31 October, 2010

We Salute Our Heroes

Canadian artists offer this powerful performance of a song written in honor of the best in the Canadian Armed Forces. Irrespective of one's political position on the Afghan issue from a Canadian perspective, no one can deny the good intent and hearts of the women and men who have volunteered to serve our country. To quote Shakespeare, if our cause 'not be just', then let it fall on the head of the 'King' - or in our case, the Canadian Parliament. Let us never forget to offer our support to those who are willing to serve to protect our sovereignty and national interest.


Aside all that, it's an excellent video and song too!

We Salute Our Heroes

Khadr jury asks for replay of defence witness testimony - CTV News

Omar Khadr has suffered more than enough for the 'crime' he committed. First off, he was a child when he participated in a Taliban attack, killing one Marine in the process. His father, a member of the AlQuaida hierarchy brought his son into the Afghanistan theatre were he was himself was killed. As a minor, brought into the situation he faced when he threw the fatal grenade, he should have not have been subjected to being held in Guantanamo Bay as an 'enemy combatant' as both the USA and Canada are signatories of the convention of child soldiers; a convention that details how such children are to be dealt with.

Further, the conditions he had to endure for the past eight years were far more brutal and harmful to his welfare than even the most hardened criminal in Canada would ever have to face.


If the assessment of this Lieutenant is favorable towards Khadr's disposition and situation, then I pray they would sentence him to 'time served'. Then, let him come home to Canada and be left in peace, given the help and support he needs to successfully recover from his experiences and integrate back into Canadian society.


That would be the most just way to salvage any justice in what has became known in Canada as the 'Khadr Situation'.

Khadr jury asks for replay of defence witness testimony - CTV News

Druids Committed Human Sacrifice, Cannibalism?

Thankfully modern day Druids have left these practices in the dark past!

Druids Committed Human Sacrifice, Cannibalism?

"Diamonds scattered on black velvet" A Canadian astronaut's description of Canada as seen at night from the International Space Station

This short (3 minute) news video from the Globe and Mail offers the opinions of Canadian astronauts on this, the 10th anniversary of the International Space Station. There are plenty of spectacular images and video clips that make one envious of the space experience. Click here to watch the video.

Review of the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear - Tuned In - TIME.com

Review of the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear - Tuned In - TIME.com

30 October, 2010

The tendency to vote liberal might be in your genes - CTV News

Good grief... what an insult to human intelligence. We are more than genetically dominated beings. I was as liberal as they come in my youth, yet as the years past I became more conservative in my outlook. Does this mean that my 'liberal gene' wore out or that I grew new 'conservative' ones?

The tendency to vote liberal might be in your genes - CTV News

One winning ticket for $50M Lotto Max draw sold in B.C. - CTV News

Lady Janus: Did you win this prize? If you did, please remember my 'donate' box on the blog. This parish is in pretty desperate need of some cash these days!


Fr. Tim

One winning ticket for $50M Lotto Max draw sold in B.C. - CTV News

29 October, 2010

Charles Lewis: The religious must be better prepared to deal with secular society | Holy Post | National Post

Charles Lewis: The religious must be better prepared to deal with secular society | Holy Post | National Post

Would you take a 'one way' trip to Mars?

Kind of looks like Sudbury in the 1960's!
Here's an interesting piece about the feasibility of a 'one way' trip to Mars as the vanguard of a colonization effort. Among the comments that accompany the article was the following:


"Home Sweet Home?"
"I think my ex-wife would be a great candidate for this venture. She's already in the telecommunications industry, and despite the great view likes to sleep on long trips, doesn't eat much, has a take charge attitude, and since only the good die young, even in the harsh martian lanscape. SHE'D BE GREAT!!!"

It put a smile on my face! Hope it does the same for you!

Pope: The Church Doesn't Fear Science | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Pope: The Church Doesn't Fear Science | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Debate: Do Catholics have anything to gain from dialogue with Humanists? | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Debate: Do Catholics have anything to gain from dialogue with Humanists? | CatholicHerald.co.uk

28 October, 2010

Let Family Members of Suicides Kill Themselves Too Says Euthanasia Org Prez

Folks... We're getting closer to a dangerous place. I know that Halloween is just around the corner but this scares me more than any ghost or goblin. Anyone who believes that coercion cannot force a family members compliance must also believe that 'Shot-Gun Marriages' don't take place either. It is precious few steps past this to a point where euthanasia won't be an option, it will be an obligation.


There are some streets it's just not safe to 'trick or treat' on. There's a terrible fate that awaits those who wander down to the end of 'Euthanasia Lane'.

Let Family Members of Suicides Kill Themselves Too Says Euthanasia Org Prez

26 October, 2010

'DING DONG': Answering the door is a test of faith for many clergy

"B.C. priest stabbed, beaten in church rectory, court hears"


I appreciate this headline. It doesn't focus on the fact that the victim was a bishop, but rather a 'priest'. In truth, it was a priest who answered the door to face this assault, just as thousands of other  priests do (and clergy of all stripes) who often find the desperate at their door. I suspect that there is not a priest in the country who hasn't had to consider whether or not to answer a late-night call at the door, especially if they live in a prominent rectory that includes the church office. The dual drives of fear and faith battle, as one considers security for himself and others, and the religious imperative to respond to cries for help or assistance. Serving as I do in a diocese whose parishes are gathered alongside the Trans-Canada Highway, I have faced this situation quite a few times, and (thank God) have emerged each time unscathed... although there had been times when the services of the Police were required.  Others have not been so fortunate.


20+ years ago, I was visiting with a classmate who served in the North Bay Cathedral when our quiet evening in the living room was shattered with shouts for help. Turns out there was someone who remained hidden after the days masses and was found sitting naked in the dining room. A game of 'hide & seek'  through the various offices the large old rectory involving local police, resident clergy, and the inappropriately dressed intruder  finally ended with the patient safely corralled  under the dining room table.  He was quickly returned to the psychiatric hospital unharmed at no more cost than a few frayed nerves. One of the first lessons I learned from serving in such an environment was that appropriate precautions had to  be taken after dark, for the most innocent situation can 'go sideways' in the blink of an eye. The assault on Bishop Munroe is stark evidence that such events are just as likely to have horrid outcome as one that is helpful, humorous  or benign.


Ministry has always been a vocation that carried an element of danger as clergy are on the front lines between the profane and the Holy; between the sick and the 'well'. Psychiatric illness often manifests itself in religious delusions and Churches (and clergy as its local agent) can become targets for people in the midst of a psychotic episode. Often desperate people turn to the church for help when they're perhaps at the point of snapping if they don't get what they 'need'.  Mix in the criminal element and the 'knights of the road' who target priests for funds to acquire a roof and a hot meal, (and to 'borrow' money that he'll pay back when his cheque comes in ... tomorrow - funds he'll use for some form of libation or illegal substance to find release from another empty day.) and something as mundane as answering the door can prove to be a measure of one's faith and commitment to a life of service.


It has been thus through the ages. Each time the door bell sounds, clergy don't not know if they're going to encounter a principled man pushed to the edge (a la 'Victor Hugo's Jean Valjean, hero of 'Les Misérables,')  or suffer at the hands of the likes of a John Bandura. Such are the challenges of the ministry for those who remain available into the night, especially if they live alone.


It all starts with opening a door.

Nuit Blanche: Spectacular, breath-taking and Canadian

I thank my friend Stephen Weigel for the tip to this wonderful Canadian short film. Stephen is himself an up & coming photographer who hails from Maryland, USA.


If today you need a 4+ minute break to take in some peace and beauty to refresh the soul, I would affirm that this video ranks up there with stepping out into a warm Caribbean morning in the depths of a Canadian winter.


Enjoy!
Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo
Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo.
>.

Addendum: Locke & Natural Law « The American Catholic

Addendum: Locke & Natural Law « The American Catholic

24 October, 2010

Liberals defend sanctity of free speech for liberals only | Full Comment | National Post

Lorne Gunter: Liberals defend sanctity of free speech for liberals only | Full Comment | National Post

'Imagination in straitjacket'

Maybe I'm not nuts after all!

'Imagination in straitjacket'

How Far Should Forgiveness Go? | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

How Far Should Forgiveness Go? | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

'I am the very model of a modern US President' - hillarious!

Conrad Black: Brother André’s Catholic Church helped build today’s Quebec | Full Comment | National Post

Conrad Black: Brother André’s Catholic Church helped build today’s Quebec | Full Comment | National Post

Catholic Political Thought & John Locke: Part II « The American Catholic

Catholic Political Thought & John Locke: Part II « The American Catholic

23 October, 2010

B.C. bishop in hospital after attack at rectory - The Globe and Mail

B.C. bishop in hospital after attack at rectory - The Globe and Mail

First response to Commonweal article!


Thanks to a brother priest for this tidbit of wisdom shared with me in response to the Commonweal article.


There are only two things that are essential to succeed in life... wisdom and patience

A remarkable and thought-provoking assessment of the current status of the Roman Catholic Church in North America. BEST ASSESSMENT I've read in many months!! A MUST READ!

 “It is not often that someone at a New York dinner party calls for a count of religious affiliations, and I cannot recall exactly what led to it. But one guest suddenly said he had the impression that many of those present were Catholics. “Can we have a show of hands?” he asked.
 
Two of us raised our hands. A third person, who once wrote frequently in the Catholic press, said “no longer,” though as a conservative he continued to sympathize with the church. A fourth person, with whom my wife and I have sometimes worshipped on Easter, Christmas, and other occasions, chose not to make any declaration at all. Finally, the man who asked the question avowed that he had been raised Catholic, “and I hate everything about it.”



I've been to the same dinner party. At least, I've participated in similar conversations in the past few years. They've been exceedingly painful moments, not at all like unlike the crises that assault us in the wake of a death of a loved one. People's attachment to their parish was of a character that resembled an affection for a cherished friend or family member more than just an enrolment in an institution. In recognizing this early in my priesthood I found the key to assisting many to recover the practice of their faith.

Without being boastful, I can say that throughout my 20+ years as a priest that I have been successful where ever I have ministered. I have taken once moribund parishes, and with the aid of others there, we brought the community back to life. If I were to boast, I would point out that I've once experienced the need to more than double the size of a church to accommodate the numbers of the faithful who returned to the practice of their faith. In every assignment, we experienced a need to at least increase the number of masses needed to serve the community. I know how to 'build a church' in the evangelical sense of the phrase.

I was in the midst of doing so again here in Mattawa when the sex abuse scandal touched our region for the first time with the revelation of a priest who served here who was charged with a number of sex offenses. It was like a 'bunker-busting' bomb went off in the middle of the parish. The drop-off of participation in mass has been precipitous. Worryingly  it has been among individuals heretofore constant in the exercise of their faith for the past number of years.  

MANY have spoken to me on the street, in their homes and in my office to assure me that I am still welcome in their lives. They are appreciative of my efforts, but they are so angry with the 'CHURCH' that they no longer want to be associated with it.

Is my experience here unique? This article would suggest that it is not.

Are we truly past a point of no return and have lost these souls or will the constant effective ministry of individual priests win them back? I know that I am working hard now and making little progress. I very much fear that in this too, I am not unique.

So what are the Church leaders (Bishops, Pastors and laity) going to do about it?

Steinhels offers the following suggestions.  “What exactly should the bishops do? .... I have emphasized very concrete, practical items—a quantum leap in the quality of Sunday liturgies, including preaching; a massive, all-out mobilization of talent and treasure to catechize the young, bring adolescents into church life, and engage young adults in ongoing faith formation; and regular, systematic assessments of all these activities—as well as theologically more complex and controversial matters like expanding the pool of those eligible for ordination and revisiting some aspects of the church’s teaching on sexuality.
 
What matters is not this set of proposals—or any other. What matters is merely some kind of acknowledgment from the hierarchy, or even leading individuals within the hierarchy, of the seriousness of the situation. What matters is a sign of determination to address these losses honestly and openly, to absorb the existing data, to gather more if necessary, and to entertain and evaluate a wide range of views about causes and remedies. Is it possible some bishop might mention this at their November meeting?

Perhaps the same question can be asked of the Canadian Catholic Bishops who begin their annual plenary sessions together in Cornwall, Ontario this week.

Teachers to be given flexibility on missed deadlines

Teachers to be given flexibility on missed deadlines

22 October, 2010

Spiritual Call to arms: Monday OCTOBER 25, 2010 - A Day of Fast & Prayer for Life

Everyone is going to die. Life is a terminal illness. The concern the proponents of euthanasia  are raising deals with the means and conduct of death. If we have the desire and capacity when we are able, we can legally suicide. What they are speaking to is that moment when one no longer has the capacity to effect their own death.

This desire to have someone else act as our agent when we approach our end is our fear of pain and profound existential angst.  If a medical coma is as effective as claimed, in as much it can suppress all conscious and unconscious thought, then it would seem to provide the same conclusion sought for with suicide. Why change the law to permit euthanasia when palliative care can provide the same abyss that is desired by those who rush to embrace in death just to alleviate an irrational fear?  This irrationality is all the more ironic coming as it does primarily from those who claim Voltaire's model of reason 'above all else' as their clarion call.

 To define personhood  by consciousness only, one would be 'effectively dead' since they would no longer be physically or mentally sentient. They would no longer meet the test of 'self-awareness'. That which euthanasia proponents accept as fact (which is to say scientific truth only) says one would no longer merit status as a 'person' under the law. It is a strange quirk of modern day jurisprudence that courts are granting institutions the status of being a 'person' under the law, while concurrently stripping those same rights from other human beings and the beginning and end of life. As the issues of such fundamental principles as the rights to life and the means to control the means of our death are constantly brought before the courts, this inconsistency must inevitably be resolved. Pro-Life advocates clearly believe that human life should be protected where ever and when ever it exists.

 The alternative approach seems fraught with terror for people who either appreciate history or faith. The palliative care option does not expose society to the real threat that euthanasia has proven to bring to the weakest members of our society. The last culture that adopted euthanasia as an acceptable option was Fascist Germany. Do we honestly believe that German culture, which was by the middle of the 20th century the pinnacle of intellectual and artistic achievement, would have  willing accepted the slaughters of WWII had they  not first become inured to the value of life itself?

John Pacheco (from SoCon or Bust) is calling on Catholics to fast and pray on this coming Monday as the Canadian Bishops open their annual national plenary sessions in Cornwall as a spiritual weapon wielded in the defense of life. No matter one's position on some of the other issues he has promoted on his site, this seems to me to be a most worthy initiative. It marshals biblical based techniques to promote a spiritual and moral probity.


'Life' needs all the help it can get these days.

A note from a friend of this blog!!

Father Tim,
I just couldn't figure out how to email you at your blog.  I hope this will suffice.  I am trying to get some leverage for a fast/pray initiative this Monday.  Could you please help by mentioning it on your blog?  (besides, the radicals will love to hear that we STILL fast and pray in desperate times!)
Thanks so much, Father Tim.
Kathie Hogan
Parry Sound, Ontario

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

John Pacheco (SoCon or Bust) has called for a day of fasting and prayer this Monday.  (and you thought I'd ask you to write a letter!)


The Canadian bishops will be talking about Development and Peace at 11:45am on Monday, at their annual plenary session, in Cornwall, Ontario.  Pro-lifers have been waiting a long time to hear the bishops speak definitively on why -

1. Development and Peace is giving money to fund 47 pro-abortion groups in the Third World?
(see: http://www.socon.ca/index/dp_abortion.html
and
http://www.lifesitenews.com/features/DevelopmentPeace/)

2. why Development and Peace money is being used to obtain a Federal Court injunction Sept. 12 to block an access (via an access to information request by lifesitenews) to information request for the names and funding levels regarding its nearly 200 partner organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia?
(see write up in Catholic Register-  http://www.catholicregister.org/canada/court-quashes-access-to-information-on-dp)


If you have a chance (in between fasting and praying), please send John a note of encouragement, and solidarity at-
http://www.socon.ca/or_bust/?p=10096#comments

So far, there is just three people joining me. And I do hate to fast and pray alone.

This is a VERY critical moment in the Catholic church in Canada.  Let's pray our wonderful bishops over to the pro-life side!
Kathie
Pass this along to everyone on your list........

Catholic Political Thought & John Locke: Part I « The American Catholic

A substantive and insightful dissertation on the thoughts of John Locke and St. Robert Bellermine. I look forward to Part 2!

Catholic Political Thought & John Locke: Part I « The American Catholic

President Obama Edits the Declaration of Independence - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

President Obama Edits the Declaration of Independence - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

Heavyweight Philosophers Clash at Abortion Conference » Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

Here's a debate about whether an unborn child is entitled to the rights of personhood. The counter argument scares me as it is based upon a utility of personhood: if a human is not 'self aware', are they really a 'person' entitled to all the rights, privileges and obligations that are attached to such a designation? For me the answer is clearly 'YES'. To deny the status as a person based on their actualized capacities would logically lead to the right to terminate infant children and demented elders.


As I've said many times here before... this path that pro-choice people are walking is a dangerous route for the weakest among us.


Heavyweight Philosophers Clash at Abortion Conference » Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

18 October, 2010

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: The First Freedom: religious liberty as foundation of human liberty

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: The First Freedom: religious liberty as foundation of human liberty

Homer Simpson a Catholic, Vatican says | Holy Post | National Post

Homer Simpson a Catholic, Vatican says | Holy Post | National Post

The making of a saint - The Globe and Mail

The making of a saint - The Globe and Mail

Golfers 'heaven' or perhaps a watery grave for a good score!

ZENIT - Family Life in Flux

There is a demographic crisis looming for Canadians. We are not reproducing enough children to replace the population. This means that the financial tax burden on the generation now trying to make their way into the workplace (a daunting enough task these days) will be called to make enormous tax payments as we have already spent the money that was supposed to pay for the last of the boomers and Generation X'ers pension and health benefits. Governments have emptied a large part of our accumulated contributions to pay to cover huge deficits.


We are not unique. In some countries like China, which enforced a 'one child' policy, the right to use abortion as a gender determinant has resulted in far more males than females. Given the inherent patriarchal nature of western societies, it is likely that the same results would appear in Canada, especially as more and more families are making the decision to have one (or no) children.


These are the results of our societal experimentation trying to change the rules and definitions of our societal covenant. The proliferation of abortions, the emphasis on material goods and the maintenance of the demand for the 'good life', even though we could not afford to do so forever. There are certain economic and cultural consequences that have made themselves evident. There is a certain 'societal malaise' that, for the first time in human history, has led the entire Western world to choose not to at least replace itself. This would seem to be either evidence that this generation is too selfish, too focused upon its wants rather than its needs, or simply incapable to doing what was needed to continue its culture and prosperity for the generation that is following.


BFO - Ontario logo: The intent is to express the reality of bereavement  but it's an appropriate image for the demographic future of Western nations.



As this process grows apace, I ask you: upon what basis are we to assume that the generation upon who we are about to harness to the grindstone to pay for our excess if the example we have given them is that we didn't care enough to give them sufficient numbers to the carry on as easily as we did? If it's true that the 'apple does not fall from the tree', (a maxim well proved by history) why should we believe that the meager fruit of this generation will not also be blighted with a concern for themselves over and above anyone else?


This is not a warning that is coming only from religious institutions. Politicians as diverse from Lucien Bouchard and Vladimir Putin have said the same. The Vanier Institute of the Family, an Ottawa think tank, has also published a report recently which exposes some of the difficulties that the current demographic trends are causing in Canada.


Family Life in Flux

15 October, 2010

Brother André’s life reflects beauty of holy humility | Holy Post | National Post

Brother André’s life reflects beauty of holy humility | Holy Post | National Post

Pro-Life Victory: KS Supreme Court Allows Planned Parenthood Criminal Case to go Forward

LifesiteNews is not the most 'unbiased' of sources, but this story stunned me none the less. I wonder what will happen at the other abortion clinics in the USA if this D.A. actually gets a conviction ?

Pro-Life Victory: KS Supreme Court Allows Planned Parenthood Criminal Case to go Forward

Great quotation from a Canadian philosopher

The quote below was the lead-off comment on a thread that is developing in response to a story about Euthanasia.
 
"If tyranny is to come in North America, it will come cozily and on cat's feet. It will come with the denial of the rights of the unborn and of the aged, the denial of the rights of the mentally retarded, the insane, and the economically less-privileged. In fact, it will come with the denial of rights to all those who cannot defend themselves. It will come in the name of the cost-benefit analysis of human life."
-George Grant, Canada's greatest forgotten philosopher
 
If you want to read more of what is turning into a decent conversation, just click on the link below.

Read more: http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/10/15/euthanasia-is-%e2%80%98killing%e2%80%99-ethicist-tells-quebec-hearings/#comments#ixzz12S8qdCAX

Is the Sacrament of Confession Biblical?

Here is a cross post to Michael Brandon's blog, Freedom Through Truth. It deals with a LONG discussion that has been taking place under my last Quebec posting (six weeks ago). Given that the comments have topped 100+ it may be time to bring that discussion into a new thread so that more people can join the conversation.


The essence of the conversation has come down the the legitimacy (or lack there of) of the sacrament of reconciliation (Confession). 'Small Town Guy' a regular participant here on this blog has offered substantial evidence and documentation from his faith tradition to argue that Confession is not 'biblical'. Michael and I have obviously been arguing the opposite position. If you have any interest in this topic, feel free to peruse the earlier comments (here) or offer you comments in this new thread!


My heartfelt thanks to Michael and STG for their diligent and intelligent contribution to this discussion.


Fr. Tim

Freedom Through Truth: Is the Sacrament of Confession Biblical?

14 October, 2010

Teresa of Avila - a Doctor for our times

The Doctor's office.


That is usually the first stop whenever we feel under the weather and believe that we need  help to overcome our latest ailment. Sometimes it is a prescription. Sometimes it is a regime of lifestyle changes that will bring the sought after relief. Either way, we count on the doctor to direct to us the path that will lead to the recovery of health. The Catholic Church also benefits from the direction of its 'Doctors', men and women whose teachings and examples are sufficiently enlightened that, if followed will lead to the recovery of vitality.


St. Teresa of Avila is one such person upon whom the Church has bestowed the title 'Doctor'.


There is a certain irony to her receiving this honorific as Teresa was often in need of a physician throughout her life. Born in Spain in 1515, she was often ill. It was during one illness that she began to experience moments of spiritual ecstasies, a phenomena that continued throughout her life. From this fount of divine wisdom, she began to build a corpus of spiritual knowledge that was published as a spiritual guide book for others.


One of the fruits of her deep, intimate relationship with Christ was a commitment to  live strictly the marks of religious life: poverty, chastity and obedience. Together with St. John of the Cross (a contemporary and fellow mystic) she founded the Discalced Carmelites, a religious community that embraced this rule as a way of living as earthly brides of Christ. Before her death, she was credited with founding 17 convents. Through her efforts, she helped to revitalize the whole Church as older religious communities which had drifted away from remaining focused on engendering the spiritual fruits of grace and had become too concerned with the accumulation of worldly goods, were inspired to follow the example she set.


While mystics often seem to inhabit a state of grace that seemingly sets them above their rest of the world, Teresa always seemed to demonstrate the ability to reflect a decidedly 'human' relationship with Christ. It is written that one day, while travelling between convents in a thunderstorm, the donkey she was riding  startled by a nearby lightning strike, threw her off into the muddy ditch. She responded by shaking her fist at the heavens and exclaiming “If this is the way you treat your friends no wonder you have so many enemies!” Anyone who has suffered a similar misfortune at the hands of a spouse can hear in her rebuke to God a sentiment often expressed between loving couples.


It is pretty easy to relate to someone who had such a profound familiarity with God. This was perhaps her greatest gift to the Church: to explain how intimately close God is to us that we can communicate with him as we would a family member. This explains why Pope Paul VI declared her to be a Doctor of Prayer for the Church in 1970.

They who confront false gods

They who confront false gods

11 October, 2010

Birth analogy: Appropriate? What do you think?


"As the placenta is to the child in the womb, so religious freedom for all (including full right of public expression) is to the liberties that our North American cultures claim, cherish and protect."



Never thought of it that way before! The thought comes from something said by a character in tonight's PBS 'American Experience/ Frontline series, "God in America".


What do you think?
 

Flaherty seen to stay on course on economy

Flaherty seen to stay on course on economy

The Wild West of the blogosphere can revitalise the Church | CatholicHerald.co.uk

The Wild West of the blogosphere can revitalise the Church | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor | World news | The Observer

WOW!!! I knew that things were bleak in the immediate wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but I never knew that it was THIS BAD!


I know that we might have faced a global depression at that moment, but it sure looks like the financial forces of capitalism are in bed with criminal drug cartels. John LeCarré mentioned this fact yesterday in an interview broadcast on the CBC. How did the government and bankers effect this maneuver if they didn't have the phone number to call these criminal kingpins?


Scary thought, especially in the face of a growing body of evidence develops saying that NATO is in Afghanistan to protect the interests of these same drug lords.


What do YOU think?

Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor | World news | The Observer

Pope sketches 'positive secularism' for Middle East | National Catholic Reporter

Pope sketches 'positive secularism' for Middle East | National Catholic Reporter

Pope: "Terrorism presented in the name of God must be unmasked"

Pope: "Terrorism presented in the name of God must be unmasked"

Israeli Christians: Uncomfortable Minority, Mutual Opportunity | First Things

Israeli Christians: Uncomfortable Minority, Mutual Opportunity | First Things

The BEST Thanksgiving routine in the history of television. If you're over 50 yrs old, I ask you... Where were you when the turkeys fell upon the earth (like quail upon the people of Moses?)

WKRP Turkey Drop from Mitch Cohen on Vimeo.

10 October, 2010

Amarnath Amarasingam: Are American College Professors Religious?

Are American College Professors Religious?

What keeps the Pro-Life crowd going?

Sisyphus, a figure of Greek mythology fated to push a boulder up a mountain only to have it roll back down each night, might seem to be the right image for those who struggle to change Canada's current abortion policy. Year after year since abortion was legalized by the Trudeau government in 1969, pro-lifers have prayed, protested and lobbied Parliamentarians, only to find their efforts come to naught. In fact, since the Canadian Supreme Court removed all limitations on abortions in 1988, almost one-third of all pregnancies in Canada today ends with an abortion.

It does not even seem as if all the prayers, demonstrations and policy statements have budged the 'sensus fidelium' of Canadians either. In 2001, 54% of Canadians were in favour of woman's right to obtain an abortion. After a decade of effort, that level of support has hardly changed – standing at 52% according to a 2010 EKOS poll. Pro-lifers can be forgiven if they believe that they suffer the same affliction as Sisyphus: destined to fight for a change in the law and culture that always seems out of reach.

Yet they do not stop. Indeed they believe that they cannot quit trying to inculcate what Pope John Paul II called a 'culture of life'. For them, the issue of abortion is not a question of 'choice'... it is a matter of 'life' and 'death'. Just as William Wilberforce was indefatigable in his crusade to end slavery in the early 19th century, spurred on by his moral conviction that change would eventually come, so too are the partisans of the Pro-Life movement inspired to continue their efforts for that they see as an equally righteous cause on behalf of the most vulnerable in society, the unborn.

We also fight for cause of life because those promoting abortion and euthanasia are a threat to all citizens. A poster in a previous comment thread here on the Holy Post who goes by the name of 'Madic' made the eminently clear when s/he posted that life is a 'privilege, not a right'. Rarely do the promoters of the Culture of Death so plainly expose themselves, for this statement reveals that they believe that they have the right to decide who merits this 'privilege' as well as those who do not! This face of evil has been seen before, under the Nazi and Stalinist regimes. Pro-lifers must resist their agenda lest untold numbers find their licence to life revoked. 'Self preservation' is not the purest of motives, but it certainly is an effective one!

What will make the difference? What if anything might turn the tide in their favour?

Advances in technology is providing additional weapons to the pro-life arsenal. Sonograms have pierced the veil of the uterus and now offer images which demonstrates the human form and likeness of what abortion advocates prefer to call a 'fetus' or 'zygote'. The demographic realities of a birth rate insufficient to sustain future medicare services and pensions might also change the prevailing opinion supporting unlimited abortion rights. Pro-lifers have reason to hope. History teaches that nothing is held more firmly than ' common consensus' until the moment it changes. The examples of Wilberforce and Martin Luther King who each worked to overcome the common held wisdom of their day in the face of long odd. Both of them drew upon wells of faith and belief to sustain them in their darkest days, much as the pro-life cause does today.

Perhaps if religious leaders begin to put their full institutional weight behind the efforts of pro-life advocates in a more tangible way. Position papers and policy statements do not mean nearly as much as seeing a Bishop walking in a 'Life Chain', or leading public prayer events such as the '40 Days for Life' campaign.

Who knows? With unswerving effort and devotion, the Pro-life cause might leave Sisyphus behind and, with the dedication of the 'Energizer Bunny', they will eventually push the abortion boulder over the peak of the mountain.


(Fr. Tim Moyle, a Roman Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Pembroke is a frequent participant on the Holy Post. He regularly blogs at www.frtimmoyle.blogspot.com and participates in pro-life events.)

"Life is a 'privilege', not a right". YIKES!!!

 I recently posted a response to someone who goes by the handle 'Madic' on the Holy Post Blog of the National Post. He/She stated in his/her defense of the right to abortion that life was not a right by a 'privilege'. This is the attitude held by MANY (but not all) 'pro-choice' individuals (not you Lady Janus!) and it explains why it is that folks like me work so hard to oppose the Culture of Death crowd.

I'd be interested in your remarks. You can click on the link on the bottom of this post to read the entire debate.

Fr. Tim
 -------------------------------------
Hey folks: Madic posts earlier in this thread:

"Life is a privilege not a right."

How inane an argument is that! Yet it is the most fundamental tenet of the those who promotes abortion, infanticide for 'defective' children and euthanasia a.k.a the 'pro-choice' crowd.

I thank him/her for making clear this essential point. It's not often that these purveyors of death reveal the truly dark side.

How does it make you feel this Thanksgiving Sunday that the people who are promoting this 'culture of death' that they believe that life is a privilege that can be revoked? It chills me to the bone! Do we want people like this making the rules for our society? What's to stop them from saying that any of us must be killed because they do not like what we say or do?

This has happened before. It happened MANY TIMES behind the Iron Curtain. We MUST NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES allow such an evil to propagate within our Canadian society.

Life is a RIGHT for the unborn, the aged and the well. Don't let these evil people (yes, EVIL) continue with their agenda lest this right be stripped from us.

Fr. Tim Moyle
St. Anne's Parish
Mattawa, Ontario Canada

www.frtimmoyle.blogspot.com

Read more: http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/10/08/do-graphic-anti-abortion-posters-cross-a-moral-line/#comments#ixzz11yWtQa27

08 October, 2010

Freedom Through Truth: What is the Fruit of Disobedience?

A thought provoking posting from a friend of this blog, Michael Brandon. His 'Freedom Through Truth' is a must read for anyone interested in Catholic issues. In this post he addresses the long exchanges between another excellent poster, 'Small Town Guy' and the two of us. Check it out!

What is the Fruit of Disobedience?

No right to lawyer during questioning, SCC rules - CTV News

No right to lawyer during questioning, SCC rules - CTV News

Do graphic anti-abortion posters cross a moral line? | Holy Post | National Post

Do graphic anti-abortion posters cross a moral line? | Holy Post | National Post

Sharing the space

Street Poster in Ottawa - appropriate for public square?
An editorial from the Ottawa Citizen on the use of graphic images to promote an agenda. Just another sign of the coarsening of our society.

Sharing the space

04 October, 2010

Hegel on Wall Street - NYTimes.com

Leave it to the NY Times to argue Hegelian philosophy. The last time the world followed his siren song, it waltzed itself straight into WWI. Its American economic equivalent in the 1920's lead to the collapse of the Great Depression which was echoed recently in the housing market collapse that set of the Great Recession. Hegel eventually leads us to state of existence where we assume that the good times will roll on forever in an eternal age of prosperity and social peace. He was found wanting before. His teachings should be given little attention today, which I guess is why the Times is promoting it.
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Hegel on Wall Street - NYTimes.com

God Weeps: Cardinal Martino on the Growing Threat of Euthanasia - International - Catholic Online

Cardinal Renato Martino
God Weeps: Cardinal Martino on the Growing Threat of Euthanasia - International - Catholic Online

Whispers in the Loggia: Pushkin's Pope

As one who shares a house quite peacefully and contentedly with both a cat and a dog, I think it speaks well of B16 that he is an animal lover. I've always trusted the instincts of domestic cats and dogs to be excellent judges of character, and Pushkin's response to the Pope is a very good sign indeed.

Whispers in the Loggia: Pushkin's Pope

Academic Freedom? Not for Catholics evidently!

A US professor is fired for teaching traditional Catholic moral theology as it regards homosexuality... and is fired. The fact the course was called 'Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought' didn't seem to be sufficient grounds for Kenneth Howell to keep his job. Neither evidently is the much hyped 'academic freedom' under which opinions contrary to the common consensus of the day have been defended and protected.


The University of Illinois decided that his teaching this traditional position, which was rooted in natural law (I know, Lady Janus... grin!) was a contravention of the inclusiveness policy of the University.


And people keep on saying that the voice of religion is not menaced in today's public square. (sigh)


Read the full article on the First Things website.

Article | First Things

Secular worship

What a remarkable coincidence! The day after I post a story setting out the argument that atheism could be considered a religion, here's a another post from the Ottawa Citizen stating that 'consumerism' has obtained the status of a 'religion' among today's citizens.

I am sincerely trying to understand the arguments made here by Lady Janus and on the Holy Post by 'Rationalist1'. Their point is nuanced and I am having trouble accepting it, but I keep on reading and searching for material such as the Citizen story to help me clarify and refine my logic so that I can decide for myself whether my initial assertion about 'atheism' as a community of belief - for believing that something exists or does not exist seems essentially to me to be the same act. 

It is a statement of belief. It is a statement about the essential nature of creation. It is a statement about all that is important regarding the human condition. It bears even to the issue of what is life itself. All of these things are constitutive elements of all world religions. 

Hummm.....
Anyone who can help me see this from another perspective so that I can measure justly, correctly and properly this proposition of mine would be very much welcomed here. Feel free either to comment below this post or to email me directly at tim.moyle@stannesparish.ca

Thanks.

Fr. Tim 

Secular worship

The Infallibility of the Pope and the Magisterium « The American Catholic

The Infallibility of the Pope and the Magisterium « The American Catholic

Freedom Through Truth: Father Mark Gruber - The Plot Thickens (or sickens)

Freedom Through Truth: Father Mark Gruber - The Plot Thickens (or sickens)

03 October, 2010

What is the link between economics and morality? | Holy Post | National Post

What is the link between economics and morality? | Holy Post | National Post

If they walk like a duck, and quack like a duck....

What constitutes a 'religion'?


RELIGION: (Noun)


1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.


2. a specific, fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects


3. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience


The above definitions, taken from Dictionary.com, focus attention on the essence of what constitutes this universal human phenomena called 'religion'. One might think that the pantheon of religions would contain a relatively static number of belief systems, but as was recently demonstrated in Britain with the acceptance of Druidism, 'new' religions are continuously added to the list. In other parts of the world, partisans promoting cannabis, 'the Force' (a la “Star Wars) and Elvis have tried to claim membership among the faiths recognized by various governments as legitimate religions.


Yet there is one group that seems to meet the above definition yet bristles at the idea that they constitute a religion: atheists.


Perhaps it is because atheists see themselves as opposing those who profess to be religious. They root their faith, not in the nether world of supernatural beings, but instead choose to put their trust in science to explain creation. To them, the label of 'religion' implies acceptance of superstition in lieu of cold, hard scientific facts. Yet looking at their belief system objectively, atheism does indeed seem to appear to fulfill the definition of a religion.


Atheists hold to a set of beliefs concerning the 'cause, nature, and purpose of the universe'. The cause being the 'Big Bang', its nature being explainable by the application of the scientific method and the universe exists without any ultimate purpose – as much an answer based upon their initial assertion of the denial of a supernatural realm as traditional creedal communities have answered this initial question in the affirmative. One need only peruse the comment threads that follow any 'religious' article on the Internet to confirm that atheists strongly and devotedly promote their conviction that God (or 'Sky-Faerie') does not exist. Their devotion to their cause matches the passion and resolve of any committed partisan of religion. In a strange manner, the very fact that so many atheists regularly troll the religion sections of newspapers and websites is evidence that, (perhaps unconsciously) they think of themselves as a religion. Were this not the case, would they not be spending their time involved in conversations on websites dedicated to science rather than religious sites?


Despite claims to the contrary, atheism's devotees act in a religious manner in promoting their creed. “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck....” Atheists should accept the fact that they are an ascendant religion in the 21st century. They might have more success in their attempts to proselytize if they admit that, as a religion, they offer an answer to the eternal questions of life.

Believe it or not... this is actually a government PSA in Britain (warning it is gross and disturbing!)

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