31 January, 2011

 
And they say that everyone's trying to get out of the Church these days!!!

30 January, 2011

China’s CCTV news report was 'Top Gun' scene

China’s CCTV news report was 'Top Gun' scene

Egyptian crisis: How did we get here?

CBC News - World - Egyptian crisis: How did we get here?

Where are the Copts in this? (updated) » GetReligion

Where are the Copts in this? (updated) » GetReligion

'The Rite': Exorcism in the Movies | Daily News | NCRegister.com

'The Rite': Exorcism in the Movies | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Genetic rights: The other half of the family tree

Genetic rights: The other half of the family tree

‘I’m worried that others aren’t worried’ - a Mid East expert offers his thoughts on Egypt

Here is an interview taken from the Jerusalem Post in which Barry Rubin, director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal talks about the upheaval in Egypt.


‘I’m worried that others aren’t worried’

The New Abortion Wars - State Battles Over Roe v. Wade - NYTimes.com

The New Abortion Wars - State Battles Over Roe v. Wade - NYTimes.com

Looters rip heads off 2 mummies at Egyptian Museum - CTV News

Looters rip heads off 2 mummies at Egyptian Museum - CTV News

Thousands of inmates escape jails in Egypt turmoil - CTV News

It almost seems like a slow motion replay of the scenes we saw when Iraq was 'liberated'. I pray that it does not end up being a complete repetition. 10% of all the goods shipped by sea passes through the Suez Canal. If this country devolves into sectarian and religious violence it will have a horrific impact on the world economy. Just look at what's happening to the price of oil. Since most of the middle eastern oil travels through the canal, it could trigger a panic rise in price which will snuff out the start of the global recovery.

Thousands of inmates escape jails in Egypt turmoil - CTV News

29 January, 2011

7 internet sins that could make you go viral with your friends - CNN.com

7 internet sins that could make you go viral with your friends - CNN.com

Council of Europe Calls for Defending Christians - International - Catholic Online

Council of Europe Calls for Defending Christians - International - Catholic Online

Q&A: The reality of exorcism for Canadian Catholics | Holy Post | National Post

“The devil likes to be an object of curiosity and sensationalism, and I don’t want to give him any more attention than he deserves,” a Calgary bishop announced in a statement several years ago. His headline-grabbing remarks came after it was revealed that a Canadian was among 120 priests set to attend a month-long course at the world’s only formal school for exorcists at the Vatican.

Since then, the archdiocese of Ottawa, which has one official exorcist on hand, has reported seeing an average of four major exorcisms per year over the past five years, and a Quebec Catholic priest said last fall that he has performed roughly a dozen exorcisms since he was ordained nearly five years ago.

Indeed, exorcisms have been carried out in Canada for generations — albeit quietly, and in relatively small numbers as compared to countries such as Italy, where the belief in demons is more widespread. In 1999, the centuries-old rite was updated in the Vatican’s 1614 manual on exorcism, Of Exorcisms and Certain Supplications, reigniting interest in a practice most often associated with holy water, the crucifix, the Bible, and writhing humans exhibiting supernatural strength and demonic voices.

Then, more than a decade later, it was revealed that Italy — with its more than 300 official exorcists — was experiencing a shortage of priests able to perform the religious rite. Here, the National Post’s Kathryn Blaze Carlson speaks with Neil MacCarthy, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Toronto, to dispel myths and gain insight into exorcisms in Canada.


Read more: http://life.nationalpost.com/2011/01/28/qa-the-reality-of-exorcism-for-canadian-catholics/#ixzz1CQYYnwbn

28 January, 2011

Obama faces a Jimmy Carter moment in Egypt | Full Comment | National Post

Peter Goodspeed: Obama faces a Jimmy Carter moment in Egypt | Full Comment | National Post

Comments on the discrimination against Christians in Europe


A story is told of a young businessman sharing a compartment on a train with an elderly gentleman. When he noticed that the old fellow was quietly and intently praying with his rosary in his hand, the young man chided him for his 'superstition' and told him that science had rendered the beliefs of religion irrelevant. “How did you come to discover that?” the old gentleman asked. His companion didn't really know how to answer the question fully right then and there, so he offered to send him a few texts and public lecture notes on the subject for his enlightenment. “What's your address?' he asked “I'll send you the material via the Post Office.” The old lad rummaged in his coat pocket and produced a tattered business card which read 'Louis Pasteur, Paris Institute of Scientific Research.' Louis Pasteur was the nineteenth-century giant of microbiology who proved the germ-theory of disease and invented the rabies vaccine. His humility certainly didn't hinder his greatness and his commitment to science did not preclude his belief in God.

Today believers throughout the western world are facing similar challenges to any public expression of faith, often without the courtesy which the young businessman offered to his travel companion. Most often these challenges to the place of religion in the public square is laced with insult and anger. One need only survey the comments that often accompany religious articles here on the Holy Post to see the truth of this. Non-believers accuse believers of malicious motives or a feeble intellect for believing that God exists or that He has any relevance in today's society. Bishop Peter Smith, a Roman Catholic bishop in the UK summed up this attitude well when he said Religion is regarded as a legally permissible private eccentricity; allowable behind closed doors once a week, but not in any way to be given expression in public or working life.” Lord Carey, former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury added: “What is happening in Western Europe is not persecution but a marginalizing of faith which seeks to portray it as a matter of personal conscience only. Some examples of this originate from a mistaken but well-meant political correctness that is anxious not to upset minority faiths by seeming to ‘privilege’ Christianity.” Lord Carey also warned of an aggressive campaign by atheists to banish faith from the public sphere. Clearly the place of Christian faith within the 21st century is indeed under attack from those who demand that the values of secularism alone be used as the measure of what is permissible in public debates.

This trend has led to a situation where Christians (at least in Europe) are now being discriminated against for their beliefs.

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians is an NGO registered in Austria. The Observatory hosts a website which monitors and catalogues instances in which Christians and Christianity are marginalized or discriminated against throughout Europe. The Observatory focuses on Europe (European Union, EU accession countries, and wider Europe). In speaking to the issue of discrimination they write in the most recent report “Religious intolerance shows itself in ways that go beyond voicing disagreement. Attempts are underway to make the public expression or exercise of the non- tolerated religion impossible. When such intolerance is conducted by a state, it becomes discrimination with regard to the exercise of fundamental freedoms. When it is conducted by individuals or groups of society, it becomes a social phenomenon.” The recent cancellation of weekly mass, celebrated on the University campus in Barcelona, Spain, due to security issues for believers at the hands of demonstrators who both confronted people entering the chapel as well as entering and disrupting the mass itself is an example of both forms of discrimination. The acts of the 'progressive secularists' discriminated against the individuals who attended the masses while the decision of the University to simply close the chapel rather than charge those disrupting the mass is an example of institutional discrimination.

Christianity is most definitely returning to the days of persecution and oppression. Believers have faced such a situation before. We will succeed in surviving the current wave of opposition and hostility, albeit not without considerable effort and difficulties in the years ahead. Just as the young businessman could not see the wisdom of Louis Pasteur those many years ago, so too are the radical voices of secularism ignorant of the insult and discrimination they offer to believers today.

(For more information, click on the link of the preceding story to read the complete Observatory Report)

Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe

Here is a site dedicated to posting stories of the discrimination against Christians in Europe. I offer it as evidence of my contention that we are facing a major clash of cultures/religions in the near future here in Canada as well.

Observatory - Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians

Avoid ‘misuse of sex’ in marriage, Canadian bishops warn | Holy Post | National Post

I have only one problem with this letter from the Bishops. They have again published something that is putatively addressed to the laity, (in this case, married couples) but they employ language that's beyond their understanding. It makes excellent use of theological language to express the nuance and finesse of this teaching but this renders it almost incomprehensible to anyone without training in theology.

Until the Bishops learn how to present their message using the parlance of everyday life, comprehensible to the majority of Catholics, they're wasting their time and resources as few can take advantage of what they offer. They must come to understand that people are bushed when they get to that point in their day when they would be free to read such a document. They're too tired to slog their way through the dense theological language that the letter is written with. The Bishops have forgotten that the Catholics that they are addressing, lack the catechetical training to understand the message they are trying to communicate. Such documents such as this one do not serve to educate Rather it renders irrelevant the truths the Bishops are trying to promote in the minds of those they are trying to reach.

"Know your audience." It's the first step in trying to frame an effective message.

Avoid ‘misuse of sex’ in marriage, Canadian bishops warn | Holy Post | National Post

27 January, 2011

Bucking the social media trend

Bucking the social media trend - by Cristina Alarcon

The pitfalls of using social media for business purposes.
Something tells me that 2011 will see a plethora of business-boosting innovations, not the least of

which entails marketing—“putting yourself out there” and increasing visibility.
Although this can be accomplished in a myriad of ways, more and more organizations are turning to the virtual world of social networking.

And while some of us dawdle with our “still-underconstruction-webpage”, others are up and running on Facebook and launching iPhone applications so customers can stay in touch.
And why not?  After all, the virtual world seems a great way to reach out, and best of all, advertising is free—at least on Facebook.

And yet everything comes with a price. If there is anything about Facebook that makes me cringe, it’s that “open-for-all” Wall.
It’s really great when people post kindly wishes, but can you imagine complaints about your services being plastered all over your Wall and propagating through cyberspace to the ends of the earth—and forever?

Take, for instance, this real comment posted by a disgruntled customer…
“Hi. I just wanted to let you know that I had horrible customer service problem at my Shoppers Drug Mart. I wanted to return some unopened shampoo/conditioner but they refused to take it back so I lost my $50. Everytime I talk to a store manager they dont care about the customers. I refuse to shop at Shoppers Drug Mart anymore.” December 30, 2010 at 4:37pm

Or this comment by another:  “Hi Shoppers, is there a number I can contact to make a complaint?”
While an open-for-all Wall appears to signify transparency, openness and public accountability, I much prefer other ways of boosting my professional visibility.
Other blog entries from From Pill to Till
 January 27, 2011:
Twas the night before Christmas: A pharmacy Christmas carol
 November 24, 2010:
Pharmacists: frontline in environmental wellness?
 November 3, 2010:
Change by force

For instance, why not get your face plastered on the front page of your local paper?  Do the Sun Run. Do whatever, except run naked down the street or rob a bank…just get out there in your community.

Most recently, yours truly was featured on the front page of the Northshore News—not the greatest snap shot, nor did I really do anything.  I just smiled for the cameraman (who took the highly distorted shot), asking the public to drop off their outdated or unused medications as part of a BC Pharmacy Association and Metro Vancouver program.

So now, not only are people coming into the pharmacy with their garbage—er …antiquities—but fallen-away customers I had not seen in a while are dropping by to say hello, and one of them ventured to suggest that since I now rank among the stars, I ought to be charging a higher dispensing fee! Little does he know…

 Sure, the virtual world is one way of getting ourselves “out there”, but I much prefer the one-on-one, eye-to-eye contact with real flesh and blood people.
Facebook is great for personal use, but when it comes to business… I can’t imagine myself monitoring complaints and answering queries such as:

Steph Bonner—“I was just wondering what should I do if I get a recording that says you do not
have a file at this drugstore. I have had this problem more than three times. Should i just come in and order my meds or what?”

…Unless, of course, I pay my teenage nephews to do it.

How Barack Obama sounds a lot like Herbert Hoover

CTV News | How Barack Obama sounds a lot like Herbert Hoover

Priest blessed dying police officer | Posted Toronto | National Post

Priest blessed dying police officer | Posted Toronto | National Post

World’s Muslim population to grow twice as fast as non-Muslim: study | Posted | National Post

World’s Muslim population to grow twice as fast as non-Muslim: study | Posted | National Post

Want young people at church? Stop your Sunday shopping.

Philokalia Republic: Want young people at church? Stop your Sunday shopping.

Let's hope this never comes to pass!

Man found in underwear, handcuffed to pole in B.C. - CTV News

Just in case you thought you were having a bad day!

Man found in underwear, handcuffed to pole in B.C. - CTV News

Breast implants linked to blood cancer - The Times of India

Is it worth it for women to augment what God gave them with fake implants? This article would seem to indicate that it isn't.

Breast implants linked to blood cancer - The Times of India

26 January, 2011

‘Now it is the other way around’ — the moral revolution in full view | LifeSiteNews.com

‘Now it is the other way around’ — the moral revolution in full view | LifeSiteNews.com

Intimidation prompts cancellation of weekly Mass on Spanish campus

Another tidbit of evidence of this rising tide of hostility to voices of faith.


PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT claiming that this is the situation for all Christians. What I am saying is that there is a growth in the number of such incidents within Europe and now beginning in North America.


Pope B16 recently said that Christians were the single most persecuted group in the world these days. Given the slaughter that has been occurring in the Middle East, Asia and Africa at the hands of Muslim extremists and the intimidation proffered believers in Europe, it would seem that he stands on solid ground with this assertion. JPII called the 20th century the century of martyrs. B16 is right to point out that the beginning of the 21st has not seen any improvement - if anything, the times are worse now than even a few years ago.
"Father, forgive them"



Should Christians be worried? Should we be surprised at this ominous trend? If we believe the Bible, the answer is clearly 'no' to both.


Christ said that we would be tormented, tortured and killed for believing that he is the Messiah. This was the experience of the nascent Church. We should not expect to be spared the same fate. Even though salvation has been won for us and Christ rules in heaven, the power of the Satan still felt on earth. Believers need to remember this truth. Satan is still an angel of light, capable of deceiving and detouring believers from the path Jesus calls us to walk.


This weekend we will listen to the Beatitudes proclaimed in the gospel at Sunday mass. It is then we will hear again the voice of Christ telling us that we will be 'blessed' if we suffer for the faith. We are reminded that if we remain humble in spirit, true in heart and faithful to the Christian message that we will reign with Christ when he returns in glory to finish the war with Satan. Let us remember to pray each day for the faith and courage we need to remain faithful through whatever trials lay ahead of us.

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Intimidation prompts cancellation of weekly Mass on Spanish campus

Transubstantiation: From Stumbling Block to Cornerstone | 2011

Transubstantiation: From Stumbling Block to Cornerstone | 2011

Being a Person | First Things

Being a Person | First Things

25 January, 2011

Newfoundland archdiocese says $500,000 gone

These poor priests! First they suffer the indignities heaped upon them by the misdeeds of some of their brothers, now those funds that they've been able to save from civil settlements have been stolen, most likely by someone who was involved in the administration of their pension fund. I post this not to insult the other victims of these predators, nor to comment upon their compensation won from dioceses. I post it only because this story highlights that good, faithful and hard working priests have also suffered due to no fault of their own. These priests are not unique. They are (sadly) representative of the situation that the majority of Canadian priests confront today.

Metro - Newfoundland archdiocese says $500,000 gone

The end of the Fantastic Four? - The Globe and Mail

Another icon of my youth falls to the wave of change that mark our times.


So, what are they going to be called now? The Terrific Trio?

The end of the Fantastic Four? - The Globe and Mail

24 January, 2011

Global inflation fears reach new heights - The Globe and Mail

Global inflation fears reach new heights - The Globe and Mail

Church 'more serious on abuse' - News - Driffield Post Times

Church 'more serious on abuse' - News - Driffield Post Times

Pope Weighs In on Social Networks - NYTimes.com

Pope Weighs In on Social Networks - NYTimes.com

Why inflation is on the radar screen - The Globe and Mail

You cannot double the money supply (as the US and most western countries did during the recession) without there being serious consequences. I fear that the US will not aggressively address this scourge, seeing inflation as a means of reducing the real value of its debts to foreign lenders. If they follow that path, we will probably see a return to the inflationary cycles of the 1960-80's. I really hope that I am wrong, but I fear interest rates will eventually rise to try to wring inflation out of the system, as that has proven to be the only effective way of beating it in the past.

Why inflation is on the radar screen - The Globe and Mail

Wait, what's monogamy? Many young couples don't know - The Globe and Mail

Wait, what's monogamy? Many young couples don't know - The Globe and Mail

22 January, 2011

We Are all Pro-Choice - As For Me, I Choose Life

Freedom Through Truth: We Are all Pro-Choice - As For Me, I Choose Life

Miraculous Legacy: JPII's biographer comments on the Pope's impending beatification

The Tablet - Miraculous legacy

The Most Anticipated Books of 2011 | Afterword | National Post

The Most Anticipated Books of 2011 | Afterword | National Post

Pope urges care in pre-marriage counseling, says marriage is not an absolute right - southflorida.com

Pope urges care in pre-marriage counseling, says marriage is not an absolute right - southflorida.com

Tackling taboos on Jews and Christians, the cross and deicide | National Catholic Reporter

Tackling taboos on Jews and Christians, the cross and deicide | National Catholic Reporter

Oath of Fidelity: An answer for STG

Small Town Guy, a regular contributor here asked me to post a copy of the oath that a Roman Catholic priest must swear prior to his ordination. There are many false or previous (pre-Vatican II) versions of this oath which include commitments to fight Protestantism, modernism, etc. that are used to slander the Church in the eyes of some evangelical circles. I thought it appropriate to take the opportunity of his request to post the actual text itself. As always, your comments are welcome.



PROFESSION OF FAITH:
 
I, N., with firm faith believe and profess everything that is contained in the Symbol of faith: namely:
I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the Word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.
I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.
Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.

Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Q & A: Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

19 January, 2011

Big pro-life/pro-choice projects planned for Friday January 21st

January 21st is the anniversary of Roe v Wade in the USA. It is a day in which NARAL is calling for actual and virtual demonstrations supporting abortion legislation. It's no surprise that the Pro-Life camp is calling for bloggers to post in response to such demonstrations or comments.


I know that there are regular posters here who are ardent and articulate voices for either camp. I hope that all of you will indeed offer your voices on Facebook, Twitter, (I don't 'tweet') here and elsewhere on Friday. Whether you support a woman's right to choose or the right to life of the fetus, we all need to do are part to help engender some societal consideration of the life/choice issues. 


I would rather lose a debate to a better argument than give free reign to facile solutions to these complicated questions. I hope, that irrespective of your convictions, you feel the same. Meet you here or out there on the 21st.

Protect the Lives of the Most Vulnerable: Archbishop Dolan Writes to Congress - U.s. - Catholic Online

Protect the Lives of the Most Vulnerable: Archbishop Dolan Writes to Congress - U.s. - Catholic Online

In 1997 Letter, Vatican Warned Irish Bishops on Abuse Policy - NYTimes.com

Here's a typical NYT series of events. The first story yesterday screams that the Vatican told Irish Bishops not to report abusers to the Police... today we find out that there is nothing that actually says that in the letter. What's more, the author was confusing Church (canonical) law with civil law. That's what led to this story today (not nearly as prominent mind you but at least its there) in which they pull back on their more sensational and salacious allegations.


It's enough to make one wish that the NYT would hire a religion editor to vet their news stories about the sex abuse scandals.

In 1997 Letter, Vatican Warned Irish Bishops on Abuse Policy - NYTimes.com

Abortion Doctor Charged With Murder - WSJ.com

Abortion Doctor Charged With Murder - WSJ.com

Vatican says letter urging bishops not to report all sex-abuse cases ‘misunderstood’ - The Globe and Mail

Vatican says letter urging bishops not to report all sex-abuse cases ‘misunderstood’ - The Globe and Mail

Is religion a force for good?

Is religion a force for good?

Doc explores non-traditional marriages - The Globe and Mail

Doc explores non-traditional marriages - The Globe and Mail

18 January, 2011

Pro-Life Liberal Sargent Shriver Dies; Democratic Challenger to Obama Emerges - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

Pro-Life Liberal Sargent Shriver Dies; Democratic Challenger to Obama Emerges - Politics & Policy - Catholic Online

National Archives cancels screening of documentary on Iran after threats

For those who believe we, who are 'ringing the bell' on the coming Islamic threat to our way of life here in Canada, are virtual 'Chicken Little's' ... I offer the following.

National Archives cancels screening of documentary on Iran after threats

16 Patron Saints for Your Common Problems ~ Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall

16 Patron Saints for Your Common Problems ~ Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall

Hate messages spray-painted on two CA catholic churches | NOM Blog

Hate messages spray-painted on two CA catholic churches | NOM Blog

Synagogue vandalism in Montreal | Holy Post | National Post

Q&A: Synagogue vandalism in Montreal | Holy Post | National Post

Martin Luther King brought religion into the public square | Holy Post | National Post

Martin Luther King brought religion into the public square | Holy Post | National Post

The Messiah was a Refugee: Pope Calls for Respect for All Migrants - International - Catholic Online

The Messiah was a Refugee: Pope Calls for Respect for All Migrants - International - Catholic Online

Natural Law from a Birmingham Jail | Feature | Articles

InsideCatholic.com | Natural Law from a Birmingham Jail | Feature | Articles

Catholic Priests - in persona Christi

Freedom Through Truth: Catholic Priests - in persona Christi

17 January, 2011

Bishop Fred Henry responds to the recent Saskatchewan Court decision regarding the religious rights of civil servants

Wrong Ruling on Same-sex Marriage by Bishop Fred Henry (Calgary)

Regrettably both the Calgary Herald editorial and the Saskatchewan Appeal Court got it wrong re marriage commissioners.

Religious belief is intertwined with our nation’s history, the spirit of the founding fathers and mothers of our nation, our national anthem, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms  which begins “Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.”

Immediately, the Charter proceeds to list our fundamental freedoms. The first one is the freedom of conscience and religion. The second is freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression.

Only after, not before,  asserting our fundamental freedoms, does the Charter begin to spell out rights - first democratic rights, then mobility rights, followed by legal rights, then equality rights , etc.

Freedom of conscience and of religion. is a primary and inalienable right of the human person; what is more, insofar as it touches the innermost sphere of the spirit, one can even say that it upholds the justification, deeply rooted in each individual, of all other liberties. Of course, such freedom can only be exercised in a responsible way, that is, in accordance with ethical principles

A commitment to human rights is not alien to any authentic quest for religious or moral truth because it flows from the very nature of the human person and emerges naturally in all authentic religious, moral and cultural traditions as they move to express more deeply the truth of human life. It is significant that nations with widely varying religious heritages have embraced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The proposed legislation adequately balanced the interests of all parties, ensuring that same-sex couples had access to marriage, and that marriage commissioners had protection for their religious beliefs. It is disappointing that the Court did not see the wisdom of this balanced approach.

The Court did, however, leave open the possibility of introducing a “single entry point system, such as that used in Ontario, under which “a couple seeking these services of a marriage commissioner would proceed, not directly contacting an individual commissioner, but dealing with the Director of the Marriage Unit or some other central office.”

This whole scenario, however,  is not just about marriage commissioners and there is a need to examine the ideology that produces such judgments as the challenges that they propose will return on different stages and with similar theatrical garb.

We might well ask: “Who’s next?”

Are physicians and surgeons going to lose their right not to perform a service or offer advice when doing so would be to act contrary to his or her conscience or religious and ethical principles.

Of course, every patient does have the right to good medical care. This does not translate, however, into a right to demand that a physician set aside deeply held moral and religious convictions in order to accommodate every wish of the patient, e.g termination of a pregnancy, euthanasia, sterilization, etc..

Such an expectation would constitute a terrible violation of the freedom to act in accordance with conscience or religion, which is a fundamental right of every citizen, regardless of occupation. In the event of a conflict between a physician's right to freedom of conscience and the desires of a patient, the physician need only communicate clearly and respectfully to the patient the limits of his or her medical practice.

January 17, 2011
✠ F. B. Henry
Bishop of Calgary.

Islamic Genocide of Christians in Iraq: "religiously motivated people who engaged their victims in theological conversations about Islam" - Atlas Shrugs

This article is very difficult to read. Its message chills my soul. The photos break my heart. When bloggers such as me post that Islamists pose a grave danger to Christians today in the Middle East... as they will soon be a grave danger to Christians in the west, we are called extremists who exaggerate the situation. This news report and accompanying pictures of the recent slaughter of Christians in Iraq is the reality for Christians in the Middle East right now. And it is not just happening there. A simple google or Youtube search offers many examples of the flexing of 'Muslim muscle' in Europe, Africa and throughout Asia. I find the Paris videos showing Islamists occupying public streets, blocking traffic with mass public prayer events - with the Gendarmes impotently looking on - severely outnumbered by the crowd that confronted them most disquieting.

Demographically speaking ( and as expressed in their respective immigration policies) Quebec follows what happens in Europe by 10 to 15 years.  Canada follows a decade or two after that. If it's beginning to happen in Europe now, it should migrate to North America along the same traditional pattern as other cultural changes and issues. Eventually it will become an important consideration for Christians everywhere - a threat that is, unless it is effectively confronted today with the full weight of western secular authorities wherever and whenever it rears its head. It will fall to them to ensure that the obligations and spirit of our western system of laws as we practice them today will apply equally and effectively should/when conflict arise between Islamists and secularists & western Christians in the future.

Islamic Genocide of Christians in Iraq: "religiously motivated people who engaged their victims in theological conversations about Islam" - Atlas Shrugs

Kenney right to battle bishops over refugee policy

Kenney right to battle bishops over refugee policy: "Lorne Gunter: Immigration Minister Jason Kenny has taken on the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops over a letter it and other religious leaders sent the minister opposing his proposed anti-human-smuggling legislation, Bill C-49"

13 January, 2011

Signs of the Arizona Tragedy: An illustration of the new communications world

This is a cross post to Michael Brandon's 'Freedom Through Truth' Blog. Aside from the elegant way in which he virtually brings us into very Church where today's funeral mass for the youngest of the Tucson victims was held, what he wrote inspired me to stop ponder this. 

Through the medium of the internet, I (and by extension anyone who reads this note and visits Michael's blog) am virtually and immediately connected to events thousands of kilometers away. In fact, were it not for this medium, neither Michael or I would ever have even heard of each other - meeting as we did through the blogosphere, this very medium


If the medium is the message, then might my meeting with Micheal  be meaningful - as Marshall McLuhan might muse upon? Any 'McLuhanites' out there with enough machismo and mental measure to explain the meaning of Michael's morning?


Freedom Through Truth: Signs of the Arizona Tragedy

Test your Catholic faith know-how with OSV's religion quiz: Our Sunday Visitor

Test your Catholic faith know-how with OSV's religion quiz: Our Sunday Visitor

Proof positive that humor and religion can go 'hand in glove' with each other!

Abby Johnson reveals details of pro-life turnaround and Catholic conversion :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Abby Johnson was an employee of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion service provider in the USA. Her insights and revelations as to the inner workings and politics of that organization would be a 'must read' for any pro-lifer in the US, and probably Canada too.

Abby Johnson reveals details of pro-life turnaround and Catholic conversion :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Protecting gay rights and religious freedoms | Full Comment | National Post

Lorne Gunter: Protecting gay rights and religious freedoms | Full Comment | National Post

Wis. priest an unlikely ally to sex abuse victims

Wis. priest an unlikely ally to sex abuse victims

12 January, 2011

When Atheists Are Angry at God | First Things

When Atheists Are Angry at God | First Things

Hubble photos of the stars, in light of discovery of new black hole

Just a little something in case you could use to lift your spirits today. The grandeur and beauty of these pictures help to focus one's thoughts on the glory of creation!

Hubble photos of the stars, in light of discovery of new black hole

JPII Beatification Gets Green-Light

Whispers in the Loggia: Beato Subito: JPII Beatification Gets Green-Light

THE PRO-LIFE HOUR | Priests for Life Canada

THE PRO-LIFE HOUR | Priests for Life Canada

Subsidiarity and Human Dignity | Feature | Articles

Subsidiarity: "(in the Roman Catholic Church) a principle of social doctrine that all social bodies existfor the sake of the individual so that what individuals are able to do, society should not take over, andwhat small societies can do, larger societies should not take over." (Dictionary.com)

A concept that seems to be getting lost as big government intrudes more and more into personal rights and freedoms. It reminds me of the lessons of the book 'Small is Beautiful' (
E. F. Schumacher) in which he argues that true freedom and development must respect the initiatives and efforts of the smallest units in society. He uses a wonderful analogy to make his argument. He tells the story of three tailors who were all located on the same block. The first one put a sign on his business that read "Best Tailor in the State". The second then put one up that read "Best Tailor in the Country". The third simply put up a sign that read "Best Tailor on this Block!" I can't think of a better analogy than this to explain the strength of subsidiarity as a Catholic social doctrine.




InsideCatholic.com | Subsidiarity and Human Dignity | Feature | Articles

Reaffirming Catholic Identity By George Weigel

Reaffirming Catholic Identity By George Weigel

Penance, Purification and Purity: Dealing with the Sin Within the Church - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

Penance, Purification and Purity: Dealing with the Sin Within the Church - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

10 January, 2011

Pope Proclaims Religious Freedom as First Right in State of the World Address - International - Catholic Online

Pope Proclaims Religious Freedom as First Right in State of the World Address - International - Catholic Online

Opting out of marrying same-sex couples unconstitutional: Sask. court | Posted | National Post

 This is exactly what the Canadian Bishops said would happen once we opened the door to same sex marriages. First, it will be those who are exclusively civil officers of marriage that will be forced to perform same-sex ceremonies. Soon the courts will be asked to force the Churches to do the same.


We are headed to a European style of marriage ceremony. I predict that soon clergy will soon begin to renounce their civil license to marry and couples will then go through two ceremonies: one civil for the State and (if desired) a religious ceremony to solemnize the union.


Maybe this is a good thing? What do you think?

Opting out of marrying same-sex couples unconstitutional: Sask. court | Posted | National Post

Pope rips anti-Christian tide in major foreign policy speech | National Catholic Reporter

Pope rips anti-Christian tide in major foreign policy speech | National Catholic Reporter

Tiny broken hearts « Friar Rick's Blog

Add to this article the news that in excess of 40% of all pregnancies in New York end with an abortion, and it becomes clear just how rooted the 'culture of death' has become in our western society. These stories do not discourage believers, but it does add to our conviction that we must redouble our efforts to help people come to see that in the opinion of Christians (as supported by science and genetics - it's not often we can claim science on our side!) that life begins at conception and deserves the protection of human rights.


I point out too that this type of story should bring feminists into the pro-life camp as once again we see gender selection working against the birth of females in favor of males. We need only look to the demographic horror that has unfolded in China where its 'one child only' policy has led to a dramatic unbalancing of the gender of their population with way too many males and not enough females. We DO NOT want to walk that path as it will lead to massive problems down the road for us as well.

Tiny broken hearts « Friar Rick's Blog

The Atheist Gives Us Nothing | First Things

The Atheist Gives Us Nothing | First Things

The globalization of God in the 21st century - The Globe and Mail

The globalization of God in the 21st century - The Globe and Mail

08 January, 2011

Religion and Representation - NYTimes.com

A NYT columnist (Charles M. Blow) writes about the generational difference between his personal faith convictions and those of his son. It is an instructive vignette that helps to shed light on a process that is only now really making its presence felt: that the Gen X'ers and after are shedding the personalist conception of a god concerned with their welfare. It makes for interesting reading.

Religion and Representation - NYTimes.com

Join the Webcast: Insider blows whistle on abortion industry’s horrible secrets

Although this will be an American broadcast, there are parallels here in Canada so this might be a worthy event to watch.

Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Join the Webcast: Insider blows whistle on abortion industry’s horrible secrets

For all those who keep asking why theists don't believe in Thor... here's the trailer for a movie about this mythical super hero.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the release of 'The Green Hornet'!



Has a U.S. psychologist uncovered proof of ESP? - CTV News

Has a U.S. psychologist uncovered proof of ESP? - CTV News

06 January, 2011

Bickering only serves the adversaries of the Body of Christ... especially in these dangerous times

There continues to be an enlightening and educational exchange of ecclesiology between 'Small Town Guy', 'Paul' and 'Cliff', the latest in a recent cross-post (Scripture Sola). Cliff posted the following today:

"There is one thing that is quite evident amongst all our disagreements, and that is we need to strengthen, clarify and unify the Christian position.

The Church, both Protestant and Catholic is under siege by the enemy. We cannot let our emotions run rampant and abandon reason. We need to remember there are faithful, dedicated, sanctified believers in every tradition. Respect and understanding of each other must be priority. After all it is "love" that will prevail. 1 cor 13." 
 I was moved by his comment when taken in light of some recent posts and cross posts here about the slaughter of Christians in various corners of the Muslim world to offer the following. I would be most interested in your thoughts on the topic.
Cliff: You are ABSOLUTELY correct! Instead of fighting amongst ourselves over who better understands the details of his covenant of salvation, is it not easy to see that our Father would want that we present the enemy with the strength of our common belief.

I keep saying over and over that the 'house is on fire', and it is time to put aside our squabbles and work together to address the challenges that confront the voice of faith today.

Christians are all children of the covenant of the cross and the waters of baptism. We all profess our faith in Christ as Messiah and Lord. We call claim salvation in his name, and his name alone. This is our strength... a strength that's weakened by internal conflict and bickering among those who choose to participate in this extended offer of our eternal Father, God and Lord of all.

Wolves try to cleave members away from the protection of the herd to kill them off one by one. It makes NO SENSE to be throwing members out of the Christian pack because we question the purity of their doctrine.

Fr. Tim

Pope Benedict: No scientific theory can discount God | Holy Post | National Post

Pope Benedict: No scientific theory can discount God | Holy Post | National Post

Five banks, five predictions - The Globe and Mail

Five banks, five predictions - The Globe and Mail

Reaffirming Catholic Identity | First Things

George Weigel opines on what it means for institutions to be 'authentically' Catholic.

Reaffirming Catholic Identity | First Things

Father Raymond J. de Souza: Christians may need to start fighting back | Holy Post | National Post

I kind of agree and disagree with Fr. Raymond on this one. Yes, if we are speaking of the clash of cultures on an institutional level, then Christians must do everything within their power to preserve their rights and freedoms. BUT... and it's a BIG but, I still believe that anything that might lead to further escalation of the violence should be avoided.


Christian militias are not the answer to Muslim extremists. (I know that Fr. Raymond didn't call for them, but it could be taken as an implied conclusion.) The Christian message of peaceful co-existence is. We must demand that countries where these crimes are taking place prosecute the offenders to the full extent of the law. The days when faith was a reason for killing others should be relegated to the distant past in every corner of the globe.


Fr. Tim


Father Raymond J. de Souza: Christians may need to start fighting back | Holy Post | National Post

Why Are Believers So Hostile Toward Atheists?

What’s A Bishop to Do? A Pondering of the Role of the Bishops in Questions of Public Policy | Archdiocese of Washington

Written by an American, but it applies north of the border too!

What’s A Bishop to Do? A Pondering of the Role of the Bishops in Questions of Public Policy | Archdiocese of Washington

02 January, 2011

Know thy enemy: Firing blanks at the wrong 'enemy'


What is an atheist? Most people would say that an atheist is one who believes there is no God... but they would be mistaken. A person who believes that God does not exist is an anti-theist, not an atheist. An atheist is properly described who does not believe that God exists. The difference is hard for believers to comprehend but it is an essential difference. An anti-theist has made a decision of 'faith'. He states definitively that he 'believes' that God does not exist. An atheist makes no such decision but simply asserts that he does not believe in the existence of God. Many atheists are anti-theists, but one need not necessarily be an anti-theist to be an atheist.

Most of the articles that have been directed at 'atheists', which attribute to them a 'belief' that God does not exist ends up offending many who bristle at the allegation that they 'believe' anything about God. “Atheism is no more a 'belief' than not collecting stamps is a hobby” succinctly sums up their objection to being labelled as 'belief' or a religion.

Think of it this way:

-someone who believes in God is a theist
-someone who believes that God does not exist is an anti-theist
-someone who does not believe in God is an atheist

Theists and ant-theists actually believe something to be true about God. Atheists simply say that there is no proof that God exists.

Believers can be forgiven for confusing these two groups as the anti-theists have begun to assume an ascendant position and have done their best to shepherd atheists into their camp. Richard Dawkins & Christopher Hitchens are both anti-theists in as much as they believe that there is no god. Most 'militant atheists' who have been speaking against God actually fall into the category of anti-theists, even if they themselves do not comprehend the difference.

Does this mean that atheists are not a group that believers needs to be concerned about? No, it does not. They are firstly a field for evangelization for if they can come to believe that there is evidence that God exists, then they are open to the possibility of changing their minds. If believers can mine the rich tradition of teaching to rediscover many of the philosophical proofs that point to God's existence, they would possess a valuable tool to use to help bring non-believers into their camp. Such evidence will have little impact on someone who has already come to believe that there is no God. It is harder to change someone's 'belief' because believers must argue that anti-theists are wrong, not simply misinformed or uninformed about God's existence.

Is this difference important? Yes. It's important because it points out that believers have fixed their sights on the wrong 'enemy'. Those who are an immediate danger to the public expression of faith are in fact the anti-theists who are promoting a counter conviction/belief that is directly opposed to any expression of faith in God. Anti-theists are those who argue vociferously that God is a 'sky fairy' or other such derogatory terms as they try to denigrate the convictions of believers. An actual atheist wouldn't really care one way or the other about the existence (or non-existence) of God because they do not believe one way or the other about the reality a divine being.

Atheists are not the enemy of believers. Anti-theists are. Believers might make more progress in the great debates in society regarding the role of faith if they developed a more sophisticated understanding of who they are fighting against.

(PS: Thanks to Lady Janus who helped me to finally come to understand this difference!)

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