It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Conservative Cardinal Appointments

It appears Pope Benedict XVI is sending a very clear message on which way he intends to take the Church under his papacy and beyond....

Archbishop William Joseph Levada
, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In 1995, the Archbishop wrote a column published in the Sentinel in which he decried the popular political notion of separating religious morality from political life. In the same column he said, "It should be clear, then, that every Catholic is required to accept this teaching (against abortion) as a matter of faith, and that any Catholic who would deny it would separate himself from the unity of Catholic faith and practice which is the fundamental condition for Church membership." (see the column here: http://www.ewtn.com/library/BISHOPS/LEVADA.HTM )

Archbishop Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

The Slovenian Archbishop, the head of the Vatican office that oversees religious orders said that the emphasis on "extreme secularism" has hurt contemporary society, especially in the Catholic religious orders.

Speaking at a symposium on religious life at the Vatican, Rode said this trend has created a serious cultural deprivation. In places like France and Quebec, most of the leadership in public life were educated by Catholic communities of sisters who have succumbed to the secularizing trend. "Today we see the emergence of a generation of politicians or cultural leaders who are completely ignorant of the Christian tradition," Rode said. (source: http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.ph... )

Archbishop Agostino Vallini, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

National Catholic Reporter's John Allen says of Archbishop Vallini that he served 1999 to 2004 as bishop of Albano, scene of a tragedy in 2001 when a mother and her three-year-old son were assaulted and killed by two local youths. Vallini called for forgiveness, but also demanded an "examination of conscience" by a society which fosters "a false conception of individual liberty which ends up compromising the common good and the right to life." (source: http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/ )

Archbishop Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino
of Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1999 when Venezuela's legislature was considering legislation to alter the penal code on abortion, the Archbishop railed against the proposal. It "would be like giving a green light to murder," he said. "Apart from the fact that the Constitution does not allow it, there is something fundamental here-life should never be attacked. We cannot allow abortion to be permitted as if it were just another licit activity." (source: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=482 )

Archbishop Gaudencio B. Rosales
of Manila, Philippines.

Archbishop Rosales was the replacement for Cardinal Jamie Sin, one of the most outspoken church leaders on life and family issues. While Rosales is not nearly as outspoken, LifeSiteNews.com spoke with those connected to the pro-life movement in the Philippines who had said that Rosales was the best replacement possible for Cardinal Sin. Another good indicator of the Archbishop's thinking was his strong recommendation of Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ. Rosales said "I think I would recommend it to every Filipino to see it who believes in goodness and accepts the reality of evil." (Source: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/feb/040225a.html )

Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard
of Bordeaux, France.

In 2004, Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux and president of the French episcopal conference, condemned plans by the mayor to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples not only on religious grounds but also as a means "to support the founding principles of social life itself". "If our society gives so much importance to the marriage of a man and a woman, it is not simply to take note of the formation of a couple… marriage also ensures the renewal of generations, the clarity of filial and parental ties and provides security to the adults and the children who are the fruit of that union," he said in a statement.

"A child born of the union of a man and a woman needs a father and a mother. In order to structure his own personality, he needs the model of a father and a mother," he wrote.

He pointed out the ethical problem of same sex couples and single people having children created through in vitro and other artificial techniques. He wrote that the well-being of children was more important than the desire of adults to become parents.

Ricard is among the small cadre of bishops at Cologne's World Youth Day to celebrate Mass for the young pilgrims of the Juventutem group, an organization of youth promoting the traditional, pre-Vatican II rite of the Mass.

At the opening of the plenary assembly of French bishops in Lourdes in 2004, Ricard said that all Catholics, especially the clergy, should have the right to freely express their faith without fear of political reprisals. "There can be no religious freedom if there is no freedom of expression and the possibility to communicate one's thought, not only in personal relations but also in the social realm."

He lamented that in France there is "a complete secularization of society," and that for some people "there is no legitimacy or place for a manifestation of religion in the public realm."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Homosexual Outrage Over Cardinal Appointments

Pope Names U.S. Gay Marriage Foes Cardinals

(Boston, Massachusetts) Two of the most conservative archbishops in the United States were named cardinals Wednesday by Pope Benedict XVI.

Sean O'Malley as Archbishop in Boston led the attack against same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. William Levada the former archbishop of San Francisco is now prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the church body that wrote the recently implement prohibitions against gays in seminaries.

In Boston O'Malley helped organize, along with evangelical groups, Vote On Marriage which gathered signatures for a ballot measure that would amend the Massachusetts constitution to ban gay marriage. Vote On Marriage has had its petitions certified by the Secretary of State.

The proposed amendment must now be approved by at least 50 lawmakers in two separate sessions of the legislature before going to voters.

Last week O'Malley and other Massachusetts bishops called for an exemption for Catholic Charities to state anti-bias laws so it could refuse gays the right to adopt children. The request has been met with little support from state lawmakers.

Levada as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is in charge of the Vatican's attacks against same-sex marriage and gay rights.

The Congregation led the infamous Spanish Inquisition from the 15th to the 18th century. It's last leader, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, is now Pope Benedict....

read full story here

You can tell a lot about a person by the enemies he makes. That's probably why I love Pope Benedict so much. This article from a homosexual news outlet says it all. The overall 'tone' of this hit piece is priceless. I love how the quote ends by drudging up the Spanish Inquisition and linking it to the current pope in just two sentences.

Of course, they can't even get their history 'straight' -- (pun intended). There were actually a few inquisitions, but it is the Spanish Inquisition that gets more infamous review. The Spanish Inquisition was started in 1478, but it was NOT run by the Vatican 'Holy Office' (currently known as the 'Congregation for Doctrine and Faith') as the above article incorrectly states it was. Rather, the Spanish Inquisition was a local government institution, used by the king and queen of Spain to identify 'conversos'—Jews and Moors (Muslims) who pretended to convert to Christianity for purposes of political or social advantage and secretly practiced their former religion.

More importantly, the job of any Inquisition was also to clear the good names of many people who were falsely accused of being heretics.

In the case of the Spanish Inquisition, the Grand Inquisitor was appointed by the king of Spain and answerable only to him, with just the nominal approval of the appointment from the pope. The popes were never reconciled to the institution, which they regarded as usurping a church prerogative. As far as the abuses of the Spanish Inquisition are concerned, the Catholic Church is not responsible for them. Those abuses were committed, with a few exceptions, by the civil power, and they were condemned by Popes Leo X, Paul III, Paul IV, and Sixtus IV who reigned during that period of history. In those few exceptions, where such abuses occurred on the part of Church officials, they caused Pope Leo X to excommunicate the Catholic tribunal at Toledo, and to have the witnesses who appeared before its inquisitorial trial arrested for perjury. The Inquisition Myth, which Spaniards call “The Black Legend,” did not arise in 1480. It began almost 100 years later, and exactly one year after the Protestant defeat at the Battle of Muhlberg at the hands of Ferdinand's grandson, the Emperor Charles V. In 1567 a fierce propaganda campaign began with the publication of a Protestant leaflet penned by a supposed Inquisition victim named Montanus. This Protestant character painted Catholic Spaniards as barbarians who ravished women and sodomized young boys. The propagandists soon created “hooded fiends” who tortured their victims in horrible devices like the knife-filled Iron Maiden which never was used in Spain. A recent BBC/A&E special plainly states the reason for the war of words: the Protestants fought with words because they could not win on the battlefield. Only a small percentage of those convicted were executed in the Inquisition -- at most two to three percent in a given region. Many more were sentenced to life in prison, but this was often commuted after a few years. The most common punishment was some form of public penance. The dreaded Spanish Inquisition in particular has been grossly exaggerated. It executed about 880 persons in total. It did not persecute millions of people, as is often claimed, but approximately 44,000 between 1540 and 1700, of whom less than two per cent were executed -- about 880 persons.

Of course we must not let facts and history stand in the way of doing a hatchet job on the currently reigning pope and the Catholic Church, or at least that's how some homosexual news outlets seem to feel about it. If they can't even get their history 'straight,' I guess that explains everything else.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pope Benedict Has A Message for the Chinese Regime

BEIJING - One of China's fiercest critics was included in a list of new cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI yesterday.

Bishop Joseph Zen of Hong Kong has led opposition to a Beijing-backed anti-subversion law and defended "underground" Roman Catholics, heavily persecuted on the mainland....

read full story here

The Catholic Church has probably been the most fierce critic of communism in the world. Not even the United States' opposition to communism compares to the consistent work of the Vatican to bring this evil form of government down. Pope John Paul II played a central role in the liberation of Poland from communism, and the fall of the Soviet Union itself. Now Pope Benedict has set his sights on communist China as the next target for demolition. The people of China need to be free, and only the Catholic Church can lead them to that freedom. Over the next decade the drama of liberation in China will unfold, and nobody can say for sure how it will turn out. Only God knows. Our Lady of Fatima warned us to pray for the people of Russia concerning the rise of communism. Likewise, that call continues to go forth for the people of all communist countries. That would especially include the 1 billion Chinese currently enslaved to the tyranny of their communist government. In the years to come, let us all pray for the people of China.

O my Jesus,
forgive us our sins,

save us from the fires of hell.

Lead all souls to heaven,

help especially those most in need of thy mercy.

Amen
.

Vatican to Muslims: 'practice what you preach!'

PARIS (Reuters) - After backing calls by Muslims for respect for their religion in the Mohammad cartoons row, the Vatican is now urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities.

Roman Catholic leaders at first said Muslims were right to be outraged when Western newspapers reprinted Danish caricatures of the Prophet, including one with a bomb in his turban. Most Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous.

After criticizing both the cartoons and the violent protests in Muslim countries that followed, the Vatican this week linked the issue to its long-standing concern that the rights of other faiths are limited, sometimes severely, in Muslim countries.

Vatican prelates have been concerned by recent killings of two Catholic priests in Turkey and Nigeria. Turkish media linked the death there to the cartoons row. At least 146 Christians and Muslims have died in five days of religious riots in Nigeria.

"If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us," Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State (prime minister), told journalists in Rome...

read full story here

You Can't Be Catholic And "Pro-Choice"

Bishop says ‘pro-choice’ Catholics adhere to ‘right-to-murder’ heresy

Los Angeles, Feb. 24, 2006 (CNA) - Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon, has warned the faithful that Catholic politicians or voters who are pro-abortion commit heresy against the Fifth Commandment’s prohibition of murder.

“Bishop Vasa is to be praised for his clear, courageous, and firm defense of the integrity of the Fifth Commandment and the most innocent of human life,” said canon lawyer Marc Balestrieri. Balestrieri serves as president of the nonprofit organization De Fide, which was established in 2004 to combat the “right-to-murder” heresy and other grave crimes within the Church.

In an article in the Catholic Sentinel, Bishop Baker wrote: “There is a point at which passive ‘tolerance’ allows misleading teachings to be spread and propagated, thus confusing or even misleading the faithful about the truths of the Church . . . There is a very strong word, which still exists in our Church, which most of us are too ‘gentle’ to use. The word is ‘heresy’.”

“Pro-choice” Catholics “reject the clear and consistent teaching of the Church,” the bishop wrote.

The bishop’s strong stance followed on the heels of a heresy trial adjudicated last month in the Diocese of San Bernardino. According to Balestrieri, the bishop’s words “lend further weight to canonical action now advancing against several prominent U.S. politicians.”

source

read more on this story here

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Episcopal Church Continues to Self Destruct

Episcopal bishop issue stirs up schism fears
Gay, lesbian among 5 candidates for local post

A gay man and a lesbian are on the short list to be the Bay Area's next Episcopal bishop, but many Episcopalians said the 77 million Anglicans worldwide might split permanently if a gay person is selected.

The California Diocese's nomination of the two, along with three other candidates, defies the worldwide Anglican Communion's 2004 recommendation that the Episcopal Church in the United States put a moratorium on ordination of gay and lesbian bishops who are in active same-sex relationships.

That order came after the Rev. Gene Robinson was appointed bishop in New Hampshire in 2003, the first Anglican bishop to acknowledge being in a same-sex relationship...

read full story here

But the real question is whether conservative Anglicans (Episcopalians) really have the fortitude to go ahead with a schism. History tells us "no." The nature of the Episcopal Church is to go along to get along, and it's the Liberals who have proved to wear the pants in this denomination. What usually happens is this. Liberals hint at doing something "progressive." Conservatives then cry foul, correctly point out the moral and theological problems associated with it, and threaten a schism if it happens. Liberals call their bluff and go ahead with the "progressive" action and conservatives fold. On those rare occasions where conservative Anglicans have actually carried out their threat, it's usually only in small numbers. Schism has been threatened in the Episcopal Church for decades, but most liberal Episcopalians know that most conservatives don't have the guts to go through with it. It's just a lot of hot air. Case in point; the appointment of Gene Robinson (a practicing homosexual priest) to the office of bishop was seen as the linchpin that would set into motion a major schism in the Episcopal Church (ECUSA). Conservatives threatened it, and liberals called their bluff. Instead what we got was some wimpy conservative network operating within the denominational structure of the ECUSA.

Back in the 1970s, a small group of Episcopalians split away from the main denomination (ECUSA) over the ordination of female priests. But these small schismatic groups never amounted to anything significant. Today they struggle to survive financially, disorganized and divided among themselves, and really have no significant impact on the mainstream Christian landscape of America. Conservative Episcopalians just can't seem to get their act together and liberal Episcopalians know it. They take advantage of it at every opportunity. Thus the liberal agenda continues to move forward in the ECUSA. Conservative Episcopalians like to threaten schism frequently, but after years and years of example, it appears a real big schism is the last thing the ECUSA has to worry about. If anything the denomination may crumble away over time, but an actual split of significant size is not likely.

I think the reasons why conservative Episcopalians can't seem to get it together is because they generally don't have anything positive to unite under. Their entire movement is reactionary in nature, and therefore doomed to failure from it's very start. There is however one beacon of hope for conservative Episcopalians out there -- the papacy! A small group of conservative Episcopalians in Texas separated from the ECUSA back during the 1980s. What made their exodus different was what they did immediately after. They joined the Roman Catholic Church and petitioned to preserve their old Anglican liturgy under a restored Anglican Rite within the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II responded not by restoring the original Anglican Rite, but he did set up a "Pastoral Provision" which allows these ex-Episcopalians to practice their own unique liturgy under the banner and protection of the Roman Catholic Church. It's called the "Anglican Use" liturgy, and it serves as a precursor to the eventual restoration of a full-fledged "Anglican Rite" as soon as the movement is mature and ready.

The Anglican Church (Church of England) was united with Rome for nearly 1,000 years during the middle ages, and ecumenical reunion has been the stated goal of the denomination for at least half a century now. In other words, even conservative Episcopalians get jazzed up at talks of reunification with Rome. The Texas group was one of the smallest schismatic groups to ever leave the ECUSA, but it has since become the fastest growing. They're literally thriving! If conservative Episcopalians are really serious about breaking away from the liberal ECUSA, than they ought to break away on a proactive note -- not just reactive. By that I mean conservative Episcopalians have the opportunity to make history in our generation. They can put an end to the schism between Rome and Canterbury forever. They can experience growth and excitement in their churches the likes of which haven't been seen in decades. Best of all, they can look forward to their Anglican traditions being preserved and faithfully practiced under full protection of the pope of Rome.

Word has it that Rome is poised to help Anglicans do this if only they will indicate they want to. I have no doubt in my mind that if enough Anglicans were to break away from the ECUSA, 'cross over the Tiber' (i.e. become Catholic), and insist on a full restoration of the "Anglican Rite" within they Catholic Church, they would most certainly get it. Furthermore, I am convinced that if such a full-fledged rite were created, the number of it's adherents would quickly outnumber the entire membership of the ECUSA within a decade. It would effectively become the Anglican voice of America, while the liberals controlling the ECUSA would become irrelevant within the same time frame. It would be nice to see something good come out of this whole tragic situation in the ECUSA. I believe the potential exists, if only conservative Episcopalians are willing to seize it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

UN Data: Legal abortion does not cut maternal deaths

Feb. 21 (C-fam.org/CWNews.com) - Nations with permissive abortion laws do not experience lower rates of maternal mortality, writes Bradford Short for the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), basing his argument on new data published by the United Nations Populations Division.

Pro-abortion radicals have long argued that the right to abortion should be guaranteed by international law because restricting abortion leads to high maternal mortality. But an examination and comparison of four countries of the developed world tells a far different story. The data are found in "The World Mortality Report: 2005" which was published by the UN Population Division at the start of this year. Completed over the course of 2005, it "is the first report of its kind produced by the" UN Population Division. It measures mortality, including maternal and infant mortality, for all the world's countries.

According to the report, Russia, where abortion is legal, has a maternal mortality rate of 67 deaths for every 100,000 births. The United States, where there are almost no restrictions on abortion, has a rate of 17 deaths for every 100,000 births.

Both Ireland and Poland, favorite targets of the pro-abortion radicals for their strong restrictions on abortion, have better maternal mortality rates than Russia and the US. Ireland has the lowest rate of the four countries with only 5 deaths for every 100,000 births. In Poland, which like Russia was recently freed from communism, the maternal mortality rate is 13 deaths for every 100,000 births...

read full story here

Persecution Update

Because of the rising intolerance toward Catholicism (and Christianity) in western culture, our regularly featured "Jihad Update" will now be titled "Persecution Update." That's because it isn't only radical Muslims who are persecuting Catholics and other Christians. Persecution takes on many forms. Sometimes it involves physical violence, and sometimes its more legal and economic in nature. 'The Catholic Knight' blog will do everything possible to keep our 1,300+ readers informed of the latest trends in this area...

This story involves the radical Islamic murder of Catholics and other Christians...
Pope saddened by religious riots in Nigeria

VATICAN CITY, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Tuesday he was saddened by days of anti-Christian riots in northern Nigeria in which dozens of people were killed and churches torched.

At least 38 people, including a Catholic priest, have died since Saturday as religious violence flared in three predominantly Muslim Nigerian cities. Some estimates put the dead at more than 50.

"Saddened to learn of the tragic consequences of the recent violent protests in northern Nigeria, his Holiness Pope Benedict XIV assures all those affected of his closeness in prayer," the Pope said in a telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano.

"He likewise prays for all involved in providing security, encouraging them in their efforts to ensure peace and to promote the rule of law for which all people of goodwill long," he said.

The violence had different triggers but the deadliest riots erupted in Maiduguri, where at least 15 people were killed in protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that Muslims regard as blasphemous.

The Christian Association of Nigeria, which says 50 people died in Maiduguri alone, has warned it may not be able to prevent Christians from retaliating.

read full article here

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This story involves an attempt by the Connecticut state government to stop Catholics from running their charitable hospitals according to the precepts of the Catholic religion...
Catholics set to fight ‘Plan B’ pill mandate

The General Assembly’s Public Health Committee is drafting a bill that would require all Connecticut hospitals, including Roman Catholic hospitals, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

It’s a move that advocates for rape victims welcome, but Catholics are preparing to fight.

The Connecticut Catholic Conference sent out an "action alert" recently that charges that the proposed legislation, which would require all hospitals to provide the "morning-after pill," "threatens religious freedom of Catholic hospitals in Connecticut."

The pill, also known as "Plan B," is opposed by Catholics because it potentially prevents a fertilized ovum from attaching to the uterine wall, a procedure Catholics liken to abortion...

read full story here

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While the identity of the arsonist(s) is still not known, the story chronicles the ongoing legacy of a few Americans who hate Christianity so much, they're willing to burn down anything with a cross on it...
Fires probed for links to church arsons
Investigators focused on solving 'another dimension of crime'

(CNN) -- Investigators on Monday were examining two fires in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to determine whether they were set intentionally and, if so, whether they are related to a series of fires set at churches elsewhere in the state.

The first blaze, early Friday, was at the Wesley Foundation Methodist student center on the University of Alabama campus, in the western part of the state.

The second, late Friday, was at a Tuscaloosa warehouse that stored merchandise for a business that prints and sells religious articles, among other items...

read full story here

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Christians still continue to be hunted and harassed in Islamic nations...
Christians easy target for mobs as government feigns not to see, says Pakistani Church

Harsh words are said after yesterday’s double attack against Christian churches in Sukkur. The incident stems from an attempt to set up another ‘blasphemy case’. Law enforcement agencies are guilty of wilful negligence.

Sukkur (AsiaNews) – In a press statement released by the National Commission on Justice and Peace (NCJP), the Catholic Church condemns yesterday’s attack against two Christian churches in Sukkur, ostensibly motivated by allegations of blasphemy. It denounces the negligence shown by law enforcement agencies in protecting the victims and lays the blame squarely on the authorities for failing to promote inter-communal respect and for ignoring such a problem...

read full story here

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The following story documents the Massachusetts state government's attempt to directly infringe upon the Church's ability to conduct charitable services according to the precepts of the Catholic religion....
Massachusetts Tells Catholic Church it Must Permit Homosexual Adoption

BOSTON, February 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and a top government leader have told a group of bishops that their request that Catholic institutions be exempt from placing foster children with same-sex parents will be denied...

read full story here
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Around the world today, Christians are being persecuted for their faith. More than 70 million Christians have been martyred for their faith since 33 AD. This year an estimated 160,000 believers will die at the hands of their oppressors and over 200 million will be persecuted, arrested, tortured, beaten or jailed. In many nations it is illegal to own a Bible, share your faith, change your faith or allow children under 18 to attend a religious service.

Nations where Christians are frequently persecuted include…





Afghanistan Cyprus Maldives Sri Lanka
Algeria Egypt Mauritania Sudan
Azerbaijan Equatorial Guinea Morocco Syria
Bangladesh Ethiopia Myanmar (Burma) Tajikistan
Bhutan India Nepal Tibet (China)
Brunei Indonesia Nigeria Tunisia
Chechnya Iran North Korea Turkey
Chiapas Iraq Oman Turkmenistan
China Kuwait Pakistan United Arab Emirates
Colombia Laos Qatar Uzbekistan
Comoro Islands Libya Saudi Arabia Vietnam
Cuba Malaysia Somalia Yemen

Monday, February 20, 2006

Liberalism Destroys Sweden

This article just speaks for itself...

So Much for Sweden as an Advanced Society Through Moral Liberty

SWEDEN, February 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) –Swelling crime rates and a parallel growth in suicide show the dark side of Sweden’s experiment with social liberalism.

Despite the country’s status among social liberals as the ultimate model for successfully breaking the shackles of “moral restrictions” on a modern nation, it is becoming more difficult to ignore the accelerating degeneration of Swedish society...

read full story here

Handsome, holy Italian man known for skiing, charity


TURIN, Italy (CNS) -- Once upon a time, a young, handsome fellow, sporting skis and chewing on a cigar, zipped across the Alpine peaks in Bardonecchia, about 75 miles east of Turin.

Just a few months before he died in 1925 at the age of 24, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati had competed in a 15-kilometer race in the same mountains where the Olympic snowboarding competition was being held during the XX Olympic Winter Games.

"Who can imagine how happy he would be today to see the Olympics here" in his own backyard, said Cardinal Severino Poletto of Turin. (more)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

'Fudd Gate' Insanity


MAIN PRESS PLANS ANOTHER WEEK OF CHENEY SHOOTING COVERAGE

If the nation's top magazines have the pulse of the country -- get ready for another exhaustive week of exhaustive Cheney shooting coverage!

This just in... Both TIME and NEWSWEEK are planning high impact covers of Cheney for newsstands starting tomorrow, with each magazine rolling out top staff bylines and thousands of words on the hunting incident: TIME: With deep reporting by John Cloud, Mike Allen and Matthew Cooper/ Washington, Cathy Booth Thomas and Patricia Kilday Hart/ Austin, and Hilary Hylton. NEWSWEEK urgently brings in its big investigative guns: Evan Thomas, Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman, Richard Wolffe, Holly Bailey, Mark Hosenball and Eleanor Clift in Washington and Carol Rust in Texas.

NEWSWEEK's Jonathan Alter essays that media budget cuts and shifting news priorities have contributed to the public being in the dark about Cheney's ways and means.

TIME headlines a poll: DICK CHENEY APPROVAL RATING 29%

NEWSWEEK editor Mark Whitaker defends his decision to push for another week of Cheney-Shooting coverage: "The reason we ultimately decided to stick with a cover is not because of the hunting incident itself-although we did turn up some new details that you might not have read elsewhere-but because of what it says about the mysterious world of the most powerful vice president of recent times."

read more here


So let's get this straight. The new Hamas government in Palestine is pledging to step up violence against Israel. Other political parties (such as Fatah) are pledging to do the same. The new president of Iran is pledging to wipe Israel off the map, and making the nuclear weapons to do it. Riots are erupting all over the middle east in an attempt to squelch free speech in Europe through the intimidation of civil disobedience. The U.S. embassy in Indonesia has just been attacked by radical Muslims. The Whitehouse is about to sacrifice national security for a sweetheart port security deal with the United Arab Emirates. Former Vice President Al Gore has just trashed America in front of a Saudi audience, in a speech that was funded by relatives of Osama Bin Laden. Thousands die in a Philippines mudslide. Bird Flu is spreading across Asia while world governments are beginning to panic. All of these headlines, and the best the mainstream media can focus on is a hunting accident involving the Vice President.

Reminiscent of a certain cartoon hunter chasing that rascally wabbit, it's a scandal that can only be called "Fudd Gate." But there's really nothing that scandalous about a hunting accident. No. What's scandalous is the media coverage of it. A weeks worth of news has gone by. The middle east is about to erupt into World War III, and the whole Islamic world is going berserk over cartoon depictions of Mohammad. The former Vice President has just committed a treasonous act while funded by Bin Laden's family, and natural disasters are threatening the world. Yet we here in America are treated to relentless coverage of Fudd Gate, with the promise of another weeks worth to come. What's scandalous is just how out-of-touch our mainstream media is with the world and average Americans. In the media's constant effort to make this episode more than what it is, the media has proven it has no concept of what is important anymore. Even tabloid media reports more relevant news these days. I never thought I would be saying this, but I believe we've finally reached the point where readers of the National Enquirer are more informed than viewers of the alphabet networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN). It's positively scandalous!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pope Demotes Archbishop Over His 'Lifestyle'

BRITAIN'S highest representative at the Vatican, who had been tipped to become a cardinal, has been moved sideways because of his "lifestyle", it was reported yesterday.

Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, 68, had been among the candidates likely to be given the coveted red cardinal's hat by Pope Benedict XVI next month, when he holds his first consistory - a special gathering of cardinals. But instead he has been given a new job as the papal ambassador in Egypt - widely seen as a demotion despite nearly 20 years service.

Archbishop Fitzgerald, of Walsall, in the Midlands, had been head of the Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue since 2002 and was a key figure in the late pope John Paul II's Curia - the Vatican "Cabinet".

But yesterday's Repubblica newspaper said the move was a "huge shock, which had cost him the chance of being named a cardinal". It added: "There are voices that he has been moved because of his lifestyle".

read full story here

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Al Gore Fanning the Flames of Hate

Although I could only find this story from an English newspaper in Pakistan, and nowhere to be found in the American major media, but Al Gore is in Saudi Arabia trashing the US. The following is from the Pakistani paper, Dawn:

Arabs in US were victims of abuses, says Al Gore


JEDDAH, Feb 12: Former US vice-president Al Gore on Sunday said that the US government had committed ‘terrible abuses’ against Arabs living in America after 9/11 attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment.

Mr Gore said the Bush administration was playing into Al Qaeda’s hands by routinely blocking Saudi applications for US visas.

“The thoughtless way in which visas are now handled, that is a mistake,” Mr Gore said at the Jeddah Economic Forum. “The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States.”

The former US vice-president told the largely Saudi audience, many of them educated in US universities, that Arabs in the United States had been “indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable. (more)


As Paul Harvey would say, and now the rest of the story. From NewsMax.com:

The Saudi Arabia seminar that was addressed by former Vice President Al Gore over the weekend in a speech that criticized the U.S. for being too tough on Arabs was sponsored, in part, by Osama bin Laden's family.

On Saturday, the state-run Saudi news outlet Arab News reported that the Jeddah Economic Forum, where Gore spoke, was funded by "Saudi Arabian Airlines, the Saudi Binladin Group, Gulf One Investment Bank, Saudi Basic Industries Corp." and an array of other big companies with ties to the Middle East.

The Saudi BinLadin Group - which is Saudi Arabia's largest construction company - is run by Osama bin Laden's brothers and cousins. Jeddah, the site of the forum attended by Gore, is Osama bin Laden's hometown.

Although family members claim they've disowned bin Laden, his mother told reporters after the 9/11 attacks that she received advanced warning from him that something big was about to happen. (more)


Maybe it is nothing, as far as the sponosrship of the event, not the dishonest remarks by the former-VP, but you be the judge.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Media Bias Ignores Sex-Abuse In Schools To Bash Church Instead

Denver Archdiocese uncovers sexual abuse bias for public school teachers

Denver, Feb. 13, 2006 (CNA) - In a continuing battle against what many of the state’s faithful call an unfair bias against Catholics, the Archdiocese of Denver has uncovered a previously unseen, but sordid list of sexual abuses by many of Colorado’s public school teachers.

The Archdiocese has lifted the lid on some 85 Colorado Department of Education reports of sexual impropriety among teachers since 1997. Reportedly, the state had revoked or denied teaching licenses, all for reasons involving sexual misconduct with minors. But critics charge, the punishment ended there.

According to a report in Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, the list revealed teachers “who prey on grade-schoolers, plying them with love notes…Teachers who download pornography on their desktop computers while students sit before them…Teachers who encourage students to meet them surreptitiously after school, on out-of-town trips, and who give them marijuana or alcohol in exchange for sex.”

Recently, all three of Colorado’s bishops blasted proposed state legislation which seeks to eliminate or modify statutes of limitation allowing sexual abuse victims to wait up to 40 years before filing suits against Catholic and other private institutions in the state.

The problem, they say, is that the bills would unequally punish the Catholic Church while public school teachers and coaches accused of abuse would--because of state sovereignty laws--be all but exempt...

read full story here

We've all known it to be true, but rarely is the proof spelled out for us so plainly. I predicted three years ago that the sex-abuse scandal to emerge in public school would dwarf anything seen in the Catholic Church. Sure enough, my predictions have been coming true, but oddly the media seems to be missing the story. Night after night we're treated to stories about sexually deviant teachers sleeping with teenage students. What makes them "news worthy" is that they just happen to be pretty female teachers sleeping with teenage boys. That's the only reason why they bother to report it. But stop an think about this for a second. It's only "news worthy" when the teacher is a pretty woman? What does that mean? Does it mean that sex-abuse among male teachers, and ugly female teachers, is so common that it's not even "news worthy" anymore? Actually, that's exactly what the news media is telling us, de facto, every time reports of a pretty female teacher hit the national syndicate. So where's the real story here? The story is in public school sex-abuse itself, not the gender and beauty of the abuser. It's rampant and it's out of control.

I was attending a college course about seven years ago, in which the instructor happened to be a high school teacher by day, and a college instructor by night. He openly told the whole class that sexual-abuse among public-school teachers is far more common than most people would ever imagine. (Keep in mind he said this a whole three years before the Catholic sex-abuse scandal broke.) He spoke about repeat offenders, and how the school systems frequently transfered these teachers from school to school after incidents -- simply because firing them was too hard, and exposing them would be damaging to the school district. So you see when I predicted that the sex-abuse in public school would be far worse than in the Catholic Church, I was making my prognostication based on the witness of somebody who worked inside the system.

So here we are, nearly four years after news of the sex-abuse scandal broke in the Catholic Church. The media jumps on this story in "follow-up" at every opportunity it can get. Meanwhile, the largest sex-abuse/cover-up scandal in the history of the world is slipping by right underneath their noses, in the public schools, and the best they can do is highlight the sordid details of a few unusual cases. Can you imagine that! It would be the equivalent of the entire media ignoring the sex-abuse/cover-up scandal in the Catholic Church, and instead focusing on a few individual cases, solely because the priest happened to be young and handsome. It's like stepping over dollars trying to find another dime. They are literally unable to see the forest for the trees. But if it involves a man wearing a priest's collar, you can bet they'll be stepping back looking for the bigger picture. It's called BIAS folks. When it comes to institutions of religion, the press will jump at any opportunity to bring them down. Bet when it comes to institutions of their own secular mindset (public schools), they get a pass, because after all the "real story" is in the juicy details of a hot female teacher. Never mind the thousands upon thousands of other cases that just get shuffled under the rug for decades. Now that's media objectivity for you.

The Shot Heard Around The World

Okay, I didn’t want to waste blog space on this, but since it’s turned out to be the #1 story all across America and the free world, what the hey.

Vice President Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter the other day. The hunter is in good condition and recovering well. My response is simply this...

WHO THE @#%! CARES!

I don’t! It was a stinking hunting accident. They happen all the time. One of my good friends just got back from serving in Afghanistan and Iraq without any injuries. I mean he literally came back without a scratch. First weekend back he goes turkey hunting with his brother, and BLAM! He gets shot in the butt! It happens people. Hunting is a dangerous sport. When you go out hunting, you assume these risks. DUH! Thankfully, I’m glad nobody was seriously hurt.

Frankly, I can think of only one reason why the news media would be making such a big deal out of this. BIAS! Yes, it’s bias folks. They’re left-wing partisanship has gotten the best of them again. A minor hunting accident with the Vice President shouldn’t be headline news for two days straight. Unless the Vice President in question happens to be a conservative Republican. Then it’s a different story. All of a sudden the media goes berserk, and conspiracy theories abound. I think the mindset of the left-wing news media was perfectly summed up in a single question by a female reporter at the Whitehouse press conference today. “Is the Vice President going to resign?” She asked. Ooops! I guess that was a Freudian slip. You see a “good” left-wing reporter wouldn’t have stated her hopes and dreams in the form of a question. I “good” left-wing reporter would have simply implied a cover-up in the form of a question, so as to eventually produce her hopes and dreams in the form of a drummed-up scandal.

This whole thing has got to be the biggest “no-story” this year. It’s making the press out to look like the big sissies they are. They act as if this were the first hunting accident to ever happen, making it out to be a much bigger deal than it really is. They don’t know anything about what they’re reporting. It just goes to show that most of these media hounds have probably never shot anything without a 35 mm lens.

Senate To Vote On Homosexual Marriage Ban In Early March!

Action Needed Today! Help Send U.S. Senate One Million Letters The Supporting Marriage Protection Amendment!!!

The Question of Our Time

It has come to my attention that the recent cartoon related violence in the middle east has been sponsored by some governing regimes within the region. Clearly this is a case of political Islamofacism, rather than the religion of Islam in general. While it may be easier to distinguish between religious Islam and political Islamofacism in non-Muslim countries, it seems that it's becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference in places like the middle east. My question is this. Is Islam (the religion) capable of reigning in political Islamofacism at all? Or has political Islamofacism become so mainstreamed that it threatens to gobble up the religion of Islam entirely?

Gimme That Ol' Time Religion

Pope Benedict XVI seems to be steadily fulfilling predictions of restoring the liturgical integrity of the Catholic Church. Both conservatives and traditionalists should be relatively pleased. Benedict's moderated approach seems to be allowing a return to the traditional use of Latin in the Novus Ordo mass, as well as a permissive return of the ancient Tridentine mass. It would seem that the Society of St. Pope Pius X may play some role in the latter....

Cardinal says pope will opt for 'gentle' fix of liturgical abuses

The Vatican's top liturgy official, Cardinal Francis Arinze, said he expects Pope Benedict XVI to move against liturgical abuse with firm teaching and a gentle manner, recognising that such mistakes often reflect ignorance, not ill will.

Catholic News Service reports that at the same time, the pope wants to offer reconciliation to followers of the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre - but not at the cost of "disowning" the Second Vatican Council, said Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Nigerian who heads the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Cardinal Arinze spoke about the direction of the new papacy. He said he expected important moves - but not a purge - to improve liturgy under Pope Benedict.

"I do not expect an aggressive correction of abuses. I don't think the pope is going to use the ecclesiastical hammer," Cardinal Arinze said.

"Pope Benedict has very clear doctrine and convictions. What many people may not know is that he is not rough. He is gentlemanly, in the sense of what the prophet Isaiah said: 'A bruised reed he will not break,'" the cardinal said.

read full story here

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Pope to find quick solution to Lefevbre situation


(AGI) - Vatican City, Feb. 13 - Speaking to the cardinals in charge of the various Roman Curia departments, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed his intention to find a rapid solution to the issue of the followers of monsignor Marcel Lefebvre, who seem willing to join back the Church.

On August 29, the Pope met with the chief representative of the S. Pius X Brotherhood, monsignor Bernard Fellay, and during the meeting Fellay told him that he was in favour of a quick solution of the whole issue. The Pope is said to be willing to allow the followers of the schismatic bishop to maintain their own liturgy and a certain degree of independence in terms of discipline, which would add up to acknowledge their different 'ritual'.

read full story here

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Abortion foes gain on new front

A new front in the debate over abortion is emerging in legislatures across the nation. Abortion foes are gaining ground with proposals to require doctors to tell women seeking abortions that their fetuses might feel pain during the procedure.

State "fetal pain" bills began popping up last year in the wake of other statutes that have drawn attention to the interests of fetuses, including bans on a procedure that its critics call "partial birth" abortion. (Related story: Abortion opponents seek new angle)

Fetal pain bills were introduced in 19 states in 2005, and were passed in Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Wisconsin bill was vetoed last month by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, who said it failed "to reflect a consensus of medical opinion" and "intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship in a heavy-handed manner." He cited a controversial report in the Journal of the American Medical Association that said there is no conclusive evidence of when a fetus first feels pain.

Despite such questions, more fetal pain bills are advancing this year. Such bills have been passed by House members in Utah and Indiana and are headed to their Senates.

Fetal pain bills also have been introduced this year in Arizona, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma. Most would require doctors to tell a woman whose fetus is at 20 weeks or more gestational age that her fetus might feel pain during an abortion....

read full story here

Cartoon Jihad

I've got just one thing to say to those who are rioting in the middle east over derogatory cartoon images of Mohammad....

GROW UP!

Catholics, Jews and other Christians have been enduring similar derogatory images for centuries. You don't see us rioting in the streets. It just goes to show how immature and childish many of today's Muslims are. We Christians are not exactly "thrilled" when Jesus is portrayed by some cartoonist in a derogatory way. We Catholics aren't exactly "tickled" every time we're regularly lampooned by cartoons, magazines, books, and movies. I'm sure most Jews don't particularly care to see their people and religion mocked in similar ways. Yet when was the last time you saw Christians and Jews rioting the streets over the way we're commonly portrayed in the secular media. There's a level of maturity that can be seen in western religions, not seen lately in the middle east. More and more these days, it seems that the Islamic answer to western freedom is violence. It's both cowardly and infantile.

I understand that not all Muslims feel this way, and I also understand that there are many Muslims who find these kinds of demonstrations reprehensible and juvenile. Christians and Jews stand together with these Muslims in denouncing this ridiculous violence in the middle east.

Friday, February 10, 2006

South Dakota Takes on 'Roe v. Wade'

SD House Approves Abortion Ban
The South Dakota House has passed a bill that would nearly ban all abortions in the state, ushering the issue to the state Senate.

Supporters are pushing the measure in hopes of drawing a legal challenge that will cause the US Supreme Court to reverse its 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

The bill banning all abortions in South Dakota was passed 47-to-22 in the House.

Amendments aimed at carving out exemptions for rape, incest and the health of women were rejected.

The bill does contain a loophole that allows abortions if women are in danger of dying. Doctors who do those abortions could not be prosecuted...

source

In a battle that's sure to go to the U.S. Supreme Court, South Dakotans have thrown down the gauntlet. If the bill survives the S.D. Senate, and is signed into law, how do you think the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the issue now that Roberts and Alito have joined the bench?

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Latin Returning To Mass

More and more Catholics are longing for Latin, the language of scholars, Gregorian chant and the Mass.

Some say it's all part of the general trend back to the classics of Western civilization. All the Rev. Franklyn McAfee knows is that when he announced earlier this month he was starting up free Latin classes on Saturday mornings at St. John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, more than 70 parishioners packed the first session.

One parishioner, former federal Judge Robert Bork, a recent convert to Catholicism, got there early to ensure himself a seat in front of Marion Smedberg, a Latin instructor from Reston.

The others, fingering Latin binders with one hand and clutching coffee or a doughnut in the other, crammed their way into a small classroom to learn "Et cum spiritu tuo" ("And with your spirit") as a response to "Dominus vobiscum" ("The Lord be with you").

By the second Saturday, the class had moved to the parish hall for the more than 80 people who wanted to learn the ancient language. Their assignment: learn the basic prayers by March 1, the beginning of Lent. Starting March 5, the church's popular 10:45 a.m. Sunday Mass will be in Latin.

"I want to sell it," says Father McAfee, pastor of St. John's. "I want them to love it as [Pope Benedict XVI] has said they should because it's their tradition, their roots."

Fans of the rite, who include film star Mel Gibson, say the Latin Mass lifts the human spirit, evokes a sense of eternity and draws worshippers' attention to Christ...

read full story here

Liberals Losing It!

This is yet one more reason why the Democratic Party is losing power folks. The DNC leadership has to bow down and appease liberal power-brokers like Julian Bond -- Chairman of the NAACP. Just look at what this lunatic had to say about Republicans last night....

NAACP chairman compares GOP to Nazis

Civil rights activist and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond delivered a blistering partisan speech at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina last night, equating the Republican Party with the Nazi Party and characterizing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor, Colin Powell, as "tokens."

"The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side," he charged...

read full story here

So according to the NAACP, if you're a Republican, you're a Nazi -- LITERALLY! If you know anybody who is a Republican, you're consorting with Nazis -- LITERALLY! This is why American liberals, and the Democratic Party, have come unhinged in recent years. They're so blinded by their petty partisanship that they've actually become STUPID! Yes, I said STUPID. You can't call half of all American voters "Nazis" and expect anyone to take you seriously anymore. The American people see through this kind of nonsense, and they're not pleased by it. This is why Democrats lost BIG in 2002 and 2004 and will lose again in 2006 and 2008. Democrats are in the minority now, and based on the way things are going, it looks like they had better get used to it.