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Wednesday 11 July 2012

For a Catechist....

Whaah,  shur, even we can understand the Catechism!

I could not resist this, because of a recent commentator's note.

The Laity and Sippy Cups #2

I have written before on the laity, especially here on this link, and I am distressed at the increasing anti-intellectualism which I am seeing in Catholic adults.

We have the CCC and the Compendium, the encyclicals, bible studies, faith formation material and of course, the Bible. There are no excuses for ignorance.

I am an unusual Catholic of my generation as I grew up reading the Bible in my family, but so did my parents and even my Luxembourgian and Czech ancestors. We, perhaps, were different in our love of the Scriptures and our lack of fear. I, for one, and I am 63, never, never was denied access to the Bible in elementary Catholic school and I never heard a priest say we should not or could not read the Bible.

But, I am convinced that the proliferation of information on private revelations has to do with a lack of real catechesis. We in the West have the highest levels of literacy. Again, the information available to the average Catholic abounds on the Internet. If one has time to follow daily the private revelations, one has time to follow the daily readings, read Scripture, read the CCC.

No excuses. And, as I remind many people in a week, we are responsible for our own souls. STOP the blame game. My several Irish friends, young and old, insist on blaming the priests and the culture.

Get over it! Here is some tidbit from the homily given at the Mass of the beatification of Cardinal Newman on September 19th, 2010:

...what better goal could teachers of religion set themselves than Blessed John Henry’s famous appeal for an intelligent, well-instructed laity: “I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it” (The Present Position of Catholics in England, ix, 390)

The Pope gets it, and St. Paul gets it.

Milk then meat, says St. Paul in l Corinthians 3:2. Not poison....I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,3for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 4For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

A question of civilization and I told you so...

I told you so....I said this would be a real possibility.

Muslim clerics are calling for the destruction of the pyramids. Look at my last post on this link above and read this bit from Front Page Magazine online.


According to several reports in the Arabic media, prominent Muslim clerics have begun to call for the demolition of Egypt’s Great Pyramids—or, in the words of Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi‘i, those “symbols of paganism,” which Egypt’s Salafi party has long planned to cover with wax.    Most recently, Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs” and President of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, called on Egypt’s new president, Muhammad Morsi, to “destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not.”
This is a reference to the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s companion, Amr bin al-As and his Arabian tribesmen, who invaded and conquered Egypt circa 641.  Under al-As and subsequent Muslim rule, many Egyptian antiquities were destroyed as relics of infidelity.  While most Western academics argue otherwise, according to early Muslim writers, the great Library of Alexandria itself—deemed a repository of pagan knowledge contradicting the Koran—was destroyed under bin al-As’s reign and in compliance with Caliph Omar’s command.
However, while book-burning was an easy activity in the 7th century, destroying the mountain-like pyramids and their guardian Sphinx was not—even if Egypt’s Medieval Mamluk rulers “de-nosed” the latter during target practice (though popular legend still attributes it to a Westerner, Napoleon).
Now, however, as Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sheikhs” observes, and thanks to modern technology, the pyramids can be destroyed.  The only question left is whether the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt is “pious” enough—if he is willing to complete the Islamization process that started under the hands of Egypt’s first Islamic conqueror.
Nor is such a course of action implausible.  History is laden with examples of Muslims destroying their own pre-Islamic heritage—starting with Islam’s prophet Muhammad himself, who destroyed Arabia’s Ka‘ba temple, transforming it into a mosque.
Asking “What is it about Islam that so often turns its adherents against their own patrimony?” Daniel Pipes provides several examples, from Medieval Muslims in India destroying their forefathers’ temples, to contemporary Muslims destroying their non-Islamic heritage in Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Malaysia, and Tunisia.

There is more....and POTUS supports this present regime in Egypt. Also, see this article on Mali again.

Global surveillance companies in Britain, ACTA, and the EU

I have three posts in one here. Three issues, the last being a selling out of sovereignty in Europe, have or are about to take away freedom of speech in many countries. The West is blind. These speech issues have hit the technology industry in England. In case you have not been following this here are two links here and several more below. The problem is surveillance and a government's right to follow cellphone calls, tweets, and other global networking. Remember last year when Obama stated that no cell phone call was private? Well, he is "technically correct". Of course, my concern would be that any tyranny could instantly take away freedoms we take for granted in the West. It is already and has happened in the East.

On the ACTA, a law Obama wants passed and an agreement he has already signed with the UN.

Global Internet censorship is here.  SOPA and PIPA have been stopped (at least for now) in the United States, but a treaty known as ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is far worse than either of them.  ACTA was quietly signed by Barack Obama back on October 1st, 2011 and most Americans have never even heard of it.  But it could mean the end of the Internet as we know it.  This new treaty gives foreign governments and copyright owners incredibly broad powers.  If you are alleged to have violated a copyright, your website can be shut down without a trial and police may even show up at your door to take you to prison.  It doesn't even have to be someone in the United States that is accusing you.  It could just be a foreign government or a copyright owner halfway across the world that alleges that you have violated a copyright.  It doesn't matter.  So far, the U.S., the EU and seven other nations have signed on to ACTA, and the number of participants is expected to continue to grow.  The "powers that be" are obsessed with getting Internet censorship one way or another.  The open and free Internet that you and I have been enjoying for all these years is about to change, and not for the better.
So how come the U.S. Senate never voted on ACTA?  Doesn't the U.S. Constitution mandate that all treaties must be approved by a two-thirds vote in the Senate?
Of course it does.
But Barack Obama has gotten around this by calling ACTA an "executive agreement".....
One of the big problems with ACTA is that it is way too broad and way too vague.
Vague language allows authorities to "interpret" the law any way that they see fit.
This can often lead to selective enforcement.  Websites that authorities like will be left alone, while those that they don't like will be harassed or completely shut down.
ACTA was written in secret and it has been pushed through very, very quietly.  The following comes from a recent CNN article....
Like many trade agreements, ACTA is a confusing mess. Even its signatories don't agree on how it's supposed to work. The way it's been pushed forward has also been unruly -- talks have been held in secret, without any kind of legislative oversight or input from citizens or public-interest groups. The public only became aware of it in 2008, a couple of years after discussions began, when Wikileaks published a discussion paper. Since then, drafts of the pact have been released to the public, each successively less onerous to critics. Reportedly, though, big media and pharmaceutical lobbyists have been privy to the talks all along

And, last but not least, EU Governments have stepped into the censorship business. READ this. 
The document is aimed at child porn, a good thing, but the problem is two-fold. First, it gives control of the Internet to a Council not a sovereign nation, and two, this type of censorship never works and has not worked.I might add that many pedophiles have been arrested and convicted because of online activity. This will force them underground and the problem will continue. However, censorship will be in place to be used against other things, such as so-called "hate speech". When it comes to censorship, the Catholics should be very, very concerned....

Paris, June 8th, 2012 - In an unanimous decision, EU Member States have decided to promote website censorship at the global scale under the pretext of tackling child pornography. This dangerous initiative must be denounced by lawmakers and citizens: Europe cannot give up on its commitment to the rule of law by legitimizing Net censorship internationally...The Council of the EU adopted conclusions on "a Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online". Due to a last-minute addition, the document calls for:
"facilitating measures to remove or, where appropriate, block websites containing child pornography".
So far, thanks to the EU Parliament, the EU had successfully avoided promoting website blocking as a tool against child abuse, these measures being inefficient and even counterproductive. The Parliament even imposed important safeguards on Member States who did choose to implement at the national level.
This new initiative marks a dangerous regression: regardless of the goals invoked, website blocking is extremely dangerous for freedoms online, leading to collateral censorship of perfectly legitimate content, and runs counter to the most important principles of the rule of law1.

"It is baffling to see that no EU government opposed the adoption of these conclusions, which legitimize Internet censorship across the world and will therefore have disastrous consequences for freedoms online. In spite of the strong reservations expressed by the European Parliament, governments choose to force through website blocking with the adoption of this document. Such censorship is ineffective for its stated aim and paves the road for other damaging attacks against the free Internet. Only through citizen mobilization will we be able to make our governments accountable and eventually safeguard a universal Internet." said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

Freedom of Speech No Longer in Toronto

Today is Free Speech Day on this blog. I have collected items from many countries of the suppression of free speech, all which have happened in the past few days. The world is turning to tyrannies of various sorts and many. many Catholics are asleep.

One reason Catholics do not seem to care is that some tolerate evil. Let me quote again Revelation 2:20, a passage I have quoted most frequently since visiting England:

"But I have against thee a few things: because thou sufferest the woman Jezabel, who calleth herself a prophetess, to teach, and to seduce my servants, to commit fornication, and to eat of things sacrificed to idols."

Catholic brothers and sisters, if you tolerate evil, you are sinning by contributing to evil.

Silence is consent. From LifeSiteNews online:

TORONTO, Ontario, July 9, 2012 ( – Canadian pro-family leaders have expressed outrage over the treatment a sidewalk preacher received at the hands of the Toronto Police Force during the recent Gay Pride parade. As many as 12 police officers surrounded the preacher, who was peacefully spreading Gospel messages, and shut him down, forcing him to vacate the area.
“The Gay community is free to walk around nude on the streets, violating Canada’s Criminal Code, but a preacher is not free to stand up and preach that ‘God loves you’. It’s a pretty dangerous country when it comes to that,” said Dr. Charles McVety, Evangelical minister and show host of The Canadian Times, to LifeSiteNews.
On Canada day, preacher David Lynn and his team from Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries had set up a portable microphone system on a small cart, near the corner of Yonge and Wellesley, from which they preached and handed out religious tracts and free bibles. Lynn told LifeSiteNews that he was there at the parade to preach to the LGBT community about the love of God.
“Jesus died for the entire world,” he said. “Everybody has an opportunity to be saved, including people at the Pride parade. There is no difference between them and me. I am a sinner just like they are. I wouldn’t have wasted my time if I didn’t think God’s loves them, if I didn’t think that there is hope for them.”
But Lynn’s Gospel message earned him the ire of parade participants and attendees. Video cameras captured Lynn’s interactions with attendees at the event and subsequent police intervention.
At one point, Lynn was surrounded by as many as 12 officers.
“Guys, everybody, by staying listening to it you’re helping him get his message across. If you ignore him, it all goes away,” shouted officer T. Adams to the crowd that had gathered around the preacher.
“You’re promoting hate,” Staff Sergeant R. Pasini, 4528, said to Lynn at one point.

There is more. Go here. If you are an adult, watch the video.

St. Benedict

In my Monastic Diurnal and in the NO, today is the feast, and for Benedictines at St. Michael's, a solemnity, of St. Benedict.

To all the Benedictine priest-monks, brother-monks and nuns, all abbots and abbesses,
Happy Feast Day. Happy Name Day to Pope Benedict XVI.

Freedom of Speech a Rare Commodity in the Maldives?

To be a blogger is dangerous and if it gets too dangerous, as it did in 2009 for me, I shall pray about the future. Thankfully, I have few cranks responding and to date on this blog, only one threat. However, if one plays on the beach in the public, one must expect some beach-balls on the head. Here is a news item from the Great Spencer. Can the Maldives' economy withstand a drop in tourism because of such violence?

NEW DELHI - The Maldives' best-known blogger, who nearly died in an attack outside his home last month, has blamed resurgent Islamists for the assault and fled the country.
Ismail Rasheed, known locally as the blogger "Hilath," was on his way home from prayers on the evening of June 4 when three men grabbed him from behind and one of them stabbed him in the throat.
The 37-year-old former journalist with leading daily Haveeru, who had upset the Indian Ocean nation's increasingly influential religious hardliners, slumped in a pool of blood outside his front door in the capital Male.
Rushed to hospital, he remained in intensive care for days where doctors brought him back from the brink. His trachea - but not a vital artery - had been sliced clean through.
"I was attacked because I advocate secularism. The Islamists want Maldives to remain a 100-per cent Islamic country," he told AFP in an interview conducted via Twitter and email in the past few weeks.
The free-speech advocate has been literally silenced. He was unable to talk in person or over the telephone because doctors have advised him not to speak while his throat heals.
Fearful for his future safety, Rasheed has since fled the country and is considering seeking political asylum.
"The Maldives is not safe for me anymore," he said, declining to disclose his present whereabouts....