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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee

The simplicity and beauty of the Feast of the Annunciation, traditionally March 25th, moves one to contemplate on the humility of Our Blessed Virgin, Mary. I find it odd that so many seminarians and youth in Catholic schools never or rarely hear about the few Scriptural texts which refer to Our Lady, the Theotokos, outside of Mass. The reverence and duty which are due to her seem to be more and more slipping away. Indeed, several years ago, some sems said to me that they were surprised at the lack of Marian devotion in their seminary. Also, the lack of Marian devotion in seminaries was one of the leading criticisms of the American Visitation from Rome several years ago. Not much has changed.

Young men can benefit greatly from a devotion the the Blessed Virgin Mary, and my own experience is that those who love Mary have much healthier relationships with women, either young or old. The number of priests I have met in my life who openly dislike women and their company would fill a book, sadly, and I include several countries in that criticism. However, I have found less love for Mary and women among priests in America than in other places. In fact, one of the worst scenarios included my stint of teaching religion to all four levels of a supposed Catholic school, where I was told by the priest-president not only to stop teaching the Rosary, but not to emphasize Mary in my classes or teaching. It simply was not "done at this school". Needless to say, many boys had terrible relationships with girls, and lacked any sense of gentlemanly behavior. The priest turned out to be the best friend of a homosexual, pedophile priest in the diocese, which confirmed my suspicions that priests who do not love Mary have serious sexual problems of that ilk. Another priest who claimed to love Mary, who I met a year ago, has very odd ideas about women, which amount to a hidden hatred for them. His love for Mary is based on a false idea of womanhood. This is an important point. Mary is not only Queen, but the Mother, the Mother of God and the Mother of all of us, her children through grace. 

I find that the recent plethora of false visions do not help the real concept of Mary as Mother of God, but only emphasize her role as petitioner, not even her role as Mediatrix of All Grace. The quicker Rome clarifies her position as the Mediatrix and Co-Redemptorix, the better, as some priests do not want to accept these roles. I have discussed this with teaching priests in seminaries who really do not want to pay attention to the Theotokos at all. Draw your own conclusions.

That young men need to learn to love Mary, for an understanding of the dignity of all women, is of primary importance. No marriage class or no class on the spirituality of the priest should be taught without reference to this simple, but great Woman, who turned the curse of Eve into the Alleluias of Christmas and Easter.

Good Scholastic Theology from the Heart for Young Men on Sexual Sins, Which Have Been Ignored by the Clergy to the Peril of Their Souls and the Souls of the Laity

Without a doubt, masturbation leads to other sexual sins. It is a gateway sin so to speak and must no be downplayed .. dismissed or made light of so at to gain a tacit acceptance--from The Vortex

Second Open Letter to the Knights of Malta

In January, I wrote a long open letter to the Knights of Malta, which may be found here. Now, I write again from a different slant. In January, I was appealing to the Knights to support the Pope in his efforts to promulgate the Tridentine Mass. Particularly, there is no regular Tridentine Mass in Malta. The denial of the Mass is in direct contradiction to the wishes and teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, and the Knights and Dames owe their allegiance to him and the Catholic Church. Peter and Paul gave their lives for the Truth and the times are here again when those who are in positions of influence and authority must consider whether social standing or Catholicism is more important to their immortal souls.

Now, I appeal to the Knights for a review of the reason for their existence. I recognize and applaud the charitable works done by several friends of mine who are Knights and Dames. However, I would ask for a review of their political and religious covenants, a strong word, demanding a support of the Church Militant under siege. Many Catholics are becoming, a bit late, but better than never, aware of the anti-Catholicism growing in the Middle East, including the so-called Arab Spring nations. Egypt is no longer becoming a threat to Catholics and other Christians, but is a threat. My earlier post today points to other real and demanding answers from the Catholic Lay Community, which is the Knights of Malta. I beg these good and influential people to pay attention to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters in Christ in Muslim countries, and in other places, where anti-Catholicism is rising, and do two things: first, assiduously work for those politicians who see the threat of anti-Catholicism and those who are willing to stop being "politically correct" or politically asleep, and help these Europeans get into office. Secondly, work in the Middle East for those who are being targeted, marginalized, killed. Stop playing the false ecumenism game which led to the escalation of these persecutions in the first place. For the second time this week, I refer to Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, who was always clear who the enemies of the Church and Western values were and did not mince words. Too many Knights and Dames I have met continue to be blinded by the older rhetoric of the Islamists, ignoring the threats, deaths and increasing violence, which is inherent in the religion. Also, with those with whom I have discussed this in the past, my brothers and sisters in Christ seemed to think the religion of Islam was of equal value to that of Catholicism. That is a heretical and weak position. The Catholic Faith is the one, true, revealed Faith. There are only two revealed religions-the Jewish and the Catholic. All others are man-made. If one does not believe this, one is not a Catholic, but a relativist, or a follower of other Modernist heresies, all emphasized on this blog as undermining the laity's ability to think as Catholics.  If we pretend there are no threats to the Western World from Muslim hatred, we only have ourselves to blame when worst persecution comes. I challenge the Knights of Malta again.

Some Bishops in Europe Have Awakened to the Presence of the Persecutor

The Orthodox Bishops and the Catholic Bishops, of certain dioceses in Europe, have made statements as to the denial of human rights, specifically the right to worship, which is being more and more severely curtailed in the Gulf States. Thankfully, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, chairman of the German Bishops Conference is part of this outcry against the persecution of the 3.5 million Catholics who live and work in the Arabia Peninsula. The Muslim leaders and their people are becoming more strident and bold in these types of persecutions. We must, as Catholics, highlight this problem, which will only spread. This story may be found here. Thank you, Mr. Spencer, for bringing this our attention.
PARIS, March 23 (Reuters) - Christian bishops in Germany, Austria and Russia have sharply criticised Saudi Arabia's top religious official after reports that he issued a fatwa saying all churches on the Arabian PenTinsula should be destroyed.
In separate statements on Friday, the Roman Catholic bishops in Germany and Austria slammed the ruling by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh as an unacceptable denial of human rights to millions of foreign workers in the Gulf region.
Archbishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, head of the Russian Orthodox department for churches abroad, called the fatwa "alarming" in a statement on Tuesday. Such blunt criticism from mainstream Christian leaders of their Muslim counterparts is very rare.
Christian websites have reported Sheikh Abdulaziz, one of the most influential religious leaders in the Muslim world, issued the fatwa last week in response to a Kuwaiti lawmaker who asked if Kuwait could ban church construction in Kuwait.
Citing Arab-language media reports, they say the sheikh ruled that further church building should be banned and existing Christian houses of worship should be destroyed.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, chairman of the German Bishops Conference, said the mufti "shows no respect for the religious freedom and free co-existence of religions", especially all the foreign labourers who made its economy work.
"It would be a slap in the face to these people if the few churches available to them were to be taken away," he said.
At least 3.5 million Christians live in the Gulf Arab region. They are mostly Catholic workers from India and the Philippines, but also Western expatriates of all denominations.
Saudi Arabia bans all non-Muslim houses of prayer, forcing Christians there to risk arrest by praying in private homes.
There are churches for Christian minorities in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. The bishops conference in Austria, where Saudi King Abdullah plans to open a controversial centre for interfaith dialogue, demanded an official explanation from Riyadh.
"How could the grand mufti issue a fatwa of such importance behind the back of his king?" they asked. "We see a contradiction between the dialogue being practiced, the efforts of the king and those of his top mufti."
Indeed. Different audiences, different messages. What's the word from the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna?
In Moscow, Archbishop Mark told the Interfax news agency he hoped that Saudi Arabia's neighbours "will be surprised by the calls made by this sheikh and ignore them".
The Catholic Church has urged Muslim states in recent years to give Christian minorities in their countries the same freedom of religion that Muslims enjoy in Western countries.
There are few Orthodox Christians in the Gulf region, but the Moscow Patriarchate - which was mostly silent during the decades of Soviet communism that ended in 1991 - has become increasingly vocal in defending the rights of Christians around
the world.
Bishop Paul Hinder, who oversees Catholic churches in the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yeman, told Catholic news agency KNA that the fatwa had not been widely publicised in Saudi Arabia. "What is worrying is that such statements have influence in part of the population," he said.