Monday, April 20, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A surge in reports of symptoms of evil possession

Father Cesare Truqui says that dioceses in Italy and beyond were experiencing a surge in reports of symptoms of possession

The proliferation of “beautiful young vampires” in TV series and Hollywood films including True Blood and the Twilight movies is encouraging young people to dabble with occult forces, a leading authority on demonic possession has warned a Vatican-backed exorcism course.
“There are those who try to turn people into vampires and make them drink other people’s blood, or encourage them to have special sexual relations to obtain special powers,” said Professor Giuseppe Ferrari at the meeting in Rome, which heard that the number of such possessions is rising globally. “These groups are attracted by the so-called beautiful young vampires that we’ve seen so much of in recent years.”
‘True Blood’, starring Rutina Wesley and Kristin Bauer van Straten, is one of the cult vampire series apparently fuelling occult pursuits‘True Blood’, starring Rutina Wesley and Kristin Bauer van Straten, is one of the cult vampire series apparently fuelling occult pursuits
Professor Ferrari, who heads an Italian occult watchdog, The Group on Research and Socio-Religious Information, said exorcisms should only be conducted by properly trained priests. Although the Vatican regards genuine demonic possession as rare, with many suspected cases proving to be people with mental illnesses, Pope Francis has urged dioceses to ensure that they follow Catholic law and have at least one trained exorcist each.
Swiss exorcist Father Cesare Truqui told The Independent that this week’s course, attended by exorcists, priests and lay people, was vital in order to raise awareness and hone priests’ skills in fighting evil. “The ministry of performing exorcism is little known among priests. It’s like training to be a journalist without knowing how to do an interview,” he said, noting that dioceses in Italy and beyond were experiencing a surge in reports of symptoms of possession.

In 2012 it emerged that the diocese of Milan, the biggest in the world, had installed an exorcism hotline to cope with demand. Monsignor Angelo Mascheroni, Milan’s chief exorcist, said that his diocese had doubled the number of exorcists from six to 12 to cope with the 100 per cent rise in the number of requests for help over the last 15 years.
“That has to tell us something,” said Father Cesare. He claims to have seen possessed people speaking in tongues and exhibiting unearthly strength, including one “small woman, who could not be pinned down by three strong men”.
Father Cesare is a protégé of Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years, who claims to have dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession. Father Amorth said that sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church were proof that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”. He took a similarly dim view of fantasy novels and yoga. Practising the latter, he once warned, was “satanic; it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter”.
READ MORE: Rise in 'irregular exorcisms'
Vatican caught in two minds over damnation
Catholic church trains more priests to perform exorcisms
Gay rights and IVF fertility treatment were listed as signs of existential evil in society by Monsignor Luigi Negri, the Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio. “There’s homosexual marriage, homosexual adoption, IVF and a host of other things. There’s the clamorous appearance of the negation of man as defined by the Bible,” he declared.

Exorcism guidelines: don’t try this at home

Professor Giuseppe Ferrari gave delegates at the Vatican-backed course a checklist for improve the effectiveness of exorcisms.
* Exorcisms should only be carried out by properly trained priests, licensed to do so by the diocese in which they work. Priests can not perform exorcisms in different dioceses without special permission.
* Lay people should never perform exorcisms, say the special prayers of liberation, nor bless or touch a possessed person.
* Exorcists should defer to qualified doctors or psychiatrists, though priests may help by praying.
* Priests should not perform the Eucharist during an attempt to exorcise somebody because that can make the process “too Hollywood”.
* Priests must welcome and pay heed to anyone who reports that a demonic possession may have taken place.
* Exorcists should consider the possibility that symptoms may be due to known medical conditions and seek appropriate professional advice if they suspect this to be the case.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Clueless protesters in San Francisco prove Archbishop Cordileone's point

Clueless protesters in San Francisco prove Archbishop Cordileone's point

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, right, with Jesuit Father Paul J. Fitzgerald, in an October 2014 photo. (CNS photo/Shawn P. Calhoun, courtesy University of San Francisco) 
A wise woman, commenting on the increasingly irrational ways of the post-Christian world, notes:
It is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology. It is a lie to say that dogma does not matter; it matters enormously. It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe. It is hopeless to offer Christianity as a vaguely idealistic aspiration of a simple and consoling kind; it is, on the contrary, a hard, tough, exacting, and complex doctrine, steeped in a drastic and uncompromising realism. And it is fatal to imagine that everybody knows quite well what Christianity is and needs only a little encouragement to practice it. The brutal fact is that in this Christian country not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ. ... Theologically this country is at present is in a state of utter chaos established in the name of religious toleration and rapidly degenerating into flight from reason and the death of hope.
Considering the events of just the past few days here in the United States, it's hard to argue with her. However, the essayist, novelist, playwright, and translator Dorothy L. Sayers wrote those words in 1949, in England, and with an eye toward the Anglican Communion, to which she belonged. But, if anything, her essay, "Creed or Chaos?" (see The Whimsical Christian: 18 Essays), is more timely than ever—a searing (and often sarcastic) indictment of a Christianity that is ignorant, sentimental, and thoroughly secularized. I have in mind here those who protested yesterday in San Francisco, demanding that Abp. Salvatore Cordileone cease being a Catholic bishop and instead become a capitulating sentimentalist, like those in the emotional, moralizing crowd:
Carrying signs reading “Who Am I to Judge?” and “Love One Another,” hundreds of students, teachers and supporters marched Monday evening from the Mission Dolores Basilica to the Cathedral of St. Mary in San Francisco, where they delivered petitions opposing the archbishop’s “morality clauses” at four Catholic high schools.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has come under fire for calling on teachers and staff members at high schools within the archdiocese — Sacred Heart Cathedral, Archbishop Riordan, Serra and Marin Catholic — to accept contract and handbook language against homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, contraceptives and artificial insemination.
Imagine if a group of Catholics gathered together and protested the archbishop's stand for the poor, against pornography, against slavery, and against rape and murder. Would they treated as heroes and brave martyrs speaking truth to the face of cold, hierarchical rigidity? I doubt it. But since they are whining and wailing on behalf of sodomy, killing the unborn, and the use of chemicals and technology to subvert the natural, God-given means of reproduction, they are indeed saints—albeit in a thoroughly secular and inhumane mold. 

That such a protest even took place is surreal and ridiculous (granted, it is San Francisco), but it does prove one point quite emphatically: Abp. Cordileone is quite right to think that Catholic youth in his archdiocese deserve far better teaching, catechesis, and instruction. Consider, for example, the embarrassing locutions of one young student:
Many of the demonstrators at Monday’s peaceful procession and vigil, which came at the beginning of a religious period known as Holy Week, said the archbishop’s proposals go against the spirit and teaching of Jesus.
“At the core of the religion is love, acceptance, respect and dignity,” said Gino Gresh, 18, a senior at Sacred Heart. “Whatever the archbishop is doing is completely contrary to that.”
Personally, I'm ashamed of several things I said and did when I was eighteen, but I knew—even when I wasn't walking the talk—that the core of Christianity was the God-man, Jesus Christ, and that his love is the most challenging, daunting, and searing force I had ever known, and that it was not offered on the cheap or with a wink at my sins. On the contrary, Christ's love was and is a call to death—to take up the Cross and to become a disciple. That means, first and foremost, dying to my sentimental, cloying notions of fairness and recognizing that I am not the first or final authority when it comes to objective truth, authentic love, and real holiness.
But, as Sayers noted decades ago, most Christians don't really know much about the real Jesus. Many of them are "ignorant Christians, who combine a mild, gentle-Jesus sentimentality with vaguely humanistic ethics—most of these are Arian heretics." That, I think, it probably an insult to the followers of Arius, who at least had some sense of what they believed, even as they rejected the Council of Nicaea and the definitions of the early Church's Magisterium. Compare that to this:
Many Catholics in the group had no trouble reconciling their opposition to the archbishop’s position with the teaching of the Catholic Church, which does not support homosexuality or same-sex marriage.

“I can be a Catholic and a follower of Jesus without accepting what the hierarchy says but accepting what I think Jesus would have said,” said Sue Fandel, a parishioner of Most Holy Redeemer Church in the Castro who married her longtime female partner this month.

“The world already has enough hate,” said Mary Petrini, the mother of a freshman at Sacred Heart. “We don’t need any more.”
Who's hating who here? Does Ms. Fandel or Mrs. Petrini really believe that Abp. Cordileone, in upholding the Church's clear and consistent teaching on these matters, is promoting and fomenting hate? If so, they must take the logical step and denounce the Catholic Church, since the archbishop is simply upholding the teachings of the Church, which is part of the job description, contra the young Mr. Gresh. And, yes, they should denounce Pope Francis as well, who has spoken out against "gender theory" and "ideological colonization"against contraceptionagainst abortion, and, yes, against "gay marriage"
Of course, none of that matters. Even people who should know better are pitting Abp. Cordileone against Pope Francis, as if the two men are shepherds of souls in parallel but radically different Catholic Churches. Thus, Garry Wills desperately tries his hand at channeling an emoting, angry 18-year-old teenager and, sadly, succeeds:
Some “traditional” Catholics also see the church as a battlefield; but they go out after battle to shoot the wounded. They are typified by hierarchs like Cardinal Raymond Burke, who says Catholics who remarry outside the church are like murderers, living defiantly in public sin. Or like Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who issued a guide for teachers in the Catholic schools of San Francisco, requiring them to oppose—in the classroom and in their private lives—abortion, contraception, artificial insemination, same sex marriage, adultery, fornication, masturbation, and pornography. He also installed a water system in the overhang at Saint Mary’s Cathedral to soak homeless people who were trying to sleep there. Every hour or half hour, for 75 seconds, the pipes would gush down on those below and flush them away like human refuse.

Contrast that with the reaction of Pope Francis when he found that homeless people were sleeping at the entrance to the Vatican piazza.
Never mind the facts (the Archdiocese of San Francisco is apparently the largest charitable organization in the city), or more facts (the water system was not installed to flush away homeless people like human refuse, but to wash away human refuse left by homeless people), or, again, that there is no contradiction or conflict between Christ, His Church, the teachings of Pope Francis, and the actions of Abp. Cordileone. 

Wills, just like the protesters in San Francisco, wants a "nice religion," as Sayers put it, without the theology, the doctrine, or the Creed. As she noted, "if you really want a Christian society, we must teach Christianity, and ... it is absolutely impossible to teach Christianity without teaching Christian dogma.The dogma is the drama; the protests against dogma and morality are, in the end, cries of capitulation that reveal and revel in moral, intellectual, and spiritual chaos. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I Am Not Going To Your Gay Wedding;

I Am Not Going To Your Gay Wedding; Please Protest So I Can Set Up A GoFundMe Account
John Hawkins | Apr 04, 2015

A black man shouldn't be forced to bake a cake for a KKK party. A Jew shouldn’t be forced to bake a cake for a Nazi shindig. A Muslim shouldn't be forced to bake a cake with pork. A gay man shouldn't be forced to bake a cake for a Westboro Baptist Church’s "God hates F@gs" party and a Christian business should not be forced to participate in a gay marriage. For that matter, a Christian shouldn't be forced to bake a cake for an orgy, a Satanist mass or an atheist meeting either.

When you say that a Christian shouldn’t become a baker, florist or wedding photographer unless he’s willing to violate his religious beliefs, you’re directly contradicting the First Amendment which “prohibits the making of any law…impeding the free exercise of religion.” When you make it impossible for a Christian to enter a profession without violating his faith, then you are violating the First Amendment. That should make Freedom of Religion laws completely unnecessary and if that doesn’t do the trick, then common sense should do the job because businesses already refuse to serve customers for every reason under the sun.

Here at the beach, many businesses have a “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” sign. In certain areas, bars and restaurants will ask you to leave if you’re wearing gang colors. If you make too much noise in a movie theater or even try to take in your own food, you will be told to leave. If a liberal atheist gives speeches for pay, you can’t legally force him to give a conservative speech to a group of Christians. For that matter, even Apple, which attacked Christians in Indiana and Arkansas who don’t want to violate their religious beliefs, can and does reject applications it finds offensive. Apple also does business with nations like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iran and Qatar that despicably murder their own citizens for being gay -- but that’s a different column.

Moreover, the people being discriminated against here are Christians, not gays. If you’re gay and a cake shop, florist, photographer or even a pizza place doesn’t want to participate in your wedding, you should go to the next one down the street. If you suffer any damage at all, it’s only to your fragile self-esteem that apparently can’t deal with the fact that someone exists who doesn’t approve of everything you do. On the other hand, a Christian company that lives up to its principles may be fined into oblivion or lose its business entirely because it refuses to abandon its beliefs. This isn’t a theoretical argument; it has happened multiple times already. Who’s actually the victim? The Christian who politely declines to cater an event because it conflicts with his values or the gay grifter who deliberately picks a principled small business to try to ruin, feigns shock when it won’t cater his wedding and then tries to turn destroying a decent person’s livelihood into a way to gain money and attention?

Of course, non-Christians might ask what the difference is between baking a cake for say, an adulterer, or creating one for a gay marriage. The answer is that we’re ALL sinners, but there’s a big difference between serving a sinner and actively participating in his sins. No Christian business should participate in a gay wedding and that’s not a controversial point among Christians. Gay marriage is incompatible with Christianity and if you are unfortunate enough to be at one of the relatively small number of churches that tells you otherwise, it has put pleasing the world ahead of being faithful to God and you should move elsewhere as soon as possible.

Even if that’s so, didn’t Jesus sit down with sinners? So, shouldn’t Christians cater to gay weddings? Jesus certainly did sit down with sinners, but He didn’t do it on their terms. Jesus was there to help people who had gotten off track, not to get down in the mud and sin with them. If Jesus was forced to lend His carpentry services to a gay wedding, chances are He’d tell the guests that they shouldn’t engage in sodomy and would suggest that they call off the wedding. Then, MSNBC would be railing against Him, Dan Savage would be calling Him a bigot and Jesus would end up making tens of millions in contributions to a GoFundMe Account set up in His name that He’d end up giving to the poor, because He’s just that kind of guy.

If people can lose their jobs for opposing gay marriage (and they have) and small businesses can be fined and harassed until they’re closed for opposing gay marriage (and they have), what’s next? Will we be jailing people for refusing to go to gay weddings? Will Christian churches that oppose gay weddings (which is all of them except for a few slowly dying, corrupted liberal denominations) be run out of business? Christianity has been around since before America was a country and assuming the planet lasts that long, it will be around long after this nation is gone. So, the question isn’t whether Christianity is going anywhere: it’s whether Christianity in America will continue going strong. The answer to that question depends on the courage of America’s Christians and their willingness to stand up for their faith.

Friday, April 3, 2015

HIDDEN CAM: #GayWeddingCakes at Muslim Bakeries?

The Wound of Rejection on Holy Thursday- by Bl. Mother Theresa

Posted: 02 Apr 2015 04:02 PM PDT
The Wound of Rejection on Holy Thursday:
What a Holy Hour Means to Our Lord
by Bl. Mother Theresa

On Holy Thursday night Jesus showed us the "very depth of his love" (Canon of the Mass), by giving us the complete gift of Himself and His total love in the Holy Eucharist. Then, He appealed to His apostles for the first Holy Hour of prayer when He took them into the garden in the middle of the night and asked them to watch and pray with Him.

As He started to pray, He began to sweat blood. The agony He suffered was the realization that the Holy Eucharist would be rejected by so many and appreciated by so few. To reject the Holy Eucharist is to reject Jesus Himself.

He saw down through the ages how He would be left alone, "spurned and avoided by men" in so many tabernacles of the world, while He comes to bring so much love and so many blessings. He is the rejected Lover; the Prisoner of  Love in the tabernacle. "He came into His own, yet His own received Him not." (Jn 1:11) How few would believe in His Real Presence, and fewer still respond to His appeal to be loved in the Blessed Sacrament.

And His heart was "filled with sorrow to the point of death." (Mk 14:34) The blood He sweat was grief poured out from a broken Heart, caused by the sorrow of His Eucharistic Love being so rejected. Then an angel brought Jesus indescribable strength and consolation by showing Him every Holy Hour that you would ever make. At that moment in the garden, Jesus saw you praying before Him now and He knew that His love would be returned. This is why your visit today is so important to Him. Your Holy Hour consoles Him for those who do not love Him, and wins countless graces for many to be converted...

So many are unwilling to make even the slightest sacrifice to visit Him, while He was willing to sacrifice everything to be with us in this most Blessed Sacrament. He laid down His mortal life for us so that He may raise us up to Divine Life in this Holy Sacrament...

Jesus could fill every Catholic Church, day and night, by letting a single ray of His glory shine out from the Sacred Host. People would come from all over the world to see the miracle, but He prefers to remain hidden that we may come to Him in faith; because only in faith are we drawn by love and not by curiosity.
Rosary Meditations by Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Are we re-living the days of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Gay Totalitarianism and the Coming Persecution of Christians

If you have been following mass media over the past few days, you will have learned from an economist at the U.S. Department of Labor that defenders of religious freedom are “Nazis.” Take a moment to ponder that assertion. Roll it around in your head for a while. You’ll be hearing a lot more fighting words as we enter the next phase of Christian life in America.
Sample the hate that has been spewed at the state of Indiana in the past week, and faithful Christians in recent years, by gay activists and their allies. We are “bigots,” “Neanderthals” and “haters,” whose views must be ritually rejected by anyone hoping to keep a job in today’s America — even in a Catholic high school. Where will this end? Is there a logical stopping point for this aggression, where Christians are left in peace?
History teaches that mass vilification rarely stops short of spilling blood. The French Jacobins who spent the 1780s slandering the clergy in pornographic pamphlets went on in the 1790s to slaughter Christians by the hundreds of thousands. The Turks paved the way for killing a million Armenian Christians with a wave of propaganda. The Bolsheviks followed their “anti-God” crusade of the 1920s with starvation camps and firing squads. The Communist governments of Eastern Europe obeyed the same script, as scholar Anne Applebaum documents in her sobering study The Iron Curtain. The Hutu government of Rwanda prepared for its assault on the once-powerful Tutsis by incessantly describing them as “cockroaches” on radio broadcasts, which triggered a genocide.
If the media, the law and our elite institutions succeed in lumping Christian sexual morals in with white racism, how long will it be before believing Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox (and many religious minorities) find themselves labelled as members of “extremist sects,” no more to be trusted with the care of their own children than the Branch Davidians were?
Does that sound crazy to you? Then ask yourself why the German government, and the European Court of Human Rights, felt justified in seizing a Christian home-schooled student — with the apparent approval of the Obama administration. Think about the moral views you teach your own kids. Would your local education bureaucrats approve?
Perhaps Chicago’s cardinal, Francis George, wasn’t guilty of hyperbole when he said, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”
Joining him would be many Christians who affirm the Gospel in its integrity — instead of the neutered version that’s now sweeping the denominations to swell the ranks of the persecutors. See the Episcopalians and Presbyterians who are now blessing same-sex marriages; see “Catholic” universities such as Marquette, which fired a professor for defending the Catholic Catechism on this subject, and bishops such as Paul Bootkowski of Metuchen, N.J., who backed up a Catholic school that suspended a Catholic teacher for her Facebook comments critical of gay activism. With shepherds like these, who really needs wolves?

From Libertarian to Totalitarian in Twenty Years

It’s stunning how quickly the demands of gay activists went from libertarian (“Don’t arrest us for sodomy”) to totalitarian (“Take part in our weddings or we’ll destroy your livelihoods.”)
But I am not surprised. I was in New York City when the radical gay activists of ACT UP targeted John Cardinal O’Connor for upholding biblical teaching on sexuality — even as he spent millions offering free care for indigent victims of AIDS. The “Stop the Church” demonstrations featured images of O’Connor in Nazi uniform, and culminated on Dec. 10, 1989, in an orchestrated attack on St. Patrick’s Cathedral during a Mass, where gay militants shouted down the celebrant, and demanded Holy Communion — only to throw it down and stomp on the body of Christ.
This bigoted attack on a religious service did not discredit ACT UP; indeed, you can now read an article celebrating it courtesy of the U.S. government-sponsored Radio Free Europe. Here’s a triumphalist video of the event, which includes appalling footage inside the cathedral:

If Indiana caves and guts its religious freedom law — as Gov. Mike Pence has already promised — it will prove an equal triumph for those who are so enraged at Christian teaching that they are willing to persecute Christians.
If these zealots succeed, they will tear up the civil peace in this country, forcing millions of Americans to choose between church and state. If laws or government policies beggar Christian businesses, close Christian colleges and schools and force faithful Christians into third-class citizenship — making us virtual dhimmis, like the Christian Copts in Egypt — what should we do? What should be our response now that we know what they want to do, and are overplaying their hand, but before they complete their coup d’etat?
We need to ask ourselves some brutal questions: How should the faithful in the U.S. military respond? What about those in the state and local police? City, state and federal employees? What about religious shareholders in corporations led by anti-Christians, such as Apple?
Should we engage in large-scale, non-violent civil disobedience, as black Americans once did in the face of Jim Crow laws? We have the numbers to bring this country to a sudden screeching halt, if we can stand up to the media’s blows and spitting. Those who resist these unjust laws will be treated with all the violence and contempt that was poured out on the pro-life Operation Rescue in the 1980s and ’90s. Local cops from West Hartford, Connecticut, to Los Angeles, California, brutalized teenagers, old women, even nuns and pregnant mothers.
But we need not act alone, like these isolated bakers and florists. The marriage deconstructionists can only succeed by dividing us, vilifying us and picking us off one at a time. This is the essence of their strategy — they’re now trying it with an entire state. Tim Cook (or Apple’s shareholders) would backpedal in an instant if he learned the hard way that he was insulting and infuriating 2/3rds of American states, and half the population.
The frog must jump out of the pan, before it boils.
We should not let the possibility or even the likelihood of “failure” make us timid. Witness is utterly different from propaganda, more fragile but far more enduring.
For centuries, the early Christians endured far worse than we might face, dying in the Colosseum to the taunts of jeering crowds — whose grandchildren would flee the moral chaos of collapsing Rome and flock to the underground churches. All the persecution that a government like China can deal its native Christians has not stopped the church from exploding there, and striking fear at the highest levels of a totalitarian government. The battered church in Poland led the movement that brought down the Iron Curtain, through sober, persistent resistance.
Perhaps the future we face is the one that Cardinal George envisioned. Speaking of a future bishop who would someday die a martyr, George predicted, “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” If we stand for eternity, then history is on our side.

Bishop to priests: 'Stop the homily abuse'

Bishop to priests: 'Stop the homily abuse'

ADVICE TO PRIESTS. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. File photo by Noli Yamsuan/Archdiocese of Manila/CBCPNews

ADVICE TO PRIESTS. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. File photo by Noli Yamsuan/Archdiocese of Manila/CBCPNews
MANILA, Philippines – Below is the homily of Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas at the Cathedral of Lingayen-Dagupan, the St John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City, on Thursday, April 2.
Today we make a spiritual journey again to the Upper Room to remember our priesthood. We come once again to thank the Lord for calling us to be priests. The Lord took a risk. He entrusted to us His Church. The longer we stay in this vocation, the more clearly we see that it takes more than will power to remain a good priest. It needs grace. We need God. We need God to stay focused. We need God to stay on track. We need God to protect us and preserve us.
We have seen many abuses among the clergy – alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse, gambling abuse, money abuse, travelling abuse, vacation abuse. Today, I invite you to turn your hearts to another very rampant and widespread abuse among priests – homily abuse. Yes, abuse of the kindness of the people who are forced to listen to long, winding, repetitious, boring, unorganized, unprepared, mumbled homilies. In jest but certainly with some truth, the people say our homilies are one of the obligatory scourges that they must go through every Sunday.
If you listen more carefully to what our people say about our homilies, they are not complaining about depth of message or scholarly exegesis. They are asked to endure Sunday after Sunday our homilies that cannot be understood because we take so long with the introduction, we do not know how to go direct to the point, and we do not know how to end. Be prepared. Be clear. Be seated.
We were all abused by the homilies of our elder priests when we were seminarians. When our turn came to deliver homilies, the abused became the abuser.
If a seminarian lacks chastity, we cannot recommend him for ordination. If a seminarian is stubborn and hard headed, we cannot endorse his ordination. If a seminarian cannot speak in public with clarity and effectiveness, we should not ordain him. He will be a dangerous homily abuser. Homily abuse can harm souls.
Long, winding, repetitious, irrelevant, unprepared homilies are signs of a sick spiritual life of the priest. Saint Joseph Cupertino said: “A preacher is like a trumpet which produces no tone unless one blows into it. Before preaching, pray this way: Lord, you are the spirit, I am your trumpet. Without your breath I can give no sound.”
It is not enough to prepare our homilies; the good priest must prepare himself. Preaching is a ministry of the soul and the heart not just of the vocal chords and brain cells.  Our spiritual life is the true foundation of our homilies. The question is not what we will preach but rather who will we preach?  We preach only Jesus Christ; always Jesus Christ.
How shall we rise from the prevalent culture of homily abuse? What is our remedy?
The first call of the times is priestly sincerity. You can preach to empty stomachs if the stomach of the parish priest is as empty as his parishioners.  Our homilies will improve if we diminish our love for talking and increase our love for listening. When our homily is simply a talk, we only repeat what we know, get tired and feel empty. When you listen and pray before you talk, you learn something new and your homily will be crisp and fresh. We will be better homilists if we dare to smell again like the sheep.
The second challenge of our times is simplicity – simplicity of message and even more, greater simplicity of life. Simplicity of life will also help us to stop talking about money and fund raising in the homily; money talk has never been edifying. Simplicity means resisting to use the pulpit as a means to get back at those who oppose us – patama sa sermon. Simplicity also demands that we keep divisive election politics away from the lectern. Simplicity in homilies means not desiring to make people laugh or cry – that is for telenovelas and noontime shows. Simplicity in homilies makes people bow their heads and strike their breasts wanting to change, seeking the mercy of God. To be simple is to be great in God’s eyes. The simple lifestyle of priests is the homily easiest to understand.
The third and last challenge is a call to study. Reading and study must not stop after the seminary. If we stop reading and study, we endanger the souls of our parishioners. If we stop studying, then we start forcing our people to read the so-called open book of our lives – the comic book of our lives, hardly inspiring, downright ridiculous and awfully scandalous. The homily becomes our story and not the story of Jesus. Reading a bank book too much is not a good way to prepare our homilies.
Be careful with your life. The people watch us more than they listen to us. Be sincere and true. A double life, a secret dark life is stressful.
Be careful with every homily. God will judge you for every word you utter. Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practise what you teach.
Be careful with every homily. They want to hear Jesus not you; only Jesus, always Jesus.
Be careful with your homily. Pity the people of God. Stop the homily abuse. Let your homily inspire and set hearts on fire. –

My opinion---Preachers should talk about SIN!

Tolerance is over

Tolerance is over

cultural revolution 02The world is going nuts. I have often felt a bit like Cassandra, but … Cassandra was right.
Here is another take.
From the pen of John Zmirak at The Stream with my emphases and comments:
The expected Supreme Court decision imposing on 50 states an entirely newunderstanding of marriage, and the frenzy of hatred that gay activists have stoked against Indiana for trying to shelter religious believers from crippling lawsuits should wake us to a cold and stark reality: The age of tolerance in America is vanishing before your eyes. The question is how Christians and other people of faith and good will are going to respond.
Let’s break this down in stark and simple terms: Not only were gay activists willing to overturn an act of Congress (the Defense of Marriage Act) on spurious grounds; they also wish to force their libertine idea of marriage onto voters in each of the 50 states, voiding dozens of laws on an issue that has always rested with the states[So, it is not just an issue of sodomy.  This is a constitutional issue.]
Not satisfied with that, these activists want the full force of the regulatory state to compel every single American to affirm and accept the delusion of same-sex “marriage,” under the same civil and criminal penalties that now forbid discrimination by race[BUT… the “gay” thing is nothing like the civil rights issues of the 60’s.  Comparing the “gay” thing and race is like comparing apples and carrots.] A famous case was a 70-year-old Christian florist who declined to decorate a gay wedding, and was crushed by a successful lawsuit and the full force of the ACLU’s legal team. She was one of the Brave New Law’s first victims. She will be far from the last.  [That’s for sure.]
These activists use the power of city governments (as in San Francisco) to try to intimidate isolated Catholic schools into abandoning Christian teaching on sexual ethics. Such zealots corrupt the academic authorities who grant accreditation in order to financially cripple schools such as Gordon College that maintain Christian “morals” clauses as part of their hiring policies.
cultural revolution 04Those who defend the reality of marriage, including even unbelievers who defend freedom of religion and association, are not simply wrong — they are “bigots” and “haters” who deserve to be fined, boycotted and bankrupted[Crucifige! Crucifige eum!] to lose their jobs like Brendan Eich, the ex-CEO of Mozilla, and face financial ruin — as Elton John hopes to break Dolce & Gabbana, and [follow the trajectory] as Apple CEO Tim Cook hopes to break the entire State of Indiana. Politicians are joining in, with the Connecticut governor, and Seattle and San Francisco mayors, banning official travel to Indiana.  [It goes from bakers and florists, to schools to entire states.  What’s next?]
As Austin Ruse points out, states such as Indiana are not giving Christians a pass to broadly discriminate against gays. Such religious freedom laws “deal with the very narrow question of whether vendors can be forced by the state to participate in religious ceremonies that violate their own religious consciences.
Given the fanatical response to a modest bill virtually identical to a federal law upheld by courts and bills on the books in twenty other states[QUAERITUR…] how long before the call comes out for the “bigots” to be imprisoned? The First Amendment won’t protect us, if leaders like Hillary Clinton have their way; in public statements she followed President Obama in replacing the Constitution’s “free exercise” with “freedom of worship.”
The implicit message shouldn’t be missed: Say what you want in church for an hour every Sunday, but the rest of the week belongs to us.Your homophobic beliefs deserve no more protection than the religious use of peyote.
Get your heads into that mental place where you will be able to face the persecution that is coming.  You will be vilified, in especially venomous ways, even within the Church by catholics seeking to twist the Church into an instrument of social re-engineering.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nourishment-Raw food


“Quality will always win out over quantity.”

The role of nutrition has become severely diminished in most of our lives.
Pressures and stresses — social, work-related, family and otherwise — have taken precedence, reducing the importance of food quality. When pondering
the role nutrients play in the maintenance and preservation of humankind, it becomes abundantly evident that without uniformly prudent choices we suffer as a whole. When an individual goes many weeks without consuming proper fare, they actually die. The critical nature of nutrition is crystallized in this scenario. If we halfheartedly choose things to chew and swallow, we enter a mode of partial starvation, making us vulnerable to a wide variety of diseases.

Malnourishment is notorious for manifesting everything from scurvy to pellagra, but it can cause even greater damage. There have long been many reports from renowned universities and government organizations stating: “Malnutrition is a major cause of catastrophic diseases such as cancer and lifestyle-related concerns like cardiovascular and diabetic disorders.”

Couple the pressures of modern living with the addictive qualities of staple “comfort foods” — sweet, caffeinated drinks and heavily processed foods loaded with sugar and animal fats — and it is no wonder so many are hooked on the standard Western diet. Considering the toxic burden of such poor food choices, it is also no wonder our bodies are on the way to ruin.

Even the now-abundant “nutrition stores” are purveyors of countless pseudo health foods. (see this issue’s Raw Fraud article on page 22 for specific examples). These products are based more on slick marketing than health-building nourishment. Food industry executives prey on prevailing addictions to fats and sugars by changing the names of these familiar substances on the ingredient lists of their product offerings. There seem to be endless ways to profit from this sort of trickery. The consumers of these products are “scratching an old itch” without even knowing it. They feel justified to indulge in these items because they are “organic,” “raw” or “natural.” These buzzwords seem to be green lights for the subconscious. If people are truly honest with themselves they will realize something that tastes just like a familiar junk food is probably not health-building, regardless of whether it says “organic & raw.”
Despite these shady practices, and the addictive tendencies they serve, there is an ever-growing sector of humanity that wants to get back to truth and the basics. A mentor once told me, “If you look at your plate at the end of your meal and determine how soiled it is, there is no better indicator as to the quality of what you have just consumed.”

If your choice is raw vegetables, sprouts, fruits, and whole raw nuts and seeds, you practically do not have to clean the china. Once cooked, though, even these healthy foods will stain your plate. Their delicate health-building qualities quickly diminish with the heat of cooking. Boiling, poaching, baking, frying, sautéing — any of these processes will result in a messy plate and an even larger mess for your digestive system to clean up.

Unfortunately, even those who attempt to be mindful in the process of choosing food, quite often get caught up in philosophy and theology surrounding cuisine. Too often, they hear, “Cooking makes it easier to digest. More nutrients are created after heating. Blending makes it more digestible.” These misguided notions obfuscate the physics that govern nutrition and have no bearing on reality. Every creature on earth except humans — and the animals we have domesticated and displaced — naturally eats a 100% raw food diet.

For more than half a century, here at Hippocrates Health Institute we
have placed hundreds of thousands of people on a raw living food program.
We have conducted clinical research on the health of our guests and life-long follow-ups on their progress.

From decades of studies, we have scientifically validated and reconfirmed the power of consuming raw plant food. More often than not, disease is prevented and eliminated, and premature aging halted through our signature Life Change Program, largely due to the raw, plant-based diet we prescribe. There is an ever-increasing body of biological evidence supporting and confirming what we have discovered in our human clinical trials.

There are those who prefer to leave this proven reality for a fantasy world based upon half-baked food notions. This tendency to withdraw from truth is based chiefly on addiction and self-loathing. Through the internationally renowned work conducted at Hippocrates and decades of experience, it has become clear to me that the underlying cause for less- than-desirable food choices is lack of self-respect. Of course, this can easily be blamed upon the pervasive advertising of processed food or the ethnic ties you have to familiar fare or even the so-called social norms of fast food consumption. At the end of the day, the question you are faced with is that of how much you like yourself.
Obesity, anorexia, bulimia and purging often morph into diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. These are all symptoms of the suffering of a lost humanity lacking virtue or respect.

This deviation is further evidenced by the condition of the planet on which we reside. Through abusing ourselves, we consequently abuse our environment. From littered roadways to factories pouring vile waste into our atmosphere to oceans that will soon have more oil platforms than fish, we are surrounded by signs marking the disparity between a fulfilling existence and a troubled life.

Nourishment begins with finding your purpose, relentlessly pursuing it and finally soaking up the passion it provides. This ethos manifests in strong and capable people who will not concede to second best. These individuals see life as an opportunity to progress rather than a sentence to toil through. Fueling your very cells with fresh, organic, plant-based, living foods is an essential process for those who wish to raise themselves from the ashes of an ill humanity.

With distrust at the helm of the human psyche, it is no wonder that confusion and sadness reign supreme. When people doubt themselves, they doubt all. When people make conscious and pure choices, they develop self-respect and internal trust that spreads among those they touch. It is time we become serious about food. The basis of this transformation is realizing that food is not a recreational activity. Our kitchens should be our fueling stations, not our amusement parks. When individuals embrace this knowledge and utilize the wisdom of correct cuisine, they spread that goodness from themselves to the very earth they live on. Thriving health replaces disease; community gardens supplant toxic pollution; heightened awareness supersedes confusion and sadness; a new way of life blossoms from the bold, yet simple, act of proper food selection.

From this moment on, ask yourself this viable question every day: “Do I deserve the best nourishment available?” Until the answer is a consistent and constant, “yes,” keep pursuing a higher quality avenue of change. Combine this with the relevant tools of self-exploration and improvement of mind-set. This, and only this, will lead you to a full, healthy and happy life, free of discontent and disease.

The three most nourishing varieties of food on the planet are all green foods.
The most nourishing food on land is leafy sprouts.
The most nourishing from fresh water is algae.
The most nourishing food from the sea, of course, is sea vegetables.
Sprouts: buckwheat, fava bean greens, peas, sunflower, sweet potato greens, wheatgrass, etc.
Algae: blue-green, chlorella
Sea vegetables: arame, dulse, hijiki, nori, Pacific or Atlantic kelp, etc.

By Brian Clement Ph.D., L.N.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Can Christianity Survive the Sexual Revolution?

Can Christianity Survive the Sexual Revolution?

Police Chief on UVA false rape charge
When was the last time anyone heard a sermon that condemned the evils of fornication, or adultery, or cohabitation, or divorce, or bearing children outside wedlock (let alone homosexuality)? Controlling these sins is a core Christian value. At one time a preacher could be expected to devote extended attention to these sins. And he could be expected to condemn them unequivocally. Yet today, even as the social and economic fallout from precisely these practices becomes ever more glaring and serious, pastors and priests seem ever more determined to avoid discussing them.
Of course, the dowdy old parson long ago became the stuff of caricature, ranting on about unspecified “wickedness.” And since no pastor wants to be seen as old-fashioned, and most want to be modern and appeal to the ubiquitous cult of youth, one never hears much today about the sins of illicit sex. Indeed, churches that consider themselves highly orthodox or biblical or traditional or conservative or evangelical—those described by themselves and others as “fundamentalist”—even these churches avoid the problem of runaway sexual freedom. Most Christian magazines and newspapers do not publish articles about it and gatherings of clergy do not discuss how to control it. No church today would dream of admonishing or reproving, let alone excommunicating a member because of sexual misconduct.
Yet ever more conspicuously, it is precisely these sins that are wreaking havoc throughout our society.
All around us we can see—if we are willing to open our eyes—the social consequences of uncontrolled sex. The sexual decadence of popular culture—in music, television, and videos—is only the most obvious manifestation, providing material for endless and often pointless moralizing.
But beyond the lamenting and bemoaning are consequences that are concrete and serious. The vast proliferation of single-parent homes is having devastating consequences on our society, economy, and politics. The epidemics of cohabitation and runaway divorce have left millions of fatherless children on the exploding welfare and foster care rolls and spread crime and substance abuse and truancy throughout our communities. These problems are now bankrupting taxpayers and future generations with a “financial crisis” that is attributable almost in its entirety to welfare spending and its multiplier effects in crime and social anomie, while driving governments to ever more authoritarian measures to slake their insatiable thirst for revenue.
Our universities and schools have become little more than orgies, with a “hook-up” culture that dominates campus life almost to the exclusion of learning. Indeed, it now dominates the learning too, with indoctrination in not only sex education but sexual political ideology through faux-disciplines like “women’s studies,” and “queer studies,” that recast all knowledge as sexual-political grievances.
The tyrannical side of this orgiastic culture is now becoming too glaring to ignore, despite years of denial. For the inevitable corollary to licentious indulgence is authoritarianism. This is now plainly manifested in a political agenda pushed by the same sexual radicals who promote the hook-up culture: Young men are now routinely railroaded before campus kangaroo courts on obviously fabricated accusations of “rape,” “sexual assault,” “sexual harassment,” “sexual misconduct” (no clear distinctions separate these vague terms), sexual this and sexual that. In the regular courts, men are imprisoned for decades on rape accusations that are known to be false. Parents regularly lose their children through spurious accusations of “child abuse” that are never proven in any court. Fathers are incarcerated without trial by divorce courts for patently trumped-up accusations of “domestic violence,” or for simply trying to see their own children, or for criticizing judges.
The response of the churches to all this has been silence. Christians, by and large, do not know what to make of this authoritarianism. They are afraid to question accusations of sex crimes, but they also know that this agenda is not theirs. Terrified of being seen to defend “rapists,” “child abusers,” “wife beaters,” and “deadbeat dads,” the church sits mute in the face of what is claimed to be a vast epidemic of sex crimes. Tempted to play it safe by perfunctorily endorsing the purveyors of the new indulgence, the church sides with falsehood against truth.
Now in turn, Christians find themselves being accused of “hatred” and “bigotry” and threatened with punishment for criticizing the homosexual agenda by the same lobby of radicals. As Martin Niemoeller warned of a similar ideology, no one speaks out for us because we did not speak out for others.
Truly diabolical is how this neglect turns back on us and corrupts us too. Because we fail to control the sin, the sin controls us. By refusing to confront the sin on God’s terms, and instead relabeling it with terms we find easier and safer to confront, we allow the sin to enlist us as its agents. This takes the form of cheap moralizing and self-righteous posturing: refusing to confront the guilty, we join witch hunts against the innocent.
For what the radicals have done is to redefine sin. Rather than the biblical definition set forth in clear biblical language, we now have ideologically redefined, government-approved definitions formulated in politicized jargon. Sexual indulgence is no longer a sin against God; it is now a crime against the leviathan state.
Pastors nowadays are much more likely to couch sexual sins in the form that has been redefined and politicized by radical secular ideology. To disguise their own irrelevance, they join the mob to register their politically correct outrage at “sexual harassment” and “domestic violence.” (I have never heard a pastor preach at any length against the “hook-up” culture, but they will endorse the fabricated and discredited feminist claims of a “rape culture,” only to leave themselves looking foolish when the charges invariably prove false.)
Pastors who parrot this jargon cannot possibly know what these terms mean, because no one knows what they mean. I have been studying them for two decades and published articles on these topics in refereed academic journals, and I do not know what they mean, because it is precisely the purpose of these terms to be so vague as to mean anything. They are devised intentionally to circumvent the clear language that the law uses to define criminal assault and safeguard the innocent with vagaries whose only possible purpose is to criminalize heterosexual men and Christians with flexible accusations that no one really understands but everyone is terrified to question.
By contrast, pastors should know precisely what constitutes fornication and adultery, because the Bible tells them. But it is safer to preach about “sexual harassment” than about fornication, because clergy are often more frightened of feminists and functionaries than they are of God.
Thus Christian faith itself is gradually transformed from theology and morality into political ideology. “Fornication” and “adultery” were biblically defined sins committed by two people and punished by God and the moral sanctions of the community. “Sexual harassment” and “sexual abuse” are quasi-crimes committed only by the man and punished by the state gendarmerie. The preachers know whom it is safe to criticize.
The effect is to transform them from preachers of God’s Word into adjunct political prosecutors.
Christian scholars churn out pointless tracts on ever more esoteric points of theology and philosophy. But the church’s crisis today is not imprecise or unsound doctrine. The church’s failing now is lacking the courage to apply its doctrine in the face of a defiant and politicized sexual immorality.
Why do pastors now evade the basic sins that plague every congregation and the most critical sins that threaten to overwhelm our society? Why do they stand mute at the very suggestion that they should do so or mumble unconvincing excuses and evasive weasel words, before nervously changing the subject or walking away? (Try it.)
The answer is that they are frightened. No pastor or priest wants to touch the subject of sexual sin, because it will anger the liberal women who control most congregations. This is not meant as condemnation; simply a recognition of reality. The same dynamic produces similar silence from our other watchdogs and gadflies: journalists and university faculty members.
Sexual freedom is the inevitable corollary to the feminization of the church because radicals understand that sexual freedom transfers power to those who can use a sexual identity as leverage: politicized women and homosexuals. “My generation let all of this nonsense of sexual confusion, radical feminism, and the breakdown of the family go on, not realizing that we … have gravely wounded the current generations,” says Cardinal Leo Burke. “The Church has not effectively reacted to these destructive cultural forces” and has instead “become too influenced by radical feminism.”
And the first casualty of feminization is courage, the courage that is demanded foremost of men, including clergy. This is why Christian faith and radical sexual ideology are today on a direct collision course, and why the radicals believe Christian faith must lose.
In The American Conservative, Rod Dreher openly questions whether Western Christianity itself can survive the revolution in sexuality, as does the former Archbishop of Canterbury in the Daily Telegraph. The question demands an answer one way or the other.
We need to ask what remains that is still Christian not only about Western institutions—that seems clear—but about the rest of us.
If we have lost our will to enforce sexual morality in our congregations, if pastors will not defend the very marriages that they themselves have consecrated—and the rest of us the marriages we ourselves have witnessed—against involuntary divorce or enforce the discipline on cohabiting couples, then in what sense does Christian faith still have any practical meaning in our common lives? We complain that Christianity is being “banished from the public square,” but we can hardly be surprised when we ourselves have lost the stomach to defend our own parishioners, congregations, and communities against violations of God’s law, whether emanating from our ecclesiastical or secular polities.
For the rest of us are no more courageous than the clergy. Few of us will express moral disapproval when we find friends cohabiting or committing adultery or inflicting unilateral, involuntary divorce on their spouses and children. And therefore few of us speak out when the state gendarmerie, filling the vacuum that we have left, imposes the order that we refuse to enforce in its own way, by taking away our brothers and sisters in handcuffs.
“Religion is central to sexual regulation in almost all societies,” writes homosexualist scholar Dennis Altman. “Indeed, it may well be that the primary social function of religion is to control sexuality.” Abdicating this responsibility to regulate it in the name of God leaves us vulnerable not only to social anomie, but also to those who will step in and regulate it for their own purposes, imposing criminal penalties and rationalizing their measures by invoking various alternative, usually politicized theologies. “Ironically, those countries which rejected religion in the name of Communism tended to adopt their own version of sexual puritanism, which often matched those of the religions they assailed.” Today’s sexual revolutionaries are simply refining the Bolsheviks’ experiment.
Perhaps it is time that we have the courage to admit that the dowdy old parson who preached against illicit sex was a wise and sensible man all along and a more faithful Christian than those of us who made endless fun of him. Perhaps we should start encouraging the self-control that he demanded and the courage he displayed. Perhaps it is also time to regain some respect for the wisdom of elders and forsake the Pinocchio world where youth (along with its urges) is worshipped as an achievement in itself, while elders, whom the Bible sets as authority figures, are expected to hold their tongues.
Perhaps it is also time to discard the politically obligatory weasel words (“No one wants to return to the bad old days when…”) and accept that open-ended sexual freedom puts us on a trajectory that will only spread chaos, ruin more lives, destroy our freedom, and weaken our civilization, until we summon the courage to speak the truth.
In short, perhaps it is time to accept that, here too, the church does not have to change with the times and that it needs to be the “rock” that Christ mandated it to be.

Editor’s note: The image above depicts the March 23, 2015 press conference of the Charlottesville police chief announcing that their investigation found no evidence to support the allegation of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house reported in the Rolling Stone magazine last year.