Pages

Our Motto:

The Connecticut Catholic Corner Motto: Romans 14:16 "Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil."

All articles owned by Connecticut Catholic Corner

© 2007-2017 All articles owned by Connecticut Catholic Corner *except EWTN press releases(see sidebar)*

Monday, June 30, 2008

To AKA Liberal Catholics


I don't usually get political on this blog, but today I am about a few of our top social issues being debated in our nation and Catholics who support them. Today I am writing to Catholics who claim to be Catholics but don't believe or live their faith, AKA "liberal Catholics". These Catholics are those of you who support the legal right for abortion, use birth control, support embryonic stem cell research, support gay marriage and don't practice the faith you claim to belong to. When you say you are Catholic that means something! It means you believe and follow the teachings of the Church. If you don't believe the teachings of the Church and support all the things the Church opposes, WHY do you call yourself Catholic? Can't you see you're a hypocrite? Do you know why the Church opposes these things? Have you bothered to find out? There are good reasons why the Church opposes these things and all Catholics should know them. Catholics need to trust in God and the authority He gave to His Church to teach the truth. The Catholic Church is teaching God's Word and His Will. If you don't know why the Church teaches what it does take the time to find out. Don't listen to the secular media or what is currently politically correct today. Go to the Church you claim to belong to. Here's a starting point to the "why" behind the Church's position on these issues. Go dust off and read your Catholic catechism folks, it spells it all out for you. You don't have to figure it out or going hunting high and low for the answers, just open your catechism. I'll make it even easier for you, I'll post it so you don't even have to leave your seat.

First issue: Abortion
#2270
"Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person- among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Jere. 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you."
Ps.139:15 "My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth."

Second issue: birth control/contraception
#1652
"By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory."
-Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: "It is not good that man should be alone," and "from the beginning [he] made them male and female"; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: "Be fruitful and multiply." Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day." (Gen.2:18, Mt.19:4, Gen.1:28)

Third issue: embryonic stem cell research
#2274
"Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being."

Final issue: gay marriage
#2357 "Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (Romans 1:24-27, 1 Cor.6:10, 1 Tim.1:10), tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."
#2359 "Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."

When you call yourself Catholic the world sees you and assumes (sometimes wrongly) that you are practicing what the Catholic Church teaches. You can and do set a bad example and can become a stumbling block for others when you live your life in opposition to the faith you claim. Now for the big divider during election years- Do Catholics have to vote according to their faith? Well, if you don't you're a hypocrite aren't you? If you don't believe what the Church teaches, why are you calling yourself a Catholic?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why do you Repent and go to Confession?


Today I have an interesting (and little known to me) view of Christ's finished work and what some say is no need for repentance. I don't know if this view of never having to repent is widespread or not, but I am guessing it's a new theology among some proclaimed Christians today. I'd love to hear from my readers what they think and if they've come across this non repenting view before. Is this typical of nondenominational churches? Here's the question and my response:
Cassie writes: I belong to a Holy Spirit filled Evangelical Nondenominational Church and I totally do not understand the Catholic "Confession" doctrine. Why do you confess to a priest or anyone? There is nothing for anyone to repent of since Christ died and took all our sins to the cross. He died once and for all people taking the sins of us all Himself. We don't carry any sins now. There wasn't one sin that was left out. His work was complete...it was finished says Jesus Christ in scripture. Do you not believe that? Do you think you need to repent of things He already forgave you for...sins He already paid for? It's over and done. We (believers) are automatically forgiven all our sins just by believing in Christ. You don't have to confess or repent, Christ did it all for you.

My response: Wow... well that's a new theology to me! Thanks for sharing your views. Let me ask you something. If your spouse lies to you on Monday and you forgive him, then he repeats it on Friday is he "automatically" forgiven or do you wish him to confess the lie to you and ask to be forgiven for hurting you again? Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross to bring salvation. He is our Savior because of His sacrifice for us. Jesus never said people are now "automatically" forgiven. The "it is finished" is referring to Christ has completed all that was told of Him.
Luke 24:44 "He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."
The bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament preaches repentance. Repentance is not just saying we are sorry, but also the action of being willing to change and not commit the offense again. This is often difficult and even those who try very hard to stay away from sin still fall into it. Each time we are called to repent and ask God forgiveness for sinning against Him. When we sin, we are hurting God. I can't imagine any Christian not wanting to say they are sorry to God for hurting Him. If you hurt a dear friend because you've said or done something against them, don't you feel guilt and sorrow that you've caused this dear one pain? Shouldn't it be more so when you hurt and bring sorrow to God for your actions or words? Christians must repent of every sin against God and each other!
Acts 17:30 "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent."
Now about Confession in the Catholic Church. Confession or Penance as it's called is completely scriptural. It comes from Jesus Christ in the Gospels. Jesus gifted His priests with the power and authority to forgive sins or retain them.
John 20:22-23 "And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
This was done ONLY to Christ's priests. This was not done with all believers, but specifically to the priests in the Catholic Church Jesus Christ had just founded on earth and placed Simon Peter the first pope of; Matt.16:18-19 "And I tell you that you are Peter [Rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Here is some of what the Catholic Catechism has to say on Penance (Confession):
#1455 "The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with others. Through such an admission man looks squarely at the sins he is guilty of, takes responsibility for them, and thereby opens himself again to God and to the communion of the Church in order to make a new future possible."
I think that says it perfectly. I hope I have helped you understand this sacrament in the Catholic Church. God bless.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moral Law for who?

This is a comment left by Michael Ejercito from the post titled: Connecticut Catholic Corner: Catholic Church's Opposition to Gay Marriage. (click on link for post and comments)

Michael Ejercito writes: "Jews (like Jesus and his original twelve apostles) are obviously bound by Old Testament Laws. That means, no murder, no theft, no homosexual intercourse, and no intercourse with their stepmoms for them. What moral laws would apply to those of us who are not Jews?"

My response: I am sorry you didn't find my original post on this clearer as I believe the post you are commenting on answered this. Moral law is for humankind. It's God teaching us what is moral or right and what is wrong and sinful. You say "for them" and "the Jews" in your comment, but all those things listed are wrong for anyone to do, Jew or Gentile. It is wrong for a Buddhist to rape just as much as it's wrong for a Christian or Jew to rape. It's wrong for a Muslim to have incest just as much as it's wrong for a Jew. Moral law applies to all human beings. God decides what is moral and we are to accept that. To be immoral is to sin against God, ourselves and others. Scripture says the immoral will not enter Heaven- that covers everyone. We, humans must be moral, to be moral we first need to know what that means. God tells us what is moral and what is not. People have the free will to accept that or reject it. But we must never forget that if we reject any of God's teachings, we will be held accountable for it one day. And where we spend eternity depends on how we use our God given free will during our lives. Here's what the bible has to say about being immoral (in all its forms).

1 Cor. 5:1 "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
6Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you
."

1 Cor. 6:18 "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body."

1 Cor. 10:8 "We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did- and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died." (NIV version)

1 Cor. 10:8 "Let us not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell within a single day." (NAB version)

The point is immorality will send people to Hell by their own choices. Where we learn about what is moral and what is not is from God, after all it is God who decides what is sin and what is not. As I said in the original post, Jesus never said Moral Law was abolished in the New Testament. I hope that answers your question. God bless and thanks for the comment.

Was Mary the "Ever Virgin"?


Mary the Mother of God is a topic of interest and many questions for non-Catholics and Catholics alike. She is also a subject I love and enjoy discussing with people as I have a great love for Mary. I hope to always honor her name and answer questions about her correctly. If any Catholic readers ever see an error in any of my responses please email me your corrections, I welcome them. Now to the question from Lora and my response about Mary:

Lora writes: Why do Catholics elevate Mary so much so that she seems to be nearly equal to Jesus? And what's with the "Ever Virgin" stuff? The bible clearly states several times that Jesus had brothers so we know Mary had other children. Why do Catholics ignore that?

My response: You've asked some great questions and I am happy to answer them to the best of my abilities. First off, let me say the Catholic Church does not elevate Mary to be equal to Jesus Christ. I can't speak for every individual Catholic in the world, so perhaps there are some out there who mistakenly and wrongly do that, but what I can tell you is the official teaching of the Catholic Church and my understanding of it. Mary is honored as the Mother of God Incarnate. Scripture states this and the Catholic Church believes it. In Luke 1:48 scripture declares that all ages/generations will call Mary blessed for being the Mother of God Incarnate. This is the high honor that God bestowed on her according to this verse. The Catholic Church today recognizes this honor and honors Mary accordingly. We do not worship her or elevate her to the same level as our Savior Jesus Christ, He is our Lord and Savior, she is our Blessed Mother. She is honored greatly, first by God as scripture shows and then by us. Even non-Christians honor Mary for being the Mother of Jesus Christ. Muslims, though they do not believe Jesus to be God Incarnate, view him as a great prophet and honor Mary as His Mother. The reason Mary is called the "Ever Virgin" is because she was. Mary gave birth to Jesus and Jesus only. Even the Reformers who founded Protestantism believed Mary to be the Ever Virgin. Here are a few of their quotes:

Martin Luther: "Christ, our Savior, was the real and natural fruit of Mary's virginal womb . . . This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that". {Luther's Works, eds. Jaroslav Pelikan (vols. 1-30) & Helmut T. Lehmann (vols. 31-55), St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House (vols. 1-30); Philadelphia: Fortress Press (vols. 31-55), 1955, v.22:23 / Sermons on John, chaps. 1-4 (1539) }


Luther: "Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . I am inclined to agree with those who declare that 'brothers' really mean 'cousins' here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers". {Pelikan, ibid., v.22:214-15 / Sermons on John, chaps. 1-4 (1539)

--------------------
John Calvin:

Helvidius displayed excessive ignorance in concluding that Mary must have had many sons, because Christ's 'brothers' are sometimes mentioned. {Harmony of Matthew, Mark & Luke, sec. 39 (Geneva, 1562), vol. 2 / From Calvin's Commentaries, tr. William Pringle, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1949, p.215; on Matthew 13:55} [On Matt 1:25:]
Under the word 'brethren' the Hebrews include all cousins and other relations, whatever may be the degree of affinity. {Pringle, ibid., vol. I, p. 283 / Commentary on John, (7:3)

----------------------
Huldreich Zwingli
I have never thought, still less taught, or declared publicly, anything concerning the subject of the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our salvation, which could be considered dishonourable, impious, unworthy or evil . . . I believe with all my heart according to the word of holy gospel that this pure virgin bore for us the Son of God and that she remained, in the birth and after it, a pure and unsullied virgin, for eternity. {Thurian, ibid., p.76 / same sermon}
-----------------

John Wesley
I believe... he [Jesus Christ] was born of the blessed Virgin, who, as well after as she brought him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.
{"Letter to a Roman Catholic," quoted in A. C. Coulter, John Wesley, New York: Oxford University Press, 1964, 495}
------------------

Heinrich Bullinger
'The Virgin Mary . . . completely sanctified by the grace and blood of her only Son and abundantly endowed by the gift of the Holy Spirit and preferred to all . . . now lives happily with Christ in heaven and is called and remains ever-Virgin and Mother of God.' {In Hilda Graef, Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion, combined ed. of vols. 1 & 2, London: Sheed & Ward, 1965, vol.2, pp.14-5}
--------------

The bible never mentions Mary giving birth to anyone but Jesus. When the term "brother" is used, it points to ANY male relation (uncle, cousins, step-brothers etc.). We can find a few examples of this right in scripture. In Gen.14, Lot calls Abraham his "brother" when in fact Lot was Abraham's nephew. Another example is Jacob and his uncle Laban are called "brothers" when they are just 'relatives' (uncle and nephew). The same is done with Jesus and his 'relatives' in scripture. These "brothers" are male family relations, uncles, cousin and possibly (as some believe) step brothers if Joseph was a widower when he married Mary. Mary never gave birth to anyone but Jesus, that is what the bible records and the Catholic Church believes it. To believe otherwise is to go beyond Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition held by Christians for centuries, as shown above even the Reformers knew without a doubt that Mary was the Ever Virgin. So you see, Catholics don't ignore anything, we embrace the truth revealed by God to His Church. I hope that answered your questions. God bless.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Catholic Church's Opposition to Gay Marriage


Edmond asks: I want to know about the Catholic Church and it's opposition to gays and gay rights. It seems homophobic to me. The word homosexual is not in the Bible and the Levitical law that calls 'man laying with man an abomination' only applied to Jewish men. That has nothing to do with Christians so why is your church opposed to gay marriage and gay rights like adoption? Why all the Catholic protesters in California over gay marriage being legal now?

My response: Good questions! I will do my best to answer this to the best of my knowledge but let me also recommend asking a local priest to explain the Catholic Church's teachings on this. I am a lay person, not a theologian, but I will do my best. If you don't mind, I am going to re-post a response to this issue I wrote last year that I think covers all your questions except for the protesters in California. To my knowledge the protesters who oppose legal gay marriage are made up of different Christians and religions. That is to say that all those who oppose gay marriage are not just Catholics. I know there are Jews and Muslims against gay marriage too, but I couldn't say if they are part of some protest in California or not. Now to the rest of your questions on this issue.
So many Christian's and their denominations are struggling with the issue of same sex marriage and relationships. Why? The bible is clear on this. It has nothing to do with "homophobia" or being "biased" or wanting to make some people into "second class citizens". God, not man, decides what is sin and what is not. The Pope does not have some secret anti-gay agenda. Man has the choice to accept the Word of God or reject it, the Catholic Church is merely teaching the Word of God. The scriptures list what God calls sin. For Christians, Catholics and Protestants alike we proclaim Christ as our Savior and follow our Lord and his teachings to the best of our abilities. There are many laws in the bible, but on the issue of same sex marriage we need to look at Moral Law and the institution of marriage in the bible between men and women. God did not institute same sex marriages. We look to God's Word because we are Christians and the bible is a wonderful tool- gift really- to be used in teaching God's will for us and our lives. Should we thump non-Christians over the head with our bibles? No. They have the choice and free will to accept or reject God's teachings. For those of us who call ourselves Christians, we have made our choice and must adhere to the Word of God in all things in our lives. For Catholics this also means accepting and trusting the authority of the Catholic Church to teach the truth.
The Catholic Church has clear and distinct teachings on homosexuality and same sex marriage, other Christian churches are not always so clear and to some seem chaotic and dividing. The Catholic Church position is marriage is between one man and one woman. The Catholic catechism states that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (#2357), because they are contrary to natural law. That is to say, God created a woman for a man to be joined in matrimony. The Church further teaches that homosexuals are called to chastity (catechism #2347) and they are to be treated with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” (catechism #2358).
Why do some Christians think that the Moral Laws of the Old Testament where tossed out by Jesus Christ in the New Testament? Did Jesus ever say that adultery, fornication and/or sexual immorality etc., are A-Okay under the New Covenant? No, He did not. So that tells us that all the Moral Laws still apply today for believers. It is still wrong to rape, murder, commit incest, adultery, fornication and all forms of sexual immorality as defined by God (man didn't decide what was immoral, God did). The liberal (religious, not political) argument that is often given is that ‘Leviticus Moral laws only apply to Jews’ (exactly what you referenced in your comment about the "man laying with man") is a house built on sand with the tide coming in, in my opinion.
The Moral Laws include not murdering, raping, stealing, fornicating, incest, sex with animals and more. All those things are still wrong. The liberal religious thinking that gay relationships are okay after Jesus came is absurd. You can't pick one Old Testament sexual abomination and say "This one is OK now, but all the others are still abominations." Either they all are sinful or they all are not. Is it acceptable for a father to have sex with his daughter now? Is it acceptable for siblings to have sex now? All of these are listed in Lev.18 as wrong because they are sinful and you can't pick one out of this list and stamp it as "good" while rejecting the rest as still wrong. All the sexual immorality abominations in Lev.18 are still abominations in the New Testament. Jesus never said "Oh and by the way, all those sexual abominations in Lev.18 still hold true except for the ‘man with man’ one, you can do that all you want now." That is not biblical no matter how people try to twist the Word of God or justify their actions. God will not be mocked and the Truth will always be the Truth. The Catholic Church knows this and will not be swayed in its teachings by secular society and what is politically correct at the moment. The Word of God is built on the Rock of Truth, not the sand of the liberal religious wishing to rewrite the Word. The Old and New Testaments up hold Moral Law and the Catholic Church preaches this today as it has over the centuries.
To quote the bible, Romans 1:26 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."
And 1 Cor.5 also addresses the issue of the sexually immoral (in all its forms homosexual and heterosexual) within the church and what the church is told to do about these people (verse 13). The straw man that some attempt to build is "well you eat shellfish!" (referencing dietary laws placed on the Jews under the Old Covenant). Unfortunately, it seems some people can not see the difference between dietary laws and Moral Law. Jesus was clear on the dietary law in the New Testament.
Mark 7:18 "Are you so dull?" he [Jesus] asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? 19 For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.") 20 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' 21 For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"
The next argument to be debunked is "Monogamous gay love is OK with Jesus". Where did that come from? Certainly not God or the bible in any verses we can find. Monogamy has nothing to do with it. The sin is the same if you have one partner or a hundred! It's the relationship that is wrong. That's a bit like saying a father who has four daughters isn't wrong if he has sex with only one of them, but if he has sex with all of them then its wrong. It doesn't work that way, it's all wrong and sinful. The relationship is immoral and unnatural. That is the sin according to scriptures. The amount of times the act happens is just how many times you need to repent of the same sin. That is the Word of God and teaching of the Catholic Church. Christianity isn't forced on anyone but if you call yourself Catholic you believe these teachings and accept the teaching authority of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church. It's our faith.
God never gave us multiple choice on sins. He declares what is sin and Catholics must believe Him. Who are we to tell God He is wrong? The bible is clear on Moral Law, it stands today the same as yesterday and generations ago. God never changed Moral Law, what was wrong before is still wrong now. The Catholic Church is teaching the Word of God and standing firm today as it has in history. I hope I answered your questions.

Faith Without Deeds is Useless


Faith without deeds is useless. That is what sacred scripture says. Jesus says the sheep and goats will be separated by their deeds. Those who did good works are the sheep, those who did not do works are the goats (Matthew 25). Looking around the world today there is a lot we can all be doing to help each other in our time of need. Maybe you can't afford to give money to the flood victims in Iowa, but you can pray for them. Maybe you can't rebuild a home to a tornado victim in one of the areas devastated by the recent tornado's in our country, but perhaps you could donate clothing to a charity to help replace what they've lost. Or raise money for the tsunami and earth quake victims in other countries. Donate food to shelters for the homeless. It doesn't take much if we all work together and do what we can. A local radio station in Connecticut is asking every single person to donate just $1 to help others. What a great idea! If everyone gave at least $1 think of all that could do when everyone contributes and we work together for a common good. That is putting our faith to work. That is living our Christian faith. That is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 25 when He describes the Sheep as those who fed Him when He was hungry and clothed Him when He was naked and gave Him drink when He was thirsty. He said "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me." (Matthew 25:31-46) And in the book of James we see that faith without deeds is no faith at all, it's dead like a corpse. No good to anyone.

James 2:14-26

Faith and Deeds
14 "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

So let our faith not be useless. Show compassion on the victims of these tragedies with your good deeds and help in any way you can. We can all pray, and some of us can do more.
To help any of these victims please contact:
Catholic Relief Services
228 W. Lexington St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-3413
888-277-7575
Catholic Relief Services http://crs.org/

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Holy Land Cross Dedication Today




Today at 10 AM is the dedication ceremony for the new Holy Land cross in Waterbury. Last April, the original Holy Land cross was taken down after more than fifty years as a luminous beacon on Pine Hill in Waterbury. The new cross will not be lit from the inside, but instead will be lit by flood lights. For more on this story, check out this news video: http://www.wtnh.com/global/video/flash/popupplayer.asp?ClipID1=2602436&h1=Dedication%20ceremony%20for%20new%20Holy%20Land%20cross%20-%20by%20Kent%20Pierce&vt1=v&at1=News&d1=90967&LaunchPageAdTag=News&activePane=info&rnd=14746399

This is a follow up story to:
Connecticut Catholic Corner: Holy Land USA Cross Comes Down


Monday, June 16, 2008

My 100th post...not what I had planned


My 100th post on this blog. I had been thinking for a while what I would write about and had a few ideas none of which are what this blog is going to be about. This Father's day while many children were celebrating their fathers and fathers were basking in their special day, one family in my community were grieving and still are grieving. On Father's Day evening their teenage daughter was killed in a tragic car accident. This girl's little brother is a friend and classmate of my youngest daughter. Our hearts are breaking for this family and this tragic loss of such a young and beautiful life. I haven't got anything more to say on this, but I'd like to share a prayer and ask my readers to please pray for this family. Thank you.

Precious Lord, bring peace to this mourning family and their friends as only You can. Comfort them as they grieve and bring them peace to accept this tragedy. Let them feel your love and grace surround them and carry them through this time of mourning and sorrow. Let them remember her with happiness and smiles. May God bless her family and friends, and may she rest in the loving arms of her Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Catholic "Facebook/MySpace" combo takes off!

The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell has launched a new website aimed at Catholics age 16 and up. The site is a sort of mixture between the popular "My Space" and "Facebook" websites. The site welcomes non-Catholics but asks that they be respectful of Catholic beliefs. The new site already offers several different topics for discussion and if you don't see what you want, you can create a topic. There are areas for theology, the World Youth Day, sports, saints, our Pope, book discussions and many more. So check it out and let other Catholics know about it.
www.xt3.com

Early Christians And the Catholic Church


This morning I am responding to what I've found to be some common beliefs held by non-Catholics regarding early Christianity. Who these early Christians were and what they believed and how they grew in their faith. Some of these things I believed when I was a Baptist, prior to my research into Christian history and eventual conversion to the Catholic faith. I hope the documents quoted help shed some light on this topic and clarify some misconceptions of the Early Christians. As always, all comments are welcome.

Ona writes: "I can tell you really care about your church but you are being taught falsehoods. There was no Catholic church before Constantine. He founded your church and mixed Christian with pagan beliefs which later became many of your Catholic doctrines. Prior to Constantine there were just believers, no leaders or popes- everyone was equal and the Holy Spirit guided them. That is how things were in the New Testament part of the bible (no popes or priests, just believers full of the Holy Spirit) and that is how it should still be today. Everyone can read the bible, we don't need priests or bishops or popes. Just read your bible that's all you need."

My response: Thanks for sharing your views Ona. I will address each of them, but since you didn't elaborate on what Catholic doctrines specifically you believe were founded by Constantine (mixed with paganism) I can't address that at this time. I would be happy to return to this subject if you would clarify which doctrines you are referring to. Now about your other comments. You claim Constantine founded the Catholic church, that is not true. Constantine wasn't Catholic until he was on his deathbed. He was never a pope, nor even a priest. I will add quotes to show there were leaders and popes prior to Constantine so please note the dates of these documents.

Ignatius of Antioch


"Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he ordains [i.e., a presbyter]. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church" (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 [A.D. 110]).

The Martyrdom of Polycarp

"And of the elect, he was one indeed, the wonderful martyr Polycarp, who in our days was an apostolic and prophetic teacher, bishop of the Catholic Church in Smyrna. For every word which came forth from his mouth was fulfilled and will be fulfilled" (Martyrdom of Polycarp 16:2 [A.D. 155]).

The Muratorian Canon

"Besides these [letters of Paul] there is one to Philemon, and one to Titus, and two to Timothy, in affection and love, but nevertheless regarded as holy in the Catholic Church, in the ordering of churchly discipline. There is also one [letter] to the Laodiceans and another to the Alexandrians, forged under the name of Paul, in regard to the heresy of Marcion, and there are several others which cannot be received by the Church, for it is not suitable that gall be mixed with honey. The epistle of Jude, indeed, and the two ascribed to John are received by the Catholic Church (Muratorian fragment [A.D. 177]).

Tertullian

"Where was [the heretic] Marcion, that ship master of Pontus, the zealous student of Stoicism? Where was Valentinus, the disciple of Platonism? For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago—in the reign of Antonius for the most part—and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherius, until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 30 [A.D. 200]).

Next you claim there were no leaders/priests/bishops in the bible. But that is just not true either, as we can see from these scriptures:

Ph.1:1 "Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the BISHOPS AND DEACONS,"

1 Tim.3:1 "Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being a BISHOP, he desires a noble task."

Titus 1:7 "Since a BISHOP is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless- not overbearing, no quick tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain."

You say all we need is the bible, but that's not true either. Let's back things up to the time when there were no bibles (remember Jesus didn't hand out bibles- He sent out men to teach His Word). If a bible is all that is needed what did people do for all the years before there was a bible? Look at the scriptures I gave above, they didn't have bibles they had priests and bishops and deacons guiding them. That's the Catholic Church. And even after the first bibles were printed, many people were illiterate and could not read, not to mention the exorbitant price to own such a bible. If a bible was all that was needed, why didn't Jesus hand them out instead of telling men to teach the Word? What you are preaching is "Sola Scriptura" (bible alone) and it is not biblical at all. Now here is another thing to consider, there were numerous writings about Christ and the Early Church how do you know what writings belong in the bible? The bible it's self does not list what books or verses belong in it. If the bible can't answer that question, then you need more than the bible. You need an outside source. That source is the Church that Jesus Christ founded. The Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, guided by the Holy Spirit went through all those writings and determined which writings were biblical and inspired by God. That is how we have our bibles today.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Catholic Programs: In- Protestant Programs: Out


Kudos to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford and their radio station WJMJ-FM for the decision to remove Protestant programming on this Catholic radio station and replace it with Catholic programming- who would have thought real Catholic programming on a Catholic radio station? Previously the station was dominated by 80 percent Protestant programming with only 20 percent Catholic programming. Doesn't sound much like a Catholic radio station did it? First and foremost a Catholic radio station should be (now here's a concept): Catholic! With the removal of Protestant programs, WJMJ-FM has brought in the worldwide known Catholic network EWTN to bring us Catholic programs and share our Catholic faith on the radio. With the removal of Protestant programming also comes disappointment for some, a lot of whining and of course some slamming of Catholics, our Church and our faith. You don't believe me? Check out some of the newspaper forums where articles on this topic have been printed. I get that some people have enjoyed listening to certain shows for many years and now they will be missed but come on! Look at it from a Catholic view point. We want to hear OUR faith for a change on OUR Catholic radio. There are several Protestant radio stations in Connecticut and NONE of them will produce Catholic programs. Can you imagine the uproar people would have if say Middletown's WIHS Christian radio station prayed a rosary on the air? Or how about WFIF Life Changing radio station airing a show about how Christ instituted Saint Peter as the first Pope of the Catholic Church? Think you're going to hear any of that on a Protestant radio station in anything but a negative light? Not very likely, as these Protestant radio station programming lists indicate. And some Protestants would be up in arms over it. Over what they consider untrue and erroneous theology. Some even consider it blasphemy. They wouldn't like it at all, as is their right. Well guess what folks? Some Catholics didn't like being subjected to 80 percent non-Catholic programming either. It's a Catholic radio station and we should be able to rightly assume we will hear Catholic teachings, views and beliefs on it. Now the music for the most part on any of these radio stations is universal to all Christians. Some like more contemporary Christian music, and other's the more traditional hymns. Taste's vary, but usually we can all find common ground in Christian music. So on that note, many Protestants will still be able to enjoy WJMJ-FM, while Catholics who hunger for inspiring Catholic program's supporting their faith can also enjoy the new change at WJMJ-FM.

To find WJMJ-FM on the radio go to:
88.9 FM in the Hartford area,

93.1 FM in the Hamden area,
and 107.1 FM in the New Haven area.

Monday, June 9, 2008

You've Been Left Behind Emails


What do you know of "The Rapture"? What do you believe? I have heard some... well kooky, beliefs over the years but this newest "Left Behind" plan beats all I've heard in a long while. Here's how it works. A person who deems him or herself as "saved" and sure to be one of "The Elect" collects email addresses of all those they have deemed "hell bound". For an annual fee of $40.00 you can write up to 62 emails to friends and family that you have pre-judged as "not saved" or 'going to hell in hand basket' as the saying goes. These emails will be sent out 6 days after "The Rapture" to all those you've pre-listed as being "You've Been Left Behind" while you are raptured. I kid you not. Supposedly this website (link below) has precautions against any of these emails being sent out prematurely, but can you imagine how someone might feel getting an email from a loved one who has judged them as "unsaved" and going to hell for eternity? I get the intention, but it comes across as arrogant to me, not mention I personally think it's just a scheme to make money off unsuspecting Christians. The Christian run website is called "You've Been Left Behind.COM" (link below) and it's taking money to send out emails once the Elect have been raptured to Heaven.

Why? Here is what their website says:
"The unsaved will be 'left behind' on earth to go through the "tribulation period" after the "Rapture". You remember how, for a short time, after (9/11/01) people were open to spiritual things and answers. (We are still singing "God Bless America" at baseballs' seventh inning stretch.) Imagine how taken back they will be by the millions of missing Christians and devastation at the rapture. They will know it was true and that they have blown it. There will be a small window of time where they might be reached for the Kingdom of God. We have made it possible for you to send them a letter of love and a plea to receive Christ one last time. You can also send information based on scripture as to what will happen next. Each fulfilled prophecy will cause your letter and plea to be remembered and a decision to be made. "WHY" is one last chance to bring them to Christ and snatch them from the flames!"


So your $40.00 a year will help "snatch them from the flames" once you've been raptured to Heaven. Now I know there are a few different views on these tribulation periods and I am no expert on them, but what I do know is that Christ said there is a Second Coming- not a third and fourth and fifth etc., Coming. When Christ comes, that's it! It's over. There is no one to read all those emails the "You've Been Left Behind" people are paying $40.00 a year to send out. Christ comes again to judge the living and the dead. Christ isn't going to come and take some people in a 'rapture' then have a Third Coming at another point in the future to get those who read the "You've Been Left Behind" emails and suddenly become believers. I know many people believe the movies and books in the "Left Behind" series to be a true account of what is foretold and will no doubt not like my comments on this. There are 3 views on this Postmillennialism, Amillennialism, Premillennialism. Catholics tend to go with the "Amillennialism" view, that Revelation 20 is symbolic and now is the time when Christ rules in heaven and with His Church on earth and that He will come again ONCE to judge the living and the dead. I won't go into depth on these things, I am sure there are numerous sources online for anyone interested in checking them out and I am not writing this to change any one's beliefs. I will add what our Catholic catechism has to say on this and what Catholics should believe as its our faith:


#675 "Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh."
#676 "The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatalogical judgement. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism."
#678 "Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment of the Last Day in his preaching. Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light. Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned. Our attitude about our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love. On the last day Jesus will say: "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."


Here's my unasked for advice for those who want to leave a message behind if they are raptured: Save the $40 dollars a year and write a letter to be opened upon your rapture to heaven or sudden disappearance from the world. You can put it in a special place in the house and tell all your loved ones to read in the event of your rapture and them being left behind. Or better yet, invite those you believe unsaved to church with you. Gift them with a bible and offer to start a discussion group with them if they'd like someone to go through the bible with them without thumping them over the head with your zeal and good intentions. And most of all, live your faith. Let them see God in you, in your words and in your actions. Live your faith.


2 Peter 3:10-12 "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The Heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat."


Doesn't sound to me like any "left behind" emails are going to be sent out after His Second Coming, but that's just my opinion.


Link to the website quoted:
http://youvebeenleftbehind.com/index.html

Friday, June 6, 2008

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults "RCIA" Question

I've got a few questions for my Catholic readers and those who are entering the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, commonly known as "RCIA" this fall. What I'd like to know from other RCIA teachers is what books or programs do you use in your parish? Do you follow a specific plan or book? And for those interested in joining RCIA what would you like to study or what questions would you like answered? Please email me or leave a comment. Thank you.

"Jesus Christ Superstar" in Wallingford, CT




Church of the Resurrection in Wallingford, Connecticut is putting on a play this Friday and Saturday night at 8PM. The play is the Broadway musical, 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and attendance is free but a good will offering will gladly be accepted to help cover the costs of the production. Joe Tatta is the shows musical director and says that this is the tenth anniversary and that some of the original actors are still with the show today.


For more information, please contact the Church of the Resurrection at (203) 265-1694. The address is 115 Pond Hill Road, Wallingford, CT 06492


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fr. Pfleger asked to step down

As of Tuesday, Father Michael Pfleger was placed on a two week leave of absence from St. Sabina's parish by Archbishop Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. Apparently Father Pfleger didn't want to go, but the Archbishop insisted saying: "Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time," George said in the statement. "While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church's regulations for all Catholic priests."* Well done Archbishop George, well done! Let's hope Father Pfleger does just as the Archbishop suggests and straightens out. We don't need priests mocking people and preaching politics from anyone's pulpit, even if done outside Catholic parishes. Father Plfeger's clowing antics for applause at the expense of Senator Hillary Clinton was not what the Catholic priesthood is about. His display of disrespect and deliberate humiliation and degradation of Senator Clinton was more than just poor judgement in my opinion. It shows a deeper problem he needs to work out and I truly hope his time off (though I must admit I wish it were longer than just two weeks) helps. His mocking Senator Clinton's tears was appalling and embarrassing. In my opinion we don't need priests like that guiding and teaching people or leading our parishes. He was a bad reflection of what a Catholic priest should be. May his absence give him a change of heart and renew him to get back to doing what the Church teaches; helping and supporting people, not mocking and tearing them down.

*This is a follow up story to: Connecticut Catholic Corner: Fr. Pfleger Shames the Catholic Church
*Archbishop quotes from CNN.COM

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pill Day '08: The Pill Kills Babies


This Saturday on June 7, 2008 is the anniversary of Griswold vs Connecticut, the case which overturned a law prohibiting the distribution of any form of contraception here in Connecticut. Pro-life groups who oppose birth control on the grounds that is ends pre-born life will be protesting outside area's where contraception is sold. How did this all start here in Connecticut? It started with Estelle Griswold, Dr. C. Lee Buxton and Planned Parenthood. Estelle Griswold whom died in 1981, was the executive director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, and with Dr. C. Lee Buxton as Medical Director, they opened a birth-control clinic in New Haven in the early 1960's and proceeded to ignore the law and sell and give out contraception to people. They were both arrested for violating an 1879 law that prohibited the use of "any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception." They were convicted and paid a $100 fine then took their case all the way to the Supreme Court which ruled 'Americans have the fundamental right to privacy', and overturned their convictions and ended Connecticut's 1879 contraception law. This Saturday, June 7, 2008 is being called "Pill Day '08: The Pill Kills Babies". To learn more about this Saturday's event please watch this video from the American Life League.

What the heck is anti-Catholic?

This anti-Catholic topic seems to have caused a stir with some, good. That way it can be discussed and clarified so that falsehoods about the Catholic faith will no longer be spread as truth. Here is a reply I got from my post "Anti-Catholic Hatred Answered": "What the heck is anti-Catholic? Catholics have hijcked USA policy in East Europe, Rwanda, Timoor, Phillipines, Vietnam. They were responsible for slavery (Roger Taney, John Wilkes Booth) and the socialist labor movement and corrupt politics (Tammany, Daley). They have spread bigotry and government casuistry everywhere. They never hesitated to spread their bigotry. It is not racism to say this. Catholicism is a choice."
My response: I need to clarify a misunderstanding the writer seems to have by listing these people who have gone against Catholic teaching. When I say "anti-Catholic" I am referring to people opposed to official Catholic TEACHINGS or what they think the Catholic Church teaches. As with all religions there are members who do not follow the official teachings of their faith as this person points out. But you certainly can not lay the sins of individuals at the feet of the Catholic Church who is correctly teaching. Each person has a free will and if the person rejects the teachings of their faith they are not representing that faith, but their own free will, as the examples given show. There are "bad" Catholics, as there are "bad" Muslims or "bad" Baptists or "bad" Methodists etc. If you have an issue with the official teaching say so and let's discuss it but please don't make the mistake of thinking every Catholic is a shining example of their faith. I know that I don't look at Fred Phelps and the members of the Westboro Baptist Church as shining examples of Baptists, do you? Do their actions define the entire Baptist denomination to you? I should hope not.
Now about the slavery comment, the Catholic Church opposes slavery and fought against it, most especially here in America.
"The Catholic Church was the very heart of Christendom and the spirit that radiated from her penetrated into all the relations of life. Catholicism laid the very foundations of modern civilization. Herself the most admirable of all organizations, there was formed beneath her influence, a vast network of organizations--political, municipal and social--which supplied a large proportion of the materials of almost every modern structure. In the transition from slavery to serfdom, and in the transition from serfdom to liberty, she was the most zealous, the most unwearied and the most efficient agent." by Lecky, "History of Rationalism," Vol. II, pp. 31-32. And...
"There can be no doubt that the Catholic Church struggled resolutely against the great vices of the social state--against slavery, for instance. These facts are so well known that it is needless for me to enter into details." by Guizot (a French Protestant), "History of Civilization," Lect. VI.
I do not know what "bigotry" you are referring to. The Catholic Church has been a victim of bigotry right here in the United States. Look at the history of Catholics in America and see the rights denied to Catholics. Catholic parents were forbidden to teach their Catholic faith to their children and those children could legally be taken away from them just because they were Catholic. Priests could not preach legally without fear of being arrested. Read the history of the state of Maryland some time. Ever heard of the "Know Nothing" political party? Look them up sometime to see what Catholics have endured in American History. Anti-Catholicism is alive and well even today as current FBI reports show (see below). This anti-Catholicism has existed from the founding of this country and still spreads today, though since the 1930's and the decline of groups like the KKK it has somewhat diminished compared to the days prior to the 1930's when it flourished in this nation and Catholics lived in terror.
The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ and entrusted to spread the Gospel to all nations and she has worked to do that for over two thousands years and she will continue to do so until the Second Coming. I hope I have addressed your comments, thanks for sharing your thoughts even though we hold differing views of this issue.
For anyone who thinks anti-Catholicism is not real, may I suggest reading this FBI report on the issue;
Hate Crimes Against Catholics Show 33% Increase in 2006
November 20, 2007
According to USA Today, the latest FBI data shows that in 2006, there was an increase in the number of hate crimes motivated by bias against religion. While hate crime against people of faith in general shot up 19% from 2005, the increase in hate crimes against Catholics increased by approximately 33%. (The increase for crimes against Muslims and Jews was 22% and 14%, respectively.) Anyone wishing to read the full report may do so by visiting the FBI's website at http://www.fbi.gov/page2/nov07/hatecrime111907.html
Copyright (C) 1997-2008 by Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Anti-Catholic Hatred Answered


In response to my blog post: Anti-Catholic Hatred: Pure and Simply Sad
I received the following comment by an anonymous reader: "Perhaps by reading "Fifty years in the Church of Rome by Charles Chiniquy and "The Two Babylons" by Alexander Hislop, you may better understand those who hate the RCC. I love Catholics, but not the church I see as a false church. This is understandable by Catholics who hate what they believe to be false churches, isn't it? Read those you think you will disagree with, or you are destined to never grow beyond your borders."
First I'd like to say, thank you for sharing your views. And I'd like to ask what you find "false" about the Catholic Church? Now to address your comments. I do understand those who hate the Catholic Church, as I hear from them daily and have read their books and seen their anti-Catholic hatred displayed on television. I came from Protestantism. I am not a "cradle Catholic". I am a convert. It was by reading books that disagreed with my Baptist upbringing that I began to see the holes and errors in Protestantism- and they are extensive. So you are correct in stating that if one does not open themselves up to things they disagree with that they will "never grow beyond their borders". Very true indeed, else I'd still be Baptist! Prior to my willingness to read about the Catholic faith from Catholic authors (not anti-Catholic propaganda that so many anti-Catholics cling to) and all of Christian history in general, I had read things by biased Protestants who were clueless about the Catholic faith. They thought they knew what Catholics believed but they didn't. They wrote on assumptions and taught those assumptions as truth and it was all wrong and some outright lies. I read things by conservative evangelicals who would only support the faith I knew and not open me up to the full truth of our Christian history. But being the curious sort, I read and read then I read some more. I dug deeply into Christian history and early Christian writings-fascinating, I highly recommend those readings. To open myself up to that, was to stop being Baptist. I had been willing to seek out the Truth where ever it was and our loving and merciful God showed me the Truth I had been seeking. I found one error after another in Protestantism and in my search for the truth God led me right to the Roman Catholic Church. His full Truth. I was not born Catholic, but I will die Catholic.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...