Tuesday, November 03, 2009
One thing people like me who have Android phones (in my case the Tmobile G1 [aka HTC Dream]) is the lack of Catholic Apps compared to the iphone.
Well, some have come onto the Market.
The first and the oldest is the Ibreviary. This app has the distinction of being the only app for both the Android and the iphone that is approved by the Vatican. The Ibreviary is the brainchild of Fr. Paolo Padrini, it contains the daily readings and the daily office as well as a variety of Prayers in several languages.
The second and only other app is the Sincereprayer app from mlabs. It is a very sleek and well put together app. It contains a rosary, a prayer journal and links to the USCCB website, daily podcasts and readings as well as the ability to add your favorite prayers or write and integrate your own.
The block codes on this post can be read with the barcode scanner app, to download the programs.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
For one hour each week, I am alone with our Lord. Just me and him. I don't have to worry about bills or work. It is a reminder to me, that Jesus is always there, patiently waiting for us. That although we may wander away from him, he never wanders from us and like the story of the prodigal son, he rushes to greet us when we finally return to him.
And, at 3 in the morning, the world is a very peaceful place. No planes, no cars, nothing. It is quite dark, but that adds to my peace of mind. The windows are dark, no voices, no distractions. It is the most peaceful place anyone could ever imagine. and at the center watching over us all, is Jesus.
My faith has grown by leaps and bounds.
I take my G1 with me and plug in the earphones sometimes. I listen to either one of William Carrolls lectures on the lives of a saint, or lately to ArchBishop Fulton Sheen's Life is worth Living. And sometimes I just sit in the quiet and pray. My Knights of Columbus Rosary is always with me, I always say it when I am there, in the quiet I can really meditate on the scripture passages I read with it, the lives of Jesus, Mary and all the Saints.
I guess this makes me an "extreme" Catholic. But I don't care. Most people look at me and say "We'll if that's what you want to do". It is, and I am glad I am doing it.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The first thing I would like to recommend is an album I have been listening to. It is "Alive Again" by Matt Maher. Matt is a Catholic Music Director from Tempe Arizona who has had a tremendous amount of success in the Contemporary Christian music scene. Every song on the album is great, from the upbeat "Alive Again" and "Shout of the King" to the solemn and deeply moving "You were on the Cross" I recommend this to everyone.
Second, is my new toy. I recently got the G1 from TMobile, and it is great! I have never had a smartphone before and am constantly amazed by what this phone can do. Unlike the Iphone however, there is a real dearth of Catholic (and Christian in general) apps. There is, at least, the ibreviary, probably the best Catholic app, with daily readings and all the common prayers.
Oh well, with new apps being added every day, I am sure this will change.
A blessed Sunday to you all!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
In Rays latest post against the church:"The Catholic Church and Peter", Ray Comfort starts out with a statement of the Geaneology of Herod and Zecharias, interesting, but not really relevant. He then goes on to state:
Zacharius was married. Aren’t priests supposed to be celibate? According to the Roman Catholic church, New Testament priests shouldn’t be married, but this is contrary to the Bible. Peter was married. During His earthly ministry, Jesus came to Peter's house and healed "his wife's mother" (Matthew 8:14- 5; Mark 1:30-31). Now there’s a clue he was married.Yes, Zecharias was married and yes Latin Rite Priests are celibate. But that is where he goes off base. The Church does not claim that New Testament priests "shouldn't be married". As a matter of fact, that discipline is only present in the Latin Rite of the Church. Priests in the Eastern churchs can be and often are married, as well as Priests which convert from the Anglican or Episcopal churches. Also, the Church has never denied Peter was married From the Catholic Encyclopedia: "Simon settled in Capharnaum, where he was living with his mother-in-law in his own house (Matthew 8:14; Luke 4:38) at the beginning of Christ's public ministry (about A.D. 26-28). Simon was thus married, and, according to Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, III, vi, ed. Dindorf, II, 276), had children."
In Corinthians 9:5, Paul asked, "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" Cephas was another name for Peter. In this verse it speaks of him as having a wife who traveled with him. There’s another clue that he was married. So don’t take what anyone tells you as being gospel. Check it out and see if it is according to the Scriptures (see Acts 17:11).Ray, can I suggest you take your own advice before posting something embarrassing like this again?
Sunday, August 30, 2009
"In the United States since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 there have been over 45 million women who have chosen to have safe, legal abortions. In fact, 37% of American women, over 1 in 3 women, will have an abortion by the age of 45. "
The fact is, this is a false statistic, it is playing with numbers, it takes the number of abortions performed and divides it by the number of women living since 1973. It assumes one woman having one abortion in her lifetime. It does not take into account repeat recievers of abortions, and abortion of more than one fetus at a time. That would greatly reduce this number and its impact.
She then went on to list abortion "stigmas":
Abortion IS mainstream medicine.
Abortion IS a normal part of women’s health care.
So, why is stigma so successful? Why does the shame persist and silence pervade in our culture when so many people share the abortion experience?
Most of the time these 45 million women are silent.
Most of the time the loved ones who helped them with their abortion don’t talk about it either.
In fact, the pro-choice majority is silent.
Most of the people talking about abortion in our society are anti-abortion.
We abortion providers often feel and are looked at as the “radical fringe of the pro-choice movement”
So, their argument is that abortion should be "frequent" (of course, more money for them)
Abortion should be considered "mainstream medicine" (In other words, remove conscience clauses and force healthcare providers to perform abortions.)
Abortion should be a "normal" part of a woman's health care (IOW, every woman should have an abortion, whether she wants to or not, making them no different than a pap smear.)
It goes on to ignore the negatives of abortion, the guilt, shame that accompanies it. They don't make the connection that is the reason women don't talk about it. Many come to regret their decisions, even though you will NEVER hear the pro-abortionists say that.
She then lists more "stigma":
I EXPEREINCE stigma all the time in my work; the hospital will not give privileges to our physicians, we can’t secure local back up doctors, we can’t get anyone to provide us with bottled water or replace our tile floors or replace our roof or resurface our parking lot.
I HEAR stigma everywhere:
“Abortion should be rare”
“Abortion is a tragedy” (and these are our friends!)
“I am pro-choice but I’d never have an abortion”
“I am not like those other women”
“I don’t believe in abortion as birth control”
Starting from the top, she implies that they cannot find doctors because of "stigma" the fact is my doctors want nothing to do with Abortion. Perhaps she should ask herself "why"?
The rest of her "stigmas" are shocking in their callousness.
If she believes these are stigmas, then she must believe the converse to be virtues:
That private companies, hospitals and doctors, should not have the "right to refuse service to anyone" this is a cornerstone of free enterprise.
Abortion should be frequent.
That it is NOT a tragedy
That prevention is unnecessary
That Pro-choice women should not exercise their "right" to choose, they should choose what this pro-abortionists says they should, which is abortion.
That woman who are responsible about their reproductive choices are "stigmatizing"
That abortion should be an acceptable form of birth control (one that carries risk of sterilization or death, but that is pretty much irrelevant to her)
The article goes on to claim that pro-abortionists encourage women to "be all they can be", in other words, that children dimish a woman and hold her back. This is beyond even radical feminism.
This is the leaders of this movement, and thier biggest liability. While those of us on the pro-life side have our wackos, this article makes it clear the "pro-choicers" do as well. This post of thiers borders on absolute bloodlust and stinks of authoritarianism.
And they claim they are the "common ground"?
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
This headline hit me on Yahoo! today:
Police: McNair shot dead in sleep by girlfriend
She was not his "girlfriend" she was his mistress. He was not getting a divorce and had not even discussed getting a divorce. Now, it comes out that her motive was her fear he was cheating on HER? She should not have been surprised, he was already cheating on his wife with her, could she (the mistress) really have been surprised that he was cheating on her?
It is disrespectful to his wife and family every time this woman is referred to as his "girlfriend" it implies that he did not even have a wife or family, when he did. It is one thing not to speak ill of the dead, it is another to try to act like the living don't even exist.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Her first comment was on my post "By their fruits...":
You got to be kidding, you are even quibbling this to death, trying to make "outs" that do not exsist, to defend the evil corruption in your false church, [trying to claim that institutions are exempt, hate to tell you but your institution is made of the men--people that comprise it] because elsewhere in the Bible Jesus asks this: Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? As for your charities--hospitals, universities, etc, in America, they have become mostly FOR PROFIT enterprises, or if NON-PROFIT, using gobs of government money and grants. All we have to do is read our daily newspapers to know the hospitals are HUGE money-makers, the Catholic schools bastions of extreme liberalism advancing causes like abortion at Notre Dame! Socialist Humanist social workers do as much 'charity' work as the RCC!
Here is the classic anti-catholic double standard. The sins of individual Catholics are evidence of the "bad fruit" of the entire institution. But the virtues of Catholics don't transfer to the institution as a whole. Either sins AND virtues reflect on the church as a whole, or NEITHER do.
The fact is that an institution like "the church" does not have sins or virtues. It is a thing, an inanimate object. And look at Matt 7, who is the "them" it is referring to? It is referring to false prophets and teachers. Individuals nowhere does Jesus apply this to a group. If so, even the apostles themselves would fail this test. Judas betrayed them, Peter denied Jesus, Thomas doubted him. Are these "bad fruits" of the apostles as a whole?
I would point out that I raised this challenge over at CARM for the anti-Catholics to justify applying Matt 7 to institutions not just individuals, and received no response from this poster.
And, her next comment was posted on "Catholics do evangelize"
I have frequented Catholics blogs for years, Mark Shea, the Curt Jester, Amy Welborn, etc. When do Catholic blogs evangelize except to say JOIN THE RCC! Is the gospel even preached anywhere on your blog? Repent and be born again in Jesus Christ? Or is it the usual narcissistic fest, look what I DID!, look at what a HOLY PERSON I AM!....surrounded by quibbles about whether should shake hands during the or bow to each other or the latest pretty dress the Pope is wearing. Where do Catholic blogs actually preach the gospel? [The RCC does not have the gospel, it preaches JOIN OUR CHURCH, like every other cult out there]The fact is, yes, this is a group specific blog. So yes, I am going to say "Join the RCC". Just like a Baptist specific blog is going to say "Join the SBC". Otherwise, what is the point? Is a Pentacostal blog going to tell you to become a Methodist or a Mormon blog going to tell you to become a Jehovah's witness? Of course not. So that is a silly argument.
The gospel is preached. It is just not the Gospel according to sally/budge. On your site, the Gospel is not preached either. It is just "leave the RCC" which is actually the flip side of the same coin, in that, you are not telling me what religion to join to be saved, but you are telling me which one I need to leave in order to have salvation (according to you).
And your final charge that Catholic blogs discuss Catholic things? Big suprise there! Should we go over to Politico.com and accuse them of only talking about politics?
Her final comment was left on: "Why the 'paperwork' matters":
I posted this on Carm before... and it basically wipes away the Catholic claim that "only the paperwork matters" [by the way where is the official list of dogmas?] oh YEAH there ISN'T ONE! I posted this on Carm the other day On paper, the Mafia doesn't exist.
On paper, NAMBLA is about love.
On paper, NOW protects "straight" women...
But are we to look at the position statements, ONLY? Or are we taught to TEST the people delivering the message? Mt good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
First of all, on your charge that there is no official list of dogmas, so what? You don't accept the magisterium anyway so even if their was, what would be the point? There is the Catechism, and the list that Dr. Ludwig Ott provided, and I have challenged her many times to name me ONE dogma that is not in either of these publications. She has not, so we can assume there is not one.
Sally/budge answer my original point, how can the sins of a person be transferred onto a thing? My points in my original article stand unchallenged. Matt 12.35 is again speaking of "a man" not an "institution". I have the priviledge of knowing many good men and women who were Catholic. You would like us to believe such people do not exist.
You are right. We are called to test the PEOPLE who bring the message, but even in the Bible demons spoke truth. In Mark 1:23 a demon announced that Jesus was "the Holy One of God". Does the fact that a demon said it, make it untrue? Paperwork. In Mark 3:11 we read how "And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God." Does the fact that these words were spoken by demons make them untrue? Paperwork again. The demon Legion, called Jesus "The most high God".
You see where this is going. Even the evil can speak truth, that is how God is able to use sinners to preach his word.
This demand for a "list" and the harping on the sins of Catholics comes solely from the belief that Catholics only believe what they do because the church "tells" us we have to. The idea that we are Catholic because it is what we believe is lost on them. They think we are forced to believe these things because we are mindless droids who have to believe whatever "they" tell us.
Of course that is not even close to being true. Oh well, same tune, different day.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
This verse keeps getting brought up to justify the notion that the RCC is not from God.
Let's look at the verse in context.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Now, I want to know how these verses which are speaking of recognizing false prophets can be extrapolated to the entire church.
Numerous references are brought up to the sex scandals, the inquisitions, crusades, etc.. and it is claimed this is all bad fruit of the RCC and as such since a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, that proves the RCC is a false church.
But, the verse also states that a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. The Catholic church is also the worlds largest Charity, it the worlds largest operator of private healthcare and educations services. Now, applying this verse literally, this proves the RCC is a good tree, right?
No, When you read the verse in context, you see exactly who Jesus was talking about: "False prophets". These criteria are to be applied to individuals NOT organizations. Because as Jesus pointed out in another part of the Gospel.(Matt 13:24-30) that satan has sown tares among Jesus' wheat. But that we are to leave them and HE will reap the harvest and "bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."
There has always been evil men in the church, as there is in every church. It is amazing how we are so quick to judge a church on the faults of its
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I recent thread was started stating that Catholics do not evangelize. Mostly because we don't stand on streetcorners or go door to door.
Well, this is the 21st century.
Catholicblogs.com lists over 1000 blog feeds from Catholic Bloggers, isn't that evangelizing?
tweetcatholic has over 1700 Catholics who twitter (tweet?) regularly.
Over 1200 people have visited my apologetics blog since just the beginning of this year.
So maybe we aren't doing this:
And reaching a few people.
We are doing this:
And reaching MILLIONS!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
He gives a list of what he considers arguments to be avoided, he doesn't believe any of them to be wrong, just to be avoided. First, he states that "Rome should be identified with the Whore of Babylon and that the Pope is the Antichrist." but that Anti-catholic apologists should not actually say that.
The second is that the sexual abuse allegation "may even be the necessary and natural outworking of the celibate priesthood that Rome imposes" and that they are "simply a reason not to make your son an altar boy or your daughter a nun" This is a gross over-generalization and surely not a reason to deprive your child of the privilege of serving at the altar or to discourage them from entering a religious life. It implies that sexual abuse is widespread and in every parish when just the opposite is true. It is blatently dishonest.
Next, he alleges "doctrines within Roman Catholicism are not static and modern Catholicism's beliefs do not much resemble the beliefs taught in the Bible or believed in the early church" This is of course another gross generalization. His post is quickly becoming a bad apologetics post.
Next is the myth of Catholic disunity on many issues. While this is true on some issues, the idea that there are few "official catholic positions" is ludicrous, the Catechism gives the "offical Catholic position, on many issues, the Dogmas of faith are non-negotiable and there are lists of those available but the author makes no attempt to point his readers to these resources, in fact he makes no attempt to point them to sources of good information at all!
In his segment titled "Martyrologies" I must give him credit. That was well written and spot on.
In his section 6 titled " Arguments You Don't Understand" he makes the understatement of the year, he says "If you don't understand them (scriptural arguments), though, you have no business using them." Boy is that true, he goes on to list scriptural arguments he clearly does not understand.
He goes on to list some good advice, that apologists should be honest, not be arrogant.
He goes on to reinforce his belief that Catholics are not Christians, and actually calls those who believe that they are "bad apologists". He concludes with "Our regard, generally speaking, of the lost condition of Romanists is (contrary to their complaints) a judgment of charity, because it exhibits a concern for their never-dying souls, and should always be kept in mind in dealing with them. This regard for their lost condition is not because we bear them animosity, but because we care for their souls."
A word of advice to Turretin, if you want to "evangelize" Catholics, don't call us "Romanists". If you do, don't expect us to listen. You should add a new "landmine" that you missed, avoid name calling. It is juvenile and gets you nowhere.
Monday, May 18, 2009
I have seen a new slant to the postings of some here in this forum, that the actual beliefs of the RCC does not matter, but that what matters is the "fruits" of Catholics.
This, of course, is a major error in thinking. After thinking about it myself, I do see what they are trying to do.
Those people here who are attacking the church believe that Catholics only believe what they do (Assumption, PV of Mary, the Eucharist) because they are Catholic. So, their logic is that if they can convince us not to be Catholic, we will also abandon all the "unscriptural nonsense" that Catholics believe.
But here is the flaw in that argument. I do not believe in those things because I am Catholic. I am Catholic because I believe in those Dogmas. All Convincing me not to be Catholic would accomplish is either to drive me to the Orthodox faith, or away from religion all together, because if I am wrong, and you are wrong, then what is the point?
Those who would point out every error, sin, lapse in judgment, crime and questionable practice of this Bishop or that Priest or some church in the middle of nowhere are doing nothing to convince me that they are right, they are merely arguing that I am wrong. I have seen this on discussion boards before, rarely do radicals succeed in driving people away from the church and into their brand of Fundamentalism, if anything they succeed in driving people into agnosticism.
When Jesus preached to the people, he criticized the Jewish leaders for their hypocrisy and failing to practice what they preached. But never once did he claim Judaism was a false belief because of it. He said: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger."
Notice that Christ never says that they negate Judaism, but merely that they are hypocrites. It is a good statement of what Catholics believe about our Bishops. You could paraphrase this: "The (Bishops and Priests) have seated themselves in the (chairs of the apostles);
therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger."
Now, I feel this is a little harsh as the overwhelming majority of Priests and Bishops are good men. But I am trying to illustrate why posting story after story of a bad priest or a Bishop who did not do the right thing, will not affect my faith. Jesus never instructed the Jews to abandon their faith because of their questionable leadership, nor will I abandon mine.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
"weisserstier" over at flickr has some great photos from Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte Church in Funchal Madeira. The church is the final resting place of the Emperor who died there in 1922 after being exiled to the Island by the Great Powers.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Friday, May 01, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Some may object that it is Rome, and not that small part of it known as Vatican City, which is built on seven hills, and that the Vatican can hardly be called a "great city." Though both objections are true, the words "Vatican" and "Rome" are universally used interchangeably. Just as one would refer to Washington and mean the government that runs the United States, so one refers to Rome and means the hierarchy that rules the Roman Catholic Church.
True, one MIGHT refer to Rome and mean the Vatican, but one might also mean the Italian Government or the Coleseum. We cannot assume, that just because someone says "Rome" that they autmatically mean the Vatican. Just like not every single reference to "Washington" is a reference to the White House or Capitol.
Take for example a placard carried by a demonstrator outside the November 15-18, 1993, meeting in Washington D.C. of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Protesting any deviation from the pope's wishes, it read: "ROME'S WAY OR THE HIGHWAY." (Our Sunday Visitor, December 5, 1993, p. 3.)0bviously by "Rome" it meant the Vatican. Such is the common usage, So closely are Catholicism and Rome linked that the Catholic Church is known as the Roman Catholic Church, or simply the Roman Church.
Now, this picture could have come from any number of sources, but he choose "Our Sunday Visitor" in order to use another Catholic source. In order to make it appear he heavily used Catholic sources in this work. His point is weak, the context makes it very clear what is meant by "Rome".
Moreover, for more than a thousand years the Roman Catholic Church exercised both religious and civil control over the entire city of Rome and its surroundings. Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) abolished the secular Roman Senate and placed the administration of Rome directly under his command. The Roman Senate that had governed the city under the Caesars had been known as the Curia Romana (Roman Curia). That name, according to the Pocket Catholic Dictionary, is now the designation of "the whole ensemble of administrative and judicial offices through which the Pope directs the operations of the Catholic Church.(John A. Hardon, S.J., Pocket Catholic Dictionary (Image Books [Doubleday], 1985), p. 99.)
Now we got into false history. The Roman Senate disappeared from History around the 7th Century, the Popes had nothing to do with it. In the 12th Century, the Popes turned the administration of Rome over to City Magistrates with the power of (war and peace) Source But, his definition of the Roman Curia is correct, but it applies only to the highlighted passage. It is poor composition on his part not to separate his quote, someone might assume it applies to the entire passage. Which of course is his intent.
The popes' authority even extended to large territories outside Rome acquired in the eighth century. At that time, with the help of a deliberately fraudulent document manufactured for the popes known as The Donation of Constantine, Pope Stephen III convinced Pepin, king of the Franks and father of Charlemagne, that territories recently taken by the Lombards from the Byzantines actually had been given to the papacy by the Emperor Constantine. Pepin routed the Lombards and handed to the pope the keys to some 20 cities (Ravenna, Ancona, Bologna, Ferrara, lesi, Gubbio, etc.) and the huge chunk of land joining them along the Adriatic coast.
Notice that in this paragraph there is not one single citation. Even though it is filled with "facts", every sentence should have a citation, but they don't. Why? Could it because there is little historical fact in it? Yes, Pepin conquered those territories and yes, he gave them to the Pope, but not because of the Donation of Constantine. Google, the "Donation of Pepin".
Dated 30 March 315, The Donation declared that Constantine had given these lands, along with Rome and the Lateran Palace, to the popes in perpetuity. In 1440 this document was proven to be a forgery by Lorenzo Valla, a papal aide, and is so recognized by historians today. Yet allegedly infallible popes continued for centuries to assert that The Donation was genuine and on that basis to justify their pomp, power, and possessions. That fraud is still perpetuated by an inscription in the baptistry of Rome's St. John Lateran, which has never been corrected.
Once again, Popes are only infallible on matters of faith and morals. Being suckered by a good forgery makes them human, nothing else. And as for the inscription, it reads:
MARTYRIBUS XPI DNI VOTA JOHANNES
REDDIDIT ANTISTES SANCTIFICANTE DEO
AC SACRI FONTIS SIMILI FULGENTE METALLO
PROVIDUS INSTANTER HOC COPULAVIT OPUS
QUO QUISQUIS GRADIENS ET XPM PRONUS ADORANS
John, bishop by God's consecration, made devout prayers to the martyrs for the Lord Christ and with foresight put this work together apace with enamel gleaming like te sacred spring, that each man may process and stoop to worship Christ and offer their prayers in profusion to Heaven.
I fail to see what needs to be corrected, or what it has to do with the donation of Constantine.
Thus the Papal States were literally stolen by the popes from their rightful owners. The papacy controlled and taxed these territories and derived great wealth from them until 1848. At that time the pope, along with the rulers of most of the other divided territories of Italy, was forced to grant his rebellious subjects a constitution. In September 1860, over his raging protests, Pius IX lost all of the papal states to the new, finally united Kingdom of Italy, which left him, at the time of the First Vatican Council in 1870, still in control of Rome and its surroundings.
Again, notice something, that's right, no citations. More "facts" nothing to back them up. The Papal States were conquered by Pepin and given to the Pope in exchange for his support for Pepins claims to the Frankish Crown. Who does the Pope think are thier rightful owners? The Lombards, who stole them from the Byzantines? The Byzantines who took them from the Romans, the Romans who took them from the original kings and princes? Such is human history. Interesting though, Hunt view the Pope as "stealing" his land from the Lombards, but it was a "United Italy" that "controlled" the Papal States. This is a very hypocritical observation, either the conquest of land by force is either theft or it is not.
The point is that, exactly as John foresaw in his vision, a spiritual entity that claimed a special relationship with Christ and with God became identified with a city that was built on seven hills. That "woman" committed spiritual fornication with earthly rulers and eventually reigned over them. The Roman Catholic Church has been continuously identified with that city. As "The most definitive Catholic encyclopedia since Vatican II" declares:
Again, the citation of a Catholic source is merely to give the appearance of research. In his attempt to link Rome=Vatican, he has failed miserably....hence, one understands the central place of Rome in the life of the Church today and the significance of the title, Roman Catholic Church, the Church that is universal, yet focused upon the ministry of the Bishop of Rome. Since the founding of the Church there by St. Peter, Rome has been the center of all Christendom(Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1991), p. 842.).
Friday, April 17, 2009
There have been some heroic and inspirational Catholics in the news lately.
- Cmdr. Francis X. Castellano, Captain of the USS Bainbridge and 4th Degree Knight of Columbus, responsible for the rescue of:
- Capt. Richard Phillips, Captain of the Maersk-Alabama, offered himself in exchange for his crew and ship to Somali pirates.
- Susan Boyle, a devout member of her parish choir and overnight sensation, and the woman in my post yesterday
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I guess the adultress in the Bible who was saved from being stoned by Christs words "let he who is without sin cast the first stone", is lucky James White was not there. It seems he would have gladly felt that he could have thrown the first stone.
Mr. White, a Catholic Gentleman will always step in and defend a woman who is being attacked. Your youtube diatribes against her are just exercises in cruelty. Your constant refering to your sister as "Mrs. Bonds" is a not so subtle attempt to make it clear to her that she is no longer your sister (as far as your concerned). On her blog she always refers to you as her brother.
If you want to attack anyone, here I am. Steve Ray, Dave Armstrong, Art Sippo and William Albrecht are doing what any honorable brother would do, defend his sister. Perhaps you can learn from them.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Not only does Rome's pope call himself the vicar of Christ, but the Church he heads claims to be the one true Church and the bride of Christ. Christ's bride, whose hope is to join her Bridegroom in heaven, is to have no earthly ambitions. Yet the Vatican is obsessed with earthly enterprise, as history proves; and in furtherance of these goals it has been, exactly as John foresaw in his vision, engaged in adulterous relationships with the kings of the earth. That fact is acknowledged even by Catholic historians.
Which ones? Where? Once again Hunt throws out an opinion as fact, very subtly but this is a statement that screams for some kind of citation, but he offers none. Also, his analysis of Christs bridegroom is pure opinion, the Bible states no such thing about the "personality" of the bride.
Christ said to His disciples, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). The Catholic Church, however, is very much of this world. Her popes have built an unrivaled worldwide empire of property, wealth, and influence. Nor is empire-building an abandoned feature of the past. We have already seen that Vatican II clearly states that the Roman Catholic Church today still ceaselessly seeks to bring under its control all mankind and all their goods.
Popes have long claimed dominion over the world and its peoples. Pope Gregory XIs papal bull of 1372 (In Coena Domini) claimed papal dominion over the entire Christian world, secular and religious, and excommunicated all who failed to obey the popes and to pay them taxes. In Coena was confirmed by subsequent popes and in 1568 Pope Pius V swore that it was to remain an eternal law.
This verse supports the Catholic Church far more than it condemns it. This book is one long diatribe of hate against the church, hence Christ's promise to the church is fulfilled "therefore the world hateth you". Next it states that "Her popes have built an unrivaled worldwide empire of property, wealth, and influence." Again opinion masquerading as fact. Also, nowhere in Vatican Two does it states that the Catholic church seeks to bring under its control all men and their goods. It does say that the Catholic Church continues to spread the Gospel of Christ accross the entire world: "The entire church is called to carry on the work of making disciples. It has the obligation and sacred right to evangelize.” (Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, Vatican II, #7) As for the Bull "In Coena Domini" it does none of the things Hunt ascribes to it, and of course Hunt fails to mention that it ceased to be renewed under Clement XIV in 1770, because, it was no longer necessary. What this Bull was was a listing of crimes against the Church, and their appropriate punishments. It was written in the era when there were two courts, one religious and one secular. Such was medevil law, and when it ceased being necessary, the Popes quit issuing it. Also, Pope Pius only swore it was to remain eternal law " till any fresh determinations should be announced." Which were, by Pope Urban VIII, a discussion of this Bull and the fact that it is NOT ex cathedra can be found in "Catholic Church and Christian State: A Series of Essays on the Relation of the Church to the Civil Power" by Joseph Hergenröther , in Chapter nine.
Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) claimed that all undiscovered lands belonged to the Roman Pontiff, for him to dispose of as he pleased in the name of Christ as His vicar. King John II of Portugal was convinced that in his Bull Romanus Pontifex the pope had granted all that Columbus discovered exclusively to him and his country. Ferdinand and Isabel of Spain, however, thought the pope had given the same lands to them. In May 1493 the Spanish-born Alexander VI issued three bulls to settle the dispute.
In the name of Christ, who had no place on this earth that He called his own, this incredibly evil Borgia pope, claiming to own the world, drew a north-south line down the global map of that day, giving everything on the east to Portugal and on the west to Spain. Thus by papal grant, "out of the plenitude of apostolic power," Africa went to Portugal and the Americas to Spain. When Portugal "succeeded in reaching India and Malaya, they secured the confirmation of these discoveries from the Papacy..." There was a condition, of course: "to the intent to bring the inhabitants ... to profess the Catholic Faith." (Sidney Z. Ehler, John B. Morrall, trans. and eds., Church and State Through the Centuries [London, 1954], pp. 153-59; Hakluytus Posthumus [William Stansby for Henrie Fetherstone, London, 1625] as cited in Avro Manhattan, The Vatican Billions (Chino, CA. 1983), p. 90.)
The level of historical inaccuracy in this passage is staggering, as it shows that Hunt did little or no research on this. The north-south line he refers to was in the Bull "Inter caetera". What needs to be kept in mind here, was that North and South America were not even known to exist, it was thought that Columbus had only found a series of islands about half-way to Asia. This treaty only gave Spain a Portugal the right to evangelize these areas, the Pope never claimed to own them. This was an attempt at mediation, about a year later, Spain and Portugal would sign the Treaty of Tordesillas which would supercede this Bull. I should point out that at the end of this passage, Hunt goes to the tried and true Anti-Catholic tactic of a "cite of a cite", this shows his primary source of this information is the Anti-Catholic Avro Manhattan.
It Was largely Central and South America which, as a consequence of this unholy alliance between church and state, had Roman Catholicism forced upon them by the sword and remain Catholic to this day. North America (with the exception of Quebec and Louisiana) was spared the dominance of Roman Catholicism because it was settled largely by Protestants.
This statement reeks of hypocrisy. And, historical ignorance. It is clear that by "North America" he means only Canada and the United States. Also, Britain had no problem forcing Protestantism on the Native Americans, and when the United States was created, forcing religion by the sword was dismissed in favor of relocation and extermination by the overwhelmingly protestant Americans. So, the implication that Native Americans went untouched by Northern European Protestants is dishonest and distasteful.
Nor have the descendants of Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas forgotten that Roman Catholic priests, backed by the secular sword, gave their ancestors the choice of conversion (which often meant slavery) or death. They made such an outcry when John Paul II in a recent visit to Latin America proposed elevating Junipero Serra (a major eighteenth-century enforcer of Catholicism among the Indians) to sainthood that the pope was forced to hold the ceremony in secret.
Nor have the descenedents of the Cherokee, Creek, Sioux forgotten that white Protestants, under the pseudo-religious banner of "Manifest Destiny" broke every promise, and quite often, conversion was not even a choice, it was merely death.
Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world; otherwise my servants would fight." The popes, however, have fought with armies and navies in the name of Christ to build a huge kingdom which is very much of this world. And to amass their earthly empire they have repeatedly engaged in spiritual fornication with emperors, kings, and princes. Claiming to be the bride of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church has been in bed with godless rulers down through history, and these adulterous relationships continue to this day. This spiritual fornication will be documented in detail later.
The Popes have never controlled more land than the small "Papal States" and since the zenith of Papal temporal power in the middle-ages, the temporal power of the Pope is now non-existent. Many Protestants have inserted themselves with kings and princes, Luther all but ran northern Germany, Calvin, the low countries. The Monarch of England is also the head of the Anglican and Episcopal Churches. How many pastors sit on school boards, city councils or State legislatures in this country? Nowadays, it is not the RCC committing fornication.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
His first one is from today, nothing major except his complete inability to understand how intelligent people can believe in both evolution and creation and see them as completely compatable.
His next post is a critique of the movie "Religuous" where he lumps Catholicism as a "manmade religion".
He then goes on to criticize the opinions of Athiests, with his "Athiest Starter Kit" he states number 9. Blame Christianity for the atrocities of the Roman Catholic church--when it tortured Christians through the Spanish Inquisition, imprisoned Galileo for his beliefs, or when it murdered Moslems in the Crusades.
The implication here, of course, is that everything evil done in the name of Christ, was ONLY done by the Catholic Church. Protestants are completely innocent of all of this and lead perfect exemplary lives. (Never mind that the Spanish Inquisition had nothing to do with Protestantism, many fundamentalists believe that Galileo was wrong, and Muslims have been killed by Protestants as well) Ray, if you are going to embrace the label "Protestant" you inherit all the baggage that goes with it.
The inquisition and Galelieo appears to be near-obsessions with Ray, he constantly brings them up to prove Catholics aren't Christian. But there were Protestant Inquisitions too Ray, and many fundamentalists believe Galileo is wrong.
Next, he writes an article calling Nostradamus a liar and a thief, and then hypocritically lies about the Catholic Church. He states that Nostradamus lifted his "predictions" from Scripture which he "read in secret". Why did he need to read it in secret? Because Ray claims that: "because in those days the Roman Catholic church forbade the reading of the Scriptures." Now, this is just a lie, there is no other explination for it. Because, if anyone does even a little research, they would see that at no time in its history has the Catholic Church forbid the reading of the Scriptures. They were then, as they are now, read in the churches every day. By Nostradamus' time there were any number of churches or libraries where an educated man like Nostradamus could read the scriptures.
He then creates and laments a percieved "double standard" between the way the FLDS child abuse was handled and the "sex scandal" was handled. He accuses the Pope of paying people off. Well Ray, the two cases were not remotely similiar, heres why. First, the FLDS abuse was occuring NOW, most of the abuse in the church happened 20 or more years ago. Yes, no Bishops were charged, but some did resign and others lost thier position (Cardinal Law). Of course no mention is made of the thousands of cases of abuse in Fundamentalist churches, but Ray needs to try to show that ONLY Catholics do these horrible things, all the better to scare people away from the Catholic Church.
In that same article he smugly asserts that Catholicsm is not Christian because its "official doctrine of justification by works flies in the face of the Bible" Never mind it is not the official doctrine of the Church that our justification is by works. The official doctrine of the Church is that we are justified by the Grace of Christ.
In his post "at the checkout" he repeats a common lie. That if you ask a Catholic if they are a Christian they will respond "No, I'm Catholic". He repeats this lie in "Our inventions", now, I'm Catholic, and if someone asked me if I am a Christian, my response would be "yes". Every Catholic I know would give this same answer, we KNOW we are Christians, it is fundamentalists like Ray who try to claim we are not. Here is a paragraph from this article:
Nator . . . please study your history. It was the Roman Catholic church (not the Christian Church) that arrested Galileo. I have spoken to hundreds of Roman Catholics, and when you ask them “Are you a Christian?” most say, “No. I’m a Roman Catholic.” They know the difference. One is steeped in tradition, and the other adheres to the Bible. And the Catholic church didn’t get their information “from the Bible” (it was a banned Book).First error, Catholic is Christian, I am a Catholic Ray, and I am telling you that there is no difference between Catholic and Christian. Catholicism is steeped in Tradition AND it adheres to the Bible. And, the Catholic Church has never banned the Bible, it celebrates it. He also includes a ridiculous cartoon showing a Bishop wearing a "Dagon mitre", this reveals alot about where he gets his info about the RCC, and it is not from Catholic sources.
He later gives his definition of a "Protestant" which is: That means he protests that the Roman Catholic church imprisoned Galileo (even though he admits in another post that Galileo was actually in a spacious apartment during his trial and served his sentence in a Villa in Florence, some imprisionment). He protests that they killed innocent Christians in the Spanish Inquisition. (few if any Protestants were brought before the inquisition in Spain) He protests that they embarked on the Crusades that slaughtered multitudes in the name of God. (what of the "witch trials" that raged across protestant Europe? What about Cromwells slaughter of Catholic women and children in Ireland?)
Does Comfort also embrace the sins of Protestantism just as he expects Catholics to accept the blame for past Catholic sins? Of course to listen to Ray, you would never know Protestants sinned at all.
Next comes a post directed at Catholics, and the ignorance flows, he states:
Joel, that’s a good question (I don't know if you're an atheist. Many people who are now high profile atheists are ex-Catholics--see my book Hollywood Be Thy Name for details). The Second of the Ten Commandments forbids paying homage (bowing down) to any graven image of any likeness, anywhere. The Roman Catholic church got around it by removing the Second Commandment and splitting the last one into two Commandments, to make up the ten. It sounds hard to believe, so check it out for yourself on the Vatican web site: www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm).First, there are quite a few high-profile athiests who were Protestants as well, so that means nothing. Next, he talks of the 2nd commandment as if it is specifically enumerated in the Bible, it isn't. As a matter of fact, there are three different divisions of the 10 commandments in use today. Also, he tries to make his point by linking to the Vatican website and going "see!". Nope Ray, first of all, look at the very Catechism you linked to, you would see that Catholics put that with the first commandment where it belongs, and we do not break up the last commandment. We refuse to equate a mans wife with his chattle.
Well, that is enough, I hope Ray repents of his deceptions. Things like this are the rotten fruit of OSAS. Ray himself admits that "If someone doesn’t fear God, they will lie to you (if they think that they can get away with it)" Well, obviously Ray, you thought you could get away with it.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a "whore" (Revelation 17:1), that earthly kings "have committed fornication" with her (verse 2), and that "all the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (verse 3). Why would a city be called a whore and be accused of having committed fornication with kings? Such an indictment would never be made of London or Moscow or Paris-or any other ordinary city. It wouldn't make sense.
This is obviously his thesis statement, let's see where he goes with this.
Fornication and adultery are used in the Bible in both the physical and the spiritual sense. Of Jerusalem God said, "How is the faithful city become a harlot!" (Isaiah 1:21). Israel, whom God had set apart from all other peoples to be holy for His purposes, had entered into unholy, adulterous alliances with the idol-worshiping nations about her. She had "committed adultery with stones and with stocks [idols]" (Jeremiah 3:9); "and with their idols have they committed adultery" (Ezekiel 23:37). The entire chapter of Ezekiel 16 explains lsrael's spiritual adultery in detail, both with heathen nations and with their false gods, as do many other passages.
Ok, so far so good.
There is no way that a city could engage in literal, fleshly fornication. Thus we can only conclude that John, like the prophets in the Old Testament, is using the term in its spiritual sense. The city, therefore, must claim a spiritual relationship with God. Otherwise such an allegation would be meaningless.
Ok, a city must claim a spiritual relationship with God, ok.
Though it is built on seven hills, there would be no reason to accuse Rio de Janeiro of spiritual fornication. It makes no claim of having a special relationship with God. And though Jerusalem has that relationship, it cannot be the woman riding on the beast, for it is not built on seven hills. Nor does it meet the other criteria by which this woman is to be identified.
And here's the build-up....
Against only one other city in history could a charge of fornication be leveled. That city is Rome, and more specifically Vatican City. She claims to have been the worldwide headquarters of Christianity since its beginning and maintains that claim to this day. Her pope enthroned in Rome claims to be the exclusive representative of God, the vicar of Christ. Rome is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and in that too she is unique.
Correct (almost) on Rome, wrong on Vatican City. Two different cities. They cannot be used interchangeably. Yes, Vatican City is where the Pope resides. The Vatican is located inside the City of Rome (now, but not in Johns time). Rome itself is NOT the headquarters of the RCC, just like the City of New York is NOT the UN.
Numerous churches, of course, are headquartered in cities, but only one city is the headquarters of a church. The Mormon Church, for example, is headquartered in Salt Lake City, but there is much more to Salt Lake City than the Mormon Church. Not so with Vatican City. It is the heartbeat of the Roman Catholic Church and nothing else. She is a spiritual entity that could very well be accused of spiritual fornication if she did not remain true to Christ.
And, there is much more to Rome than the Vatican. Literally thousands of different companies are based there and operate there, it is the seat of the Italian Government as well. The fact is, by itself, the Vatican City, meets some, but not all of your critera, specifically it only sits on ONE hill, not seven.
Now, Imperial Rome which was in existence at the time John wrote, fits all of Mr. Hunts criteria exactly. Each hill had a significance in the Government. Imperial Rome had committed massive fornication with the then Kings of the Earth (see Antony and Cleopatra) and Ruling was Romes sole function.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Right now I am working on a review of one chapter from Dave Hunt's book, "A Woman Rides the Beast" I have read this book and I am tired of it being trotted out as the end-all be-all of books about Catholicism. I am taking it one section at a time, so it is going to be a slow process.
Here is my first installment, I highlighted his sources: Catholic sources are in red, and non-catholic or anti-catholic sources are in green. Hope you enjoy:
A woman rides the beast, and that woman is a city built on seven hills that reigns over the kings of the earth! Was ever in all of history such a statement made? John immediately equates the readers' acceptance of this revelation with "wisdom." We dare not pass over such a disclosure casually. It merits our careful and prayerful attention.
Yes, it does, and our open-minded interpretation, but does Mr. Hunt do that?
Here is no mystical or allegorical language but an unambiguous statement in plain words: "The woman ... is that great city." There is no justification for seeking some other hidden meaning. Yet books have been written and sermons preached insisting that "Mystery Babylon" is the United States. That is clearly not the case, for the United States is a country, not a city. One might justifiably refer to the United States as Sodom, considering the honor now given to homosexuals, but it is definitely not the Babylon that John sees in this vision. The woman is a city.
Furthermore, she is a city built on seven hills. That specification eliminates ancient Babylon. Only one city has for more than 2000 years been known as the city on seven hills. That city is Rome. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined."(The Catholic Encyclopedia (Thomas Nelson, 1976), s.v. "Rome.")
That is correct. But one must wonder why Mr. Hunt felt the need to go to the Catholic Encyclopedia to cite that fact. No reason, any number of modern and ancient books refer to Rome as the "City on seven hills". But he goes to a Catholic source, presumibly to show that even Catholics acknowledge that it is called that. Heck, the Catholic Encyclopedia even acknowledges that Austin is the Capitol of Texas, does that mean that it is part of some grand conspiracy? No, it just means that Austin is the Capitol of Texas.
There are, of course, other cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, that were also built on seven hills. Therefore, John provides at least seven more characteristics to limit the identification to Rome alone. We will examine each one in detail in subsequent chapters. However, as a preview of where we are going, we will list them now and discuss each one briefly. As we shall see, there is only one city on the earth which, in both historical and contemporary perspectives, passes every test John gives, including its identification as Mystery Babylon. That city is Rome, and more specifically, Vatican City.
Two completely different places, the Vatican does not sit on one of the seven hills of Rome, it actually sits on the opposite side of the Tiber from the ancient city. Mr. Hunt does seem to constantly confuse Rome with the Vatican, not realizing that is like constantly confusing New York with the UN Building.
Even Catholic apologist Karl Keating admits that Rome has long been known as Babylon. Keating claims that Peter's statement "The church here in Babylon ... sends you her greeting" (from I Peter 5:13) proves that Peter was writing from Rome. He explains further:
Of course quite a few fundamentalists would dispute Mr. Hunts acceptance of this "code word" for Imperial Rome, being "Babylon" Many loudly proclaim that it is NOT a word for Rome but that Peter was literally in Babylon WA Christwell even states "There is no evidence that Rome was ever called "Babylon" until after the Book of the Revelation was written. The Revelation was written about 95 A.D., many years after the death of Simon Peter. If I Peter 5:13 refers to Rome, then Simon Peter did not write the letter and we have a forgery in the Bible. " So which is it? Clearly Babylon is a code word for Imperial Rome, which was in existence at the time of John and Peter, and that obviously the early church refered to it as Babylon, the city that persecuted the Jews, and now the city of Rome was persecuting the Christians, so the correlarry makes sense."Babylon is a code word for Rome. It is used that way six times in the last book of the Bible [four of the six are in chapters 17 and 18 and in extrabiblical works such as Sibylling Oracles (5, 159f.), the Apocalypse of Baruch (ii, 1), and 4 Esdras (3:1).
Eusebius Pamphilius, writing about 303, noted that "it is said that Peter's first epistle... was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon."(Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians" (Ignatius Press, 1988), p. 200.)
Here he shows his ignorance of Catholicism (again). He presumes to state that "powers" come from the Priests. The "power" is from the Holy Spirit, the Priest is merely the vessel. The water may come out of the faucet, but the faucet does not manifest the water. Now, as for his catechism reference:
1075 Liturgical catechesis aims to initiate people into the mystery of Christ ( It is "mystagogy." ) by proceeding from the visible to the invisible, from the sign to the thing signified, from the "sacraments" to the "mysteries." Such catechesis is to be presented by local and regional catechisms. This Catechism, which aims to serve the whole Church in all the diversity of her rites and cultures,(Cf. SC 3-4.) will present what is fundamental and common to the whole Church in the liturgy as mystery and as celebration (Section One), and then the seven sacraments and the sacramentals (Section Two).
Christ is a mystery, how can he be 100% man and 100% God? How could he raise himself from the dead? How can simple bread and wine become his true presence? Hunt obviously demands phyisical proof for his miracles. But as Christ said to St. Thomas, "Blessed are those who have not seen, yet still believe"