28 June, 2010

Holy Post | National Post

Pink Floyd said it best when describing post-modernist antipathy towards theism in general..... "all in all, your just a-nother brick in the wall".

Holy Post | National Post

Belgian Church Panel on Abuse Disbands in Protest to Raids - NYTimes.com

This is not an advancement of this issue. Too bad the police didn't consider this when they so brutishly assaulted the rights of victims to remain anonymous if they so choose to do so by violating both clergy and medical privilege. The consequences of their actions has only served to slow the process of justice for the victims of clergy sex abuse. This is NOT an step forward in resolving this tragic process of penance and healing.

Belgian Church Panel on Abuse Disbands in Protest to Raids - NYTimes.com

The Realism of Religious Freedom | First Things

The Realism of Religious Freedom | First Things

Membership in the Christian Family: Open to Catholics?

Here is a series of questions that I, as a Roman Catholic posed to STG, a regular comment poster and fundamentalist Christian. It is rare to find one as patient and dedicated as he in defending and explaining his positions without sliding into anti-Catholic vitriolic rhetoric. 

I would appreciate your thoughts as well (no matter your perspective on the issue)!!

Fr. Tim

STG: One last point. You may well believe that HOW we worship is the wrong way to do it, but can you understand that we DO worship the same Lord and Savior? Is it too far a leap for one who holds religious beliefs such as you, to concede that we are both trying to do the same thing, even if we disagree on how we are supposed to do it? That we both believe in the promise of the Hebrew Scriptures; that they were fulfilled in Jesus Christ whose life and teachings are recorded and explained in the Christian Bible; and that it is ONLY through Christ that any and all of the world can be saved?

Why does acknowledging this simple fact, that we believe in the same God, Lord and Savior, threaten your beliefs in any way? Why must you close the door to God's mercy and grace by saying that Catholics are not saved, and that their worship could not possibly be animated by the Holy Spirit? That what we are arguing about is HOW to implement Scripture in the human models of Church and faith, not the veracity or validity of the scripture themselves?

As I have said to you and others, I am not interested in or trying to convert anyone here! I am simply claiming that what I hold, believe and practice merits membership in the family of Christians. That as a Catholic, I have reason to hope to receive the gift of eternal life with the God of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles by claiming salvation under the blood of Christ alone.

Then if we are all Christian, is it not more important to continue the work of the great commission in preparation for Christ's return than to fighting like children squabbling over which one of us "God loves best'? There are more than enough challenges to face to keep busy every Christian confession until His return. I think that He will be most pleased if all his adopted children were able to bring more believers into His sheepfold.

I eagerly await your answers.

A global case for good government in the church | National Catholic Reporter

John Allen is always worth the time to read. His knowledge, contacts and assessment skills permits him to provide a cogent, centrist Catholic voice. In this post, he makes a pithy yet effective argument for the addition of a set of 'stewardship virtues' that would include transparency, accountability, collaboration and competence. His global perspective also affords him exposure to issues that confront the Church beyond the borders of Europe and North America. As he points out, at the time of the Second Vatican Council, 75% of Roman Catholics lived in the 1st world with the balance living below the equator. Today those demographics are exactly reversed. He points out why this new majority may not comprehend the importance of these issues, as their world view sees corruption as a normal fact of life. Yet if the Church embraced these obvious goods, and lifted them to the rank of 'official' virtues to be practiced, (like the Cardinal or Theological Virtues) the benefit to the quality of life for these emergent nations of Catholics.


This would be an example of a 'faith' assessment or impulse for re-catechization that Pope's JP I , JPII and B16 have foreseen. With energy and enthusiasm coming from the growing Catholic communities within Africa, Asia and South America, and the witness and experience of the 1st world church to offer a theological framework that promotes individual freedom, prosperity and good governance.

A global case for good government in the church | National Catholic Reporter

27 June, 2010

Judas and the Eucharist « SoCon Or Bust

I've been discussing the Eucharist in the comment threads with STG (SmallTownGuy) which Michael Brandon ('Freedom through truth' blogger) suggested I bring out to the level of a series of posts on the front page of this blog. I think that this is an excellent idea. To fuel the conversation/debate I have posted a series of recent commentary on the subject. The link accompanying these few remarks is such a commentary. I hope you will feel free to join in the conversation. I appreciate that this is more of a Catholic/Protestant, intra-Christian type of issue, but insights from any and all perspectives are welcome.


There's only really one problem:  I don't know how to do that!


I put out a request to the followers of this blog: can anyone please tell me how I can change the parameters of this blog to permit others to post commentary and cross-post to articles on other sites? I don't necessarily want to throw the doors wide open or I'll be blocking spam all day long. It's enough of a challenge now just to keep them out of the comments threads. (I thought that they were blocked? Anyone tell me how I can do that as well?) If I truly want to realize the potential of this site as a place 'where the rubber hits the road', I believe that those who regularly follow or comment here should be afforded some way to add their voices to mine on the front page of my blog. Any help in being able to accomplish this would be very much appreciated. Thank you.


Fr. Tim

Judas and the Eucharist « SoCon Or Bust

Freedom Through Truth: Is The Eucharist That We Celebrate The Real Presence of Jesus Christ?

Freedom Through Truth: Is The Eucharist That We Celebrate The Real Presence of Jesus Christ?

AAADD- KNOW THE SYMPTOMS......

AAADD- KNOW THE SYMPTOMS......
 
TAKEN FROM ONE OF THOSE NUISANCE E-MAILS THAT PEOPLE THINK WE LIKE APPRECIATE.  

I'M SCARED BY THE FACT THAT I NOT ONLY NODDED KNOWINGLY AS I READ IT FROM TOP TO BOTTOMBUT I COULDN'T HELP BUT CHUCKLE BY THE END LIKE ONE WHO UNDERSTOOD THE HUMOR FROM THE  'INSIDE'.

Fr. Tim

 

Recently, I self-diagnosed myself as suffering with A.A.A.D.D. -  Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests itself:

I decide to water my garden.

As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I head towards the garage, I notice post on the porch table that I picked up from the postman earlier.

I decide to go through it before I wash the car.

I put my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the recycling box under the table, and notice that the recycling box is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the recycling first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the postbox when I take out the recycling paper anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my cheque book off the table and notice that there is only one cheque left.

My extra cheques are in the desk in my study, so I go into the house to my desk where I find the cup of coffee I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my cheques but first I need to push the coffee aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The coffee is getting cold, and I decide to make another cup..

As I head toward the kitchen with the cold coffee, a vase of flowers on the worktop catches my eye - the flowers need water.

I put the coffee on the worktop and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers..

I put the glasses back down on the worktop, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote control. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realise that tonight when we go to watch TV,I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I put the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

The car isn't washed

The bills aren't paid

There is a cold cup of coffee sitting on the kitchen work-surface

The flowers don't have enough water,

There is still only 1 cheque in my cheque book,

I can't find the remote,

I can't find my glasses,

And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all bloody day and I'm really tired.

I realise this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.....

Don't laugh - if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

Superstars could reverse innovation brain drain - CTV News

CANADA ROCKS!

Superstars could reverse innovation brain drain - CTV News

Pope deplores abuse raid on Belgium church HQ - CNN.com

Pope deplores abuse raid on Belgium church HQ - CNN.com

AFP: Belgian church mulls legal action after paedophilia raids

AFP: Belgian church mulls legal action after paedophilia raids

26 June, 2010

Too cute!! Life lessons from nature.

Iran cancels plan for Gaza blockade-busting ship - The Globe and Mail

GOOD NEWS!!

Iran cancels plan for Gaza blockade-busting ship - The Globe and Mail

Vatican addresses issue of 'ugly' vestments

Group Wants Buffalo Catholic Diocese to Release Names of Predator Priests | WKBW News 7: News, Sports, Weather - Buffalo, New York | News

OK.. so three people is a 'group'. What would we call the tens of thousands who each week attend Church services in the Buffalo Diocese?

Group Wants Buffalo Catholic Diocese to Release Names of Predator Priests | WKBW News 7: News, Sports, Weather - Buffalo, New York | News

Vatican’s second-in-command slams Belgian sex abuse raids - The Globe and Mail

Vatican’s second-in-command slams Belgian sex abuse raids - The Globe and Mail

Alleged 'outing' of pastor assailed

Another horrible offense committed by those who are today attacking the Christian faith. To violate the sanctity of a support group is almost as bad as what happened in Belgium. If the Church had ever done anything even close to this (violate a confidence shared in secret about an individual to attack them), they would be (rightly) castigated and assaulted from every direction. Yet, if the same is done to a person of faith... it seems to be fair game. WRONG is WRONG, no matter the intentions of whoever the responsible agent doing it is!!!

NorthJersey.com: Alleged 'outing' of pastor assailed

Freedom Through Truth: The Practical Catholic Church Today

Freedom Through Truth: The Practical Catholic Church Today

25 June, 2010

Vatican outraged at Belgian police raid on graves - CTV News

UNBELIEVABLE!!!


They dug open the graves and opened the coffins of dead churchmen to search for documents that may have been buried with the corpse.


Have you ever heard of such an outrageous act being done to members of any other group? It is also clear that the families were not even notified in advance by the Police. If the Police dig up your loved one, without your consent or knowledge to ensure that you did not hide documents in the grave, how would you react?


OUTRAGE should not even begin to capture how offensive this act is! There are limits to the states power. Belgium has crossed a line and set a new low water mark in their hunt for predators within the Church.

Vatican outraged at Belgian police raid on graves - CTV News

Police get special arrest powers for duration of G20 - CTV News

Police get special arrest powers for duration of G20 - CTV News

10-Year-Old Boy Used as Grand Marshal of Arkansas Homosexual Fest

This one defies explanation. The opinion of a 10 year old justifies all this attention? The world is most certainly going nuts!

10-Year-Old Boy Used as Grand Marshal of Arkansas Homosexual Fest

Freedom Through Truth: I Am a Catholic Christian

Freedom Through Truth: I Am a Catholic Christian

American bishops: direct abortion never right | Holy Post | National Post

American bishops: direct abortion never right | Holy Post | National Post

Abuse Investigators Raid Belgian Catholic Offices - NYTimes.com

A sign of the times.

Abuse Investigators Raid Belgian Catholic Offices - NYTimes.com

22 June, 2010

Father and son battle cancer - The North Bay Nugget - Ontario, CA

Although I do not know the 'Moyle's' featured in this article, I would be honored, but not surprised, to discover we are fruit of the same family tree. My family's fight with cancer saw my mother wage a 25 year battle with that demon before succumbing when she was 61 yrs of age. The deaths of many other family elders has been struck by that dread disease as well. To know it strikes others of similar heritage comes as no surprise. As to being 'honored', the witness these folks offer in the face of the challenge of cancer is inspirational! My Father always taught me that there was really only one thing of value that he could give me in life: our family name. "Be certain you do not tarnish it for those who follow after you" was an oft heard phrase on our branch of the Moyle family tree. It is obviously practiced by others as well. The tree would seem to be of good root and health.


Good to know that the inheritance stands in good order.


Fr. Tim Moyle

Father and son battle cancer - The North Bay Nugget - Ontario, CA

TYRANNY IN THE NAME OF TOLERANCE Beware! The New Age Movement Is More Than Self-Indulgent Silliness

It is a back-handed compliment, but at least the authors are insisting that proponents of 'new age' spiritualities (although there's very little 'new' within creeds and practices) be taken seriously. I doubt though that it is the intent of the authors of this posting from the New Oxford Review to offer any comfort to 'the enemy'.


An answer, "Lady Janus" ? I doubt that there will be much you find in there that is favorably presented in terms of alternate spiritual or belief systems.


New Oxford Review

21 June, 2010

The unsettled legacy of Rights & Democracy

The unsettled legacy of Rights & Democracy

"From the Wonderful People Who Brought You New York City...."

It was said by Fr. Raymond deSouza at Fr. Richard John Neuhaus' funeral, that one of RJN's favorite expressions was, come the day of the great prolepsis, he would see inscribed over the gates of the Messianic eternal city of God... "From the Wonderful People Who Brought You New York City: The New Jerusalem". (American Babylon p.2)  The wry wit and wisdom of this quote is typical of RJN's many contributions in arguing for the place of religion within  culture. His predictions of the despair that results from post-modernist secularism's inability to answer the great existential questions, is obvious today with the attendant collapse of one's individual sense of well-being as a citizen of western culture, in the shifting mores of 21st century life.

Put simply, RJN believed that he would meet his God on that day as an American. That the understanding of the 'first principles' spoken of in the Declaration of Independence which launched and sustained the American experiment for its first 200 years, was lived out by him as a citizen of both the New Jerusalem and the secular city that was Manhattan and surrounding boroughs.   It is a 'particular faith' in that it is rooted in the particular historic events of the Jewish people and their promised Messiah; and 'particular' to his time and experience. His primary responsibility was was he said to the city to come, but he never diminished his duty and obligations to the community & land in which he lived. For him, it will be impossible to approach God on the day of Judgment from any perspective other than as the person you were in life. That the truth of 'who' we were/are will be made clear on the day  all truth is revealed. This relationship of 'cult' and 'culture' is too intimate in RJN's opinion for one to exist without the other. Impossible that is until now... if the opinions and expositions of modern-day atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are to be considered.

Rarely in my life have I encountered anyone of RJN's character, wisdom and holiness. With a language that was a delight to believers and a bane to their opponents, he regularly expressed the truth as to the  impotence of the modern secularist project to answer the questions of life. In its most basic expression, it is an allegation that the proponents of rendering religion to the solitary confines of personal reflection, state without reservation, that there is NO absolute truth... and that this fact is ABSOLUTELY TRUE! Given this obvious flaw within the foundation of the defence of secularists and 'moral progressives', it does not present much of a challenge to present a convincing counter argument  - so long as one stays within the 'civilizational circle' of culture! Whether it is John Ralston-Saul's 'common sense' or Alasdair MacIntyre's 'Tao' of "After Virtue," recent philosophers are pointing out the failings of secularism to complete the 'progress' of history by incarnating a reign of peace, success or self-fulfillment. RJN as a Roman Catholic, an American, and as a theist offers the answers of classical Catholicism; answers which have sufficed to bring humanity to this point of personal 'evolution' we enjoy today.  There were no mythical utopias within the 'natural' cultures of aboriginal communities. In other words, in the 'Eden' was not 'spoiled' with the arrival of Christianity in the 'new world'. His wisdom thus transcends the national boundaries of his experience as an American and is relevant to all.

I will begin to offer a series of reflections on the challenges posed by post-modern secularism seen through the lens of RJN's writings and from the many conversations we shared during 20 years of spending our summer vacations as cottage neighbors. When possible, if I make reference to specific quotes I will provide the appropriate notations. The very prodigious nature of his written works offers ample source material to draw from.  I will augment this with recollections drawn from our time shared  together over the years. These have left me with a certain 'canon' of his opinion, that may not be so easily academically referenced, yet guides too my analysis and understanding of today's events. I take it as a happy coincide that I am fortunate enough to be able to compose these reflections along the banks of the same Ottawa River which was such an important part of RJN's life.

It is my intention to  develop further these reflections and collect them together into a book for publication. Your input and comments will help me to improve my conclusions; testing them so as to clarify the essence of his vision of sustaining the expression of religion in the 'public square'. 



Thanks... and watch for weekly new postings from the 'Wonderful People of New York' series!

iPad for the Church? @ Church Website Ideas



Why not?

iPad for the Church? @ Church Website Ideas

Morning Must Reads: Renminbi - Swampland - TIME.com

Morning Must Reads: Renminbi - Swampland - TIME.com

Portugal turns on the style - The Globe and Mail

One hope's that there is no connection between this story on North Korea's soccer thumping and this one. It's been a bad day for Kim Jong Il and when these two stories are read in conjunction with this analysis, perhaps we have reason to be concerned. I'm just saying....


Portugal turns on the style - The Globe and Mail

Feminist journalist from Québec unwittingly illustrates why we desperately need a public debate on abortion « SoCon Or Bust

The most comprehensive analysis of the abortion issue from a scientific and logical presentation that rebutts the pro-choice assumptions. Whether your a pro-life or pro-choice advocate, it's a worthy read.


Fr. Tim

Feminist journalist from Québec unwittingly illustrates why we desperately need a public debate on abortion « SoCon Or Bust

Whispers in the Loggia: "Red Pope" Probed: Sepe Under Scrutiny

Whispers in the Loggia: "Red Pope" Probed: Sepe Under Scrutiny

The HST is good for you. Yes it is. Is too | Full Comment | National Post

The HST is good for you. Yes it is. Is too | Full Comment | National Post

Double-dip fears raise worries the Fed is out of bullets - Jun. 21, 2010

Double-dip fears raise worries the Fed is out of bullets - Jun. 21, 2010

17 June, 2010

The Never Ending Disquiet of Man: Are we all exiles? Aliens in a foreign land?


 I've taken up again my dear friend, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus' (RIP) last book American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile. I was sitting in the sun and quiet of my cottage  enjoying a  few hours of relaxation  when my attention was captured by an ad from the radio playing in the background. It was one of the ubiquitous jingles promoting a national lottery announcing some mind-blowing prize for an upcoming draw. The conjunction of these two thoughts (RJN's discourse on what it means to be an exile; thoughts of fancy about what I would do if I won such an obscene amount of money) led me to ask myself whether there was  ENOUGH wealth and power to  satisfy that human innate desire for wanting 'more'.

One might think of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett who have given away the majority of their money in pursuit of causes such as the elimination of malaria, the amelioration of poverty. Yet it is pertinent to note that they still kept to themselves sufficient funds to ensure that they and their progeny will never lack for anything they desire. Further, the funds that they have given away are still being spent in accordance with their direction as it is controlled by the 'Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation'. I appreciate the generosity of their actions, but it is not entirely altruistic nor complete.

RJN connects this innate human desire for 'more' to the thoughts of St. Augustine in his famous City of God in which he speaks of Christians being 'dual citizens' of both 'Babylon' and the 'New Jerusalem'. His  famous quote about our hearts being 'restless' until they rest with God is Augustine's answer to this question. Only if we surrender our will to the sovereignty of Christ as Lord and Savior (at least for Christians) can true peace and happiness be found. Neuhaus points out that this 'dual citizenship' is  our true state of being.  Christians are called to be 'in the world' but not 'of the world' as our focus  remains fixed on that eternal city in which we hope to stay when Christ returns in glory.

So, how did I respond to all of these thoughts? I now have one ticket for the upcoming mega-prize in my pocket and a prayer in my heart that I would not permit such a prize cause me to take my eyes off the ultimate goal of the New Jerusalem should that ticket I hold bring me such abundance. God's promise gives me  more comfort of soul than could possibly come my way, no matter how much money I won.

What would you do if you held the winning ticket? Would it be a boon or bust in helping live faithfully as a citizen of the world that is and the world to come?

Wouldn't it at least be neat to have the opportunity to find out?

George Weigel column

George Weigel column

Canada should expect rise in honour killings, expert says

Canada should expect rise in honour killings, expert says

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Cardinal Ouellet-- not Cardinal Pell-- to head Congregation for Bishops?

A Canadian Cardinal headed for a key Vatican post?


Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Cardinal Ouellet-- not Cardinal Pell-- to head Congregation for Bishops?

16 June, 2010

America Magazine - What Happened in Phoenix?

This is the first detailed account of the Sr. Margaret Mary McBride incident in Phoenix which provides a complete context of how the decision to terminate the pregnancy with an abortion came to pass. I appreciate what happened now much better than I had previously. This does not change my opinion as the specifics of the case, nor does it detract from the legitimacy of the Bishop's actions but it does go a long way into explaining why Sr. McBride decided as she did.


I wish to add one further point: everyone in this case, including Sr. Margaret Mary, the patient and the Bishop carried themselves with dignity. Each did what they thought was the correct thing to do and they each took responsibility for their actions. As I have often said here and in other places, there is a straightforward process for her to be brought back into full communion. I would be surprised if she has not done so already.

America Magazine - What Happened in Phoenix?

15 June, 2010

Video: “Touchdown Jesus” struck by lightning, burns to ground « CatholicVoteAction.org

Tell me there isn't some sort of message in this!!!


Video: “Touchdown Jesus” struck by lightning, burns to ground « CatholicVoteAction.org

Op-Ed Columnist - The Larger Struggle - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - The Larger Struggle - NYTimes.com

Should the state define religion?

Dianne Wood

9:30 AM on June 15, 2010
It would be helpful if we had a definition of religion. Prof. Young says there should be a supernatural dimension, it should help people to live with such paradoxes as life and death, good and evil, and order and disorder; have a source of authority from scripture or ancestral teaching or a magisterial structure like the Catholic Church; a system of symbols; sacred times, such as holy days, and sacred places, such as temples or pilgrimage routes; rituals; an ethical system and taboos; offer a comprehensive way of life; sustain a group, not just individuals; and have an identity that is passed from one generation to the next.
I think a religion should also be universal, meaning it is open to everyone. Also I think a religion should allow freedom, where a person is not and cannot be forced to belong.

Fr. Tim

9:50 AM on June 15, 2010
It can also be dangerous for the courts/state to define a religion. The very act of establishing the boundaries by the court MAY imply a preeminence of powers, with the state & courts reigning over the Church. This has caused complications in England (to name one Christian country) and Iran (the easiest of many example to use); complications that have resulted in the spilling a great deal of blood.


There must be a balance or, to steal a line from John Ralston Saul, an "Equilibrium" (at least he got the concept correct even if his definitions skew his conclusions) that needs to be maintained between the various institutional embodiments of our values (religious-church, political-government, justice-police & courts etc.), it usually is a bad result when one institution interferes with another.


It will be interesting to see the result.


Fr. Tim

Catholic Priests of Dachau « The American Catholic

A special message for those who troll the internet claiming that Hitler was a Catholic and that Pius XII stood in silent support of his actions against the Jews.

Catholic Priests of Dachau « The American Catholic

14 June, 2010

Our obligation to Israel is soon going to be tested. Are you ready for it?

Our Debt to Jerusalem - UPDATED


The late Pope John Paul the Great was acclaimed throughout his pontificate for being the pontiff that finally aligned the barque of Peter with ‘our elder brothers and sisters,’ the first children of Abraham, the Jews. As someone who had resisted antisemitism throughout his life, his apology, offered in Jerusalem in the extraordinary Holy Year of the Millennium, carried the credibility of one who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust first hand in Poland. His acknowledgement of the debt of all Christians to the people of the first covenant should have consequences not only in the spiritual realm but in worldly matters too. It means that we must ensure the welfare of the Jewish people as members of our extended family.


Recent and future events in Israel's blockade of the Gaza strip now demand that the nations of the world respond with diplomatic initiatives, supporting either Israel or Hamas. The question then becomes: Do Christians, as citizens of nations, have an obligation to take one side or the other in these disputes? Further, are individuals obliged to express in some way to their government, a demand to do what is necessary to stand with our spiritual family elders, the Jews? Given that Sacred Scripture of both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles states that the presence of the Jewish people in Jerusalem is an essential precursor to the arrival of the Messiah in glory, it would seem that Christians who hold to an orthodox interpretation of scripture, are obliged to stand with Israel.


Thomas Oden, in his 2003 book The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity enumerates the reasons that Christians live in a fraternal relationship with Judaism. These include a commitment to the Hebrew Bible as Holy Scripture and an understanding of themselves as co-inheritors with Jews at the final coming of the Messiah. They also share a common belief in the God of Abraham, Moses, and Israel as the giver and orderer of nature and history and that he is the creator of man and woman in His image and likeness. Together we believe that when we fail to fulfill our obligations, he offers a way of atonement such that we need not fear his coming at the consummation of history.


It is due to this final point that Christians should be able to see the source of inspiration for supporting not only Judaism as a religion, but also the State of Israel. Our faith in God is a ‘particular faith’ in that it is founded upon specific interventions of God in creation—with Noah, Abraham, and Moses, and for Christians, His incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ. To believe this requires that we believe in the Messiah of the Jews and this demands a particular understanding of one particular people’s history: the history of the Jews.


Christians and Jews both hold that the Exodus, with its Messianic elements, was the central event which sealed our relationship with God. The Jews are still waiting for his arrival. Christians simply believe that He has come ... and that He will come again. It is part of our creed that when He does return, he will do exactly what the Jews expect of the Messiah—come in a way that will make it impossible to deny his true nature. Jews and Christians both believe that day will begin the general resurrection of the dead - a final judgment by which the people of the covenant will be rewarded for their fidelity to their commitments to God and each other. These are hardly events that can be explained by anything short of a universal acknowledgment of the existence of God. Those who would dare deny it could only do so by be beings utterly opposed to Him.


This conviction is common to both Jews and Christians. We may each receive something different than what we expect from YHWH on that day- but there is no question that we are both awaiting the  anticipated arrival of the same God. If citizens of the western democracies practice this faith, they are obliged to acknowledge that the Jewish people and the State of Israel are owed support in any   future confrontations.


The same Hebrew Scriptures, as well as in the Talmudic interpretations that followed, state that when the Day of Judgment comes, the people of Israel will occupy the lands He gave to them after their Exodus from Egypt. Sacred Scripture tells us that the penultimate battle in which good finally vanquishes all evil is to take place in the land of Israel. Christian Scripture even names the exact place in Israel where the Apocalypse will culminate. Given that we draw our hope in the promise of God from these same sources, are we not then obliged to believe that the existence of the State of Israel is a necessary precursor to the Messiah’s final arrival on earth? In the political battles that constantly inflame the Middle East, Christians are obliged to support whatever is necessary to guarantee the continual existence of the Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital. Obliged, that is, if one believes in the promise and truth of Scripture as understood for almost 2500 years of human history.


We all know that within families disputes oft times arise. At times, the discussion can get quite 'intense'. As family we should each have the right to disagree with any particular policy of the State of Israel without being assaulted with allegations of antisemitism if  the discussion get's  heated. Our shared citizenship in the kingdom to come earn Christians the right to argue with our disagree as members of the same extended family. There are things that may be said in anger or passion, but in strong families even such issues can be resolved with time and mutual respect. It is also true that in times of trouble a family pulls together in mutual support, respect, and affection. It is the most primal of our obligations: to do what we must to guarantee our family continues to exist. When or if called upon, Christian nations are obliged to do what is necessary to ensure the security of the Jewish State as the real expression of our brothers and sisters in faith.


Irish folk wisdom teaches that a family is like the hand. Individually no one finger can dominate the others without compromising its ability to function as a hand. When faced with an outside threat however, the fingers of a family come together into an invincible fist for defense of home, hearth and family. This image is certainly familiar to me here in the Ottawa Valley, where families are taught to stand shoulder to shoulder in times of trial, even if some members carry battle scar's from recent family quarrels. This is what it means to BE family.


Christians may soon be called to remember this familial debt we owe our elder brothers and sisters to exist in peace, prosperity and security as it is being reported by some international media outlets (click here) that Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are soon to try to run the Gaza blockade, and we will likely have to decide if we believe that  'blood' is truly thicker than water'.


If and when that time comes, it will be time to put any troubles between us aside and stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel.

Holy Smoke from Canada's courts?

A young wag once suggested that the RC Church used pot as its incense, they might win back some converts! I doubt I'll ever live to see that day but it will be interesting to read the continuing arguments and the eventual court decision about whether or not the state possesses the right to determine what is a 'legitimate' religion.


Charles Lewis writes on the Holy Post blog about a court case in which the state has charged two men with marijuana offenses who are defending their cannabis actives by claiming they were religious acts, and thus protected from prosecution. As part of the legal argument, Professor Katherine Young of McGill University offered the quote below as evidence in the case before the court. Her expert testimony was placed before the court as it wrestles with what legally constitutes a religion.






Prof. Young told the court that trying to come up with a definition is an enormous problem for scholars because of the complexity or religious beliefs and the number of variables involved.
For this case, she and a colleague looked at the characteristics of major and minor religions and then compared those characteristics with the Church of the Universe.
She said all religions should have: a supernatural dimension, whether it be God, gods, ghosts or spirits; help people to live with such paradoxes as life and death, good and evil, and order and disorder; have a source of authority from scripture or ancestral teaching or a magisterial structure like the Catholic Church; a system of symbols; sacred times, such as holy days, and sacred places, such as temples or pilgrimage routes; rituals; an ethical system and taboos; offer a comprehensive way of life; sustain a group, not just individuals; and have an identity that is passed from one generation to the next.


Read more: http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/06/14/marijuana-church-case-may-lead-to-legal-definition-of-religion/#comments#ixzz0qsSyznPf

Same Sex Unions as parents. CNN to explore the issue

CNN is advertising an upcoming 'Solidad O'Brien Investigates' special entitled "Gary & Tony Have a Baby". The documentary is being previewed at 'Newfest: a LGBT Film Festival in New York. I believe that it is to be aired on CNN on June 24th.


Watch for further details. I look forward to the broadcast. I do so, not to follow that old Irish  maxim 'know your enemy', rather to grow in my understanding of the reality of gay families today. It may not be a traditional configuration, but my
previous training as a social worker as well as my life experiences have taught me that children raised in any stable, loving and chaste relationship will be as normal as a child raised in a traditional family.


One cannot know the full truth of any social, moral or medical experiment until the matter is broadly studied, but if the state says that gay couples merit the same legal status as heterosexual marriages, then they are entitled to the same rights, privileges and responsibilities.


Please, before jumping into a polemic of posting in defense of either side of the LGBT / Orthodoxy argument, consider that we must all be open to understanding the truth - no matter whether our dogma presages will be reality of non-traditional families. Anecdotal stories abound on both sides of this debate because there is a greater truth at work: bad kids come from good families, and visa versa. If it is demonstrated through longitudinal studies that there is no harm, then children should be afforded the opportunity to be raised in loving, stable homes with any legally approved couple, willing and able to accept the challenge. This is most certainly a preferable option to aborting a child - irrespective of where one stands vis a vis sexual morality. God's approval does not in and of itself deny something being legally permitted: adultery being a powerful illustration of this. The Church need offer its sacraments only to those who its chooses as determined by our creeds and dogma, but history has taught that its authority should reach only as far as the walls of Church. This is how it should be.


Now... if Catholics individually or collectively want to exercise their right to free speech to argue for legislation that reflects their values, that is their right (and, I would add) obligation to do so.  However we live in a democracy, meaning that governments must strike a balance between the rights of the majority & minority. The Kingdom of God will not be imposed on this world... until He returns - an event promised to be beyond dispute when it comes. Until then, citizens perhaps acknowledge that        MAYBE.... and I stress MAYBE, this is the key to  reconciling the obligations of faith and rational citizenship for Catholics and secularists. It's an answer that seems just out of reach... but I'm sure it's in here somewhere. Maybe I'll find it as I take up Richard Neuhaus' last book "American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile".

when religion fails: Conflicting Theologies

when religion fails: Conflicting Theologies

Can the scientific method be used to determine whether or not the supernatural exists?

Below you'll find part of an exchange I'm engaged in on the Holy Post with somehow going by the handle 'Shibboleth'.  The subject? Can the application of the scientific method to determine the truths of whether or not supernatural forces or beings do exist. I thought you might like comment of the exchange. At the very least, I hope you find it interesting.


Fr. Tim
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




11:59 AM on June 13, 2010

Tim:


I have asked some pointed questions and made statements which may have initially made you bristle. The reason I have done so is because of my bias toward scientific methodology.


Sufficiency is a term among many others to ensure a persons claim is tested according to scientific rigueur. Specifically, evidence offered in support of any claim must be adaquate to establish the truth of that claim with:
1) the burden of proof for any claim resting on the claimant
2) extraordinary claims demanding extraordinary evidence, and
3) evidence based upon authority alone as being inadaquate


Considering the claims made by the papacy and the various councils held by your church throughout European history to determine policy, I think my questions and statements have been valid.


Do not take these personally. I will continue to question and make point and counter-point in as civil a manner as possible.


-------------------------------


 Shibboleth:  Did you happen to catch the CBC Radio program 'Tapistry' on Sunday? It was a documentary which explored issues that arise when the scientific method and faith intersect.


In it, we hear from a scholar who transitioned from the scientific analysis of Karl Marx, through years of being 'born again' as an evangelical Christian before coming to rest as a secular agnostic. Each step of this journey was fueled by the same categories of inquiry that you set out above. It gave me a great deal to think about and it is worth downloading the podcast from the CBC website.


To address another point, may I ask if you given any credence to the witness of the immediate receivers the gospel they received from the followers of Christ himself? The Church offers as evidence the blood of these first century martyrs. They chose death rather than denying the veracity and accuracy of what they witnessed first hand of the martyrdom of the Apostles and many of their contemporaries. Letters, both within the Canon and the Patristic writings of men like Polycarp, Ignatius of Antioch as well from secular sources such the correspondence of Pliny the Younger and Josephus attest to the truth of what we today believe happened 2000 years ago. Surely their accounts must stand as testimony to the truth of the Jesus event. And if someone actually lived, died and was resurrected, that can only be explained by supernatural causes.


Some surmise that it was the scientific ignorance of these early Jews, Greeks, Romans and Africans which resulted in a misinterpretation of events which could be explained by natural reasoning. Given the rudimentary understanding of human physiology at the time, replete with 'humors' and 'evil spirits' offered as a medical diagnosis, they did not recognize the reality of a botched crucifixion. I assert that even if we grant this erroneous reasoning about what vivifies man, they were intimately familiar with what constituted his death. If someone returned to 'life' from 'death', it would be impossible for them to misinterpret. So convinced were they of what they had seen and heard that they thought fidelity to that truth to be more valuable than life. This evidence must be given some place in your calculations as to whether God exists or not.


This stands as evidence in this trial of God you are conducting (for that is   what we are discussing) as the first and strongest evidence for the Christian faith. As an advocate for the defense of the proposition for God's existence, I await your response.


Fr. Tim


Read more: http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/06/12/charles-lewis-the-religious-voice-is-one-that-needs-to-be-heard/#comments#ixzz0qqcoHv2P



NOTE: For technical reasons beyond my capacity to solve, I was not able to upload this version to the Holy Post. The arguments contained within this message were used to address specific of Shibboleth's multiple questions.

13 June, 2010

Insightful column from 'The Tablet' examining the excommunication of Sr. Margaret Mary McBride

The one argument that is not made clear (IMO) is that the Bishop did not excommunicate Sr. McBride. He was merely pointing out that she had incurred a 'self-inflicted' excommunication.  The Code of Canon Law makes it unequivocally clear that such a sentence is automatic in its effect if someone actively facilitates an abortion. He was asked what the teaching of the church was when the case was brought to his attention. He just affirmed that her action took her outside of the walls of the Church. This rendered her ineligible to fill the position she did with a Catholic Hospital, so he also took the appropriate action.

She (as most Catholics) knows that there is a straightforward practice for her to follow if she wants to be reconciled to the Church. We are ALL sinners, and nobody on earth can presume to know anothers' state before God. The Church can only control who belongs within its walls; not speak definitively on anyone's state of grace. As to the peril to her soul, that is ultimately up to God to judge. How He will mete out her reward is exclusively a matter between them. 



Further, the Church could not deny her membership within the communion if she desired to return, for Catholics see the Church as the imperfect temporal expression of Christ.  As we celebrated last Week on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, His mercy knows no limit. No one can morally presume to limit His forgiveness in earth if anyone were to call upon it.

Still it is an excellent article in that it does not degenerate into the polemics that pervade too many other contributions to this debate. I think you'll enjoy the read.

Fr. Tim
 


Sister of mercy
Morality of abortion


by Michael Sean Winters
www.thetablet.co.uk




Catholics in America are divided over the formal excommunication of a nun who authorised an abortion to save a mother’s life. It is the latest case to highlight the bitter divisions within the American Church


Most controversies within the Catholic Church do not get their own Wikipedia entry, at least not so soon. But the 14 May decision of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, to state that Sr Margaret Mary McBride had formally cooperated in the procurement of an abortion and, by that act, had excommunicated herself from the Catholic Church, is no ordinary controversy.


Sr Margaret was vice president of mission integration at the St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix when, late last year, a mother of three, pregnant with another child, was deemed unable to continue her pregnancy because of pulmonary hyper tension. The condition is a rare disorder that weakens the heart and lungs. For pregnant women suffering from severe pulmonary hypertension, the mortality rate is high.


The Ethics Board at the hospital was convened. The doctors asserted that only an abortion could save the mother’s life and that failure to perform the procedure would result in the death of both the mother and the unborn child. The Ethics Board, on which Sr Margaret sat, agreed to permit the abortion. A statement from the hospital’s administrators said: “If there had been a way to save the pregnancy and still prevent the death of the mother, we would have done it. We are convinced there was not.”


Upon learning of the abortion at the Catholic hospital, Bishop Olmsted ordered Sr Margaret to be reassigned and pronounced the formal excommunication, writing in his statement: “An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother’s life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means.” The bishop quoted from Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae, and from the fifth edition of “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health-care Services” issued at the end of last year by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in support of his decision.


All are agreed that Sr Margaret is an outstanding Christian soul. A doctor at the Phoenix hospital described her as “a kind, soft-spoken, humble, caring, spiritual woman whose spot in Heaven was reserved years ago”. Others make similar claims for Bishop Olmsted. “He is not a crazy bomb-thrower,” I was told by a priest who knew Olmsted when he worked at the Vatican. “He is the sweetest man, a man who loves God.”


In most dioceses, priests are given faculties to absolve a person who has been involved in the procurement of an abortion and to re instate them into full communion. But when a formal pronouncement has been made, only the bishop can restore a person to full communion. Fr Ladislas Orsy SJ, of Georgetown University, said such decrees of excommunication are “exceedingly rare”. Canonists have expressed a wide range of opinions about Bishop Olmsted’s decree.


What is not murky is the response from the pews, where the Phoenix case has quickly become another battleground in the culture wars. Conservative Christians have largely applauded the bishop’s decision. The American Life League invited Catholics to sign a letter of support to Bishop Olmsted: “The individuals signing this letter pledge their support for Bishop Olmsted’s faithful defence of church teaching to accomplish his primary task – the salvation of souls in his diocese – which includes the souls of Sr Margaret McBride, the pre-born child whose death Sr Margaret authorised, the child’s parents, and any other individual involved.”


On EWTN – the Eternal Word Television Network founded in the US in 1981 as a cable channel to present Catholic-themed programming – Fr Robert Sirico, head of the Acton Institute, applauded Bishop Olmsted’s decision and the host, Raymond Arroyo, linked Sr Margaret’s role in permitting the abortion to the advocacy for health-care reform by other Religious women, whom he accused of “dissent” and “disloyalty”.


From the Left come two arguments. The first is that the Catholic Church is wrong to allow “religious dogma” to interfere with a patient’s decisions, as put on National Public Radio by University of Virginia Ethics Professor Lois Shepherd: “We live in a country where these decisions are made by the patients themselves – not by religious dogma. Can hospitals run by the Catholic Church continue to survive if they allow their strict adherence to doctrine to interfere with the basic standards of life-and-death care?”


The argument is a weak one, not least because it ignores the fact that Catholics believe there were two patients involved, and no one procured the consent of the unborn child to the procedure. More importantly, Catholic hospitals grew out of the gospel mandate to care for the afflicted, and those same Gospels are the basis of the Church’s opposition to abortion.
The second argument is slightly different and, ironically, mirrors some of the complaints from the Right. In an op-ed piece in The New York Times, it was put thus by Nicholas Kristof: “We finally have a case where the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is responding forcefully and speedily to allegations of wrongdoing. But the target isn’t a paedophile priest. Rather, it’s a nun who helped save a woman’s life. Doctors describe her as saintly.”


The article ran around the Catholic blogosphere at the speed of light. Where some conservatives see the Phoenix case as another instance of dissent by Religious women, who are appropriately being investigated by the Vatican, some liberals see the case as another example of the hierarchy’s heavy-handed treatment of Religious women who have given their lives to the Church.


More thoughtful commentary has emerged on both sides as well. In the conservative journal First Things, Michael Liccione questioned the role of Sr Margaret’s subjective intent. He noted that the Church permits abortions that are not intended, for example when a woman has an ectopic pregnancy, requiring the removal of her fallopian tube. This will result in the death of the unborn child, but that is not the intended object of the surgery. Liccione argues that this “law of double effect” may have animated Sr Margaret’s decision, in which case, her moral culpability is diminished.


The more persuasive criticism of Bishop Olmsted’s decision is located here. In such dreadful circumstances, even if the actors make the “wrong” decision, heavy-handed punishment is ill-advised. Liccione writes that “the bishop’s ability to make such a confident judgement in this case seems very unclear – to me and to many others. Moreover, the public outrage over the Phoenix case illustrates the dangers of making politically significant announcements on the basis of moral reasoning that not many people can follow and that even theologically well- educated Catholics disagree about.”


This is also where one encounters the most persuasive arguments in favour of the bishop’s decision. The child is dead, and it is precisely in such difficult decisions that strict adherence to the Church’s moral teachings keeps good people from performing evil acts.


The Catholic bishops may regret that this situation has become another sideshow in the culture wars, but they are in part responsible for the Church’s involvement in those culture wars. The bishops have given support to groups such as the American Life League and EWTN, both of which have turned on the bishops when the bishops have not followed their conservative positions.


There is a yet deeper concern, and one that has not been much commented upon in the Phoenix situation. Yes, the controversy can be seen as a part of the culture wars. But it is also an example of a deeper pathology in American religious experience – the way religion is reduced to ethics in American culture.


“It is a great temptation for the Church to reduce its mission to that of an ethical authority in order to gain access to the public forum,” Mgr Lorenzo Albacete wrote in the Catholic quarterly Communio more than 15 years ago, and the warning remains true. Pope John Paul’s and Pope Benedict’s call for a “New Evangelisation” will be stillborn if the Church can’t find ways to proclaim the Gospel effectively, and a main impediment to that proclam ation is this reduction of religion to ethics.


Today, in America, the Catholic Left reduces the Church’s mission to a social-justice ethic, and the Catholic Right reduces the Church’s mission to its ethics on sexual morality. Bishop Olmsted’s decision has encouraged partisans of both Left and Right to embrace a defensive posture in which it is difficult to even hear the transcendent call of the Crucified who Lives.


When a moralism of the Left or Right trumps mercy, the Gospel is not proclaimed. The most frightening thing about Bishop Olmsted’s decision is, finally, not its justice or lack thereof. It is that, in his multi-paragraph statement announcing the excommunication, he did not even mention God. That is, if you will pardon the expression, damning.

Perspectives: Staying Catholic amid the church's scandals - Pasadena Star-News

Perspectives: Staying Catholic amid the church's scandals - Pasadena Star-News

12 June, 2010

Pew Forum: Should there be limits on religious rights | Holy Post | National Post

Pew Forum: Should there be limits on religious rights | Holy Post | National Post

Does Fido have a soul? – Religion - CNN.com Blogs

I've always believed that everything that lives has a soul. The question is does everything (including Fido - or in my case 'Mateo') have an eternal soul? The RC Church would say 'No'. What's your opinion?

Does Fido have a soul? – Religion - CNN.com Blogs

Under God: Study looks at media coverage of Catholic sex abuse scandal - William Wan

Under God: Study looks at media coverage of Catholic sex abuse scandal - William Wan

The Holy Post. A great place to visit on the web!

Have you ever visited the Religion Blog of the National Post? It's called the "Holy Post" and can be found here. It is quickly becoming one of the best places on the web where discussion can be held on a wide variety of topics that are taken from current events.


What I appreciate about it is the quality of the comments that accompany the articles. Most of the nonsense is kept out by moderators and those that are posted can stimulate a great deal of thought.


I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in participating or just reading up on others thoughts, ideas and insights.


Hope to see you there as well as here!!

Has Lady Gaga gone too far? | Holy Post | National Post

Has Lady Gaga gone too far? | Holy Post | National Post

'More' power given to Human Rights Tribunals??

"A landmark Supreme of Canada ruling has significantly widened the reach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, handing a broad range of administrative tribunals the right to find Charter violations and create legal remedies.

In a 9-0 ruling on Friday, the court said that administrative tribunals – quasi-judicial bodies that hear cases involving everything from labour relations and school boards to human rights are perfectly capable of applying the Charter in their fields of expertise.

“We do not have one Charter for the courts and another for administrative tribunals,” said Madam Justice Rosalie Abella, the architect of the transformation."

Read the rest of the article here

11 June, 2010

Comments taken from the Homily of Pope Benedict XVI as he brought to a close the 'Year of the Priest'

The Pope noted how the Year for Priests was celebrated to ensure "a renewed appreciation of the grandeur and beauty of the priestly ministry. The priest is not a mere office-holder. ... Rather, he does something which no human being can do of his own power: in Christ's name he speaks the words which absolve us of our sins and in this way he changes, starting with God, our entire life. Over the offerings of bread and wine he speaks Christ's words of thanksgiving, ... which open the world to God and unite it to Him. The priesthood, then, is not simply 'office' but Sacrament".


"This audacity of God Who entrusts Himself to human beings (Who, conscious of our weaknesses, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in His stead) this audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word 'priesthood'. ...This is what we wanted to reflect upon and appreciate anew over the course of the past year. We wanted to reawaken our joy at how close God is to us, ... we also wanted to demonstrate once again to young people that this vocation, this fellowship of service for God and with God, does exist".
 
"It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the 'enemy'; he would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world. And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the Sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light - particularly the abuse of the little ones. ... We too insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again; and that in admitting men to priestly ministry and in their formation we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey".

"Had the Year for Priests been a glorification of our individual human performance, it would have been ruined by these events. But for us what happened was precisely the opposite: we grew in gratitude for God's gift, a gift concealed in 'earthen vessels' which ever anew, even amid human weakness, makes His love concretely present in this world. So let us look upon all that happened as a summons to purification, as a task which we bring to the future and which makes us acknowledge and love all the more the great gift we have received from God. In this way, His gift becomes a commitment to respond to God's courage and humility by our own courage and our own humility".


THANK YOU HOLY FATHER!!  

Jesus Ultrasound Poster Fuels U.K. Abortion Uproar | Christianpost.com

What is wrong with this? How could anyone take offense? We are truly living in strange times when something as innocuous as this sets off and 'uproar'!!

Jesus Ultrasound Poster Fuels U.K. Abortion Uproar | Christianpost.com

Pope begs forgiveness, promises action on abuse - CTV News

A fitting way to close the 'Year of the Priest'.

Pope begs forgiveness, promises action on abuse - CTV News

10 June, 2010

BBC News - Marijuana plantation in Uganda convent probed

Perhaps they thought it was incense?

BBC News - Marijuana plantation in Uganda convent probed

Father Raymond J. de Souza: Why there is something, not nothing | Full Comment | National Post

Fr. Raymond de Souza takes a crack at answering Stephen Hawking's challenge to the existence of God

Father Raymond J. de Souza: Why there is something, not nothing | Full Comment | National Post

Thousands of priests rally in defence of pope - CTV News

I wish I were there!!


Thousands of priests rally in defence of pope - CTV News

Review: Marshall McLuhan, by Douglas Coupland - The Globe and Mail

I have always been a fan of Marshall McLuhan, even if it has taken me YEARS to understand what he wrote. Writers such as he, along with Alvin Toffler and others, have demonstrated that they were prescient in telling us how our society has been profoundly changed by these new technologies of communication. Coupland himself is no slouch in these affairs as was demonstrated by his seminal work, "Generation X". I look forward to reading this latest biography of one of Canada's greatest thinkers.

Review: Marshall McLuhan, by Douglas Coupland - The Globe and Mail

Experts seek to slash multiple birth rate

More issues and complications raised by IVF. For more thoughts on the topic, read my column from the National Post. The link to it is here.

Experts seek to slash multiple birth rate

09 June, 2010

The "Year of the Priest" comes to an end

This Friday, the Catholic Church, brings the "Year of the Priest" to a close with the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. I think it is fair to say that the year did not unfold exactly as Pope Benedict intended as it seemed that every week brought another aspect of the sex abuse scandal to the fore, culminating in a Holy Week/Easter season that saw the tentacles of this evil reach right to the Chair of Peter. It reached its zenith with the likes of Christopher Hitchens calling for the arrest of the Pope during his upcoming visit to Great Britain.

Yet, as we reach the end of this priestly year, I cannot help but feel uplifted and strengthened by the response of the faithful to this papal call of support for the Church's priests. In our Diocese here in the Ottawa Valley, celebrations have been held in various parishes to fete the men who have undertaken the difficult task of representing Christ the eternal high priest to all the baptized. There was also a Diocesan celebration, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Women's League, which gathered all of the priests together to be wined, dined and honored together as a presbyterate. This has been particular poignant for us as our little Pembroke Diocese has twice found itself in the media cross hairs with the revelations of misdeeds and crimes by two priests as well as the discovery of an attempted cover-up by a previous Bishop. Amazingly, somehow the laity have been able to separate their angst and disgust at the failings of these few priests and bishop from their gratitude with the service they have received from their parish priests. For this I am truly humbled and grateful.

For this grace alone, it has certainly been a blessed year to serve as a priest in the Pembroke Diocese as I am sure that it has been for priests throughout the world.

Many thanks to the people who have lifted up all priests in these difficult times. Your gifts to your clergy have in fact made this a year to remember, for all the right reasons.

What did the Church ever do to them?

A harsh but true assessment of the Church in Quebec

What did the Church ever do to them?

On the Brink

Melanie Phillips is an award-winning columnist for London’s Daily Mail. Educated at Oxford, she won the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996. She is the author of Londonistan and All Must Have Prizes, among other books. Phillips spoke with CWR about her new book, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle Over God, Truth, and Power

Pay particular attention to her response to the issue of science and religion. She brings an interesting perspective that differentiates between science and 'scientism' and connects the latter to western materialistic philosophy.

On the Brink

Courage in Quebec 6.9.2010

Courage in Quebec 6.9.2010

Editorial: Stephen Hawking is Wrong. Church is a Defender of Life, Science and the Person - U.s. - Catholic Online

Deacon Keith Fournier answers Stephen Hawkings.

Does he give the right answers?



Editorial: Stephen Hawking is Wrong. Church is a Defender of Life, Science and the Person - U.s. - Catholic Online

Television Review - 'Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman' - On the Science Channel, Asking the Big Questions - NYTimes.com

Television Review - 'Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman' - On the Science Channel, Asking the Big Questions - NYTimes.com

Belgian euthanasia nurses 'fail to get consent

Here is further evidence that Canada should not open this pandora's box. It is NEVER safe to give to others the right to decide whether or not your life is worth continuing. The fact that the study shows as many as 50% of the time someone was euthanized without requesting it proves this point.

Fr. Tim

Belgian euthanasia nurses 'fail to get consent

How Jesuits kill time

Check it out!  Jesuit 'hangman'. A fun and silly way to learn what Jesuits do.

Sisters of Life

Here is an excellent website for any and all interested in the pro-life cause. The Sisters of Life are a religious order than began in New York City under the authority of Cardinal Jon O'Connor (RIP) in the 1980's. Their traditional religious lifestyle and clear charism have led them to grow much faster than many other orders. As a result, these wonderful women are moving beyond the boundaries of NYC and have opened a convent in Toronto.

Here is a link to a news account from LifesiteNews which explains in greater detail their history and mission in Toronto.

The Sisters of Life count among their numbers a woman from our Parish here in Mattawa who is soon to take her final profession. This is one of the greatest blessings that we have received as a parish. Anytime a religious vocation comes forward from a parish community, many graces flow back to the local church. I can only pray that as the Sisters of Life establish their ministry in Canada that more and more women will join the community as professed religious, and that many others will participate as volunteers to work with them.

To contact the Sisters in Toronto, call 1-877-543-3380 or (416) 463-2722, or visit their website here.



Sisters of Life

08 June, 2010

The truth about priests - World - Macleans.ca

GOOD ARTICLE!!

The truth about priests - World - Macleans.ca

Church of the ‘Times’ | Commonweal magazine

Commonweal magazine looks at the coverage the RC Church has received from the New York Times newspaper. It's worth a read if you are interested in examining the role of the media in reporting upon the various sex abuse scandals in the States.

Church of the ‘Times’ | Commonweal magazine

Science will win out over religion, says Hawking - CTV News

As much as I appreciate Hawking's genius, on this point I believe he is wrong.

What do you think?

Science will win out over religion, says Hawking - CTV News

How serious is the 'predator priest' problem? - USATODAY.com

How serious is the 'predator priest' problem? - USATODAY.com

What Does it Mean to be a Faithful Catholic Media Organization in the 21st Century? - U.S. News - Catholic Online

What Does it Mean to be a Faithful Catholic Media Organization in the 21st Century? - U.S. News - Catholic Online

Double-dip recession ‘practically inevitable’: UBS | Trading Desk | Financial Post

This is what I was afraid would happen... and am still praying that it doesn't!! If the economy in the States falls back into recession again so soon, it will have a devastating effect on the entire world economy.

Double-dip recession ‘practically inevitable’: UBS | Trading Desk | Financial Post

Don't fear faithful - Editorial - The Catholic Register

Don't fear faithful - Editorial - The Catholic Register

Ontario court clarifies religious hiring rights - Ontario - The Catholic Register

Ontario court clarifies religious hiring rights - Ontario - The Catholic Register

05 June, 2010

Souter v. Scalia at Harvard Yard – Religion - CNN.com Blogs

Souter v. Scalia at Harvard Yard – Religion - CNN.com Blogs

My Take: The market has become God – Religion - CNN.com Blogs

My Take: The market has become God – Religion - CNN.com Blogs

I'm Back!!

Thank you all for your good wishes and prayers. The fishing trip was (as always) FANTASTIC. 

My companions fished each day and always brought in their limit of delicious large walleye. Since I have visited this outfitter and fished his lakes for almost 20 years, I spent less time fishing and most of my time in quiet reflection and reading, just taking in the silence and beauty all around me. It is always a treat for me to go someplace where there are no phones, faxes or email to distract me and Dumoine Lake Cottages in Northwestern Quebec (http://www.kipawaoutfitters.com/) never fails to bring a welcome rest into my life. I was visited by moose, bears, and other smaller critters as well as a multitude of loons and other water fowl who kept me company while my companions were on the lake. 

No Cathedral or church anywhere can match the grandeur of God's untouched creation and I can think of no 'holier' a place to celebrate mass than on a flat rock beside a magnificent lake. The song of the loons that were present each morning would put any choir to shame. The grace and peace of such a place never fails to refresh me in body, mind and spirit. Once I upload some photo's I'll share some of the grandeur of this little Quebec corner of heaven.


Sharing this trip with a couple of evangelical protestant ministers also made for some thought provoking and entertaining conversations over dinners and around the box wood stove at night.

Thank you for your part in making it the joyous and grace-filled experience that it was.

Fr. Tim

Gibbons Case May Be Headed to Supreme Court

Gibbons Case May Be Headed to Supreme Court

D.C. Prohibits Prayer and Free Speech on Sidewalk outside Planned Parenthood

D.C. Prohibits Prayer and Free Speech on Sidewalk outside Planned Parenthood

ENDA the Silence: Bishops Defend Marriage, Freedom - Politics - Catholic Online

ENDA the Silence: Bishops Defend Marriage, Freedom - Politics - Catholic Online

What We Can Learn From the Jewish Genome - Newsweek

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01 June, 2010

I'll be away for a few days... gone fishing!

Friends,


I will be away from any form of electronic communication for the balance of this week as I am taking the two other full time clergy (Pentecostal & Evangelical Missionary Church pastors) here in Mattawa into the wilds of north western Quebec for three days of fishing and fellowship. They too are dealing with the stresses and pressures of ministering to a flock that has been afflicted by the same economic and social tribulations that have affected the region and like me are in need of a little 'R & R'.


Aside from the benefit of these actions, it will also take us beyond the reach of phones, pagers and internet. No radio, TV, cell phones or computers - but the beauties of God's creation and blissful peace and quiet. Truly 'heaven on earth' for any busy clergyman.


I'll remember to pray for all of you and I ask for your prayers for three tired clergy looking for some peace, prayer and fraternal fellowship.


See you on Friday June 4th!




Fr. Tim

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