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

Monday, July 31, 2006

Mel Gibson's Enemies Lack Forgiveness

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented today on the furor over the comments Mel Gibson allegedly made after his arrest for drunk driving Friday morning:

“What Mel Gibson apparently said is indefensible. The remark attributed to him, ‘The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,’ is anti-Semitic and irresponsible. Fortunately, he has apologized for his bigoted outburst. Unfortunately, his apology is being rejected by some who should know better. To wit: Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, has branded Gibson’s apology ‘unremorseful and insufficient.’ Moreover, Foxman concludes that it shows what a ‘sham’ it is for Gibson to portray himself as the ‘tolerant, loving person’ who made ‘The Passion of the Christ.’

“We have quite a file on Ted Turner at the Catholic League. Unlike Foxman, I have accepted every apology Turner has ever made for his anti-Catholic outbursts, all of which were made while he was sober. Indeed, I even went so far as to say that ‘no one in his right mind’ would ever put Ted Turner ‘in the same camp with a Klansman or an inveterate bigot.’ More recently, when radio shock-jocks Opie and Anthony apologized for their orchestrated anti-Catholic stunt in St. Patrick’s Cathedral a few years back, I not only accepted their apology, I was the first guest on their new CBS radio show and welcomed their return.

“But Mel’s enemies will never cut him a break. Their real goal is to discredit ‘The Passion of the Christ,’ and that is why their propaganda machine is in full gear. Never mind that Mel has said that ‘Anti-Semitism is not only contrary to my personal beliefs, it is also contrary to the core message of my movie.’ How ironic it is to note that the core message of his film—forgiveness—is sorely lacking in his critics.

“In 2003, Roman Polanski, the convicted child rapist, received a standing ovation when he won an Oscar for ‘The Pianist.’ Nice to know what really offends Hollywood.”


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pope Tries To Stop World War III

Pope Benedict XVI appealed Sunday for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East, hours after the deadliest attack in nearly three weeks of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.

"In the name of God, I appeal to all those responsible for this spiral of violence, so that they immediately put down their arms on all sides," the pope told pilgrims and tourists at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, on the outskirts of Rome. Pausing slightly, he repeated the word "immediately."

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Only one question remains. Is it too late? Israel has just agreed to stop bombing for 48 hours, so long as Hezbollah stops firing rockets into Israel. If the middle east holds true to its reputation though, this too will fail. Not since Nazi Germany invaded Poland has the world looked so hopeless. Not since Imperial Japan bombed Pearl Harbor has the outcome looked so bleak. I guess all there is left is prayer. But even if all the prayer in the world still produces no peace -- what next? Perhaps its time we start asking ourselves who's side we're on. I have heard some theologians say that God will sometimes send war upon nations as a means of judging and chastising them. If this is so, than we must have all been truly wicked indeed, for this war threatens to be a big one.

Friday, July 28, 2006

By Defying Church Authority, Liberal Catholics Deny Catholicism

Making a stand for women priests Archdiocesan official quits, saying she was ordained

A department head at the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has resigned her post after revealing that she had secretly participated in a ceremony last year in which she says she was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest.

Jean Marie Marchant, who for the last four years has been director of healthcare ministry for the archdiocese, offered her resignation to Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley in a letter last week in which she said that a year ago, using a pseudonym, she had been among nine women who had participated in an ordination ceremony on the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada. That group, whose ordination ceremony is considered invalid by the church hierarchy, also included another woman from Massachusetts, Marie David, a Harwich innkeeper who now leads a weekly liturgy on Cape Cod...

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Isn't it interesting how liberal Catholics sometimes go out of their way to stealthily cheat and defy Church authority. Basically, this comes from the 1960s mentality of unlawful protest and civil disobedience. They saw how effective this method of defiance was on civil governments around the world, and so now they're trying it on the Church -- specifically the Catholic Church. But in doing this, Liberal Catholics demonstrate (by their actions) that they're no longer Catholic at all, as they've completely denied what it means to be Catholic.

What's the difference between Catholic and Protestant? When you compare the Protestant Episcopal Church with the Roman Catholic Church, that difference is a little hard to see. Episcopalian traditions and customs are very similar to the Catholic Church, even to the point where most non-Catholics can't tell the difference. So if a Protestant church can take on the ambiance of a Catholic Church, what exactly does it mean to be Catholic?

It's all about AUTHORITY! Being Catholic is defined by authority, specifically the recognition of authority of the pope and bishops as the guardians and interpreters of Catholic Scripture and Tradition. In other words, being Catholic means submitting yourself to the authority of the Church. Granted, there are many other facets to being Catholic, but like I pointed out above, virtually all of these things can (and are) imitated in some Protestant churches. After all is said and done, the final distinction of being Catholic is submitting yourself to the authority of the Church's pope and bishops in union with the pope. So when liberals openly defy, or stealthily disobey, Church authority on this matter or that, they have in effect repudiated their own Catholic faith. In effect, by their actions, they cease to be Catholic, and adopt a more "Protestant" type of faith system.

SSPX Declares Conditions For Ending Dispute With Rome

The Declaration affirms that the position of the Fraternity is that expressed by its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, in November 21, 1974: "We adhere with our whole heart, and with our whole soul to Catholic Rome, the Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of those traditions necessary for the maintenance of that Faith, to eternal Rome, Mistress of Wisdom and Truth. Because of this adherence, we refuse and have always refused to follow the Rome of Neo-Modernist and Neo-Protestant tendencies, such as were clearly manifested in the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council in all the resulting reforms."

The Declaration reaffirms the need for the two preconditions proposed long ago: the liberalisation of the Traditional Mass and the repeal of the decrees of excommunication of 1988. The Declaration also affirms that "the contacts which [the Fraternity] keeps at times with the Roman authorities have as their sole aim to aid them to regain the Tradition which the Church cannot deny without losing its own identity, and not the search for an advantage for [the Fraternity] itself, or to reach an impossible purely practical 'agreement'."

read full story here

The Church is God's Israel - Not the Jewish State

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Okay, here is a challenge for our Evangelical brethren. The nation of Israel is at war, and since she is our only ally in the middle east, it is America's duty to support her. Indeed, Israel is a soveriegn nation. She has just as much a right to exist as Canada does. She has been unfairly attacked by the Muslim world relentlessly for the last 50 years. She is only doing in Lebanon what we (America) did in Afghanastan and Iraq. Granted, with the number of confrontations with Islamofacism arising around the world, we are probably in the early years of World War III. But for those of you who would like to elevate this conflict to Biblical proportions, stop and consider this. The nation-state of Israel is NOT the same as the ancient Kingdom of Israel. She is not under the same kind of government, nor is she under the same laws. The modern nation-state of Israel is very much a WESTERN country. She resembles the modern United States far more than she resembles her ancient predicessor by the same name. Don't get me wrong. The modern nation-state of Israel is certianly protected by God -- to a certian extent -- because many of God's covenant people (the Jews) live there. But for that matter, we could say the city of New York is also protected by God -- to a certian extent -- for the same reason. St. Paul tells us in Romans 11 that God will not allow the Jewish people to be extinguished from this earth, because he is saving them for the day when a final remnant will be brought into the Church and "all Israel will be saved." The modern nation-state of Israel is a western country and an ally to the United States. Her survival is very important to the security interests of the United States, as she is the only thing standing between Iran and a renewed Persian Empire of the Islamofascist flavor. But as for the Biblical Israel, (you know the one chosen by God), you'll need to look past that tiny strip of real estate in the middle east....


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Liberal Episcopal Church Heading Toward Isolation

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Behold the price of liberalism....

A conservative evangelical group in the Church of England has called on the heads of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion to take “imperative” actions to “formally break” ties with the Episcopal Church, USA.

The call from U.K.-based Church Society follows the U.S. church’s decision last month to reject a resolution to halt further ordinations of homosexual bishops, approving instead a compromise resolution that urged U.S. church leaders to "exercise restraint” when considering the ordination of homosexual candidates.

“With the Primates due to meet early next year it is imperative that action is now taken,” the society stated in a press release. “Since the Anglican Communion is a loose affiliation of national or provincial churches rather than a monolithic structure it is important that action taken is appropriate.

“In line with Biblical teaching and historic Christian practice Church Society has called on the Primates to formally break fellowship with ECUSA.”

After the consecration of New Hampshire’s Gene Robinson as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in 2003, many overseas Anglican leaders broke ties with the U.S. Anglican arm as a majority believes gay relationships violate Scripture...

read full story here

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Senate Passes Parental Notification Bill

S. 403: A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. Esssentially the bill requires that parents to be notified if their daughter is having and abortion, and transporting the child accros state lines to avoid parental notification is a crime.

Vote Counts:

YEAs 65
NAYs 34
Not Voting 1

The bill was passed -- thank God! A similar version was already passed in the House. After reconciliation it will go to the President to be signed into law.


The following is a list of Senators who voted against the bill....

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Chafee (R-RI)
Clinton (D-NY)
Collins (R-ME)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Wyden (D-OR)

I don't see how any practicing Catholic, who takes his/her faith seriously, could vote for the reelection of any of these Senators.

IRS May Attack Missouri Catholics

Maurice S. Owens, a Washington lawyer, has filed a complaint with the IRS against the Missouri Catholic Conference alleging “illegal political interference.” The Catholic group is urging candidates for state office to return contributions received from an organization, Supporters of Health Research and Treatment, that promotes embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“The ruthlessness of this IRS complaint, which is bogus on the face of it, should mobilize all principled civil libertarians to protest its implications for free speech. Regardless of whether one supports or objects to the intentional killing of human embryos, the immediate issue is a First Amendment matter: All non-profit organizations that speak to public policy issues have a stake in this debate.

“IRS issued a fact sheet in February regarding ‘Election Year Activities and the Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention for Section 501 (c) (3) Organizations.’ Nothing in that document suggests that it is a violation of the IRS tax-exempt code for a religious group to urge candidates for public office to return contributions from any individual or organization. Indeed, it would be impossible to mandate such a stricture without trespassing on the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and religious liberty.

“If the Missouri Catholic Conference were advocating that candidates for public office return monies donated by the Klan, no IRS complaint would have been filed. But because the Catholic group is fighting the fat cats—millions have been raised in Missouri by PAC’s promoting all kinds of genetic research—the censors are out in force. Not only do they seek to advance a utilitarian agenda, they seek to promote a gag rule on those who disagree with them.

“Missouri is blessed to have such courageous bishops and an equally courageous Catholic Conference.”

Democratic Party = 'Gay-Marriage' Party

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is weighing in on state marriage-protection amendment fights around the country. The nation's oldest political party has reportedly developed a five-point plan to fight ballot initiatives. The plan's existence was leaked by The Washington Blade, a pro-homosexual newspaper, that quoted a DNC spokesman last Friday saying there is a "five-point-plan."

Specifically, the Blade reported that Democrats would:

  • - Label marriage amendments as "divisive ploys by Republicans" undertaken "to deflect voter attention from other important issues."
  • - Train party operatives in all 50 states on how to campaign against marriage-protection ballot measures.
  • - Develop strategy and talking points.
  • - Work with campaign organizations fighting ballot measures.
  • - Empower and organize homosexual communities nationwide, through the auspices of DNC's gay-outreach efforts.

In addition, the publication reported the DNC also contributed money - to the tune of $10,000 - to opponents of a proposed initiative in Illinois. DNC spokesman Damien LaVera told CitizenLink the Democratic Party would not comment directly on whether it contributed that money. "I'm not going to confirm or deny or discuss our strategy on that," LaVera said...

read full story here

We're Here, We're Queer, and We're Coming After You Children!

When homosexuality takes on all the aspects of a political movement, it, too, becomes a war, the kind of war in which the first casualty is truth, and the spoils turn out to be our own children. An exaggeration? Well, what are we to think when militant homosexuals seek to lower the age of consensual sexual intercourse between homosexual men and young boys to the age of 14 (as they did in Hawaii in 1993) or 16 (as they tried to do in England in 1994)? In the Washington March for Gay Pride in 1993, they chanted, "We're here. We're queer. And we're coming after your children."

read full story here

Monday, July 24, 2006

Catholic Church Signs Historic Agreement with Lutherans and Methodists

From left to right, Sven Oppegaard, Dr. Ishmael Noko, Dr. George H. Freeman, His Eminence Sunday Mbang, Cardinal Walter Kasper and Cardinal Soo-Hwan Kim sign the joint agreement on justification in front of thousands of Methodists.
Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics Take Historic Ecumenical Step

Three world church bodies made an unprecedented move in ecumenical history on Sunday when Lutherans, Roman Catholics and Methodists signed a joint agreement on justification.

SEOUL, South Korea – Three world church bodies made an unprecedented move in ecumenical history on Sunday when Lutherans, Roman Catholics and Methodists signed a joint agreement on justification.

“We plowed new ground today,” commented Dr. George H. Freeman, general secretary of the World Methodist Council. “This opens the door for future ecumenical relationships.”

Following years and even decades of dialogue with one another, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Roman Catholic Church, and the World Methodist Council took part in what Dr. Ishmael Noko, LWF general secretary, identified as “a new ecumenical landmark” and what will go down in history....

read full story here

Will American Liberals Follow Hate Trends of European and Asian Liberals?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Everyone knows how American liberals just love European society. Typically liberals in Europe are seen as the "ideal." To American liberals, their European counterparts are often viewed as sophisticated and enlightened. While these same liberals often view American conservatives as quite the opposite. So here is my question. With the recent anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic (Marxist leaning) trends developing among European and Asian liberals, do you think American liberals will follow suite with similar trends? If so, can you cite some examples of this happening already?

European Liberals Sympathize With Nazis

In Spain, anti-Semitism is new leftist trend

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain and Secretary General of the Socialist Party, arrived to power at a time nobody expected, not even inside the Party.

Keen on populist tirades against the United States "Dickhead Bush" and "Ketchup Queen Kerry", his whole campaign did not bring much attention until the moment Al-Qaeda decided to blow up Madrid trains, killing almost 200 people and bringing to an end Spain's membership of the West.

From that moment on, everybody knew nothing would be the same, and Spanish Jews knew there were hard times ahead. Prime Minister Zapatero has not disappointed them.

'Understand Nazis'

Although many experts had foretold of the imminent disappearing of European Jews, nobody expected such a virulent explosion of anti-Semitism in Spain, not even under a Leftist government.

The first signal came on Monday, 5 December, when during a dinner with the Benarroch family, Zapatero and wife began claiming what Vidal Quadras, member of the European Parliament, described on the radio as "a tirade of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism".

By the moment the Benarroch couple had left the table to express their regrets, Zapatero was explaining his lack of surprise about the Holocaust: according to the people present, Zapatero claimed to understand the Nazis.

What about Hizbullah?

Closing Hizbullah TV was another mission impossible for the man who understands the Nazis. It took more than a year to definitely close the channel connection to the Hispasat satellite, siphoning Latin America with more than a year of hate and Islamist propaganda.

In a country with the most anti-Catholic government in its whole history but with a multicultural obsession for Islam, A-Manar TV was part of the 'freedom of press.'

The recent clashes with Hizbullah, however, have promoted the longest and hardest diatribes against Israel, forcing Zapatero to loose a cover for what it was long known in Spanish politics: His hate towards Israel, Jews and Zionism.

In the third day of such rants, before a gathering of the Socialist Youth Movement and a day before a demonstration against Israel, Zapatero showed at last his true colours: At the closing of the meeting he let the teenagers take pictures of him wearing a Palestinian kaffiyah....

read full story here

Liberal Marxists Attack Catholic Schools in Asia

In Kerala Marxist students attack Catholic colleges

Incidents are a “vengeful” reaction to a court order in favour of private professional colleges. The local Church is concerned about the undemocratic “attempt to replace the rule of law with that of the jungle”.

Changanassery (AsiaNews/ICNS) – Catholic leaders and organisations have condemned the acts of vandalism visited upon Christian educational institutions by students affiliated with the Marxist Party of India (CPM).

Members of the Students’ Federation of India, a student group linked to the CPI which is in power in the state of Kerala, smashed computers, vehicles, doors and windows of some Church-run educational institutions. Four people were arrested in relation to the incidents but were released on bail...

read full story here

Liberals Join With Marxists to Make War on Catholic Church in Mexico

Pro-Marxist, anti-Catholic groups unite to attack Mexican Bishops

Mexico City, Jul. 24, 2006 (CNA) - As part of their effort to support the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in its bid to be declared winner of the disputed presidential elections, several anti-Catholic groups - including “Catholics” for a Free Choice - have united under the name, The Ecclesial Observatory, to attack the Mexican bishops.

The Ecclesial Observatory presents itself as a group of 15 Christian-inspired associations; but its agenda includes the promotion of abortion and homosexual unions.

Its leaders recently met at the National Center of Social Communications (NCSC) - which is also part of the collation - in order to accuse Church leaders, such as Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City, of acting with “ambiguity” and thus fostering an atmosphere of violence and confrontation.

The NCSC, founded by leftist militant Jose Alvarez Icaza, began as a “parallel” conference meant to counter the Fourth General Conference of the Latin American Bishops’ Council in 1992, in Santo Domingo, and to influence the final document produced by the bishops with Marxist liberation theology...

read full story here

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Are You Rapture Ready?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I've discussed this before in previous posts, and tonight I plan to hammer it hard. I'm talking about the Evangelical-Protestant doctrine known as the "rapture." Living in the Bible-Belt of the USA, I've become very familiar with it, and with the recent conflict in the middle east, it's become obnoxious.

The rapture is a belief common among most Evangelical-Protestants. It originated with a 19th century evangelist named Thomas Nelson Darby. Allegedly, the "newly revealed" doctrine was the product of an ecstatic "prophecy" from a young girl of Darby's acquaintance. The teaching began to be circulated in certain adventist groups and was later picked up by a lawyer named Cyrus Ingerson Scofield -- otherwise known as "C. I. Scofield." Scofield later published a study Bible with his notes included. These notes contained references to the enigmatic "rapture" teaching, and from there the doctrine spread throughout the entire Protestant world. Naturally, the Evangelical movement latched on to it as a core tenet of its belief system. Today the rapture doctrine is accepted by most Evengelical-Protestant churches as established dogma.

The rapture doctrine basically says this. Approximately seven years before the end of the world, Jesus Christ will return to snatch his "true" believers away in a "secret rapture," in which Christians will be caught up in the air and taken out of this world. Those left behind will have to endure the "Great Tribulation," which is a period of hell on earth, in which the Antichrist will rule in terror, and God will judge the world with terrible plagues.

A good portion of Evangelical end-time beliefs centers around the modern nation of Israel. This comes from a misguided understanding of the Church. Typically, Evangelicals don't see the Church as the "New Israel," or the "Israel of God," as described in the New Testament epistles. Rather, they see the Church as an aberration -- a 2000 year pause in God's plan for the nation of Israel. So naturally they see the restoration of the Israeli state in 1949 as an event of great prophetic significance. Consequently, the State of Israel becomes the epicenter of their end-times expectations. Whenever Israel is having problems -- the end is near. If the end is near, than that must mean the rapture is at least seven-years nearer! Today, as Evangelicals see events unfold in the middle east, their expectation of the rapture has hit a feverish pitch. Everywhere I turn, people are asking me if I'm "rapture ready" yet.

The other day I was sipping on some morning coffee when one of my Evangelical coworkers asked me what I would do if I knew the rapture was coming in just five minutes! I paused and thought for a second, and then told her I would probably just finish this cup of coffee. Honestly, I couldn't think of a better answer. If Jesus really was coming back to snatch me away in five minutes, what could I possible do to prepare myself? If I haven't spent a lifetime preparing myself already, than what good is five minutes going to do me? My coworker chuckled and asked again; "no really," she said, "what would you do?" I reiterated quite firmly that I would finish the cup of coffee, it was the best I had tasted all week, and I wasn't about to let it go to waste. She looked puzzled. "That's all you would do?" she replied. "Yep!" I answered. And with quite the frustrated look on her face, she left the room. I never bothered to explain myself any further.

I think our conversation says a lot about how Catholics and Evangelicals look at the world differently. Granted, I've been watching events unfold in the middle east with great interest, but not because I'm looking for signs of the apocalypse. I watch the news because I believe we’re on the eve or World War III, and unlike my Evangelical brethren, I don’t expect World War III to be the end of the world. Quite to the contrary; I think World War III will define the course of the 21st century, and quite possibly the Third Millennium. As a Catholic, I do believe Jesus Christ will come back -- someday. All Catholics are required to believe that as an article of faith, as we profess it in the Nicene Creed every Sunday at mass. However, we don’t believe in a "secret rapture" theory. Much to the chagrin of Evangelicals, there is no Biblical justification for such a belief. The entire teaching is based on suggestion, assumption, and reading into the Biblical text. In other words; the events unfolding in the middle east are NOT going to trigger a "secret" coming of Jesus in which he will stealthily snatch up his followers and take them away to heaven.

I’m curious how many Evangelicals will become discouraged after this conflict with Islamofacism is finally over. The middle eastern conflagration will not produce the supernatural events they expect. Will some of them loose their faith over this? Or will they just adjust their eschatological countdown to fit another middle eastern event? Who knows. One thing is for sure. While the Church has always taught that Jesus Christ could come back at any time, it would probably be a safe bet that these events unfolding in Israel right now, are probably NOT going to trigger a "secret rapture."

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
-- Matthew 24:6

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Republican Senator Slanders Catholic Church

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., made a false accusation against the Catholic Church during debate on the Senate floor over federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, according to Catholic News Service.

Arguing President Bush's opposition to the federal funding on moral grounds could seriously set back scientific discovery, Specter said: "Pope Boniface VII (sic) banned the practice of cadaver dissection in the 1200s. This stopped the practice for over 300 years and greatly slowed the accumulation of education regarding human anatomy."

Specter not only misidentified the pope, the Catholic news site asserts, but most historical sources indicate no pontiff in history was responsible for the type of ban cited by Specter.

Boniface VII, CNS explained, was an antipope who held the papacy during three separate periods in the late 900s. Boniface VIII served from 1294 to 1303.

The news service said some sources cite the possible cause for confusion in "De Sepulturis," a papal bull issued in 1300.

"Persons cutting up the bodies of the dead, barbarously cooking them in order that the bones being separated from the flesh may be carried for burial into their own countries, are by the very fact excommunicated," says one translation of the document.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says the "only possible explanation of the misunderstanding that the bull forbade dissection is that someone read only the first part of the title and considered that ... one of the methods of preparing bodies for study in anatomy was by boiling them in order to be able to remove the flesh from them easily, (and) that this decree forbade such practices thereafter."

According to German author Heinrich Haesar, in his 1845 textbook "The History of Medicine," dissection of cadavers continued without hindrance during the Middle Ages in European universities, run under the direction of church leaders.

Guy de Chauliac, considered the father of modern surgery, was the personal surgeon to three popes in the 14th century and a promoter of dissection in anatomical studies.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says "this fact alone would seem to decide definitely that there was no papal regulation, real or supposed, forbidding the practice of human dissection at this time."

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As noted in the story I posted below, Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa) also voted in favor if the embryonic stem-cell bill recently vetoed by President Bush. This particular stem-cell bill would have provided federal funding for turning human embryos (pre-born babies) into guinea pigs for scientific research. Based on the Catholic Church's plain and clear teaching on the sanctity of human life, I don't see how any practicing Catholic (who takes his faith seriously) could ever vote for this man's reelection.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The 'Dominus Iesus' Papacy

In Roman circles, Vatican observers were waiting for the tsunami — a tidal wave of dismissals and replacements by which Pope Benedict XVI would remake the Roman Curia. Fifteen months into Benedict’s pontificate, the personnel shifts have been rather less dramatic, and well-leaked in advance so as to avoid the sensation of unexpected news.

So, no tsunami on the personnel front. His first appointment was necessary right away — he had to replace himself, since he vacated his seat at the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. But Benedict’s recent personnel changes may well be the after-effects of a genuine tsunami he set off six years ago with the publication of Dominus Iesus.

In the Jubilee Year of 2000, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger published, with the approval of Pope John Paul II, the declaration Dominus Iesus, largely restating Catholic teaching on Jesus’ role as the world’s one and only savior, and the status of the Catholic Church as his one and only foundation. While the teaching was not new, its forceful re-presentation created such uproar that the Holy Father took the extraordinary step of devoting an Angelus address to defending it.

Dominus Iesus, which insisted that other Christian churches and communities “suffer from defects” regarding their lack of full unity with the Catholic Church, was criticized both inside and outside the Church for lacking ecumenical sensitivity. Cardinal Ratzinger’s argument was that true ecumenism requires the Catholic Church to be open about what she believes about herself...

read full story here

'Pledge of Allegiance' Update

The House, citing the nation's religious origins, voted Wednesday to protect the Pledge of Allegiance from federal judges who might try to stop schoolchildren and others from reciting it because of the phrase "under God."

read full story here

Thank you brother knights for asserting your influence over Congress this week in getting this legislation passed. The words "under God" were originally inserted into the pledge by our order, and they shall remain in the pledge by the efforts of our order. Make no mistake about it, the federal court ruling against the pledge was nothing less than a veiled attack on our nation's Christian heritage, Roman Catholicism -- and our knightly order in particular. I especially want to thank our brother knights in the House of Representatives who voted for this bill, and convinced their fellow congressman to do likewise. To all my brother knights I say; your labor shall not be forgotton. Now on to the Senate! Tempus Fugit, Momento Mori

Bush's First Veto

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I tip my hat to the President for doing the right thing on this one. Thank you Mr. President.

President George W. Bush has today upheld his promise to veto legislation H.R. 810, which would have mandated federal funding of research that requires the killing of human embryos. The bill passed in the Senate yesterday 63-37, falling just short of a veto-proof 2/3 majority. National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has promised to campaign against Senators who supported the legislation.

In a letter sent to all Senators concerning the bill, NRLC explained, "Each human being begins as a human embryo, male or female. The government should not fund research that requires the killing of living members of the species Homo sapiens. H.R. 810 would require federal funding of research projects on stem cells taken from human embryos who are alive today, and who would be killed by the very act of removing their stem cells for the research -- a practice very different from that of the human being who dies by accident and whose organs are then donated to others."

NRLC added, "Stem cells can be obtained without killing human embryos, from umbilical cord blood and from many types of 'adult' (non-embryonic) tissue. Already, humans with at least 72 different diseases and conditions have received therapeutic benefit from treatment with such 'adult' stem cells. In contrast, embryonic stem cells have not been tested in humans for any purpose because of the dangers demonstrated in animal studies, including frequent formation of tumors."

read full story here

Senators Who Voted For Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Yesterday, the Republican controlled Senate betrayed Catholic voters, and other Pro-Life voters, by passing a bill that would farm out live human embryos for scientific research. THESE ARE HUMAN BABIES which the Senate effectively designated as experimental guinea pigs. All but one Democratic Senator, (Ben Nelson of Nebraska), voted in favor of the bill. I tip my hat to Senator Nelson for doing the right thing. The rest of the Democrats simply towed the party line that pre-born babies are expendable. The following is a list of all the senators who voted for the bill. I suggest we make them pay dearly for it in the upcoming primaries...

Aye HI Sen. Akaka, Daniel [D]
Aye TN Sen. Alexander, Lamar [R]
Aye MT Sen. Baucus, Max [D]
Aye IN Sen. Bayh, B. [D]
Aye UT Sen. Bennett, Robert [R]
Aye DE Sen. Biden, Joseph [D]
Aye NM Sen. Bingaman, Jeff [D]
Aye CA Sen. Boxer, Barbara [D]
Aye NC Sen. Burr, Richard [R]
Aye WV Sen. Byrd, Robert [D]
Aye WA Sen. Cantwell, Maria [D]
Aye DE Sen. Carper, Thomas [D]
Aye RI Sen. Chafee, Lincoln [R]
Aye NY Sen. Clinton, Hillary [D]
Aye MS Sen. Cochran, Thad [R]
Aye ME Sen. Collins, Susan [R]
Aye ND Sen. Conrad, Gaylord [D]
Aye MN Sen. Dayton, Mark [D]
Aye CT Sen. Dodd, Christopher [D]
Aye ND Sen. Dorgan, Byron [D]
Aye IL Sen. Durbin, Richard [D]
Aye WI Sen. Feingold, Russell [D]
Aye CA Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D]
Aye TN Sen. Frist, William [R]
Aye NH Sen. Gregg, Judd [R]
Aye IA Sen. Harkin, Thomas [D]
Aye UT Sen. Hatch, Orrin [R]
Aye TX Sen. Hutchison, Kay [R]
Aye HI Sen. Inouye, Daniel [D]
Aye VT Sen. Jeffords, James [I]
Aye SD Sen. Johnson, Tim [D]
Aye MA Sen. Kennedy, Edward [D]
Aye MA Sen. Kerry, John [D]
Aye WI Sen. Kohl, Herbert [D]
Aye LA Sen. Landrieu, Mary [D]
Aye NJ Sen. Lautenberg, Frank [D]
Aye VT Sen. Leahy, Patrick [D]
Aye MI Sen. Levin, Carl [D]
Aye CT Sen. Lieberman, Joseph [D]
Aye AR Sen. Lincoln, Blanche [D]
Aye MS Sen. Lott, Trent [R]
Aye IN Sen. Lugar, Richard [R]
Aye AZ Sen. McCain, John [R]
Aye NJ Sen. Menendez, Robert [D]
Aye MD Sen. Mikulski, Barbara [D]
Aye AK Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R]
Aye WA Sen. Murray, Patty [D]
Aye FL Sen. Nelson, Bill [D]
Aye IL Sen. Obama, Barack [D]
Aye AR Sen. Pryor, Mark [D]
Aye RI Sen. Reed, John [D]
Aye NV Sen. Reid, Harry [D]
Aye WV Sen. Rockefeller, John [D]
Aye CO Sen. Salazar, Ken [D]
Aye MD Sen. Sarbanes, Paul [D]
Aye NY Sen. Schumer, Charles [D]
Aye OR Sen. Smith, Gordon [R]
Aye ME Sen. Snowe, Olympia [R]
Aye PA Sen. Specter, Arlen [R]
Aye MI Sen. Stabenow, Debbie Ann [D]
Aye AK Sen. Stevens, Ted [R]
Aye VA Sen. Warner, John [R]
Aye OR Sen. Wyden, Ron [D]

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pope backs G8 stand on Lebanon

At their meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, the G8 leaders had approved a statement calling for an immediate ceasefire. The G8 statement urged Israel to act with restraint, but suggested that the primary blame for the latest violence should fall upon Hezbollah terrorists.

“These extremist elements and those that support them cannot be allowed to plunge the Middle East into chaos and provoke a wider conflict," the G8 leaders agreed. "The extremists must immediately halt their attacks.”

Pope Benedict said that in his view, the G8 statement "indicates the path" that should be taken toward peace in the Middle East. That statement had called for the safe return of Israeli soldiers who have been captured in Gaza and Lebanon; a halt to the rocket attacks and terror bombings on Israeli territory; the end of Israeli military operations in Lebanon; rapid withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza; and the release of Palestinian parliamentary leaders who have been arrested by Israeli forces.

"I have nothing to add," Pope Benedict said, "except the importance of prayer that God will help us."

read full story here

Where are the Christians?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I don't always agree with Pat Buchanan, but I think his opinions are worthy of consideration. So I'm citing them here. He is one high ranking Catholic (practicing Catholic) who is orthodox in religion, and fairly consistent with how he applies his faith to politics. Like I said, I don't always agree with him, but I think his opinions are worthy of consideration...

When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unleashed his navy and air force on Lebanon, accusing that tiny nation of an "act of war," the last pillar of Bush's Middle East policy collapsed.

First came capitulation on the Bush Doctrine, as Pyongyang and Tehran defied Bush's dictum: The world's worst regimes will not be allowed to acquire the world's worst weapons. Then came suspension of the democracy crusade as Islamic militants exploited free elections to advance to power and office in Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, Iraq and Iran.

Now, Israel's rampage against a defenseless Lebanon – smashing airport runways, fuel tanks, power plants, gas stations, lighthouses, bridges, roads and the occasional refugee convoy – has exposed Bush's folly in subcontracting U.S. policy out to Tel Aviv, thus making Israel the custodian of our reputation and interests in the Middle East.

The Lebanon that Israel, with Bush's blessing, is smashing up has a pro-American government, heretofore considered a shining example of his democracy crusade. Yet, asked in St. Petersburg if he would urge Israel to use restraint in its airstrikes, Bush sounded less like the leader of the Free World than some bellicose city councilman from Brooklyn Heights.

What Israel is up to was described by its army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, when he threatened to "turn back the clock in Lebanon 20 years."

Olmert seized upon Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers to unleash the IDF in a pre-planned attack to make the Lebanese people suffer until the Lebanese government disarms Hezbollah, a task the Israeli army could not accomplish in 18 years of occupation.

Israel is doing the same to the Palestinians. To punish these people for the crime of electing Hamas, Olmert imposed an economic blockade of Gaza and the West Bank and withheld the $50 million in monthly tax and customs receipts due the Palestinians...

read full story here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Feelings About World War III

As an American I'm concerned about us getting deeper into the conflict. I don't want to see it happen, and I don't know anybody who does. However, if we should end up having to, I'll support my country, my President and our armed forces entirely. In a World War, there is no room for partisan politics. Those who put politics above country are no better than traitors.

As a Catholic, I'm opposed to war entirely, and I pray for peace. However, I must also face the sobering reality that World War III has begun and that it is no sin to support my country and her allies in this historic conflict. I recognize that it is the Church's job to oppose war in almost every circumstance, and I should never expect the pope, or any other members of the clergy, to make statements that are supportive of one nation over another. It is not the Vatican's job to take sides. It is the Vatican's job to promote peace.

As an American living in the post 9/11 world, I can have nothing but sympathy for Israelis after they've endured the hell of Islamofacist terrorism for the last three decades. It seems that people are quick to condemn Israel for its actions, but I say Israel has just as much a right to defend itself in Lebanon as the USA did in Afghanistan. Basically they're doing the exact same thing we did. I see no difference at all. Hezbollah attacked Israel just as Al Qaida attacked America on 9/11. Israel has publicly stated that their military actions in Lebanon are not directed toward Lebanon, but rather Hezbollah.

As a Christian in the western world, I am ashamed that we (as western Christians) did not do more to support our Christian brethren in Lebanon. This country used to be a Christian nation less than a half-century ago. Now Christians are a minority and the country itself is locked in the death grip of an Islamofacist terrorist organization called Hezbollah. When the dust settles in Lebanon, I pray that Christians in the west will feverishly work to restore a strong Christian majority in Lebanon.

As an educated observer of this conflict, I understand that Syria is nothing more than Iran's puppet state, and is supporting Hezbollah in it's war against Israel. It is a major promoter of Islamofacism, and a rogue nation that is a danger to its neighbors in the middle east.

As an informed citizen, I understand the root cause of Islamofacism in the middle east. Iran is the enemy. It is the equivalent of Nazi Germany in World War II. I see no difference at all. Iran is the sponsor of Hezbollah. In fact, Hezbollah is nothing more than a proxy for Iranian influence in the wider middle east.

Monday, July 17, 2006

How Western Christianity Failed Lebanon

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: As I pointed out in a previous story, Lebanon is the last bastion of Christianity in the middle east. A little over a thousand years ago, Christianity was the dominant religion around the whole Mediterranean, which included the areas we now call Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Jordan. That all changed with the rise of Islam, and now Christianity has been reduced to a tiny minority in all of these countries, with the exception of Lebanon. But today Lebanese Christians are not free. They’ve been controlled and manipulated by the tyrannical hand of Iran through a militant terrorist organization known as Hezbollah. So tight is Hezbollah’s grip on the Lebanese government that government officials are afraid to speak anything ill about Hezbollah, Syria or Iran. The Lebanese government is held hostage to the will of radical Islam, while Lebanese Christians can only watch in horror as their country now feels the wrath of Israel in its provoked war on Hezbollah. As I cited in a previous entry...

The priest, who works for ACN’s French branch, said that out of Lebanon’s entire population of some 4.4 million, about 3.5 million are Lebanese by birth, half of which are Christians. He added that, due to emigration, the Lebanese diaspora totals some 16 million, about 80 percent of which are Christians....

read full story here

That is a lot of Christians! To think that if just half of them were to return to Lebanon, Christianity would dominate the Lebanese landscape by a super-majority. Lebanon could potentially serve as a viable launching point for Christian evangelism into the entire middle-east. Indeed, it could have served in such a role for the last 30 years, and that’s the sad part. Though Christianity is already so well established in Lebanon, it’s evangelistic outreach is virtually zero. Why is that?

For starters, Christians in Lebanon are ill-equipped. They’re struggling to keep Lebanon from becoming an Islamic state, and that’s hard to do when the majority of its Christian population has been leaving the country for the last 30 years. Sadly, the trend for Christians in the middle east has always been to pack up and bail out. That’s been going on for over a thousand years. Honestly, who can blame them? Life is so much better for Christians in Europe and North America. Who would want to battle for the heart and soul of a tiny middle eastern state like Lebanon when such a better life can be easily acquired in the West. Why would anyone want to engage in a struggle like that when no other Christians in the world are going to help you anyway. Therein lies the tragedy. Christians in the West are aloof to the needs of Christians in the middle east. In fact, most western Christians don’t even know that such a sizable Christian population even exists in the middle east.

That’s not to say that western Christians don’t have their mind on the middle east. They most certainly do. In fact, American Evangelicals pour literally millions of dollars into middle eastern projects every year. The only problem is, it’s not to help middle eastern Christians. The dollars they generously donate are designated for Jews not Christians. Specifically Israeli Jews; everything from immigration assistance, to rebuilding the ancient Jewish Temple. Yes, western Christians (especially American Christians) are generous to their support of middle eastern interests -- it’s just that they're not Christian interests.

The phenomenon is called dispensationalism, and it’s a facet of Evangelical Christianity that relates to a common belief about the end-times. In a nutshell, dispensational beliefs center around the notion that the Christian Church and the Kingdom of God (New Israel) have absolutely nothing in common. Many Evangelicals believe the Church is nothing more than an aberration -- a 2,000 year pause in God’s time table. God’s real concern, according to dispensationalists, is reviving the old Kingdom of David (Land of Israel) in which the modern (secular) State of Israel plays an important role. They believe God intends to bring all the Jews back to the Land of Israel, destroy the Islamic ‘Dome of the Rock’ in Jerusalem, and rebuilt the ancient Jewish Temple to reinstitute the Jewish priesthood and animal sacrifices again. Only after these events occur, so say the dispensationalists, will Jesus Christ be able to return at his Second Coming. Consequently, many Evangelicals believe it is their religious duty to give money, prayers and political support to Jews within the modern State of Israel. These donations finance the return of Jews from all over the world -- particularly the old Soviet Union. They’ve also given millions to the Jewish ‘Temple Project’ which aims to set up the old Jewish priesthood and rebuild the Temple over (or near) the site of the ‘Dome of the Rock.’ Their political support of Israel is unwavering, which includes the belief that Israel should annex the disputed territories of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights for the purpose of restoring the territory of the old Davidic Kingdom. This type of Evangelical support of Jewish causes (some more radical than others) has been going on for at least 30 years now. This is the primary focus of donations to the Holy Land coming from western Christians.

Meanwhile Christians in the middle east go forgotten. Though once sizable in Palestine 50 years ago, they’ve now been reduced to a mere handful. The same goes for all regions of the middle east -- except Lebanon. In Lebanon the Christian population is still sizable enough to do something, and make a difference, if only they were properly equipped with Evangelistic materials and motivation by enthusiastic missionaries. In Lebanon, Christians could operate in relative freedom, working toward winning the hearts and minds of Arabs and Jews in that volatile region. With the conversion of more middle easterners to Christianity, much of the violence in that region can end. Jesus Christ is the solution here; not war, not diplomacy, and certianly not compromise with Islam. Arabs will have little desire to kill Jews when the God they worship is a Jew -- Jesus Christ. Jews in Israel will have little to fear from Arabs bearing bibles and rosaries seeking pilgrimage to one of Christianity’s holy sites. With the conversion of Arabs to the Christian faith, radical Islam will gradually loose ground. All of this could become reality, with Lebanon as the launching point, if only western Christians (particularly American Christians) would start supporting it. If for no other reason, you would think American Christians would consider this for their own benefit after 9/11/2001. The truly sad part is that all of this could have been happening in the decades leading up to this century, but alas, it didn’t happen that way.

The lure of dispensationalism is strong for Evangelicals. It’s hard to support your Christian brethren in a place like Lebanon, when it’s much more inviting to hasten the return of Christ by importing as many Jews as you can to Israel, and then rebuild a Temple that’s sat in ruins for 2,000 years. Even if it means that doing so will probably inflame the Muslim world and ignite yet another global jihad.

When the bombs stop falling, and Lebanon is finally liberated from the evil hand of Hezbollah, (regardless if this ignites World War III), what will western Christians do? Will American Evangelicals finally wake up and smell the coffee? Will they finally realize that while they’ve been fantasizing about hastening the return of Christ, their donated money has been squandered on Jewish dreams that have no hope of becoming reality, or bringing peace to a region that needs it so badly? Will they finally realize that their money, prayers and political support will be better spent on Christians trying to evangelize the middle east? Will they turn their attention toward rebuilding Lebanon and equipping Christians there for the missionary work ahead? Maybe it’s time western Christians think about doing what Christ told us to do, “go make disciples of all men,” instead of trying to fulfill man’s interpretation of God’s end-time prophecies.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

World War III: Defining the Players

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Just as World War I and World War II had defined alliances and counter alliances, the same could be said of the war brewing in the middle east, which if escalated, threatens to become World War III.

The Axis Powers

President Bush originally defined the “axis of evil” as Iraq, Iran and North Korea back in his 2002 State of the Union address. Since then, one of those powers (Iraq) has been taken out, and now a third (and weaker) power (Syria) has taken it’s place. The Axis Powers of the looming WWIII are now Iran, Syria and North Korea. Let’s examine each one.

Iran is an Islamic theocracy run by religious mullahs. Since it’s violent revolution in the late 1970s, Iran has been the premier sponsor of worldwide Islamic terrorism. Virtually every Islamic terror organization in the world has links (directly or indirectly) to Iran. The country’s President serves more as a puppet mouthpiece for the ruling mullahs, and has little power of his own. Rest assured; what the President of Iran says publicly, is exactly what the ruling mullahs are saying privately -- or at least, he says what they want him to say. This is why the rambling threats of Iran’s president must be taken seriously. It’s not because he’s a madman (though he very well may be) but rather because he could not utter such threats if the ruling mullahs didn’t want him to. So anything he says, is an indication of what the ruling mullahs want. Of serious concern to the world community is Iran’s quest to manufacture their own nuclear weapons. A nuclear Iran would easily put atomic bombs within reach of Islamic terrorists, since Iran sponsors most of these terrorists anyway.

Syria is an Islamic dictatorship run by Iran. That’s right, Syria is Iran’s puppet state, used as a staging front for terrorist training and worldwide terrorist operations. However, it’s primary function is to serve as a beach point for terrorist operations against Israel. The government is run by Hezbollah (meaning “Party of Allah”), which is based in Syria and financially supported by Iran. In the early 1980s the Syrian based Hezbollah literally took over the government of Lebanon (a neighboring state) which strategically sits just north of Israel. From Lebanon, Hezbollah can stage terrorist operations against Israel, so they don’t have to be carried out directly from Syria. This allows Iran to fund and train terrorists in Syria, so they can carry out terrorist attacks on Israel from Lebanon. That way, when Israel strikes back against terrorists, it destroys targets in Lebanon, thus keeping the terrorists training camps in Syria free from attack. The Iranian-Syrian alliance serves as a powerful tool for Iran to continue to fund terrorist operations and yet maintain plausible deniability. Islamic terrorists are sponsored by Iran, trained and equipped in Syria, and then carry out operations against Israel from Lebanon. That way when Israel strikes back, it destroys targets in Lebanon, keeping Syria intact, and Iran completely out of the picture. Though virtually everyone in the world community has seen through this ploy, it still works very well, and has continued to work for nearly 30 years. Israel cannot strike at the source of their problem (Syria and Iran), without it appearing to be an act of aggression on Israel’s behalf and a violation of international law. Just to make a comparison; Iran also had a similar arrangement with another neighboring nation -- Afghanistan. From Afghanistan the Iranian government was able to fund and support terrorist training camps using the puppet Taliban government as a cover. From that arrangement, Osama bin Laden (founder of Al Qaida) was able to orchestrate terrorist operations around the world, including the bombing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11/2001. Once the United States was angered enough to do something, Afghanistan served its purpose as a disposable puppet state while Iran remained safe behind a shroud of plausible deniability. The U.S.A. was powerless to do anything against terrorism’s real source (Iran) because without direct evidence, an attack on Iran would appear to be a violation of international law. This is how Iran uses puppet states to accomplish it’s goals, and Syria is probably the best puppet state Iran ever had. Without Syria, Iran’s terrorist operations against Israel become nearly impossible to carry out without a direct link back to the Iranian government. That is something the mullahs in Iran simply cannot afford at this time.

North Korea seems like an unlikely ally in this evil Axis, but it is no less plausible than Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany during World War II. The whole Korean peninsula was originally intended to be another 'communist utopia,' linked directly to the Old Soviet Union and the communist government of red China. But North Korea’s undeclared war with the United States during the 1950s put an end to those dreams. Since then North Korea has degenerated into a mere dictatorship which has completely raped its economy for military buildup. It can now boast of one of the largest armies in the world, with nearly 80% of its male population serving in its armed forces. This while the rest of the population starves. What makes North Korea the third ally in this Axis of Evil is its willingness to sell missiles, and possibly atomic weapons, to rogue Islamic states -- such as Iran. Once again, this puts atomic weapons within the reach of Islamic terrorists. North Korea’s recent saber rattling with the United States reflects just how desperate the communist dictatorship is.

The Allied Powers

Currently the Allied Powers consist only of the United States and Israel. The status of Europe’s involvement is currently undefined. Russia would prefer to stay out of this conflict if it can, but it is just as much a victim of Islamic terror as Europe and the USA are. Neutrality may be impossible in the long run. Sooner or later, Russia and Europe will have to choose sides. Russia will inevitably resist any kind of involvement for as long as it can. That is until some currently unknown circumstance forces the former superpower into the war. Europe will also attempt to remain neutral, but it may be unable to for much longer. Europe and Russia’s eventual role in the threatened conflict is still somewhat undefined. Right now the two biggest players of the allied powers are Israel in the USA.

Israel was formed as a secular Jewish state by the United Nations in 1949. After the Holocaust of World War II, and the Nazi genocide of 10 million people -- 6 million of which were Jews -- the State of Israel was formed as a refuge for Jews around the world. Almost immediately after its formation, Israel came under attack from all of its Arab neighbors. Two major wars defined the status of Israel today -- the 1967 War, and the Yom Kippur War of 1970. For security reasons, Israel was forced to occupy small regions of Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon. The Arabs who lived in those regions were told to leave, but the counties to which those Arabs belonged would not take them in. The largest Arab population was the Jordanians who lived on Jordan’s West Bank. Since Jordan would not allow them to leave the West Bank after it had been taken over by Israel, these Jordanians became isolated people without a country. They eventually took on the name “Palestinian” to describe themselves, and some of them (militants) have been fighting a guerilla-terrorist war against the Israeli government for the last 30+ years. These Palestinian terrorists have been funded by Iran via the Syrian puppet state and Islamic radicals in Egypt. For over 30 years, the nation of Israel has been defending itself from both Iranian-Syrian terrorism via Lebanon, and Palestinian terrorism from within its own boarders. The situation has finally reached a boiling point. Israel remains the only westernized nation in the middle east. It is the only middle-eastern nation that has religious freedom. It is the only nation that gives women equal rights. It remains as the only true friend and ally of the U.S.A. in the middle east.

The United States of America tried to avoid direct involvement in the middle east for decades. The only exception to this was the Gulf War back in 1991 when the U.S.A. was forced to liberate the nation of Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq -- a dictatorship the U.S.A. propped up during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. But the bombing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon on 9/11/2001 brought an end to America’s passive involvement in the middle east. As a result the U.S.A. now occupies the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq after two wars to liberate those countries from their oppressive totalitarian regimes. This puts American troops in ideal locations on both sides of Iran to potentially stage a two-front war against Iran should the need arise.

Now we watch and wait, as events unfold in the middle east. Iran is supporting Syria while Syria stages terrorist operations against Israel from Lebanon. Israel strikes back against terrorists in Lebanon and threatens to attack Syria if Syria tries to help. Syria has vowed to help these terrorists while Iran vows to retaliate against Israel directly if Syria is bombed. The U.S.A. has accurately placed blame for Lebanese terrorist operations on Syria and Iran, while U.S. troops are poised to intervene in the conflict should Syria and Iran get involved. The world now stands at the precipice of World War III. God help us!

Stem-Cell Battle In the Senate

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The following is a copy of an e-mail I sent to my state's U.S. senators. Some of my readers may want to do likewise...

Dear Senator __________,

As a registered voter in your state, I am asking you for the following votes...

S. 3504 -- YES

S. 2754 -- YES

H.R. 810 -- NO

I will be watching for your vote very carefully. Thank you and God bless.


(my name and address)

Both S. 3504 and S. 2754 are stem cell research bills that protect the lives of the unborn and forbid federal support of embryonic human cloning. H.R. 810 actually promotes embryonic human cloning. After passing that one, Republicans in the House will have to answer for it at the polls this Novemeber. But we have a chance to stop it in the Senate now. So I encourage everyone to fire off an e-mail to your state's Senators right away.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Vatican Ready to End Schism and Embrace SSPX

All is ready for the agreement between the Holy See and the Fraternity Saint Pius X, founded by the "rebel" Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The Vatican forwarded several weeks ago precise propositions to reach peace [a peaceful solution] and the reentrance of the Lefbvrists into full communion with Rome.

The negotiations, begun in 2000, have, as is well known, accelerated after the election of Benedict XVI, who, last August received the superior of the Traditionalists, Bishop Bernard Fellay, at Castelgandolfo.

However, from Menzingen, where the head of the Lefebvrists resides, no affirmative signal has so far arrived. Exactly two days ago, the same bishop Fellay was reconfirmed at the helm of the Fraternity, by the General Chapter, for the next twelve years. He had guided it since 1994.

As his "first and second assistants" Father Niklaus Pfluger and Father Marco Nely were elected. The first belongs to the harder line, while the second belongs to the more moderate wing.

It is possible that, in the past period, with the knowledge that his term was nearing its end, Fellay would have hesitated. Now, however, precise signals are expected in the Vatican. The terms of agreement include the acceptance of the theological agreement already agreed in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre and the then Cardinal Ratzinger, the lift of the excommunications decreed by the Holy See after the illegitimate ordination of four bishops by the same Lefebvre, and a canonical structure, similar to that of the military ordinariat, which allows the Fraternity Saint Pius X to preserve its seminaries and to incardinate [its own] priests.

Simultaneously to the agreement, the Holy See will announce a kind of liberalization of the pre-Conciliar Missal of Saint Pius V -- a measure very much expected also by Traditionalists in communion with Rome.

read full story (in Italian)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Vatican To Discipline Liturgical Abuses

Liturgical discipline needed, Vatican official says

Jul. 13 ( - The Vatican is planning to restore some disciplinary control of the liturgy, according the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, in response to widespread abuses.

Speaking to the I Media news agency in Rome, Archbishop Albert Malcom Ranjith Patabendige Don will soon take steps to indicate the importance of following the Church's liturgical guidelines...

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The cafeteria is closed and the party's is OVER; says the Vatican secretary. The Catholic faithful here in the United States may finally get the REAL and AUTHENTIC liturgy of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo mass. (For those of you who haven't been keeping up with my blog, I pointed out earlier that we Catholic Americans have never actually experienced the liturgical reform of Vatican II. Nor have we ever really celebrated the authentic Novus Ordo mass -- click here for details.) Our liturgy was corrupted when it was translated into English by the American bishops back in the 1970s. The liturgical style we've become accustomed to was never sanctioned by the Vatican. In a sense; the American bishops have been running their own show here for the last 30 years -- almost entirely independent of the Vatican and the rest of the worldwide Catholic Church. After careful review, the Vatican has found our American liturgy to be "defective," and has refused to grant permission for the American bishops to continue celebrating it. So if the mass we Americans have been celebrating isn't entirely "Catholic," than what is it? I'll give you a clue. Go to your nearest Episcopal Church and pick up a copy of the 1978 'Book of Common Prayer.' The similarities are astonishing. You'll find that the "defective" mass we now celebrate has more in common with the Episcopalian mass, than the one issued by the Vatican under Pope Paul VI (Novus Ordo). In a very real sense, we Catholics in the U.S. have been celebrating a very "Episcopalian" mass for the last 30+ years, while the authentic Novus Ordo mass collected dust on the bookshelf. We Catholic Americans can take heart though, because we are not alone in this. It seems that Catholics all over the English-speaking world were forced to assimilate and endure the same kind of liturgical abuses we were. In fact, I would venture to say that most of us didn't even know our liturgy was being abused.

To all my fellow English-speaking Catholics out there, the truth is cold and hard, but somebody has got to say it. We've been had! We were deceived! We were assured our English mass was an authentic translation of the Latin text issued by the Vatican. That was not true. In fact, the Vatican calls it "defective." We were snookered too! Because we were told that the directives of Vatican II changed the norms of liturgical celebration, so that our mass now looks a lot more like the Episcopalian mass. We were bamboozeled as well! Because we were told that in the "Spirit of Vatican II" our chapels and places of worship should look more "Protestant" in nature. The ornate decor of our Catholic architecture disappeared. The iconography was reduced to a bare minimum -- sometimes using stick-figures, not even resembling human appearance. In older churches, the railings were torn down, and the alters were broken away from the walls. The list goes on and on. I haven't even touched on the catechises abuse that accompanied our "defective" American liturgy.

Now if you're anything like me, this news has already got your blood pressure up, and you're wondering who's responsible for this. I'll tell you who. It's not the Vatican. In fact, it's the Vatican that's trying to straighten this whole mess out. It's not some secret Catholic order either. There are no dark smoke-filled rooms filled with conspirators to blame. No, the blame rests squarely at the feet of an ideology -- not an organization. It was an ideology embraced by many in our clergy and the laity back in the 1970s. That ideology is commonly known as "liberalism." It was a sort of "anything goes" mentality that accompanied the post-concilar period.

Back during the late 1960s to early 1970s, the Episcopal Church had their own liturgical reform, and it would seem that it was the liberal idea of keeping everyone on the same page. The U.S. Catholic bishops decided to follow suite with their own reforms that would mirror the Episcopalians. So in the process of translating the text of the new mass, they butchered it to the point were it is now "defective" and has been for 30+ years. In the process of building new churches and changing liturgical customs, the U.S. Catholic bishops followed the Episcopalian lead. So if you're upset by all this, blame the real source of the problem -- reckless liberalism!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Is the Tridentine Mass A Key to Christian Unity?

The western Tridentine Mass and the eastern Divine Liturgy side-by-side

Will classical liturgy aid reunion with Eastern Orthodox?

"Similarly, it must not be forgotten that from the beginning the Churches of the East have had a treasury from which the Western Church has drawn extensively in liturgical practice, spiritual tradition, and law" — Unitatis Redintegratio, November 21, 1964.

Is it truly feasible that the "freeing of the classical Roman rite of liturgy" is a small part of the Pope's overall plan for paving the way for the reuniting of the Latin Church with the separated Churches of the East?

Bishop Fernando Rifan, who heads up the Apostolic Administration of St. John Mary Vianney in Campos, Brazil, said he believed a further liberalization of the liturgical rite of Pope St. Pius V would aid ecumenical relations with the East.

"I really think that the Traditional Latin Mass widely and freely available would be, among many other good reasons, a great benefit in the field of the true ecumenism with the Orthodox," he said. "This would be primarily because the Traditional Liturgy is much more similar to the Oriental [Eastern] rites in the aspect of the sacred, veneration, and beauty."

Bishop Rifan and his priestly society achieved full canonical recognition and regularization with the Church on January 18, 2002.

It is hoped by many traditionalists and the Holy See that the positive example of this group of priests, which offers all the sacraments exclusively according to the ancient rites, will serve as a model for other traditionalist priestly societies such as the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), to potentially reach full regularization with the Church.

Archbishop Raymond Burke, a notably obedient son of the Church, particularly with applying Pope John Paul II's request in Ecclesia Dei Adflicta to be "wide and generous" in allowing the Classical Roman liturgy for those Catholics who desire it, agrees with Bishop Rifan's assessment, but with a nuance.

"I wouldn't think that the Holy Father would be doing this simply as a strategy [for ecumenical relations with the Orthodox], but I do think it will be an effect of a restoration or in the 'reform of the reform' of the liturgy," Archbishop Burke said.

"It seems to me for the Eastern rites, and for those of the Orthodox Churches, the reform of the liturgy after the council and the concrete expression is so stripped of the transcendent, of the sacral elements, it is difficult for them to recognize its relationship with their Eucharistic Liturgies," he said.

Archbishop Burke agreed that the Eastern Churches would most likely identify more readily with the Classical Roman rite of liturgy, and its similarities with their own Divine Liturgies, than the Novus Ordo liturgy.

"It would be easier for them to see the unity, the oneness in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, by a rite of the Mass, just limiting ourselves now to talking about the Holy Mass, that it was richer in those dimensions — the elements of the transcendent — the symbols of the transcendent element of Christ — Christ in action in the Mass — the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary," Archbishop Burke said....

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Archbishop of St. Louis to Take Vatican Post

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Now this is exciting! St. Louis is affectionately known as the "Rome of the West," and now St. Louis' Archbishop is taking an office in Rome. Not a permanent office, but one in which he'll have one foot in the Vatican and one in his own archdiocese in St. Louis. Archbishop Raymond Burke is the right kind of man for the job. He's one who's not afraid to enforce the laws of the Church, even at the expense of his own popularity. He first made waves when coming to St. Louis a couple of years ago, and announcing that Catholic politicians who support abortion may not receive communion in his diocese. Of course this hacked off liberal Catholics, and liberals in general, who immediately went to work on a smear campaign against him. Since then, every little administrative decision he's made has been scrutinized by the mainstream media, and Burke has been made out to be a heartless radical -- (the typical liberal smear tactic). I've always been a supporter of the Archbishop, and in fact, I wrote him a letter of appreciation when he arrived in St. Louis. I've followed some of his work since then, and I've been nothing but impressed. It seems the only people who passionately dislike him are liberals (Catholic or not), and if that's not a good indication of a strong orthodox leader, than I don't know what is. Congratulations Archbishop Raymond Burke!

St. Louis Archbishop appointed to Church’s highest court

St. Louis, Jul. 10, 2006 (CNA) - On Saturday the Holy See announced that Archbishop Raymond Burke of the Archdiocese of St. Louis has been appointed to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. The Archbishop will undertake his new duties while remaining Archbishop of St. Louis.

While the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is often labeled the “Supreme Court” of the Catholic Church, the Tribunal’s cases are generally more rare than those of the U.S. Supreme Court. Most judicial appeals, which come to Rome from dioceses around the world, are decided by the Roman Rota. The Supreme Tribunal’s duties include responsibility for any appeals to rulings of the Roman Rota, in addition to oversight of the Roman Rota itself.

The Tribunal is currently being asked to consider the appeal of a group of parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston, which have been closed due to restructuring in the archdiocese. The parishes are appealing to the Tribunal after their initial appeals to Rome were denied earlier this month.

The Tribunal also oversees the administration of justice within the Church, examining administrative matters referred to it by the Congregations of the Roman Curia as well as questions committed to it by the Holy Father.

Archbishop Burke is known as an accomplished Canon Lawyer. Having completed his graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Burke was named Moderator of the Curia and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of La Cross, Wisconsin. Prior to being named Bishop of La Crosse in 1994, Burke served as Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal for five years - the first American to hold such a post....

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Sunday, July 9, 2006

Why Catholics Can't Vote Democrat Anymore

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Now this is not an endorsement of the Republican Party. I am not a Republican. I'm actually a disaffected Catholic Democrat of the old Southern style -- staunchly conservative on moral issues, and yet open to government involvement on some social issues. I'm truly Pro-Life; which means I oppose both legalized abortion and the death-penalty. I'm distrustful of both big-business and big-government. I oppose the Republican Party on many issues, and I don't trust it either. So I guess you can say I'm a man without a party, and it doesn't look like I'll be part of one any time soon.

Having said that, I have to point out the reasons why I believe practicing Catholics (who take the teachings of the Church seriously) can no longer support the Democratic Party, nor vote for most Democratic candidates, without seriously violating their religious conscience. The following links will explain why...

Vatican To Sever Dialog With Church of England

LONDON – The Church of England General Synod officially approved the concept of women bishops as "theologically justified" by 288 votes to 119 in York this weekend.

The vote by the Church of England ruling body, which resulted from a two-and-a-half-hour debate led by the Archbishop of York, sees the introduction of women bishops move one step closer.

Dr John Sentamu called for the Synod to “welcome and affirm” the views of the majority of the House of Bishops that women bishops should be accepted to the episcopate. In answer to this call, more than two-thirds of the Synod supported him.

The Synod also approved the statement that it would be a “proper development in proclaiming afresh, in this generation, the grace and truth of Christ.” Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will address the Synod on Monday to support setting up a legislative drafting group to tackle the issue....

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A top Vatican cardinal warned the Church of England against consecrating women as bishops, saying such a move would make unity ''unreachable'' and shared Communion impossible.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, told the archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams that the consecration of women bishops would assure a “serious and long lasting chill” since it would risk compromising the church’s traditional comprehensiveness.

“Without identity, no society, least of all a church, can continue to survive,” said Kasper, according to the U.K.-based Times.

Kasper also warned that ecumenical dialogues between the two church bodies could be compromised if women are elected.

“Ecumenical dialogue in the true sense of the word has as its goal the restoration of full Church Communion. That has been the presupposition of our dialogue until now. That presupposition would realistically no longer exist following the introduction of the ordination of women to episcopal office,” said Kasper....

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'LA Times' Reports On Demise Of Liberal Christianity

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: You know a liberal ideology has completely collapsed when its demise if finally pointed out by a paper like the Times. Liberal news outlets usually protect their ideological comrads by refusing to publish stories that might be harmful to them. By the time John Q. Public usually hears about the demise of a liberal ideology, chances are, it's already been dead for some time. This story just came in from the Lost Angeles Times...

Liberal Christianity Is Paying For Its Sins

The accelerating fragmentation of the strife-torn Episcopal Church USA, in which several parishes and even a few dioceses are opting out of the church, isn't simply about gay bishops, the blessing of same-sex unions or the election of a woman as presiding bishop. It also is about the meltdown of liberal Christianity.

Embraced by the leadership of all the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as large segments of American Catholicism, liberal Christianity has been hailed by its boosters for 40 years as the future of the Christian church.

Instead, as all but a few die-hards now admit, all the mainline churches and movements within churches that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are demographically declining and, in the case of the Episcopal Church, disintegrating....

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Saturday, July 8, 2006

Pope Blasts Spanish Government -- Defends Traditional Family

Pope Benedict XVI hammered away at traditional family values Saturday during a quick visit to Spain, challenging a Socialist government that has angered the Vatican by instituting liberal reforms such as gay marriage and fast-track divorce.

Benedict will be in Valencia for about 26 hours to close a Vatican-organized gathering on family issues, and he wasted no time in defending the Vatican's vision of marriage as a union of man and woman.

"The family is a unique institution in God's plan, and the church cannot fail to proclaim and promote its fundamental importance," Benedict said on his arrival...

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