugs strangers and cracks wise from behind a makeshift altar, then you have summoned up the brand of religious subversion embodied by Gary O'Dwyer, the face of Mass at what may be Canada's only truly schismatic Catholic Church.

"Sisters and brothers," Mr. O'Dwyer begins on a recent Sunday morning, addressing the 50 or so parishioners who have gathered to worship at a community hall in this village 100 kilometres east of Toronto.

The service is unlike any Catholic Mass I have ever attended. There is no kneeling on the hall's scuffed hardwood floor, no pressing of fingers into sponges of holy water, no stiff handshakes when it comes time to offer each other the sign of peace. (That part of the service descends into a 10-minute hugfest.)

And when it comes time for Communion, the congregation forms a circle, accepts the Host and swallows at the same time.

Throughout the service, Mr. O'Dwyer continues to transpose the phrase "brothers and sisters" so that it is always sisters first. Subtle, but significant -- it was, after all, displeasure at the place of women in the church, and the example of a priest who insisted women deserved better, that brought this group of unlikely rebels together in the first place.

"Sometimes you have to take a step forward and be willing to be alienated or criticized," Mr. O'Dwyer later said of his decision to leave the Roman Catholic Church and help found a breakaway parish.

"I think it's very much connected to what's been happening in the church as well in the broader society," says John Huot, the chair of the Catholic New Times Publishing Group.

"There's been a retreat from social justice."

The seeds of Christ the Servant were planted in August of 2005 when Fr. Ed Cachia, a warm and well-loved priest at St. Michael's Church in Cobourg, wrote an editorial in the local paper praising the ordination of nine women on the St. Lawrence River, calling it, "the beginning of a new and awesome change in the life of the church."

He later celebrated Mass with female priests in the United States. Fr. Cachia was summoned to speak with Peterborough Bishop Nicola De Angelis and was later given a month's leave to reflect on his stance.

He refused to bend. The Bishop suspended him, prompting him to deliver three emotional farewell Masses.

The church's 9 a.m. folk choir resigned en masse that morning, deepening the rift that separated Fr. Cachia's supporters and detractors.

"It was very emotional," said Lyn Smith, 75, who stayed at St. Michael's, and disagrees with the stance taken by those who split. "Some of the rest of us were absolutely dismayed and disbelieving ... There were tears shed by lots of people at the time just because they thought they were losing a friend."

For a few months, Fr. Cachia and a core of families who left with him worshipped in private homes, traipsing from living room to living room. The experience was so positive they decided to formalize it and stick with it after the loss of their leader.

Almost a year to the day after he left St. Michael's, on Sept. 24 of this year, Fr. Cachia again provoked tears with an announcement that he was leaving.

After a week-long spiritual retreat, he decided to see if the Roman Catholic Church would take him back...

read full story here

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Prayer Shawls - A Sign of Class, Beauty and Courage

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: In a previous article, I demonstrated why a Catholic woman should wear her mantilla with pride! Indeed, nothing says "I'm Catholic and not ashamed of it!" better than a mantilla. This Biblical custom was recommended by the Apostle Paul (1st Corinthians 11:1-16) and codified in the Code of Canon Law for centuries. Vatican II did not rescind the custom, nor did the New Code of Canon Law. Rather, they left the matter open, for Catholic women to decide for themselves how they would express their humility and devotion to God.

The head covering is part of Christian tradition all over the world. It is only in English speaking countries (particularly the United States) where this Catholic and Biblical custom has fallen by the wayside. As a Caucasian boy, growing up in Southern California, I found myself surrounded by Hispanic communities. I still have very fond memories of my childhood home, and for a white man, I'm not the least bit embarrassed to say I find myself more "at home" and "at ease" in Hispanic culture than my current Anglo-Saxon surroundings of the American Midwest.

My grandmother was Swedish, but she was raised in Cuba - go figure! She spoke fluent Spanish, and didn't know a word of Scandinavian. She was also a Roman Catholic. Growing up in Southern California, with my Spanish-speaking white grandma, got me in pretty close with the Hispanic-Catholic culture of the area. The older women of those parishes were staunchly conservative in their religious practices, and to be quite honest, I've never seen a more modest and classy group. These women knew how to be Catholic, Spanish, classy and at the same time absolutely beautiful. Their Spanish shawls served a double purpose. Inside the Church they frequently used them as a type of mantilla, while outside, they dropped them down over their shoulders to create a elegant wrap, useful for social gatherings in the cool outdoors. In all my years since childhood, I've never seen a more impressive and stunning display of feminine Catholic beauty.

My wife also grew up in the same neighborhood as I, and she (like my grandmother), is a Scandinavian who identifies more with Catholic-Hispanic culture than her own. (Guess what I'm getting her for Christmas.) If only more Catholic women across America would pick up this particular tradition. If they did American Catholicism would benefit, Catholic women would be known for their classy style, and I would start to feel at home again.
Sigh!

Related Stories...

Anti-Christian Bigotry on the Rise this Christmas

From the Catholic League...


December 21, 2006

VANDALS STORM CRECHES NATIONWIDE

The following attacks on crèches have come to our attention:

Figures from nativity scenes were stolen or vandalized in Tucson, AZ ; Millbrae, CA; Mission Viejo, CA; Moorpark, CA; San Francisco, CA; Naugatuck, CT; Waterbury, CT (Jesus was taken, but one of the arms was left behind); Fort Walton Beach, FL; Des Moines, IA; Sioux City, IA; Ammon, ID; Chicago, IL (32 figures of baby Jesus were nabbed—they were later dumped on the lawn of a Catholic church); Jackson County, IL (two incidents); Tinley Park, IL; Floyd County, IN; Fort Wayne, IN; Montgomery County, IN; Wichita, KS; Hardin, KY; Lafayette, LA (two incidents); Youngsville, LA; Fitchburg, MA; Southborough, MA; Winthrop, ME; Portage Township, MI; Fayettville, NC; New Bern, NC; Columbus, NE (12 baby Jesus figures were stolen in one day); Plaistow, NH; Dover, OH; Utica, OH (three incidents); Artemis, PA; Bucks County, PA; Greenfield, PA; Hilton Head, SC; Halom City, TX; Santa Fe, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Winfield, WV and West Allis, WI.


Some of these attacks were clearly motivated by malice. The baby Jesus figure stolen in Plaistow, NH was later returned, having been defiled by a pair of devil horns. The hooligan who stole the manger from Southborough, MA left the surrounding secular decorations standing. In Sioux Falls, SD, someone crushed the face of the statue of Jesus. What’s worse, the creep in Des Moines, IA burned Jesus’ face, doused the statue with red nail polish, and twisted the electrical cord around its neck. The incident in Kansas occurred outside the clinic of late-term abortionist George Tiller. After a member of a pro-life group placed the crèche on a public strip of land, one of Tiller’s employees deemed it “offensive” and moved it behind a fence on the clinic’s property where it would no longer be visible.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pope Or Politics -- Archbishop of Washington DC Must Choose

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It's crunch time for the Archbishop of Washington DC. Will Archbishop Donald Wuerl obey the pope, and the resolution of the USCCB, and deny communion to the Speaker Elect -- Nancy Polosi? Or will the good bishop cave to politics and surrender his office at the alter of the 'political correct' Baal? That is the question of the day. Does the Archbishop of Washington DC have the religious COURAGE to do the right thing? Or will he cave into the expectations of those who (by their actions) despise the Roman Catholic faith? The ball is in his court now, and all the Catholic world is watching. What's it going to be your Eminence? You cannot serve two masters. Will it be the pope or political correctness?

WASHINGTON, December 19, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—a pro-abortion legislator who claims to be a practicing Catholic—prepares to celebrate her new role as House Speaker-elect, she also plans on airing her purported faith during an upcoming public Mass. On Jan. 3, Rep. Pelosi is scheduled to attend Mass at Trinity College in Washington as an endorsement of her alma mater and her Catholic faith.

In response to the announcement, however, American Life League has implored Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. to intervene in an effort to prevent Pelosi from using the Mass for political gain.

The former Washington Archbishop, Theodore McCarrick, consistently refused to take any disciplinary action—even the most basic of refusing Holy Communion—against Catholic politicians who persistently and publicly espoused views that seriously contradict Catholic teaching. The current Archbishop, Donald Wuerl, who was installed in June of this year, has not yet indicated how he will deal with such renegade Catholic politicians. Pelosi’s attendance at the Trinity College Mass will be a test-case for Wuerl on the issue....

read full story here

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Anatomy of a Breakup

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Over the last few years we've witnessed the breakdown of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). The saga unfolded with the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop (who left his wife and family to live with a man). The nation was shocked! Before the eyes of America, the nation's oldest church (predating the American Revolution) was openly condoning, blessing and rewarding a homosexual adulterer with a promotion. What followed was chaos. Since then we've seen the complete disintegration of the ECUSA, culminating in the election of an apostate bishopess to the head of the denomination. The breakdown is complete. Now we enter the breakup....

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - Two of the most prominent and largest Episcopal parishes in Virginia voted overwhelmingly Sunday to leave The Episcopal Church and join fellow Anglican conservatives forming a rival denomination in the U.S.

Truro Church in Fairfax and The Falls Church in Falls Church plan to place themselves under the leadership of Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, who has called the growing acceptance of gay relationships a "satanic attack" on the church.

Truro rector Martyn Minns was consecrated a bishop by the Church of Nigeria earlier this year to lead Akinola's Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

"This has been our spiritual home, so separating is very hard," Minns said at a news conference announcing the parishes' decision. "There's also the promise of a new day. A burden is being lifted. There are new possibilities breaking through."...

read full story here

What many of my Catholic readers may not realize is that what they're witnessing is the end of a story, not the beginning of it. You see the troubles of the Episcopal Church (ECUSA) have been brewing for at least three decades. It all began in the 1970s, with an updated revision to the Episcopal 'Book of Common Prayer,' which regulates the liturgical norms in the denomination. Around the same time came the ordination of women priests (priestesses). This event became the Episcopalian equivalent of Vatican II -- with one exception -- no pope existed to regulate the changes. As a result, Liberalism took over the denomination.

It wasn't long after priestesses were ordained, that homosexual men entered the Episcopal priesthood as well. (Just as they did in the US Catholic Church.) The only difference between the Episcopalians and their Catholic counterparts is the fact that Liberalism faced no obstacles in the ECUSA, whereas it kept hitting a brick wall with the Vatican.

So herein lies the lesson for Catholics. LIBERALISM DESTROYS CHRISTIANITY! The ECUSA serves as an object lesson for the US Catholic Church. There, but by the grace of God, go us. Liberalism has already hurt the US Catholic Church in serious ways, but even in the wake of the sex-abuse/cover-up scandal of 2003, we have been spared the majority of damage. Our Church remains intact. There is no significant threat of schism. We enjoy both the support and correction of the pope. Our Church now leads the way in the protection of minors from sexual predators. Contrast that with the total breakdown and breakup of the ECUSA, and we begin to see the fruit of unbridled Liberalism.

The lesson for Catholics and Episcopalians alike; "if it ain't broken, don't fix it!" Religions (like Catholicism) are the way they are for a reason. They've developed and evolved over the course of thousands of years to serve a necessity in civilization. They work because they serve as an anchor of unchanging stability in the tumultuous times of political upheavals and societal change. When you turn the Church into a social-political experiment, you not only undermine tradition, but you effectively unhinge the very purpose of the religion itself -- creating institutional chaos. Such was the case for both the ECUSA and the US Catholic Church. The US Catholic Church will survive this trial, the ECUSA will not. What will eventually replace the ECUSA will be a new form of conservative American Anglicanism -- perhaps the 'Anglican Church of America?' In time the ECUSA will dwindle down to the size of a micro-denomination, serving only those 'Christians' who refuse to hear the moral truth of Christianity. The US Catholic Church, however, will flourish again soon, and it won't be because of Liberalism. Rather, it will be the product of a growing movement of orthodoxy and traditionalism within the Church. In the end, Conservative Catholicism will prevail. The lesson for Catholics is "don't go the way of the Episcopalians." Look where it's gotten them. It's time for Catholics to get back to the moral and traditional roots of our Christian faith.

Monday, December 18, 2006

'Mr. Domino's' Supports Sam Brownback for President

WASHINGTON — The passion of Tom Monaghan: Pizza. God. Sam Brownback.

The Domino's pizza founder, one of the nation's richest and most controversial Roman Catholic philanthropists, is putting his money and influence into making Brownback, the Republican Kansas senator, the next president of the United States.

The former pizza magnate is advising the 2008 presidential exploratory committee for Brownback, a longtime social conservative who converted to Catholicism a few years ago. Monaghan, who declined an interview request, is expected to play a lead role in "Catholics for Brownback."

read full story here

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Support The Pope!!!!


The Italian daily Il Foglio publishes today a manifesto (full text here) signed by great Italian intellectuals, including Antonio Socci and Franco Zeffirelli (and also René Girard, of the Académie Française, who published with other French intellectuals a manifesto published today at Le Figaro), in defense of the liberation of the Traditional Roman Mass, the Missa Piana, and remembering the Petition of 1966 and the great British Petition of 1971, of venerable memory. The French have also published their own manifesto supporting Pope Benedict's decision to liberalize use of the Traditional Roman Mass (see French manifesto here).

If you wish to join the thousands who want to lend their support to the Socci Manifesto, write to:


Subject Line: Appello di Antonio Socci

Insert Following Text:
“Esprimiamo il nostro plauso per la decisione di Benedetto XVI di cancellare la proibizione dell’antica messa in latino secondo il messale di san Pio V, grande patrimonio della nostra cultura da salvare e riscoprire”. [English: "We express our praise for the decision of Benedict XVI to cancel the prohibition of the ancient Mass in Latin according to the Missal of Saint Pius V, a great legacy of our culture, which must be saved and rediscovered."]

Sign: Name, Profession (optional), City (optional) and Country of Residence

Evangelicals Mature to New Kind of Politics

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The following story illustrates how Evangelicals can no longer be stereotyped as neoconservative Republicans. Their political views are evolving, built on a staunchly Pro-Life foundation, and growing to embrace broader forms of Social Justice. In other words, a growing number of Evangelicals are starting to embrace many of the Social Justice teachings of the Catholic Church -- whether they realize it or not...

LONGWOOD, Fla. (AP) - The Rev. Joel Hunter thinks everyone should replace old light bulbs with energy-saving fluorescents, and he's passionate about job training for the poor.

Those aren't revolutionary ideas until you consider the self-identified conservative is pastor of a suburban Orlando megachurch, and was until recently president-elect of the Christian Coalition.

Hunter, head of Northland, A Church Distributed, is among a handful of increasingly high-profile evangelical leaders preaching new politics. They are less fire and brimstone than compassion and concern, less interested in conservatism than what they call Jesus Christ's broader message, and utterly tired of partisan name-calling.

They could also be a new force in American politics...

read full story here

Friday, December 15, 2006

Coming Soon To A Parish Near You

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to seeing more signs like this in the near future....


Reputable Catholic news agencies are now reporting that the Pope's 'motu propio' on the Tridentine mass will be released sometime after Christmas, while the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist could come in mid-January 2007. Sources are saying the Apostolic Exhortation, which is separate from the pope's 'motu propio,' would contain a commitment to the celibate priesthood, an encouragement for the use of more Latin in the vernacular Novus Ordo mass, and a request that seminarians learn the Latin language. It is said to also promote the recovery of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphonic music, while calling for modern contemporary music to be phased out of litugical celebrations.

SOURCES
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=8286
http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=48226

Ecumenical Breakthrough!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It would appear that the pope's visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Turkey has paved the way for a kind 'ecumenical breakthrough' among Eastern Christians...

Pope, Greek Orthodox primate unite against secularism

Vatican, Dec. 14, 2006 (CWNews.com) - Greek Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens met with Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) on Thursday, December 14, and the two signed a joint statement affirming their commitment to Christian unity.

In their joint statement the Pope and Archbishop Christodoulos affirmed “our joint responsibility to overcome, in love and truth, the multiple difficulties and painful experiences of the past.” The quest for full Christian unity, they said, should “reinforce the credibility of the Christian message in a period of enormous social upheaval and of great spiritual searching by many of our contemporaries...

read full story here

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tridentine Mass To Be Restored 'Soon'


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Keeping in mind that no credible date can be set for the promulgation of the Pope's 'motu propio' on the liberalization of the Tridentine Mass, more news is surfacing on its impending release. It would appear that everything is progressing smoothly, and in an orderly fashion. The document is being combed through for its final version. There is some debate (depending on who is quoting whom) over whether the document is now in its final form, or if some more revision needs to be done. One thing remains a constant among all sources. The promulgation of this 'motu propio' is coming very VERY soon! -- whatever that means?

SOURCES
http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2006/12/reports-coming-out-following-plenary.html
http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2006/12/eminent-confirmation.html
http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=48147


UPDATE 12/15/2006

Reputable Catholic news agencies are now reporting that the Pope's 'motu propio' on the Tridentine mass will be released sometime after Christmas, while the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist could come in mid-January 2007. Sources are saying the Apostolic Exhortation, which is separate from the pope's 'motu propio,' would contain a commitment to the celibate priesthood, an encouragement for the use of more Latin in the vernacular Novus Ordo mass, and a request that seminarians learn the Latin language. It is said to also promote the recovery of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphonic music, while calling for modern contemporary music to be phased out of litugical celebrations.

SOURCES
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=8286
http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=48226


Vatican Denounces Iranian Conference On Holocaust

Vatican City, Dec. 13, 2006 (CNA) - The Vatican has joined Western leaders in criticizing a conference taking place in Iran this week. The conference’s goal is to question whether the Holocaust actually happened and to discredit the existence of Israel.

Iran's foreign minister opened the controversial two-day conference yesterday by questioning the right of Israel to exist.

The gathering in Teheran, titled "Review of the Holocaust, Global Vision", is being attended by dozens of international guests, including a British anti-Zionist rabbi, reported The Telegraph.

In opening remarks, Manouchehr Mottaki said: "If the official version of the Holocaust is thrown into doubt, then the identity and nature of Israel will be thrown into doubt. If... it is proved that the Holocaust was a historical reality, then what is the reason for the Palestinians having to pay the cost of the Nazis' crimes?"

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Pope called the death of millions of Jews during World War II an "immense tragedy", which must never be forgotten...


read full story here

Pope Benedict XVI Is More Popular Than John Paul II


The numbers speak. Benedict XVI is the most popular pope in history, if by people one understands those whom he draws like a magnet to St. Peter’s Square each Sunday for the Angelus and each Wednesday for the general audience, from Rome and from all over the world.

Attendance is routinely more than twice that seen by his predecessor, John Paul II, who in his turn had shattered all the records. But the most amazing thing is the relationship between the demand and what is on offer. The winning product that Benedict XVI offers to the crowds is made of nothing but his plain words.

At the Angelus, two times out of three pope Joseph Ratzinger explains the Gospel of that Sunday’s Mass to an audience that includes people who don’t go to church every week – and some who don’t go at all. He explains this with simple words, but these demand and receive attention. There is an impressive silence in St. Peter’s Square when he is speaking. And at the end of the very short homily, he immediately begins the Angelus prayer, without even a momentary pause. This is his effective means of preventing an outbreak of applause. This does happen, but at the end of the entire ceremony, at the moment of the greetings in the various languages...


read full story here

Monday, December 11, 2006

Western Civilization Sentenced To Death By Birthrate

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I've been ringing this bell for over a year now. Let's put all the pieces of the puzzle together. We have the government endorsement and promotion of homosexuality through 'same-sex marriages.' We have wholesale government protection of infanticide through abortion. Both of these reduce the birthrate in western civilization. Couple these things with the broken families of divorce, and you have a recipe for cultural disaster. Yet as if that weren't bad enough, compound this situation with the advent of a little product of the modern world called 'artificial birth control' and you have the epitaph of western civilization.

I hate to say it but it's the truth -- the cold, hard and sad truth. Baring a dramatic revival of traditional Christian moral values, the world we know as 'western civilization' will completely collapse to Islam in about two generations (60-80 years). Western Europe is much closer -- perhaps one generation (30-40 years). The North American continent is not exempt. Canada will fall to Islam first, then the United States, with Latin America remaining the last bastion of Christian culture. As I've said in previous entries, Secularism alone cannot stand against Islam. Secularism marginalizes and cripples the one force that can withstand the Islamic invasion -- Christianity. In addition to that, Secularism tends to promote smaller families and reduced population growth, whether through artificial birth control, or the blessing of abortion and homosexuality. All of these contribute to the problem. Western Christian families are disappearing, leaving a spiritual vacuum in the culture. Vacuums must be filled, and Muslims are more than willing to do just that. As Secularism pushes aside Christianity, Islam will advance. The end of the Christian Age is finally upon us! Our children will pay the price.

...Rather, Steyn seems to be saying the rise of militant or extremist Islam is partly our fault – the non-Muslim world’s passivity or acquiescence to outrageous acts or intemperate demands.

True, he sees Europe being overwhelmed by Muslims — not because of violence, but because of Europe’s declining birthrate and the high fertility rate of Muslims. That’s a far cry from legions of jihadists sweeping over the continent, intimidating all in its path.

For a stable population — that is, no growth — a country has to have a fertility rate of at least 2.1 live births per woman. Of all developed countries, only the U.S. meets that standard. Canada’s fertility rate is 1.48 while Europe as a whole is even lower at 1.38. Japan’s is 1.32, Russia’s 1.14, and so on throughout Europe. Steyn calls it “the self-extinction of civilization.” In other words, there is no “population bomb” that many saw threatening the world and its resources.

But Muslim countries have a live birth rate ranging from five to seven per woman that already has had a dramatic effect on Europe.

For example, 10% of France’s population is Muslim.

Yet of citizens under the age of 20, 30% are Muslim.

In the cities that ratio rises to 45%. So when the “youth” of Paris and other centres erupt in violence and burn cars, rampage the streets, rape and vandalize, statistically it’s mostly young Muslims.

Huge problem

In Britain and Europe, around 15% of the population is under 15 years old, while in countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, 40% to 50% of the population is under 15. It’s going to be a huge problem for all countries when the grandparents outnumber the grandkids.

Demographically, Steyn feels groups with soaring birthrates will eventually dominate today’s developed world. Without a shot being fired.

With the U.S. about the only country with a viable birthrate that will keep its population from stagnating, the developed world has virtually surrendered to Muslim militancy.

As a people, we may fret that moderate Muslims are reluctant to speak out against Muslim terrorism and intimidation when they occur, for fear of reprisals.

But non-Muslims are even more loath to risk controversy. So how can moderate Muslims be blamed for their silence?

Steyn is more hawkish than many, especially in the media. Generally, most of the media don’t want trouble, or to appear insensitive or intolerant. After 9/11, most media tried to keep things in perspective, and not incite vengeance or reprisals on Muslims.

Fair enough. World leaders made pilgrimages to mosques to set an example...

read full story here

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pope Tells Catholics - 'Convert Muslims to Christianity'


...The Holy Father also encouraged the bishops to offer the Good News to Muslims now living in the West. “These have the right to receive our humble and firm testimony on behalf of Jesus Christ,” he said.

They deserve to be told that Jesus is not simply a great prophet, but is the eternal Son of God, made man and risen from the dead.

But delivering this testimony “with persuasive force” requires a serious commitment by people who are properly trained and have a solid understanding of their own Catholic faith.

Since he was elected, Pope Benedict has been quietly but firmly working for a renewal of faith in the Church.

He regularly urges bishops to have real courage in upholding the faith against threats from within and in announcing the Gospel to all people...

read full story here

What A Mass Should Look Like



This is the Eucharistic liturgy of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal (Missale Romanum), also commonly referred to as the Tridentine Rite, or old Latin Mass, or Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

A "missa cantata" is an approved form of celebration of the Traditional Roman Rite of Mass which serves as a compromise between a Low Mass (which involves no music or incense, by definition) and a Solemn High Mass (which has strict instructions and requirements for celebration that cannot be met in many parishes). For more information, please read this fine article in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia: www.newadvent.org/cathen/09790b.htm

Protestants Turning To Mary?

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As publications from Time magazine to Christianity Today have discovered recently, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is not just for Catholics anymore.

Features on Mary are perennial favorites for editors looking for a religion-themed story before Christmas, and in the last few years many of these articles have focused on the increasing popularity of Mary among Protestants.

Marianist Father Thomas Thompson, editor of the Marian Library Newsletter at the University of Dayton in Ohio, points out that the expanding Protestant acceptance of Mary is based upon a strictly scriptural view of her, rather than on any change in Protestant theology.

Some Catholic doctrines about Mary, such as the Immaculate Conception -- the belief that she was conceived without sin -- remain controversial among Protestants, Father Thompson said. But as anti-Catholicism has waned among Protestants, the barriers to Episcopalians, Baptists and evangelicals turning to Mary have faded as well...

read full story here

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Archbishop Decries Anti-Religious Trend In Politics

DENVER ARCHBISHOP DECRIES TREND OF DISCOUNTING RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS IN POLITICAL LIFE

Orange, Calif., Dec. 07, 2006 (CNA) - Speaking to a crowd of some 700 people gathered in Garden Grove, California, for the Orange County Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap. decried the growing exclusion of religion from the public square, and called for a shift in perspective regarding the place of religious believers in a democratic society.

The prayer breakfast, which was modeled on a similar event held in Washington D.C., is an effort to fulfill Pope John Paul II’s call for a “new Evangelization.” The event began with the praying of the Rosary and a Mass, followed by breakfast and Archbishop Chaput’s address.

The archbishop, who is well known for providing a strong Catholic voice on important moral issues such as abortion, homosexual marriage, immigration, and the death penalty, said that in recent years people in both major American political parties have wrongly tried to blame the conflicts in American public life on the active participation of religious believers...

read full story here

JOIN THE CATHOLICS FOR BROWNBACK COALITION TODAY!

Senator Brownback, a Catholic, believes that we must build a culture of life where the inherent dignity of every human person is respected. His vision of human dignity is a holistic vision, reflected in his unwavering support for the unborn child, his work for the poor in Africa who are at constant risk of violence or famine, and his advocacy for political dissidents in repressive nations such as North Korea or Cuba.

Senator Brownback was honored and deeply moved by the opportunity to meet two giants of human history, the late Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. It is their same vision of human rights, freedom, and respect for life that illuminates Senator Brownback’s work on daily basis. Senator Brownback authored the bills that granted both of these great saints the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award granted by the United States Congress.

JOIN THE CATHOLICS FOR BROWNBACK COALITION TODAY!

Senator Brownback Talks 'Presidential'

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Sam Brownback on Thursday called for a return to an American culture that promotes family values — a theme meant to set the conservatives' favorite son apart in a growing GOP field.

The Kansas senator, in an interview with The Associated Press, also urged the United States to push more aggressively for Iraq to achieve "political equilibrium" even if it means partitioning the country along ethnic and religious lines.

"I'm saying, and I hope the Iraqi leadership is hearing it: We will not face the American public in 2008 with a situation that looks anything similar to where we are today ... American deployment of troops on the front line conducting the military operations," Brownback said.

Congress also should resist the impulse to stymie Iraqi efforts to grant insurgents amnesty if such proposals are "a significant part" of a political solution aimed at ending the nearly four-year-old conflict, said the senator.

In an hourlong interview with AP reporters and editors, Brownback discussed his presidential aspirations and his positions on issues such as the war, families, energy and immigration. The easygoing Kansas lawmaker launched an exploratory committee on Monday to gauge support for a potential White House run...

read full story here

Public School Idiocy

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: And here we have yet another example of why you should NEVER send your kids to public school.....

by Jennifer Kent

BELLMEAD- A four-year-old hugged his teachers aide and was put into in-school suspension, according to the father. But La Vega school administrators have a different story.

Damarcus Blackwell's four-year-old son was lining-up to get on the bus after school last month, when he was accused of rubbing his face in the chest of a female employee.

The prinicipal of La Vega Primary School sent a letter to the Blackwells that said the pre-kindergartener demonstrated "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment."

Blackwell says it's ridiculous that the aide would misread a hug from a four-year-old. Blackwell wrote to administrators demanding that the whole incident be expunged from his son's academic file because his son is too young to know what it means to act sexually...

read full story here

Thursday, December 7, 2006

A Divorce from Our Culture?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The previous story I posted, regarding the excommunications in the diocese of Lincoln Nebraska, caused me to return to this story. The pope is calling upon Catholics to buck against the trends of culture. He wants us to be "counter-cultural." What does this mean? My understanding of the matter is to effect a kind of cultural divorce (or "separation" if you will) in our lives -- i.e. to divorce ("separate") one's self from the prevailing culture. As practicing Catholics, we are already required to turn away from sin, and repent when fallen. But to be "counter-cultural" means to turn away from the culture that promotes sin -- the very culture itself. What exactly does that mean? How are we to implement it in our lives? I'm looking for suggestions here.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pope Calls For Counter-Cultural Families

The world needs families that go against the current of cultural fashions inspired by hedonism and relativism, says Benedict XVI.

Before reciting the midday Angelus from the window of his study today, with thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope also appealed to leaders of public life to support the family.

The topic chosen by the Holy Father for his address was inspired by the Gospel passage of the day's liturgy, in which Jesus gives his vision on indissoluble marriage: "What God has joined together, no human being must separate."

read full story here

Vatican Confirms Large Excommunications

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Currently, this decision applies just to the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska, but recent Vatican involvement raises questions about these policies being widened.

Effective retroactively to 1996, in the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska, all lay and clerical members of the following groups are excommunicated from the Catholic Church by the order of Bishop Bruskewitz, and backed by the Vatican...
  1. Call to Action
  2. Catholics for a Free Choice
  3. Planned Parenthood
  4. The Hemlock Society
  5. Freemasons
  6. Society of St. Pius X
The following story will further explain...

In March 1996, Bishop Bruskewitz had announced the excommunication of all Catholics in his diocese who were members of Call to Action or several other dissident groups which he described as “totally incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The Nebraska chapter of Call to Action appealed the bishop’s decision to the Vatican. In his November 24 letter to Bishop Bruskewitz, Cardinal Re reports that Vatican’s finding that the disciplinary action was “properly taken.”

The Vatican has determined that “the activities of ‘Call to Action’ in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic Faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint,” Cardinal Re writes. He concludes: “Thus to be a member of this Association or to support it, is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic Faith.”

The excommunication that Bishop Bruskewitz announced covered not only to Call to Action, but also to members of Catholics for a Free Choice, Planned Parenthood, the Hemlock Society, the Freemasons, and the Society of St. Pius X.

The excommunication order applies only within the Lincoln, Nebraska diocese. But the Vatican’s judgment against Call to Action raises clear questions about the status of the group’s members in other dioceses...

read full story here

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Body of Apostle Paul FOUND!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Brace yourselves; the body of the man who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament has just been found...
Vatican City, Dec. 06, 2006 (CNA) - Vatican archaeologists say they have conclusive evidence that a Roman tomb, located in St Paul Outside the Walls, the largest church in Rome after St Peter's, belonged to St. Paul.

The tomb has been long-revered by tradition as that of St. Paul; however, archaeologist Giorgio Filippi says that scientific evidence now backs up the evidence of tradition that the tomb belongs to the great Saint of the Early Church.

Filippi said his team had found a Roman sarcophagus "exactly underneath the epigraph Paulo Apostolo Mart (Paul the Apostle and Martyr) at the base of the cathedral's main altar," reported ANSA....

read full story here

Monday, December 4, 2006

Pope's Journey Pays Off - Orthodox Moving Toward Unity With Rome

Greek Orthodox leader to make first official visit to Pope

Vatican City, Dec. 04, 2006 (CNA) - The Vatican announced what could be a major breakthrough in ecumenical relations between the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches. In a communiqué this morning the Holy See Press Office announced that, “His Beatitude Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and of all Greece, is to visit the Holy Father and the Church of Rome from December 13 to 16.”...

read full story here

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Bartholomew I: Pope’s visit will have “incalculable value” for “reconciliation process”

Istanbul, Dec. 04, 2006 (CNA) - The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, said last week he is “convinced” that Benedict XVI’s visit to Turkey, in addition to being “historic,” also had “incalculable value” for the “reconciliation process” in the millennium-long split between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church....

read full story here

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Pope, Patriarch to join theological talks?

Constantinople, Dec. 4, 2006 (CWNews.com) - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has disclosed that he made an important, concrete proposal for Orthodox-Catholic cooperation during his November 30 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news).

Speaking to the Italian daily Avvenire after the conclusion of the Pope’s trip to Turkey, the Orthodox leader said that he could not disclose the nature of the suggestion he had made, but reported that the Pope seemed quite interested. He said that he is now “waiting for an official response.”

The AsiaNews service, citing sources in the Constantinople patriarchate, reports that the Patriarch suggested that he and the Pontiff should personally take part in the next meeting of a joint Orthodox-Catholic theological commission, to take place next year in Ravenna, Italy. The AsiaNews report suggested that Pope Benedict is inclined to accept the suggestion....

read full story here

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Cardinal to meet with Patriarch of Russian Orthodox Church

Moscow, Nov. 28, 2005 (CNA) - Cardinal Renato Martino is scheduled to meet Tuesday with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. The prefect of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace left for Russia Saturday.

The meeting with Patriarch Alexy II and Metropolitan Kyrill, who heads the Russian church's foreign relations department, is another attempt by the Vatican to improve relations with Russian Orthodox Christians, reports the Associated Press.

Pope Benedict XVI has pledged to make reconciliation with the Orthodox Church a "fundamental" commitment of papacy....

read full story here

OFFICIAL: Brownback for President !!!


By SAM HANANEL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, a favorite of the religious right, said Monday he is taking the first step toward launching a bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

A vigorous abortion opponent, the Kansas senator pledged to make "issues of life," fiscal restraint and tax reform key components of his effort to woo supporters.

"I have decided, after much prayerful consideration, to consider a bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency," Brownback said in a statement. "There is a real need in our country to rebuild the family and renew our culture and there is a need for genuine conservatism and real compassion in the national discussion." Brownback said he has formed a presidential exploratory committee, which will allow him to travel the country and raise money while gauging support for the GOP nomination...

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Let's get the word out on this guy and pump up his popularity via grassroots Internet communication. Email this story to everyone you know via the email link below. If you have a blog or website, link to this story by clicking on the title above, and then copying the URL in the address bar at the top of your browser. We need to give Senator Brownback all the support we can. Even if he doesn't get the Republican nomination in 08' he can still be picked for Vice President if his numbers are high enough. Personally, I think he'll get the nomination when you conisder the other options the GOP has ben throwing us lately. So far, Brownback is the only candidate running for President on the GOP ticket that truly has a 100% Pro-Life rating from the 'National Right to Life.'

Wikipedia on Senator Samuel Brownback
Senator Brownback's voting record
See the Catholics for Brownback blog
See an entire webpage on Senator Brownback published by Priests for Life.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

The Immaculate Conception

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8th) approaches, I thought it appropriate to explain the significance of this feast. This is probably the most misunderstood doctrine among non-Catholics. Even some Catholics don't understand it. To be clear, let's define it. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is a dogma, meaning that is is a required belief of all Catholics. It is defined as the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was herself conceived without the stain of original sin.

Some Protestants contend that the doctrine is "unbiblical," deifies Mary as a goddess, and diminishes the role of Christ in the redemption of humanity.

The stain of original sin was defined by St. Augustine as the mark of sin inherited by all people from the time of their conception. This means that when the first humans (Adam and Eve) sinned against God, they did so before any of their children were born. Because of this, all children conceived after their sin (i.e. the whole human race), would inherent the stain of the sin they committed. The sin they committed was one of selfishness and rebellion against God. The stain of this sin penetrated all the way through their souls to the flesh itself -- staining it and perverting it. Thus, all children born of their flesh would inherit this stain of original sin. Think of it as a hereditary trait. It is manifested in the form of pride, selfishness and rebellion. Though it is not a sin in and of itself, it creates in people the desire to commit various sins: lying, cheating, stealing, lust, rage, etc. It can be seen from the earliest ages of childhood. Every time a small child acts in a selfish way, or becomes rebellious toward his parents, he demonstrates the stain of original sin in his own mind and body. God designed human beings to be totally selfless, giving and obedient creatures. But this does not describe the human race today. That's because the stain of original sin, inherited from our first parents (Adam and Eve) has twisted and perverted what God has created. Instead of being selfless, we are selfish. Instead of being giving, we are greedy. Instead of being obedient, we are rebellious. Such it is the nature of our fallen human race.

God cannot tolerate sin, and it must be dealt with. Before mankind can be restored to God, we must first be freed of the original sin that stains and perverts us. This is the reason why God sent Jesus Christ (God made flesh) into the world. His sacrificial death on the cross frees us from all sin, including original sin. But in order for this sacrifice to be atoning for the human race, it must come from a member of the human race. Only a perfect and spotless human being can undo the damage done by our first parents. Just any perfect human being wouldn't be enough. This spotless sacrifice must be a direct descendant of the sinful human race, and he must be divine himself, so that he may atone for all human sins, not just the first one. Protestant Christians understand this concept very well, and teach it in their churches. They know that Jesus must atone for all the sins of the world, and they know he is fully human as well as fully divine. In this sense, Protestants are very "Catholic" in their thinking. What they often fail to consider is that the flesh of Jesus Christ must be truly descended from the sinful human race in order for Jesus to be truly one of us. If God created a whole new body in Mary's womb from "the dust of the earth," totally separate from any sinful human genetics, he really wouldn't be human. He would be a whole new creature, entirely separate from the human race, and completely unconnected to us by flesh and blood. He might look like us, but he wouldn't really be one of us. In order for Jesus Christ to truly be one of us, he would have to be genetically linked to the human race, and since Jesus only has one biological parent, there is only one person through whom that link can be made. That person is the Blessed Virgin Mary.

When Jesus was miraculously conceived inside Mary's womb, at the time of the annunciation by the angel, his human genetic makeup came directly from her. True, his divine nature came directly from the Godhead, but his human nature came from Mary. So Mary is the human genetic link between Jesus Christ (God made flesh) and mankind. There is only one problem. If Mary's flesh was stained with original sin (like the rest of us), than Jesus would have inherited that same original sin nature. Yet the Scriptures clearly tell us that Jesus was without sin. So we have a theological problem. How could Jesus' flesh and blood be "without sin" if he inherited his human flesh and blood from Mary? Enter the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

From the earliest times, Christians have always believed that Mary was immaculate -- meaning perfect and without sin. "He (Jesus) was the ark formed of incorruptible wood (Mary). For by this is signified that His tabernacle (body) was exempt from putridity and corruption (sin)." -- (Hippolytus, AD 235) "This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one." -- (Origen, AD 244) The idea here is that God miraculously preserved Mary from original sin from the time of her first existence (i.e. conception). The idea comes from the Holy Scripture in which the angel Gabriel says to Mary: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you." -- (Luke 1:28) The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It expresses a characteristic quality of Mary that is unique. The traditional translation, "full of grace," is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of "highly favored one." Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that. The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, according to meaning the Greek word kecharitomene, it extended over her whole life, from conception onward. She was in a state of grace from the first moment of her existence (i.e. conception).

Now there is nothing particularly new about this. Mary wasn't the first person God fashioned in a perfect state of grace -- without sin. The very first examples we have are Adam and Eve themselves. Both Adam and Eve were in a perfect state of grace at their "conception." Though the Scriptures tell us God fashioned them using a different method than normal procreation, it doesn't change the fact that they were made "without sin" (i.e. immaculate). So we could say the first immaculate conception happened in Eden when God formed the first man (Adam) and the first woman (Eve). In many ways, we could even consider the immaculate conception of Mary a "lesser miracle" because God still used the normal procreative processes when he fashioned her.

The question that arises is how? How would God fashion Mary "without sin" when both her parents were obviously stained by original sin, and they conceived her naturally? That is the mystery of the miracle. We can only conclude that God had already chosen Mary as Christ's mother, even from the first moment of her conception in the womb of her own mother. That being the case, the only reason why Mary was conceived without sin is because of Jesus Christ. Her body (flesh and blood) was redeemed retroactively, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, because she was chosen to be the vessel through whom Jesus Christ (the eternal Word) would enter this world as a human being.

So the doctrine of the immaculate conception does not "deify" Mary as many Protestants falsely believe. Nor does it diminish the role of Christ in the redemption of the human race. You can't even say it's "unbiblical" since the Greek word kecharitomene in Luke 1:28 practically defines the doctrine. Rather, it simply states that Mary was no different than the sinless Eve before the fall. Does this mean that Mary was better than Eve? No. Does this mean that Mary was less than Eve? No. It means she was exactly the same as Eve physically, mentally and spiritually speaking. Does this mean that Mary could have sinned? YES! She most certainly could have followed the example of Eve and disobeyed the command of God. If she had, she would have suffered the same fate as Eve, and carried the stain of original sin herself. But the difference is that when the test was given, Mary chose to obey God whereas Eve did not. Eve's test was in the fruit of the tree. Mary's test was in the fruit of the womb. Eve failed her test, while Mary joyously passed hers. From the moment she responded to the angel, "Behold I am the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word" -- (Luke 1:38), she accepted the Lord's will for her, even though she knew it would bring her hardship. Because of that, Mary's purpose was fulfilled. God preserved her without sin, to be like Eve, so she could become the "New Eve," and bring forth the "New Adam" (Romans 5:12-21) who is Christ the Lord.

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception points more to Christ than Mary. Though Mary is the object of the doctrine, she is not the subject of it. The subject is Christ, and it is his perfectly sinless body that is being addressed. Through Mary, Jesus inherited the "flesh and blood" of mankind. He bore the genetic code of the fallen human race, yet he did so with one modification, the stain of original sin was removed. The flesh he inherited was immaculate. That immaculate flesh was the gift of his mother -- Mary -- who herself received it as a gift from God.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Discussion On Islam

By Michelle Vu
Christian Post Reporter


The son of a devout Islamic leader who converted to Christianity in 1982 listed ten points he believes everyone should know about Islam in order to better understand who Muslims are and how to reach them.

Emir Caner, who is now dean of The College at Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas, spoke to a crowd of evangelical Christians at McLean Bible Church recently during an apologetics conference attended by some 1,400 people....

Summary of the “10 Things Everyone Needs to Know about Islam”:

1. Allah and Jehovah are NOT the same God
2. Jihad, or holy war, is prescribed in the Koran and Hadith
3. There are specific protocols in Islam (e.g. women are not to go to Jihad)
4. Islam does not believe in religious freedom
5. Islam has a lower view of woman than Christianity
6. Islam has a low view of Jesus
7. Islam has a low view of the Bible
8. Islam is the most work-based religion in the world
9. Islam is divided among denominations
10. Many Muslims are coming to faith in Christ

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: But the Catechism of the Catholic Church says...

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: How do we reconcile these things? What is your take on Islam?